When my pre-published* copy of Scratch Beginnings arrived in the mail, I’ll admit I wasn’t jumping up and down with anticipation. Being so consumed in the chaotic daily grind of life lately, I couldn’t imagine sitting down to read a non-fiction book about a guy who radically changed his.
The back cover told the premise of how Adam Shepard, fresh out of college and disillusioned by the apathy he was witnessing all around him, set out with just $25 for a year with no jump start or connection to his past. He was out to prove a point to the world around him, as much as to himself.
A little intrigued, I cracked the cover…
Nearly a week later, I’ve pretty much read it twice. This book is amazing… Not because it’s incredibly written, with literary hooks and vivid imagery, however. This book isn’t one of those first person accounts on how the author is so much more enlightened and evolved then the rest of us. Reading the back cover, I’d wondered…
No- Scratch Beginnings is amazing because in it, Shepard takes a raw and honest look at the world around us. Sometimes he’s speaking about the parts of our world we often choose to ignore like the homeless shelters, ghettos and lower income scenes. Other times he’s talking about us- the shoppers, consumers, managers, employers, diners, drivers and the random people on the street. More than a few times I would read his account of interaction with a person and think “that could have been me.”
The reason I find this book so inspiring is the very reason that Adam set out on his journey to begin with. I don’t want to waste away my days, working towards the house built with grandeur. I want to be happy that I have a home at all. Genuinely happy. I don’t want to live to get by, I want to get by to live. I don’t want to be so wrapped up and consumed by what others must see in and think of my life while I’m swept up in the consumerism tide of fads and trends… In an economy that is tanking more and more, by the second, I think the release of this book is a necessary one. We’ve seen how living beyond our means isn’t helping us acheive contentment or happiness, so maybe someone’s account of the opposite can.
*Scratch Beginnings was origionally self published but is now being released mass market through Harper Collins.