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So random ADD moment: are good books really that hard to come by nowadays?
Anyway, so when I finally found a copy of the book, I did not hesitate even if this particular book was not part of the sale list (yes, that is how much I love my books. Other women spend on clothes, shoes, bags, and make-up... I spend on books. Hehe.) and I could not avail of the 20% discount. It was worth it, though.
Hope for the Flowers gives off the impression that it is a children's book. The drawings, the font, and the minimal words on each page all give off the feel that it is a book intended to entertain and educate children. It even reads as fast as a children's book. I was so excited that I finished in 20 minutes (probably because I admired the drawings on each page so much).
But if you take a careful look at what it says on the cover: "A tale -- partly about life, partly about revolution, and lots about hope for adults and others (including caterpillars who can read)", you will realize that this is no ordinary children's book.
I understand now why my friend was bugging me to read this. Hope is an abstract concept understood easily enough, but oftentimes tricky to explain. Admit it, in the world we live in today, hope is not something we can all believe in easily. More often than not, it is despair, destruction, and chaos that rule. Author Trina Paulus, however, did a wonderful job on giving Hope a face through Stripe, Yellow, and that nameless caterpillar who encouraged Yellow as he hung on that branch.
All the basic principles I stand by were all illustrated well in this book. Perhaps one of my favorite moments was when Stripe realized how meaningless and utterly pointless it was to be part of the throng that was relentlessly pushing and working its way to the top. I find it refreshing that the concept of individuality here was subtly expressed and not blatantly glaring. Through the chain of events that happened in Yellow's, and then Stripe's life, they came to the conclusion that just because many people are doing it and going along with it, does not necessarily mean that it is right, nor is it beneficial. It is non-conformity with a purpose, not just wanting to be different because you want to stand out, or you want to be noticed. It is not about the attention. It is making the stand that matters. You dare to be different because you believe in something deeper than you can give actual meaning to, and even if you get ridiculed, ostracized, or persecuted for what you believe in, you will stand firm because you know you believe in something higher than your own wishes and desires, and you know deep down you live for something far greater than the whims and ever-changing approval of people. Just like Stripe and Yellow, they knew that their lives as caterpillars had to mean so much more than pushing their way to the top of the caterpillar pillar. Getting to the top was not all it was cracked up to be, because success and fulfillment lay elsewhere.
I was Stripe once, and I know what Yellow went through, too. Sometimes I still feel the pull of the caterpillar pillar, and I am inexorably drawn back, the way Stripe was, but God is good... He always directs me back to where exactly I should be. And He always reminds me that I have so much more to do with my life than drown myself in that throng and lose all sense of who I am in Him.
I have nothing but good words for this book. If you find yourself stuck in a rut and losing faith, I suggest you read this. Read it with an open heart and the eyes of a child. PDF copies are available online if you can't find a printed copy. I'd lend you mine, but I already gave my copy to my favorite kid. Books, like any other good thing, are meant to be shared. :) and since I can't lend you my copy, I will just post this blog entry.