Friday, April 16, 2010

Sometimes, all a person needs is a little perspective.

I guess I should have saved the picture from my recent "Saturday 10" post for this one. But that picture was a combination of gifts from a friend, this one is just the book, that I want to review. Sometimes I see a movie or read a book and walk away from it "changed". It doesn't happen often, but when it does, it sticks.
I had no idea what "The Noticer" was about when I opened it to start reading. I purposely didn't read the back cover or the inside flap, I wanted to be surprised this time. Based on bits of information I've found online since I read it, it appears to be based on a true story. That alone blows my mind a little. I said out loud, "how can that be?!" Then I chastised myself. It CAN be, just because. Pretty authoritative reasoning, eh? Reminds me of the way moms say, "because I said so".
The main character, Jones he calls himself, "No Mr., just Jones" is a weathered old man, that appears to know everyone when he comes in contact with them. Not only does he know them, but he knows all about them. Their history, their memories, their current disposition (and the cause of that disposition) right when they meet; they are almost always in emotional pain. At the oftentimes gut wrenching point of  mental anguish and hopelessness, there he is. Seemingly out of nowhere he appears, and he needs only a few minutes to redirect their entire perspective on life. Sound a little crazy?
I thought so at first. But he had me from the first few paragraphs of dialogue.
"I am a noticer," he said. "I notice things that other people overlook. And you know, most of them are in plain sight."
Jones, with his old, battered suitcase, bright blue eyes, weathered skin, and fresh perspective, has the ear of everyone he comes in contact with, within the first few minutes of their conversation. If he were my friend, and you needed help, I would tell you this: "Please just give him a few minutes, you will be the richer for it afterward"
I wish I could talk to Jones, that was my first thought when I read the last page. But Andy Andrews does such a fantastic job of telling this story, that I felt like I already have. It doesn't matter if your life is worry free right now, you would still draw things from him that you didn't even know you needed.

The book is filled to the brim with quotes, I started writing some of them down then started laughing at myself. I thought, why am I doing this. This book is not going anywhere but on my shelf of favorites. It's so full of great things, all I will have to do from now on is grab it off the shelf. I love that.
I tell people often that I'm grateful. I'm human, am I always feeling the gratitude? No. But I try to because I feel better when I do.
"......but a grateful perspective brings happiness and abundance into a person's life." Page 13, last paragraph, last sentence. It was then that I knew I wouldn't be able to put this book down, and I was right.
So yeah quotes are cool, and new stories to read are nice, etc. But as the story unfolds and winds through the maze of each characters life that Jones befriends, I started noticing something. With different  perspective being the theme of this entire book, what I noticed didn't surprise me. It just made me not move an inch until I read the whole thing. I had to find out why.

What did I notice? How people saw him. Everyone's "perspective" of who he is, was different.
What I find sad is that in today's world, most of us probably wouldn't give Jones the time of day, especially if we were driving and he asked for a ride. We would most likely be afraid, roll the car window up, mutter "crazy or bum" under our breath, and drive away.
Please note I am not telling you that you should let the next hitchhiker you see get in your car because he could be Jones. Be safe. We don't have a choice these days.

I'm sure you can tell I love this entire story, but a favorite part that stands out is when he teaches someone to defeat their fears with logic. Don't think I won't use that the next time I feel afraid of something. I also loved what he said to some kids about choosing their life partner. Where the hell was Jones when I was younger and making life choices?!

Notice me leaving the details out?

That's because I want you to read this book. =)

The people Jones helps range in age from teenager to geriatric. It doesn't matter how old we are. "Sometimes, all a person needs is a little perspective"

Have a great weekend friend,

PS I think in the "different dialects" portion of this story, I'm mostly a canary. Definitely

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