Books That Inspire (2017)
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (09/17)
In “The Wise Man Said” by Priya Kumar, readers meet Naina, an author under tremendous pressure from her publisher because she hasn’t followed through with what she promised. Giving him yet another false hope that she has work ready to be published, Naina takes off to find a peaceful spot in nature to escape and try to mentally regroup.
Her solitude is quickly interrupted when she comes across an elderly man with a long, flowing white beard and red tennis shoes. As they talk, Naina reaps a great deal of wisdom from his words. Dozing off, Naina awakens to find the man has gifted her with his handwritten journal. He is actually a very wealthy man who spends eleven months of the year traveling without his wealth. His journal tells the tale of twelve of his colorful adventures from around the world. Naina now has the perfect material for her book.
“The Wise Man Said” struck me as a wonderful guide to living. By giving up everything, the protagonist is able to experience life without being held back by material possessions or even wants. As he needs something, it comes to him. By not carrying around a lot of baggage, he is also not burdened by things.
Each of the twelve adventures ends with a note, “What I missed seeing then…,” and postscripts. This is the part where the author provides wise thoughts that really hit home. For me, the one that struck me the hardest was about learning to not help people. I often find myself wasting my resources and energy by trying to help someone that really doesn’t want my help because they are not ready to move out of the place where they are stuck. I provide them with assistance and then they take action to get stuck again. Kumar mentions that when we do this we lose a part of ourselves and in turn deny them a part of their own destiny. Reading this section actually made me feel like it was okay to step back and wait until someone sincerely asks for my intervention. This section actually came to me at the perfect time and I suspect that other readers will also find themselves having moments like this when they find chapters that really resonate with them.
“The Wise Man Said” is highly recommended reading for people who are looking to find answers at a higher level. I truly believe that everyone who reads this will benefit and all readers will enjoy the stories contained in the protagonist’s adventures. This would be a perfect selection for a spiritual group. I would love to hear people share their experiences about the wisdom they gain from these pages. I cannot wait to read more books by Priya Kumar!