N.W.BOYER…Christian Author

Teaching Values to young people

SAVING THE WORLD for the CHILDREN

When will people look around them and say that the world is worth saving because there are innocent, little children living on every country of the earth? They don’t deserve wars, riots in their neighborhoods, drive-by shootings or any other form of brutality.

Take a long, hard look at this little boy. He is in Yemen and he is starving.

A child in Yemen
(BBC credit)

I was so touched by this child who is very sick, but when he saw the BBC camera, he was just barely able to give a little smile. (Photo from TV)

Pray for this little boy…that somehow he will get the help and food that he needs.

This BBC video showed the catastrophe happening in Yemen today. The people in the communities are still being bombed. The people have little or no food. People are walking around with the virus, saying that they won’t go to the hospital because “they will kill you there!” This is because the rumor has spread that the medical staff and doctors do “mercy killings” if you arrive there with the virus. The government, however, is denying that there are many virus cases at all…saying that they have less than 10 people who have died of Coronavirus. The people know that is a lie.

When asked by the BBC reporting staff, who were wearing masks while interviewing the people, why the people in the crowded streets were not wearing masks? They said that they didn’t have to wear masks because “Allah will protect them.” Ignorance, governmental control and war has left these people and their children in a desperate situation.

To try to understand why there is a war in Yemen in the first place, this excellent graphic given below is your best resource for understanding what is happening in the Middle East, specifically Yemen.

“The economic devastation that pushed millions to the brink of famine and created the worst cholera epidemic in living memory is no accident of war: It is the product of deliberate policies by the warring parties.

The Saudi-led coalition, with its warplanes, blockades and vast economic power, bears a large share of the blame. But the Houthis are also at fault. They have manipulated relief aid, recruited child soldiers and planted vast numbers of land mines, according to aid workers and human rights groups.

Peace talks in Sweden in December offered a faint glimmer of hope for an end to the war. A shaky cease-fire in the key port of Hudaydah is holding.

But if politics fails, many fear that Yemen could lapse into even worse fighting. Famine could become a reality. And millions of civilians would pay the heaviest price, yet again. (Watkins and Walsh)

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The Holy Scriptures are very clear when it comes to harming children:

It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. Luke 17:2

Not only are the children of Yemen being harmed, the children of America are also being harmed by what is happening in our society today. This is not to neglect writing about the sadness in all the other countries of the world. It is not to forget the fact that there is terrible trafficking of children. The more we allow anarchism to continue in our country…motivated distrust between races and an extended close-down of schools and businesses…our families and their children are going to suffer… as it tears into the fabric of our democracy. We must save our society for the children!

These are the things that need to be taught to our children and reminded to our young people:

  • They are not in the starving as the children of Yemen. We have well-stocked food banks if there is a need.
  • They are not forced to work long hours in factories as our early emigrants.
  • They haven’t lived today through a food famine in the U.S., like the children in Ireland during the Potato Famine.
  • They are not in the middle of a Great Depression like their great-grandmothers and fathers endured.
  • The children of this generation also haven’t had to live in the Martin Luther King, Jr. era when injustice was confronted head-on.
  • They need to be reminded in school and at home that because of King and others, the Civil Rights laws and changes gave opportunities to excel to all minority children.
  • All children need to know that Americans can learn to live in peace together…most people are not racists.

Why do some American young people behave badly? Perhaps they should give this some thought for if their country collapses, they may be like the children of Yemen. Yet, some continue doing these things:

  • Roaming the streets night after night
  • Destroying property
  • Setting fires
  • Attacking police
  • Shouting at people trying to peacefully eat in a restaurant.
  • Acting like they are for a “cause” when they can’t explain what the cause is all about when asked to explain their actions.
  • Shooting at children in the playgrounds and front yards
  • Being a terrible example to their younger brothers and sisters.
  • Not taking jobs that are available, even after so many lost jobs due to the virus…for work signs are still out there.
  • Sitting around waiting for hand-outs for things they should work for…like cellphones and Nike tennis shoes etc.
  • Not listening to parents, church leaders or their church clergy on how to behave…that is…unless those leaders are NOT saying anything.
These children are our Future Generations. Our prayers go out for them because the future will be theirs.

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LET’S TAKE A MOMENT and LOOK at what AMERICA COULD EVENTUALLY EXPERIENCE IF WE LOSE ALL LAW AND ORDEROR IF WE ARE ATTACKED, LIKE 9-11, AND IT THROWS US INTO WAR! IT WOULD NOT BE MUCH DIFFERENT THAN THAT OF THE PEOPLE OF YEMEN.

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Saving our people and our planet must be a high priority in every country. There is no choice. We must SAVE OUR WORLD FOR OUR CHILDREN! Can we do that, even with our best intentions…or the best of leaders…without TURNING TO GOD? WE HAVE BEEN TOLD THE ANSWER and it is the ONLY ANSWER FOR OUR CHILDREN TO BE SAFE.

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”  2 Chronicles 7:14

Report by Derek Watkins and Declan Walsh of the N.Y Times…Just 2 years ago.

