Saturday, September 20, 2014

Good Stuff From Around the Web

The Power of Words


The Power of Words

:: “Let the Little Children Come to Me”: The Child’s Moral Imagination @ The Imaginative Conservative

“Children need to read, play, think, and ask questions, and in the process, form an active and eager imagination in which they process the questions and meaning of life. They need to escape to a pretend world in order to come back to reality with a more tangible understanding of the good and evil, the nature of man, and what it means to live the good life. Of course, they will not realize that they are learning these things, but they are, nonetheless. C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia, Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie, Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables, J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, Ralph Moody’s Little Britches, and so many other children’s books cause young and old minds alike to abandon their own afflictions and imagine a different time and place in order to deepen their understanding of the true, the good, and the beautiful.”

:: 8 Reasons Why Fairy Tales Are Essential to Childhood @ Imagination Soup

Fairy tales show real life issues in a fantastical scenario where most often the hero triumphs…Children need to discover in a safe environment that bad things happen to everyone. Because guess what? No one in life is immune from challenges — so we need to build capacity in our children. Do we build emotional muscles so our children can hang on during tough times or do we shelter our kids, protecting them, leaving them so weak they can’t handle anything requiring strength?

:: The Power of Grace @ The Atlantic (Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead is one of the most haunting, exquisite books I’ve ever read. I got shivers reading this review of Lila, which I’ve pre-ordered.)

Robinson’s grace is all the things we don’t have names for: the immortal souls we may or may not have, a doll with rag limbs loved to tatters. It’s sweet wild berries eaten in a field after a man baptizes the woman he will someday marry. Grace is money for a boy who may have killed his father; it’s one wife restoring the roses on the grave of another. Grace here isn’t a refutation of loss but a way of granting sorrow and joy their respective deeds of title. It offers itself to the doomed and the blessed among us, which is to say all of us. “Pity us, yes, but we are brave,” Lila realizes, “and wild, more life in us than we can bear, the fire infolding itself in us.”

:: Henry James and the Great Y.A. Debate @ The New Yorker (As someone who loves Harry Potter, Hunger Games and, say, Gilead, I found much food for thought in this article. It’s long but worthy.)

Why is it, then, that we rightly recognize in James a maturity absent from so much of American culture not just today but a hundred years ago? It is, I think, in part because he treats the passage into adulthood as not just painful or costly but also as necessary, and he looks that necessity straight in the face. What’s more, he treats his reader as a fellow adult aware of this necessity. (In his magnificent story “The Author of Beltraffio,” the narrator asks the famous author whether young people should be allowed to read novels. “Good ones—certainly not!” he answers. Not that good novels are bad for young readers, he adds, “But very bad, I am afraid, for the novel.”)

:: Less internet – but more of what? @ The Art of Simple (I need to implement this one.)

I would like to suggest that you read poetry instead.

Why?  Because really, you’re looking to replace a habit that is in the cracks and crevices of your day. Most of the time, this isn’t about replacing a 4 hour block of internet-ing with a dinner party. It’s about replacing 5 to 10 minute chunks when you’re standing in line, riding the bus home from work, or hanging out at the playground with your kids.

:: Read Slowly to Benefit Your Brain and Cut Stress @ The Wall Street Journal

The point of the club isn't to talk about literature, but to get away from pinging electronic devices and read, uninterrupted. The group calls itself the Slow Reading Club, and it is at the forefront of a movement populated by frazzled book lovers who miss old-school reading.


Art and Overcoming

:: These Works of Art Truly Amazing. But Wait Til You Find Out Who the Artist Is & How He Made Them @ IJReview. (Astounding.)

::  How Many Famous Painters Can You Name? (quiz)



:: Love Is All You Need: Insights from the Longest Longitudinal Study on Men Ever Conducted @ The Art of Manliness (Fascinating reading.)

Nothing quite like the Grant Study has ever been attempted; as Vaillant puts it, this research represents “one of the first vantage points the world has ever had on which to stand and look prospectively at a man’s life from eighteen to ninety.” The mountains of data collected over more than seven decades has become a rich trove for examining what factors present in a man’s younger years best predict whether he will be successful and happy into old age.

…When Vaillant crunched the numbers, he discovered no significant relationship between a man’s level of flourishing and his IQ, his body type (mesomorph, ectomorph, endomorph), or the income and education level of his parents.

The factors that did loom large, and collectively predicted all ten Decathlon events, had one thing in common: relationships.



:: Give Them Swords @ Sharp Paynes

This world is full of so many portals-of-sin, so many gateways to a distraction from Jesus and the narrow way. They are in my own life and I hold them in my own hands. I fight them in my mind, and I only wrestle down strongholds of word and deed by His word and I need, I need, a protecting of my own. I need a Jesus-covering like a mother’s love and father’s affection.

I worry that they might make mistakes too big for me to fix, and therein lies so many problems of my own.



::The Two Key Traits Employers Need From Today's College Graduates @ Forbes

Current Events

:: While India's girls are aborted, brides are wanted @ CNN

Decades of sex-selective abortion have created an acute lack of women in certain parts of India. Traffickers capitalize on the shortage by recruiting or kidnapping women ensnared in poverty to sell as brides. It's a cycle influenced by poverty and medical technologies, but one that ultimately is perpetuated by India's attitude towards women.

1 comment:

Kate said...

What a great selection of links, Heidi! The New Yorker article may even inspire me to give Henry James another try.

I found the WSJ article hilarious, but frighteningly true. It almost reads like something out of The Onion...if only I didn't notice the same deterioration in my reading attention span...