For now, I have to assume the world is full of imperfection, which is why we read certain books and/or write them. It's so we can imagine what perfection would be like.
Growing up in a family where it was like a religious belief that the louder one yelled and the harder one bullied, the more power one displayed; that every slight had to be responded to with a bigger one, that manipulation and lies were the way to get what one wanted, I wouldn't know integrity and true strength until I read Harper Lee's, To Kill a Mockingbird. That was when I learned that class systems should not be based on skin colour, or wealth, or family position, but on levels of benevolence, compassion, ethics, morals, righteousness and integrity.
It took me two days to read Harper Lee's novel and in those two days,she wiped out an entire sixteen years of twisted, bitter lessons on life and redirected my path so that the girl I'd learned to be would strive in real life to become and look for the heroes in her novel.
In high school, while other girls swooned over football quarterbacks, there was no man sexier to me than Atticus Finch. I lusted after him as he sat outside that courthouse with his one feeble shotgun, ready to withstand a lynch mob, when he put his all into defending his client,Tom Robinson, even though he knew from the onset that he'd lose.
Atticus always did right. He taught his children to do right and because of him, right was what became sexy to me. All my life, I looked for my own Atticus Finch and it took me forty-five years to find him. Part of that was because I was still looking for him within the wrong men, but another part was because an Atticus Finch is just so rare. That's why we need to read about him in Harper's novel.
And, as I looked for a real Atticus, I understood that in order to find him, I'd need to be worthy of him, by following in his footsteps. I didn't always succeed, but through my failures I learned that being Atticus was not an easy task, because right is often the more difficult choice to wrong. But when you choose 'right,' you are also choosing 'happy' at one and the same time.
That' why I owe hope Harper Lee an enormous debt.She taught me that doing right as often as you can, as difficult as it is, leads to personal happiness. (Not to mention great sex with the right man.)
Causes Patricia Davis Supports
Make-A-Wish International, Girls Inc. The Palermo Protocols, Amnesty International, Valley of the Moon Children's Shelter, Brenda Novak's Online Auction for...