Friday, February 20, 2009

The Measure of a Man: A Spiritual Autobiography by Sidney Poitier

I have been a fan of Sidney Poitier ever since I first watched "To Sir With Love"! Who hasn't? But is it the character? Or is it the man? I consider him to be one of our greatest actors and yet so quietly he came to greatness. Until reading this autobiography, I can't say I knew very much about Sidney Poitier. Now, I can say that my respect for him is well-placed and I'm even more a fan.

From his childhood, growing up in poverty on Cat Island in the Bahamas, to his battle with prostate cancer, this book reveals the life of a man of dignity. I found his childhood filled with treasured memories growing up with a freedom most children never know and also packed with lessons that most never learn, but that stood him well in later life. I found myself agreeing with his thoughts and comparisons of that childhood with respect to today's children with their video games and need for constant outside stimulus.

Times were different then, and so were the struggles he faced. He was a man who worked hard and took pride in what he accomplished. When things were difficult, he kept his focus and never gave up. I appreciated his discussions about the making of his films and his perspective relating the stories to what was happening historically. The one thing I have to respect him for is his humility. Often I noticed him giving credit to those who came before him for paving the way for him and those who came after.

I recommend reading this book. We can all learn something from such a thoughtful, intelligent, respectful human being.


thatsthebook said...

I've heard such great things about this book. I really should hunt it down and read it.

lilly said...

I have always wanted to read this book but other than Oprah blurbs I haven't heard any honest opinions on it. I'm glad you reviewed it, i'll be putting it on my wish list.