Recently, I came across an engaging article called Textual Healing. The idea behind this is the attentive therapist gives a prescription of sorts to the person he or she is working with. Only this prescription isn’t for medication; it’s for a book, or books, that revolve around issues the person is dealing with in that moment. British writer-philosopher, Alain de Botton, who established The School of Life, initiated this idea to enhance peoples’ personal experience through specific, carefully selected readings that are relevant to their life interests and concerns. De Botton’s point is that the right book read at the right moment can do wonders in opening our perceptual experience. Seen from the distance of a chapter in a book, we discover part of our own story lived through another person’s life. The admirable point is the distance we gain from our immediate situation. This person isn’t a family member, a spouse, or a lover; this person is a character in a novel. In this way, we are better able to ‘connect’ to the character’s dilemma – as well as our own – and learn that we are not alone.
I salute Jimmy Carter, the 39th President of the United States. During his term of presidency (1977-1981), not a single shot was fired at the ‘enemy,’ whoever that might have been. Since he left office, Jimmy Carter has been waging a real war – one that is devoted to solving some of the most crucial social issues affecting our planet. Now, at age 89, Jimmy Carter has just published his 18th book, A Call to Action, which addresses the terrible and ongoing violence against women, both in the United States and throughout the world. Indeed, Carter has declared that he will devote himself to this issue for the rest of his life. This is indeed a ‘just war,’ and Jimmy Carter is truly a president for peace.