Books that Inspire Human Spirit (A Discussion) – Guest Post #2

A guest post by literati Sandy Chin 🙂

I know I had been absent for sometime now due to my academics, so here I am with my next guest post by Sandy Chin. She runs an amazingly informative and extremely vibrant blog – The Olive Beetle. Do stop by her blog to get adrenaline kicking. Now, off you go and read this inspiring article she submitted 🙂

There are many books that remain with us. They live in our memories for different reasons. Often, we recall Roald Dahl with warm feelings of childhood, and recall J.R.R. Tolkien with feelings of other worlds. But today, I am going to talk about books that inspire our human spirit. So, I shall be mentioning two of those books.

The first is The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee. In this book, readers are led through the history of cancer and witness human struggles and triumphs against this pervasive disease. With the humanness of narration, one can’t help but be drawn into this “war against cancer”. One is constantly delighted to find a vaccine alongside the researchers. One celebrates as the vaccine eventually gains success in human trials, albeit only ten years later. Two, one sighs as patients hold on dearly to their lives. Through these centuries of sheer perseverance of researchers, doctors and patients, we gain hope. We learn that hope is borne not out of blind faith, but out of effort – of continuous struggle, perseverance and unity. We may regard such a grave subject with apprehension; yet we must remember that human spirit is formed only through struggle.

The second is Awakenings by late Dr. Oliver Sacks. In this book, readers are led into lives that have been thwarted by the sleeping-sickness epidemic after World War I. Of the millions that fell ill to this encephalitis lethargica, only a small number survived. These patients were admitted to total palliative care institutions, where they lived in frozen states – unmoving, unmotivated – as non-persons. In 1960s, the drug, L-Dopa was introduced and these patients awakened. Finally, after decades, they were able to move, speak and write. They became persons again. However, the miracle was short-lived as many began to suffer side effects such as manic episodes of uncontrollable urges and temper. A few patients decided to be taken off L-Dopa, and receded back into their frozen states. Dr. Sacks recounted these individual experiences with deep reflective intelligence, honesty and compassion. The reader cannot help but be moved by their struggle, triumph and loss. Also, one gains wisdom through Dr. Sacks, in his determination to accommodate the sea of troubles. One learns that human spirit is borne not only through individual struggle, but also through having deep compassion for others.

Okay! So, if, you have any books that you wanna add to this list, then plz do. Also, you are welcome to comment the list of books that left a deep impact on you, in any special way 🙂

Cheers xoxo!