“One of the hardest secrets for a man to keep is his opinion of himself.”
“Humility is like underwear. We should have it—but not let it show.”
Humility is the ability to look embarrassed while bragging.”
“No matter how humble you think you are, it always come as a shock to find out some people don’t like you.”
“Greatness is not found in possessions, power, position, or prestige. It is discovered in goodness, humility, service, and character.”
Alice Goffman is now an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and she spent over six years in research and living in a neighborhood in Philadelphia where none of us would wish to live. She spent numerous hours developing relationships and trust with people that do not know what the true meaning of these words are. She shows us the plight of the African-American male and the challenges that they have in dealing with the police as well as the criminal justice system. She shows through personal experience the effects that this has on family, girlfriends, and jobs and how this develops into in my opinion, a relationship that is built on fear and mistrust. This is because of the influence that the police and criminal justice system place in putting these people in a position of slavery so to speak.
I have recently read numerous nonfiction books this year, but I would put this on the top of my list because Ms. Goffman, using her field notes and her relationships with this neighborhood has written an evenly balanced book in showing what life is truly like in this neighborhood. There are numerous examples throughout the book, where she put herself at risk in really delving in to the mindset of the people involved in this book. I have to say that I give this 5 stars out of 5. To me, it is a must read if you wish to understand the culture and misfortune of the poor in the inner cities of America.
I have included a video where Ms. Goffman discusses her book:
“An acquaintance is a person whom we know well enough to borrow from, but not well enough to lend to.”
“A rare volume is a borrowed book that comes back.”
“If you want to know the value of money, try and borrow it.”
“Friends last longer the less they are used.”
“It’s strange how much better our better our memory becomes as soon as a friend borrows money from us.”
“When you laugh, be sure to laugh at what people do and not what people are.”
“What you laugh at tells, plainer than words, what you are.”
“Any man who laughs at women’s clothes has never paid the bill for them.”
“There is hope for any man who can look in a mirror and laugh at what he sees.”
“Fortune smiles upon the man who can laugh at himself.”
I am extremely interested in the subject matter in which this book covers and I have started this book and found some interesting statistics I would like to share with our readers.
From the Preface:
“The United States currently imprisons five to nine more people than western European nations, and significantly more than China and Russian.”
“Roughly 3 percent of adults in the nation are now under correctional supervision: 2.2 million in prisons and jails, and an additional 4.8 million on probation or parole.”
“Black people make up 13 percent of the US population, but account for 37 percent of the prison population.”
I will be sharing more from this fascinating book later in the week. (Hopefully!!!)
On the way to Nashville to pick up my wife at the airport, I stopped in the independent bookstore, Parnassus Books and picked this up last Saturday. I have only read one Murakami book, 1Q84, and found it wonderful. Colorless Tsukuri Tazaki intrigued me because of the closeness of the five friends in high school. I had a similar situation, having three other guy friends who I grew up with playing tennis and have stayed friends throughout our lives, even though I don’t talk to them as much as I would like.
This book does not have that many twists and turns but the character development is exquisite and it really makes you consider what is required to have close friendships and to keep them going. These characters in the book made an investment in each other and yet they could not see what others saw in them, strengths and even weaknesses. Murakami does a great job in exploring these weaknesses and in Tazaki’s case, having the courage to address these weaknesses bit by bit.
I am not a big fiction reader, but I must say that this book was very thought-provoking and in my opinion, is a must read for those that are interested in relationships and their fragility.
I have included an audio book excerpt for you to get a feel for the book:
“Keep your fears to yourself, but share your courage with others.”
Remember, you are your own doctor when it comes to curing cold feet.”
“Many a man who is proud of his right to say what he pleases wishes he had the courage to do so.”
“The courage to speak must be matched by the wisdom to listen.”
“Don’t be afraid to go our on a limb. That’s where the fruit is.”