Thursday, October 4, 2018

The Wisdom of Listening

Author Marilyn R. Wilson acknowledges several individuals for the production of this book, including her family, publisher, editor, mentor, and friends. The following foreword by Sue Dumais affirms that the world would be better if more people listened, and the introduction afterward by Wilson asserts that this story was a passion project. She opens the main chapters by saying that most think their personal stories aren’t interesting, that she studied psychology in college, was a stay-at-home mother, and feels diversity provides strength. The second chapter discusses the Japanese principle of wabi-sabi, essentially beauty in imperfection.

On the subject of foreign terminology, she also dedicates a chapter to ujamaa, the Swahili term for familyhood, and asserts that everyone needs to find their own clan. Wilson notes that her children were subject to bullying in school, and that people need to shine light on their own insecurities to better themselves. She mentions her one-time lack of self-confidence, and suggests that people select their daily attire based on how they feel. In a chapter to which this reviewer can easily relate, she says that quirks can be talents, and are to be embraced.

One minor off-putting facet of the book is the author’s brief mention of the 2016 American election, although in the same chapter she rightly says the current generation is clued to social media. She further gives the maxim that her readers should build their own tribes and that no one succeeds whilst trapped in a bubble. Occasionally she highlights interviews with figures such as the artist Pamela Masik and a fashion designer named RozeMerie Cuevas.

Wilson occasionally reflects on her naivete, mentioning that a media source gave her a job opportunity despite her lack of experience and published material. She further reflects as the daughter of a minister that a life of service is the only kind worth living, and that she cares about the people who reach out to her. The author also mentions her bout with attention deficit disorder, although she reaffirms one’s need to embrace his or her quirks. She gives other stories of people whom she interviewed such as Canadian tap icon William Orlowski, who kept a positive attitude despite having Parkinson’s disease.

The writer gives rare glimpses into her tenure as a mother, mentioning that her daughter expressed interest in being a dancer at the age of two, not to mention the adverse physical effects of pointe ballet shoes. Wilson further highlights her search of fashion artists through want ads, and mentions listening to a talk by Sue Dumais in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The author asserts the need to allow empty moments in one’s daily schedule, and affirms that one should live while being completely present and focused.

Wilson mentions that covering fashion was out of her comfort zone, a meeting with mental health speaker Victoria Maxwell, and her noticing a rising push towards entrepreneurship. She also asks readers if they love their passions enough to make it their full-time occupation, and explains the odd symbol with which she ends her chapters after quotes from famous or obscure individuals, “Olio by Marilyn,” with olio being generally synonymous with miscellany.

The author discusses her fledgling experience as an author that she terms “paperback pregnancy,” and mulled over which interviews to include in her book. The latter portion of her book gives further experience in writing, watching James Cameron’s acclaimed Avatar and various animated feature films in 3D, one of her concluding points being that diversity is humanity’s greatest strength. She asserts that writing the book was a journey, but easier than composing her first publication.

Overall, this book, as the author affirms, was a journey, for this reviewer one in reading it, as well, and introduced him to individuals that were to him initially obscure, with plenty of inspirational stories behind the people whom Wilson interviewed. As a high-functioning autistic adult, he certainly agrees with the notion that one should embrace his or her quirks, and appreciated the steps through which the writer went to rise from obscurity. Despite some minor off-putting excerpts, this reviewer would easily recommend this story.

Book Details:

Book Title: The Wisdom of Listening: Pieces of Gold from a Decade of Interviewing and Life by Marilyn R. Wilson
Category: Adult Non-fiction, 220 pages
Genre: Self-Esteem, Motivational, Personal Transformation
Publisher: Real People - Real Lives Press
Release date: May 28, 2018
Tour dates: Sept 24 to Oct 12, 2018
Content Rating: G

Book Description:

The next time you're out in public, take a moment to look around you. Each and every person you see holds wisdom in their pockets--pieces of gold they've accumulated as they walked their own unique life journey.

Within these pages, Marilyn shares some of the many pieces of gold she has received over her decade-long career. They have been offered to her during interviews, through random encounters and while facing difficult challenges. The most important? We are each unique and exactly who we are meant to be.

Are you ready to dig for gold? All you need to do is be brave, be present in the moment and be open to the possibilities--then start a conversation.

Praise for The Wisdom of Listening:

"Every life has a story and, no matter our background, we share similar hopes, dreams and fears. This book not only gives you insight into the varied lives of its subjects but, through Marilyn's reflections, shows how we each walk a similar spiritual path."
- Robbin Whachell, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Bahamas Weekly

"Marilyn shows us, through her compassionate and incisive interviews, how to grasp and link those golden moments, like sparkling prisms of light, into an animated and profound acceptance of ourselves, the people we encounter, the relationships we build, and the dreams that will set us free."
- Gabriella Contestabile, Author, Founder of Su Misura Sensory Journeys

“I was reminded we are collectively each walking our own paths, but often experience similar emotions, feelings, obstacles, challenges, triumphs, rewards and successes. We all learn as we go and we all become wiser as time passes. This is humanity. The diversity in each of us as a whole is awesome.”
- RozeMerie Cuevas, Co-Founder and Designer at JAC by Jacqueline Conoir

Buy the Book:
Meet the Author:

Marilyn R. Wilson is a freelance writer, published author and speaker with a passion for interviewing. Her career as a writer began in an unusual way: by answering a Craigslist ad from a NYC magazine. The world shifted when she conducted her first interview—she had found her passion.

Since 2006, she has interviewed over a hundred and fifty people from around the globe, co-owned a local magazine, wrote freelance for others, worked as an editor, published two books and provided author support for her publisher. Her goal as an author -- to give wings to the stories of others and to pay forward some of the many "pieces of gold" received during interviews - bits of wisdom that have changed her life.

Connect with Marilyn: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram

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  1. Jeremy - Thanks so much opening your blog as a review stop for The Wisdom of Listening and for you honest comments on the book.