Books given at Christmas can sometimes be a mixed blessing. Either they are worth it, or you feel guilty and finish what would normally be a toss-away. Luckily, Have a Little Faith was worth it. By the author of Tuesday’s with Morrie, Mitch Albom, we see first-hand the relationship between clerics and their congregants. Invited to deliver his rabbi’s eulogy, even though the rabbi is still living, Albom begins interviewing his rabbi to get to know him.
The journey that Albom inevitably found himself on was exploring our changing perceptions of God and the people who lead us there, our pastors, imams, rabbis, and yogis. If you’re rasied in a religious culture, as Albom was, it’s hard to see a role model such as his rabbi as an equal, as a man. Instead, we tend to put them on a pedestal.
Throughout his interviews with the rabbi, Albom went through the rough process of seeing someone who is a role model as a human being; someone with faults. It’s hard enough to see the faults in your parents as we get older, but to see them in some one we deem “perfect” is difficult to say the least.
What was touching about this memoir, was that Albom was so honest. Sometimes, in some memoirs, everything seems so touched up it’s hard to take the author honestly. With Albom, we get his raw feelings. His questions, his doubts, his confusions, his hurts, his epiphanies. Seeing his journey and his ultimate epiphanies after his eulogy was delivered was intriguing and inspiring. Albom is very self-aware which helps since this is a book about self-analysis and faith.
What’s sometimes complicated about faith is that our perspective on the matter changes as we get older. As children, we tend to take the faith of our parents, as teenagers we tend to rebel against it, as young adults we tend to question, and as adults we start to put the pieces all back together. This is what makes our faith-walk so unique to others, even of the same religion.
I think this is the universal application that anyone who is on the faith journey can relate to. Many times people give up along the way for reasons valid and not. But Albom seems to argue that it comes down to us and the god we chose to believe in. Too often we project, assume, and feel peer-pressure. But what it comes down to is what we, the individual believe and how we want to express those beliefs. I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in another perspective on faith.