“Almost Everything” by Anne Lamott

Those who enjoy Lamott’s consistently self-deprecating humor, vulnerability, and occasional nuggets of positivity will enjoy her latest; others will be adrift. Publishers Weekly, regarding Almost Everything by Anne Lamott

Anne Lamott‘s newest book, Almost Everything: Notes on Hopewas written “as a gift to her grandson and niece,” notes Kirkus Reviews. This particular series of essays, states Kirkus, “is an obsessively inward-focusing hodgepodge of life stories, advice, and ramblings.”

Although not for everyone, Lamott is certainly loved by many. Here’s a sampling of quotes from Almost Everything:

Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.

Could you say this about yourself right now, that you have immense and intrinsic value, at your current weight and income level, while waiting to hear if you got the job or didn’t, or sold your book or didn’t? This idea that I had all the value I’d ever needed was concealed from me my whole life. I want a refund.

There is almost nothing outside you that will help in any lasting way, unless you are waiting for a donor organ.

Peace of mind is an inside job, unrelated to fame, fortune, or whether your partner loves you. Horribly, what this means is that it is also an inside job for the few people you love most desperately in the world. We cannot arrange lasting safety or happiness for our most beloved people. They have to find their own ways, their own answers.

We believe that we are all in this together. This was the message of childhood, that being together meant connection, like an electrical circuit — think school recess on the blacktop, summer camp, and all those family holiday gatherings. Ram Dass said that if you think you’re enlightened, go spend a week with your family.

The world is Lucy teeing up the football.

This country has felt more stunned and doomed than at any time since the assassinations of the 1960s and the Vietnam War, and while a sense of foreboding may be appropriate, the hate is not. At some point, the hate becomes an elective. I was becoming insane, letting politicians get me whipped up into visions of revenge, perp walks, jail. And this was satisfying for a time. But it didn’t work as a drug, neither calming nor animating me. There is no beauty or safety in hatred. As a long-term strategy, based on craziness, it’s doomed.

Certain special people of late have caused a majority of us to experience derangement. Some of us have developed hunchbacks, or tics in our eyelids. Even my Buddhist friends have been feeling despair; and when they go bad, you know the end is nigh. Booker T. Washington said, “I shall allow no man to belittle my soul by making me hate him,” and this is the most awful thing about it. Yet part of me sort of likes it, too, for the flush of righteousness, the bond to half of the electorate. Who would we be without hate? In politics, breakups, custody disputes, hate turns us into them, with a hangover to boot, the brown-bottle flu of the spirit.

Haters want us to hate them, because hate is incapacitating. When we hate, we can’t operate from our real selves, which is our strength.

I have known hell, and I have also known love. Love was bigger.

I have taken the path of liberation: kindness.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.