The miraculous and triumphant story of a young man who rediscovers not only his childhood life and home…but an identity long-since left behind.
At only five years old, Saroo Brierley got lost on a train in India. Unable to read or write or recall the name of his hometown or even his own last name, he survived alone for weeks on the rough streets of Calcutta before ultimately being transferred to an agency and adopted by a couple in Australia.
Despite his gratitude, Brierley always wondered about his origins. Eventually, with the advent of Google Earth, he had the opportunity to look for the needle in a haystack he once called home, and pore over satellite images for landmarks he might recognize or mathematical equations that might further narrow down the labyrinthine map of India. One day, after years of searching, he miraculously found what he was looking for and set off to find his family.
is a moving, poignant, and inspirational true story of survival and triumph against incredible odds. It celebrates the importance of never letting go of what drives the human spirit: hope.
When Saroo Brierley used Google Earth to find his long-lost birthplace half a world away, his story made global headlines. That story is being published in several languages around the world and is currently being adapted into a major feature film. Brierley was born in Khandwa, Madhya Pradesh, India. He currently lives in Hobart, Tasmania.
In the short novel A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah, he narrates the story by telling his own involvement in the Civil War in Sierra Leone as young boy and the many issues he faces while living in horror.
I fell across a chair, my teenagers whirled into the night, and, a few hours later, they jumped on a freight train and headed off to who knows where. Amanda returned home three months later, wasted by drugs. Stephanie was missing for a year.
Ishmael first makes it to the old bus station by walking near the gutters in case of gunfire. The bus arrives aftera long time and travels the back road out of the city. Then, they are let off at an old bridge from which theymust walk all day to another bus junction. Once at the next station, the passengers wait all night, fearful,because they know they havent completely escaped the madness. Ishmael thinks, When will I stop runningfrom this war? Why does everyone keep dying except me? Finally, the second bus arrives, but in the bushesare soldiers that stop it and check everyone. Fortunately, they allow all the passengers to board, and the buscontinues on. After that, every time they approach a roadblock, Ishmael prays that there will be spiritual aid tohelp them through. They reach the destination for this bus, Kambia, at four in the afternoon. Immigrationofficers force them all to pay for the right to cross the border, but finally they are in Guinea. It is over fifty milesfrom there to Conakry, and Ishmael walks fast to the next bus that will take him there.
Ishmael finally gets through to Laura Simms, and he has a very important request to make of her. He asks that ifhe makes his way to New York, could he stay with her. She tells him that he absolutely has a home with her. Hepromises that he will call her when he reaches the capital of Guinea, Conakry, because that is the only way outof Sierra Leone travel through a country that is at peace. So Ishmael leaves on October 31, 1997. He saysgoodbye to Mohamed on the verandah, thinking how this moment is becoming all too familiar saying good bye to those he loves. Mohamed promises to tell the rest of the family, and Ishmael sets off on his last journeyout of danger.
In fact, that story and many others caused me to despise Tom Waits for a while; I came to loathe his position with my daughters, he the only adult who could possibly understand why they had hit the road. At least that’s how they thought of it. Tom Waits knew what it was like to be torn apart by people who claim to love you; Tom Waits knew why they chose to abandon their home, their sisters, their town, their mother.
By the time Amanda and Stephanie had acquired the punked-out gumption to jump a freight train to San Francisco, to New Orleans — anywhere that wasn’t the boiling ground between their parents — Tom Waits had become their troubadour, their piper. His songs, the way he sang them, allowed the girls to make some kind of crazy sense of the misfit life they had entered, an existence that was to me dirty, forlorn, dangerous and hideously far away — a life my girls considered at the time an endless adventure.
They are not leading, but are reacting to immediate events, and they probably will not long be leaders.Greenleaf went on to say that servant-leaders have an ethical duty to be foresightful.How do servant-leaders do that?Here are 7 ways to cultivate foresight:
Read Mark Twain's little piece (below) about the troubles he has with his new watch, as another example of narrative writing. (There is very little in the way of paragraphing in this narrative, and as you read along you might want to think about how you would break this piece into smaller units of thought for your reader.) Answer the questions we pose after Twain's essay and apply them as well to Jeffrey Tayler's essay above.
We live in a world defined by the pace of change, and whilst the velocity of that change has not always impacted upon our political institutions, many of which would remain recognisable to figures of history, it most certainly has impacted upon political communications. As Seguela writes: ‘En 5 ans le monde de la communication a plus evolue que dans les cents dernieres annees. ‘ Google, Youtube, Twitter, Facebook have quickly entered our language and changed the way we communicate, live our private lives, do business, do politics. People do not believe politicians as much as they once did. Nor do they believe the media. So who do we believe? We believe each other. The power and the political potential of social networks flows from that reality. Though fiercely modern in their application, social networks in some ways take us back to the politics of the village square. They are an electronic word of mouth on a sometimes global scale. This has changed the way people interact with each other and with their politicians.
Then, Ishmaels uncle becomes sick. He develops a fever, and even though they bring him medicine, he growsworse. Unfortunately, there are no doctors or nurses to ask for help, because they have either fled the city orhave gone into hiding. One night, while Ishmael is wiping his forehead, his uncle falls off the bed. Ishmael getshim back in bed and looks into his eyes. He can see that the man has given up hope. He tries to utter something,but falls dead. His aunt is inconsolable and tears run uncontrolled down Ishmaels face. He is always losingeverything that means something to him. His uncle is buried the next morning. His aunt collapses and cannotgo the burial. Ishmael sits on the ground next to the grave and talks to his uncle until the curfew arrives, and heruns for home.
As to what it all means for the next French elections, I don’t know. But this book provides part of the backdrop, economic and political. It should make interesting reading for anyone involved in that campaign. Whilst clearly still of the view Sarkozy was and is the right choice for France, (though the polls at the time of writing indicate he is in a minority) he throws out ideas and challenges for right and left alike. As traditional lines are drawn, careful reading might provoke candidates and parties to see that they should always be looking to the next new ideas, not merely repackaging the last new, let alone the old.