Middle school students in several Iowa cities heard from author V.J. Smith this week, the man who wrote the inspirational book, "The Richest Man in Town." It’s a collection of life’s lessons as told to Smith by a Wal Mart cashier named Marty. Speaking in Webster City, Smith told how the story has helped many people to realize they need to take a step back and re-evaulate what’s important in their lives.
"Teachers experience it every day, the kids who are struggling," Smith says, "a lot of kids are hurting and here’s a story they gravitate to because a lot of kids aren’t going to have the right car. They aren’t going to have the right house. They’re never going to have a big paycheck and all of the sudden, I’m standing there saying, ‘It’s okay, because there’s something far more important that’s inside you.’"
Smith is a native of Brookings, South Dakota, and his book is now in its tenth printing. He says he can’t get over the many messages of support he has received. He says he gets e-mails from people all over the country who have had their lives changed by reading the book and they want to share their stories. The subject, Marty, is considered rich because he was loved, respected and content in every aspect of his life, with no regrets. Smith says Marty’s simple philosophies show what happens when you take the time to be kind and compassionate. He is planning a sequel.
He says the next book will be a reaction to Marty’s story, saying he could go on talking for five hours about the people who’ve been significantly moved by the original book. For information about Smith, visit his website .