Feeling lost in the modern world, people often turn to self help books to discover truth and living a deeper and more fulfilled life.
In his slim, little volume, titled "Forget Self Help: Re-Examining the Golden Rule," Atlanta writer Thomas Fellows vividly describes how he battled severe depression, doubt and despair before sitting down to pen a book in which he turns to time-honored Biblical Scripture and even great literature to draw out pearls of wisdom for daily living.
"This book is geared toward Southern Christians but could easily be read and appreciated by all walks of life," declared Amazon in a recent review.
The book was launched on Amazon in October and has received critical success, ranking as high as No. 20 at one point in the category of dealing with clinical depression.
For his part, Fellows said he is simply amazed at the book's success.
"Although the book deals with more than overcoming depression, my experience with clinical depression in the last nine years is well documented," said Fellows, a resident of Atlanta, who is employed in software sales. Fellows serves as the Competition Sales Team Coach at Morehouse College in Atlanta.
Fellows dealt with his depression by giving back and showing kindness to others. It sounds simple, but Fellows said adhering to the principle of the "Golden Rule" really does the trick.
"From my own life, I have been the happiest when I give back to others," Fellows writes.
Fellows cites Galatians 6:2: "Carry each other's burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ."
Depression and despair affects most of the people who inhabit the planet, in one way or another, as Fellows points out.
Fellows writes that he was at his "lowest point" when he lost thousands of dollars in a day and half in a stock transaction.
He was encouraged by family and friends not to dwell on his own misfortune but become involved in philanthropic work, which he did to his own great satisfaction.
"One reason why so many people struggle with living out the Golden Rule is because in order to live out the Golden Rule, you have to break social norms, which is difficult for people to do," Fellows writes. "We don't like to take chances doing so because we live in a culture obsessed with what other people think. Everyone can agree though that anything worthwhile, anything worth striving for, has some element of rarity to it."
Whether it's teaching an enlisted soldier how to swim or giving courage to a waitress in Alabama and her fellow tip-earners to fight for fairer wages, Fellows urges that people step outside their own skin and have empathy for the plight of others.
"All of us have the power to bring heaven here on earth; the only way to do that is to treat people the way you would like to be treated," Fellows writes. "It can be a challenge to love our enemies if we are ultimately seeking power over them; loving our enemies tells them they can have power over us."
"Forget Self Help: Re-Examining the Golden Rule" is published by Borgo Publishing.
In a review by Amazon, the book is given a thumb's up:
"Southern in nature, "Forget Self Help" focuses on four main subjects; two literary and two historical. The book explores the profound actions and writings of Robert E. Lee and includes quotations and thoughts from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. From a literary perspective, the book focuses on the two books that have arguably changed the American landscape than any two books in history: "To Kill A Mockingbird" by Harper Lee and "Uncle Tom's Cabin" by Harriett Beecher Stowe.
"While the book references Scripture quite often, it challenges modern Christian thought in the way that both "To Kill A Mockingbird" and "Uncle Tom's Cabin" did. It emphasizes Jesus' teaching in Matthew 7:12 that "So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you."
"Forget Self-Help: Re-Examining The Golden Rule" may be ordered online at amazon.com. Book lovers are urged to order now in time for Christmas delivery.
Robert Lee Long is Community Editor of the DeSoto Times-Tribune. He may be contacted at email@example.com or at 662-429-6397, Ext. 252.