Friday, December 3, 2010

Thirty Days of Truths, Day 17

A book you’ve read that changed your views on something ....

I came up with a lot of options for this one. I love to read and there was a time when I would be reading three or four books at the same time and finish them all in a week. I normally have two books going now, usually a fiction and a non fiction, but I don't read them nearly as fast.

So finally it came down to two books. Both more solidified my views on a subject rather than changed them but I guess that is close enough. The first is "An Inconvenient Truth" by Al Gore. I didn't go with this because I didn't read it that long ago and I'm not sure which had more effect on me at the time, the book or that environmental science major brother of mine.

The second book is one I first read in high school and a few times since. I always seem to come away with a different opinion of it. That book is "One Hundred Years of Solitude" by Gabriel García Márquez. You may hear me talk about karma or use the phrase 'it is what it is' all the time and it's because at times I am at heart a fatalist, I honestly believe in the inevitable and inescapable repetition of history. I guess I have just studied too much history to think about life any other way.

Fatalism is a thread that runs constantly through this book as generation after generation of the Buendía family are visited by ghosts of past generations even as they repeat the mistakes of those same generations. The patriarch of the family founds the city of Macondo as a city of mirrors after seeing it in a vision. I’m never sure if it is actually a city of mirrors or just a metaphor for a city of mirages. Mirrors, mirages, visions, or maybe a way of saying life is never truly what it seems. Fittingly Macondo is destroyed by a hurricane at the end of the book.

Karma, fate, or whatever you want to call it sometimes it seems that some events are preordained and there isn’t a damn thing you can do about it. I know that it isn't a theory that appeals to many people but it's something I sometimes do believe myself. I love the book but I don't think I'll ever completely understand it.

Now I bet you can't wait to read my thoughts on religion.

Shikata ga nai

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