When you think of Heaven what comes to mind? A place where all your wishes are granted? A place where you feel no pain, hurt, regret, or sorrow? A place where you are able to live without any disruptions? Whatever your description of heaven may be, it is a place that is far beyond our thinking. It is obvious that none of us will truly know what features heaven contains or even what it looks like.
It is interesting to recognize how each and every single person in the world has a different conception of what heaven may be like due to the simple fact that each individual has his own beliefs, values, opinions, principles, etc.
In the book “The Five People You Meet in Heaven”, Mitch Albom tackles the controversial topic of heaven, and what happens in the afterlife. He emphasizes the fact that the heaven he writes about may not be the same for everyone; however, it is a heaven that has been looked at from a different angle. I choose to share this book with you because it truly moved me. This book offers a conception of heaven that is so rare, it makes the audience think of whether the afterlife can be the way Albom portrays it to be.
In the book, the man character, Eddie, meets five people, and each of these persons teaches him something significant. The reason he meets these people is to explain his ‘yesterdays’ and to understand why his life was the way it was. The first man taught him that in life, there are no random acts and that everyone is somehow connected. The second person taught him that sacrifices are essential in life, whether big or small – they make a difference. The third person showed him the importance of forgiveness. She said to Eddie, “Holding anger is a poison. It eats you from inside. We think that by hating someone we hurt them. But hatred is a curved blade and the harm we do to others we also do to ourselves.” The fourth person he meets is his wife – who he deeply loved. She reminded him what love felt like and that there are different forms of love and the one Eddie felt was lost love (since his wife died before him). Last but not least, the fifth person he meets is a little girl that burned in a fire which was started by Eddie when he was fighting war in the Philippines (fire was an accident). This girl taught Eddie that everything happens for a reason and that you must take what life gives you.
The five lessons Eddie learned are lessons we must all live by. My favorite out of all is the one about forgiveness; by holding in anger one does nothing but harm himself. Something I learned from this book is that you are born not knowing anger; therefore you should live your life free of anger so that you can enjoy every part of your life. After all, life is too short to be angry or to hold grudges, so be the better person and let go.
By our regional intern, Rawan Chaya at the World Youth Alliance, Middle East.