I was reflecting on what books mean to me, and a thought came to the forefront of my mind:
"More than anything, books have taught me to live."
I don't know if I came up with this on my own or if it's something I heard somewhere and stored in the back of my brain for these sorts of situations.
(On an unrelated side note, I really like making these little graphics. You might see some more popping up on my blog in weeks to come!)
(Oh, and you can see some of the ones I shared earlier this year HERE.)
And, if you'll give me a chance, I'll explain to you how books have taught me to live.
Books have taught me strength
I suffer from a very painful medical condition, and when the agony cripples me to the point where I can't do anything but curl up and whimper, I feel helpless. I feel weak.
But books have taught me that everyone struggles and everyone feels pain. It may not be in the same way I do, but it's something we share. And I find strength in knowing that everyone has a battle, and my medical condition is part of mine.
Furthermore, books have taught me that strength isn't how many times you fall down. The number that really counts is how many times you've gotten up.
Books have taught me the power of kindness
Kindness and compassion are often seen as weaknesses rather than strengths. I certainly thought of them that way for a long time. Growing up, I watched the kind suffer while the selfish benefitted.
But books taught me the opposite of what I was seeing in my life. They taught me that it takes someone truly strong to be kind because the kind do suffer the most. That is a lesson I carry with me to this day.
Books have taught me that I can change the world
The world is an awfully large place that has no shortage of problems. And in the face of huge global issues like poverty, hunger, and a lack of education and sanitation (just to name a few), it can feel like these problems are far too large for anyone--let alone me--to conquer.
But there are an infinity of small things I can do. And maybe one small step doesn't seem to matter, but when you put all the small things together, they make a world of difference (pardon the pun).
And before I close, I'm going to tell you something that life taught me: sometimes the smallest acts of kindness mean the most.