J.L.L. has had a very lively discussion with his Reason #5 about why he doesn’t do Thomas Jefferson Education.  You can read the comments for yourself, but it does appear that he takes a less than charitable view of people who disagree with him.

J.L.L says that the wrong motivators are used to encourage parents to use leadership education.  Again, the common thread between J.L.L.’s comments and world view would be that we live on the same planet, but in different worlds.

When someone finds an idea to be inspiring and the consequences of not following an idea are laid out, the people who find inspiration will generally agree.  The people who fight against the idea will find it to be preying on fears and using negative reinforcement or something.  One example of this is the common tactic of political class warfare.  For people who agree that an expanded welfare is a good idea and the rich must have somehow done something immoral to get their money, the fiery rhetoric is just the thing.  For people who disagree, the words are simply window dressing on state sponsored robbery.  Both groups hear the same words, but react very differently to their meanings.  J.L.L. reads Dr. DeMille’s writings and is disgusted while others are inspired by them.

J.L.L. does not aspire to greatness.  He thinks that to aspire to greatness is a bad thing.  Unfortunately, J.L.L. exposes his lack of homework on the issue with this quote (emphasis mine):

“Greatness” is definitely not a goal or desire I have for me or my kids. “Goodness,” yes, but “greatness,” no. I believe that good people will rise and meet the challenges that appear. I think training to be great is putting the cart before the horse. Try to be good and you will do great things if necessary. Cincinnatus and George Washington were both good examples of men who were good, but responded to the call and did great things. Then they both went back to their private lives. They did not train to become great, or even want to be great. Even the Lord said that he accomplishes his ends through small and simple means. I question why DeMille and others in TJEd want to be great.

Well, not to be too much of a busybody/know-it-all, but the exact quote comes from the Book of Mormon, in Alma Chapter 37, verse 6.  “Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and and simple things are great things brought to passand small means in many instances doth confound the wise”.  There it is, in the same sentence.  Small and simple things are tools or means whereby great things are brought to pass by God.  When read in this light, what is so wrong with aspiring to do the great things of God?

Assuming, just for the sake of argument, that TJEd is a small and simple thing.  Thousands of parents who decide to take their kids out of the public school system and work to educate them based on classics while mentoring their children in proper and courageous behavior, a generation of people are raised to be leaders in all aspects of life, public and private.  If there is a future crisis and these trained leaders rise to the challenge successfully, wouldn’t that be an example of small and simple things becoming something great?

This is one possible view of leadership education and the potential impact on the future.  

I will not take the time or energy to go point by point with J.L.L, but he seems to have a difficulty seeing that some things are a composite.  There are two sides of a coin, the yin and the yang, the contradictory nature of human nature.  Good people sometimes do bad things.  A society is made up of leaders and followers.  TJEd is out there as a tool and a method for people who have decided that they want a leadership education for thier children and it is FOR SURE not for everybody. 

What does not make a whole lot of sense to me is that J.L.L. has taken it upon himself to try to make sure that just because it is not for him, it is not for anybody and is perhaps even dangerous to follow.  

J.L.L. in the comments below his posting on this topic is very argumentative and makes personal attacks against people he disagrees with.   

Whether you Dr. DeMille’s writings to be inspirational or guilt trippy really depends on whether you agree with him or not, sort of like class warefare rhetoric.

J.L.L. also ignores proof problems.  Dr. DeMille did not write a scholarly book with the purpose of proving each and every point in his book with documentation and research.  J.L.L. holds him to that standard when that was not the point of the book.  J.L.L. also similarly makes assertions with a marked lack of documentation or proof for his point of view as well.  Both writers have the same fatal flaw if what you are looking for is a research laden treatise to prove a point.

If you are on the fence about TJEd, read the books for yourself and see how you feel about them.  You’ll know if you should do it or not.  

Comments Welcome