The other day I shared a thought from The Noticer, a book I read in probably less than 24 hours.
(It’s only 156 pages. And I read pretty quickly.)
I wanted to share some more thoughts with you. That is, if you’re okay with reading bits of the book before actually reading it… So if you don’t like spoilers, ignore this post. 🙂
To go along with the whole “if you’re still breathing you haven’t quite fulfilled your purpose” idea, here’s another thought from page 85-86:
Shaking his head, Jones said, “Sorry, but I’ve never known a single person who ever made a tiny difference. I am not even convinced it is possible. So you will have to settle for making a huge difference.”
Intrigued, Willow cocked her head. “Go on…”
“While it is true that most people never see or understand the difference they make, or sometimes only imagine their actions having a tiny effect, every single action a person takes has far-reaching consequences.”
Jones goes on to talk about how a 91-year-old man named Norman was informed that he was responsible for saving over two billion people.
But then he goes on to show how Norman wasn’t the only one responsible, that Norman was impacted by people who were impacted by people who were saved by other people, and the list goes on.
He says toward the end of their conversation, “So you see, madam, we could continue this line of reasoning all evening. For the truth is, who knows who it really was whose single action saved the two billion people? How far back could we go.” Jones reached over and took Willow’s hand. “And how far into the future could we go, dear lady, to show how many lives you will touch? There are generations yet unborn, whose very lives will be shifted and shaped by the moves you make and the actions you take…tonight. And tomorrow. And tomorrow night. And the next day. And the next.
No matter your age, physical condition, financial situation, color, gender, emotional state, or belief… everything you do, every move you make, matters to all of us–and forever.”
From pages 117-118, as Jones talks to a man named Henry:
“If one makes a mistake,” Jones began, “then an apology is usually sufficient to get things back on an even keel. However—and this a big ‘however’—most people do not ever know why their apology did not seem to have any effect. It is simply that they did not make a mistake; they made a choice…and never understood the difference between the two.”
“Tell me,” Henry said.
“All right. Think of it this way: If you are lost, wandering through a forest in the dark, unable to see, unaware that a cliff is nearby, and you stumble off the cliff and break your neck, that,” Jones said, with a confident toss of his head, “is a mistake. But let’s say it’s broad daylight. You’re meandering about in a forest you’ve been told never to enter. There are No Trespassing signs everywhere, but you think you can slip in and slip out and not get caught. Now, again let’s say you fall off a cliff and break your neck… that, my friend, was not a mistake. It was a conscious choice.”
And from page 137, while Jones speaks to a young man named Jason:
“Of course you do,” the old man said. “And Jason, you have an incredible future ahead of you. One day, you will look back on this ‘worst time’ in your life as a fortuitous event. Even your worst times have value and can become, in retrospect, your best times. Know, Jason, that you are destined to make a difference in the world. Do you understand what I am saying?”
“I…I think so,” the young man said sincerely. “And…and I want to make a difference.”
“Oh, you will make a difference,” Jones said, nodding. “Now, want kind of difference? That, my young friend, is entirely up to you. As for me?” — Jones winked — “I am expecting the difference you make to be a great one!” And with that, Jones reached out to shake the young man’s hand.
These are things that have stuck out to me the most in re-reading The Noticer.
I’ve since started re-reading The Last Lecture, which isn’t necessarily “Christian” in nature, but is incredibly interesting and taught me quite a bit the first time I read it. I’m maybe a quarter of the way through the book this time around, but what I have read so far has been just as eye-opening this time as it was the first time.
You can find Randy’s recorded/videotaped lecture here. It’s long, but I think it’s worth the hour and a quarter. Or you could read the book in a couple of hours… Either way, the lecture is very inspiring.
After I finish The Last Lecture, I plan on re-reading The Shack (William Paul Young). I read it a couple of years ago and it made me rethink some things. I would highly recommend it.
In other news, I went boating and tubing with K and L yesterday. It was fun, even though we ran out of gas and were stuck on the lake until the wind helped us back to shore. 🙂 (Being the only boat on the lake might not have been the greatest thing…)
And today I went with my sister to the college so that she could pick up her books and figure out where her classes are. She starts there next week! She’s taking college courses while still in high school. For free. Which is cool.