Like many people, I am always trying to improve myself and find ways to live more fully and more mindfully. This Giveaway project has been a large part of my recent efforts, one that has forced me to de-clutter my material surroundings, strengthen my relationships and hone my writing skills. Including writing as a path towards self-improvement has been a recent practice. More typically I have turned to reading the advice of others to help me become a better person, buying numerous books over the years to help me become a better parent, a better partner, a better eater, and a more thoughtful and greener consumer.
Today, I decided to give away a few of these books, including Jane Goodall’s Harvest for Hope, A Guide to Mindful Eating, and Ingrid Newkirk’s Making Kind Choices, a guide to living a better life by being kinder to animals and the environment – both very important books by women for whom I have tremendous respect. All year, I have been enjoying giving away books to friends, but I didn’t feel right handing such a book to a friend and saying, “Here, why don’t you do some serious thinking about the food you eat or the way you treat animals?” That’s not my job. It’s a very personal decision to seek guidance on such issues, so I took them instead to the Little Free Library close by and left them there for someone to find if they need them.
Books such as these have given me much to ponder over the years. Written by people so much wiser than myself, they have provided valuable perspectives, well researched information and well considered suggestions to help me along on my various quests. However, as I approach the end of another calendar year and the end of my purging/bonding project, I feel a strong need to let some of them go and to trust that I have absorbed enough knowledge over almost half a century now to make wiser decisions about myself and my life as I head into a new year of adventures.