Review of “Never Settle for Normal”

    Jonathan Parnell has found ‘the proven path to significance and happiness’ in his book “Never Settle for Normal”. The author boldly answers the questions we all have: What is the missing piece? What are we really hungry for? What do you do when enough isn’t enough?    This Christian book is not only for the ‘glory chasers and pleasure seekers’, but for anyone struggling with his/her faith. For those who feel firmly grounded in their beliefs, it serves as a useful reminder as to what loving God is really all about. Parnell focuses on our fallen society and the continual shift away from Christian values. He describes the influence of the secular world on Christians and their mindsets as ‘stupid normal’. This new attitude contributes to the ever thinning faith of followers of Christ. Throughout his book, he makes an excellent case for Christ and includes many relatable references to literature as well as notable Christian authors and thinkers. Chapter by chapter, the author retells the story of God and his ultimate sacrifice for mankind. He never strays from the biblical story of salvation. Parnell also addresses the watering down of Christian beliefs and secular society’s need to make Christianity more acceptable to the masses. He stresses the dangers of accepting such changes and believes this is why so many are still search for something more, despite seeming to ‘have it all’.  

    Does he answer the questions so many have hidden in their hearts? Read it to find out. 

*I received this book from Blogging for Books for review. 

Middle Man 

Cheyann Armstrong 
                                Middle Man
Day 87 out of I forget how many.

Same cold desk and white walls.

I have been here so long I have 

Become numb.
Numb. numb to the outside world.

Do they not care about me?

All I know is how to find why X hates Z.
Do I choose letter A or C?

Why do they not care about me?

I try and try, but it’s not enough.

This district better stay an ‘A’.
But, hey, as long as Middle Man is 

Happy you are doing good.

It does not matter if you came from the 

Hood.

State test are all that need to be understood.
Test. A word that now brings fear. 

Test. 

Test. 

Test. 

I get it; I better do my best.

My well being? Oh, the Middle Man

Could care less.
A pat on the back, a thing I’ll never get.

I could leave. Forget it all. No more tests.

I don’t want to face the downfall. 

God, why so many tests?
I swear I’m trying my best.

How do I do my best on a

Test I wasn’t prepared for? 
Enough! I want to actually learn.

Teach me the ACT.

I need to be a better me…
Me. Middle Man, why don’t you care

About me?

I do my every test my very best.

You drive me crazy.
You sit there and call me lazy.

Sleep is a rare visitor all because I

Try to be better. For you Middle Man!
Middle Man why can’t you see…

See that you are slowly killing me.

Killing my dreams.

God please let me be.
God middle man why can’t you let me be me…

My Desire 

Loftin Price

                             My Desire

    I long for a certain attitude, a new mindset. One where each individual allows a light in and allows it to change preconceived notions. Don’t understand? Let me explain.

    I’m a white male from the state of Mississippi. I live in a small town. My favorite restaurant is Popeyes, so I eat there often. Knowing this, I would like for you to think about the scenario I’m about to present.

    I walk into Popeyes and get in line to order. Shortly after my arrival, a black male who attends the same school as me enters and joins line behind me. No words are spoken. I order, get my food, and sit down to eat. He does the same. The table he chooses to sit at is a few feet from mine. We both eat alone. I finish and leave. He does the same.

    This story needed to be told. Why? It needed to be told because that’s how most of us live on a daily basis. Still confused? 

    Our personalities and attitudes are entrapped in a cloud of darkness. It took no time for me to notice the obvious differences between the male and myself: our skin color…and maybe what we planned to order at Popeyes. We recognize a difference such as race, social class, or religion, and we let these minute details create a barrier from communication and friendship with these people who are “different” than us. Can I share some news with you? The black male in Popeyes and I have more in common than one might think. Don’t believe me? We’re both guys. We are classmates. Both of us live in the same small town. We share a love for fried chicken. We’re both American citizens. Both of us enjoy sports. Both of our bodies require the same things to survive. We breathe the same air.

    You see that? This guy and I have so much in common, yet we did not speak to each other because we let one little detail create a barrier between us. It’s all about our attitudes, our mindsets. If each of us removed this dark cloud that tells us to focus on the external differences, communities could unite through the common ground we each share.

