Wednesday, February 26, 2014

A Letter from Tara

So... I'm on the bus, headed home from institute tonight and thought I'd just share part of the class discussion because... came up...

We were in 3 Nephi chapters 5-7 ish where, basically, the people start out in prosperity and strong faith but, in a matter of just 6 years, they've turned so far away that government crumbles and they go back to a tribal society where church is broken.

10 But it came to pass in the twenty and ninth year there began to be some disputings among the people; and some were lifted up unto pride and boastings because of their exceedingly great riches, yea, even unto great persecutions;

11 For there were many merchants in the land, and also many lawyers, and many officers.

12 And the people began to be distinguished by ranks...

Anyway.. So in class, our teacher always points out that the story has been included in the Book of Mormon for a reason, specifically for us to draw comparisons in modern day... And how we all first thing " oh how stupid those people! How do you lose faith so quickly?!" So, naturally, we discussed the possible realistic ways these righteous people changed...

Always little by little... Like "there's nothing wrong with having a nice car.. It shows how I've been blessed with talents in my work... And how I value hard work..." slowly changes to "I have to have that car to show that I work hard and to have a legacy to pass on to my kids..." then to even sacrificing actual needs just to have the car so we can look like we've got it all right. And, obviously, the "car" can be anything... Job title, home, education, etc etc...

...which all leads to the actual topic of the lesson, right?... The importance of eternal perspective.

So this part hit home to a lot of people here because, "rank" means a LOT here. Like, which school you go to could end up making or breaking the success you'll have in the future. And not just as far as academics, but also in reputation. If your parents paid x of thousands of dollars a year to send you to a top school, for example, you'd be able to get a job somewhere because the CEO also went to that school. Or if you were Hawaiian and got to go to those schools, you're accepted in a society here that no one else can be. Etc etc.

Anyway, there's stories of parents working so hard and so much just to afford those schools and in the long run, the kids didn't learn much (because honestly, even the top schools here are about the same as Idaho falls high school) and they didn't get time with their parents, which also means they didn't learn the importance of values.

So... Eternal perspective... Since EVERYTHING temporal (house, job, etc) can and probably will be taken away from us, by natural disasters or thieves or just bad luck or whatever... It's our knowledge and faith that we get to keep and it's all that really matters.

And none of that was news to you... I'm only rambling on that so you're mentally on the same page as me right now after class.... These are the things brought up in class and these people were emotional, and seemed like they were only really learning this now in their lives.

Which, I'm not saying is pathetic on their part... I'm only saying it because what I realized is that you guys have taught us this concept all along. You've never been caught up in name brands or what may or may not be prestigious in the world. You taught us... Or I guess I should only say me and not put words in my siblings mouths... That people are more important than things; that character matters more than title. You've taught me that it is damaging to succumb to "exclusivity" (whether it's something like, we only do home school because public school is for the poor/uneducated; or something on the other end of the spectrum like, saying we wouldn't want to even step foot on a country club because rich people are snobby and evil). I shouldn't think myself better than a rich guy or better than a poor guy... I'm not better than a black guy or an Asian guy... Etc etc. And I think it's BECAUSE you taught me this my whole life, that I have learned to be adaptable. I'm not afraid when I'm the minority in the room, and I can relate to PEOPLE instead of bogus social "ranks". You taught me that I can be whoever I want and have whatever I want (if I work for it) because I'm worth it, I deserve it... But that the same goes for everyone else in the world. I can't exclude someone for being different than me because they can't do deny me. You taught me this; that I can expect fairness from life, and because I've expected it, I've got it. And I feel bad for others because apparently they weren't taught that, and life hasn't been fair to them. I wasn't raised to think because I'm a girl I can or can't do whatever... Or because I'm white.. Or middle class.. Etc. I think I have an objective personality because you taught me eternal perspective.

I'm not sure that even made sense... I hope so, but It's just where my mind wandered during and after class, so I thought I'd share.

Too much time to kill on my way home I guess. :)

Point is: if we did life over again, I wouldn't pick any parents but you! And I honestly feel bad that others didn't get the parents I did. I am one lucky ducky...spoiled, really. And I love you!

Uhhh meanwhile... Happy Wednesday! :)


Sunday, January 26, 2014

Ian - Junior Year

Ian' junior year in High School.  What a cutie. He is in the Pep Band, banging on the Big Drum. He is a Dixie High Ambassadar, part of the E & E team (elections and eligibility) and on the Debate Team. Go IAN!