Books Change Lives

Anyone who has read a great deal can imagine the new world that opened. Let me tell you something: from then until I left that prison in every free moment I had, if I was not reading in the library, I was reading on my bunk. You couldn't have gotten me out of books with a wedge... months passed without my even thinking about being imprisoned. In fact, up to then, I never had been so truly free in my life... the ability to read awoke inside me some long dormant craving to be mentally alive.  Malcolm X

I had read some of the classic Greek plays... and found them enormously elevating. What I took out of them was that character was measured by facing up to difficult situations and that a hero was a man who would not break even under the most trying circumstances.  Nelson Mandela

In the solitude and pain of prison, both Mandela and Malcolm X found healing, hope and their transformation in the pages of books. They went into prison angry, broken, lost and "evil." In books they found wisdom, meaning, purpose and direction. Because of books, they emerged different... changed... and ready to take up their calling.

Is it the act of deep reading... is it the power of the ideas that are read... is it the need and desire of the reader... or is it the outside Presence of a loving and generous God that changes? Probably it is the combination of all those things that brings about transformation. 

But reading is integral to change.

So... what are you reading and how is it changing your life?


Brian K. Rice
Leadership ConneXtions International