Many of us do not realize that the best things in life are actually free. It is because we are confined in a very materialistic world and we measure the best things in terms of price, weight, karat, size, model, etc. In this book, however, Todd Outcalt reminded me of the things that I have but not really aware of them—those things that make me happy—people, faith, love, hope, work and experiences. It is not actually the material things that define a person. He wrote, “the best things often happen to us when we are not aware of them.” True enough, as I flipped through the pages, it made the realize that I have taken some things for granted.
I got the book from a book table display, it was the author’s gift to Jeff and Arlene (whoever they are). And because they received it for free, they gave it away for free. Have you ever tried “free taste”? Product manufacturers and promoters let prospective customers taste their products for free to let people know that theirs are the best. And “free taste” really are best compared to the same products found on the shelves.
This book made me more conscious of the things I see and feel and more aware of my environment. It made me notice the the simple things and pleasures that may remain unnoticeable when I am always busy or rushing. For example, a street kid smiling at me brightens up the day.
The book is divided into five parts where Outcalt pours his experiences and the lessons he learned in his entire life. This is sort of an autobiographical account of the author but it is also his biographical account for the people he encountered that taught him the best things in life. Though the narratives came from the stories of his childhood and adulthood, his lenses are very sharp to capture the moments. He used very elaborate words of description as if wanting the readers to experience the same in their own eyes.
The book is "about the small gifts of life." After careful assessment, Outcult stated the following conclusions:
- We value family and friends and children more than things.
- We all want to love and be loved.
- We'd rather laugh than cry.
- An actual sunset is more awesome than a picture of sunset.
- We all want to achieve something in life.
- We cherish our memories more than our knowledge.
- We desire to help others.
- We all hope and believe in something or someone greater than ourselves.
- Rest is more satisfying after a hard day's work.
Year of Publication: 1998
Publisher: Health Communications, Inc., Deerfield Beach, FL