Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Dave Test by Frederick W. Schmidt

When life is at its tattered edges and you are faced with seemingly impossible decisions, the Dave Test is a set of searingly honest questions you ask to become the best, most honest self for you, your friends, and your family.  Instead of resorting to stained-glass language or offering false hope, do yourself a favor and pick up this book.  Take the Dave Test.  (Taken from the back of the book)

I love the fact that I prejudge books.  Sometimes I'm right on target and at others I'm pleasantly surprised.  The fact that this book is written by an Episcopalian priest led me to believe that it would be a religious-based book.  It is.  It also led me to believe that it would be preachy, which it's not.  Even if you aren't a Christian of any sort, there's some really valuable information in here.  If you are a Christian, it'll put some new insight into your already-instilled beliefs.

Coping with our own mortality is something that each of us faces.  Not only that, we have to cope with the mortality of those around us.  I don't just mean 'the big ending.'  Throughout our lives we're faced with lots of different types of deaths and expirations.  You could be facing a recent job loss, medical issues, any sort of trauma, divorce or relationship issues.  All of these things and more lead to the death of the world as we know it and we have to deal with it and move on.  The world that we all live in is constantly surrounding us with these types of death.  We have loved ones we have to care for too.  But how do we do that?  How do we lend our support in the most helpful manner?

Honestly, when I picked this book up I was hoping to find some insight into dealing with my own traumas.  I was hoping to learn how to better help the people surrounding me with their own traumas.  I wanted to learn how to heal.  I did pick up some interesting tidbits about those things but the lesson I really learned was about living in the moment.  I've heard it my entire life.  Yesterday is the past, tomorrow is the future, what you have is the here and now, the present.  No matter how many times we hear it though, it doesn't mean that it really hits home and finds a place in our souls.  One little sentence in this book really drove that concept home for me. 

Regardless of what you're dealing with in life, this book is a helpful tool.  You'll learn how to love, how to respond to others, and how to redefine your thoughts.  Most importantly, you'll learn how to grief and continue to live. 

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