The book is out, the book is out!! Three years and seven months after I began, it’s finally in finished form. A real book, just like any other, with a cover and book flaps and a table of contents. To anyone else, it’s just another book. But to me it’s not just another book…it’s three years of effort. What’s funny, though, is that I keep calling it “the book” instead of “my book”. I know I wrote it, but I don’t really feel like it’s mine. We’re all a product of our circumstances, the most important of which are outside of our control. I didn’t choose to be born into a white middle class family in the world’s richest country. Studies show that the single biggest predictor of our economic status is that into which we are born. I realize that we as individuals shape our destinies as well, and there are many examples—both directions—of people moving beyond the circumstances of their birth. But I didn’t choose having parents who read to me, or having close extended family who helped me create a solid emotional foundation, or being raised in the American Midwest where education is valued and invested in. And I most certainly didn’t choose the idea that came to me in a dream three and a half years ago that resulted in this book. Nor did I realize that the colleague at work who shared similar tastes in books would provide valuable editing, or that a good friend’s art history major would provide unexpected and needed references. So while I’m now technically an author who’s created a copyrighted work, I feel like a facilitator instead of an author. A facilitator for an idea that wasn’t mine, assembled with gifts I’m largely not responsible for, with much assistance which I was blessed to receive. I am truly blessed, not as an author but in life, family, and friends.
“I praise the Lord here today. I know that all my talent and all my ability comes from him, and without him I’m nothing and I thank him for his great blessing.” –Ernie Harwell