Learning Life’s Lessons: Inspirational Tips for Creating Peace in Troubled Times (print edition)

(Purchase e-book editions here)

Author: William M. Timpson, Ph.D.

For anyone needing to be inspired in these troubled, contentious and polarized times. Know that other times have been darker and somehow, someway, people found ways to pull through. Based on those historical examples as well as a few from recent events, “Tips” of core concepts for teaching others can help rekindle hope and possibility including ourselves. For teachers at all levels and across all disciplines, for instructors in colleges and universities, for leaders in business and organizations, in churches and communities—even for individuals wanting to see some promising possibilities for themselves—here are ideas for inspiring others—for neighbors and friends, family members here and afar, co-workers, professional contacts, government employees, elected officials as well as those who aspire to elected office, for Rotarians in service to others.

Teachers, in particular, must bring an upbeat attitude to their work if they hope to motivate students. Research has taught us a great deal about the importance of energy in the learning equation. It’s infectious. If events that we all experience prove disheartening, those who rely on our energies may also become disheartened. Finding those ideas that have helped others get through difficult and dangerous challenges can help us navigate our own troubled times.

The ideas here are drawn from four published books of proven ideas for teaching peace and reconciliation, sustainability, and diversity as well as ideas for experiential learning. The focus is on short entries that draw on specific “Tips” and build on a solid research base. Twelve core concepts are offered per month (n = 144). Twelve events from each month are linked to a particular Tip from one of the four books:

  • Timpson, W., Yang, R., Borrayo, E., Canetto, S., Gonzales, J., & Scott, M. (2019). 147 practical tips for teaching diversity, Second Edition. Madison, WI: Atwood.
  • Timpson, W., Dunbar, B., Kimmel, G., Bruyere, B., Newman, P., Mizia, H., Birmingham, D., & Harmon, R. (2016). 147 practical tips for teaching sustainability: Connecting the environment, the economy and society, Second Edition Madison, WI: Atwood.
  • Timpson, W., Foley, J.,  Kees, N., & Waite, A.M. (2013). 147 practical tips for using experiential learning. Madison, WI: Atwood.
  • Timpson, W., Brantmeier, E., Kees,  N., Cavanagh, T., McGlynn, C., & Ndura-Ouédraogo, E. (2009). 147 practical tips for teaching peace and reconciliation. Madison, WI: Atwood.

Advanced Praise

“I have no memory of not living in troubled times.  It is the norm, and yet difficult and troubled times can be a source of optimism.  For it is through diversity of thought and unsettled human activity that inspiration for change may be found.  Within these pages, you will find raw, yet thoroughly grounded stories that inspire and give hope.  Each of these 147 lessons comes from a lifetime of experience, both in theory and practice.  Each has been tested in the laboratory of human conflict.  Each has great value. Troubled times require concentration and focus on doing what is right.  Those who stay the course will succeed.”  – Bill Emslie, past Rotary Foundation District Governor and retired Captain from the U.S. Navy

Learning Life’s Lessons is, as the subtitle promises, an inspirational guide for dealing with adversity in troubled times. Organized as a practical month-by-month guide, it draws on the experiences of many notable historical figures, athletes, politicians, scientists, who have faced challenges and triumphed, just as we might in our own lives. Hope and resilience do not come easily, but there are skills and strategies that can be learned and practiced. Notable is the emphasis on peace as more than just the absence of war, but an achievement of ethical commitment and sustained focus.” – Allen Dyer, PhD & MD, author of several leading texts on medical ethics and a consultant for communities around the world struggling with trauma

About the Author

Dr. William M. Timpson is a professor in the School of Education at Colorado State University. After receiving his Bachelor’s degree in American History from Harvard University, he went on to teach junior and senior high school in the inner city of Cleveland, Ohio before completing his Ph.D. in educational psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Along with numerous articles, chapters and grants, he has written or co-authored nineteen books including several that address issues of peace and reconciliation, sustainability and diversity. From 1981-1984 he was the recipient of a Kellogg National Fellowship to explore educational issues internationally including extended visits to Brazil, Nicaragua and Cuba (literacy), Asia and Scandinavia (educational change), and Eastern Europe (war, persecution, peace and reconciliation).  In 2006 he served as a Fulbright Specialist in peace and reconciliation studies at the University of Ulster’s UNESCO Centre in Northern Ireland and again in 2011 at the University of Ngozi in Burundi, East Africa where he continues to work with Rotary International Global Grants to infuse sustainable peace studies into the academic programs of the University of Ngozi, the area schools and church communities. In Spring 2014 he served as a Fulbright Teaching Scholar at Kyung Hee’s Graduate Institute of Peace Studies in South Korea. In February 2018 he served as an evaluator for the Rotary Peace Center at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia.

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