Sunday, July 21, 2013

Book Review of Ed Douglas' 25 Truths

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Who doesn't want to be happy and successful? I certainly do, therefore, I was happy to be chosen to review 25 Truths: Life Principles of the Happiest and Most Successful Among Us by Ed Douglas Publications (author - Ed Douglas). This 150 page book retails for $12.50 (you may see $15.50 as the price on the website, but when you go to buy it, rest assured, it will come up at $12.50 - Score!) and is recommended for ages 12 and up. If you are willing to read it aloud to your kids, though (the best way to share the book with your family, in my opinion), and do a little editing on the fly, you can easily use this little gem with all of the children in your family.

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In 3-4 pages each, Ed Douglas recaps each of 25 truths that he has come to determine will contribute to a successful life. While Mr. Douglas is Christian, and this book reads, to me, as unabashedly Christian, the beauty of this book is that these truths are universally applicable. You don't have to be a Christian to embrace them. Following these principles, though, will certainly lead you toward living a more Christ-like life, and from there? Well, a person living a Christ-like life is certainly one more open to conversion than one who is not living one. As a bonus, each chapter opens with a quotation of some kind, and many of them just happen to be Scripture. For Christians, seeing Scripture back up these truths is kind of a "Duh." For non-Christians, though, many of whom will accept the Bible at least as an historical document, seeing Scripture at the headings of some of the chapter is just one more potential opportunity for conversion. Gee - is it evident that I already know some people to whom I might be planning to gift this book?

Mr. Douglas illustrates each truth with a small story, some from his own life, and some from the headlines. Each one makes for interesting reading, and each story is followed by discussion questions that you can walk through with your children. The questions are very thought-provoking and are of varying difficulty. Depending on the age and/or maturity of your child, you can either do them orally, or your child can treat them as essay questions. There is a *lot* in this small volume for the average homeschool.

How We Used 25 Truths...And A Surprise!

25 Truths was part of our "Group Subjects" time, meaning we read and discussed it first thing in the morning when I did the subjects that all of the kids (12, 10, 8, and 8) have in common. We read two or three truths each morning and then discussed them. A couple of mornings, including the very first one, we only read one truth, because I got very sidetracked talking about how important Mr. Douglas's advice was! The very first truth he covers is: Protect Your Reputation. I couldn't emphasize enough to my children how crucial these wise words were. I had an abundance of stories to tell them about people I knew who both had and had not followed that advice and where they had ended up. I used the discussion questions at the end of the chapter as a jumping off point for discussion only when there was no real discussion prompted by the reading itself. That only happened a couple of times (which should be no real surprise to anyone who knows my kids and me!).

It was as I started writing this review, though, that I was made aware of another use for this book, one which homeschoolers would not necessarily realize. Henry saw the book next to me, picked it up, and started reading it.

This picture is not posed. I took it and then asked him if I could use it. After he read the book, he said that he wished he could buy a copy for everyone in his department. Now, Henry works for a large MNC (Multi-National Corporation) headquartered in Germany. There is a lot of pressure to bring his location's quality numbers in line with other countries' quality numbers. The key difference is that Henry won't bend the numbers to suit the boss's specifications. The numbers say what they say. He has been denied promotions and raises over the years for reasons which mystify us, other than the fact that he won't "play the game." He has speculated, though, that God keeps him at that job for a reason, and he might never know that reason. Therefore, he (Henry) was intrigued by the section of 25 Truths on the Butterfly Effect (we've all heard about it - read the book to see Ed Douglas's take on it). Further, because 25 Truths is grounded in an ethical approach to life, Henry was convinced that if only everyone at work approached the job that way, his company would not only be a more pleasant place to work, but would also probably end up, in the long run, being better off all the way around.

In Summation

25 Truths may be small, but it is mighty. From homeschools to businesses, from high school and college graduates to newlyweds, I think this book has a place on every bookshelf. Everyone in my family recommends it. To read what other Crew members thought about 25 Truths, click the banner below.


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