CLICK ON THIS LINK BELOW

(Credit Information for link given above:)

1. Civilian strike locations from Human Rights Watch and our own reporting.

2. Data on coalition air raids from the Yemen Data Project.

3.Control map data from the American Enterprise Institute’s Critical Threats Project.

4.Data on Yemen’s G.D.P. from World Bank. Locations of strikes on fishing and agricultural targets from Yemen’s Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation and

5.Ministry of Fish Wealth, via a report by Martha Mundy at the London School of Economics. Additional work by Larry Buchanan.

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Are the Values of Family, Friendship and Faith lost?

     A reader and friend sent me this blog concerning terrible events that have happened just this week.  It is worth a read.   For the most part, what he says makes sense because many of our young adults, who commit mass murders, have lost the emphasis on family, friendship and faith…if they were ever taught such by their parents or guardians. Yes, there will be the mentally ill that have lost all sense of values, but there has to be a start toward teaching and expecting that our young adults will grow up with any understanding of right and wrong in society and toward other human beings.
Below is the blog sent to me written by

“The recent rash of mass shootings has left the nation stunned but, sadly, not speechless. The usual media and political suspects are saying the usual things, using the bodies of the innocent as a sickening ideological soapbox.

We’re not going to do that here. These gruesome murders are not about, nor caused by, politics. Rather, they are the unavoidable and perhaps unstoppable product of a deeply diseased culture. A culture which has become the perfect growth medium for psychopathy.

“Loners” are no longer alone when in their online worlds. They can communicate without actual human contact. They can find reinforcement for their darkest and most twisted thoughts and fantasies. They can give the worst demons of their psyches an artificial, external life in cyberspace… free to express hatred and anger anonymously and without consequence. And on the Internet, madness can hide in plain sight. 

After all, who’s going to notice or care about garden variety insanity in a world which routinely describes everyone as murderous: baby killers on one side, Earth-destroying Nazis on the other. The stakes are absolute, the “other” is the enemy, and words are just words…until they become actions.

The social mechanisms which formerly prevented these massacres have crumbled the bonds of family, friendship, and faith…a shared sense of community, optimism about the future, moral certainty and personal responsibility.

Instead, we now live in a crowded world of communal loners, all staring at their phones instead of the world and people around them. Politicians and media figures preach an unsubtle and dangerously divisive message of absolutes: you are either on this side or that, either all good or all evil. There is no middle ground – only calls for action. Calls that the wrong people are hearing.

We live in a culture in which too many feel they have no meaning or importance, but believe that one spectacular act of madness can give them the instant celebrity which defines success in a sick society. And so they kill to feel alive…to experience an illusion of power at the expense of the powerless. And even knowing the likelihood that they will be killed during their heinous act, they believe they will live eternally in the electronic ether, washed in the blood of the sacrificed.

Gun control can not and will not change any of this. The phenomena of mass shootings is, in fact, unstoppable absent a wholesale change in our culture, our way of life, and our society’s unhealthy obsession with an inhuman and inhumane electronic world.

The good news is that the vast majority of people still retain values strong enough to keep them morally centered in our crumbling culture. The bad news is that unless those values can regain cultural dominance, and unless we can replace combativeness and angry confrontation with honest conversation, mass murder will continue to be our inescapable new normal.”

Boyer Writes’ footnote:
As to most things I read, I don’t always agree with every sentence.
Mr. Jarlsberg says “Gun control will not fix any of this.”  I believe only the military needs a machine gun and that should be on a battlefield.  Furthermore, no one needs guns with the ability to shoot hundreds of rounds rapid-fire as have been used in these terrible incidents.
Anyone who enjoys being a hunter knows it only takes a shot or two to bring down the hunted. I personally could never kill a bird or any animal…but that is me.  Some special type guns are not needed by society, but their ability to have a weapon for self-defense is a right, if they feel a need for it.  Children don’t need to be near any of these weapons because daddy is not going to send them out to hunt for their next meal like in the old days on the frontier.
So what do we do to instill in our children, who will be the next generation of young adults the value of family, faith and friendship?  It may seem silly to some, but parents might want to think about reading the 10 Commandments before a meal or bedtime so that children understand God’s formula for doing the right thing, which leads to a happy life and a respect for others. Of course, the parent will need to explain what is meant by God’s laws of conduct.   This might be, however, a start to re-introducing faith into our homes, even if they are not churchgoers.  Most every religion would adhere to these teachings. In case you can’t recite them all without looking them up, here they are:
  1. You shall have no other Gods but Me.
  2. You shall not make for yourself any idol, nor bow down to it or worship it.
  3. You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.
  4. You shall remember and keep the Sabbath day holy.
  5. Respect your father and mother.
  6. You must not commit murder.
  7. You must not commit adultery.
  8. You must not steal.
  9. You must not give false evidence against your neighbor.
  10. You must not be envious of your neighbor’s goods. You shall not be envious of his house nor his wife, nor anything that belongs to your neighbor.

We have to begin somewhere to heal our society.  It’s bigger than any law or any revision of laws…for it has to start in the heart.  It will take all Americans working together for a peaceful life for us and our children.

