GEN Douglas MacArthur has a famous quote that I believe relates to this week’s chapter, especially about the importance of “competition”:
“Upon the fields of friendly strife on sown the seeds that on other days, on other fields, shall bear the fruits of victory….”
GEN Douglas MacArthur
McArthur’s quote is required knowledge for cadets at West Point, and is memorized during the first few weeks of Cadet Basic Training prior to even beginning the academic year as freshmen. (Just ask Jon Paschal or me this week…I bet we can STILL say it verbatim, 30 years later!) In layman’s terms, the lessons and experiences that athletes take away from competition will likely lead to more competence and confidence in battle and therefore, victory.
Our author discusses “competition, why it’s important, yet under the context of “healthy” competition: Chapter 7: Is Competition Our Problem?
Fair warning, this week’s lesson from Brooks does not favor the side of “everyone gets a participation trophy”! But if you are in the camp that believes in the merits of recognizing everyone….then bring your thoughts…and we’ll discuss….in friendly competition!
Speaking of Jon Paschal….he leads us this Friday. Please gather over Zoom starting at 7:30 am ET. Lesson starts at 7:45 am ET!
When you read this week’s homework, Chapter 6 “Tell Me A Story”, you’ll recognize the title in this week’s reminder as the results of Ernest Hemingway’s bet with a friend that he could tell an entire story in six words…..
As I read through the chapter, it occured to me that this week’s theme is really common sense….but something we rarely put into application. Telling “stories”, our author explains, is the key to connecting with other people. He even cites some chemicals in our bodies / brains that respond to stories better than just simple facts and numbers.
I’ll break it all down for you this Friday….but in the meantime, what’s your story? How would you describe yourself, maybe not in just six words (like Hemingway). Rather…could you come to our gathering this Friday ready to share your story…maybe in 12 words or less? That’s my challenge to you……
What’s mine? That’s easy….
“Complicatedly simple, time is ticking, thoroughly used up.”
I’m curious to hear from any of the guys this week if you ever participated in Speed Dating as a single man. I did not…but knew of people who did. Mixed responses from those guys…..as for me, I tended to go off “referrals” from good friends back when I was single.
The opening pages of this week’s assignment, Chapter 5: The Power and Peril of Identity, had me wondering if the tendencies explained by our author likewise play out in speed dating. In other words, do “strangers” listen to what each other is saying during the lightening rounds of short discussions, or does it really come down to immediate common attributes like demographics, education, and job.
This week, Brooks talks about drifting away from what he refers to as our identity to some, and recommends finding unity by seeing people first and foremost.
Luke leads us this week and will navigate us through the challenges of “identity”.
Gather over Zoom at 7:30 am ET. Lesson starts at 7:45 am.
Fast forward to the last page in this week’s assignment, Chapter 4: “How Can I Love My Enemies If They Are Immoral?”
Too many of us are like the Pharisee in Luke’s Gospel who prays, “God, I thank You that I am not like other people–robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector.” We should be more like the tax collector who, Luke tells us, “would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God have mercy on me, a sinner.”
Arthur Brooks, p. 107
Now there’s certainly more to the chapter than just that final paragraph….so I’d encourage you to read the entire chapter! But, like me, perhaps you’ll start with that paragraph, put the book down and reflect…then begin with the first page of Chapter 4.
Jason Schubert leads us this week! I’ll look forward to seeing all of you starting at 7:30 am over Zoom.