I just finished reading three great books. So great that I neglected some things...that happens I guess.
The first was Little Women. This has become one of my most favorite books and I'm wondering how I missed out when I was younger. I guess I read several sensational (as Jo would call it), popular, not very meaningful books as a young woman. But this one...WOW! I could not put it down and I've continued to ponder on it since I read the last page. So many lessons for mothers, young girls, newlyweds, and those who want to be happy and find their way by doing what they know in their hearts is right. I love that Marmee allowed her girls to make their little mistakes, and to learn from them. She didn't constantly preach to them and she didn't tell them what to do in every situation. She taught them by her sweet example. She taught them by her patience and her love. Consistency...she's also a great example of this.
I'm waiting for Little Men and Jo's Boys to arrive in the mail. I'm a fan of older used books (cheap and cool) and so my Little Men is actually the 1913 edition. Hopefully, it's not falling apart, but as it was only $6 (including shipping) I thought it would be fun!
The second book was Tarzan of the Apes. I originally bought this to read aloud to the boys, but we hadn't gotten to it yet. I picked it up after putting Little Women down because I was still in the reading mode where you're not ready for the story to be over with. The first chapter heading, "Out to Sea," pulled me in and off I went. Also a very absorbing story though completely different! There have been many movies and spoofs and weird jokes made from this story, but the original is noble and awesome!
The third was The Narrative of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave. What I learned from this book was several things.
Be careful what we do in the name of our religion. Our actions should be in line with our faith and our faith should not be an excuse for our actions.
The world would have us become thoughtless, ignorant and simply accept what's going on whether it's right or not, because it's what every one else is doing. Taking your own road and going against the grain can be difficult, uncomfortable, and sometimes, lonely.
But to believe and feel one thing.. and yet do another... that's hard to live with. Suffocating. If it's right, then do it... fight for it!
When we are given responsibility for others, we cannot give in to the temptation (which is usually there) to exercise unrighteous dominion. Though Mr. Douglass was referring to the effect slaveholding had upon slaveholders (causing them to become mean-hearted... even those who had once been kind), I applied it to myself as a mother.
I am responsible to care for, raise and teach 4 boys, and a little girl. These are spirits who have existed longer than time, who were faithful in the pre-existence, and who have been chosen by our Father in Heaven to be born at this time because they are valiant and He can count on them to serve Him by loving and helping others. When I feel inclined to be a mean grouch, I need to remember who they are, use wisdom, and treat them with the love and respect that will surely teach more effectively than a sharp tongue.