Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Eat Bananas and Follow Your Heart


Eat Bananas and Follow Your Heart: Essays on Life, Politics, Baseball, and Religion by Mark J. Ehlers is a powerful exploration of what makes us human, filled with wit, wisdom, and aphorisms that rival those of Emerson or Thoreau. 
 
Among his essays are a personal reflection on “The Meaning of Fifty” when he “sensed for the first time that certain of my dreams may forever be deferred, that time is a gift, its limits felt with the passing of each year,” bipartisanship, the recession, Afghanistan, Obama, faith and religion.  The essay “Eat Bananas and Follow Your Heart,” an imaginary commencement essay to the Class of 2010, is a particularly profound selection from Ehlers, fusing the wisdom that he has garnered throughout life, from the amusing “Eat Bananas,” which are high in potassium and B6 and good for your heart, nerves, kidneys, and bones to the more serious, “Follow your heart, but don’t completely ignore your head.  Pursue your dreams, but fulfill your obligations.  Understand the importance of real income, but do not devalue your psychic income—the level of satisfaction derived from a job.”  

Ehlers resonates as the voice of reason in politics and in life, providing readers with his collective wisdom in a sincere manner.  His book is incredibly quotable and will inevitably gather readers as both fans of his and of his blog, Ehlers on Everything, where he continues to provide online readers with his insight on everything in new entries that include a Mother’s Day tribute, thoughts on Israel, and the enduring power of music.  Ehlers’s essays are intelligent, carefully constructed, uplifting, thought-provoking, and reflective.  His deeply meaningful words will move readers to reflect on their lives, pursue their dreams, keep learning, and if nothing else, they won’t forget the bananas.