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Wake Up Generation

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The Advocate

Wake Up Generation by Paige Omartian

Reviewed by Marshall Hughes

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"Omartian challenges the reader, but also offers some quite practical examples of how people have made, and can make a difference in others’ lives with less planning and talent than is generally assumed to be necessary."

Too many Christians go through life in a mundane rut, unchallenged either professionally or spiritually. In trying to help people prevent that, especially the spiritual part, and in trying to stir people up even before they can get bogged down into their industrial-strength, life-sapping troughs, 21-year-old Paige Omartian has penned “Wake Up Generation.”

It might seem strange for someone barely old enough to be considered an adult to be giving life advice, but somehow it works, especially for her target audience, the teen generation. While more, uh, mature people might not want to take advice from a college-aged person, young people often don’t want to take advice or listen to the experiences of someone much older than they are. The expression “don’t trust anyone over 30” may have come and gone in the 1960s, but the sentiment will likely be around forever.

Consequently, this book is written for and will ring most true with a young audience, especially the 12-18 crowd. Still, there is plenty in it for even grizzled veterans.

The book at times mirrors the younger generation, or at least what some accuse the younger generation of looking like. It jumps around a bit, and having a short attention span might help while reading this book, but in the end you will find some solid, challenging advice.

In many ways, Omartian is not a normal 21-year-old with limited life experiences and accomplishments. A childhood cancer surviver, she used that experience to motivate her to make sure she wouldn’t waste her life. She has a fledgling music career now, and released her first album in 2009. She has her fingers in a number of other pies, too.

Omartian builds up street cred when she opens the book with her cancer story, which started when she was just 10 years old. She then moves on to topics such as teen boredom and how God’s call can disintegrate that boredom.

What is your mission or calling in life? You don’t know? No problem. “Wake Up Generation” moves into a “What Color is Your Parachute?” kind of mode to help you, with a goal of finding where you should be spending your efforts. This is perhaps the most interesting part of the book.

Omartian challenges the reader, but also offers some quite practical examples of how people have made, and can make a difference in others’ lives with less planning and talent than is generally assumed to be necessary. In fact, some ways of helping others are downright easy.

Two of the more interesting ideas she has are that people should not make a Plan B in their lives, and for people to find their mission not by discovering what they love, but by discovering what they hate.

“The truth is, even if we so much as create a Plan B for ourselves, that is what we will end up doing” because people will almost always go the easy route, which is the Plan B. Secondly, “The beautiful thing about discovering what you hate and how you can change it is that the discovery ultimately brings you around to what you love.”
As Omartian wrote, “You and I have this mist of time on earth, and an eternity to think about what we did with it.”

So, get out of your trough, get to a book store, read up on Omartian philosophy and don’t waste your life.

Watch the book trailer (and read our interview with Paige here):

Marshall HughesMarshall Hughes is a former sports writer for the Honolulu Advertiser. For most of the past 22 years he has taught English in Japan. He has taught at the university level in America, Japan and China. Among his hobbies are sports, traveling and photography. He has been to 41 countries and is always hoping to go somewhere new. He is an award-winning photographer in both Japan and America. His bi-lines include The Washington Post, The Pacific Daily News (Guam), The Contra Costa Times and several sports publications.