book 6 of 10 for the Orbis Terrarum 09 Challenge
Imagine: a village in Nigeria. A family has gathered around a beloved grandfather in his home as he uses his last moments to share with his wives, children and grandchildren all the wisdom he has gained through pondering and through experience. Tomi, this author of this book, is one of those beloved grandchildren and A Worthy Legacy is a collection she has made of those thoughts and inspirations that her grandfather gleaned from a long and full life.
I love how Tomi set up the story and my only complaint is that I wanted more about her life in Nigeria! She did a beautiful job describing some of the rituals and traditions that surround the ending of life. But, that wasn't her main point, as I understood after reading it. She wanted to put her grandfather's knowledge into the world's hands, to hopefully provide even just one person the strength to find renewed dignity or to choose to put their life on a better path.
What I am appreciating, now that I am letting his thoughts mull around in my mind, is that he and I, two completely different people who have led absolutely different lives on opposite sides of this planet - we believe the same things about how to live a good life. This elderly gentleman who grew up in a Nigerian village wanted to teach his children the same things that I want to teach mine. His simple words never startled me or surprised me - the writing is not lyrical or jubilant or complex. You merely come away from the book knowing that Tomi's grandfather left this life knowing what was worth caring about - and that if we read closely, we might be tempted to look for that same knowledge ourselves.