You Load 16 Tons… A Little Bit about My Job

I reviewed a book yesterday that I think — the first part of it, anyway — every political leader should consult. One or two statements — anecdotes — early in the book, if applied to our lives, could change the world. We could sure use it in our country right now:

“My grandmother, well into her 80s, would often sit on her porch smiling. She had spent the war hiding in a cemetery in Belgium, where she buried her prayer book, published in 1895. I read from it on Yom Kippur. ‘Why, are you smiling?’ I would ask. ‘Because my neighbors are happy,’ she’d reply. ‘And when they are happy, I can live in peace’.” (Jim Torczyner, Rights-Based Community Practice and Academic Activism in a Turbulent World)

There’s much more to this book, but it’s an academic book, and those are often incredibly expensive. This one is $45 on Kindle; $165 as a bound book, so I don’t think its value will reach many people.

The astonishing and inspiring thing about my job is how many people are out there attempting to DO something. We’re just a bunch of busy creatures striving and hoping and attempting and, apparently, writing. A lot of excellent books never see the inside of a “legit” bookstore, are never sold to a “legit” publisher.

That said, I’d better get back to work…

15 thoughts on “You Load 16 Tons… A Little Bit about My Job

  1. I love stories about WWII. So glad she survived. I have a friend who went into hiding as well. He and his family moved to four different houses during the war. I was lucky that he shared his story with me to write before he passed away. He was an amazing man and an even better friend. Lisa

    • Those survivors are amazing. My piano teacher when I was a kid was the pianist for the Berlin conservatory orchestra (if I remember right) and refused to Shanghai. He and his wife ended up in Nebraska. His story is unbelievable, and I was so lucky to have known him.

  2. There is much wisdom in the story quoted. And I agree that more politicians should see themselves as public servants – ensuring the well-being of the community can only increase the general well-being of the individual. Enjoy the books/book reviewing!

  3. Those are the kind of stories and books that SHOULD make it to the bookstores and libraries. Fascinating tales of personal histories – life lessons for all of us. With this book reviewing you get a peek into those worlds. Lucky you!

  4. This says so much…. ‘Because my neighbors are happy,’ she’d reply. ‘And when they are happy, I can live in peace’.

  5. It sounds like something that I would read although sadly not at that price. BTW Martha I recently read “My Everest” and “As A Baby Duck Listens To Thunder” on Kindle and loved both of them.

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