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BOOK REVIEW: Tom Lindley's "Opening Doors"

Full Circle Press
"Opening Doors" is Tom Lindley's second book.
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BOOK REVIEW: Opening Doors by Tom Lindley (Full Circle Press) 2016

Once again, after 2015’s Out of the Dust: Gene Rainbolt, A Life for Oklahoma, author and journalist Tom Lindley highlights what makes Oklahoma so special - its people.

While Lindley’s prior book only addressed one main character, Gene Rainbolt, this time, in Opening Doors, he shares stories about the lives of 13 incredible Oklahomans.

And a point that made me to really love this book is not only that these personalities are very diverse in gender, race, and religion, but they all find their own way to succeed even if they often had a difficult childhood or start in their life.

Sometimes these difficulties were due to bad parentings such as for Brandy Carter, financial problems, racism, or even physical handicap with the story of Greg Burns.

Sometimes the problems were more personal or societal such as the story of Jim Roth who was gay at the time it was still not very well accepted by the society, especially in a rural area such as Oklahoma.

However, they are all share achieving success in common, although necessarily in financial terms. What they did achieve was that they pushed the limits of their particular time in history by showing the way to others.

Additionally, the Oklahomans in Opening Doors have all given back to society, by sharing what they learned along the way.

And this last point is very important because thousands of people are successful today but how many give back not just only financially via donation to a non-profit but personally by giving its own time?

Not so many.

And in a society more and more selfish, it is pleasant to see that there are still people who are willing to share not only stories of their successes but also what they have learned from their mistakes.

Is it because these come from socially from the bottom of the society? Partially. It also comes from a certain generosity of these 13 folks who understood the game of the life, a little give and take.

It is unfortunate to see today that people and media pay more attention to footballers and other sportsmen who just play with a ball all day than to these people who are changing the world, working hard to make it a better place to live.

These people should be rewarded and their rich stories should be taught in school, and not only, as an example what it is possible to achieve with continued perseverance.

Opening Doors goes far in  not only describing the lives of these 13 people, but also by showing how much the society has changed, how much to be Black, Latinos, gay, Asian, Native American, handicapped, poor or even a woman is totally different today than during the last century.

Even if here are still many hurdles to overcome in society, it is encouraging to remember that society has made significant progress in recent decades.

This book totally deserves its title of Opening Doors. It is a source of inspiration for everyone, and a book to read with a happy heart.

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Olivier Rey

Olivier has traveled in 20 countries on six continents before landing in Norman. Native French...

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Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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