This is my first post in my book review category. My book reviews will not be a standard post on what the book is about and my thoughts. Instead it will unpack the message I got from the book and how it applies to my life or life in general.
Lesley Pearse is one of my favourite authors. The books I have read are always set in the early 1900s and are based on the journeys of strong and ambitious women. Her latest book is called Survivor and follows the journey of 17-year-old Mariette who travels from New Zealand to England, as war is about to break out in Europe. The types of encounters Mariette had to face included a 6-month boat trip from New Zealand to England, the fear of bombings and finding bomb shelter as well as struggling to find a job outside of the typical female jobs, to name a few.
As I was reading this book I imagined what it must have been like living during those hard times. Life wasn’t as simple as it is now. You couldn’t just decide that you wanted to travel – you needed to factor in the 6-month or more boat trip. War was ever-present. Imagine living your life in constant fear, not knowing how long you had left with your family and loved ones. Lets not even mention the lack of basic necessities we have come to take for granted.
Looking at our current lives I wonder why we are always complaining that life is so hard. Yes, life is different and the new, modern times bring new challenges. But can live now really be as hard or harder than life then?
We often refer to our problems as first world problems, which reinforces the fact that I am not sure they are real problems. Is it terrible that there is no free wifi available to us? How did we survive the night WhatsApp went down and we had to phone people to get hold of them? Getting the perfect selfie has become our daily challenge. Technology rules our lives, to the point that people own three or four chargers to ensure they are always in contact with the world.
I am not down playing the realities though. There are some real challenges we face. Crime keeps many of us awake at night. We run after money to make sure our children can go to private schools. And lets not mention all the people who don’t have access to water, electricity and other basic necessities although they are living in a country that could be classified as first world.
I guess what I am trying to say is that we need to evaluate what we complain about. Everyone has a bad day and sometimes it is ok to be pissed off because the wifi is down. But before we make a scene can we consider that there might be someone else out there that has been through and is going through something worse. This might give us a better perspective on life and make us appreciate what we have more.