Required Reading for Humans

It was round about page 5, I knew this book was going to wreck me.  I knew I wasn’t going to have goosebumps from sentimental reflections after completing this book.  Rather, I’d be changed in a way that would unravel some of my perceptions and water the roots of others.

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Brene’ Brown teaches us through the avenues of research, interviews, and heart belief that we should live out these principles :

1. People are Hard to Hate Close up. Move in.
2. Speak truth to BS. Be Civil.
3. Hold Hands. With Strangers.
4. Strong Back. Soft Front. Wild Heart. 

I don’t carry much weight, but, I’d like to see if we can possibly have this recited every morning in homes across America.  Seriously! If we all walked out our homes armed with truth and clothed in compassion, things would look a whole lot different than they do right now.

Reading this book caused me to evaluate situations I’ve encountered over the last few years of my life.  Disagreements.  Relationships. Political views.  Burdens. I evaluated everything I was carrying in my “luggage”.  I had to admit that there were things I need to let go of – things I needed to unlearn – and things I needed to continue to hold dear and speak about whenever the occasion called for me to do so.

This book also made me reflect on a few other books that I’ve read or am currently reading.  It just feels like we all need to take a step back, hunker down in our favorite chairs, open a window, and read.  We’re not doing so well at having meaningful conversations on social media when it comes to hard topics.  But, maybe – just maybe – if we were all reading the same things, we could come together afterwards and draw from one another’s experiences and perspectives with a desire to understand rather than be understood.

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Might I propose that these gems should be required reading for every human? Wouldn’t the wonder of Meg and Charles Wallace combined with the knowledge of our varying  personalities, the statistics of research and the power of vulnerability create a spectacular revival of human compassion? It would be GRAND, I tell you!

Perhaps, this is a rather audacious hope and thought.  Perhaps, required reading would threaten one of our greatest blessings – freedom.  And – perhaps , the change that is happening in my own heart because of these books and because of my relationship with God – is enough to spark a personal revival .  And perhaps , that’s enough.  If each of us as humans , committed to filling our hearts and minds with books that compel us to apologize, forgive, listen , and wonder …. perhaps , the world could change.  From books to hearts – may it be so. May it be so.

 

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THE MOTHERS – a book review

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I have a tendency to buy books based on their covers.  I allow the cover art to draw me in even if the inside flap synopsis does little to intrigue me.  Naturally, there have been times I have been smitten by a cover only to succumb to boredom as I they to get into the story.

THE MOTHERS not only drew me in with it’s radiant cover of a hidden image made with brilliant colors; its story line captivated from the beginning.

As the plot weaves in and out of the black church experience, grief, young love, and friendship, it is easy to find yourself unable to put this book down.

I could smell the salt from the ocean.

I could picture the mother’s praying at Upper Room Church.

I could feel the varied emotions from each character.

The writing indulged in dialogue and description that at times almost made me feel uncomfortable for how true to life it was. Fascinating writing.

Even after putting the book down and trying to move on to another novel, the characters are still lingering.  Two of the characters actually made me so upset that I considered not finishing the book.  But, I had to.

There’s way too much use of the “F” word .  It’s frequency was absolutely unnecessary for the telling of the story.  And, I hated the ending.

Other than that, this book was near perfect.

4.50 stars our of 5 in my book!  Definitely a must read for the summer!