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lanewillson

lanewillson

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The World's Strongest Librarian: A Memoir of Tourette's, Faith, Strength, and the Power of Family

The World's Strongest Librarian: A Memoir of Tourette's, Faith, Strength, and the Power of Family - Josh Hanagarne To me paradox is that place where the desires, logic and understandings of man intersect with the illogical, infinite, and divine. In that moment we see the difference between what we are capable of and what is possible, and see the miraculous. In that moment emotions flourish. Humility, awe, fear, wonder, inspiration, and so many more give form and order to perception allowing us to grow. My favorite expression of that moment is joy fueled laughter, and this is why The World's Strongest Librarian: A Memoir of Tourette's, Faith, Strength, and the Power of Family by Josh Hanagarne is such an incredible work of a life filled with miraculous moments of paradox.At six feet seven inches tall, Josh is the unexpected source of empathy and compassion that he offers to each of his patrons regardless of age, creed, or even grasp on reality. A Mormon, Josh would not likely be selected for a police lineup of suspected Steven King fanatics. Capable of unbelievable feats of strength that require absolute control of mind and body, you would never suspect that quite often that control is stolen by Tourette’s. Doubt is not typically what is anticipated in a man of faith. When predictable understanding is so frequently eroded by the unexpected, openness is required, curiosity builds, and there is no choice but to abandon perception and respond only with what is genuine, true, and real. A frightening proposition to be sure, but Josh makes it very much worth the adventure.Many folks view cursing and coarse language as disrespectful and rude, so it was a bit shocking to see F-bombs and other favorite curse words peppering the story. Not to make too much of “the Mormon thing”, but most of the Mormons I have known have been the super heroes of self-discipline and manners, so at first this paradox was quite confusing. However, it seemed as Josh’s adventure progressed that the language was included out of respect for the people he was quoting. This was even more apparent when that person was one of the many “patrons” emotional problems. In a world where so much of what they say is ignored or discounted, it seems that Josh’s care and respect for these folks outweighs any objection he might have for what they have said. The final paradox offered by The World’s Strongest Librarian is that it does not have an ending. All that is present in the story, the Tourette's, family, romance, strength, work, knowledge, and even more f-bombs, continues in Josh’s life today. All of this is met with gratitude, compassion, acceptance of life as it is, and a willingness to not allow life as it is to keep him from being who he is called to be. This paradox, gratitude and joy in the face of daily adversity, is the greatest and most inspiring result of Josh’s story and what made it so captivating to read. I hope that Josh will continue telling us his story as it unfolds.