Friday, 7 January 2011

Life after death? I dont know but I want to believe after reading this

THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN by Garth Stein is my first ebook purchased from Amazon in July 2010. It was recommended by a passenger who was seated beside me in a Continental Airline flight from Heathrow Airport (London) to Los Angeles (US).

I initially planned to buy a hardcopy of it but it is really expensive to buy books in America, so I decided to have a epub (ebook) version instead (80% less cheaper).

The story is about a dog - Enzo who desperately wanted to communicate with his master, Denny and the rest of the family members or even the desire to become a human being. Since Denny is a race driver, Enzo also learned about the world of racing, including the personal struggles of Denny as a husband and a father. Despite his inability to talk, somehow he managed to be a trusted companion to Denny, even he was able to establish a connection to Denny's wife.

It has a happy ending but again, Enzo did experience the ups and downs during his lifespan, with undying aspiration to make his dream a reality - to become a car racer.

Garth Stein's novel tackled some of the important facets of living and these are shown in the personalities of the characters. In particular, despite the family problems and adversity he is facing, Denny managed to survive and became a well-known figure in the field of racing. It only shows that if we have the passion for what we are doing, then no one could stop us in doing it.

The book also reinforced of what I've learned from Joel Osteen's bible reading on the 5th January 2011. Osteen mentioned that our trials are "momentary" and he encouraged us to keep standing, keep believing, keep hoping, and have faith in God, then "victory" will follow! He adds up that God is building strength in us, God is depositing joy in us, and God is empowering us to make it through these adversities in life.

"I've always felt almost human. I've always known that there's something about me that's different than other dogs. Sure, I'm stuffed into a dog's body, but that's just the shell. It's what inside that's important. The soul. And my soul is very much human." - Enzo

How about the issue of "life after death", "afterlife" or "reincarnated"?. This belief is not 100% accepted by the modern society and even myself, I'm bit sceptical about it. Wikipedia defines it as "a part of, or essence of, an individual which carries with it and confers personal identity survives the death of the body of this world and this lifetime, by natural or supernatural means." Existing views explain that this existence takes place in a spiritual realm, or the individual is reborn and begin the life cycle over again as a human being or reincarnated into another life - maybe animals. I dont know if this applies to Enzo, but personally after reading Stein's story, I want to believe and Enzo deserves it!

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