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Think Your Life Screwed Up, Don`t Be Dismayed

Posted July. 11, 2003 21:51,   


`The Great Day of Mr. Ponder,` written by Andy Andrews/ translated by Lee Jong-in, 292 pages, priced at 9,500 won and published by Sejong Books.

˝Why me, God?˝ When you are one of those who are having hard times of their lives, chances are that you have this lingering question in your mind all the times. That was what 46-year-old David Ponder had in his mind.

His company went bankrupt out of blue and he has not been working for months. He has piles of bills and an empty bank account. He manages to find a temporary job at a store, but gets fired right after he got a phone call that said his young daughter needed an operation immediately. Having lost his job, money and goal of life, he then felt something choked his throat.

Driving fast his car on the highway, he felt his body was floating in the air and lost consciousness. When he gained consciousness after the decisive moment of life and death, he found everything was so unfamiliar. Where am I? He traveled back to the past. He is now in Potsdam, Germany. It is Thursday, July 24 1945. President Truman, preparing a summit, welcomes him. Then he says. You are the only one against the proposal.

This is how the story begins for David Ponder and readers of the book. It tells about the key to success and self-development in a unique way. In this fiction, Mr. Ponder travelers through times – from a Civil War battlefield to the Anne`s attic in Amsterdam and to the voyage of Columbus to the new world. He meets seven people and gets a present from each one. The presents are seven messages that can change the course of his life. While combining messages like a puzzle, Mr. Ponder finds hopes and courage.

The message the author tries to convey is `choices.` Whether you like it or not, the situation you are facing now has not resulted from something outside, but from within yourself. We have been making choices many times for so long and the situation you are now facing is the result of your choices. You should not say, therefore, `It is not my fault.`

Anne, the young girl who wrote the diary about the hardship she went through, told Mr. Ponder, ˝My father says that complaining is like listening to radio. You choose to listen to radio or not. Likewise, you can choose to complain or not. Our life is about making choices.˝

President Lincoln teaches him about the great power of forgiveness. You might have tossed and turned all night, feeling someone did so wrong to you. The anger is no good and the way you can let it go is forgiving. To forgive, you first stop thinking whether the person deserves to be forgiven. Forgiveness is like a free present. When you forgive, your soul become free from the anger and hatred inside. Forgiving someone is, therefore, giving a present for yourself.

The author of the book, a comedian and writer, soothes our souls that are so tired and bruised with a simple yet clear story. There are no high and low stakes in our lives. They are all the same. Life is painful to everyone. Don`t be frustrated and dismayed. You have to remember that life itself is a privilege.

When you are going through hardship and feeling that your life is all screwed up, this book helps you find courage and hopes to carry on. And it will be a great companion for your vacation this summer.