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Posted by sursumcorda on Thursday, August 13, 2009 at 4:12 pm | Edit
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To contact Lift Up Your Hearts!, please e-mail us at the graphically-rendered address below.

Posted by sursumcorda on Tuesday, January 13, 2009 at 10:48 am | Edit
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Janet wasn't the only one of our children who made musical instruments.  This is a Heatherin, or rather the Heatherin, the only one in existence, and I'm not sure if it actually exists anymore other than in photographs.  Heather made it when she was nine.

Posted by sursumcorda on Friday, June 8, 2007 at 6:33 am | Edit
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(Click here for the original survey post.)


Name: Linda Wightman
Age: 54
Nationality: Citizen of the U. S. A.

1. Do you believe in the American dream? Why or why not?
Yes. Just because it is not always realized doesn't mean it isn't real.

2. What is that dream?
That because of our freedom, we are able, through self-discipline and hard work, to provide for our children a better life than we have had.

3. Do you personally have your own American dream?
I don't know if you'd call it an American dream, but it's similar to my definition above: I want our children to stand on our shoulders, learn from our successes and our mistakes, and do better for their own children than we have done for them. This goal covers all aspects of life, though it is more spiritual/mental/emotional than material. That is, I'm more interested in the development of their gifts and talents; in their being more Christ-like, loving, giving, joyful, serene, patient, etc; and in their having strong, happy homes and making positive contributions to the world; than I am in their having better paying jobs and nicer houses—though one always wants financial security and stability for one's children. And I have to say I'm quite pleased with them so far!

4. Who do you think has realized the American dream in this century?
Referring to my definition above of the standard American dream, I'd have to say our immigrants, primarily. I think of our landlord when we lived in Boston, a first-generation Irish immigrant who worked incredibly hard and became very successful. When we knew him, he had a large collection of rental property and was probably quite wealthy, but he still worked long hours and did much of the apartment maintenance himself. I think of an acquaintance who as a teenager was one of the Vietnamese "boat people"; he started in this country with nothing and is now a successful businessman and proud U. S. citizen. Second and subsequent generations tend to take for granted what their parents worked so hard for.

5. What contemporary films do you think express American dreams?
Haven't a clue. I hardly ever watch movies. This year I can recall seeing Swing Girls, Lost in Translation, End of the Spear, Touch, and a Wallace and Grommet movie I don't remember the name of—none of which had anything remotely to do with the American dream.
Posted by sursumcorda on Tuesday, October 10, 2006 at 10:52 am | Edit
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[R]esistance entails conceiving of parenting as an act of rebellion against American culture. For example, for parents merely to remain married is itself an act of disobedience and an insult to the spirit of a throwaway culture in which continuity has little value. It is also at least ninety percent un-American to remain in close proximity to one's extended family so that children can experience, daily, the meaning of kinship and the value of deference and responsibility to elders. Similarly, to insist that one's children learn the discipline of delayed gratification, or modestly in their sexuality, or self-restraint in manners, language, and style is to place oneself in opposition to almost every social trend. Even further, to ensure that one's children work hard at becoming literate is extraordinarily time-consuming and even expensive. But most rebellious of all is the attempt to control the media's access to one's children. There are, in fact, two ways to do this. The first is to limit the amount of exposure children have to media. The second is to monitor carefully what they are exposed to, and to provide them with a continuously running critique of the themes and values of the media's content. Both are very difficult to do and require a level of attention that most parents are not prepared to give to child-rearing.

None the less, there are parents who are committed to doing all of these things, who are in effect defying the directives of their culture. Such parents are not only helping their children to have a childhood but are, at the same time, creating a sort of intellectual elite. Certainly in the short run the children who grow up in such homes will, as adults, be much favored by business, the professions, and the media themselves. What can we say of the long run? Only this: Those parents who resist the spirit of the age will contribute to what might be called the Monastery Effect, for they will help to keep alive a humane tradition. It is not conceivable that our culture will forget that it needs children. But it is halfway toward forgetting that children need childhood. Those who insist on remembering shall perform a noble service.

Posted by sursumcorda on Monday, July 24, 2006 at 11:30 am | Edit
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True power remains with individuals. Ultimately we have the power to shape and even change lives. It is unleashed when families with young children control access to or eliminate television in their homes; when those children are educated at home or in private schools where their family's beliefs are upheld, not in state schools where the values of the state are taught; when people stay married in good times and in bad; when quality time with children is quantity time; when people are valued more than things; and when parents, not children, rule.

Posted by sursumcorda on Monday, July 24, 2006 at 11:21 am | Edit
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Posted by sursumcorda on Wednesday, January 1, 2003 at 3:59 am | Edit
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