We read books to learn, to enjoy, to pass or kill time. Sometimes we read books because we have to. Like in school. Often a book is just a book, but every now and then, a book becomes far more than sheer enjoyment or fun or a pure learning tool. It leaves a long lasting impression; it provides life long views and outlooks. I know of a few books like that, what about you?
A few years ago, I went through very difficult times. Just as I was about to finish my PhD program, my family faced enormous problems. They needed my help, and I had to leave everything and go home for two weeks. I ended up staying there much longer. During this time, my husband and I lost many family members to illness and car accidents. My life was in chaos. I could not find any meaning in everything that was happening or any way out of all the disaster around me.
I came back and defended my PhD and started my postdoctoral work, but sadness, disorder, and confusion overwhelmed me. At some point, I came across a lecture series by Jean Vanier. His words helped me to a great extent. I found out that he had a book (Becoming Human), I obtained it and read it a few times. This book had a great influence on me; it helped me make sense of things, find peace and calm, and a desire to continue living. It was far beyond just a book; it was a window and a life-long outlook on life and people. I decided to share it with other people who were going through similar circumstances.
It took quite a few years of working on it at airports and on the planes and trains as my job involved a great deal of traveling. I did one chapter sitting behind my desk at home. Anyway, here is the result. I hope it helps you as much as it helped me: