Child 44 – The story continues

A book that I have read recently is ´Child 44´written by Tom Rob Smith. At this moment I am reading the sequel ´The secret speech´so it seemed only right to me to write something about it. The main theme of the book series is the Soviet Union in the time right before and after Stalin´s death. It is mostly written out of the perspective of former State Security Police (later KGB) officer  Leo Demidov. So far, the story has been perfect and horrible at the same time.

As far as my knowledge goes, the books give a quite historically correct description of how the circumstances where for people living in the Soviet Union after WWII. The author really knows how to grasp your attention and how to make you sympathize with people who have acted in horrifying ways. I believe Tom Rob Smith has a good understanding of human nature. He shows how much love, fear, loyalty and hate can live in a person simultaneously and how drastically people can change. But he also displays how people have to carry the consequences of their deeds in the most painful ways. Deeds cannot be undone.

I recommend this book since I believe it is important to realize what mankind is capable of, both in the positive and negative way. The truth is that today suppression and cruelty still continue all over the world. In some places it happens in more extreme and obvious ways on large scale and the media is on top of it, at least for a while.  But I think that the problem starts on an individual base. So many men and women have self-distructive habits, like telling themselves every day how worthless they are and taking little care of their wellbeing. Not loving yourself makes it so much harder to commit with heart and soul to relationships with others. This has consequences for the whole society: broken families, children hurt, unstable work and political atmospheres and so on.

I truly believe that even one tiny human being can make a difference by striving to be a warm, loving person. For many the hardest goal to achieve is to love oneself, but it is the very beginning of everything. The one person who deserves and yearns for your love most is looking back at you in the mirror.

“To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.” ~ Oscar Wilde

“Isn’t this how it starts? You have a cause you believe in, a cause worth dying for. Soon, it’s a cause worth killing for. Soon, it’s a cause worth killing innocent people for.”
― Tom Rob Smith, Child 44

Tell me something about love – Sonnet XVII

Today I would like to share one of my favourite poems with you. It is Sonnet XVII written by Pablo Neruda. I first got to know it through the movie ´Patch Adams´and have loved it ever since. Although I find that there are no words that fully grasp love as I can experience it, this poem comes close. I hope you enjoy it as well.

” I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way than this:

where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep. ”
― Pablo Neruda

 

Unique. Just like everyone else.

Taking my first steps as a blogger, I sometimes feel intimidated by the amount of bloggers that are already out there. Some blogs even have a similar domain name to mine. I went through quite the struggle when I wanted to create my website and found out that I couldn´t use the domain name that I really wanted. I almost fell into the trap of giving up. Luckily I came up with another name.

Apart from that, so many bloggers write about topics similar to the ones I choose. Just type in some keywords in Google and there you have it. This made me wonder how I can still bring something of value. I once read this quote:

´Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else.´ ~ Margaret Mead

Although I find this quote funny, the truth in it bothers me a little. It is great to be unique, but what is the value of it if everyone is? It makes me feel so small and insignificant to realize how much people actually live on this planet. I cannot think of any possible purpose in life without hearing the echo ´Great! Come and stand in line!´. This made me wonder why I would consider it important to be different.

As a child I was being left out and bullied until high school. I must admit that I was somewhat of a peculiar child. I had skipped a year of school in kindergarten which always made me the youngest in the class. Yet I managed to reach high grades with little effort. Additionally I was mostly a quiet child in groups and felt little interest in the topics that entertained my peers. To complete my abnormality, our family was in a difficult financial situation which put me mostly in hand-me-down old-fashioned clothes.

Over time somehow, to stand out became my idea of safety. I cannot explain the disappointment when puberty widened my stretch of view and I was forced to realize that many people experienced very similar situations and feelings. It could have brought me comfort, but instead it brought me distress. I did not feel special anymore.

I think I have been approaching this issue the wrong way. What does it actually mean to be unique while everyone else in unique as well? Maybe it means that it is impossible to fit in since there is no one standard of personality or behaviour. No one is the exact same combination of personality traits, talents, beliefs, memories and beautiful features. Maybe it means that you are running around in endless circles when trying to either fit in or stand out. You don´t have to try to fit in since there is nothing to fit into. You don´t have to try to stand out because the truth is… You already do.

The truth is that in the bigger picture we are all very tiny dots. But what makes us valuable, is which colour we give our own little dot.

´Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!´~ Dr. Seuss

´Why fit in when you were born to stand out?´
~ Dr. Seuss