Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Fast Living


Wow, wow, wow.

Blogger just vaporized my entire post into the ether. And I thought it was going really supremely well. The words were flowing. And suddenly…..nada. Gone. And I’m trying to decide if it is due to me needing to start over, or because it was just really, stinking, good. So good as to be dangerous.

See, there is all this stuff flying around in my head and it’s disturbing my sleep and its all interconnected and messed up and I was trying to be sequential and thorough, because I don’t want you, dear reader, to throw me into the ether with my post, label me as a dreamer or one of those people who are off in left field, that only use facebook as a venue to promote their agenda. I don’t want you to discount what I say simply because you aren’t where I am. Today. Yet.

So I was trying to appear rational. I was pretty convincing, too, if I do say so myself. But the fact of the matter is, I am no longer rational. I am a dreamer. And yes, a long stream of events brought me to this point, but maybe the stream isn’t important.

It starts with a move. A somewhat irrational move. A time of great loneliness. A time of deep searching. A friend found. Conversations had. Books put in my hands. Ideas sparked. Attitudes changed. Or at least enough questions asked that I had a pretty thorough idea what I believed. Most of them started with the words, “Yeah, but…”

And then, by freak coincidence, I get a request for a review. Now I get a lot of these. Probably one a day. And I’ve mostly given those up, but the timing was impeccable. I’d just finished The IrresistibleRevolution and I had a million questions and a million arguments. I just don’t buy the idea that SUVs and W. Bush are the epitome of evil (here’s another thing, just so I don’t lose half of you….neither do I believe that Prius and Obama are). I mean, let’s be real here for a minute and take my family: we adopt (=good) but must drive a big vehicle to fit all of our family (=bad). Carpooling=good. Can’t do it in a small car=bad. 

I’m just saying.

Some things aren’t as black and white as people want them to be. He had some really, amazingly, wonderful things to say. I just couldn’t throw myself fully on board. BUT because he opened my mind up to the possibility that I SHOULD make some changes, I was ready to receive what I believe could be a new direction in life.

And in order to keep things on the up and up I feel I need to give you a little back story. I was reading through this solicitation email thinking, “Wow, this sounds like it could be a great book!” when I ran across the author’s name: Scott C Todd, which was eerily similar to the name Scott C Todd, Microbiology professor, mentor to one Madame Chaos approximately 13 years ago. And since google did me no favors in determining if I knew the author and Works for Compassion and Teaches at a State School don’t sound like the same job title, I accepted the review. However, I did eventually deduce from the photo I found on facebook that the two Scott C Todd’s were one and the same. I’m going a little whack wanting to know HIS story of the last 13 years, because, whew, there’s a life change.

And maybe that makes this book all the better to me. I know what the guy worked for and left behind. There’s this jeep story in the early part of the book that was really meaningful to me because I remember him when he was dreaming about “someday” owning a Jeep. A very specific Jeep. And he not only got the Jeep….he gave it away. He totally plays it off like it’s not a huge deal except it totally was. Or would have been in 1999.

And, Oh My Gosh, I would love to give you the highlights, but most of the book is highlighted. Not only that, I want you to read it. 

Yes, YOU.   

I am not being one of those people who tell others you Must Go Out And Get This Book Right Now (OK, except for the Hunger Games and I meant it then, too) except I AM…telling you exactly that.
And where The Irresistible Revolution falls short (he seems to be an “activist” for activism sake and the last few chapters I had to muscle through), Fast Living nails. 

I get to the part where it’s time for him to ask me not to eat. And for a person who has quite a lot of difficulty maintaining her blood sugar and therefore her attitude, I was really dreading this chapter. But since everything that came before was so good and challenging, I read it anyway, knowing I was going to have to starve the next day. And what does he do? Challenge the concept of the fast. Fast: golf. Fast: movies. Fast: new vehicles. Fast: time. And yes, fast: food. If that’s what you need to fast, but his point is to be driven to fast in order to see change.

I’ve spent a couple days trying to figure out what it is that I need to fast. And you know what keeps coming to mind? Every single time I complain about something, I realize that someone would love to have that problem. My refrigerator I hate because it doesn’t hold enough food? Poor me. My clothes that are too tight/not the right color? Wah. 

You know what I’m gonna fast until I decide if I need to fast something more meaningful? Complaining about things that other people would be thankful for. Like stale chips.

There’s more. But, you need to read it.

He’s so--completely--reasonable. And his reasonable is so--completely--contagious.
He will make you believe that there is really something we can do about extreme poverty.
And to tell you the truth, I’ve never wanted to be more of a dreamer.

You totally need to go here and watch the video (you’ll have to scroll down a smidge). If he honestly doesn’t make your heart race, you can skip the book, because he compresses it pretty well, but if you, like me, want to believe that we can do something about the tragedy of extreme poverty, read the book. 

And do something about it.

(And I do have an extra to give away if you leave a comment and you are the lucky winner.)

And now, as I've read through this, I'm not sure I've even told you enough about the book. But it is A-maz-ing. Really. And it is based on Isaiah 58. And it is about how we WILL end extreme poverty. We are well on our way. And you really should go to www.live58.org.

You haven't heard the end of me on this yet, so I guess it's OK that I stop talking for now.


Wendi said...


Sr. Citizen said...

Still trying to focus on Hunger Gamers, keep feeling like I've read it before - but then, I proabably haven't. Keep trying to find that darn coffee cup. I know Mrs Sr. hid it to keep me from napping, but it's not in the book case either. Darn. Sr. Citizen

Chaos-Jamie said...

Dad, if you can't focus on it, give up. I couldn't put it down, but shoot, if it's that much work quit. Life's too short to read books you don't want to read.

Sr. Citizen said...

Wanting to read The Hunger Games is no longer the point. Not being able to is: Mrs Sr. hid it with my coffee cup when whe found out we were having company. No coffee, no book for three days causes an intellu7ctualle void. Being void is now the point. What is the name of that book again. Did Louie Lamore write it along with the Valley of the Gods? Now, there is a decent book to read without growing knots on you head. Sr.

The Brew Crew said...

You know it's already on my reading list... the ground has been tilled for awhile now. Bring on some more seeds.