Sunday, March 27, 2005

After My Own Heart

Every so often we hear about or read some ideas that we hadn’t heard or read before. These ideas may not be new themselves, but maybe the author expresses them in a fresh way. Humor helps as well. Today’s Los Angeles Times Book Review section features just such a writer. Her name is Anne Lamott, and her book is Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith. Bernadette Murphy discusses the book in her brief and enlightening review.

What do I like about this work? The ideas presented pretty closely match what this blog is up to. Lamott meshes politics and spirituality in a way not only profound, but clever in style, according to Murphy. Lamott easily articulates values of the higher ends of the spirituality and religion, including surrender and forgiveness. Even the uninitiated could understand what has helped Lamott through her life crises, without any special religious reference. One great message from the review is, “Christian or Jew, Muslim or Buddhist, she affirms, we are all members of the human family.” One of my favorite quotes is from John F. Kennedy, after the Cuban Missile Crisis:

“For, in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children's future. And we are all mortal."

Murphy also shows that Lamott attempts to use forgiveness in politics, sighting her disappointment at the direction of the Bush administration. My particular enthusiasm about this work is the amount of humor involved to illuminate the ideas. I could learn a lot from the title alone, “Plan B.”

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