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Friday, May 14, 2010

BookSneeze Part Deux

I  review for BookSneeze

Hi there. It's Papa E. I haven't written in a while, but when I learned about Booksneeze, I couldn't resist the prospect of new books and sharing my opinions. So, I decided to check out a copy of Classic Wisdom for the Professional Life by Brian Curtis. I'm a sucker for a good quote, and I liked the wide range of people that this book seemed to draw from.

There are definitely some good bits of wisdom from some very popular thinkers, be it religious in nature, or entirely secular. For Example, Bono (lead singer of U2) is quoted saying, "The world is more malleable than you think and it's waiting for you to hammer it into shape." Even Heller Keller seems to tap into a rather Christian theme of humility. She is quoted saying, "I long to accomplish great and noble tasks, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble. The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker."

But be forewarned. For a book published by a Christian company, it also contains some secular or pop-culture thinking that could be slightly antithetical to Biblical teaching. While God loves us unconditionally and we can see his great love for us in his sacrifice on the cross, we have been far too deluded in recent generations to think that we can accomplish anything if we work hard enough or put our mind to it. While wealth and status are not necessary precursors to success, only one in many million children will one day be a president. Only one in many million will become a CEO. The message from some quotes almost devalue the menial or "lower" work as if it can't be fulfilling or isn't reaching your full potential.

It's kind of hard to take the advice from a billionaire media mogul like Oprah Winfrey when she says, "The big secret in life is that there is no big secret. Whatever your goal, you can get there if you're willing to work." She is successful, and I appreciate her story of meager beginnings. But millions of young disadvantaged girls across this country with similar pasts should not feel like failures, or even that their hard work is fruitless, simply because they can't have their own TV show or give away cars to an entire audience.

I think this book is just one among many popular collections of motivational and inspiring quotes. Although it finds some truly inspiring and even biblical themes in some unlikely sources, it fails in it's cohesiveness and message. I would have preferred a few less quotes based on manifest destiny.

1 comment:

Confessions From A Working Mom said...

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Email me (my blog or personal email from facebook) with your address, so I can get you your prize!

~Elizabeth