Thursday, December 10, 2009

Review: Letters to Sam

I read the subtitle and knew instantly that this is a must-buy for me. "A grandfather's lessons on love, loss and the gifts of life." I have always been a fan of life lessons written in a mellowed way. Something like Tuesdays with Morrie.

It turns out that this book Letters to Sam is even better than its premise. The grandfather Daniel Gottlieb is a psychologist with a disability, and the target of his letters (life lessons) is his grandson who is autistic. So this book has the depth of someone well-trained in psychology. It is also a life that has been through a lot. And the target audience is someone whom truly needs empathy. The combination of all these factors resulted in a very moving book that teaches with great insights about life.

I lent this book to a friend who had a stroke. And he found it really helpful to him. This I believe is his favorite lesson:

"Sam, I want you to know that being different is not a problem. It is just being different. But feeling different is a problem. When you feel different, the feeling can actually change the way you see the world
... ... ...
Your different-ness and my different-ness are just facts. Sometimes what we do with our minds turns those facts into pain, and sometimes we can just treat them as facts, acknowledging them but not feeling them. But the more you feel your different-ness, the more lonely you will feel."

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