Dare

dDare.

As in, double-dog dare. Only, the adult version of it.

When I was twenty and first read T.S. Eliot’s poem, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” I was struck by the speaker’s question, “Do I dare disturb the universe?”

Do I dare? Do I dare to disturb the comfort of my own little universe, the universe I have carefully measured out, not in coffee spoons, but in falsely created parameters and limits that I don’t cross…because, like Prufrock, I am afraid?

Afraid of going back to school.

Afraid of writing something too honest.

Afraid, maybe, of success.

I keep coming across a quotation from another favorite writer, Mark Twain.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

Today, I will Dare to Discover.

 

Summer Reading…and it’s still summer!

My summer reading pile is getting smaller. Sortof. I keep adding books to the pile, so it rarely gets smaller than the stack you see above.

The problem is that I have a stack at work, and a stack on the floor next to my night table…and two or three books on my desk at home.

A whole bookshelf at work. And still…I read. And read. And read!

You could say I get paid to read (and you wouldn’t be too terribly off), but I haven’t read everything I want to read. And there’s a whole bunch of stuff that I don’t even know exists and is waiting for me to discover. I know, I’m a nerd that way.

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say something a little…well…honest. Interesting people, people that I find interesting, are big readers. I don’t know if that necessarily makes me any more interesting, but there you have it. My friends are big readers. It turns out that some other very interesting people, besides my friends (yes, I think you guys are brilliant) are big readers.

In fact, the Harvard Business Review has an interesting article on the importance of reading to good leadership. I’d venture to say it does more than make good leaders. Reading things that edify us, strengthen our characters, give us vicarious adventures, can make us better people.

I’d say, it can make us better Christians. I’m still working on that.

These are some books that have had a huge impact on me:

In no particular order

1. The Return of the Prodigal Son by Henri Nouwen

2. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

3. A Severe Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken

4. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

5. Letters from the Earth by Mark Twain

I’d love to know what books have impacted you! And of course, I’ll take recommendations to add to my pile.