In a Heartbeat by Leigh Anne and Sean Tuohy with Sally Jenkins
(Henry Holt and Company, LLC, 2010, 269 pages)
If you’ve ever read the book or seen the movie The Blind Side, then I highly recommend reading In a Heartbeat. This is the story written from the perspective of Leigh Anne and Sean Tuohy (with Sally Jenkins). Leigh Ann and Sean opened their home to Michael Oher and eventually adopted him. This changed his life for good forever as well as the Tuohy’s.
The book delves into the growing up years of Leigh Anne and Sean. You learn about their backgrounds and their personalities, the experiences and people who helped shape them into being “cheerful givers.” The reader also gets a good look at the Tuohy’s own family life.
The Tuohy’s live by the theory that they call the Popcorn Theory. “You can’t help everyone. But you can try to help the hot ones who pop right up in front of your face.” They go on to explain that “The Popcorn Theory is about noticing others. It starts with recognizing a fellow soul by the roadside as kindred, even if he doesn’t seem to belong in your gated community and, at six foot five and over three hundred pounds, is the biggest piece of popcorn you ever saw. It’s about acknowledging that person’s potential and value. It’s about seeing him, instead of looking past him.” Sean says, “Like with popcorn, you don’t know which kernel’s gonna pop. But the hot ones just show up. It’s not hard to spot ‘em.”
In a Heartbeat is a book about giving. Through their giving the Tuohy’s have been able to affect the lives of others in addition to Michael’s. We don’t have to take on entire problems by ourselves. It’s about how each of us can make a difference in our own neighborhood or school. Or by volunteering our time in a soup kitchen, local hospital or with a child in foster care. We may not be able to do great big things but we can do small things greatly. “Our theory is that even if you only drop a dollar into the Salvation Army bucket, it’s enough if it’s given with a cheerful heart. You’d be amazed at what that dollar might do.” “Cheerful giving has amazing power. You can share that power, too.”
In a Heartbeat was so enjoyable to read. I also enjoyed the principles that it highlights. There is so much more in the Tuohy’s story that I could share. I encourage you to read it, too! Now I want to go watch The Blind Side again!