To be careful with people and with words was a rare and beautiful thing.

Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Author Benjamin Alire Saenz wrote this line in his young adult novel “Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe.” The book’s protagonist is 15-year-old Aristotle “Ari” Mendoza, a quiet and lonely boy whose father comes home from the Vietnam War a changed man. At first, Ari is angry at his father’s uncommunicative and withdrawn manner, but as he matures, he is able to see it from a new perspective. Ari reflects, “And loved my father too, for the careful way he spoke. I came to understand that my father was a careful man.” Ari sees there is beauty in understanding the power our words can have.