When Dale Carnegie wrote, “When we hate our enemies, we are giving them power over us…Our enemies would dance with joy if only they knew how they were worrying us…and getting even with us! Our hate is not hurting them at all, but our hate is turning our days and nights into a hellish turmoil,” he probably never realized how those words would change someone’s life.
But it did. I know because of a letter that I got from a woman in Louisville, KY, after she read that quotation in one of my books. The letter began, “You’ll never know how your book has impacted my life. First of all let me say I’m 67-years-old, and at age 12 was violently raped twice. Never told anyone, but I haunted me for 55-years…I was angry and full of rage.”
The letter continues, “I keep this quote [“When we hate our enemies…”] taped to my kitchen cabinet so I see it everyday. I’ve taken my power back, and it has change my life.” That letter is only one of several that I’ve received about the impact a single quotation has made in someone’s life.
Another letter came from a teenager who said, “I know there are hundreds of other inspiring quote books in the world, yet it was your particular book that helped to save my life years ago.”
“My dad passed away when I was eleven,” the teenager wrote. “I remember the birthday when he had handed me your book, and how I hadn’t been too thrilled to see what it was. But looking back now, I guess he had been the only one who had seen into me—seen how depressed I had truly been—and done something about it.”
“Upon opening the book and reading such touching words, I had been struck with an emotion so deep and powerful, I still don’t know of any words to describe it—I only know it was then that I had begun to find myself; I had glimpsed my first twinkle of starlight in a dark, cloudy, sky in the pages of this book. And with each quote I had read, a new star had shown bright.”
After thanking me for writing the book and saying again “You saved my life. You really did!,” the young woman concludes, “And now I have a picture of my dad marking the page with the Og Mandino quote: ‘I will love the light for it shows me the way. Yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars.’”
Note: The Dale Carnegie quotation comes from the book Inspiration for a Lifetime and the Og Mandino quotation from Change Your Life!: A Little Book of Big Ideas. Both books are published by Viva Editions, Berkeley, CA.