Sunday, August 19, 2012

Is this THE life manual??!

Today friends are holding a Tree-Day, a secular alternative to a christening, for their son. As part of the celebration, they asked each person to recommend a piece of writing – something from their own life, which they think would benefit him on his life journey. 

Mmm...if I was starting out, what would give me courage and comfort?

First to jump to mind?...Max Ehrmann’s Desiderata and Dr Seuss’s “Oh, the Places You’ll Go”.  The latter has the edge with its creativity and giggle factor.

It is one of those books for all ages, that becomes more insightful the more you read it.

In its poetic pose and wacky way it captures the essence of life, its ying and yang, lightness and darkness.  It offers timeless wisdom to navigate life, with all its “bang-ups and hang-ups, lurches and slumps”.   Inspiring and humbling, it is a reminder of the magic of it all.  I am fascinated by paradoxes – life seems to be full of them – and Dr. Seuss captures them with humour and honesty.  Buckle up for the ride and don’t take ourselves too seriously.

It speaks to things that are important to me:  a spirit of adventure, something that Mum installed in us three girls, and the encouragement from both parents to follow our own path.  As I delve more into the field of mindfulness, I now recognise the book’s offer of detachment to those ups and downs that inevitably occur in our life; and then there is its overarching optimism.

I do wonder if it is in fact one of the most profound books I have ever read.  In fact is it THE life manual? I am convinced it could be, or at least be a best-selling leadership book ;)

You be the judge...listen to this You Tube clip of it being beautifully read by John Lithgow.  

Speaking of places to go, I will be on a 10 day silent retreat  (so no musings next week). Then I will be off to Palma de Mallorca to see my nephew who is making an entrance into the world, like probably today…and who no doubt will be getting a copy of the book at some point!

  • Dr. Seuss (2003)  Oh, The Places You’ll Go,  HarperCollins Children’s Books UK
  • An enduring thanks to Vanessa for gifting me this book back in 2004 when I set off to Trieste to do my MBA.
  • Image: google images 
  • Ruth tells me Tree Day is copyrighted but she is prepared to sell licences at reasonable rates ;)

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