Find the Good by Heather Lende

Find the Good
Heather Lende
Philosophy
Algonquin Books
April 28, 2015
176

An obituary writer in a small town in Alaska describes how to live a fuller and more exhilarating life by simply finding the positive aspects of our own lives and experiences and encourages readers to make the most of life every day.

Find the Good Book Cover

Find the Good was a sweet and easy read that inspires readers to do as the title says, find the good. I found the book while scrolling through my local eLibrary’s selection of self-help books. I was feeling a little down and knew that I needed a mental boost. I was searching for something that wasn’t written by a doctor (no offense to them) and that would just brighten up my gloomy feeling days. The cover was fun with a bright lemon, and I realized the premise was perfect immediately.

Heather Lende writes obituaries in a small town in Alaska. This offers a unique look into the accomplishments and regrets of people she is sometimes close to, or otherwise is at least acquainted. Lende’s process of writing an obituary includes a formal outfit and extreme kindness for the family she must interview after the passing of their loved one. In one of the stories she shares, she begins to write for a woman who hasn’t yet passed away. Faced with terminal illness, the woman could speak to her own obituary. This may seem like a downright depressing read, but it is the opposite. The people that Lende chose to share in this story led both interesting and meaningful lives, and yet they were “ordinary”. None of them were famous, their names won’t be written into history books, but they made an impact on the world through the lives of others in this small Alaskan town.

Lende also shares important moments in her own life with her own husband, children, grandchildren, and quirky pets. Including a cat that she should have been allergic too and didn’t plan to acquire. The result of this book is a smile and personal reflection. This author is a grandmother that has lived through the seasons and has her own wisdom to share. She also has the lessons she’s learned from many other people’s life accomplishments that she’s had the honor of documenting.

The reason this book spoke to me is because of where these messages came from. Whenever I get upset about the mess in my house, or that I don’t own my house, I remind myself that I don’t want to be known as the woman who kept life clean and orderly. No one will care if my house was always clean and whether I owned or rented the house. I want people to remember me as kind and compassionate. I want to have a meaningful impact on people so that they can have a little more sunshine in their own journeys on earth. Find the Good, teaches us to look for the good in ordinary life. Little normal actions can have big positive ripples.

“Find the good, praise the good, and do good, because you are still able to and because what moves your heart will remain long after you are gone…”
– Heather Lende

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