Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Do Hard Things

Summer has gotten busy again, but during those couple of transitional weeks when school was just out, I was able to get some reading done. I know some of you are readers, too, so I thought I'd share.

Do Hard Things, by Alex and Brett Harris, is a book I've been hearing about for years and been wanting to read. It's by nineteen-year-old twin brothers who have started a movement among teens around the world. Check out their website: http://www.therebelution.com/. They are encouraging teenagers to rebel against the low expectations that society puts on them. Before this last century, people in nearly every culture of every time believed that once a child reached the age of 12 or 13, they were very nearly ready for adult responsibilities, and they treated them as such. None of this nonsense about a decade or more living like a child in an adult's body partying and wasting your time avoiding real life.

The Harris boys challenge their readers (teenagers, but also adults like me) to intentionally push themselves to do things that are challenging, that defy the weak expectations placed on them. Hard things -- not just because they are hard, but because they are of value, and because your young years, when you have no family responsibilities and have many years ahead of you to recover from mistakes, are the time to do them.

They list five different types of hard things: things that are outside of your comfort zone, things that go beyond what is expected or required, things that are too big to accomplish alone, things that don't earn an immediate payoff, and things that challenge the cultural norm.

The book is supposed to be for teenagers, but I found it convicting and inspiring. Lord knows, my generation had no sense of the need to do anything hard until it was forced on us. We are a lazy, spoiled bunch, and I epitomize the bunch. I find myself every day now searching for the one hard thing God is challenging me with that day -- and looking for the bigger hard things He is challenging me with for the near future. Like, directing a full-length play at our church this fall. Like starting a school -- or educational program, or something -- using what I've learned about education. Like approaching life with an attitude of praise and thanksgiving . . . amazing how hard that one is for me.

Great book. Buy it for your kids and then read it for yourself.

1 comment:

Robin Shreeves said...

I wonder how much I'd have to bribe Simon to read it this summer. When you do read it, let me know if you think an 11-year-old is ready for it.