Outside of Ourselves

In a recent article in the New York Times, Akhil Sharma, author of the novel, Family Life, talked about the vexing challenges any writer faces, but offered insights all of us can use to navigate life’s treacherous highways. For Sharma, it’s all about getting outside yourself and actually praying for other people.

After leading into her story about massive writers block and then moving on to a story about how her brother almost drowned, she says this:

So, sitting on the bench by the river that day, I remembered having read in Reader’s Digest — a periodical my family has undue reverence for — that when you are feeling bad, one way to make yourself feel better is to pray for others.

I began to pray for the people who were passing by. I prayed for the nanny pushing a stroller. I prayed for the young woman jogging by in spandex. I prayed for the little boy pedaling his bicycle. I prayed that each of them got the same things that I wanted for myself: that they have good health, peace of mind, financial security. By focusing on others and their needs, my own problems seemed less unique and, somehow, less pressing.

Read the full article in the New York Times here.

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