Sept. 4, 2012
-- One of the highest compliments an author can receive is to hear that his/her book has been read and enjoyed, but every now and then you get feedback that goes beyond that, and makes the heart smile.
A young girl who notes that she suffers from social anxiety disorder recently emailed me to tell me that my book gave her the courage to take a risk and pursue a dream. Her letter made me realize how connected we all are, and that sharing stories often sparks a sense of community.
“Your book (Little Miss Merit Badge) was incredibly inspirational and relatable; especially for someone who was also bullied,” a student wrote. “With your words in mind, I was able to approach and introduce myself to the director of the company I wanted to intern for this summer and I was offered the job right there and then.”
This caring student goes on to say that she was terrified to take this risk, but my book empowered her to step outside of her comfort zone.
As I’ve said before my goal is to inspire others, and teach them that they can be anything they want to be in this life. Despite the unique parenting that I endured, I decided to take control of my own life and make something of my future. I am touched that my words inspired another to do the same. I think it’s important to note in this world of hyper-information that sometimes the simplest way to another’s heart is through the written word, and that old fashioned story telling is still one of the best forms of communicating empowerment and other life lessons.
Often something as simple as empathy and telling relatable stories is enough. In this world of connectivity, we have somehow forgotten how important it is to let others know they are not alone. I think this is especially important for people who may have been raised in abusive situations and sworn to secrecy. It is people from these backgrounds that need to know, perhaps more than others, that they are not alone in the world. Yet, they are often taught to keep quiet for fear of bringing their family lore to light.
Writing a book, and exposing yourself to the world is not the answer for all, but if your heart is telling you to share your story; do it.
In the case of my student, not only did she step outside of her comfort zone for the internship, but she has now been offered a full time job for the fall. I’m excited that my book made a difference to her, but what she really needs to understand is that the power has been within her all along.