Saturday, September 13, 2008

Donald Miller - To Own A Dragon

Today I read To Own A Dragon by Donald Miller, the author of Blue Like Jazz.

It's an awesome book. Wonderful in every sense of the world. The first three chapters blew me away. Funny, profound, and beautiful prose.

Here's a paragraph that I can especially relate to:
I say this because there aren't many pleasures I enjoy more than sleep. I sleep till I am done, normally, and haven't set an alarm in years. I'm not lazy, mind you, I just find it odd anybody would program a machine to wake them. God made the brain so it would wake on its own, and as a follower of Jesus, I am a strict adherent to His system. Call me a fundamentalist if you want.

The book was written for guys who have grown up without fathers, but everyone should read this book-- If you had a difficult relationship with your father, if you have a friend who has grown up without a father, or if you are in a position to be a mentor to a fatherless child, then you will be inspired by this book.

In addition to being a great author, Donald Miller is also a founder of The Belmont Foundation. Their goal is to establish long-term mentoring relationships for fatherless boys.
In the United States, there are more than 11 million children being raised by a single parent. Of those, roughly 85% are being raised by single mothers.

According to the information in the back of the book, children from fatherless homes account for:

  • 85% of all youths in prison (20X the average)

  • 71% of all high school dropouts (9X)

  • 63% of youth suicides (5X)

They're also 20X more likely to show behavior disorders and 9-10X more likely to wind up in a chemical abuse center or state institution.

Mentoring can change these odds dramatically.

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