kw: book reviews, nonfiction, memoirs, guides to life
I missed it the first time around. Now that Robin Roberts's book From the Heart: Seven Rules to Live by is out is paperback, it is already a second edition with a new chapter and a revised title: From the Heart: Eight Rules to Live by. Shortly after finishing the book, Ms Roberts found she had breast cancer, and the new chapter with its new rule, "Make Your Mess Your Message", springs from her experiences as a cancer survivor.
The book is incredibly warm and warmhearted. Though her passion is journalism—first sportscasting and now anchoring Good Morning America—, her foundations are Faith, Family and Friends, in that order. And like Will Rogers, she seems ready to make absolutely everyone into a friend.
Her life epitomizes two of my favorite proverbs: "We generally get what we try for" and "People mostly meet our expectations for them." She has story after story of being treated well by those who could have quashed her aspirations. She makes it clear, it is not because of special talent on her part, but because, in each case, of the kind of person each of them is. But let's set the modesty aside for a moment. Ms Roberts is a formidably talented person. She is particularly talented in asking for what she wants. She knows, if you don't ask, the answer is "no", better than anyone.
She has great native gifts, plenty of intelligence and athleticism. To this, her upbringing added the stellar training of her remarkable parents, in a home that was a "no whine zone." Now many mothers, on hearing that a daughter has been called a blackbitch begin a response by remarking, "First, 'black' and 'bitch' are two words."? Her siblings and their offspring are all leading productive, remarkable lives.
I mentioned one rule, but I'm not going to name the other seven. This book is too much worth the reading for me to spoil that discovery for you. And because, at the end, she tell us that, now we've learned the rules, we need to go out and break them; we need to become who we are and learn our own rules. Amen.