You can trace most all periods when a civilization rose out of a decline into a period of prosperity to leadership. This study through history is enlightening because you can find common trends and leadership movements that led to prosperous times. You will find that all leaders are readers and there is a direct connection to literary movements and periods of growth and prosperity. LIFE Leadership along with best selling authors Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady is providing a systematic way in which reading leadership materials flow into communities and businesses of the world. The LIFE Leadership Forums discusses examples of the impact on how books from the LIFE Leadership subscriptions are effecting people’s lives.
When I first started with my LIFE Leadership subscriptions I was one of those busy people who said, “I don’t have time to read.” Years later I have an insatiable appetite to read and learn. My question is how did that happen? Not how did my hunger for reading happen but how did I become “too busy and non - interested in reading happen?” It’s inherent in each of us to learn and want to grow. When the lack of reading and knowledge prevails among a society it is on the decline. Everyone wants a better life. But today we see more people stressed out about their economic conditions, concern for the moral state of our nation, and overall long - term security of our families. We get into this condition because of our habits. We can grow out of those circumstances by reading and learning, especially past lessons in history.
Through my reading I have developed a love for history and the leaders who made a difference in the past. In the ‘Freedom’ series subscription we can trace the fact that western civilization’s freedoms were established by the study of classical models and the leaders who led those models. Leadership revolutions were created from literary explosions. One period of time where historical examples were similar to today was the renaissance. The word renaissance comes from the Latin: ‘renovatio’, which means in a sense, a spiritual rebirth. This is where one of my most admired figures from the renaissance comes in. Francesco Petrarca (Petrarch) lived, 1304 - 1374. He was known for his role in restoring the classical studies that began a revolutionary development of European culture that led into the renaissance.
Petrarch began his literary preoccupation at a time similar to ours. Professor of History at Stanford, Louis W. Spitz writes, “Government was burdened from war debts, indulged in monetary manipulation, devalued the currency and debasement of coinage. Taxes became increasingly more oppressive.” Because of the barbarian invasions during the fall of the Roman Empire there was a decline of knowledge and liberty that came from the Roman Republic and the roots of Latin language. Refugees streamed west with saved manuscripts. In 1351 Petrarch discovered the manuscripts of Cicero. He began his admiration of Cicero because of his attempt to uphold the principles of the republic and ultimately freedom. He combined this with the wisdom he had learned from Augustine. He had developed contempt for the current system of Scholarly academics. “I dwelt especially upon antiquity, for our own age has always repelled me. “
Petrarch set into motion the viewing of the preceding centuries. In 1325 he was twenty one when he began his correspondence. His message was conveyed through his exquisite sonnets and eloquent writings. He worked to restore the recognition of literature. People began to emerge from darkness. Ideas propelled them into action. They began a quest for personal excellence. Petrarch was said to be the first to restore the values into society during that age. He led a prevalent movement where people strove to serve as carriers of intellect and created a new culture. A decline of the manorial economy and feudal political system ensued. Art, music, history, Greek literature, and classical learning developed from this literary movement. During this period individual fortunes were accumulated. Investment banking was developed. Commercial expansion, maritime industry, cloth, silk, and wool markets exploded. As Venice became the center for printing it also became a republican form of government. Afterward the great Florentine culture flourished.
Petrarch initially began with his hunger to learn not knowing what the impact would be of his studies of Euclid, Ptolemy, Galen, Livy, Virgil, Plato, and Aristotle. He associated these philosophers with Christian virtues. He focused on the achievement of people’s potential and from there, an interest in the moral and political values of society was renewed. Growing up in this dark period and acknowledging the depraved conditions around him made him realize that this was not right. People where designed to be happy and prosper. “Happiness is small and hidden and must be dug out by a more thorough investigation in order for it to be shown to the incredulous.” “As I select the best from many, are these a small cause of joy to you; the image and similitude of God the Creator within the human soul, the mind, memory, providence, eloquence, so many inventions, so many arts, which serve the soul, or body? So many opportunities, virtue, material pleasures … unless you have willingly submitted to the yoke of sin, you may have dominion over all things which are under heaven.”
Just by beginning to read, great change can occur. Think of a literary movement. LIFE Leadership is committed to providing the very best of reading materials currently through the LIFE, LLR, and AGO subscriptions. This information is spreading throughout countries and ultimately the world. Call it a Leadership revolution, renaissance, or rebirth, whatever you will. I call it a restoration of the true potential of humanity. God Bless, George Guzzardo