“The Mouse dream dreams that would terrify the Cat.”
As a kid growing up , I had the unfortunate , or perhaps good fortune like the present President of the United States, of not having a father in my life to mold my character and teach me the basic everyday things that are important for my wholesome development. Like him once more, I had to depend on the actions and support of a few members of the extended family. In my case it was my wonderful Grandmother ,and to a great extent a special uncle . To them both I’ll be forever grateful. Just for the record , I did not have a PhD mom that would read to me four hours per day before I go to a lofty private school ., neither did I posses a 400 inch , 5000 channel flat screen TV , and access to the world via sophisticated broad band internet services. However, I made the most as I could in terms of education , via the judicious uses of wholesome books I could glean from the local library, and so was able to come through those early years in one non- dysfunctional piece full of hopes and dreams like any special upper middle class crust kid would.
Books therefore have always played an integral part in most of my education over the decades , and I always enjoyed passing as gifts to others a book or quote from one that I find appealing or might have influenced my thinking in some fashion. Often times the books you give , though done with good intentions, might not always produce the desired effects that you anticipated. Here are a few of what some might now be considered as hilarious examples.
When my eldest son was I believe 14 , I gave him a book by one of America’s first and most successful entrepreneurs , Mr. Reginal Lewis. The book was entitled ,“Why Should White Guys Have All the Fun?'': How Reginald Lewis Created a Billion-Dollar Business Empire.” Well , what can I say, but my intentions were noble , I dreamt of planting the seeds of an idea for a substantial piece of the American Pie from within my family , with this motivational mechanism. You guessed it, my son never even tried to read a single page, and this book was left to garner dust in a storage bin. Two years later I gave him a book by Sanyika Shakur entitled Monster: The Autobiography of an L. A. Gang Member. Interestingly enough , that 379 page book was devoured in perhaps 48 hours. Since I am not a social scientist, I prefer not to speculate as to why such was the case . Ok ,I cannot help myself ,and would suggest that perhaps it’s due to the strong influences of urban city culture, and glorification of gang violence by the media via the successful movies Scarface and the Godfathers trilogies .
About two years ago ,I gave a lonely ,and often angry female a book for her birthday entitled “Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time” by Keith Ferrazzi . In this book the master networking pro laid out a sound blueprint that winners and successful people used as they reach out and connect with others and strive to achieve goals and dreams. Unfortunately, the young lady in question , misconstrued my motives particularly based on the title and opted to shy away from me for almost a year , perhaps as she felt that I had some personal romantic interest in her, and therefore the gift was a subtle ploy.
In my first job as a young police officer a few moons ago, I gave one of my bosses a book that I enjoyed reading very much. It was entitled The Peter Principle : Why Things Always Go Wrong , and was written by Lawrence J Peter. It was a book that focus on issues such as incompetence, in efficiency and how the negative effects of bureaucracy can stifle organization’s performances. In the security trade we often speak about rookie mistakes , and let’s just say that this was my first.
Just yesterday, I got me two lovely books from Barnes & Nobles that I think might be useful in these recessionary times . These were, Rules of Thumbs by Alan M. Webber co Founder of Fast Company Magazine, and Paul Zane Pilzer , Economist and bestselling author of “The Next Trillion & The wellness revolution.” The names speaks for themselves, and I look forward to reading and absorbing most.
Don’t worry friends or kids , these are for my personal uses. I have a dream myself.