I learned a lot about Native American life and culture, as well as the devastating individual and social costs of fetal alchohol syndrome that stretchI learned a lot about Native American life and culture, as well as the devastating individual and social costs of fetal alchohol syndrome that stretch across lines of race and class. ...more
I found reading this intensely powerful. It made me feel immense sorrow for the religiously-based beliefs I have held in the past about homosexualityI found reading this intensely powerful. It made me feel immense sorrow for the religiously-based beliefs I have held in the past about homosexuality and shock at the things I never knew about the people behind the people who encouraged and fostered these beliefs. Mel White's story is a powerful testimony for greater inclusion and love in the evangelical church for gays and lesbians. ...more
I'm really glad I read this book. My hardback copy--which I got from used from the library for 50 cents--was in a pile of books to be read before beinI'm really glad I read this book. My hardback copy--which I got from used from the library for 50 cents--was in a pile of books to be read before being given away because I'm cleaning out our library in preparation for our cross-country move. I learned a lot about how to support people living with disabilities and particularly appreciated the range of disabilities represented in the book, everything from muscular dystrophy to obsessive compulsive disorder. The chapter on disability culture was informative. I took special notice of the essay "My Secret Childhood Existence" by Taryn L. Hook about OCD in childhood. I also took special notice of the fact that many of the people living with disabilities whose essays were accepted for this book have a social work education! I'm probably still going to give this book away, but if I ever find a paperback copy I'll be sure to repurchase it....more
A modest, thoughtful look at Chicago's innovative Hull House Settlement as well as a fascinating glimpse into the personal development and accomplishmA modest, thoughtful look at Chicago's innovative Hull House Settlement as well as a fascinating glimpse into the personal development and accomplishments of Jane Addams. I wound up really liking and relating to Jane Addams as a person--occasionally, her reflections on her own foibles, naivete, and growth are hilarious. And the political and community work done by Hull-House--the empowerment framework in which it was done, before there was the word 'empowerment'-- was astonishing. I should have read this book a long time ago.
"Whatever may have been the perils of self-tradition, I certainly did not escape them, for it required eight years--from the time I left Rockford in the summer of 1881 until Hull-House was opened in the autumn of 1889--to formulate my convictions even in the least satisfactory manner, much less to reduce them to a plan for action. During most of that time I was absolutely at sea so far as any moral purpose was concerned, clinging only to the desire to live in a really living world and refusing to be content with a shadowy intellectual or aesthetic reflection of it" (p. 64).
"My memory merges this early conversation on religious doctrine into one which took place later when I put before my father the situation in which I found myself at boarding school when under great evangelical pressure, and once again I heard his testimony in favor of 'mental integrity above everything else'" (p. 15).
"To return to my last year at school, it was inevitable that the pressure toward religious profession should increase as graduating day approached. So curious, however, are the paths of moral development that several times during subsequent experiences I have felt that this passive resistance of mine, this clinging to an individual conviction, was the best moral training I received at Rockford College" (p. 56).
On privilege: "In spite of my distrust of 'advantages' I was apparently not yet so cured but that I wanted more of them" (p. 77).
"I had confidence that although life itself might contain many difficulties, the period of mere passive receptivity had come to an end, and I had at last finished with the ever-lasting 'preparation for life,' however ill-prepared I might be. It was not until years afterward that I came upon Tolstoy's phrase 'the snare of preparation,' which he insists we spread before the feet of young people, hopelessly entangling them in a curious inactivity at the very period of life when they are longing to construct the world anew and to conform it to their own ideals " (p. 88).
"The Settlement casts aside none of those things which cultivated men have come to consider reasonable and goodly, but it insists that those belong as well to that great body of people who, because of toilsome and underpaid labor, are unable to procure them for themselves. Added to this is a profound conviction that the common stock of intellectual enjoyment should not be difficult of access because of the economic position of him who would approach it, that those 'best results of civilization' upon which depend the finer and freer aspects of living must be incorporated into our common life and have free mobility through all elements of society if we would have our democracy endure" (p. 452)....more