Many of us grew up with Reader’s Digest. I remember growing up as a book loving child and one of my favorite things to do was to look at the books in my Mother’s bookcase. There was Pearl Buck, Frank Yerby, and then there were those hardback thick Reader’s Digest compilations that she got I think four times a year. In this recent book by Stephen R. Covey he uses stories from past Reader’s Digests about people who lived in everyday greatness conquering the adversities of life. The book is broken down into seven categories with each category containing three principles with stories from Reader’s Digest that support the principles with commentary by Covey woven between the stories. After the stories there is a small section of quotes and anecdotes and then at the end of the categories there are questions for the reader to reflect upon. As an example, the first category is Searching for Meaning and the three principles that go with this category is contribution, charity, and attention.
I enjoyed reading about Betty Ford, Maya Angelou, and a coach named John Baker and how they each dealt with addiction, discrimination, and cancer respectively. There were many other stories such as one about Alex Haley’s father and how someone who helped his father financially to finish college thus enabling Alex to grow up in a home full of books instead of a share cropper’s home and how instrumental one person’s interest in another resulted in someone down the line becoming a well known author such as Alex Haley. This really touched my heart.
Mr. Covey challenges us to make three important choices everyday and they are 1) the choice to act, 2) the choice of purpose, and 3) the choice for principles. He feels that making these three choices in the right manner will enable us to live up to our highest potential. Although I did enjoy all these examples in the book I was disappointed in that the book comes across as more of a secular reading. Although these stories were chosen from Reader’s Digest they appeared to be written in a way that gave no acknowledgment to a relationship with God and that these people only accomplished these things within themselves. While Mr. Covey recommends these principles be used in our lives he makes no mention of God or a higher power and the importance of such in our lives. Perhaps he wants to appeal to a more broad reading public but to me destiny and God go hand in hand. This is not a book like “Purpose Driven Life” but could be a nice addition to your library for perhaps quote reference (there are some from Mother Teresa), sharing with your children especially if you home school and it’s something you can pick up and read without having to read the prior chapter. Based on a five star rating this one gets three.
(I am a member of Thomas Nelson’s Book Review Blogger program, http://brb.thomasnelson.com.)