Review of Finally Focused 


James Greenblatt and Bill Gottlieb present a natural treatment plan for ADHD in Finally Focused. This book is an excellent source for anyone searching for alternative methods to treating the symptoms of ADHD without resorting to medication. Part I of the book details the Plus-Minus Healing Plan created by Dr. James Greenblatt. In the first eleven chapters, he details the effects of adding various minerals to one’s diet. He gives first hand accounts of patients who use the minerals mentioned and shows how these minerals help alleviate specific ADHD symptoms. In addition to including case studies, he explains in depth exactly how the specific mineral treats the symptom/s and goes as far as explaining the differences in an ADHD brain versus the brain of someone who does not have ADHD. For those who need further convincing, the ample evidence he provides to support his treatment plan is such that one should have no qualms about at least trying the program. A multitude of scientific studies are provided, which can be difficult to wade through at times. The second part of the book is a brief two chapters and addresses prescriptions commonly used to treat ADHD and also discusses the use of behavioral therapy. I found this book to be a great reference, and I particularly appreciate the Step-by-Step Action Plan for Healing ADHD provided at the end of each chapter which recaps the highlights of the chapter.  

*I received this book from Blogging from Books for review.

Not Everyone is a Winner 

 

After a long weekend of umpiring peewee girls’ softball, I noticed something questionable at the end of the tournament. Regardless of placement, each girl on every team received a trophy. Even the girls on the team in last place squealed with excitement. This latest trend in youth sports creates a dangerous mentality among children: no matter what I do, I will get rewarded. This trending mentality can cause negative effects on kids in the long run. Not everyone is a winner in the real world. If kids receive participation trophies throughout their youth, kids will expect rewards to be given to them as adults for doing the bare minimum and become less productive citizens.

The conflict of whether or not should children receive participation trophies has become more popular over the past few years. The media began to recognize the issue when Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker James Harrison brought it to the public’s attention in August of 2015. Harrison’s six year-old and eight year-old sons each received participation trophies at the end of a sports season like many kids. “I’m not sorry for believing that everything in life should be earned,” he captioned a photo on social media of the trophies, “And I’m not about to raise two boys to men by making them believe that they are entitled to something just because they tried their best… because sometimes your best is not enough.” Harrison’s firm viewpoint gained a tremendous amount of support. Former NFL Super Bowl champ Kurt Warner agreed with Harrison and went a step further by saying kids do not pass class for just showing up (Wallace, 2015, p. 1). Co-author of “Top Dog: The Science of Winning and Losing” Ashley Merryman (2015) worries if children are told how wonderful they are no matter what they do or do not accomplish, these young athletes are more likely to be narcissistic. A study in 2015 found that children whose parents overpraised them were more prone to develop narcissistic traits. Traits such as superiority and entitlement are two qualities which are not necessarily going to benefit kids when the going gets tough. Participation trophies do not give kids room to make mistakes nor learn from their mistakes (Wallace, 2015, p. 2). A poll released recently found 57 percent of respondents were against participation trophies. The vast majority of the remaining 43 percent were wealthier and more politically conservative respondents (Melamed, 2015, p. 1). Jean Twenge (2015), a professor of psychology at San Diego State University, claims:

“All of the research converges on that the best way to motivate kids is to reward them for good performance and when they’re little, for effort as well. The problem with a participation trophy is it doesn’t even reward effort. It rewards showing up, and in some leagues, apparently you don’t even need to show up. That’s really sending the wrong message.”

She also believes the kids on a steady diet of participation trophies will grow anxious and depressed at record levels (Melamed, 2015, p. 2).

When children are small, encouraging them to play and rewarding their performance with a participation trophy is not always a bad idea, but participation trophies are not helpful after a certain age. Kids need to understand everyone is not created equally. Recreation sports are about learning skills and life lessons. Being showered with trophies, no matter the outcome of a game, defeats the original intent of the sport (Diaz, 2015). Some leagues have even taken the next step by setting a participation trophy age cut off. Initially, kids love awards and trophies, but as they get older, they want to earn a trophy (Melamed, 2015, p. 2). The New York Times (2015) reports trophy and award sells total to about $3 billion yearly in the United States. Sadly, sports for kids is not a healthy part of growing up anymore. In handing children participation trophies, they are being taught little or no effort is more than good enough. The children who accept this mentality are being set up for failure, and they are the children who will be less productive citizens when grown.

