A Quaker Book of Wisdom: Life Lessons in Simplicity, Service, and Common Sense
by Robert Lawrence Smith
My Rating: ***** 5/5 Stars
Why Did I Read?
I just finished reading this book for the 2nd time this year (I read VERY few books more than once, so to be deserving of a 2nd read, it had to be a book I REALLY enjoyed!) I honestly can’t remember why I read the book the first time. I probably acquired it from a library book sale or our local recycle center book swap, and I honestly don’t know how long it was sitting on my shelf, but for some reason, that is the book I chose to read. Maybe it was the title that caught my eye. I am always eager to learn of the wisdom others have gained, and I enjoy learning about different religions and their traditions. Also, I liked that it was relatively short and looked like it would be a quick read.
This time I read it because I recently came across a quote from the book that I had written down, and I decided it was worth another read and a formal review on my blog. This is the quote I had written, my favorite from the book (and excellent advice, in my opinion):
In this book, the author draws on his own life experience and the wisdom of others who have influenced his Quaker outlook on life to describe for us the Quaker values, traditions, and beliefs in regards to: Silence, Worship, Truth, Simplicity, Conscience, Nonviolence, Service, Business, Education, and Family. He reinforces throughout the book the main message of Quakerism to “Let your life speak.” Here is one of the Quaker beliefs that resonated with me:
In the Epilogue, the author shares and describes for us 10 Life Lessons that he has learned:
- Seize the present.
- “Love yourself, whatever faults you have, and love the world, however bad it is.
- Stop talking and listen to what you really know.
- Play a team sport you love.
- Accept the fact that our lives are only partly in our own hands.
- Believe in the perfectibility of yourself and society.
- Make your love visible in the world through your work.
- Seek justice in the world, but not in your own life.
- Look for the light of God in every person.
- Let your life speak.
The author wrote this book because he believes “our greatest possession is what we know about life. We can do no better than to pass along our most precious possessions to those most precious to us.” (and I wholeheartedly agree with him.)
What Did I think?
This really is a wonderful book FILLED with wisdom and lots of great advice. What a tremendous gift this book is to the world, but especially to the author’s descendants. Writing this book and putting it out there is a wonderful example of service, giving back, sharing wisdom, and letting his life speak. He doesn’t just write about these things, he lives them. If every family had someone to pass on wisdom and put their traditions in writing so they would live on for generations to come, it would be a great thing. I enjoyed learning about the Quaker values and traditions, many of which coincide with my own personal beliefs. This is one of my all-time favorite books, and it is one I would recommend for everyone to read!