I love doing “book reviews” and with so many amazing stories out there I am always finding something that inspires me. I bought Laura Hillenbrand’s book, “Unbroken”, on a craving for something different. I usually don’t read too many books based on real stories; I love the imagination. However, this one seemed like a story worth reading.
This book has life, pain, and beauty in every word. The life this man lived, what he had to endure, and how he overcame it all – it amazes me. Simply put, this book is an amazing read. I wish more than anything that I had discovered it sooner.
Louie moved to America from Italy and had a rough start to begin with. He felt like nothing and a nobody. He didn’t really care. Most people probably looked at him and thought he’d end up in jail before his twenty’s. Just a lost soul with no ambition and no vision. He was a mess. However, he did not stay in this state. He found something that pushed him; something that made him feel worthy and he strived for it. This taught me that, no matter how you choose to live, there is greatness in everyone. In the beginning there was nothing perfect about him. But he found the willingness to do good and to stand for something. He created something to live for.
A moment of pain is worth a lifetime of glory. We all seek comfort. When things get tough, we don’t want to deal with it. We push this discomfort and pain away and hope it doesn’t turn into something more. But you must face that pain. Do not quit. Louie experienced an indescribable level of suffering. The level of inner strength he had was beyond me. It is strength I had never heard of. We face a lot of pain. We see struggles and we face struggles ourselves. Hang on for a little longer. “If you can take it, you can make it”.
It is amazing the strength we possess as individuals. There are times where I wish I could push harder or stand taller. There are times where the forces upon me seem too strong to fight. I start to feel empty. We all can go through this at times because our lives change in an instant. There are moments where we seem powerless to our circumstances. But there is a strength within us all. You are a spark in the dark. You always have the power to light that spark. You always have the power keep it lit. No matter how dark it may get, no matter how small your flame is – it can never go out if you hold on to it.
“There is always something where they believed there was nothing. What we call darkness is always filled with light.” – Tyler Knott Gregson.
The power of someone believing in you. In the book Louie says, “I don’t believe”. To which his brother replies, “I do”. When you have someone pushing you, someone that believes in you more than you believe in yourself – it is such a powerful thing. You have no idea what you are capable of until you have someone fighting for you. “My brother Pete said I could do anything. He made me think I’m better than I really am”.
All that hurts cannot be forgotten. It is behind our face, our eyes, and inside of us. Forgiveness is one of the biggest lessons in this book. I always thought that if you forgive someone, it means you’re giving in. My mother had always called me stubborn and I defiantly was. But now, I know when you forgive you are not only doing it for the other individual, but you are also doing it for yourself. There is something that happens when you forgive. Like all that hurt the most, all that you have held within you, is suddenly gone. This book showed me that until you forgive, you are never free. Forgiveness isn’t accepting that what the individual did was right. Forgiveness is releasing your pain and hurt and letting it go. Life is too short to live any other way. So get up every morning, forgive those that did you wrong, and let go of yesterday. Forgiveness is stronger than hate.
“All that moment, something shifted sweetly inside him. It was forgiveness, beautiful and effortless and complete. For Louie Zamperini, the war was over.”
If I am but a spark in this life, Louie was a fire. He lit up the sky for sure. I learned a lesson on every page of this book. I could not believe how much emotion this book gave me. The hurt, the love, the hope. Especially the hope. It spoke the loudest. And let me tell you – oh, what a beautiful sound. I learned how life can be interesting and fascinating. How if we just push ourselves past that line we drew, we really get to experience so much more. We really start participating in life. I learned that you have to reach deep within yourself and see what you are willing to sacrifice for a life worth living. Worth fighting for. Louie taught me that courage has nothing to do with having the strength to go on. It’s going on when you don’t have the strength. Keep your word. “If you get me through this I swear I’ll dedicate my whole life to you. Please”. To know who sees him, God makes himself unseen.
I can’t put into words how much this story meant to me. It will forever live within me. It will always push me to become a little more.
“I’d made it this far and refused to give up because all my life I had always finished the race”.
There are stories I come across that inspire me. Some change me, and it’s a rare thing. But every once in a while, you come across a story that will completely rob you of your sleep, of your thoughts. These stories are the ones that you can never put into words. Unbroken was one of those stories.