Thursday, November 11, 2010

Political Views, Capable, and a Little Luck

The Very Persistent Gappers of FripI love the political parallels in the book, The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip by George Saunders. I cannot read the book and not be reminded of my somewhat liberal upbringing in a very (very) conservative atmosphere.

The people in the story blame "luck" for their various trials, blessings, responsibilities, and resulting happiness (or lack thereof) in their lives in the tiny sea town called Frip. The people are quick to consider only their own situations, rather than that of others, and are surprised when those with worse "luck" seek their help.

It is hard to look beyond our own needs, especially when it comes to political views and our expectations of our government bodies and representatives. It is extremely difficult to look at the big picture, to seek ways to improve the lives of everyone around us, and not just our own. I love Capable's ingenuity and inner strength, not only to find a way to overcome the persistent gappers, but also to forgive others and teach them the value of community. Their lives and the challenges to the residents of Frip are changed forever because of her thoughtfulness, determination to succeed, and her willingness to share her material goods when her "luck" came back.

I read it to my kids. They loved the story and the pictures.

But, really, I think I enjoyed it and appreciated it much more than they did. I think I stole this copy from my parents' bookshelf years ago. I hope they don't miss it - it's definitely a keeper.

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