For some of us, there is no better way to unwind after a tough day at work, than with a good book. There is something therapeutic about getting lost in the words of famous authors, wrapping ourselves in their stories and forgetting our troubles just for a short time. It is true that reading books is not for everyone, but we can all benefit from the hidden messages behind the works of talented writers to help us gain a better perspective on the world. Especially during times of hardship, such as struggling with the concept of filing for bankruptcy and the associated stresses that come with it.
Today I want to focus on Roald Dahl, one of my favorite childhood authors. He is the genius behind Charlie & The Great Glass Elevator (Charlie & The Chocolate Factory to you and me), James & The Giant Peach, Matilda, The Witches, The BFG, and many other household favorites. Besides being such a fantastic storyteller, he had a great way of hiding messages for adults within his books. For example,“A little nonsense now and then is cherished by the wisest men” – an extract from Charlie & The Great Glass Elevator, reminding us that it is almost necessary to be silly once in a while. It is important to be carefree and take joy in things that make us laugh; being too serious all the time would just drive us crazy. He manages to entertain children while reminding us to stay grounded and remember the true values in life, through statements such as “It doesn’t matter who you are or what you look like, so long as somebody loves you” (The Witches). Growing up with teachings like these really made an impact on my perception of life, and it can do the same in any life situation.
Like bankruptcy. It is far too easy to get caught up in the situation and let it weigh you down, but sometimes it is beneficial to take a step back and review everything from an outsider’s perspective. Try to remind yourself what truly matters – for example, your nearest and dearest will still be by your side after filing; they will still love you just as before. Yes you need to complete your bankruptcy courses, and of course it is a stressful ordeal. But you are strong enough to get through this, and will be even stronger after completing your filing. You can do anything you put your mind to – “we are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams.”
Perhaps my favorite quote by Roald Dahl is this one from his book The Twits:
“If a person has ugly thoughts, it begins to show on the face. And when that person has ugly thoughts every day, every week, every year, the face gets uglier and uglier until you can hardly bear to look at it. A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts it will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”
The message to take away from this is pretty obvious, and is such a powerful sentiment. Your thoughts make up who you are. They perceive how others perceive you, and even go as far as to determine your attitude and behaviors. In maintaining a positive attitude and outlook, you are more likely to succeed just because you have told yourself you can. In telling yourself you will fail, that everything is crumbling around you and you have no hope of survival…then that will most likely come true. Why? Because “those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”
Please stay tuned for tomorrow’s post where I will be continuing this topic and focusing on the teachings of another famous author. Perhaps you have someone you would like us to feature? Just let us know.