I’ve used the word “kismet” quite a few times lately. It’s the only word that seemed to fit several series of events that have had my head spinning in the very best of ways.
Let me tell you about one of them.
If you read my last post, then you’re familiar with Joe — the hard-working overnight crew member at my gym. Well, as diligent as he is, every so often, he does still take a break. It was during one of those breaks that I saw Joe reading a book.
Being an avid reader and writer myself, I asked, “What are you into there?”
Joe stuck his thumb between the pages to hold his place and flipped the book over to show me the cover. Some peaceful golden sunset colors. Maybe a beach. I think there was a bird flying across it as well. “It’s, like, a book of life wisdom. Just short quotes,” Joe explained. “You could open the book anywhere and read it and then just think about it for a while and get something.” He handed me the book as he said this, with the clear implication that I should put this last bit to the test. My own thumb became the new bookmark and I flipped a page or two forward.
I read a two-line entry at the top of the right-hand page. I don’t remember exactly what it said. Something about Fate. It had an Eastern feel. I remember that I had agreed with the central idea. But at the moment, I was focused on Joe, curious to know more about why he had chosen to read the book. “Why this book?” I asked as I passed it back. “Is it something you’ve chosen to read? Or maybe something for a class?”
“Oh, not for a class. I’m just interested in learning more about life and philosophy, stuff that makes you think, y’know?” Joe said.
“And what do you do with the thoughts you’re pondering while reading this, after you’ve read them,” I asked.
Joe paused. “Ummm, I don’t know. Just kind of think about them and try to find the truth in them.”
Hmmm, I thought.
“Joe, if you’re into this kind of book, I have a recommendation for you. I’m not meaning to be the pushy salesman type, but … I’m actually a writer and author, and my current book is based on collective wisdom. It’s about living life in a way that matters. It’s called The Best Advice So Far.” I brought the Amazon page up on my phone to show him. “Each chapter has a central thought, just like the book you’re reading. And also like that book, you can skip around if you want; you don’t have to sit and read it straight through, cover to cover. Only my book is different because it doesn’t quite fit into philosophy or self-help or inspirational. It’s a lot of true stories, some of them pretty crazy, from my own experience, and the stories sort of illustrate the advice. Then it gets into how you can actually put the advice to good use in your own life, starting immediately.”
Joe squinted at the phone screen, seeming genuinely interested. “I’ll have to check it out. That’s really cool.”
Then an idea hit me. It occurred to me …