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Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Thoughts on Unbroken
I finished reading Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption over the weekend. While very raw in parts, this book was incredibly inspiring.
The book follows the life of Louis Zamperini, an Olympic runner and WWII bombardier, who was stranded on a life raft on the Pacific Ocean for more than 40 days, then captured and thrown into a Japanese POW camp. One of my favorite parts talks about the attitudes of Louis and his friend Phil while on the raft. Though they recognized their dire situation, they were able to remain optimistic, envisioning a future beyond their present circumstances. The third man on the raft, Mac, could not picture a future and was haunted by thoughts of dying out on the ocean. It made me think what my outlook would be in that situation.
The author briefly explores the idea of whether or not we're born with innate optimistic or pessimistic outlooks, then goes on to say the men's different attitudes ultimately turned out to be self-fulfilling. That really struck me. What a powerful reminder that we choose how we react to life's circumstances and challenges. We can't always choose what happens to us, but we can choose faith and optimism or fear and despair.
Just reading Zamperini's tragic but incredible story has caused me to view things in my own life differently. I've found myself more inclined to tell myself "things will work out," even if it's different than I might want or expect. I've thought more about the blessings in my life and the immense gratitude I have for those men and women who've served in the military for this country. It was definitely a thought-provoking read!
Have you read or heard of Unbroken? Do you think we are born with a tendency toward optimism or pessimism? What book have you read lately that caused you to think long after you finished it?
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