Though this heart-touching, thought-provoking book was released in 2005, I feel so grateful it came across my path this week.
Mattie J.T. Stepanek suffered with a life-long and life-taking disease, yet he chose to embrace a life of honesty and gratitude. He wrote about, "What I witness, what I feel, what I think, what I fear, what I treasure."
What he treasured was life and hope, love and friendship. What he hoped for was peace and safety in our world. He called himself a "a poet, a peacemaker, and a philosopher who played."
Though he died in 2004 at the tender age of 13, he was a motivational speaker, the National Goodwill Ambassador for the Muscular Dystrophy Association for three years, appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show, and had ongoing peace-centered conversations with Jimmy Carter, Oprah and many other influential people who he considered not just "famous, but important."
Mattie called his poems, "Heartsongs" and defined the term as, "a person's inner beauty and strength" and "a person's special message and reason to be" in this world.
This has left me pondering my own "special message and reason to be." I look at what he accomplished in 13 short years and wonder what difference the rest of my life could make.
I've become a more grateful person as I've immersed myself in his poems. The wisdom and grace that flows through his words keeps singing to me. I'll be sharing more of his treasures in the future.
I highly recommend adding this book to your inspirational collection, reading it to your children and grandchildren, and using it as a meditational companion whenever you want to bolster your gratitude.