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Harper Lee, Author of To Kill A Mockingbird, Has Died

  • Ryan Duncan blogspot for and Ryan Duncan, Entertainment and Culture editor
  • 2016 Feb 19

Famed novelist, Harper Lee, died today at the age of 89.  

Like most children, my first experience reading Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird was in Middle School English. Our teacher assigned the tiny novel as a first quarter project, but despite being an avid bookworm, I did everything I could to ignore it. I was still a kid, after all. I wanted to read about monsters and wizards and have adventures in faraway jungles. I ended up skimming the book just enough to pass with a B –, and the intention to never pick it up again. Thankfully, this resolution didn’t hold.

Through her extraordinary words, Harper Lee taught us all what it means to have courage. To Kill A Mocking Bird illustrates countless themes of truth, family, and hope while simultaneously tackling difficult subjects such as racial justice, gender roles, and equality. As a Christian, I can think of few other books which have influenced my faith on such a radical level. Though the film adaption that rose from her work can never meet the same standard of excellence, it also provided a powerful medium on which the ideals of love and grace were displayed. As we remember Lee for her contributions, let us reflect on some of the wisdom she left behind,                     

“Real courage is when you know you're licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.”

“There are just some kind of men who-who're so busy worrying about the next world they've never learned to live in this one, and you can look down the street and see the results.”

“The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience.”

“Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corncribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.”

May we all strive to live our lives as mockingbirds.

*Published 2/19/2016