Archive for February, 2013

The Heart of Stories

February 1, 2013

As I sat this morning, drinking my coffee and sitting staring at my bookshelves I realized once again how these books have changed my life. Ah, books. Wonderful, wonderful books. Blessings, each and every one. 

Sometimes I can read an entire book just for one sentence. Has that ever happened to you? When you finally get to that one sentence you know was the one you read the whole book for. Or perhaps it’s a page. 

 I read Scott Peck’s book, A Different Drum, for the story of the Rabbi’s Gift. Of course I didn’t realize it at the time, or I could have stopped reading. It was the prologue. Don’t get me wrong, the rest of the book was great too, but I know that I read the book for the prologue. Years later it became a story in my own book, The Baglady’s Guide to Elegant Living. 

It could have just as easily been the last page of the book, so, as they say, you can’t judge a book by its cover. You have to look inside.  I read Hugh Prather’s Book for Couples. As I finished that book, I knew that I had read it for the Epilogue. That story is called “The Last Instruction.”

 Looking back, it’s all about ‘story’. I think we all learn more from stories than from philosophical ramblings or scientific data. By learning I mean the deeper learning of the soul. Facts are something we take in and possibly commit to memory. They hit us at an intellectual level of knowledge.

But stories, stories can go right to our hearts. They can change us on a very personal level. We do not remember them for their hard facts. We remember them for the soft and deeper truths they instill in our memories.

All those facts and figures might help us make a living, but stories that change the way we see ourselves and the world and the ones that help us make a life.

 I’d like to leave you with a short one today. It has been told in many ways throughout the years.

“Rabbi Lebowitz had a dream one night. In the dream he had died and was waiting in line for God’s final judgment.

 Horrified at the prospect, he was imagining what God would say. Thinking in his head that it could be, ‘Why weren’t you like Moses or David?’ He was so sure he had fallen short of the historical greats.

 When finally his turn had arrived, with great empathy and kindness God looked down  and asked,…… “Why weren’t you Rabbi Lebowitz?”

 The Rabbi’s dream inspired me to stop trying to be like someone that I admired and to start becoming the best me I could be.