30 Days of Gratitude: Day 9

A book. I’m supposed to write about a book that I’m grateful for. I like this one.

Over the summer, I read Things I Never Told You by Celeste Ng. It’s about a Chinese-American family and their dynamic living in the 70’s. Of course it’s not the most relatable story in that sense. One of the children is found deceased at the beginning of the book. So, the story is sort of a mystery but mostly showing how each family member is singularly grieving. It tells the point of view of each of the kids, the mother, and the father all separately. The book shows you of what each character is thinking and feeling. Even when the characters aren’t expressing those things to one another. I love it so much because in that sense, it is relatable.

We all have relationships with people that are so imperfect, yet capable of being mended if we just understood one another. However, since we are flawed, every relationship we have is flawed sometimes, too. If you like to “people-watch” and figure them out, if you enjoy sociology, if you like to study people’s behaviors, this is a great book. It’s in fictional story form which is also typically what I like to read.

Anyway, I’m grateful for it because it reminded me how important it is to put myself in the shoes of others. It helps me to remember to find out why people act the way they do, before just assuming that they’re flawed. Maybe the reason one parent pushed you so much is because of the trials they endured as a kid. Perhaps the reason a sibling is so self-centered is because of a childhood trauma that you knew nothing about. Maybe the stranger you walk past every day isn’t actually rude, they’re just so depressed that they never even realized anyone was trying to be kind to them. Celeste Ng obviously helps you learn these things without so many cliché’s and in a much more complex way, though. I encourage anyone that likes to read to give it a shot.

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