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Book Review by Joan Chittister

8 pages
2078 words
Middlebury College
Type of paper: 
Book review
This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

Why was I born?

This chapter is about the challenges people encounter in this life. Mary Louise is a lady who was born being physically challenged. She has used a wheelchair ever since she was four years old. However, this was not a challenge to her since Louise believed that being in a disability situation should not hinder her from living. Louise used her wheelchair to acquire everything she felt was best for her. Also, she practiced all her hobbies despite her condition which showed she was much confident and did not allow anything or anybody destruct her ambitions.

Moreover, overcoming challenges is evidently viewed as the central theme in this chapter. Louise has been seen defeating her disability condition in a positive manner whereby she has given hope to many with the same challenge as her. Also, the theme of emotional pity is seen where the writer is in a pitiful state after seen Louise in her wheelchair and wonders how to communicate with her due to her situation. This chapter upholds the value of dependability. Louise has taught us to be dependable on ourselves despite the condition we are suffering. One should not take advantage of the situation to become reliable on others rather they should consider being independent and look at the positivity of life.

On the other hand, much is to be gained in this entry since it is clear that the story of Louise plays a significant factor in encouraging the disable and able in the society. She impacted the lives of many people, and it would be a great deal worse off if she had not been born. The included parties in this story are the author and Mary Louise among others who have been seen contributing positively to the real lives of individuals. The authors point of view in this chapter is to embrace the notion of why we are born and not to curse the matters that find us as we grow physically. Therefore, it is evident that this material matters a lot in educating people in the aspect of obstacles likely to be met in physical development and how they should be handled. Thus, this chapter has elaborated more on self-acceptance which has made a difference to a majority who are facing the same problem as Louise.

Why do I Feel Stuck?

In this chapter, a story of a young man who does not appreciate what he has is discussed. The author explains that despite all the qualifications the young man had, he found himself stuck due to suffering from the great imposter syndrome. He wanted everything to himself which made him not recognize the value he had. Also, he did not want to be what he was which made his life unhappy as well as angrier. Thus, the theme of an illusion of power and greed is seen throughout in this context. This is because the young man wanted to be in control of everything so as people could recognize him which made him greedy and blindfolded him from seeing the opportunities and achievements he had acquired.

Moreover, specific values such as self-denial and not accepting who you are, are seen in this material. Such values have been affected by the great imposter syndrome which results from wanting to be another person rather than accepting who you are which immensely changed the man discussed in this story. Failing to become what an individual wants to be, lead to the omission in what they can do best (Conway 60). Therefore, after reading the context much has been gained regarding self-acceptance. It is clear that one should appreciate what they have and work hard towards climbing to higher heights. However, no one is responsible for your sadness and living happily is a choice.

On the other hand, the point of view of the author is to elaborate the reasons why people get stuck on one point without showing any signs of progress in their lives. He has explained that one should not be jealousy and show unrealistic yearnings in their lives. By doing so, they can show signs of progress and go beyond the limits of their life. Therefore, this material matters a lot in educating people who are always greed and anxious to have power in the society. The chapter has made a difference since it has elaborated the reasons why we should not get stuck in life. After reading the story, the material has educated much on the issue of accepting ourselves and what we have which is the primary basis to acknowledge our opportunities. Therefore, based on the article, I should practice being positive and refuse to get stuck in life.

What is wrong with me: Why Cant I Change?

This chapter discusses on the wrongs people do whereby they become prone to changing resulting in permanent situations they cannot alter. A story of an uncle who was always found drinking is narrated by Joan, the author. The man had a family but faced great poverty due to the husband and wife consuming much alcohol which ruined their lives. One pregnancy was experienced after the other which contributed to their children as well as the parents getting less privileged. The behavior was so constant in that the uncle missed a lot of family gatherings and when he reappeared no one among the kids of his siblings recognized him. This action tortured him immensely and wondered why he could not change his drinking habits.

Moreover, due to the much intake of alcohol, the man died as a result of liver cirrhosis. The doctors had examined and concluded that his liver had been eaten up by liquor which caused his demise. The theme seen in this chapter is that of man against nature. The uncle was envious of what the family members had achieved and since he could not have it due to laziness he engaged to consumption of heavy liquor to move away from facing reality (Chittister 130). Also, values such as consistency and perseverance uphold this chapter. It is of benefit to understand that the form of spiritual heresy should not overcome us since by doing so we fail to attain what we cannot possibly accomplish. The author point of view is based on the issue of perfection. She believes that it is everybodys right to understand and embrace every situation that comes in their lives.

