Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Then Fix Things

I finished reading a book draft written by my sister-in-law. I love reading. Passive forms of entertainment can have their effect on us, but there is something more visceral about reading that makes me feel more like I'm acting, instead of just being acted upon. True, reading involves following a prescribed series of words, but the imaginative aspect is fascinating!

The book stirred memories and feelings of life—my life in particular. When I read accounts of others' lives, even fictional ones, I seem to always wish I could go back and do things differently: be more kind to others, reach out to those in need, have more good, clean fun. What I need to do, instead, is look forward and realize that if I don't like how certain things were in the past, I should look to the future to prepare to greet life with a different view: to live without regret.

Good books can provide the feeling of empowerment. In the movie Baptists at our Barbecue (based on a book!), the protagonist laments that the city and local community issues do not improve his attractiveness. The reply of the sage, "Then fix things."

Fresh from a good book, I want to apply the adage then fix things to my life—even to things that may not appear broken! If I can live without regret, fix things around me, and really act (instead of being acted upon), I think life will be as happy as the endings of the books I enjoy so much.

At the same time, I need to remember that it is after (and because of) the struggles that "they lived happily ever after."

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