Whenever I go to the library, I almost invariably come out with two books–a biography and historical fiction. I feel that both types of books make me a better person perhaps by the example of fictional and real people, but also by getting me out of my daily life to see a bigger picture. Although I realize that I am only one little person, I never know when I may be called on to do more. Like people about whom books are written, I—and you—don’t know the future and how it will call upon our strengths, if we are willing to use what we have in us.

I am thinking of two books I recently returned to the library. When We Were Young by Hazel Gaynor is the story of a British teacher-missionary and students interred in China by the Japanese in 1941. For five years the teacher had to become, in effect, the parent to the students somehow continuing their education in academics along with life skills to survive. The other book was Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly, the wife a representative for Arizona and the husband an astronaut. Gabby survived a bullet to her head in an assassination attempt, and Mark spent days in space during his wife’s recovery. The determination of both to excel and do whatever they possibly could for their country is very inspiring. Both books remind me that I am just a little person, but it is more than just a little thing to determine to do my best in all situations.

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