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  • Writer's pictureTerry Pace

Lives Other Than My Own

In Lives Other Than My Own (2009), Emannual Carrere (1957) writes of how empathy and understanding for others can provide healing and meaning in our lives. The writing is dramatic and vulnerable in this memoir of tragedy, courage and love. This is one of the books I have most suggested to folks looking to regain hope and direction after loss. In my view, his discovered truths are frankly gospel in their origin though this is not necessarily explicit in the story. This is one of those books that I return to often for the toughness of his hope and rawness of his love in the face of the often crushing and lonely world. The title reminds me also of a time when I was about 17 and my family went on some sort of a trip to or through Dallas. We stayed in a high rise hotel (a novelty to me in those days) and I recall a little side sitting area in the room with a large window looking out on the city. I sat a long time that night and wondered about all the lives other than my own. So I can see the budding psychologist in me even then. I wanted most of all for people to be healthy, to have love, security, equality and freedom, but I knew sitting there that night that so many were hurting as I looked over the city. Carrere's solution to these feelings of powerlessness and alienation match my own trials in trying to understand, assist, make peace with, learn from and love those I have had the chance to know.

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