Scrolling through Facebook this morning, I was saddened to see the news about Harper Lee’s death. Her famous book, To Kill a Mockingbird, was published just under 10 years before I was born, so I’ve never known a world that hadn’t been influenced by Atticus and Scout. I have no idea when I first saw Gregory Peck starring in that film, but he seems as much a part of my childhood as many of my teachers and friends.
There was something extraordinary in the world that Harper Lee created between the cover of that book. As an English major who grew up hiding in the front hall to read for as long as possible, she was a shining light — a beacon proclaiming that women could tell powerful stories, that everything worth reading hadn’t been written by white men ages ago.
Rereading To Kill a Mockingbird is on my agenda for the very near future. I want to reconnect with its lessons as an adult, to reexamine the life lessons we learned with the Finches.
For now, I leave you with two of my favorite quotes from the book, and I offer a prayer that my words will have such powerful lessons:
“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”
“Real courage is when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.”