June 1st is quickly approaching. I've of course voiced multiple times about the all important conditioner purchase... Add to that mascara - which I've chosen not to talk much about for fear of retribution from a friend who is fanatic about expiration dates on those types of products but I also have realized that although I am in need of a few things... It's amazing to think of people who go without ANY of those "luxuries".
I was recently introduced to a book called "Unbroken" - written by the author of Seabiscuit. Which I did not read. Upon probing about the topic - hoping it wasn't another horse story, I was equally unexcited when I was told it was a war story. A little backstory...
My father was a high school English and History teacher and we spent most of our summer "vacations" traveling to different war monuments (mainly big plaques in front of barren fields) paying our respects to different battlefields and those who lost their lives there. As a kid... I yearned for roller coasters and water parks and going out to eat. Instead... we packed a cooler with carrots, celery, homemade buns, summer sausage, cheese and maybe some cookies (if I made them), and drove our Pink Chevy full size conversion van to about 40 different states to pay our respects and see the country we were from. No AC, no video games, mainly NPR, and a KOA campground pass.
Some kids would have taken all that history to heart and become just as enthralled with it all as their father was. I did not. In fact, as is the case in many situations... I probably went in the exact opposite direction. However... as you grow older, I know it sounds cliche, but you start to "appreciate" all those things, yadda yadda yadda, and so I've started to try and resurrect the knowledge and experiences I already have and take a more mature approach. And so... I accepted the recommendation to read Unbroken.
I'm pretty sure it has nothing to do with my mental shift to be more open - and more with the fact that Louis Zamperini is just absolutely amazing.
In addition to being an incredibly talented runner and eventually an incredibly talented survivor - this guy made my nothingnewforayear stuff look like a joke. Granted times are a little different for us both, but as a POW in Japan for 2 years, it wasn't anything "new" he didn't get... it was anything at all.
It seems every time I mention this book, there is almost always someone within earshot who has read the book and attests to the fact that his optimism and drive to live - is unfathomable given his conditions during WWII.
It almost makes me want to tear down the page and deny that I ever felt upset that I was running out of conditioner or that I stole hotel soaps. I won't because as I said, times are very different now and we obviously have different issues. The point is that, the book is absolutely worth the read and the ultimate picture of someone who went without anything new and then some.... I could go into more detail about just how excruciating his life as a POW was, but I really can't express how much you need to read it for yourself. It will make you not want to ever complain, about anything, ever again.
If you want a little more here's a review from the New York Times
P.S. I read it on my Kindle :)