Tag Archives: book review

The Myth of Equality

I read this book in a few days, and books about race are not my normal fare. I have rarely been so impressed by a book that deals with race and inequality, and I’ve never read anything that addressed the issue of white supremacy in a non-Neo-Nazi way. And I’m a bit ashamed to admit that I’ve never even considered the concept of “white privilege.” Yes, I realize I’m blessed, and I’ve always been aware of it, and Im really not a snob or a racist. But ignorant, yes. I have been that.

Ken Wytsma addresses white privilege as the underlying cause for racial tension in a fresh honest, and non-judgmental way. His context provides a logical and researched reason for our country’s inability to erase prejudice and  discrimination, despite massive legislative agendas. It lays responsibility squarely at the feet of those in charge–yes, the white-skinned Americans.

I grew up in the Midwest as an average respectful middle-class American white girl. I was the norm and the majority. I did realize that there were stigmas attached to our Native Americans and our Mexican migrant workers, yet I never considered the dichotomy of opportunity and privilege between these races and myself. Altering this perspective changes everything.

Wytsma made so many profound and challenging comments throughout the book. I highlighted and starred many statements. I found this book to be a persuasive, compassionate, non-offensive, and well-informed threats of a national problem. This achievement is remarkable when addressing issues of race and equality. I am looking at my culture and my personal life differently now, and I’m grateful for the challenge. This book also made me want to read his other books. I highly recommend it.

Here are some quotes to get you thinking about race, inequality, and white privilege. Feel free to leave comments:

“If the church becomes an empire unto itself,  self-interested institution concerned with its own power and influence (as the temple had become in Jesus’ day), it is capable of slipping into direct opposition to the kingdom of God–the very thing it is supposed to be nurturing, spreading, and protecting.” (92)

“It’s tempting to think that when we’ve learned a little bit of something that we’re really learned it.” (321)

“An excess of privilege plus a surplus of guilt equals an outflow of compassion.” (162)

“Faith looks outside itself. Fear looks to itself.” (171)

“Justice isn’t just about doing; it’s about being. It isn’t just about changing the world; it’s about changing ourselves.” (188)

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Daring Greatly

Okay, I’ve been reading about vulnerability.

I had intended to read the book Daring Greatly several times this year, but coincidentally, I picked it up last week, during one of the most vulnerable periods of my life–the week after my mother died. If you believe in Fate or in God, the coincidence makes complete sense. Vulnerability scares me, and I’m willing to admit it. It scares you, too. It’s why we lives such busy lives–why we’d rather text than call and why we’d rather email than speak face to face. We’re that scared.

Vulnerability feels like out-of-control, exposed weakness–like you’re on a runaway train, careening toward a cliff, bound hand and foot, and gagged. Oh, yeah, and you’re naked and out-of-shape. And there’s no John Wayne/Harrison Ford/Tom Cruise character to rescue you from certain death at the last second. (Which is actually somewhat of a relief, since you are naked.)51CnRqFnS5L._AC_US160_

I am reading Daring Greatly by Brené Brown, the great shame researcher that you read because everyone recommends her and you don’t think you have shame issues. Then she pounds your head into the pavement until you get her point, and remarkably, you don’t have a headache afterwards. She’s that crazy good.

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Finally! A cure for entitlement!

Wow! I loved this book on entitlement, which as you know, is a hot topic with me. Townsend nails the problem and the solution in his latest book, The Entitlement Cure: finding success in doing hard things the right way by Dr. John Townsend (Zondervan, 2015). I highly recommend reading it!

_200_360_Book.1753.coverAnother practical and thought-provoking book by the author of bestselling book Boundaries challenges readers to consider the existence and extent of entitlement on their lives. Chronic entitlement has dramatically affected our country, on a corporate as well as personal level. By sharing hundreds of cases from his
experience as a leadership consultant and psychologist, Townsend lays out a plan for overcoming entitlement in your own life or helping someone you know beat the self-absorbed mindset that is causing them to damage their relationship and performance at home and work. This is a must-read for parents, teachers, and managers.