Monday, May 26, 2008

Do Hard Things

Alex and Brett Harris, founders of, begin their handbook, Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations, with this explanation:
“Most people don’t expect you to understand what we’re going to tell you in this book. And even if you understand, they don’t expect you to care. And even if you care, they don’t expect you to do anything about it. And even if you do something about it, they don’t expect it to last. Well, we do (3).” Documenting their journey of doing hard things, providing a history of the cultural idea of “the teenager,” and debunking the myth of adolescence, the twins draw you into their challenge to travel beyond modern society’s expectations for your life.

I’ve appreciated Alex and Brett’s efforts and been involved in the movement since the Rebelution was a blogspot address, but reading the book placed long-known principles in a fresh perspective and challenged me to take new and larger action. The meat of this book lies in Part 2: Five Kinds of Hard. The Harris’s don’t just tell you to do hard things and then leave you hanging…they make you think about your hard things and seek out God’s plan for how you are going to change the culture.

They explore: “things that take you outside your comfort zone-taking risks to grow, things that go beyond what’s expected or required- pursuing excellence, things that are too big to accomplish alone-dreaming and daring big, things that don’t earn and immediate payoff-being faithful and choosing integrity, things that go against the cultural norm-taking a stand for what is right (212-213).”

Offering real-life examples from their adventures and the stories of other rebelutionaries, the twins explore the movement around the world. They explain the three pillars of the Rebelution “character, competence, and collaboration (176)” and show how you can take a plan of action. Closing with a challenge to do so, they also present the Gospel in an appendix. They leave us with these words: “Yes, it will be hard. But we’re Rebelutionary. We do hard things (224).”

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