Quotes from “The King in the Window” by Adam Gopnik

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king in window book coverI recently read “The King in the Window” at the suggestion of my 12 year-old niece. I am so glad I did. As per usual I gleaned quotes from this book to add to my collection. Below are the two that were most meaningful.

One.Success is usually a feeling of mere relief, where failure is pain. Happiness, you see, lies in neither, but in sticking to a daily ritual and becoming absorbed in something useful.” (Mrs .Pearson said this to Oliver. pp 402-403)

I have found daily rituals and being absorbed in something useful, something bigger than myself, truly does bring happiness. And it brings me contentment too.

My daily rituals help me structure my life so I don’t have to always think about the daily things that need doing. I can put my energy toward other things. These rituals make me feel calmer and my life not so chaotic. I must admit that following these rituals is something I have to, at times, make myself follow.

It is a big deal now-a-days to find something that is bigger than yourself, something more than you can accomplish on your own. I believe that parenting is certainly something that falls into this category. And I am blessed that I believe my job falls into this category as well.

Like with parenting, my job deals with managing ongoing people needs. I could look at both just in that vein, like they are merely managing people. And many people do just that. However, I see more.

Both require that I give the best of me and rely on God’s guidance to give my best according to His leading.

Two. The golden lie was the greatest lie of all – it was the lie you told others about your own courage, in order to make them courageous. And what made it golden, Oliver saw, was that it was shiny, reflective. Your pretending to be brave when you weren’t made other people braver than they really were – and their bravery bounced back on you, as Charlie’s was doing now, and made you brave. The golden lie was the lie of courage when you didn’t have it, which meant you did, which made you brave.” (Oliver to himself. p 359)

I wonder how many great people have done this? I have heard that being brave isn’t really the absence of fear, but going ahead and doing the brave thing. And like so many things in life, our actions do indeed impact others – for the good and ill.

I want my actions to be brave ones. So as long as bravery is “faking” the feeling and doing the action, I can do that – at least most of the time.

Your Turn . . .

  1. If you have read this book, what are some quotes that you’ve especially enjoyed? Why?
  2. Do either of the above quotes resonate with you? If yes, why?
  3. What do you think are necessary ingredients for happiness?
  4. What do you include in your daily rituals?
  5. Are you absorbed in something bigger than yourself? If yes, what?
  6. What do you think about this quote on bravery?
  7. When you are brave, do you feel brave?

Related Posts . . . 

  1. 3 REASONS I Have a Regular Quiet Time (aka Devotions)
  2.  4 Things I Learned from Going DOWN the Sand Dunes
  3. Bulletin Board Gives Reason to Stop Worrying and to Praise God
  4. How to Be Happy, Healthy and Holy
  5. People I NEED When Life Stinks
  6. What Activity Are You Still Working Up The Courage To Try?
  7. Writing Down and Reading About Blessings Make You 25% Happier
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