Sunday, January 13, 2013

When Old is New

A review of 20,000 Days and Counting by Robert D. Smith

This book was a quick and interesting read.  I don’t think there was a single new thought throughout and yet I found it inspiring.  Similar to some of Og Mandino’s books where the messages were to the point, and extra verbiage was avoided. 

I think the fact that this was an intensely personal story, and certainly not an attempt to establish himself as a major author, gave the book an authenticity often missing in self-help books.   I certainly was reminded of the brevity of life, and the importance of utilizing our time wisely.  Few people achieve even their own dreams, much less dreaming big enough dreams. 

If my calculations are correct, I have lived over 24,000 days, and my mother has lived nearly 34,000 days.  While we seldom are good self-evaluators, it is my hope that I will correctly see the major impact that my mother has had, not only on her family, but on others as well.  My prayer is that I, too, will make a major contribution with my life.

I especially like these chapters:  Living Each Day as if it were Your Last, If We Can Learn How to Die, We”ll Know How to Live, and Motivation is a Myth.  This is certainly a recommended read.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

When a movie becomes a book!

"Rudy" by Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger

I remember well watching the film, “Rudy.”  Even though it has been nearly twenty years, the spirit and inspiration that it incited can still be felt!  So it was intriguing to see the book come out almost two decades later—the opposite of most processes.

The book was not a disappointment, because it added significant dimensions to “the story.”  The story is told in the first person, and that connected well.  I think Rudy is correct that “the story” became bigger than his life because of the principles that were engrained in the story.  It is such a wonderful contrast to the deficiencies so prevalent in our current culture.  It promotes the value of the large family (and I fully identify with that being the 13th of 15 children.)  It presents the dogged determination of a charactered person and espouses values such as loyalty, persistence, self-control and responsibility.  The book gives great details missing in the movie and helps us to see inside the heart and mind of Rudy.

Another connection for me was that my grandson was named Jeffrey Ruettiger, and is affectionately called “Rudy.”  He already is a joy to the family showing traits of persistence and adventure.  It certainly is my hope that he will emulate these positive qualities as he grows older and will accept the responsibility to pursue a God-given dream even when encountering giant obstacles.  When you read the book, I hope you will discover the “message” for yourself, and write your own successful life story.