Parenting by the Book: On the Move
Parenting by the Book
by Sylvia Cochran
Book Review: On the Move
This book is not the first foray Bono makes into the realm of writing. Those familiar with the lead singer of legendary U2 will undoubtedly know about his memoir, BONO, which opens up a candid conversation and discussion of values and deep insights that sets it apart from the memoirs of other rock stars both past and present. ON THE MOVE is a very small and short book, and as a matter of fact is little more than the singer’s address to those gathered at the 2006 National Presidential Prayer Breakfast.
On the Move is unlike any of the other political science materials on poverty and the AIDS crisis you will find in your bookstore. Bono invokes God as he speaks about the breathtaking stench of the huts where the poorest of the poor live. He reminds Muslims, Christians, and Jews alike that for all the talk about religion and faith, so very few do the work for so many in desperate need of not a hand out, but a helping hand up.
It does not address poverty from the tried and true angle that seeks to lull the reader into simply mustering up enough guilt to send a few dollars to a relief organization and then, with the good deed accomplished, the veil of complacency may once again be pulled over the American’s eyes. Instead, provocative lines such as “religion often gets in the way of God”, “it’s not about charity, it’s about justice”, and “get involved in what God is doing – because it’s already blessed” are found throughout the brief and powerful book.
There are no feel good solutions, no quickie answers that may be given with a check book, and no promise of going back to one’s comfortable existence that carefully refuses to take in images of ugliness and suffering and instead fills them with the latest American Idol and dancing stars. No, this book challenges the adherent of any faith, and those who just want to stay away from God altogether, to come together as one and instead of playing religion with God and politics with suffering to unite as a replacement for these power struggles and to fight for the ending of poverty and the AIDS pandemic that has uprooted so much of the African continent. Closing his short address with the words “history, like God, is watching what we do” is a battle cry and a gauntlet thrown at the feet of the reader. Will you pick it up?
For parents, this is a wonderful small book to read together with their children, no matter their ages. Break it up into small chunks and discuss the reality of human suffering in another part of the world. Explain that some kids do not have soccer balls, have never drunk from a juice box, and wish they could have a bowl of cherries or grapes for a snack whenever they asked for it. Teach your children that there is more to life than the latest boy band or plush toy and that in order to become global citizens with a healthy spirituality they must live out the tenets of their faith – not just go to the religious meeting place of their choice and put in an hour and a half on Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Instead, as young as they are, now is the time to find ways to change the world, think outside the box, and train themselves to keep doing so for the duration of their lives. This challenging book will make for a wonderful discussion opportunity this summer vacation as you inspire your children to take their innate will to help others deeper, and their inborn spirituality higher!
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