Monday, August 28, 2006

Lessons from the Kite Runner

The book, Kite Runner is by far one of the best books I've read in a long time. Being in an airplane for 20 plus hours helped me to get through this audio book quickly.

The four major themes/golden nuggets of wisdom for me were:

1. Every sin is THEFT

2. Being hard on myself is SELFISH

3. A man who doesn't stand up for himself won't STAND UP for anything

4. There are a lot of children in Liberia, but very few CHILDHOODS

Below is a breakdown of how these golden nuggets have impacted me:

1. Every sin is theft in someway. For example, murder is stealing someone's life from them. More personal, when Angel asks me "whatcha thinkn about?" and I lie to her by saying "nothin," I am robbing her of the truth and I'm stealing from her an opportunity to know my heart better.

2. Being hard on myself is selfish because the consequences affect others. This summer I've been very hard on myself for giving into certain struggles. I've not wanted to share it with Angel for my shame was too strong. So instead I was moody, distant and depressed. This book helped me put what I've been doing into perspective. The main character stuffs guilt deep down and for a long time, until it becomes too consuming. With the book in the back of my head, and a recent sermon from our Pastor of Congregational Care, Jeff Helton, who had everyone do a Marriage Intimacy Inventory, I was compelled to open up. During this intimacy inventory I finally shared my shame, let loose, allowed myself to either be accepted or rejected by Angel. Many things I shared were no surprise to Angel; she just wanted to know my heart, my struggles, my thoughts, and my dreams. I realized after that conversation that I was a theft, stealing intimacy from my wife because I was selfishly holding back from her.

3. A man who doesn't stand up for himself won't stand up for anything. The character's father would say this to him as a boy because the character's friend would always stand-up to bullies for him. This is a pretty bold statement, and throughout the book you see this truth. Standing up is not just about fighting physically, but standing up for oneself in normal conversations, meetings, and yes even blogs. I'm a pleaser, so this has consistently been something I've worked on for years. "You don't need to say anything right now, say it later when you're alone with that person, or when it is a better time," is what often goes through my mind when someone says something that I don't necessarily agree with. As you can image, that "better time" conveniently never comes. This played out yesterday with my realtor, I should have stressed more to him that we are serious about looking into Davidson County and not Williamson County and that yes, we are very serious about East Nashville. Instead after he talked about a few houses in Spring Hill and Franklin, I just said "OK." Not that we aren't open to those areas, but I should have stressed East Nashville.

4. There are a lot of children in Liberia, but very few childhoods. The same is true for the author when he goes back to Afghanistan during the Taliban rule, a few years after the Russians left. Liberia is coming off of 14 years of civil war, and many young adults and children were raised without there parents, or if they were, it was in refugee camps in the Ivory Coast. My heart breaks because I think about who will step into leadership, who will educate the children, who will create safeguards from allowing a tyrant like Charles Taylor to come into power? Children without childhoods rarely are able to act like adults when they are adults. Evidence is clear when after the war, the Liberians elected Charles Taylor in a democratic election. Granted he never took office due to the fact the UN went after him for many war crimes.

I hope you all go out and buy the book. It is well worth it.


kyperman said...

You hit the nail right on the head in a couple of areas for me. I really appreciate your honesty. We should talk sometime. Glad to have you back in my circle of friends, even if it's the blogging circle.

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