I have been waiting to finish (not necessarily “finish strong,” but just “finish”) this book since the first of this year. I started it during the Christmas Holidays in an attempt to read more non-fiction, and came within the final three or four chapters, then put it aside to finish library books by due dates and to read books I received for Christmas. As the books on the shelf were shuffled, this book was transferred lower and lower until last week. While dusting my book stacks, I found the book with a bookmark sticking out of it and marveled that the book was almost completed. Fortunately, I remembered most of what I had read as I finished the book subtitled, “Living your Faith in the Secular World and Inspiring Others in the Process.”
Although the book was written in 1992, it particular resonates in today’s world, describing the state of today’s secular world and offering suggestions toward “making America great again.” The author is a Pulitzer Prize winning publisher, formerly of the Miami Herald, and ambassador to Spain under the Bush administration.
Capen interviewed his day’s notables and well-known names, asking: What three accomplishments do you consider to be the important in your life? / If you knew you were going to die tomorrow, what two or three values would you want to be remembered for? / Who have been your mentors, and what did they teach you? / Name an unsung hero whose values you admire? The writer sent our these questions to prominent names in government, education, entertainment, research, etc. and surprisingly, 80% of those approached responded. Evidently, those individuals contacted wanted to go on record about what they valued and believed in. Interestingly enough, Capen commented on his “research,” “It came as no surprise that many of the most respected leaders were the most humble in describing their accomplishments.”
After learning a bit about the author, his own answers to his questions were perhaps the most interesting part of the book for me.
Finishing the book some six months after I had started it, and reflecting on what I have read in those past six months, have reminded me that I need to read more outside my “comfort” or favorite genre–novels–and find some more good non-fiction reads soon.