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Booking Through Thursday: Real Life

imageThe age-old “How am I going to use this in real life?” question. How would you answer it?

“How am I gonna use THIS?” That’s a pretty deep question, and certainly varies depending on the subject matter. Obviously, the context here would be “books” or “reading.” But then, it also varies on the sort of books or reading material.

untoldlegendofthebatmanThis is a comic reviews blog, so I’ll start with that—comics. There’s a Batman comic from the 1980s…The Untold Legend of the Batman (actually, 3 issues, or there’s a MMPB edition in black and white out there that I’d love to re-acquire as my copy disappeared probably 15 years ago). The first and 3rd issues have both had a profound effect on me.

In the first issue, we see a college-age Bruce attending a class on the Law. In it, a professor sets out a situation and asks what the resolution should be. Bruce disagrees with the answer and asks “But sir…is that justice?” To which the professor responds “No, Mr. Wayne—that is the Law!” And in that story, that was the moment that Bruce realized he could not simply become a police officer, but had to become something NOT bound by red tape—something that could enforce justice, even if not technically the law. And from that, I gained my own distinction between and recognition of the fact that there IS a significant difference between Justice and the Law (and there’s a whole lotta biblical stuff on that, but that’s for another discussion some other time).

In the third issue…well, there’s just a whole tone thing. Memories, how they affect someone, and how sometimes it just takes the right sort of friend or the right sort of encouragement to affect someone….and that, too, sticks with me.    (continued)

worldwithoutasupermanThere’s also all manner of Superman comics from the late 1980s til the early 2000s where we see a Superman who is REALLY Clark Kent, and all these little things that inspire. It was also the Superman comics—and Clark and Lois as journalists—that factored significantly into my considering journalism as a “career path.” And it was a scene with Lois during the Funeral for a Friend story that largely led me to decide against it after all the media hubbub after the death of Princess Diana. The way the media was all over itself for exclusives and “scoops” and I decided there that it was not a career I could go into…at least, not as a reporter.

I’m sure there are plenty of others, but this is already going a bit long.

leftbehindAs far as novels or non-fiction….the Left Behind series holds a great wealth of visualization to Christianity, study of the bible, understanding of the End Times, interpersonal relationships, and so on. I read all 12 books in just under 6 weeks, and they profoundly influenced my faith.

Another profound (yeah, that’s my word tonight) book is Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World (same for Marley & Me and Wesley the Owl). These books are about a human’s relationship with a pet, with an animal—except, the animal isn’t just some animal, some generic thing. They’re a part of the family, and as much as the animal’s life is saved or made better by the humans….the humans benefit tremendously. When am I ever gonna use that, right?

deweyEvery single day. Every day that I think of Christy or Kayla or Zig, every time I consider the way people treat each other…every day that I might wonder at the inability of anyone else to understand. Cuz hey…these books’ mere existence shows that others can, do, have, and will feel the same. And the reading of someone else’s situation—of having and losing a dear family pet—there’s a sort of connection one can’t understand unless they’ve been there.

…and ultimately, I guess the answer I’m putting forth is that we’re gonna internalize stuff, learn from stuff. Whether we gain academic knowledge or not…what we read is gonna become a part of us in some way, and in some way influence us, affect who we are if not outright inform who we are/become. Fiction or not.

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