Becoming Legendary Don't drown in the Quo

February 5, 2016

Young Legends: Sparta versus Pre-K

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , — John Jones @ 5:24 pm

How can you prepare someone to be a legend?

Can you tell if your child is going to be legendary when he/she grows up?

What can you do to produce and develop legends from a young age?

I think about how the Spartans of old would begin developing their kids for legend status from the moment their babies came out of the womb – I consider the difficult tasks they pressed onto their children so they could see if fear or fire would win the days.  The fearful were usually dealt with severely and the brave were celebrated.  The Spartans built fighting machines who would stand next to their brothers in war and who would win battles against foes they should never have defeated.  The Spartan armies are legendary but whenever I think of their harsh teaching methods I wonder if that style should ever be copied.

I get the pleasure of working for a Lubbock Pre K (and Lubbock Kindergarten) and after seeing how they run the school as a training ground for kids, I am struck by the thoughts, “Could these children become legends after attending a private school like this?” and “Does it even matter if they become legendary?”

This Pre K in Lubbock does not treat their children harshly.  This Pre K does not drop near impossible tasks onto the paths of their students.  This Lubbock private school does not just celebrate the fearless and forget the fearful.  This school is not even aiming to make legends – at least not in the traditional sense.  This Christian school is there to educate students and to help develop them into Christian disciples (as most private Christian schools do).  They do this with compassion and care for each young person who signs up to be a part of their population.  The teachers and administrators model justice and love and help the kids follow in their footsteps.

You see the stark difference here, don’t you?

The Spartan model versus the American Pre-K through 12th grade model leads me to wonder – what would be better?

It’s true that Spartans were tough and nearly unstoppable as warriors.  It’s also true that there are many kids in our current culture being brought up as entitled, Youtube addicts.  But does this make the Spartan way the better way?

I would admit that most public schools are churning out lazy techno-heads, but I make the argument that private Christian schools which actually promote an active Christianity are making more legends than would a Spartan way.  Following Jesus is no joke – Just look at Paul and/or the martyrs to see that you have to be extremely tough.  You have to accept rejection and external hate as a way of life.  You have to die to what you want to do and accept God’s will without negotiation.  You even have to be willing to turn your back on how this world does its thing and suffer to the death for the truth of the Gospel.

This Lubbock Pre-K and Kindergarten (as well as all the others in the U.S.) are making legends  as they show children how to slowly grab hold of the Jesus model for making legends – one of self-sacrifice and supernatural power.  I have seen proof of their success in my nephew who went has taken on this sort of Christianity.  I have seen evidence of serious discipleship from his friends who grew up at the same school.

I didn’t think I was going to do this when I first started this blog, but I’m going to have to give the legend-preparation award to Private Christian Schools.  They develop warriors who do battle in this world and in a world beyond this one.  That’s a pretty big deal to me…


September 16, 2015

Random Legends: Scouring for Candidates

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — John Jones @ 8:00 pm
Bono the Legend!!!

Bono the Legend!!!

So, as I seek to find people who fit into a certain brand of Legend, I have decided to start asking people around me about what they think makes someone legendary.

Being in West Texas and in Lubbock mainly, I always hear the name Buddy Holly thrown out there as a legend who died before his time.  It’s like a given out here.  He is the first name that comes out of people’s mouths 99 out of 100.  I wonder why.

Nothing against old Buddy – I know how his style influenced a lot of other musicians and I know that his songs are all pretty cool.  But, is that enough to make him a legend?

Does talent, plus popularity, plus an early death equal LEGEND?

If so, then Buddy Holly is one for sure.

I recently asked a Texas College professor who is familiar not only with my search for legends, but who is also from the days when Buddy Holly lived and breathed.  (I met this guy a while back while we were sharing a Midland extended stay suite – you meet the most fascinating people who are on temporary assignments…)

“Is Buddy Holly a legend?” I asked simply.

He responded, “Well, lots of people consider him one, but not me.  I like his music and he was a cool fellow if you like young men who could rock it out with the best of them.  But still, legend is a big time label to drop on someone so young, don’t you think?”