Others, however, see the argument over participation trophies unnecessary. A common argument for the participation trophy claims the trophy acknowledges the time and effort the child puts forth. Also, the child receives a memento of the experience (Wallace, 2015, p. 1). When kids are young, it is important to build self esteem. They have the rest of their lives to deal with rejection, but I believe kids should learn early on the world does not hand out trophies. Under New Jersey soccer rules, you cannot keep score for kids younger than eleven. Barry Fitzgerald, assistant commissioner of Marlton Soccer in New Jersey, claims it is important for the kids to feel good about themselves. Participation trophies to some is viewed simply as a job well done. The child made it through the season. Although the players are on different levels, they went through the same training, so they should be recognized (Melamed, 2015, p. 2). Parent Anne Harney said her son has not received a participation trophy since he was three. She was surprised to find every participant is given a ‘grown up’participation medal at the end of each race she runs. It was even more surprising to her when the adults were more enthusiastic about them than the young athletes. Everyone received the same medal whether it took him 45 minutes or several hours to complete the race (Melamed, 2015, p. 3).

As a student athlete, I know the feeling of loss and disappointment, but that feeling makes me strive harder to become better. When my team loses, I work even harder, so next time I will be prepared and not lose. When my grade is not as good as it should be, I study harder, so the next time I will improve. Being congratulated for losing a game seems wrong, but that is the mentality children are being taught today. If children do not accept their losses, there is no room for improvement. If there is no room for improvement, children will accept failure and think it is okay.
Abigail Myers

References

Diaz, G. (2015, August 20). George Diaz: Kids don’t deserve participation trophies, medals for showing up. Orlando Sentinel, The (FL).

Kelly Wallace, C. (2015, August 18). Does sports participation deserve a trophy? Let the parental debate begin!. CNN Wire.

Melamed, S. (2015, August 19). To give or not to give participation trophies. Philadelphia Inquirer, The (PA).

Black girl?

I feel like Fannie Lou. I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired. You want to know what I’m tired of? I’m tired of being labeled as ‘ not your average black girl’. What is the average black girl? Why do I have to be mixed with something to have good hair? Like the average black girl can’t have good hair. Well, that’s because I’m not society’s average black girl. Or am I not the average black girl because I talk boldly and walk with confidence? Is it because your definition of the average black girl is one who doesn’t pronounce all of her words, and she’s considered loud and ghetto?
What is the average black girl? The black girl who straightens her hair good, but her good is not ‘good enough’? Am I not it because my hair is not afrogenic enough and kinky enough, but straightened and tamed? Hair styles intimidate you?
Oh no, maybe I’m not the average black girl because I have just a little attitude, but not as much as the other black girls you call rude. You know…. like the black girl over there who has to face society alone and be tough? You don’t know her struggle. Maybe her struggle is different than mine.
So tell me what is the average black girl? Luckily for me, I get a pass because the men in my house pants don’t sag. Or is it because I’m not the teenage black girl you see carrying a baby that might or might not be hers, but you wouldn’t know because you don’t ask?
Again, what is the average black girl? Am I not black enough? Or should I say dark enough, yet still not light enough to be white either? In your perspective, the average black girl can’t even get an academic scholarship because she’s only good for sports; last time I checked Michelle Obama made it without support.
What is the average black girl again?
Let me tell you, this so called ‘non’ average black girl is tired of being put in stereotypical categories. What am I? I am educated, confident, and classy. Just like any black girl can be. Just because my hair is not afro styled and free does not mean the next black girl who does is any less than me. Your definition of ‘the average black girl’ has the potential to be anything she wants to be. And just because she’s not your skin complexion and has long European hair doesn’t mean she’s different. What is a Hispanic girl? What is an Asian girl? What is a white girl? What is a black girl?
Why can’t I just be Feria?
Written by Feria Mays

March 24, 2017

A Review of Jason Wachob’s ‘Wellth: How to Build a Life, Not a Resume’

 

 

Jason Wachob’s Wellth: How to Build a Life, Not a Resume is an easy read broken down into thirteen chapters. The author defines wellth as ‘a new and more valuable life currency: a life exemplified by abundance, happiness, purpose, health, and joy.’ In the book, the author strives to show the reader how to make a mind-body connection that results in finding more happiness and overall contentment. Throughout the book, the author gives ideas on topics covering everything from eating habits to gratitude to help the reader learn how to invest in oneself. While he doesn’t bring new material to the table that one can’t find in other books on wellness in the self-help section, it’s still worth a read. Wachob places quotes throughout the text and also provides thought provoking self-reflection questions in each chapter. There are many points in Wellth where the author uses personal experiences to drive his point home; these trips down memory lane slow down the pace and are a bit boring. Overall, I would recommend this book to readers interested in personal growth and well-being. *I received this book from Blogging from Books for review.