Tuesday, September 6, 2011

"Life Is So Good"

My mom and I just finished reading another wonderful book that is "blog-worthy." It was fantastic and I just have to let everyone know just how good it was and why it's worth their time. It's called Life Is So Good and it's the true story of George Dawson, another one of those ordinary people whose life was made extraordinary by his character, disposition and outlook on life. George was such a humble, honest, hard-working man was so interesting to read about George's life and to learn about his experience growing up as a poor black man in the first part of the 20th century.

George never had the opportunity to go to school and always felt ashamed of the fact that he didn't know how to read. Even his children didn't know that he was illiterate until they were adults. George finally had the opportunity to go to school at the age of 98 and at long last he learned how to read.

There are so many good stories in this book, but my favorite was when George was when a white woman hired George to do some day labor. He was paid a fee for the day and a lunch was provided for him part of the way through the work day.

When lunchtime rolled around the white lady brought a bowl of water out and set it on the porch for her dogs. Then she brought out a bowl of stew and biscuits for George. He was famished after several hours of working and he was looking forward to having lunch. But then he looked over at the dogs and he knew that he deserved better than to have to eat with dogs. So as hungry as he was and as much as it pained him he decided to put his bowl of stew and biscuits back on the shelf where the white lady had set it. He decided that he'd rather go hungry than to have to eat with dogs.

At the end of his work day the white lady came out to inspect the work he'd done. She saw the bowl of food still sitting on the porch, untouched. She told George that she had set that bowl of food there for him. George respectively looked the woman square in the eyes and said, "I know ma'am, but I'm a human being and I deserve better than to eat with dogs." The woman got mad at  George and told him that he didn't need to come back to work at her place anymore, and he simply said, "You're right, ma'am. I don't."

Isn't that a wonderful story about sticking up for yourself?! George finally died in 2001 at the wonderfully old age of 103. (He was alive in the 19th, 20th and 21st century – isn't that cool?!) Just think of all of the inventions and technological advancements he would've witnessed. Anyway, Life Is So Good IS so good, and you won't be disappointed!

*I first heard about this book when I was watching Oprah a few months ago and they were showing her most memorable guests of all time. George had been on Oprah in the late 90's and they showed a clip of the episode he was on. Here's that clip:


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