 

For all those who have suffered great loss, we, at Boyer Writes, dedicate this video. Turn up your sound and quietly listen to the words.


Our Difficult World

Everywhere we look, there is difficulty in the world. People hardly agree on anything.  If we say what we truly think about someone or any particular subject, we are in jeopardy of being called some name we know we are not.

Many people I know have decided to stop watching the news or talk shows.  One person told me, “I just listen to music or read a book instead.”   If they feel that way for themselves, they certainly feel that their children don’t need a daily dose of what our world is becoming. How can one explain to a child why people are fist fighting at Disney…or why people are rioting in the streets around the world?

Where is love in all this?   Maybe one person that so many generations grew up with had the answer to a truly difficult world. His name is Mr. Rogers.

He was a Christian and a Presbyterian minister who knew God’s love was the way and the only way to reach beyond prejudice, politics or wars among ourselves.

He certainly understood Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan.  It was his way in trying to help children understand that we need to be kind to one another no matter whether we like a person or don’t like their actions.  Kindness was at the top of all his program messages.   The only way to get that back in our world is to find it within our own hearts and to teach it to our children by our examples.

 

Mr. Rogers wrote all his songs. One of his special songs that he sang was It’s You I Like.  The words were special because he thought they were important for a child to understand about his or herself.

Written by Fred Rogers | © 1971, Fred M. Rogers


It’s you I like,
It’s not the things you wear,
It’s not the way you do your hair
But it’s you I like
The way you are right now,
The way down deep inside you
Not the things that hide you,
Not your toys
They’re just beside you.

But it’s you I like
Every part of you.
Your skin, your eyes, your feelings
Whether old or new.
I hope that you’ll remember
Even when you’re feeling blue
That it’s you I like,
It’s you yourself
It’s you.
It’s you I like.

A movie has been made where Tom Hanks plays the part of Mr. Rogers.  It will be a re-introduction to children and the world to a man and his message.  Mr. Rogers probably never gave too much thought that his words could last long after his life.  What a sermon to the world!

Whether you agree with everything said in this video below or not, it is definitely worth a watch.  Enjoy….especially the children.  They are beautiful in every way….and the future of our world. 

 

 

 

 


To All Fathers

Every year the U.S. celebrates Father’s Day.  It is a time to recognize all those fathers who have spent time with their children…passing along the values and traditions of the family.

BLESSINGS TO ALL from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia   Have a relaxing day!

VIDEO    (Turn up sound)

 


From Sea to Sea…the Courageous

America was built by the courageous who wanted freedom.  It has been continued by the courageous who have shed their blood and lives to maintain freedom. Americans must decide on being courageous if freedom will last.    Don’t forget from where we have come and remember that the future depends on the now.


A Gift from God

No one was musical…not in his family or his town. Where did the ability plus hard work come from?   No one knows except to believe it is a gift from God.  The hard work part come when dedication makes practicing  5 hours a day a necessity.  The gift from God is when it is so natural and the love and desire to be the best at what one does is deep in the heart.

I partly envy this young man, but fully understand the love he has because it was my desire at his age and even younger to play the piano well.   At the time, I was a country girl who went off to a boarding school. It was a school in a small country town in North Carolina.  I can still remember my piano teacher’s name….Mrs. Tollison.   Because it has been over fifty years since I was there, she has long ago gone to heaven.  Mrs. Tollison was a heavy set little lady.  She never made her pupils feel anything but confidence.   The other students at the school used to say, “If you can’t find Nancy, she is practicing the piano.”   Unfortunately, when I left the school to rejoin my mother, who was a single parent, we lived in an upstairs apartment.  No piano could be brought up the steps and the smaller versions were not available during this time.  That was the end of piano lessons…so I took up art.  After school, I would walk a very long distance to a large house where some Catholic sisters lived.  They  taught me art and  practically a “hundred years later”…I still have the deer picture my art teacher taught me to draw.  Did I have talent? Possibly….for my husband gave me a piano and said, “Maybe you will remember something.”   Well, I’m not playing the music of the Old Masters, but my husband says he can identify most pieces.  I’m sure if I practiced as much as I should the music would improve.   Now, I work hardest on my writing….novels, books for young people and other subjects of interest.  (See the right side of this blog.)

So today I share with you a young man on a 10,000 acre farm in Utah.  His family now knows he has a special talent that is being cultivated through their support…starting with a generous grandfather who bought him his first piano.  Blessings to you, Heston, keep up the good work. Never forget your  teacher’s name….yes, the one fifty miles from your home and the professor of music.   Someday when you are playing at Carnegie Hall, you need to put those people on the front row as your guests…and introduce them  to your audience.

One thing further…

heston-warr-plays-in-utah-state-of-the-state

Heston plays as guest of Utah Governor

YES…your parents are proud of you and you are not letting them down by following your God given talent.  (At the end of the video, you’ll see Heston’s tender heart toward his parents.) Thank them and God everyday for their support and the talent God has given you.

