The Wisdom of Generations: Using the Lessons of History to Create a   Values-Based Future
  by Tieman H. Dippel, Jr.
  Texas Peacemaker Publications

"Remember that many blame whoever is in office for the problems and see the solution as voting them out or changing government. However, political leaders are symptoms, not causes of the problems."

Our world struggles under the weight of rising personal and national debt, terrorism, racism, and gender inequality just to name a few of the woes. Yet as the author's book points out through historical examples and through the insightful observations of both Dippel and others, the primary issue behind these problems can often be traced to the disappearance of the Golden Rule in society. When selfishness replaces caring and convenience trumps doing what is right in everyday life, is it any wonder that our nations are dying from within? Dippel has a lot to sound advice to offer in this final book of his Language of Conscience Evolution series, but at its heart is the belief that "the success of any society or nation is directly related to its character, its will, and its educational wisdom based on core values." Yet where do those values come from? It is Dippel's belief that they are instilled by families within the culture, often over generations, and not so much by institutions or other means. Therefore, in order to get a nation back on track we must, as parents and grandparents, teach our children to value the right things in life while being role models ourselves for positive change. "We must set the moral compass."

Dippel begins by examining how his own family's influence had a profound effect on his values and beliefs. In one of the most touching parts of the book, he recalls the words of his father not long before he died as he passed on some final wisdom to his children. He then traces the values trail back to his grandfather, a man unafraid to stand up for the rights of minorities and immigrants in a time period where he could easily have been tarred and feathered for his stance. From his family, Dippel also learned the importance of discipline, obligation, and organization, traits that helped shape his sense of personal dignity. Dippel then includes a speech given by Ambassador Lyndon Olson who stated that one of his favorite comments on his school report cards was "plays well with others." In many ways this is one of the main points the book is trying to make. Playing well with others, or treating people with compassion, dignity, and respect regardless of race, gender, or point of view can have a huge impact on our society and the way our nation interacts with other countries.

In the second part of the book Dippel looks at some specific issues facing our world today. With his background in law, banking, and business it is no surprise that he chooses to tackle in depth such topics as politics, fiscal policies, and understanding what drives our global financial partners, especially China. Much of this latter focus stems from his personal interaction with the Chinese over the years. Yet through it all there is still the thread that treating others as you would wish to be treated is applicable to almost any situation, and that decisions should be filtered by conscience rather than convenience.

Dippel wrote this book mainly for his children and grandchildren, wishing to leave them a legacy of wise teachings and showing them a path to happiness and success. Thankfully, he also decided to share this gift with all of us.

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