‘A Little Life’, Hanya Yanagihara

A Little Life1

 

New York City. Who wouldn’t like to live, study and work here…Great city with thousand stories to hear, ‘concrete jungle where dreams are made of’ as Alicia Keys put it in her song. Among all these emerges the story of four friends shown from different angles, narrated by various characters that touched me so much that after finishing it, every time I opened a new book and started to read it, I had to put it down as I was still under the impression of the mesmerizing story of an amazing friendship.
No other book has played on my emotions as much as this one. It left me tearful so many times that I wanted to put it away, as I couldn’t handle the harshness of the described events. The sadness, the unbearable fear of being rejected, the loneliness created by the author when she tells the story of a boy abandoned in the worst possible way bring up a question: Is it possible for one man to go through so many horrifying ordeals? Or is it a way of emphasizing the fact that no matter what has happened in our life we could survive, as long as we have a devoted friend/s by our side?
For me, this book is a manifestation of friendship and makes me question myself: Wha kind of a friend am I?

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FEAR

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You planted
the fear in your head
You water it with thoughts of other people
that you don’t even know exist
You cultivate its soil with the future failures
that you already predicted
It then grows branches that reach your heart
which beats and beats faster
You try to stop them from sprouting
But the fear
gets nourished
with the words
never uttered.

(Aug 2018)

 

Regina Brett, BE THE MIRACLE

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The main message of the book is to never give up.
…. I know. You might have heard this so many times before that it started to become an empty slogan. But when you read some of the stories included in the book, you might change your perception of these words.

‘Be the miracle’ is divided into 50 chapters which the author calls lessons. And they are truly lessons of how to make our life better. The stories included in the book are quite emotional, as they are the stories of real ordinary people; the kind of people I meet every day, which makes the book so reliable.
And, I think that this is the aim of Regina Brett. She wants to convince the reader that those little things we do every day, such as smiling to somebody, asking how they are, offering help, listening to them make our life better and change the way we perceive the world that surrounds us.

I am not going to describe every lessons that the author included in her book, but I would like to share with you some of my thoughts on its content.

Do you think that it is always somebody else who is luckier, happier, more prosperous than you?
Do you think that others’ lives are better than yours? Oh, yes, most of you will say: ‘Of course!’. The question that comes to mind is ‘why?’; Why it is me that seems to be so unlucky?
And then the blaming mantra starts: we blame God, destiny or other people, as we are so convinced that the happiness is some kind of outside phenomenon. Nothing more far from the truth!
I must admit that it took me a long time before I realised that the happiness is really created by myself and the way I perceive my life with all its ups and downs depends entirely on me.

For some of you who has learnt something about mindfulness before, Regina’s lessons would be a kind of a guide that introduces its methods to life.
For example, a lesson of gratitude. It teaches how to be thankful for what we have achieved and have at this moment and tells us that instead of dwelling on our failures and bad moments we should concentrate on the good things in life. This might sometimes be quite hard, as we either concentrate on the negative situations or do not have time to spare to think about what made us happy during our busy days. Continue reading