Thursday, August 20, 2015

Book Review: Very Good Lives


Rather than a book review, I would say this as a 'thought after the read' more of Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination. If you have always been thinking you didn't have time to read a book, please - please, check this one out. This iss practically of a length not-a-book, and a message of so-much-more-than-a-book. In fact, you might find the text on-line somewhere because this book is exactly the speech J. K. Rowling gave at a Harvard Commencement. To be able to stand there and give advice to the future generation, that must be something. J. K. Rowling came to me through Harry Potter, when I was still a child who was not very fond of reading and not very good at making friends and finding life not really fitting together. The wizarding world had served as my comfort zone, my emergency blanket during my secondary school years and at the same time, a initial culture, preparing me to understand the real world. Through this so-called virtual world, I learned to understand human, I learned what it means - life. And this convinced me Rowling had a set of good life principle. In fact, I find her way of life interesting, not all perfect, but not all bad - and that's where we can learn from. In this book/speech, Rowling gave a few advice through her own life experiences.

Here are a few quotes I find moving, among a whole list of quotes (I can't paste everything here!):

It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.

Life is difficult, and complicated, and beyond anyone’s total control, and the humility to know that will enable you to survive its vicissitudes.

We do not need magic to transform our world; we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better.

Many of what she spoke, might sound to you, normal, simple, everyday and mundane. And that was what matters. Most of the time, it was the simplest, commonest things in our life that actually matters. These little reminders...

It made me thought of the speech during my commencement. I can't remember the whole of it, but what stroke my thought was 'not to chase for honours, let the honours chase after you'. It was a waking bell in some way and a reminder.

In case you are interested in listening the speech, here it is:

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