Video in Heston Warr’s own words: 


Invitation to Browse Books

GIRL READING BOOK2

Recently I have had readers write to me about suggestions for gifts for children or grandchildren…or even adults.  They are looking ahead toward the holidays. Christmas seems far away, but we all know how quickly things begin to happen especially after Thanksgiving.  MAN READING

I’d like to invite you to take a look at the right side of this blog for some of my books that are on Amazon. There is a wide variety of children’s books.  Some are available on Kindle, including my new novel, THE SEEDS and all are in paperback. Click on the picture.

Two new additions for Boyer Writes:

  • A first of the month Newsletter called Boyer Writes News    If you’d like to be on this newsletter notification, please return this email and say “Yes”. 
  • Guest Speaking    I am available to speak to churches, clubs or schools in Virginia (May-late October) and in Florida  (November-April)  Contact me by email for this as well.  Be sure to give your group name, location, phone number and suggested date for my calendar.   boyerwrites@yahoo.com

Thanks for being a follower and reader. Writing is my joy.   Nancy

NancyBoyer

N.W.B


The Phone…an Instrument of Death

death at the wheel

It was a beautiful day in Florida and three friends were out for a ride in a BMW.  What did the medics and police find in the mangled metal?    A cell phone in the car with a Snapchat  video of the three that was taken just moments before the crash.  In this case, they hit a tree and not an innocent family  with little children, who would like to live long enough to have a phone.

texting

Florida, in the USA, is my home state. At present we have no laws against using one’s phone while driving, just warnings of the dangers.

comforting a child

Medics comfort child after auto crash

More people are calling for stronger measures for distractions by using a phone, whether talking, texting or photographing.  Nevertheless, even if we had them, it is most likely that such a law would be ignored by many.  One has to ask why people are so afraid of guns or drunk drivers, but those same  people who would never harm anyone with a gun or get behind the wheel when drinking, will text and use their phones as instruments of death.  It is absurd that one  will take such chances with their lives and the lives of others.   Many naive young people think they are in control, even while flirting with death. It never occurs to them, even after official warnings, that it could actually happen to them.

car crash2car crashes

Another Floridian made the news after killing four people while driving drunk.  He was given a slap on the wrist because he was “too wealthy to know right from wrong”.  (This type of punishment may encourage most teens that there are not many consequences to laws.) With the help of his mother, he fled the country only to get another slap on the wrist when charged as an adult.  Death that he caused by his behavior  had little meaning to this young man.

The phone is convenient and all of us use and love them. However, the  seriousness of death has not gotten through to many young people…and adults, unfortunately.

It is permanent!

 


Sing it from the balconies!

We are always being told how far down the academic list our American students are in comparison to other nations.  This may be true in some areas of education. As for the Arts, one must not forget that many school districts cut music and art from the curriculum while they funded sports.

When I traveled to Japan, as an educator to study the Japanese educational system, one wing of a high school that I was visiting  was filled with baby-grand pianos on which students were practicing. Even after the the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster and the music studios were left in ruins, the Japanese music students continued to practice and perform in other areas of Japan. (Tohoku earthquake in 2011  triggered a Tsunami  causing an accident at the nuclear energy plant)  Their love of music could not be destroyed.

I also may add that I saw high school students mopping their school’s hallways. Asking if they were being punished, I was told they take turns doing it because they are proud of their school.  I think it may be time to “Make our Students Proud Again”.

In choral music, like the video you are about to see, the 500 high school choral students performing from the balconies of the Louisville Hyatt Regency Hotel, they are the best.  The National Anthem for the United States, The Star Spangled Banner, showcased the students at the Kentucky Music Education Convention and their outstanding abilities.

During this political season, we hear Mr. Trump describe his hundreds of grand hotels around the world. I have an idea.   Perhaps he could donate (tax write-off) some of his millions to support these students in traveling around the world as Music Student Ambassadors  for the U.S.   It would be a great cultural experience and a boost to using their talents in some of the places they would never see in a life-time.  See if you agree with me.

Video (Turn on sound and enlarge screen)


No One Owes You Anything

beautiful letterCleaning out old files can be most enlightening.  Perhaps ages ago, I copied a letter from a father to his child.  He felt it was the best advice he could ever give because it had taken him practically a life time to learn.

I thought that since gift giving was over for the season that maybe there would be a reader who would like a “belated gift”.   Below is a portion of the letter written by Harry, whose wisdom may be a new slant on our thinking. It could even save the lives of one in despair.  I would suggest that every parent read this with a child who is old enough to understand…or send it off to those who are trying to find their place in this confusing world.  (Thanks, Harry)

fingers and pen

“…If I could give you just one thing. I’d want it to be a simple truth that took me many years to learn. If you learn it now, it may enrich your life in hundreds of ways.  And it may prevent you from facing many problems that have hurt people who have never learned it.   The truth is simply this:

No one owes you anything.

It means that no one else is living for you, my child.  Because no one is you.  Each person is living for himself; his own happiness is all he can ever personally feel.   When you realize that no one owes you happiness or anything else, you’ll be freed from expecting what isn’t likely to be. 

