I’ve been thinking a lot about the state of the world lately… who hasn’t? These are uncertain times to say the least. Being bookish I look to literature to save us all. : ) Hey, it could work.
One of the very top sellers at Bookworks (and bookstores nationwide) in the past year is an incredibly positive book called The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. You probably know it… with it’s high production value and incredibly simple optimism, the book has sold millions of copies and changed lives. The premise is that your thoughts change the world, and you can create your own reality (lose weight, get rich, cure illness, find happiness, etc.) if you are indefatigably positive. Take this globally and we might really have something.
Another of the very top sellers at Bookworks (and everywhere, especially since it won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction last year, oh and yes because Oprah picked it for her club) is an incredibly negative book called The Road by Cormac McCarthy. You probably know it. I myself avoided it for a long time because I don’t really like bleak post-apocalypticism in my bedtime reading… or at least I thought I didn’t. In this book, the world has ended, plants and animals are no more, and a few people scavenge in the barren landscape. The overwhelming point is that it would be really really bad to let the world end.
Turns out these books have something big in common. They both impress upon the reader that the overwhelming emotion we should feel for our good luck in finding ourselves alive in this moment is simply, profoundly, gratitude.