A reason for living
Nardis Press 2004
Inspirational and philosophical non-fiction
ISBN: 1589611659 pp 210.
for a better, wiser, happier life …
A Reason for Living is half autobiographical and half philosophical in style. The narrative is based on the life experiences and philosophy of the author, following a diving accident when he was 17 that left him a near quadriplegic. Written 25 years later, with the benefit of hindsight and experience, the story reflects back on his search for a new meaning and happiness within the confines of reality.
The book explores a personal journey through periods of denial, bitterness and depression to achieve happiness and a fulfilling life. These emotions and circumstances are discussed openly and honestly. Their impact at first profound and overwhelming. However, in retrospect and through a different prism, a more positive outcome emerged. A Reason for Living considers the effect these emotions had on the author's recovery and explores strategies for helping others in similar situations.
Prior to his diving accident Laurent had been active and athletic. In the first chapter he talks about his state of mind following the accident, his refusal to accept what had happened and how this affected his rehabilitation. There are also suggestions for practical ways professionals, family and friends might be able to help a person to acknowledge the truth and to come to terms with their paralysis. The various factors at play are explained from an individual and medical perspective, such as time, fear, pride, honesty and role models.
"My physical assets had been an obvious asset and I had banked on them as my primary means of enjoying life … I had never exploited my intellectual resources, which lay beyond my wealth of muscles, in the depth of my being."
The challenge to become an "athlete of the soul" grew from a love of poetry, which marked a turning point in his life, followed by an interest in art and philosophy that became a passion and evolved from a "vocation as a poet into a vocation as a thinker with a positive message to convey".
"My diving accident was a misfortune that deprived me extensively of life's meaning. It was also a chance to discover a deeper and truer reason for living … The worst tragedy was my failure to appreciate the abilities that had survived my diving accident, while I grieved over those that had not. These surviving abilities enabled me, with time and effort, to attain a new happiness, more intellectual and spiritual than physical, more human in comparison to the old one."
A Reason for Living is insightful and thought-provoking. On one level it is a personal story of the experiences, feelings and coping strategies of an individual following a high level spinal cord injury, on another it is a philosophical journey, a search for meaning and understanding. It could also be described as a self-help book, opening the mind to ideas and possibilities. While on another level still it provides valuable observations about working with people with spinal cord injuries from an insider's point of view. If you look, you might also find it catalogued with other motivational guides that show you how to achieve greater success and happiness.
"The knowledge of life enhances the experience of it."
"Life is a journey … that can be travelled in a variety of ways."
"Believe in (your) potential beyond (your) experience of it"
It is also available through the distributor Ingram or, if you'd like to receive an autographed copy or a number of them (for gifts), contact the author directly to make arrangements.
End of Google links