It means that no has to love you.  If someone loves you, it’s because there’s something special about you that gives him (or her) happiness.  Find out what that something special is and try to make it stronger in you so that you’ll be loved even more. 

When people do things for you, it’s because they want to__because you, in some way give them something meaningful that makes them want to please you, not because anyone owes you anything. 

No one has to like you.  If your friends want to be with you, it’s not out of duty.  Find out what makes other happy so they want to be near you.

No one has to respect you.  Some people may even be unkind to you.  But once you realize that people don’t have to be good to you, and may not be good to you, you’ll learn to avoid those who would harm you.  For you don’t owe them anything either.  

A single red rose lays on top of a hand written document.

You owe it to yourself to be the best person possible.  Because if you are, others will want to be with you, want to provide you with the things you want in exchange for what you’re giving to them. 

Some people will choose not to be with you for reasons that have nothing to do with you.  When that happens, look elsewhere for the relationships you want.  Don’t make someone else’s problems your problems. 

Once you learn that you must earn the love and respect of others, you’ll never expect the impossible and you won’t be disappointed.  Others don’t have to share their property with you, nor their feelings or thoughts. 

If they do, it’s because you’ve earned these things.  And you have every reason to be proud of the love you receive, your friend’s respect, the property you’ve earned.  But don’t ever take them for granted. If you do, you could lose them.  They’re not yours by right; you must always earn them.  

A great burden was lifted from my shoulders the day I realized that no one owes me anything.  For so long as I’d thought there were things I was entitled to, I’d been wearing myself out…physically and emotionally trying to collect them. Writing pen

No one owes me moral conduct, respect, friendship, love, courtesy or intelligence.  And once I recognized that, all my relationships became far more satisfying.  I’ve focused on being with people who want to do the things I want them to do.   That understanding has served me well with friends, business associates, lovers, sales prospects and strangers.  It constantly reminds me that I can get what I want only if I can enter the other person’s world.  I must try to understand how he thinks, what he believes to be important, what he wants.  Only then can I appeal to someone in ways that will bring what I want.  And only then can I tell whether I really want to be involved with someone.  I can save the important relationships for those with whom I have the most in common. 

It is not easy to sum up in a few words what has taken me years to learn. Maybe if you re-read this gift each Christmas, the meaning will become a little clearer every year.   I hope so for I want more than anything else for you to understand the simple truth that can set you free:   No one owes you anything.”

envelope

 

 

 


Inspirational Woman from Segregated Alabama…. Condoleezza Rice

My last post featured one of the most recognized and honored songs, Amazing Grace.  Playing the piano was Condoleezza Rice.  Her story is one that all people should know about in these days of unrest and violence.  After reading this, one will come up with at least three thoughts:

  • The power of parenting and what it can mean in a child’s life
  • The power of being brought up in a home of faith
  • The power of determination to be the best that one can be

 

youngcondoleezza-riceWho would have thought that a young, black girl growing up in segregated Alabama would  have a whisper of a chance to be one of the most respected and powerful women in modern history?   This is her story. It is also a story of inspiration  for all those who think their chances are slim and life is not fair.  Never heard of her?  Well, you must be too young?  Now you have a chance to know about a woman of excellence.

(Taken in part from the World Encyclopedia of Biographies)

Condoleezza Rice

 

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice addresses a meeting of the United Nations Security Council to address piracy off the coast of Somalia at the U.N. headquarters in New York in this file photo from December 16, 2008. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson (

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (2005-2009) addresses a meeting of the United Nations Security Council

Condoleezza Rice became one of the most influential women in the world of global politics when President George W. Bush  named her as his national security adviser in December of 2000. Her role became extremely important after the September 11, 2001, attacks on New York City and the Pentagon in Washington. Rice has played a crucial part in shaping the most aggressive U.S. foreign policy in modern history, with wars launched against Afghanistan and Iraq during her time in office.

Early history:

Rice grew up during a deeply segregated era of American history. She was born in 1954 in Birmingham, Alabama, to parents who were both educators. Her father, John Wesley Rice Jr., was a football coach and high school guidance counselor at one of Birmingham’s black public schools. He was also an ordained Presbyterian minister in Birmingham’s Westminster Presbyterian Church, which had been founded by his own father, also a minister. Rice’s mother, Angelena, was a teacher and church organist. Angelena loved opera, and so named her only child after an Italian  term, con dolcezza. It is used in musical notation and means “to play with sweetness.”

Birmingham was clearly divided into black and white spheres during Rice’s childhood, and the two worlds rarely met. But her parents were determined that their only child would grow up to be an accomplished and well-rounded young woman. Rice began piano lessons at the age of three, and gave her first recital a year later. She became somewhat of a musical prodigy in the Birmingham area, performing often at school and community events. In addition to long hours spent practicing the piano, she also took French and Spanish lessons after school, and later became a competitive figure skater.

A child prodigy playing the piano...continues her music today

A child prodigy playing the piano…continues her music today

When interviewed, Miss Rice said this, “My whole community was determined not to let their children’s horizons be limited by growing up in segregated Birmingham. Sometimes I think they overcompensated because they wanted their kids to be so much better. I find football so interesting strategically. It’s the closest thing to war. What you’re really doing is taking and yielding territory, and you have certain strategies and tactics.”

