Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Maybe I'm A Different Breed. Maybe I'm Not Listening

     The title of this post was taken from the song Sail by Awolnation.

      One of my favorite books is From The Corner Of His Eye by Dean Koontz. I don't usually read books more than once, but this one has always been an exception for me. It explores the idea of alternate realities. While this isn't a new concept or idea, it's one in which I can identify with in this type of setting. This book forced me to look at how every decision I make could affect the lives of those around me, and likewise the decision not to act could have similar consequences. It's funny that I knew the importance of this, and yet did I or have I lived my life that way? Am I now? How often do we allow ourselves to get caught up in the things that truly do not matter. How often do we walk through life simply missing the bigger picture. In the aftermath of a tragedy, we usually tend to humble ourselves enough that we set our priorities in order, but how long does that last. If we truly realized the potential we all have to touch the lives of those around us, would we take that responsibility so lightly? I'll end by sharing one of my favorite parts of the book. 

“Not one day in anyone’s life is an uneventful day, no day without profound meaning, no matter how dull and boring it might seem, no matter whether you are a seamstress or a queen, a shoeshine boy, or a movie star, a renowned philosopher or a Down’s-syndrome child. Because in every day of your life, there are opportunities to perform little kindnesses for others, both by conscious acts of will and unconscious example. Each smallest act of kindness—even just words of hope when they are needed, the remembrance of a birthday, a compliment that engenders a smile—reverberates across great distances and spans of time, affecting lives unknown to the one whose generous spirit was the source of this good echo, because kindness is passed on and grows each time it’s passed, until a simple courtesy becomes an act of selfless courage years later and far away. Likewise, each small meanness, each thoughtless expression of hatred, each envious and bitter act, regardless of how petty, can inspire others, and is therefore the seed that ultimately produces evil fruit, poisoning people whom you have never met and never will. All human lives are so profoundly and intricately entwined—those dead, those living, those generations yet to come—that the fate of all is the fate of each, and the hope of humanity rests in every heart and in every pair of hands. Therefore, after every failure, we are obliged to strive again for success, and when faced with the end of one thing, we must build something new and better in the ashes, just as from pain and grief, we must weave hope, for each of us is a thread critical to the strength—to the very survival of the human tapestry.
Every hour in every life contains such often-unrecognized potential to affect the world that the great days and thrilling possibilities are combined always in this momentous day.” 

3 comments:

Katrina Jackson said...

That is one of MY favorite books!! I have several by Dean Koontz and that one is definitely my favorite one! Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this and reminding me that it's time I read it again and maybe apply it. :)

DonnaReid said...

I love this! In fact, I printed it out when I got to work and re-read it. It was in the back of my mind all day and it turned out to be an awesome day. I tried to stay aware of the concept of this excerpt all day and I'm pretty sure...no I'm quite certain that the kindness and happiness I passed on is traveling as we speak. And you started it by posting it on your blog!
My son is a big fan of Koontz. Guess what I'm going to find for him for Christmas??
Thank you from the bottom of my broken heart! You're awesome~

beth said...

I have not read that book *waits for gasps of disbelief* but it sounds very interesting. There is a commercial now, it may even be by an insurance company that shows the ripple effect of kindness, it is one of the few commercials I even like just because of that lesson it shows.