Assalamualaikum wrm. *senyum lebar*
Kadangkala dengan melihat dan mendalami kisah orang lain, kita akan menemui permata berharga.
Today, i would like to review a book that i read during the last few days, entitled Against All Odds: The Most Amazing True-life Story You’ll Ever Read. Here are the details,
Author: Paul Connolly
First published: 2010
Price: $1.74 kindle edition (because i use my gift card so i bought from amazon.com and am not sure its price in sterling)
The story revolves around the true life of Paul who has been brought up in an unhealthy environment of St Leonards under the care of a couple-an ill-mannered people. Everyday is a torture to him, mentally and physically. Some kids have it worse-sexually abuse. But, the mental abuse is the worse to Paul because it keeps haunting him for many years, affecting his every decision.
What struck me in this story is the way Paul develops his self-defence by lashing out anger and aggressiveness to people around him to the point that his carers did not dare to touch him physically. They only manage to get through him through words which i noticed, have been successful in damaging his confidence and self-esteem. It touched my heart to sense that the truth was that Paul feels so vulnerable which he tries to cover it by showing such attitude.
However, that self-defence system is not the main factor for his survival. He survive by making a lot of right choice. When all his friends who suffered from the same abuse choose drugs as an escapism, he went to boxing classes as the way out. He is fortunate because he have no interest on drugs and found boxing at the right time. But, still, he could have made the wrong decision. If not in the past, maybe any moment in his life while he still be friends with those who are already hang their life onto the drugs. We all know how strong friend’s infleuce are? right? So, I think he also did the right decision to lose contact of everyone from his childhood when he left the care home. This make me wonder one ayat from Quran that Allah mentions with mercy that even though our decision is somewhat infleuced by our friends no matter whether it is good or bad decision, we are the only one who will held responsible for the consequences.
“We have tied up every human’s fortune to his neck, and on the Day of Resurrection, We will bring forth a book for him that he will find wide open. (and We will say to him): Read your book. Enough are you today to take your own account. Whoever adopts the right path does so for his own benefit, and whoever goes astray, does so to his own detriment and no bearer of burden shall bear the burden of another, and it is not Our way to punish (anyone) unless We send a Messenger. ” (17:13-15)
Another lesson that i acquired (and i want to share) from this story is the way we can turn negative motivation into strong and positive determination and changed our life. I look up to Paul when he, as much as he could, try to turn negative words from his carer that already become a negative mindset of him, into a positive motivation for him to success in whatever he does. He took the words to prove it wrong. The fear that those negative words will become true someday, somehow make Paul more determined to keep his distance from failure. Yet, he made it! (-i almost cried at some point…haha) of course, another account that helped him at this point is love and support that he gets from his friends from boxing and his occupation as doorman and personal trainer.
To conclude, it is inspiring to learn how someone arise from dark childhood into bright star when in adulthood. from a child who is exposed to be abused at anytime into someone who become world famous personal trainer, boxer who are able to protect his own childs. And of course, there are more that can be learned from this amazing book compared to what i have shared. Different people might learn diffent things from this book, so enjoy learning if you decided to read this also.
p/s: i know i break my promise to update this blog everyday. well, just get well enough from some freaking gastric last week. hahaha. Alhamdulillah, fully energized right now 😉
Johor Bahru, Malaysia.