 (This may have been her war on being left behind because during this time of her life, there were fewer opportunities for people of color in America.) Not surprisingly, Rice earned good grades in school, even at an early age. Attending segregated schools in Birmingham, she skipped the first grade entirely and was later promoted from the sixth directly into the eighth grade. 

 Her city became a battleground during the emerging civil rights movement in the late 1950s, and the strife directly touched Rice’s early life. In 1963 the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, situated in the middle of Birmingham’s black community, was the site of a tragic firebombing that killed four little girls who were attending Sunday school. Rice knew two of them.

Finished high school early:

(Moving to Colorado may have been a turning point in her life for the schools were not segregated as in Alabama.) Rice’s family moved to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, around 1965, when she was eleven years old. Her father had taken a job there as a college administrator. They later settled in Denver, Colorado, where she attended an integrated public school for the first time in her life, beginning with the tenth grade. She finished her last year of high school and her first year at the University of Denver at the same time.

Smart, educated, and influential…turns to political science

U.S. national security adviser Condoleezza Rice has sometimes been described as the most influential woman in global politics. A university professor and expert on Russian history, Rice is known for her cool, calm manner. When Bush appointed her to the job in 2000, some wondered if she was qualified for it…A job such as Rice’s requires nerves of steel, and the French- and Russian-fluent academic, whose friends and family call her “Condi,” fits the bill.

She explained in another interview “My parents went to great lengths to make sure I was confident. My mother was also a great believer in being proper.”

condoleeza-riceAs an African American and a professional, Rice has experienced the occasional racial snub. She recalled one occasion when she asked to see some of the nicer jewelry in a store, and the saleswoman mumbled a rude remark under her breath.  (Condi was not afraid to stand up for herself) “‘Let’s get one thing clear. If you could afford anything in here, you wouldn’t be behind this counter. So I strongly suggest you do your job.'”

(Dignified in every way, yet much the woman)  The confidence that Rice’s parents instilled in her comes out in other ways, too. She favors suits by Italian designer Giorgio Armani, but the trim, fit national security adviser prefers her skirts to hit just above the knee. Her favorite lipstick comes from the Yves Saint Laurent cosmetics counter. When asked about her off-duty hours,  she watches sports and goes shopping. (One wonders how the secret service took this?)  Rice responded with a humor rarely on display in public, “They can handle shopping.”

For years Rice dreamed of becoming a concert pianist. At the University of Denver she was originally a music major, but eventually gave up on her dream after spending a summer at music camp. “Technically, I can play most anything.  But I’ll never play it the way the truly great pianists do.”

She fell in love with political science and Russian history after she took a class taught by Josef Korbel, a  refugee from Czechoslovakia. His daughter became the first female U.S. Secretary of State. 

Rice began taking Russian-language and history courses, and became fascinated by Cold War politics. The term refers to the hostilities between the United States and the world’s first Communist state, Soviet Russia, in the years following World War II (1939–45). Each “superpower” tried to win allies to its brand of politics, and in the process each side built up a large arsenal of nuclear weapons. After she graduated from the University of Denver in 1974, Rice enrolled at Notre Dame University in Indiana, where she earned a master’s degree in government and international studies.

Offered a fellowship at Stanford:

C RICERice was a promising new talent in her field even before she earned a doctorate in 1981. Her dissertation investigated the relationship between the Czechoslovak Communist Party and its army. Soon she was offered a fellowship at Stanford University. No other woman had ever been offered a fellowship to its Center for International Security and Arms Control. She eagerly accepted, and the following year she was hired by Stanford to teach political science.

Rice became a tenured professor at Stanford in 1987. She was also a rising star in U.S. foreign policy circles. She served as the informal campaign adviser to a Colorado Democrat, Gary Hart, during his 1984 bid for the White House. She came to know a foreign policy expert, Brent Scowcroft,  and was offered her first official job in government. Scowcroft had been named national security adviser by George H. W. Bush  who was elected president in 1988. Scowcroft then hired Rice as a staff member on the National Security Council.

Served as Stanford Provost and then in White House as National Security Adviser and Secretary of State:

The National Security Council helps analyze data and plan American foreign policy. It looks at potential global threats from hostile nations, and works to make strategic alliances with friendly ones. Rice eventually became a special assistant to the first President Bush, serving as his expert on Soviet and East European affairs. It was an important time in American foreign policy. The political system of the Soviet Union was crumbling, and by 1991 the Communist governments allied with Soviet Russia had been peacefully ousted throughout the Eastern Bloc (as the communist nations in Eastern Europe were known).

 Rice tired of the toll the White House job took on her personal life, and she resigned in 1991. She went back to teaching at Stanford, and in 1993 became the university’s first-ever  female provost, which essentially made her second-in-command at the school. She was also the first African American to be selected for the position.Condoleezza Rice Stanford Provose

“That was the toughest job I ever had.”  She was charged with eliminating a large budget deficit, and the university had also been accused of misusing government grant money intended for military research. There was internal turmoil as well, and some faculty members complained about Rice’s no-nonsense manner.

