A Little Farther Down the Path: The Road to Character

When I recently reviewed my book purchases from Amazon for the past few years, I was surprised to note how many of the titles I had ordered after I watched Charlie Rose’s interview with the author on his PBS talk show. I also observed that, while an interview with the author could prompt me to purchase a book, as a motivation to actually read the book, it was decidedly less effective. That was a major reason, then, for undertaking this series of fourteen special posts during Lent, each one referencing a different title from my “new books” shelf.

When I selected the fourteen titles for this series, I had not yet read more than half of them, but I had purchased them because I felt fairly certain they would help me move, to quote E.M. Forster once again, “a little farther down the path” in the direction my life has taken over the past few years. After I published the list on Facebook and here on my blog, I had second thoughts about one or two of the titles. Not about whether they would be worth the expenditure of time to read, but about whether they would illustrate forcefully enough the principle of moving me a little farther down the path. Continue reading

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The Insidious Evil Of Smugness

Just when I thought I had gotten over my hang-ups about what my aspirations to become a published writer might really be saying about my character, along comes David Brooks with an op-ed column that reinforces my self-doubt and suggests that my earlier hesitancy might have been a sign of prudence after all.

I am a pretty good communicator. In some respects, it is a natural ability or, some might say, a gift from God. Even when I don’t work at it very hard, I am still better than average in the communication department. When I do work at it, I can be very good. Continue reading