Readers who savor pithy aphorisms with a spiritual flavor will appreciate this book of shortcut inspirations. From one-line zingers to modern sonnets, it dispenses words of wisdom uttered or authored by various contemporary and historical luminaries (Rabbi Hillel, Eleanor Roosevelt, Woody Allen), as well as a few fictional ones (Star Wars' Yoda, Forrest Gump). In his introduction, Pockell expresses his hope that these quotations will serve as an""essential arsenal of wisdom"" in a time when society's institutions fail to provide a moral compass. The book is divided into""Contents"" a la Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography:""Be True to Yourself,""""Be Mindful of Others,""""Be Direct and Confident,"" etc. Despite the seemingly staid set-up, this book doesn't wallow in bland pronouncements or saccharine sentiments; some of these quotes fairly crackle with quirky humor (e.g. Mark Twain on practical honesty:""If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything""). Pockell's selections touch on both spiritual guidance and practical advice, in tones ranging from reflective to wry. The book succeeds best when the quotes are short, sweet and sharp, and pulled from diverse sources to form a chorus of soothingly sane voices.
Reviewed on: 05/10/2004 Release date: 05/01/2004 Genre: Nonfiction