“I told people, ‘I don’t do committees,'” she explained.

Bush won the Republican party nomination and later was declared the winner of a hotly contested November election. The president-elect immediately named Rice as his national security adviser. Though she was not the first African American ever to hold the post—Bush’s new Secretary of State, Colin L. Powell, had held the job for a year in the late 1980s—she was the first woman ever to serve in the position. The national security adviser helps shape American foreign policy, both on the public front and behind the scenes, in strategy sessions with the president and his team.

Plotted strategy from underground bunker

Rice’s duties also included coming up with ideas to combat threats to American interests at home and overseas. This became an important part of her job on the morning of September 11, 2001. She was in a meeting at the White House when an aide notified her that a plane had struck the World Trade Center. She quickly ended the meeting and notified the President, who was in Florida. After a second plane crashed into the other tower of the New York landmark, she and other key personnel gathered in what is known as the White House “Situation Room.” When a third plane crashed into the Pentagon Building, which is the command center for the U.S. Armed Forces, Rice and the others retreated to an underground bunker. The attack was the deadliest ever to occur on American soil.

A great responsibility after the attack on the U.S.A.  on 9-11

A great responsibility after the attack on the U.S.A. on 9-11

Rice worked long days in the months afterward to shape U.S. foreign policy. The first order of business involved Afghanistan, which was suspected of harboring the shadowy Islamic fundamentalist group known as Al Qaeda. It was founded by a Saudi exile, Osama bin Laden, who quickly took responsibility for the 9/11 attacks. Less than a month later, U.S. forces invaded Afghanistan. Rice also worked to create a new policy for dealing with longtime Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. 

The fourth year of the Bush Administration was a difficult one for Rice and other top White House and Pentagon personnel. Though Hussein had been captured and the war in Iraq was officially declared over, U.S. troops stationed in Iraq had become the target of repeated attacks by insurgents. And American military operatives had yet to capture bin Laden. In April of 2004 Rice was called to testify before a special panel that had been set up to investigate the 9/11 attacks, namely whether or not the attacks could have been prevented and how the emergency response to such an attack could be improved. There were charges that U.S. intelligence officials may have come across suspicious information but failed to put the pieces together. Rice sat before the official 9/11 Commission, in front of a barrage of television cameras, and held her ground.

“There was nothing demonstrating or showing that something was coming in the United States.  If there had been something, we would have acted on it.”

 Love of Football, but loved teaching more:

Rice lives in a luxury apartment complex in Washington known as Watergate. Her mother died in 1985, and her father died the same month that Bush named her to the national security adviser post. She attends church regularly, and is known to be close to the President and his wife, Laura (1946–). At the Maryland presidential retreat known as Camp David, she has been known to watch hours of televised sports with President Bush.

C Rice at FootballRice’s name has been mentioned as a possible future vice-presidential candidate. Although she has joked that she would love to serve as commissioner of the National Football League  (Which some said she would have been great at this job also.    After leaving the White House, Condi Rice wanted to return to teaching. She was always wanting to give back.)

 

 “I miss my kids. In a class of 20, there are always two or three for whom the lights go on. When that happens, I think I’ve done for them what Dr. Korbel did for me.”

Miss Rice went on to serve as Secretary of State from 2005-2009.   She is a black woman who never has forgotten her roots…her family…and her upbringing.  One may say that she has all the credentials for being the first woman president.  However, it is probably not what Condoleezza Rice will ever be.  She may be too smart to mix a perfectly good life with an unforgiving position.

Condoleezza_Rice_Secretary of State

 


ANNA and the ATTIC … a new book by Nancy W. Boyer

It is my privilege to announce the 8th book in my Nanny Series.  It is called Anna and the Attic.  The entire book is based on the fears of a little girl and her visit to her Grandparents in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. ( appropriate for ages 8-12)   In our uncertain world, young people have many fears, real and imagined.  We know the importance of good mental health and with each book I give parents, grandparents, teachers and other adults the opportunity to go over some thought-provoking questions.

Anna and the Attic is now available on amazon.com under the author’s name, Nancy W. Boyer.   All the books in the series are listed  here.  It is my hope that it will meet the needs of young people everywhere.

Click forAnna and the Attic and other books in the Nanny Series

 

 


STRESS vs COMPASSION… a REAL Dilemma

I am truly puzzled. Mrs. Obama will be heading soon to Japan to bring her advice and encouragement to the Japanese girls that they not drop out of school.  She feels that she should do this  for the people of Japan.   If one looks at the ranking given to the countries around the world on education, Japan is ranking 2nd behind Korea. In another study, they ranked 7th in the world in Math; 4th in Science and Reading.    (Rankings)   This is why I am puzzled about this visit.

Education in the United States is in crisis over Common Core and Standardized Testing to name only a  few educational problems. Certainly our rankings in the world are not high.   Teen pregnancy, drop out rate, bullying, and other issues also need to be addressed. Children in Chicago need to be able to walk to school without the fear of being shot by gang members.   One would think that there is enough encouragement needed right here at home within the poorest parts of our country and in the inter-city schools.

