Reviewer Bani Sodermark. Bani has a Ph.D in mathematical physics and has been a teacher of physics and mathematics at the university level in both India and Sweden. For the last decade, her interests have been spirituality, healthy living and self-development. She has written a number of reviews on Amazon. Bani is a mother to two children.
Author:Timothy A. Natale
Publisher: Create Space
An Honest Self Evaluation
This is a book on self-awareness.
Tim Natale is an ambitious young Army veteran who demanded much of himself. Yet he got laid off because of a spinal injury. This injury put paid to his dreams of a long military career, but it did provide him with a chance of becoming an author. This book is his interesting and very readable debut.
In this book,Tim Natale tells the story of his life and describes how the person he is today (the man in the mirror) was formed by the influence of a handful of well chosen people who enriched his life and widened his horizons. He recalls their contributions to his life as he delves into incidents and challenges that he and they shared together and emerged victorious on an existential level. This book is his offering of thanksgiving to those beautiful souls who touched and illuminated his existence and enthused him to be the best person he could be at any point of time. This source of inspiration was the wellspring from which arose the writing of this book. In doing so, he fulfilled one of his childhood dreams of becoming a published author.
“When I look in the mirror now, I don’t just see myself, I see the people who taught me to be a man, I began to take on and try to copy the characteristics and traits that I admired in them...My greatest fear growing up and to this very day, is letting down the people who relied on and believed in me...I wish to share with you some of the lessons from the people I’ve met so far in my life and how they have helped me build the man in the mirror”.
Not surprisingly, the first people of this closely knit Italian family to figure in the list of those that have influenced him most, are his immediate family. He starts with his father, who exhorted him to look at “the man in the mirror” to be the best person he could possibly be and in doing so, “make a difference in the world.” This is followed by a chapter on his mother, who kept him “level-headed”, reminding him that “he couldn’t always go it alone”. The next to come are his most beloved, always smiling paternal grandfather and his “fireball” of a grandmother. These are followed by his two brothers. First, his difficult relation with his mentally challenged older brother, Nick.This is followed by his younger brother, Dominic to whom he “looks up to” because of his authentic nature.
Others that find mention in this book are his uncles Carl and Gregor, his Aunt Lulu and his cousins Matt, Michael, Emily and Rachel. Among his friends, he mentions Michael Hayslip, Ryan, Shane and Matt Dipasqua and his neighbor Chris. All these people have made an impact on the author because of their exceptional qualities.
Others outside Tim Natale’s circle of family and friends that have left an imprint on his soul include his principal from school who went beyond the bounds of duty to bring out the best in him. The list of people who have touched Tim Natale is augmented by a few people from the military, two of whom have passed on. This book has been dedicated to their memory.
Making a list of all that Tim learnt from his extended spiritual and emotional family is outside the scope of this review, apart from being the ultimate spoiler. Suffice it to say that one major lesson that I personally took with me from this book is that we are all connected, and if we focus on the best within each of us, while also accepting that nobody is perfect, we can all come together in harmony and create miracles through team spirit. As Tim Natale puts it “Life is the ultimate team spirit, and it took a long time to figure that out, but I did and I hope, through this book, I was able to share it with you”.
All in all, a very readable book, a book to make you think and introspect in a new way.