Friday, August 3, 2007

Winning the Lottery

No, I haven't won the lottery, but Patricia Woods has with her just-published book, Lottery
which even provides a lot of sunshine through all the Washington rain! (I had to get that sun in here somewhere, and Perry really is a "little Mr. Sunshine" as well.)

While I was reading this delightful book, I kept remembering a book I'd read in German about 25 years ago (and still in print!) The Discovery of Slowness by Sten Nadolny, which is about a very slow and strange child, John Franklin, who became a ship's captain and discoverer, and got lost in the ice of the Northwest Passage. You might enjoy reading it after you finish Lottery.

Both draw on the advantages and strengths of slowness, and make you think about how much we "quick" people (and I'm "quick" like John Robison describes in his autobiography Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger's) lose out by not being an "auditor" like Perry!

Another theme in the book is friendship, which I became even more aware of after seeing the new French movie My Best Friend. Perry is amazed when someone calls him "weak", because his slowness - and his friendships, make him very strong, strong enough to withstand his vulture family members completely on his own--by giving them what he understood that they wanted--and he no longer needed.

The third theme is "respect." People who are "different" have to fight to gain respect. Perry gains people's attention (and false friendship) when he wins the lottery, but the respect came in the way he lived by using his "auditor" skills to become a good business partner and friend. John Franklin was not fortunate to have friends like Perry, but he also managed to gain great respect with the strengths of slowness.

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