To Bee or Not To Bee by John Penberthy
A book for beeings who feel there’s more to life than just making money.
Buzz, a hardworking bee, hates his life in the hive and is known for this eccentric behavior. His theories about God and humanity surpass his fellow mates.
One day, he meets Bert, a wise, informative Bee who leads Buzz in his quest to answer life’s most controversial questions. Bert teaches Buzz to stop relating himself to others and find your own inner peace. However, these ideals are challenged when Boris, the bear, the attacks their hive, leaving hundreds of bees dead. This is soon followed by Bert’s demise and Buzz is shattered.
He decides to go on a quest to find a happier place; across the tree line and to the other side of the valley. Through this journey, he not only learns a lot about himself but applies Bert’s principles, only to learn that true happiness cannot be pursued, it must be ensued within one’ mind.
Will Buzz make it through the dangerous journey plagued with gusty winds and heavy rain? Will the survivors of Boris’s attack find a new home? Will Buzz ever be content with himself? You just have to read the book to find out.
I was blown away from Penberthy’s ability to raise such simple questions but which had not one answer. A few quotes struck a cord with me:
• “The power of the mind lies in perceiving the differences; the power of the heart lies in perceiving the similarities. Which power are you using?”
• “Religion doesn’t come from Gods; it comes from bees. Most folks don’t think they ca find God on their own, so they reply on others to show them the way. Problem is, God is within us as much as anywhere else, and most bees have a hard time believing they’re divine. So they look outside themselves in religion and ritual to try to satisfy their longing for God.”
• “Don’t believe anything anyone tells you—unless it rings true inside”
• “Who’s to say what’s failure and what’s success? Either way, you’ve grown. Success is simply being on your path. Only through experience can we expand beyond our limited perspective and start to see the larger picture of things.”
• “Perfection isn’t some state of affairs, it’s a state of mind.”
• “It’s perfect that we think life is imperfect. It’s what keeps each of us on our own unique path until eventually we realize our own perfection, our oneness. In my book, that’s heaven.”
• “The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master.”
• “In life, the pain is inescapable. Suffering is optional.”
• “To the extent you are afraid to die, you are afraid to live.”
• “Life is a journey from I to We”
• “The more secure we become in who we are, the less we are threatened by who they were.”
Yes, I am a quote freak.
The last time I finished a book without stopping was the night when the final installment of Harry Potter hit the stands.
Since then, I always wandered through Barnes and Nobles, skimming through a few books, but not really being captivated by any. So when I started reading To Bee or Not To Bee, I was surprised at how easily I was absorbed into this book. The book is an easy read but leaves you with some many unanswered questions; questions that you can answer only by looking within yourself.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who needs a dose of inspiration and a boost in self-confidence. It’s short but full of insight on the human psyche, morals, life, death, success, failure, God, etc. . . the list is endless really. Oh, the illustrations are wonderful!
Rating: 5/5 ☺
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