The summer issue of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine features an interview with Brett and me. See the cover and excerpt below.
Alex: No, it doesn’t. It reminds me of a study that was done about expectations in public schools, and it concluded by saying that the current ceiling for young people is really much closer to where the floor ought to be! In other words, the highest we’re allowing ourselves to go — in competence and godly character – is really much closer to the lowest we should be allowing ourselves to go. Unfortunately, many home school students tend to compare themselves to that low standard. They say, “Look at me! I’m articulate, I’m respectful, I’m mature for my age!” And if they don’t, other people will say it for them! The problem is that we live in a society where even mediocrity is considered exceptional. We don’t even have to exert ourselves, and we’re still showered with praise. Again, we’ve lost sight of the biblical standard.
TOS: So how do you see young people returning to that biblical standard? How do teens bust the myth of adolescence once and for all?
Brett: The battle cry of the Rebelution is just three words, but it’s an explosive concept: Do Hard Things. That’s it. And “do hard things” is a mentality. It’s a mentality that flies right in the face of our culture’s low expectations. The world says, “You’re young, have fun!” It tells us to “obey your thirst” and “just do it.” Or it tells us, “You’re great! You don’t need to exert yourself.” But those kinds of mindsets sabotage biblical character and competence. “Do hard things” is just the opposite. It’s how we build character and competence. It won’t drop to meet the low expectations, it won’t just do what comes easily, and it won’t become complacent. It applies no matter who you are or what level you’re on, because there’s always something harder to do, something that will take you outside your comfort zone and cause you to grow.
TOS: First, wow! That sounds great! Makes me want to be a rebelutionary, too. Second, could you explain how the “do hard things” mentality fits into the bigger picture of the Rebelution?
Alex: The Rebelution is made up of three fundamental parts. We’ve talked about two of them: character and competence. The third one is collaboration. It’s not enough for us to be individual exceptions. It’s not enough for us to try to ignore the culture. We have to create a counter-culture. The way we do that is by networking, exhorting, and encouraging one another in the fight. By God’s grace, that’s what the Rebelution has become. And when you have a community of young people mutually committed to doing hard things in their teen years for the glory of God, that’s an incredibly powerful thing.