On the other hand, this material matter because it teaches us about the real spiritual tussles and the struggles of the flesh. It is believed that recurring jealousy is what that kills our soul. People should not be so ambitious to perfection and neither should they be jealous of the other. Thus, this chapter has made a difference in my life in a tremendous way. It is now clear that when a person is in a position whereby they have messed up with their lives, they should not look at the perfection and get jealous. Thus, they are supposed to embrace their weaknesses and begin from there without hesitation and worries about the end. Therefore, by doing so the question about why cant I change will have been solved.

What is the purpose of life?

In this chapter, humility is discussed through narrating a story of a wealthy man who donated his shoes to a homeless person. The man had walked in the restaurant various times and shared what he had with individuals. However, it was not much recognized until the man donated the shoes he was wearing to a homeless man who was wearing summer sandals with open toes and sling back heels over his bare feet during the winter season. In this chapter, the theme of poverty and generosity are seen. The man with the summer sandals was poor whereas the man offering his shoes to walk barefooted was rich and generous.

Moreover, the story upholds the humility value whereby it is seen from the prosperous man. He was humble and merciful to the less privileged man, and that is why he chose to walk barefoot and offer the shoes to the poor person. According to this perspective, it is beneficial to emulate the standards of the generous man. Despite his wealth, he was humble enough to see that there was a person in need and required assistance but he could not tell anyone. Therefore, the author tries to bring out the reasons for the purpose of life. It is elaborated that people should see themselves born with a mission in mind which is unique and unfinished without their participation.

Also, this material is significant since it has explained the purpose of life. Life cannot be exciting if we do not identify the motives as to why we exist. On the other hand, no one does not require the help of the other so long as we are living in the same world. Moreover, God did not finish creation. Thus, it is our duty as human beings to do our part in completing Gods project. This article has made a difference in my life concerning the way we are required to live in this world. It is evident that everybody requires support from others. Thus, it is good to help people in need without waiting for them to express themselves since they might not speak out due to fear of rejection. Therefore, when it comes to the question what the purpose of life is? I should be in a position to answer that the purpose of life for me is to be a productive person and expect nothing in return apart from Gods rewards.

The author handles the topic of the hectic nature of life extensively making the author to master nuggets of wisdom as it concerns dealing with the busy schedule that has crept up to everyone. The author skillfully takes the reader through illustrative and descriptive narration to bring out the themes more clearly. The main theme that arise in the book is calmness. Calmness has arisen in the sense of stillness when approaching lifes activities and the hectic nature of events. Emotional balance consequently arises as a secondary theme whereby the author stresses on the need to have internal tranquil and balance the inner aggressive ego.

There are a number of values that are upheld in the material. The value of satisfaction is praised through the story of the genie. The Hindu Holy man advises the owner of the genie to seek satisfaction in life and be contented. This perspective does bring gain to the moral change that the author seeks to inculcate. This approach however neglects the fact that a section of people in life would seek aggression and defy feelings of satisfaction in order to derive internal purpose.

The author predominantly applies a first person point of view in what can be said to be a revelation of her experience and the wisdom as per the subject. In the section, the author notably forgets to include the realistic reprisals of transgressing the norm. In what would have been seeking an answer to why life feeling hectic, the author has employed herself to explaining why one needs to avoid the hectic nature of life, the spiritual and wise nature of calmness. The author nevertheless drives the theme of calmness and ideally advances relatively good thoughts.

By exploring the moral and spiritual basis of seeking tranquility and pursuit of internal calm in the face of lifes hectic world, the author significantly introduces one to unparalleled understanding because many people are trapped in the hazy errands of life. With the knowledge of the dealing with the stressful activities one can encounter, it impacts the life of a reader, who then choses to positively change the approach to life. Consequently, one thus may find true peace, the sacrosanct satisfaction from within. The knowledge from the section thus catapults one from rash living to composure. The story of the genie teaches me the importance of wisdom in discerning approaches to the ever hectic living.

The section details about the story of aging giving descriptions of persons in old age and detailed illustration of the differing thoughts and human perception as to getting older. The short stories of Hellen and Eddie are used by the author to depict elderly wise persons that have come off age and their intriguing approaches to life. The main theme in the section is age, and it is well anchored in the work. The theme is descri...

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