Can you wake up in the morning and be excited about a new day? Can you go to bed this evening, and think of all the wonderful things in your life, and feel sincerely, that it's all good? Do you have regrets or recollections of bad times? If so, can you move past them, learn from them, and move on?
After reading Life is So Good, by George Dawson and Richard Glaubman, I was reminded again of how fortunate I've been, despite events that could have made me absolutely bitter and hateful for the rest of my life. I've been lucky and... here I am.
I would have liked to have met George Dawson. His life spanned the 20th century. He learned to read at the age of 98! The grandson of a slave, he tells the stories of his life growing up in Texas, and traveling across the United States. At a very early age, Dawson was forced to bear the cruelties of poverty and injustices of racial discrimination. I was struck though, by his ability to remain strong and optimistic. This man worked hard all his life, lived simply, and never allowed hardships to embitter him.
This book integrates real historical events with Dawson's experiences, which are told to Glaubman, an elementary school teacher who "co-writes" this book. This is not a "How-to-live-your-best-life" kind of book, but there are certainly lessons within it. Dawson reminds the reader
1. to treasure your family
2. to maintain a good work ethic
3. that sometimes you must say nothing
4. and sometimes you MUST say something
5. you don't need things to be happy
6. and how reading is a right, a gift, and a pleasure.
Life is indeed good. This evening, I enjoyed a meal with my family. I was able to write. And now to bed with another book...