- June 18, 2017
-- The writing of Grace to the Humble
was prompted by the example of the author's father as a man of integrity. In spite of having lost the use of his legs at age 35, he became psychologically healthy. Some of his qualities were: stoicism, compassion, desire to help others, ability to tolerate criticism, and an ability to distinguish right from wrong. Unfortunately she did not fully appreciate him until long after his death.
The book explains how two victims of polio and three victims of mental illness recovered to the point where they were able to live full lives despite their disabilities. Abraham Lincoln dwelt with chronic depression at a time of civil war. He was in the habit of reading the Bible but when his son, Willie, died he began to carry a small copy of the New Testament with him at all times. He began applying Christ's teachings to his own life. On the last day of his life he quoted liberally from the New Testament. The author's father, Eddie Jones, recovered from polio by learning to slow down, become more aware and volunteering for the local March of Dimes. Another polio victim, Arnold Beisser, who was completely paralyzed, became more mindful of his surroundings, learned to listen and became a successful psychiatrist. Bill Wilson, one of the founders of AA, had handled his depression by drinking. After he had a religious experience he went from needing help to wanting to help other alcoholics. Even though his depression came back, he wrote books for AA and by the end of his life had helped millions of alcoholics. The author, who has bipolar disorder, handles it by becoming fully absorbed in her research and writing.
A person is never cured of the damage polio has done to their body. Although medication is very helpful, mentally ill people never get over their disease. Some other way of handling it is required.
This book offers hope. A person can change and become more peaceful, tolerant, generous, calm and dedicated to some higher purpose. All described here—Lincoln, the author's father, Arnold Beisser, Bill Wilson, and the author herself—were able to switch from asking for help to asking how they