“I’m too old to change!” Father snapped at me when I suggested that some of the stress Mother was suffering might have to do with his behaviour.
“Look in the mirror, Dad. If you see a reflection, it is not too late to change.”
It was a line I borrowed from Alan Cohen, an author I had stumbled across and come to love. The words came from a book entitled: The Dragon Doesn’t Live Here Anymore. Cohen writes short, concise stories: reflections on life.
Post divorce, I opened a book store, and then many years later, another. I immersed myself in the realm of the written word, consuming anything and everything I could get my hands on. It was distraction from pain, and provided the tools I needed to start digging myself out of the rubble.
I learned that I didn’t have the power to change anyone else, and yet, when I focused on self-improvement, others might just want to follow along.
Two weeks after our conversation my father pulled me aside.
“I know you are working on improving your life,” he said. “Tell me what I have to do to change mine.”
I gave him a book.
It is not surprising that books have helped inspire and motivate us to make our lives better. I am a firm believer that the thoughts that get us into trouble will not be the ones that get us out, so we need to look outside ourselves to make real and lasting change.
I was delighted at the feedback this week – some posted on the challenge, and some in ongoing comments. Old, familiar titles were passed around, and new ones added.
I read mostly for pleasure right now, and not quite as often as I’d like, but the conversation has made me wonder if shouldn’t branch out a bit.
Of course, that is what this challenge is all about. Connecting with others to ignite a new flame, or at least keep the current one going, lol.
Thanks to all who contributed, and to those whose comments added to the discussion. While not everyone linked back to the original post, I am including all who had a say in the links below:
If I missed anyone, please let me know.
See you tomorrow for a new challenge.
(Featured Image from personal collection. Couldn’t resist. May the love of books live on for generations to come!)