The fascination with the book starts with the design that is beautifully Ghanaian. The style of writing corroborates the impression that these quotations emanated from the inner self of the author.
The “Inspirational Quotes for Living” is a very good book for individuals who are sincerely searching for a purpose of their lives. It is a book that can assist one’s search for success in life while equipping the individual with a skill of “staying out of bad trouble”.
I consider Senior Secondary School students and University students as potential primary targets while others outside this group, i.e. postgraduate students would be secondary targets. I wish to emphasize that the book would also be valuable to the general public!
I have the pleasure of inviting all young persons with a desire to be successful in life to obtain a copy of the book entitled “Inspirational Quotes for Living” by Marian Asantewah Nkansah. – Prof. James Hawkins Ephraim
“Wisdom,” they say “comes with age and experience!” In our African context, wisdom is associated with old age, which in turn, is equated with greying, that is, having grey hair.
The author whose book we are here to launch surely defies this old adage, because at age 40 we can hardly classify Prof. Marian Nkansah as old. Also, so far as I know, she has not gone grey!
And, here in lies the paradox: Prof. Marian Nkansah is neither old nor grey! Yet, her book, “Inspirational Quotes for Living,” is full of wisdom. What is even admirable is that she is a chemist by training, not a trained creative writer. Yet, she creatively presents quotations that not simply inspire but evoke deep thoughts and reflections on life.
Obviously, you don’t have to be old and grey before becoming wise. The nourishment by your environment, the exposure to life in all its dimensions, the knowledge and skills, critical thinking, and spiritual development – all add up to produce the person who is wise. The wise person thinks, reflects and introspects on subjects before pronouncing.
Interestingly, Prof. Nkansah set out to write this thought-provoking work when she turned 40. Reaching this landmark in her life, she says, sent her into “deep introspection” of life. While few of us even notice such a landmark as we journey through life, she was struck by it to retrace those 40 years and to recollect and craft what had inspired her all along.
Her forty years certainly have been action-packed with tremendous achievements in profession or career and personal growth. One of the youngest women professors in the country, Prof. Nkansah has a global reach. As a member of the Global Young Academy, she has engaged extensively in activities to groom younger scientists, particularly in Africa. In the process, she has acquired abundant insights on life and wisdom, which she gladly shares in the book of quotations.
Let us be minded of quotations, especially when they are quotable. They are short expressions that are richly loaded with wisdom. We normally call such quotations proverbs or wise sayings. One such African proverb goes: “A wise man never knows all; only a fool knows everything.” I cite this proverb here as the reviewer to plead with you to bear with me because I don’t know much about wise sayings to be playing this role!
But I recall what Chinua Achebe of Nigeria once said: “proverbs are the palm oil with which words are eaten.” He said so to emphasize that wise sayings or proverbs are embedded in our language. We stimulate deep thinking and introspection and we advise and guide and even chastise by means of proverbs. Thus, proverbs do not simply enrich our language expression; they are a powerful means of communicating impactful messages.
The book under review contains quotations beautifully scripted on each page. They convey messages that relate to the various aspects of human life and humanity generally. The quotations constitute the author’s reflections on life which led her to write “these quotes that came straight from within,” until the collection was completed.
For illustration, a few samples from the book will suffice.
- When you make it, show others how to do it (p2)
- Speaking the truth is always liberating. Don’t keep up appearances (p6)
- Keep that smile on. You may be the only source of light in someone’s dark world (p9)
- Tough times make you grow and eventually glow (p22)
- Giving without expectation is more rewarding than any award (p23)
- If someone shows you their vulnerability, show them your respect and reliability (26)
- Make the journey worthwhile by celebrating the little accomplishments while you keep your eye on the prize (p35)
- Let every word that comes out of your mouth make people and not break them (p42)
- It takes a lifetime for some people to find their purpose. Be thankful if you know yours (43)
- When you work for the good of others, all the forces of nature align for your good (p54)
- Bad habits are not easy to break but keep your resolve until goodness becomes second nature (p55)
- Life would be boring if it was all wins. Sometimes you need to lose to be better prepared for the next big win (p64)
- Let your actions and output do more of the talking than your tongue (p69)
- Don’t flog yourself over your past mistakes. Learn from them and practice self- forgiveness (p74)
- No matter the season, grass remains grass whether green or brown. That’s simply its essence (p79)
- Learn to laugh at yourself sometimes so that you are not so surprised when other do (p80)
- You may not consider the ability to swim important until your world is flooded with rain and you can’t find your feet (p84)
The richness of the quotations and their relevance to the journey of life are all too palpable. For instance, we are taught to forgive those who sin against us. But do we know self-forgiveness when we sin or make mistakes against ourselves? One of the quotations teaches what to do, instead of sulking or lamenting our shortcomings: “Don’t flog yourself over past mistakes. Learn from them and practice self-forgiveness.” But for time constraint, each could be analyzed for the lessons they carry and inspirational import.
I can confidently say that the author’s objective to craft “motivational words to guide the reader through the highs and lows of life” has been more than accomplished. I don’t believe anyone will read without being inspired.
Finally, Prof. Nkansah’s “Inspirational Quotes for Living,” has added to the rich repertoire of our accumulated wisdom as expressed through wise sayings and proverbs. – Baffour Agyeman-Duah