Stillness is the Key

I haven’t read the book yet, but I pre-ordered it and it arrived on my doorstep on Tuesday. I am so excited about this book.

Some background. I found Ryan Holiday on a podcast when he released Ego Is the Enemy. The podcast was simply a sample of him reading a selected chapter, entitled What’s Important to You? It tracks the post-Civil War careers of Ulysses G. Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman (known to us as General Sherman). While Grant was swept along into politics, eventually becoming president, he was out of his depth and did not know when to say no or how to be comfortable with himself. He accomplished little in office, and then was caught up in a Ponzi scheme. He finished his days trying to write his memoirs in order to leave something behind for his family.

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The Greatest Showman / The Perennial Tradition / Don’t Find Your Solace in Politics

The Greatest Showman. Image credit: 20th Century Fox

Again, my son Will picked the movie for a Friday-night movie night.  His choice was The Greatest Showman, which overtook our household last September and forced us into a late costume change from Moana characters into characters from The Greatest Showman for our church’s Halloween family costume contest (side-note: we won).

Will put it over-the-top for us. Shouting, “THIS IS THE GREATEST SHOW!” everywhere he went.

 
If you haven’t seen this movie of finding hope, beauty, and redemption in the wonder and diversity of humanity, I hope you’ll give it a chance. It’s a movie that is a loose biography of Phineas T. Barnum and his journey of putting together the Ringling Brothers and P.T. Barnum & Bailey circus. Sure, the movie might gloss over his penchant for profiteering or bending the truth slightly to sell a show. But the movie does recast P. T. Barnum as a “woke” Barnum. One who finds beauty in all of the diversity of humanity, then dresses it up (maybe with some exaggeration), and organically sells it as a extraordinary show. He brings people together previously outcast as “freaks” or “oddities,” from the fringes of society. Instead of shunning them, he brings them front and center, and celebrates them. 

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