“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
Unfortunately in the world of books as well as the larger world, human beings often create artificial divisions. In his “Newberry Medal Acceptance Speech,” following the text of his wonderful novel The Graveyard Book, Mr. Gaiman speaks to the question of what books to read.
He says, “It was as if some people believed there was a divide between the books that you were permitted to enjoy and the books that were good for you, and I was expected to choose sides. We were all expected to choose sides. And I didn’t believe it, and I still don’t.
I was, and still am, on the side of books you love.” (Gaiman 320)
I agree with this brilliant writer completely: read and cherish the books you love.
I do not usually deal with anything political on this site, but our times have become so extreme that I cannot pretend that writing and politics are disconnected in any way. Writers must speak our conscience.
Regarding President Trumps’s budget plan to make drastic cuts to Meals on Wheels, I remind everyone of that great writing, which was a morality tale and one of social critique: A Christmas Carol.
The ghost of his dead business partner, Jacob Marley, pays a visit to Ebenezer Scrooge to offer him a chance at redemption:
“But you were always such a good man of business, Jacob,” faultered Scrooge,
who now began to apply this to himself.
“Business!” cried the ghost, wringing its hands again. “Mankind was my
business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forebearance,
and benevolence, were, all, my business.” (Dickens 21)
The soul of a society, the spirit of a people, and the decency of a nation are largely determined by the treatment of the less fortunate. Cutting funding in any way for Meals on Wheels, which delivers food to those who might not otherwise eat, including many veterans, is an act of evil. We would do well to heed Dickens’ admonition.
Dickens, Charles. A Christmas Carol. New York. Bantam. 1997.
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