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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Rolling Pennies In The Dark

"For me and the millions of people across the planet who had or have it much worse than me, a recurring questions is "What's the point?"

For many of our fellow human beings in indescribable pain, it's natural to contemplate any and all ways to end such unbearable and unrelenting pain. Sometimes the black abyss just beyond the edge of the cliff looks like the answer. The only answer.

"What's the point?"

For some who are beaten down by the ravages of poverty and life, there is no point. Unless we can magically transpose ourselves into such people's horrific lives, then we have no business judging them. Sympathize, empathize, and help. But unless they commit crimes against civilized society, judge not.

As someone who has encountered some of the worst that life has to offer, I would only tell those standing at the edge of that abyss and considering the worst to step back as I did.

I would tell them - scream at them - that there is a point. There truly is. And that point, at least for me, is faith" (Pg 188).

In the book, Rolling Pennies in the Dark by Douglas MacKinnon, his is truly a memoir with a message. A message about what it's like to grow up poor, without food for days at a time, raised by parents who's goal in life was to find their way into the next Vodka bottle and forget about the 3 children they had. It's a harsh reality that springs to life on the pages of this book that really make you take a hard look at those you encounter on the streets or schools sometimes. That life isn't as easy for some as it is for others and those without, grow up thinking that their life is about as normal as it's supposed to be. They just have to keep trying to move forward in anyway they can. It is truly unforgettable.

Being a huge book lover, I find myself challenging myself to step outside my favorite book genres and read memoirs to see a different side of life than the one I had growing up. It's passages like this one that really make a connection for me:

" As we were driving, I noticed a hardcover copy of The Wizard of Oz lying on the floor at my feet. Having nothing better to do than watch my dad's head slip closer and closer to the steering wheel on the way to a drunken mini-coma, I picked up the book and started reading the first page. By the end of the night, I had read the entire book.

For me, it was magic. By reading The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum, I was able to magically and instantly transport myself far away from the hunger, dirt and uncertainty that were my life. Because of the talent and gift of an author, I was able to immerse myself in written words that possessed a very real and tangible healing power. To me, it was nothing short of a minor miracle.

As long as there were words on a page, I had the opportunity to travel back in time, across vast oceans, to mythical lands, or into outer space. I had the chance to escape and give my battered mind a much-needed reprieve." (Pg 34-35).

I received Rolling Pennies in the Dark by Douglas MacKinnon compliments of Howard Books, a division of Simon and Schuster Publishers for my honest review. I think we all need to read books like this, if nothing more than to open our eyes up to the people around us that we may encounter who desperately need help in any way we can. We come from a nation that is truly blessed and the reality is, that is we all worked together, there would be no more homeless people, orphaned children, and people doing without anymore. I would encourage you all to read this amazing memoir and see if it doesn't truly impact you in a powerful way. I rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars.

For more information about Rolling Pennies in the Dark, Douglas MacKinnon or where to pick up a copy of this wonderful memoir, please click on the link below:

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