Things I’ve linked recently:
Christopher Buckley (son of the late Wm. F. Buckley, Jr) is voting Obama.
Thoughts from multiple discussions over the last week:
Most of the time, when people come to tell you that they’re frustrated or upset with you (be it your spouse, a friend, a church member, etc), what they’re looking for first of all isn’t a solution to the problem; what they first want is to be heard. Down deep they know that you love them and want the best for them, but if you go immediately into problem-solving mode without having first stopped to really listen, instead of helping the situation you end up reinforcing their unhappiness.
It’s hard to just keep your mouth closed, listen, and not immediately be defensive, but quiet listening and acceptance (not necessarily accepting the fault, but accepting that the hurts are real) will accomplish much.
I still have plenty to learn in this regard.
Next up in the blog book review series, courtesy of Mulnomah Publishing: For Young Men Only: A Guy’s Guide to the Alien Gender, by Jeff Feldhahn and Eric Rice. (Usual standard disclaimer: Mulnomah sent me a free copy, I agreed to review it.)
Apparently For Young Men Only (we’ll just call it FYMO for the rest of this review) is the fourth book in the For… …Only series; the authors have already written For Men Only, For Women Only, and For Young Women Only. Each book professes to unlock the mysteries of the opposite gender to the target audience. FYMO, then is targeted at teenage boys, I’d say probably in the Junior High to High School age range. In chapter one, the authors lay out the purpose for the book:
…we want to help teen guys understand, talk to, listen to, get to know, learn from, care for, enjoy…maybe even impress a girl. Sure, it’s not quite as lofty a goal is stopping terrorism or bringing back the glaciers. But it’s something smart guys care about – and smart girls too. Understanding how girls think can make a huge difference in your happiness now and in the future. even better, a crash course in Girl 101 can put you way ahead of most other guys, who will spend the rest of their lives being totally confused.
In the book you’re holding, enlightment starts with you. You bring your legendary genius. We bring our shocking data. Pretty soon you can get inside her head.
The remaining chapters of this short (150 5″x7″ pages) book are filled with topics like these: “Why ordinary guys have a real chance with great girls”; “A code breaker’s guide to baffling female behavior”; “Why girls go from ‘love’ to ‘get lost’ so fast – and how to keep from getting crushed”; “How to talk and listen to a girl without looking like an idiot”, and, last but not least, “The truth about girls, guys, and sex”. Frankly, I’m a bit too far past high school to remember if this stuff would’ve been helpful or not, but it’s all reasonable advice. Be yourself. Listen. Be sensitive. Don’t have sex before marriage. Let her see the “real” you.
Where I run into difficulty with FYMO is in figuring out who I’d recommend it to. It’s purposefully not a “christian” book. No scripture is referenced. All the arguments driving the “what to do” and “what not to do” are based on surveys of what girls like and want, and on lots of basic psychology. It feels a lot like what you might read in a normal magazine targeted toward highschoolers. Which is fine, as far as it goes. But if I ever have a son, by the time he’s old enough to be reading this book, he should be thinking over these things with some spiritual depth that is nowhere to be found in this book.
My other big difficulty with FYMO is that the authors assume, and appear to view as perfectly fine, a fairly broad range of physical intimacy among their teenage audience. Call me out of touch with modern times, but I don’t want my 9th grader who is reading this book to assume that having a series of dating relationships in high school in which he is snuggling, kissing, and “making out” with girls is the right thing to do. As a Christian father, I would assume (and expect) a higher standard.
I can imagine that teenage boys could learn a thing or two from this book if they were willing to sit down and read it. And what they would learn would be helpful, as far as it goes. My hope, though, is that Christian parents would provide enough training and guidance to their sons that the sons would be able to pick out the helpful insights while recognizing that the authors’ worldview is some distance from what it should be.
I am the oldest of five children. We span nearly ten and one-half years from oldest to youngest, four boys and then a rather special little sister. Today we reach something of a milestone: that youngest of the Hubbs children, our sister Rebecca, turns 21. To honor her on her birthday, I thought I’d pull out some photos. Unfortunately, I don’t have any really OLD ones to post. 🙁
(She’s the one in the middle in this picture, with my wife Becky on the right and Aaron’s fiancee Emily on the left.)
At Andrew’s wedding this summer, with her oldest brother:
She’s HOW old?
Happy birthday, sis! We love you lots!
I’ve had an easy time deciding who to support for president for pretty much every election cycle since I turned 18. This year, though, the choices are not so easy. I’m a life-long conservative with a distrust for Democrats but a growing distaste for the Republicans. Which makes this next sentence a very difficult one for me to say: unless something drastic changes between now and November 4, I’m voting for Obama.
Now, let me work out some of the reasoning behind this, for my own mind if nothing else. Let’s group it around three broad areas: economy/domestic policy, war/foreign policy, for lack of a better term, “morality” issues, and, finally, general personality issues.
In conclusion: most of it’s a wash. Obama takes it just based on health care, VP, and general “change”. So, that’s my ramble. I’m sure this will greatly please some friends and family and greatly shock others. Feel free to agree, disagree, argue, whatever. I’m just hoping that next time around there’s a candidate I’m actually enthusiastic about voting for.