Sharing the Power of Cheerful Giving
Authors: Leigh Anne and Sean Tuohy (with Sally Jenkins).
The other side of The Blind Side
After reading Michael Oher's book, I Beat The Odds, it only made sense to read the Tuohy's side of the story--Paul Harvey would say, "Page Two."
The book solidified the image I had in my mind about the Tuohy family, their spirit of generosity that has is the DNA that binds them together. If anything, it seems like the movie and publicity about their family compelled them toward more action.
Leigh Anne and Sean provide some details about their upbringing, challenges they faced, obstacles overcome.
For Sean, the saddest part was his father's heart attack in the prime of his life. An amazing coach and friend to many, his father dedicated himself to coaching, but more than just a game, Ed "Skeets" Tuohy wanted his players to enjoy the game, to look forward to practice. He knew the secret of instilling the heart of the game in his boys and it worked. John Wooden would be proud. Sean's years at Ole Miss ruined his desire for basketball and while it may be brutally honest, his description and specific memories of his coach leave me sensing he hasn't really moved past that experience.
Leigh Anne's story was quite different. She and her mom are partners as interior designers. Her dad was a U.S. Marshall that lived through the racial tensions of the 60's in the south, called to enforce desegregation and the insane history of our country just a few decades ago. The toughness she learned from her father, but it appears that his mandatory retirement at 55 and other issues ended his marriage.
As parents, we know we have a profound impact on our children. Like some super-buffet, they will pick and choose what lessons they will take. For the Tuohy's it seems they genuinely desire to help others and would prefer to do so without being in the spotlight. I get the impression that they are NOT trapped by their wealth and success and they did NOT see Michael Oher as a project. Both of those insights were pretty clear from Oher's book, but this one drove the nail home.
I'm thankful for an example of a Christian couple that walked the walk without a lot of talking about it. I pray their family will continue to growth in their faith and desire to help lift up the inner city youth, especially the public schools. Our daughter, Alyssa, is about to enter the world of public school teaching and our oldest daughter, Miranda, is currently teaching college to inmates. In both cases they see first hand the difficulties faced by those who our society wants to forget.
Pray for those children and teens in schools that are just getting by -- more than that -- Lord, help us to be part of the solution! I pray for our children who are teaching, on the frontline of the battle. I pray for our churches, institutions that have a great opportunity to help in many ways. I pray for our country that honors wealth, fame and fortune and seems to forget about those left homeless and trapped in vicious cycles of poverty. May we learn from these examples and get better!
Both of these books came from the amazing Anderson County Library system--and Zoë and I will watch The Blind Side by checking out the movie. Just thought I'd put that out there! You don't have to buy anything to enjoy these stories.