Celebrating an important voice today.

This morning, my English-teacher-for-25-years mom sent me the news that today—July 11—is the anniversary of the publication of To Kill a Mockingbird . . . which was first published in 1960.

She also sent along a few quotes from Harper Lee. The following was my favorite in the bunch:

“The book to read is not the one which thinks for you, but the one which makes you think. No book in the world equals the Bible for that.”

Harper Lee took 2 ½ years to write To Kill a Mockingbird, reportedly getting so frustrated with the manuscript at one point that she threw it out her window into the snow below. (Her agent made her go out and retrieve every last page.) TKAM went on to win the Pulitzer Prize.

The most fascinating part of Lee’s story, to me, is that she never published another novel.  To Kill a Mockingbird has never been out of print since its publication 52 years ago, and yet it was her one and only.

Today, I’m saying thank you to Harper Lee for her beautiful book . . . for pushing through the many barriers she undoubtedly faced to get it into our hands . . . for freedom-fighting.

Here’s to the voices that keep ringing in our heads . . . the artists who bring life alive right before us . . . who keep us brooding . . . who bring us back to beauty. Harper Lee is certainly one of those voices.

To all of us who have thoughts and ideas and freedom-fighting of our own that we’d like to birth into the world . . . let’s think of those voices who fought against the madness . . . and let’s be emboldened to do the work that is before us.

I believe in you. Now get to work.

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