84 of 85 people found the following review helpful
Inspiring and Heartbreaking,
This review is from: Messenger: The Legacy of Mattie J.T. Stepanek and Heartsongs (Hardcover)
"Messenger" tells the story of Mattie Stepanek, the poet and peace advocate who died of a rare form of muscular dystrophy just before his fourteenth birthday in 2004. The book is written by Mattie's mother, Jeni, who lost her three other children to the same disease and, sadly, has an adult onset form of it herself.
What struck me most about Mattie were his preternatural powers, this child-sage who announced that he wanted to be remembered as "a poet, a peacemaker, and a philosopher who played." He was all of that and more, having sold more than two million books of his Heartsongs poetry, co-authored a book on peace with former President Jimmy Carter, and achieved celebrity status himself by forming friendships and appearing with Oprah Winfrey, Larry King, and others. Mattie believed he was a messenger from God, and in his eulogy, Jimmy Carter called him an angel. Reading this book is enough to make you agree.
A quote that I cannot find or attribute was running through my mind while reading this book. It says the problem is not that people die but what dies in them while they live. What this book does so powerfully for adults is reacquaint them with that time in childhood when they were a prophet, before they were trained, conditioned, and shamed out of that best part of themselves in order to adapt to the "real" world. This book and Mattie's legacy teach us to rediscover this part our ourselves and bring it back into the light.
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Initial post: May 21, 2011 2:39:18 PM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Nov 24, 2011 9:10:41 PM PST]
In reply to an earlier post on May 21, 2011 5:53:01 PM PDT
Kenneth R. Mabry says:
Hello, Sam ...
Thank you for your comments on my review. I looked up that quote and see it most often attributed to Albert Schweitzer. In any event, I think of the Stepanek book often when I turn cynical and am in need of inspiration. I see that you, too, are an author. Congratulations!
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