YW Lesson 1-42: "The Courage to Try"

The lesson titles in this unit and the next one just crack me up. They're all important topics, but listing them one after the other it sounds exactly like some kind of teambuilding exercise out of the Franklin Covey playbook. Remember in the early 1990s when Franklins were the one true personal planning system of the Church? No offense to those who used and loved them cough*me*cough, of course, but these next few lesson titles just sound like generic motivational sayings torn right from the corporate-inspirational world of individualistic, me-oriented, "American dream" self-help: The Ability to Succeed, this one - The Courage to Try, Righteous Living, Using Time Wisely, The Value of Work, The Purpose and Value of Education, Encouraging the Development of Talents, Short-Range Goals as Stepping Stones, and Leadership: Delegating to Others. Corner office & glass ceiling, here we come!

Ah well, that aside, it's great to have a lesson on courage. Moral courage, of course, but other kinds as well. I just finished watching with one of my survey classes the HBO Film Iron-Jawed Angels, which depicts the young generation of confrontational women's suffrage activists in the late 1910s: Alice Paul, Lucy Burns, and the National Women's Party. I wouldn't necessarily recommend it for YW unedited (some racy content), and I was super-annoyed by its "contemporary" soundtrack, but it reminded me that we have a wealth of examples in American history and in the scriptures of true female courage: boldness, resolution, determination, speaking truth to power, and that we consciously ignore those examples at our peril. One great resource for this lesson would be President Monson's talk from this year's YW meeting, "May You Have Courage," which draws heavily on the story of Esther.

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