July 8 ~  Make Them Think Short Guide to a Happy Life

"From the beginning it seemed to me that the point was not to make readers think like me. It was to make them think." ~ Anna Quindlen

Anna Quindlen

A woman who is a celebration of idealism, award-winning journalist and best-selling writer Anna Quindlen (1953-) was born on this day in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. With what she called "a happy childhood" and Catholic School education, she found her passion for writing at an early age.

"The validation by teachers led to my life as a writer. I always say if not them, not me," she said.

While still at Barnard College, she worked as a reporter with The New York Post then moved to the New York Times in 1977. Of her 18 years on staff, she said, "I worked across the board with people to get it right and to get it fast.Reporters are some of the most dedicated professional people I've ever known."

Whether its domestic violence, global warming, or feminism, Quindlen writes with clarity, wit, and honesty. She once said, "People read to know they're not alone. People write for the same reason. It's like putting a message in a bottle."

As a columnist, she explored politics and personal issues in About New York and Life in the Thirties. She won the 1992 Pulitzer Prize for commentary with her Op/Ed column Public and Private.

"Success that looks good to the world and doesn't feel good in your gut isn't success at all," she said. Pursuing her passion for writing fiction, she left The Times. Her best-selling novels-- Object Lessons (1991), One True Thing (1997), Black and Blue (1998), and Blessings (2003)-- roared with insight and talent. Her books are a joy to read.

Quindlen joined Newsweek magazine's editorial staff in 1999 and writes the back page The Last Word column every other week. "Sometimes you don't even have to state an opinion," she wrote. "You just have to state the facts."

Calling her work and family "life's twin passions," she has balanced her career with raising her three children. "You can reexperience the world through the eyes of your kids," she said.

"I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves."

Be kind to yourselfYour thoughts are immortal. Make them your own.