I paused and considered my own stance on Buddy H.  I also enjoy some of his music, but I had to agree with this well-educated instructor of young minds.  The label of Legend is too big for a guy like Buddy.  So I said back to this Texas college professor (who is also a millionaire in the oil business), “I’d put him in the music hall of fame for sure.  But I don’t think he qualifies for legendary status.  I’d probably be strung up if I said that in certain circles in Lubbock.  But, you’re right.  His death was a tragedy, but a few good songs and some influence on a tiny part of life does not a legend make.”

The professor just smiled at me and finally continued, “I don’t even think Elvis is a legend.  People loved him and still do.  He is an icon.  But not a legend.”

“Okay,” I say.  “Then what singer would you say crosses past talent and icon status?  Is there anyone you would consider a legend?”

I was shocked by his answer – more because I hadn’t thought of it myself than because I disagree.

“Bono is a legend,” he said.

I nodded my head.  “You got it.  He is.  He has made great music and influenced others in that industry, but he has also changed the actions of governments so that the oppressed and needy have been helped on a large scale.  He is a legend.”

Older people, like this Texas Colleges professor, keep proving to me that wisdom can be found if you just ask the experienced to weigh in on stuff.

What say you, readers?

Do you think Bono is a legend for crossing industry lines to effect the world?

Who else in the music business would you consider more than an icon?

Who else is a world-shaking legend?

I’ll see you next time.

August 12, 2015

Embracing the Suck: Legends endure

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — John Jones @ 7:10 pm


By John Jones

When I write that legends endure, I am not commenting on their ability to leave a deep, immovable footprint on culture.  I do think to be remembered throughout generations and across multiple cultures as an enduring memory of the human spirit is a characteristic of being legendary, but when I write the word ENDURE here, I mean more that would-be legends, when faced with great difficulties while they live, have to struggle well and battle hard against overwhelming odds.  Legends are hit hard with seemingly insurmountable things and they have to press in with all they have to simply survive them, much less overcome them.

This endurance, which might also be synonymous with the word/meaning of perseverance, can often be the most crucial piece of what the word legend means.

There are some people who achieve greatness according to the masses, but they may never really face extremely difficult things and thus would not qualify as legendary to me.  Just because someone has huge talent and the ability to crush every opponent would not get them into my Hall of Legends – they need to have a resume which includes trials so fierce and storms so much bigger than them.  And if they have those sorts of trials and are able to push through those most severe of times, using whatever means necessary, they are truly legendary.

To endure great struggle is a sign of a true champion – it proves they will not give up or give in no matter what.  Even as the earth gives way underneath them, they carry on.  Or maybe they just survive it.  I know some legends in the making who are enduring physical sicknesses, mental illnesses, and crippling losses/tragedies and all they can do is hold on for dear life.  They are not weak because they can only just make it through.  These legends in the making are not soft because they have been forced to admit that what they are facing in this life is bigger than them.  Just because they curl up in a ball and cry out with unceasing tears for help – for a hand – for a miracle – does not disqualify them.  In fact, it makes them stand out to me.

No matter how bad they want to stop the fight – to throw in the towel – to stop breathing – they “embrace the suck” and do whatever they can to grind out the days, the minutes and the milliseconds.

Some supposed legends never face this sort of struggle – they are always applauded and the storms never seem to hit them – They never have to endure such pain and suffering.  And while I am so happy for them that their lives are without the severe times, it keeps them from having the necessary quality of endurance I require.

To those legends in the making who are undergoing such trials, I cheer you on because your ability to even hang on for one more day means you are special.  And to my little Lubbock SEO friend and to my friend at Dream Taxi and to my friend who is doing MCAT prep to become someone who helps others (you all know who you are), I know you are not probably ever going to be legends.  But I want to thank you for being examples of endurance and perseverance.  You are legendary to me.  Your struggle is legendary even if your memories don’t long endure to the people of this earth…

Keep holding on hard to God and putting days behind you – May you soon rise above these trials and become more than you ever thought possible.

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