So, I am in the process of writing a book! By the way, everyone who actually knows me in my everyday life just erupted into sarcastic laughter! It’s my fault, actually. At the end of and frankly, too many times all though my first book, “Alvin’s Laws of Life”, I wrote, “In my next book…”. I probably shouldn’t have done that. I didn’t know that when it came out in 2007 and as much as I know what a procrastinator I can be, I really could not believe it would be this difficult. And by the way, if you have never written a book, you can’t criticize. Ironically, we all have a “book” in us, but clearly, we aren’t all writers and that’s kind of my point.
I made a judgment error today. I’m all done my shopping for Christmas and easily could have stayed home but I realized I had yet to make my foray to our local, big-box book store, so I decided I needed to take a break from trying to write so I could accomplish two objectives; book shopping and research. I never did buy anything because the line was insane but I did do some research. I went to the “self-help” section since that does define what the essence of my first and hopefully soon-to-come, second book is essentially about. Clearly, being born without arms and using your feet for hands is quite the story, and I have always been honoured to share it. When I first started telling it from the stage as a speaker in 1981, it was absolutely “all about me”! Duh? I was 20 years old. Now, I’m 55! Understand, that’s not old. When I was 20, I sure thought it was old, but now that I’m here, it’s not old. In fact, and I am so not alone in this, I prefer this age over 20. I humbly believe I am a much better person today than I was then and I take a lot of credit for working hard to be better. I have been very blessed that I have had people help me in my journey, and ironically, most of them weren’t always nice about it! I think of my wife and business partner, Darlene, as the leader of this pack. That, by the way, is not a complaint. In fact, I know that in my next book, she will be a significant player because of what she has challenged me to be. In fact, since my last book ends in 1978, my biggest challenge is trying to remember what I didn’t know! Try it…a very interesting exercise.
So back to the book store. Wow! There are a lot of self-help books! A whole section and I stopped counting at fifty. I will not mention titles or authours since I am not tying to trash anybody. It just amazes me! My little research project did not go the way I thought it would. I came home overwhelmed. Maybe it wasn’t the best day to go shopping as I knew it would be nuts but hoped the Christmas Spirit would help. Another error. The parking lots alone got me thinking and seeing all the self-help books iced it! We Suck!
Okay, that was uncalled for but haven’t you felt that way at all lately? Terrorism, greed, rudeness, Facebook? Doesn’t it get to you? I’m one of the most positive people I know and even I am feeling like I got run over by a truck! So as I’m laying there trying to get the license plate so I can call the police and then a personal injury lawyer so I can blame someone and make them pay, I had this thought…”When are we going to get it?” The true spirit of this time of year is all around us. Stories of people giving to the less fortunate. Food bank need in Calgary is at an all time high and the response is also an all time high. Darlene’s guest blog last week on “Merry Christmas” got a huge response (maybe she should write my book) and candidly, nobody complained about the reference to the politically correct. We even hear countless references to trying to live in the Spirit of Christmas all year long but then January shows up and it feels like nothing has changed!
The thing is, it has. We have come so far since I quit my radio job in Regina in 1981 to take my shot at changing the world and it has. This week, we have seen countless stories from the Truth and Reconciliation report on Residential School abuse of First Nations People and obviously, it was a terrible thing that happened “Over Fifty Years Ago!” What occurred was wrong but isn’t the better question, “Would we do that today?” A resounding “Of Course Not”. Why is our society so obsessed with focussing on how “Stupid” we were instead of how “Smart” we’ve become? It seems like the confusion will continue in 2016 but my intention is not to spend an entire book project on mourning what we have lost as a society in favour of what we have gained! I believe if you spend all your energy seeing what’s wrong with our world, that’s all you’ll see, but if you try to look at the opposite, that is also what you will see. Your choice. I know mine!