If our glass is half full or half empty is all in how we look at it. It is exactly the same, just our point of view. I try to take the half full point of view. I have enough problems in life either real or created. Half full makes it a little easier.
One of my new year’s rituals is always re-read a book each January. These books are supposed to remind me of what an empty glass might and hopefully provide some inspiration for the upcoming year. The book I re-read is what I call a keeper book. Keeper books are books that you are willing to pack and pay to have toted around the US as you move, knowing you pay for every pound in that moving van. Keeper books are books you have lent and they were never returned and you bought again, again and finally again in kindle edition so you never have to buy it again. Keeper books are books that change your life each time you read them; you are reminded of how harsh life can be and how amazing the human spirit is.
I am mulling over which book will be my choice this year. While I am mulling, I though I’d share my two front runner choices for this year.
Miles to Go Before I Sleep by Jackie Pflug I have purchased this book now a total of four times. That should tell you how many times I have read it. I first found out about this book when I received it as a gift from my husband for Christmas when it was first published. It is the story of a woman who was on a plane that was hijacked. She was shot in the head and thrown out the door onto the tarmac by the hijackers who were demanding fuel. She laid on the pile of people who were shot before her for five hours afraid if a hijacker saw her move they would finish the job. The book takes you from the time on the plane through her recovery. It has taught me so much about perseverance, forgiveness, moving forward, coping with adversity, making the most of what I have and spirituality. It was topped off when I was able to hear her speak once. She said something that has stuck with me forever: At some point or another along the way, we all get hijacked. It is different for each of us cancer, death, job; you will know it when it jumps up and hits you and sucks the life out of you. The trick is taking the most difficult choices and becoming the most capable person that you are.
Life and Death in Shanghai by Nien Cheng T I confess I have only read this book twice. I go back to it because the Chinese cultural revolution has since been repeated through out the world. Governments imprison people because they fear smart people. When I say smart people I am not talking necessarily intellectually, schooled or high IQ. I consider smart people to be people who don’t take what “they” say without seeking to understand; people who don’t act like sheep or lemmings. I find inspiration in Nien because she was imprisoned to be re-educated. She spent years in prison under terrible conditions. She was offered her freedom many times if she would sign a statement confessing to things that were lies. Many others confessed to the lies for their freedom, but she did not. She lost her health in the re-education camp. Her daughter died during the time she was imprisoned. She eventually was released and escaped to the US. Her book inspires in me the value of having principles and core values. It also has made me a skeptic and a person who is always seeking to know if what “they say” is based on a fact I accept. I never want to be a lemming. I knew so little about Mao and the cultural revolution before I read this book. It has made it important for me to understand what is going on in the world. Nien did not believe that could happen to her or in her county and yet it did. The book made me aware that things can happen.
I still am unsure which one I will read. May be I will read one and make a resolution to read a second re-read on the first day of summer to keep me going all year long.
Do you have a re-read book? If so please share it in the comment area.