I often regretted, back in the dark times, that I failed to write the true story of my youth; if I had, it might have saved lives…either that or gotten me killed. Because, as I’ll explain, I was almost certainly the luckiest man ever born. And that kind of luck — when exposed — either drew people to learn from it or drove them to crucify it.
Whatever your first image for the “luckiest man” might be — health, money, talent, friends — I probably matched it, save that I was never drop-dead handsome. And that was lucky too. I had friends who were that good looking, and it wasn’t a blessing to them. Some people envied them, many hated them, the wrong ones pursued them, and if they weren’t careful their looks would take over their lives. You can hide being smart when people start to hate you for it, but you can’t very well hide your face.
The part of my luck that mattered most, however, was being blessed with clarity. Now, since that concept might be new to you, I’ll ask you to try this: Imagine going back in time to the day you were born, just as you are right now. Imagine living through those years a second time, knowing in advance when all the wars and scandals would start and knowing how they’d end up. How much easier might that be?
– From the Introduction to The Breaking Dawn
With the opening paragraphs above, a reader is quickly initiated into the frighteningly realistic, yet playfully imaginative world of The Breaking Dawn by Paul Rosenberg. It’s quite easy to fall into the trap of boring cliches and relentless doom porn when attempting to peer into the recesses of the best and worst aspects of human nature. Paul, fortunately, avoids doing both. From the moment I turned the first page, I thirsted for more, and found myself emotionally involved with the main characters far faster than I anticipated. The struggles faced by the characters in the book ultimately represent the struggle human beings have always faced, and likely always will.
On one side of the fence we find a path of convenience, comfort, material success and status, while on the other lies conflict, frustration, passion, an almost irrational dedication to ethics, and enormous risk. That’s not to say these pursuits don’t often overlap, of course they do. What it is to say is that at those times of true existential conflict, when the outcome of entire civilizations hang in the balance, the human being is often forced to choose between what is right and what is convenient.
Donate bitcoins: 1LefuVV2eCnW9VKjJGJzgZWa9vHg7Rc3r1
Follow me on Twitter.