Title: The Present
Author: Spencer Johnson, MD
Reason for Reading: This book is from our personal library, purchased many years ago.
Summary: The book is a practical parable. Formatted as a story within a story, the prologue has Liz seeking advice from former co-worker Bill. She notices that Bill is doing much better now than when they worked together, while Liz is struggling at work and home. Bill says that his improved performance and greater enjoyment of life began when heard the story of The Present, and began applying its lessons. He is at first hesitant to tell Liz the story, knowing her skeptical nature, but Liz confirms she will give the story a fair chance, no matter how simplistic is seems.
The story is that of a young man’s journey to maturity, guided by occasional visits to the old man who lives in his neighborhood. The old man knows The Present and gives it to the young man in small segments at different moments in his life. Not surprisingly, the segments are The Present, The Past, and The Future.
The epilogue has Liz meeting with Bill again after some time has passed. She has learned and applied the lessons from the story. She has shared the story with others, just has Bill shared it with her. The skeptic is now a believer in the simple truths contained within the parable.
Review: This book contains such profound truth in such simple words, it is striking in value. It is a quick read. I can go through the whole book in about two hours. This is a great book to keep in your library and read every year. It won’t last through a New York to Los Angeles flight, probably not even between when you get through security and receive clearance to takeoff.
The story is compelling. It is easy to relate to the young man as he learns about The Present from the old man. His circumstances are easy to identify with for any reader. The language is so simple that the lessons are easy to digest, surprisingly so given their great value. If you are interested in simple truths to be found in a quick, easy read, find a copy of The Present.
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