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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Just Who Will You Be by Maria Shriver is a Very Special Little Book

The next time you find yourself wondering what to get for a special person in your life - whether it's a gift for a special occasion or you just want to do something special for them - I have a perfect suggestion.

A book makes an amazing gift simply because of the world it opens. If it's the right book, it can do so much more than just enlighten and entertain the reader. It can change their world. Just Who Will You Be? by Maria Shriver fits this description as beautifully as Marilyn Monroe fit into her white dress.

While this book is perfect for readers of any age, it's especially ideal for young people. Maria Shriver challenges the reader to decide not what they want to be, but who they want to be. There is a wealth of simplistic beauty in that approach.

Think about it. Young people (from 4 to 18) are often asked "What do you want to be when you grow up?" or "What are you going to be?" A much better approach would be, "What sort of person are you going to be when you grow up?" or "Who do you want to be?" One's quality of life is, after all, much more determined by WHO we are rather than WHAT we do.

This extremely beautifully written and easily digested book is one that should be required reading in every high school and university.

I've always admired Maria Shriver for her intelligence, community service, style, grace, beauty and (especially) for the way she embraces being a wife and mother. However, I never realized what a wonderful author she is. She's one of those authors who's words flow so beautifully that you can read her writing in one sitting - especially given the fact that this book is less than 100 pages. This is, of course, what makes it ideal for young people. They don't sit still for very long, so they appreciate something they can read in one sitting.

Maria Shriver includes a list of 10 things she pledged to herself, in order to keep herself focused on exactly who she wants to be. She has included space in the back of the book for the reader to make his or her own pledge. She urges the reader to write in pencil because, "...just like you, it's bound to change."

I absolutely love all of Maria's pledges, but I wanted to share the first one with you (for the rest, please get a copy of the book - I know you'll love it):

"I pledge to 'show up' in my life as myself, not as an imitation of anyone else." - Maria Shriver

** Just remember, when you give books to young people, they'll think you're a much cooler person if you put the book in a gift bag along with a box of candy or a gift card from Pizza Hut, Game Stop, Radio Shack, Target, Starbucks...


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