I read two books over the weekend, and the cumulative effect kind of messed with my head.
The first was the novel, THE PRIVILEGES, by Jonathan Dee. At first I loved it--it's well written and fast paced, and (I'll confess) I like reading about characters like this couple who care about no one other than themselves and their own financial/social upward movement. I wouldn't want to know these people, but it was interesting to spend an afternoon in their company. But (without giving too much away) the book bummed me out by the end. The husband & wife never moved even an inch outside of their own wants and needs, even as they became international jet-flying billionaires. There were vague allusions to them "contributing to the world," but that was never connected to anything other than further burnishing their own image. And when their son dabbled in the possibility of doing something that could matter, he hit a roadblock and gave up, retreating into his privileges.
It made me sad because it seems so true. Most of us are tempted to retreat into our privileges, right?
So you can imagine my internal shock when I picked up the next book in my TBR pile, Greg Mortenson's THREE CUPS OF TEA. Talk about not retreating! I loved this book partly because of the nature of Mortenson's mission: building schools for girls in Afghanistan & Pakistan as a way to promote peace. But I love the larger message even more: If you have a dream, it will cost you. There will be setbacks and obstacles, and times when it feels like all is lost. Push through, don't give up, even when it's not easy. Believe that it will be worth it. Don't be seduced by the privileges.