From 1999 when I published my first book, Riding the Roller Coaster, I’ve tried to persuade readers that living with mental illness is not the end of the world. Despite our struggles, we can have a life worth living. If we trust God and the person he made us to be, we can do more than just survive.

A Life Worth Living: WithJustice for All is for all individuals who could use a boost in confidence or who would like to find more meaning in life. But I would especially like to encourage those who live with mental health challenges like I do. This is something I’ve done for many years now and I find the work most meaningful and fulfilling.

The injustice  of stigma causes many of us to have low self-esteem. It’s hard to feel good about ourselves when the whole world seems to be looking down on us. It’s hard to face the world with confidence.

I’m concerned, realizing that many with such low self-esteem are accepting that this is all life holds for them. They feel they have no worth. They feel they don’t belong. They don’t have the courage to try new things.

I’m praying you will find things in my writings that will spur you on and help your level of confidence grow. If you already have confidence but are frustrated because of how the world is treating you, I’m hoping you’ll be encouraged.

Included are stories about some great individuals who have overcome injustices of various kinds. Their lives will hopefully provide inspiration to help you grow. The reason I tell their stories is because we can learn from them. You may be pleasantly surprised when you see that some of them have traits that remind you of your own.

When you read about Gandhi, you will see that he became one of the greatest men in history, despite a fear of speaking in public. Nelson Mandela spent 27 years in prison, yet upon release he went on to bring racial peace and reconciliation to his deeply wounded nation of South Africa. Mother Teresa’s story and Martin Luther King Jr’s story are equally amazing, as are the others you’ll be reading about.

The first story I will feature is William Wilberforce and the abolition of the slave trade in Britain. The second is Charles Dickens and his efforts to show the evils of child labor during the Industrial Revolution. How did these men overcome the injustices of their day?

As you go through this book, I hope you will remember this: It’s good to be inspired, but you don’t have to do great things to lead a meaningful life.

This has been Part 1 of the series A LIFE WORTH LIVING. Read Part 2 – Justice