Saturday, May 10, 2008

Do Hard Things

I must admit my skepticism upon reading a book by two teenagers. There were three reasons why I gave the Harris twins a chance. One, I went to their Rebelution conference last year in Dallas and they spoke extremely well. Those who speak well can usually write well also. Secondly, one of my favorite books is the Outsiders. S.E. Hinton was fifteen when she began writing this amazing book, and eighteen when it was published. Lastly, I didn't want to be yet another critic who despised the youth because of their youth. All that to say, my skepticism was not only wrong, but quickly dismissed.

Do Hard Things is something like a rallying cry to our generation, or as they like to say, a "teenage rebellion against low expectations." It's divided into three parts. The first part, Rethinking the Teen Years gives the historical basis of the "teenager". You'll be surprised to find out how long this sort of person has been around. The twins explain quite eloquently the myths we are forced to believe, myths that are pierced into our thoughts by media, culture, and even adults, parents included. The second part, Five Kinds of Hard, is a synopsis of what the twins define as hard things, though they insist that hard things are not defined in these five only, but can rather be listed under them. The last part, Join the Rebelution, is an urgency for every teenager, or practically any one who desires, to join this rising counter culture of rebellion against rebellion, being salt and light of the earth, and living our lives to do hard and great things for our God.

To my surprise, the twins used Scriptural references throughout the entire book to support this God-glorifying and God-seeking rebellion. They give numerous, almost exhaustive, examples of other teens who have dismissed the myth of low expectations and instead have immersed themselves in the passion to do great things for the glory of God. Such examples include familiar rebelutionaries such as Leeland Mooring from the Grammy-nominated band Leeland, and Zach Hunter, a personal hero and teenage abolitionist who founded the Loose Change to Loosen Chains ( organization to end modern day slavery.

Do Hard Things is an encouraging book, especially to readers such as myself who are tired of the nothingness that teens tend to partake in, and are rather searching for something more, something different, something hard to glorify God. Whether it be a hard thing like frontier missions, or hard things like going above and beyond academic expectations, the Harris twins challenges the youth generation to abandon and rebel against what society thinks of us. Brett and Alex words it well: "Most people don't expect you to understand what we're going to tell you in this book. And even if you understand, they don't expect you to care. And even if you care, they don't expect you to do anything about it. And even if you do something about it, they don't expect it to last. We do."

Read the book and join with the Harris' and other rebelutionaries around the globe in this rising rebellion against low expectations, and achieve great things for God. "Yes, it will be hard. But we're rebelutionaries. We do hard things."


Anna said...

That's great! I would love to read that book, even though I'm not a teenager anymore. You seem like a true rebelutionary, Ashley! :)

Ashley said...

Haha, thanks Anna. Believe me, the twins make the point clear that one doesn't have to be a teen to do hard things. You're quite rebelutionary yourself. Thanks for dropping by, always a pleasure.