Books taught me that it's safer and more comfortable to stay within what we know; that when we throw ourselves into the fire, we may not emerge on the other side, and if we do, we will have burns. Books taught me that pain is the inevitable side effect of a life lived to the fullest. Books taught me to dream, to hope, to have courage when needed.
In good books, the heroes struggle with themselves and with what the world wants from them. Heroes screw up, pick themselves up, stumble again, somehow get back up... etc.The bad guys are not wholly bad either - we see their bullying tendencies stem from deep insecurities, and we also see how painful these insecurities are to hold.
For me, great books teach me that people can be base, immoral, and vulgar; but they also teach the opposite: that people can be noble, honourable, and sometimes, even godlike. People can be almost mystical if they are wise enough, strong enough. The world will still throw rocks at them (like it does at everyone else) but they can handle it better. They can handle it very well.
I know that I need more focus, more courage, more professionalism, more...goals. But I really do think that there are things that someone like me can contribute, and despite all I lack (and I'm working on it!!!), I have a lot to give.
I guess the question is where can I use what I have? Who needs what I have?
And also, as I change to adapt to what my environment needs of me, can I still hold on to what I value in myself now?