Thomas Jefferson

Team AOJ,

I have been so impressed with the recent Book of the Month selections. We are blessed to have leaders like the policy counsel selecting such a wide variety of books for us to learn from. The Slight edged helped me re-focus my energies on my small daily habits. The Twelve Pillars, re-lit my desire to keep the main things the main things. The Thomas Jefferson Education gave Tina and me a great deal of perspective in regards to raising and educating our children. I have just started reading Liberty and Leadership by Orrin and Chris, and I know that it promises to draw me closer to the learning fire.

The Thomas Jefferson Education book spoke of the importance of reading the classics. And I recently went to my bookshelf and pulled out a book called Thomas Jefferson’s writings. This encyclopedia-like book contains the Declaration of Independence, several writings from the Virginia House where he served, and several personal letters written over the course of 50 years. The letters have proven to be the most interesting because they open up the mind of a great man for personal inspection and perspective.

I have to admit that I have always had an issue with some of the founders on the issue of slavery. My assumptions were judgemental in the sense that I assumed that men like Jefferson were hypocritical for penning the words of the Constitution that claim unalienable rights of freedom granted by God to all men, and at the same time unjustly own slaves. I certainly love and appreciate the Constitution for its God inspired content, and I understand that those words written by Jefferson were eventually the words used to right the wrongs of slavery, but my pride and disdain of hypocrisy would never allow me to indulge in learning more about this great man.
Thank God for the TEAM book of the month program, because now I have read from Jefferson’s own hand. Sure he had some very wrong views of African Americans in this land, but he understood that the American patriots that were willing to die for their freedom, were wrong in enslaving others, and the providence of God would not allow such cruelty to continue.
So what does all of this mean to you and I building a community business? What does this have to do with Mona Vie, EMV, and our businesses? I confess that my ignorance and pride prevented me from learning from a great man, and as we build our communities we will undoubtedly sit in front of someone that will not submit to learn new things from great leaders like Orrin and Chris because of pride and ignorance. This business and our system provides an environment of learning that helps all of us break down the walls of assumptions and walk into the newness of learning.
What areas of your life do you hold the strongest opinions? Are you sure that they are correct? Do you automatically block information from a source because of assumptions? If so, have you consulted and learned from the source directly?

Thomas Jefferson was one of the greatest thinkers in the world, and his views helped establish the greatest country in the world. We can all learn from this brilliant man and brilliant men like Orrin, Chris, and the rest of the policy council.
“Never allow a man’s human flaws to blind you of his Godly righteousness.” — Raymond

3 thoughts on “Thomas Jefferson”

  1. Raymond,

    Let me be the first to say that this is a fantastic article. I am so very proud of you for be willing to admit you were wrong and being humble enough to say it in print. I once heard it said that education is not just for knowledge but for results and given the depth of this article it is obviouls you are searching for and have found RESULTS. I love you dearly and will follow you always.

    Loving and Admiring you!

  2. Most of my observations revolved around two points…

    The first is about just how bad of an education that I got, for in large part. Obviously there were some exceptions like teachers like Bonnie Maxie. I too mastered the art of school and how to regurgitate exactly what they wanted to hear. Unfortunately I didn't learn anything of real importance in the process though. I envy those of you who did…

    The second is that I want something different for my kids. Millie and I are fortunate that we have read this book (along with some others) and that our kids have really JUST begun their schooling years (two are still in diapers). I'm not so concerned as to what they learn, but that they gain the “love of learning”. When that happen's, watch out…

    The bad part is that now at 42+ I have to get an (re)education by reading all these clasics too. Fortunately I DO love learning. That was 99% of why I joined TEAM in the first place.

    There is a danger from all this though…

    After reading this book along with Chris' and Orrin's latest, now I have queued up three books totally over 1K pages and the question is, will I see daylight ever again… 🙂

  3. This post and The Thomas Jefferson Education, is loaded with food for thought. It reminded us of how the classics were an integral part of our education. We read and studied many of the classic books. Our education was not just about learning facts and figures out of a textbook but we were required to learn inspiring works such as the Preamble to the Constitution, parts of the Declaration of Independence, speeches by Patrick Henry,and poems such as “If” just to name a few. All these things combined to build character, gave encouragement,and inspired us to climb higher. This book reminds us that we have an obligation to the generation coming behind us to help them find those same virtues and more. To instill in them a sense of pride, value and ownership of their future success. We must encourage them; not to be afraid of hard work, to know that nothing comes without a sacrifice, there are no free lunches and that the hard/difficult choices made early in life will result in an easier life later on.

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