the innocence in all of us

Sometimes the title of the book says it all. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff … and it’s all small stuff by Richard Carlson is one of those.

“I’ll bet that’s a good book,” I said the first time I saw it and the hundreds or thousands of other times I saw it since it appeared in 1997. Finally, the other day, I bought a copy at an antique mall.

Someone had inscribed it, “Katie — This is the book I was talking about. I found it very inspirational, hope you do too!! 8 Mandi 2003.” Mandi drew a smile under the two dots in the exclamation points to make a smiley face.

I hope Katie got what she needed out of the book, and I thank her for passing it on, because it’s as good as its title.

The book is divided into 100 little chapters of two or three pages each, and there are brilliant little nuggets all along the way, a hundred bits of wisdom in short bursts. Here are three quotes I wrote down this morning as I went through chapters 21-25:

“If you wake up in the morning with gratitude on your mind, it’s pretty difficult, in fact almost impossible, to feel anything but peace.”

“We take our own goals so seriously that we forget to have fun along the way, and we forget to cut ourselves some slack.”

“When you see how similar we all are, you begin to see the innocence in all of us. In other words, even though we often mess up, most of us are doing the best that we know how with the circumstances that surround us.”

And there are 95 other chapters.

Even a quarter of the way through, I can’t recommend this book strenuously enough.

Published by WarrenBluhm

Wordsmith and podcaster, Warren is a reporter, editor and storyteller who lives near the shores of Green Bay with his wife, a golden retriever named Dejah Thoris Princess of Mars, and Blackberry, an insistent cat. Author of Full, Refuse to be Afraid, Gladness is Infectious, 24 flashes, How to Play a Blue Guitar, Myke Phoenix: The Complete Novelettes, A Bridge at Crossroads, The Imaginary Bomb, A Scream of Consciousness, and The Imaginary Revolution.

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