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A hope note

Those who don’t read good books have no advantage over those who can’t.
My wife and I have been members of the same book club for seven years. Five couples meet over a meal the first Sunday of every month to cultivate our friendship and discuss a book. Our selections have been fiction and nonfiction, classics and obscure works.
Our book this month was ‘Pistol: The Life of Pete Maravich.’ I once had the privilege of seeing Pistol Pete play. To me and to millions of others, he was the greatest basketball handler and shooter ever.
His biography could have been subtitled, ‘An American Tragedy of Epic Proportions.’ Pistol’s life was devoid of any balance. Obsessed with basketball, as was his father, there was little room for anything else.
Our group discussed how fathers put enormous pressure on their children to succeed. We pondered how the greatest athletes have to have singleness of heart to realize their dream, and how that singleness clashes with the virtue of moderation. We wondered aloud if being ‘the best’ at something and having a balanced life were mutually exclusive.
We brought up athletes who appear to be exceptions to the rule, like Archie Manning and his sons Payton and Eli in football, and Tiger Woods in golf.
The book discussion stretched our minds and birthed new thoughts about important things like relationships, self-esteem, ambition and obsession.
Had we not together grappled with 80-something books over the past seven years, what enrichment our lives would have missed.
You might be surprised to know how many people out there are envious of you, because they can’t read. Start a good book today. Or start a book club. Those who don’t read books have no advantage over those who can’t.

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