Book review of The choice

The book review of <The choice> Edith Eger

It starts with a dark historical story, which I didn’t know so much, or maybe I just refused to get to know about it. The time that Hilter was shadowing Europe, the people in China were suffering in the war as well. I dislike this history, for me, as a Chinese, it’s shameful and painful, and it surely makes me dislike Japan for many years. I’ve never stepped in Nanjing, same as when I was visiting Krakow, I didn’t go to Auschwitz. Hence, I am so scared these places will suffocate me with the depression.

War is never a good play. I totally understand the resources are limited, and the supreme leaders might need to expend the land or plunder the sources that they’re lack of, or in need. Therefore war is one of the fastest way to develop the territory. The truth is a leader won’t be a good one if he or she is not ambitious, if he or she doesn’t bother to find a way to develop the territory. What I don’t understand is, why it has to be torture and massacre? 

Recently I’ve watched a movie “CHERRY”, it’s about a boy joined the army and came back with PTSD. He should have a bright future, instead, he became a drug addict and had several horrific experiences. 

The author of this book is an Auschwitz survivor, she started a new life in America after the war, but she wasn’t the innocent one that used to be. When you are just like an animal kept in the factory waiting for slaughter, and your family and friends are gone day by day. There’s no hope and there’s no point to do anything. The energy of life is faded, and the color of the world is only grey. 

From this Seligman concluded that when we feel we have no control over our circumstances, when we believe that nothing we do can alleviate our suffering or improve our lives, we stop taking action on our own behalf because we believe there is no point. 

I almost give up reading when Edith divorced her husband Bela, as she mentioned,

We are like two shipwrecked people staring at the sea for signs of life. And in each other we see a glimmer. 

It will be easier to overcome anything than individual for me, if I were suffered, I wish my friends, my family won’t leave me alone, because you always need a lighthouse when you are lost in the dark sea. Bela helped Edith when she needed food and warmth, he abandoned the fortune and asset for her to go to America, he supported the whole family and even financed Edith for university. 

I hardly understand why divorcing is a way out. How about the children? How about the family they built? How about some appreciation of what Bela has done. Maybe it’s PTSD. So I continue reading.

The good thing is, beside the dark part, the book is actually talking about the choice, to choose how to respond to different circumstance. 

We can’t choose to vanish the dark, but we can choose to kindle the light.

There’s an interesting patient that Edith talked about, he sat in the wheelchair and told her the feeling of sitting on it. he said the flowers are much closer and he can see the children’s eyes. He chose to embrace the wound, to accept the truth, to look forward. 

Well, sometimes it’s easy to choose the right way, but difficult to be on the right track, while sometimes it’s not easy to choose the right one. No matter what choice you choose, it’s important to accept it, even it’s not as what you expected. 

Another part of the book is about the life in America, the struggling of being a fresh immigrant, the barrier of communication, the late starting of the education. You can acknowledge how difficult the author become a doctor and a psychologist, to help different people while healing her own.

Time doesn’t heal. It’s what you do with the time. Healing is possible when we choose to take responsibility, when we choose to take risks, and finally, when we choose to release the wound, to let go of the past or the grief.

It is a definitely a good book, you might start to reconsider the options that you have, you might open another window to see the different view, you might just simply think more optimistic. Based on others’ stories, lives and choices, you will always know, you do have a choice, to be or not to be.

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