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Overcoming Life's Disappointmentsby Harold S. Kushner
Synopses & Reviews
The Man Who Dared to Dream
What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?
Langston Hughes, Harlem
In these lines, the poet Langston Hughes wonders what happens to dreams that don't come true. I wonder what happens to the dreamer. How do people cope with the realization that important dimensions of their lives will not turn out as they hoped they would? A person's marriage isn’t all he or she anticipated. Someone doesn't get the promotion or the recognition he had set his heart on. Many of us look at the world and see two groups of people, winners and losers: those who get what they want out of life and those who don't. But in reality life is more complicated than that. Nobody gets everything he or she yearns for. I look at the world and see three sorts of people: those who dream boldly even as they realize that a lot of their dreams will not come true; those who dream more modestly and fear that even their modest dreams may not be realized; and those who are afraid to dream at all, lest they be disappointed. I would wish for more people who dreamed boldly and trusted their powers of resilience to see them through the inevitable disappointments.
History is written by winners, so most history books are about people who win. Most biographies, excluding works of pure scholarship, are meant to inspire as much as to inform, so they focus on a person's successes. But in real life, even the most successful people see some of their efforts fail and even the greatest of people learn to deal with failure, rejection, bereavement, and serious illness.
The lessons of this book will come in large part from examining the life of one of the most influential people who ever lived, Moses, the hero of the Bible, the man who brought God's word down to earth from the mountaintop. When we think of Moses, we think of his triumphs: leading the Israelites out of slavery, splitting the Red Sea, ascending Mount Sinai to receive the tablets of the law. But Moses was a man who knew frustration and failure in his public and personal life at least as often and as deeply as he knew fulfillment, and we, whose lives are also a mix of fulfillment and disappointment, can learn from his experiences. If he could overcome his monumental disappointments, we can learn to overcome ours.
What can we learn from Moses' story to help my congregant who is overlooked for a promotion or the elderly man or woman whose children and grandchildren ignore him or her? What can I learn from Moses to share with all the wives and husbands who find it hard to feel affectionate toward a mate who takes them for granted? Let us turn to the story of Moses, the man who dared to dream, to see what lessons it reveals.
Nobel Prize winner Elie Wiesel has written in Messengers of God that Moses was the most solitary and the most powerful hero in biblical history . . . the man who changed the course of history by himself. After him, nothing was the same again. He goes on: His passion for social justice, his struggle for national liberation, his triumphs and disappointments, his poetic inspiration, his gifts as a strategist and his organizational genius, his complex relationship with God and God's people . . . his efforts to reconcile the law with compassion, authority with integrity-no individ
From Harold S. Kushner, author of the inspirational #1 bestseller When Bad Things Happen to Good People, comes a book that shows us how to be our best selves even when things don'tturn out as we had hoped.Kushner turns to the experience of Moses to find the requisite lessons of strength and faith - the lesson that teach us how to overcome the disappointments that life inherently brings.From the examples of his remarkable resilience, we can learn how to meet all disappointments with faith in ourselves and the future, and how to respond to heartbreak with understanding rather than bitterness and despair.With Kushner's signature warmth, Overcoming Life's Disappointments is a book of spiritual wisdom - as practical as it isinspiring.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
The best-selling author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People draws on the life, teachings, and example of Moses to present a series of principles designed to help readers cope with the problems of everyday life, offering guidelines for dealing with disillusionment of an unfulfilled life, the loss of a job, divorce, and more. 150,000 first printing.
About the Author
\Harold S. Kushner is Rabbi Laureate of Temple Israel in Natick, Massachusetts, where he resides. He has been honored by the Christophers, a Roman Catholic organization, as one of the fifty people who have made the world a better place in the last half century, and by Religion in American Life as the clergyman of the year in 1999. He is the author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People and eight other books.
Table of Contents
The man who dared to dream — Who are you working for? — A hard road, not a smooth one — New dreams for old ones — Keeping promises — It's not all about you — The mistakes good people make — How to write yourself a happy ending.
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