The Flyers: In Search of Wilbur & Orville Wright by. Noah Adams traces the Wright Brothers journey to Kitty Hawk, NC and beyond in their quest to conquer human flight.
The Wright Brothers weren't engineers like most of the men attempting to become the first men to fly. The book shares their trials as well as triumphs as they went from bicycle building to aircraft construction. Adams discusses the initial journey to the Outer Banks as Wilbur and Orville were looking for an ideal place to take the first flight. In fact, Adams took the same journey by boat to Kill Devil Hills and Kitty Hawk.
Adams cites historical sources as well as personal letters and telegrams sent between the Wright Brothers with their sister Katherine and their father. After their early flights, Wilbur and Orville consulted throughout the United States and Europe. In fact, Wilbur was flying in Le Mans, France when he received word of Orville's crash at Fort Myer, which killed Tom Selfridge. Selfridge was a West Point graduate.
The brothers continued to win contracts and train other pilots throughout the world. Despite the awards and records, they didn't allow their success to distract them from improving their aircraft and training others.
Adams concludes the book looking at the last few years of Orville's life. He discusses Orville distancing himself from his sister Katherine as she married at age 52. Orville refused to go to the wedding and had nothing to do with his sister after her marriage. He eventually visits her on her death bed.
I found it interesting the Wright Brothers were all about business and not about themselves. They wanted to succeed in teaching others the skills to fly and to make it safer. Their personality and selfless dedication makes them true American heroes.
Author Matti Friedman takes the reader directly into the Israeli and Palestinian conflict. He specifically discusses the Israeli battle against Hezbollah along the border towns with Lebanon, where he was based at an outpost known as "The Pumpkin."
Below are my four takeaways:
1. Peace between the nation of Israel and the Palestinians and most of the Middle East is complex and goes back to Biblical times.
2. When the soldiers returned home, they weren't sure if they were welcome as heroes or victims. The death of several soldiers being transported by helicopter changed the thinking of the family members of some of the soldiers. Meaning their actions and their orders from their leaders were in question by the general public, especially the mother's group protesting. This reminded me of the Vietnam War and the War in Iraq.
3. Life at the Pumpkin and most war zones are a mixture between two extremes: bored and dangerous.
4. Friedman does a wonderful job taking the reader full circle. He discusses what it was like to live at the outpost and in foreign areas hoping one day to revisit in a time of peace. The battle rages on, but he completed a visit back to the Pumpkin as well as the little cafe his fellow soldiers hoped to visit.
Feet stepped on...
Uncomfortable at times...
But a message that needs to be spread across the world in homes, churches, neighborhoods and schools...
The Justice Conference challenged me in different ways to look at myself, my community, and others. Before attending the conference I thought I was doing a great job loving like Jesus and loving my neighbor. Now, I KNOW I have improvements to make to truly live out the Gospel.
I've been challenged to look at the history of this country, it's origins and founders.
I've been challenged...to the core...to reevaluate the way of show love and treat others.
I've been challenged to get to the root of the Gospel instead of creating and making band aids without treating the root cause of the issues facing me and others.
I've been challenged to love as Jesus loved...NO EXCEPTIONS!
I've been challenged to listen more, talk less and build others up.
I've been challenged to be last, so one day I can be first.
I've been challenged to "find my riot".
I've been challenged to go closer to truly understand others.
I've been challenged to not be afraid...we are ALL human!
I've been challenged not to be silent when we see a brother being ridiculed.
I've been challenged to be a person that loves anyway!
The weekend was full, challenging and uplifting. As I process what I've learned, I know one thing...
...the work continues and I'm going to do my part!
I'm getting old...
As I was watching my students graduate, it randomly hit me that I graduated 20 years ago to the week. I've been navigating through this thing we call life for 20 years. Oh, the stories I would tell and the advice I would give that 17-year-old kid who was really clueless about the world. The kid who struggled finding a career and purpose until his late 20s; even though it was there all along. The kid who hid his creativity for so long since he worried what others thought.
Fast-forward...20 years...I've decided to share the advice I'd give this 17-year-old kid in my new book "Life is an Adventure: 40 Lessons I Wish I Learned at 20". Since it's taken me twenty additional years to learn these lessons, I wonder where I'd be if I would have learned these lessons before graduating high school.
I'm confident these lessons have the potential to change the direction of your life whether you're 17 or 47. The book is interactive with plenty of white space to journal, make lists and draw. I'll be posting periodically about the progress, but hoping to release it before the end of 2017!
is an English Teacher, Registered Yoga Teacher, writer, journalist, former Scholastic Inc. Blogger, aspiring entrepreneur, and founder of The Writers App.