The real question here is not anyone’s travel plans or good intentions, but  WHAT IS BEING TAUGHT AND THE FREEDOM OF THE TEACHER TO TEACH.    In a world of violence, fear, and distress, our children need to learn how to get along and compassion for each other as much as math, reading, and other subjects. students and testing More teaching

student taking test

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are a few quotes concerning what we are doing to our young people with the over-emphasis on testing rather than creative  thought and how to live in the real world.

“Teachers  were shocked by ambiguous test questions, based, as they saw it, on false premises and wrongheaded educational principles….. Others were dismayed to see that children were demoralized by the relentlessness of the testing process, which took seventy minutes a day for six days, with more time allowed for children with learning disabilities. One teacher remarked that, if a tester needs three days to tell if a child can read “you are either incompetent or cruel….” Another teacher said that during each day of testing, at least one of her children was reduced to tears. A paraprofessional—a classroom aide who works with children with special needs—called the process “state-sanctioned child abuse.” One child with a learning disability, after the second hour of the third day, had had enough. “He only had two questions left, but he couldn’t keep going,” a teacher reported. “He banged his head on the desk so hard that everyone in the room jumped.” (written by Rebecca Mead)   Parents are beginning to opt out of standardized testing around the nation. students and parents to stop tests

 

I need to mention that I had the privilege, as an American educator,  of being invited by the Japanese government to visit the schools in Japan…elementary through high school.  This was a “thank you” to the United States for sending educators to Japan after W.W II to help rebuild not only their country but their way of life.  This also included the missionaries who went to help the people during this terrible time of history.

While in Japan, I was extremely impressed with their curriculum and teaching methods, but also in the students themselves.  The children were happy in their classes.  The high school students had a wing of baby grand pianos to practice because there was an emphasis on the arts in the curriculum.  Just before classes were dismissed, I noticed two young men mopping the school corridor.  I asked if they were being punished?   The answer was “No, they are doing their responsibility.”  I also saw girls as interactive as boys in the educational process.  Nothing was mentioned about a drop out problem.  Some criticism has come in more recent years about the long hours of study in Japan that has possibly been the reason for some suicides.  Some middle class families have teens who have also more recently become part of violent gangs, which had not been a problem previously.  The Japanese are trying to find the reasons for these changes in social behavior.  Perhaps this is why the teacher of younger children that I am about to introduce you to has made a primary part of his teaching …the teaching of empathy.

The reason I am writing this blog, however,  is to share something much more important than the testing issue.  It has to do with, as mentioned above, with the actual teaching of young people how to live in this world.   STRESS…VS ….COMPASSION is my title.  Now meet a teacher in Japan who knows the importance of the child’s emotions…hurts and cares in the real world.  (I would encourage you to set some time aside for this viewing…to be able to read everything that is said…for otherwise, you may miss some crucial points.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

__________

(To see U.S. rankings in various areas of education, go to U.S. RANKINGS…comparisons to other countries )


Two New Nanny Books…by N. W. Boyer

Author and Illustrator of the Nanny Book Series  Nancy W. Boyer

Author and Illustrator of the Nanny Book Series
Nancy W. Boyer

I’m happy to share with you the two new books from my Nanny Book Series.

Why  Nanny Books?    I am Nancy, the author and illustrator, who is called “Nanny” by my grandchildren.  My inspiration for these books is that as a Christian writer I believe that parents and grandparents are looking for some inspirational books…especially those that help young people with problem solving as well as  developing excellent values and ethics.

Previous books have been  Linda Long Legs,  Betty Big Ears, Bobby Big Brain  that deal with self-esteem and finding one’s gifts and talents.

The two new books are  Running Away Rita best for older young people, ages 8-14. Rita has to adjust to a new situation and this book helps young people understand how to do that. Most young people will identify with her feelings.

How to be Happy for Young People, for ages 6-10 is a brightly colored book that will appeal to various age groups with some advise and questions to be discussed after reading. 

Cover Running Way Rita2

cover happiness sized 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Parents, Grandparents, and educators who work with young people may want to take a look at the books mentioned at the following site: Nanny Books on Amazon     They are available in the U.S.A and major countries around the world.  Kindle readers will also find them at Amazon.


Nancy W. Boyer introduces new book…….Terri Tennis Shoes

A01frontcover with words

I am happy to share with my readers a new book for young people.

Terri Tennis Shoes is the fifth in my Nanny Book Series. The purpose of this series is to help young people and their parents and teachers deal with problem areas of character development, self-esteem, and good decision-making.  This is appropriate for those in grades 3-7.   Questions for discussion are listed at the end of the story.

Terri Tennis Shoes and four others are available on Amazon (paperback or kindle)

Click for  Details of all the Nanny Book Series by Nancy W. Boyer

Other books in the series:  Linda Long Legs, Bobby Big Brain, Betty Big Ears, Morgan Monster

Thank you for looking.  Any comments and reviews will be appreciated.