During the last year, five books I read are truly inspiring reads that will lead us toward a Magenta Nation – united behind common values. Check them out and be encouraged!
- “Together: The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World,” by Vivek Murthy, M.D. Dr. Murthy was the U.S. surgeon general under President Obama, and he will be again under President Biden. At the start of his initial appointment, Murthy and his staff did research to determine the most serious health problem in the United States. Can you guess what it is? It was LONELINESS. Being disconnected and lonely was at the root of more major health issues than any other factor – behind addiction, violence, depression and anxiety, all conditions linked to other physical illnesses. And it doesn’t stop there. Loneliness and lack of connection inhibits performance in school, at work, and how we can relate to individuals and groups in the larger social and political world. This book was so good, that I (an inveterate book binger), read it in chapters – like have a chocolate dessert every day. This book was especially insightful during the pandemic, when our human connections are even more restricted than normal. This compassionate look at how we can change our lonely condition is uplifting, and will spark you to connect with your own tribe – or build a new one.
- “Our Time Is Now: Power, Purpose, and the Fight for a Fair America,” by Stacey Abrams. Stacey Abrams has literally snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. After a narrow loss in her run for the governorship of Georgia, due in large part of voter suppressions and irregularities by her opponent, her voter engagement campaign laid the groundwork for Biden to win the state, and for two democratic senators to potentially win their seats and for their party to become a majority senate. From the first chapter in which Abrams describes the tidal wave of a different make-up of Americans, pushing inexorably for change, she had me hooked. Resistance to that change by those who have been in power since time immemorial is strong, but ultimately the Force of the new America will prevail. Abrams shows how and what we can do to make that happen.
- “There Will Be No Miracles Here: A Memoir,” by Casey Gerald. Son of a football star, admitted on a football scholarship to Yale, Gerald might be viewed as a person untouched by – or at least rising above – the weight of racism. Yet his sports legend father became an addict, his mother suffered from mental illness, and his ghetto environment pulled him down with invisible chains, unbreakable even when transplanted to the Ivy League. Nevertheless, Gerald turned into a brilliant writer – never have I read a book that ushered me into the soul of a Black man, a memoir written in dazzling prose. A “Hillbilly Elegy” with a racial background, and insights for anyone who might think prejudice can be conquered by just working harder.
- “See No Stranger: A Memoir and Manifesto of Revolutionary Love,” by Valarie Kaur. Kaur vividly describes the loving, poetic, and soulful life of the transplanted Sikh community – originally from India – in rural California. Then came 9/11, and people wearing turbans and looking Middle Eastern or South Asian were too often assumed to be terrorists. Despite continued attacks that maimed and killed innocent citizens, the community held to its faith – and Kaur found redemption in an activist’s life of chronicling and uplifting people through her films.
- “One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression Is Destroying Our Democracy,” by Carol Anderson. Why didn’t Blacks turn out for Hillary Clinton in 2016, when they did in droves for Obama in 2012? It’s about more than just supporting one’s own. A 2013 Supreme Court decision that eviscerated the Voting Rights Act opened the door for new and onerous voter identity regulations, closing of polls and other acts that amount to denying the vote to African Americans. All these actions are justified under the need to prevent “voter fraud,” a situation that she documents, was never a threat but instead of myth created to frighten people into accepting practices that amount to voter suppression. Anderson details how resistance to these tactics is pushing to restore the right to vote to all Americans.
For more ideas about bringing America together, read Magenta Nation. Let us know your ideas for healing our country!
Interested in healing America? Order "Magenta Nation" today and get started.
Think people can’t change their beliefs? Read “Love or Loyalty” to see the power of forgiveness in healing relationships and our nation.
Wondering about how families can heal, even after death? Read “Love Eternal... One More Time” to be amused and enlightened.