A good friend of mine’s mother just passed away recently.  No matter where I turn, bad news just seem to pile up — economic downturn is still seeking a bottom, some friends are either losing their jobs or else in fear of losing their jobs.  But then, I came across an article today about the talk at the University of Wisconsin that Ishmael Beah gave about his life story.  He lost his entire immediate family in the Sierra Leone civil war (Liberia) in 1991.  He says: 

“We went straight from being children to adults, just to survive….We learned things like running during the day was a better chance of getting shot. We would run at night.” 

It was humbling to learn about his experience — he was made a child soldier at age 12.

Now what was it I was so worried about?  I love reading about other people’s life stories for this reason — it gives you an opportunity to learn about others, but also reflect on your own life.  Perspective, we all need that once in a while.  Ishmael’s story made me reminded me that in the big scheme of things, and even in my own life, my worries now are just a little blip.  Other people are and have experienced greater issues in their lives, and things turn out ok. 

I’m really looking forward to reading Ishmael’s book,  “A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier.” 


  • Haley

    That is so sad that you lost your family and by the way I luv the book(a long way gone

  • Actually, it was a close friend of mine that lost his mother, but thank you for your thoughts.

  • Nathan Smith

    Hey there Ishmael. Look man that must have been a big thing going through that. Your book was so good that honestly and sorry to say but I wanted to read more. So I hope your whole life stays well and that you are always safe. A big fan Nathan Smith

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