That’s me after reading “To kill a mockingbird.” For the first time. Ever. Oh, and also reading “The subtle art of not giving a f@#!”.
I start 2018 admitting that I, a lover of books, had never read this widely known classic “To kill a mockingbird.”
I wanted the first book I read from my kindle to be special (side note: I received a kindle for my birthday – shoutout to my brother and sister-in-law; saving trees is worth it. Yes I have given in to technology and unregrettably so).
To kill a mockingbird seemed appropriate. It is the first book on my list of classics not read (we all have that list, let’s not lie. You know what I’m talking about – that list of books everyone on this planet is expected to have read in between the rest of their already busy lives. The list we feel guilty about because these are classics and we feel uneducated unless we have read them).
What a ridiculous standard to live up to.
Back to the point: I had a perfect backdrop with the mountain views of Swaziland, the afternoon thunderstorms and humidity, all to accompany me while indulging in this easy to read classic. Swaziland was showing off again; photos could not do justice to the bright greenery. It looked like Microsoft Office’s standard screensaver only better and the little lodge I was staying in only served as icing to this delicious cake.
The book dipped in and out of my memories of childhood and its innocence and life’s delicate approach reminded me of all that we take for granted. How life is and how we say it is and how we see it all weaved into our intentions, perceptions and others lives.
After this classic which reminded me of cibling relationships and the joys thereof the roadtrip continued to Blyde River Canyon.
Little known fact: it’s the third largest canyon in the world. Right here on my doorstep and this was my first visit. Swaziland had shown off but Blyde River Canyon was in full glory. Spectacular weather, rivers, mountains, rondavel shaped hills. Beauty and Nature meaning one and the same. With this backdrop I had another book in hand (technology aside, this book was a gift and I enjoyed turning the pages manually again; yes I still love paper books).
If everyone is supposed to read “To kill a mockingbird” because it’s a classic then “The subtle art of not giving a f@#k” should become a classic. From page 1 until the end there was truth after painful truth and “oh yeah!” exclamations from me. The level of honesty accompanied with the humour and story telling allowed me to finish this book in a day.
I attempted to accept the following lessons:
1. Accepting that pain in life is inevitable. Positivity and optimism is important but not at the cost of absolute denial.
2. Effort is required if you really want something and if you’re only interested in the result and not the painful journey, stop lying to yourself, you don’t want the result that badly.
3. “Happiness comes from solving problems.” 1
4. “Fault is past tense. Responsibility is present tense.”2
You might not be able to control everything that happens to you but you can take responsibility for your actions towards what happens.
5. “When we learn something new, we don’t go from” wrong” to “right.” Rather, we go from wrong to slightly wrong.”3
6. “Uncertainty is the root of all progress and all growth.”4
While I’ve never blamed anyone for the decisions I’ve made in my life, I’ve never taken full responsibility; one could say I was, up to this point, in a halfway house; waiting for someone else to save me from what I’m ultimately responsible for. And so now accepting that I am human I look forward to continue being wrong.
7. Allow You to change, be impermanent.
While all this sounds obvious (yes it is a little) it is always the follow-through that makes it difficult. Signing up for gym is easy, exercising daily is hard. And these lessons are similar.
And as we enter 2018 with new hopes and excitement, let’s hope we all exercise daily;-)
1. Manson M. The subtle art of not giving a f@#k HarperOne.2016:31.
2. Manson M. The subtle art of not giving a f@#k HarperOne.2016:98.
3. Manson M. The subtle art of not giving a f@#k HarperOne.2016:117.
4. Manson M. The subtle art of not giving a f@#k HarperOne.2016:135.