This essay initially appeared
in the Chicago Tribune on 7.27.14.
When I was a young man, I reveled in my physical strength and intellectual acuity. Today, I’m very aware of my fragility.
When I was younger, I was hungry for new mountains to climb, new monsters to slay, and I was certain I could achieve any goal.
Today, at the age of 64, I’m very aware that I may not accomplish what I have set out to do, either because I just don’t have the talents or commitment or energy — or because I run out of time.
And I’ve come to the realization that, fragile and inadequate as I am, I can better face my remaining years as part of a group — as part of many groups, actually.
I’m sure this is a big reason why I’ve gotten even closer to my 13 siblings.
And why I play basketball every Sunday and Monday with different groups of guys. And why I’m in two all-male faith-sharing groups. And why I’m in a writers group.
And why I’m in two book clubs.
The truth about book clubs
My experience in both groups — and an observation often made by other members — is that some of the best discussions are rooted in books that, according to some or many of the group, weren’t very good.
The truth about book clubs, often overlooked, is that they’re not about books. They’re about life.
Not just talking about life. But living life. Continue reading