A few years ago a woman read the book You Are Special, by Max Lucado to our homeschool group. Yes, this is a children’s book and we were all adults. She wasn’t recommending the story for us to read to our children. She was recommending this book for us as homeschoolers. Now, I’m recommending it to writers.
As she read the story of Punchinello, I became intrigued. But by the time she finished the thirteenth page I was swallowing a lump in my throat and fighting back the tears that threatened to spill in front of my fellow homeschooling moms.
You see, You Are Special, is a story about a simple wooden man trying with all his might to be seen as good, yet somehow he continually fails. The story begins by describing a town filled with wooden people who, as the author describes, spends their day giving out gold stars (kind of like book reviewers) to the beautiful and accomplished, or gray dots to the homely and deficient. At first, I thought it sounded silly. It didn’t relate to the real world. Didn’t they go to work? People don’t really spend their entire day judging.
Or do they?
Yes, we do go to work, school or church and try to be productive in these places. But while there, we too often spend our time giving out stickers (metaphorically, of course). Or just as bad, we allow others to stick them to us.
So what choked me up on thirteenth page? It’s the one where poor Punchinello performs for his gold star, but falls short, receiving dots instead. He tries to fix the problem, only to get more gray dots. Then, he works harder, to find he’s scratched his paint, and … you guessed it … gets even more. Oh, little fella, I relate. My heart ached for this wooden man, and I must admit, for me too.
So what’s a poor, dot-covered creature to do? Does he have the power to make those marks slip away? Not one for spoilers, I’m not going to tell you. You have to get the book. You won’t be sorry. However, I will mention the remedy also removes the gold stars.
Good for you, Max Lucado, for including this!!!
Because even the stars given by other wooden creatures are unnecessary when one has this cure.
Who is giving you gray dots and what are you going to do about them?
At the Edge of a Dark Forest