Self Help

Veteran officer draws on experience to pen self-help book

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Posted: Mar. 22, 2018 8:50 am

PLEASANT HILL, Ill. — The idea for Tom Mavity’s new book, “T.H.A.N.K. Y.O.U.,” came to the 25-year law enforcement veteran in a dream about four years ago.

Mavity sees it as a sort of divine intervention. He had not considered becoming an author, but he came out of that momentous dream with an outline and a title. He started writing the book about a month after his dream. It took him about three years of writing between shifts to finish it.

“Something was telling me to write this, and everything just fell into place,” Mavity said.

In the book, Mavity relates stories from life lessons he picked up through playing sports and working in the field as an officer to explore the power and importance of using positive words and carrying out actions with gratitude.

“I want this book to touch somebody’s heart,” he said. “In this day and age, we don’t always have somebody who is a great mentor in our life. Not everybody had the positive influences I had.”

Mavity, an Indiana native who now lives in Pleasant Hill, followed his father, a deputy marshal, into law enforcement. His older brother also is a retired law enforcement officer.

“In the book I call my brother and sister my heroes,” he said. “I did everything the same as they did. I became an athlete; I became a police officer; I followed all the values they had.”

Mavity strives to always apply the values of the book in his own life.

“It can be difficult to stay positive some days,” he said. “I read a lot of self-help books, and I read the Bible, and it gives me peace for the day.”

The book has eight chapters, one for each letter in the words “thank you.” For each chapter, Mavity selected about 25 words that begin with the same letter for that chapter. He wrote a passage applying each word to the principles of the book or to his life experiences.

To select the words for each paragraph, he broke out an old dictionary that belonged to his father in the 1950s.

“I took words that I thought would be positive for somebody, that I thought they could use,” he said. “With a word, I wrote about what it meant to me, or if I had a life story or real-life example — something that would blend with the word to get the point across.”

Mavity also took time to thank the most influential people in his life. He listed 27 individuals at the beginning of the book and wrote a paragraph for each, often including inside jokes and positive memories.

“When I went to write, these were the people I thought of right off the bat,” he said. “If it wasn’t for them teaching me something valuable, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.”

“T.H.A.N.K. Y.O.U.” was published by Page Publishing and is available on Amazon, Google, Google Play, and Barnes and Noble. Mavity will hold book signings from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Casteel Color Wheel, 110 W. Adams St. in Pittsfield, and from 5 to 7 p.m. March 29 at the Pittsfield Public Library, 205 N. Memorial St.

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