I enjoyed last week’s reading group so much that I went back.
The group is run by ‘The Reader‘ and is based at my local branch of MIND. The idea is that instead of a book group where you only meet once a month to discuss a full novel we read a short story and a poem around the same theme. It allows us to finish a whole story and have much more in depth discussions around the theme all in one sitting. It is perfect for me at the moment as my concentration span still isn’t good enough to finish and remember a whole novel but the short stories are great and make me think.
Anyway, this week’s story was ‘The Diamond Necklace‘ by Guy de Maupassant. There are a couple of good talking points. One is about being happy with our lives and not always lusting after the life someone else leads.
So many of us do this, myself included. We are bombarded with advertising and peer pressure to buy, buy, buy. Buy this gadget and you’ll lose weight, buy this dress and you’ll suddenly be pretty, buy this phone because all your friends have and they’ll bully you if you don’t etc etc. How many of us are truly happy with what we do have in our lives right now? Well we should be. If you are reading this you have the luxury of choice, you have access to the internet, you have a shelter to read it from. Most of us are so lucky with what we do have and we don’t appreciate it. I know I am guilty of this.
Reading this story has made me stop and appreciate what I do have in life. I have a house, an income, a daughter, a partner, clothes to wear, food to eat, the internet, a group to go to, my brain….
The other talking point is about owning up to your mistakes. I won’t ruin the ending in case you want to go to the link above and read the story but let me just say things would have turned out differently if the girl in the story had of just owned up to her mistake. Again this is something I can struggle with, I don’t like admitting when I am wrong and I certainly don’t like looking a fool in front of people.
The poem we read was ‘Overheard on a Saltmarsh‘ featuring a goblin and a nymph arguing over some green glass beads. I couldn’t get the idea of Lord of the Rings and Gollum out of my head but it’s a very good poem for again thinking about the idea of possessions and what makes us truly happy. How many of us have been in a situation where we have fallen out with people over material possessions or things that don’t really matter in the grand scheme of things?