Saturday, March 24, 2012

Book Review The 7 Levels Of Intimacy

Book Review: The Sevens Levels of Intimacy
By Mathew Kelley

It is a rare occurrence to read a book that truly changes your life. This friend is a book that I would simply marvel at being called a GAME CHANGER. The author has created a book based off of biblical principles, but delivers them in a subliminal, simplistic tone.  In the beginning chapters the author establishes a multitude of different systems within humanity working together. The first system is recognized as the true human needs. Emotional support- Spiritual support- Mental support- Physical support. The overall tone that the book sets revolves around the questions “are you helping someone become the best version of themself?”
An additional system speaks to the levels of relationships that we carry amongst one another. The author makes a point to speak truth in knowing that not every person we interact with deserves to be a “close friend” or in high tier/primary relationships with us. He writes that the only thing consistent is change and those relationships may come and go during different times, but the question remains “did you help them in becoming the best version of themselves, while they were in your midst?”
The level of thinking is challenged when the author informs the reader about moving past communication barriers. Once this is accomplished the reader can expect to grow in the levels of closeness felt with people that they come into contact with.
I was not sure what to expect reading the book, but my experience with it has helped me to continue on that journey we call life as a much improved man. I would personally recommend this to anyone, but I will go on record and say that this book will become required reading for all couples entering pre-marital counseling through this church. Sincere thanks to the author- You’ve got a jewel here.


Friday, March 9, 2012

Book Review A Framework for understanding poverty

A Framework for understanding Poverty
                                By Ruby K Payne

  This book was recommended to me by my mother who reads like….Nonstop! I took interest in the title because understanding something is the underlying obstacle in trying to have a positive effect on it. In my calling I tend to interact with many different types of people. Anything that I can add to my belt as a knowledgeable resource is well worth the time and effort.  This book is detailed for teachers trying to make in impact on students lives that may be lacking resources. The author describes resources in a number of categories in the early chapters. These include financial, emotional, mental, spiritual, physical, support systems, knowledge of middle-class hidden rules, and role models.
  The lack of these resources would then indicate to me a means of poverty. One caveat that I would have to this book is if the lack of resources would be indicative to impoverished youth, why does the author only stick to youth who mainly lack financial resources? Let us be commonly clear on one theme: money doesn’t automatically generate the additional resources already stated. By focusing so much attention on people from poor financial backgrounds, the author neglects to mention other areas. For example in high income areas there are still youth and people walking around in poverty based on the resources definitions. A person may not have the necessary support systems, but financially lives in a great house and have adequate food to eat. These numbers slip through the cracks in the education system and then become grown people still broken and still missing key resources in their lives.  
  Another key to the book that perked my ears was deemed “hidden rules” associated with each social class. For example in poverty the hidden rules of a disagreement are that the disagreement will lead to physical altercation. You must be able to fight in the lower economic status. The middle class tends to negotiate disagreements. Another one includes the rules of finances: in poverty it is used to be spent, in middle class it is managed, in wealth it is invested.
  There are literally dozens of stereotypical rules that the author has applied to the various classes. By using a huge paintbrush to broad stroke people, in some situations she comes through truthfully. The problem is that this doesn’t ring true for all cases. Assuming that a child will likely be absent manners because of social status is hilarious. Although I don’t work in the school system I do mingle in and around town. For some reason in target and other stores I hardly ever see a child that appears to come from a humble household acting out in public. I do however see a lot of middle and upper class children, tearing up and down the aisles. Whining because they can’t have a new toy or a hot chocolate from the Starbucks.  The mother is standing the in line begging for compliance, while the established father does anything to avoid having to be called into the situation. Am I the only who sees this every weekend?
   The point is that these hidden rules are nothing more social norms that Americans have adapted as a whole. Some of them reside at the current economic status and others truly depend on what a child or person learns during their time here.  If you choose to read the book…Read it lightly..Otherwise you could find yourself grossly miscalculating who a child or person is based on the multiple generalizations throughout the book.
   In conclusion the author does list a few practical ways to lend assistance to poverty stricken youth. The understanding is somewhat lacking though. There are many broad statements, but no thorough point of understanding. For example in lower class homes she writes, the eldest mother is the one who yields all power. She determines the comings and goings in the family. There is never really a clear explanation as to why the structure is set-up this way. How then do we understand this issue?
  If you have nothing else to do…read the book..If you’re looking for concrete answers …Skip it and look elsewhere. God is the only one that can change people and circumstances. It is through his love that we can show others that bring them closer to him. Once they are closer to him generational norms are broken and better living is established.