I got the book over the weekend,Sunday evening to be precise. Shantaram, the size of the book first scared me, till my dad gave me a brief intro into the life of the writer Gregory David Roberts. I was intrigued.
I started reading it this morning. I read only the first page of Chapter one and went straight for his website. I needed to read more about the man, enter into his world. What got me so excited already; Freedom of Choice. His opinion on the power and freedom of choice.
Many times we resolve that we do not have a choice in a particular situation or decision. Sometimes we feel we are fated to win or loose, be happy or be sad, etc. This isn’t the first time I am reading on choices. Stephen R Covey and talked about choices in his book seven habits of highly effective people, and I have read about choices in so many other books including the bible. And hearing about the life of David Roberts already told me he wasn’t a man to blame others for his life and settle in for a life of being the victim. He was in charge of his reaction to what life gave to him; he was in charge of his choices.
So what exactly got me so excited on page one? I’ll quote it for you to read
“It took me a long time and most of the world to learn what I know about love and fate and the choices we make, but the heart of it came to me in an instant, while I was chained to a wall and being tortured. I realised, somehow, through the screaming in my mind, that even in the shackled, bloody helplessness, I was still free: free to hate the men who were torturing me or to forgive them. It doesn”t sound life much, I know. But in the flinch and bite of the chain, when it’s all you’ve got, that freedom is a universe of possibility. And the choice you make, between hating and forgiving, can become the story of your life.”
And the choices he made, are what has made his life a literary piece to be studied. The choices of a man who was an armed robber, a herion addict, a fugitive and one time most wanted man in Australia (He escaped from prison), a money launderer, a forger and a street soldier. He also established a free health clinic, acted in Bollywood and fought in Afghanistan. He has read a whole lot and has written extensively about his theory and his expereinces.
I am yet to move on to page two of this book, and I am already writing about him here. My Point: the Freedom of Choice. Willpower. We all have it. Sometimes we surrender it to other people or to circumstances of life but we all have it and even what we do with it is up to us, up to us to choose.
What are the choices you are making today? Are you the victim? Who is in charge?
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