Book Review: The Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom

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Happy New Year, Friends! 

Welcome to 2019 and back to the Conversationalist blog. I know you haven’t heard from me in a while, but I want to assure you that I’ll be giving you a life update in an upcoming blog post soon. I’m working on a creative piece to share my story and I just haven’t reached a level of satisfaction in the narrative I want to portray.

Without further ado, I present to you the first book review of the new year.

Day 1, Month 1, Chapter 1

A clean slate. A new beginning. Another opportunity to live the life we’ve always wanted for ourselves. Many of us wrote down our resolutions, others are piecing together their vision boards like an intricate puzzle, and some of us are just trying to make it through another week. Whichever stage of life you find yourself in, I’m here to share some life lessons that I learned while reading ‘The Five People You Meet in Heaven.’

I hope to give the lost a sense of purpose, and a ray of light for those embarking on new paths. 

“But all endings are also beginnings. We just don’t know it at the time.”

This is the story of Eddie, a maintenance man at Ruby Pier amusement park. To the hundreds of thousands of people attending the pier each summer, Eddie is just another worker. His old age has caught up to him with wrinkles sketching his face & a limp in his gait. He wears that same tattered uniform, and goes through the same daily routine of repairing rides and keeping people safe. What he thought was a purposeless existence transformed to be one of the most heroic acts of kindness anyone could’ve witnessed.

How many times have we gone through life feeling like the work we do doesn’t make any difference? That our role in this larger motion picture of life is inadequate compared to others. We’re just a “normal” Starbucks barista, middle-aged housewife, retired mailman, young banker, experienced educator, or even an old maintenance man. There have been many occasions where I’ve gone through my day and wondered what crosses the minds of the people around me? From the man who picks up trash every Friday on my street to the young kids knocking on my door selling Girl Scout cookies. Do they realize their value? Do others appreciate their value? 

To tell you the truth, us human beings can be some of the most selfish people when it comes to valuing others. We’re so caught up in climbing our own success ladders that we don’t even stop to look at the people who played a role in getting us here. 

I’ve done it. You’ve done it. It’s cyclical. It’s habitual. It’s resentful. 

Like so many of us questioning our worth value and importance in society, a character like Eddie emerges from the background and reminds us that we can all make a difference in the lives of others – even in the smallest ways possible. 

Let me encourage you today by saying it doesn’t take someone great to make a positive impact on the masses; all it takes is a compassionate thoughtful and loyal individual to do the job. And when I look around, WE ALL possess those qualities within us. All you need is to look beyond the surface. 

“…there are no random acts. That we are all connected. That you can no more separate one life from another than you can separate a breeze from the wind.”

196 pages, 5 note-worthy life lessons, a page-turning narrative and the journey of a simple man living a mundane existence to a beautiful purposeful afterlife. 

Connections bring us fulfillment, prepare us for growth, challenge us to be better and can even inspire us to live again. 

When I look back on my 23 years of life, I sometimes am so confused at where I’m headed but also so thankful for the people who’ve impacted my life in enormous ways. For quite some time now I’ve been lost in the “routine.” Ever since graduating college, my life took a detour I hadn’t seen coming. The past haunted me, my regrets haunted me and the future scared the sh*t outta me. I knew I wanted to move forward but it felt like my field of view was completely foggy. Hesitation with every step and no light in sight. 

I couldn’t escape it. I was trapped between the resentments of my past and the uncertainty of the future. This so-called bubble I was stuck in paralyzed me for months, until I read this book. 

‘The Five People You Meet in Heaven’ lifted the veil of lies from my eyes and brought a new vision of truth in my heart. Even if I don’t do anything remarkable or praise-worthy in this lifetime, the gifts that I’ve been equipped with I can definitely use to enhance the lives of those around me. 

Before, it was about making ____ amount of dollars or live ____ kind of lifestyle and marry ____ type of person and achieve _____ type of success. 

NOW, it’s about giving the world the best that I have to offer. Even if it’s not much in the eyes of others, I want to have an uplifting impact on the world. I want to connect with strangers and close ones. I want to share my stories, listen to your stories and live in the truth that I have always been & will always be enough. 

Friends, sometimes it takes one moment, one book, one stranger, one loved one and one individual to make a difference. Never overlook the treasures you possess within – they are valued and needed in our world today. 

“…that each affects the other and the other affects the next, and the world is full of stories, but the stories are all one.”

To all my people- strangers and loved ones, I hope this blog post inspired you to OWN your gifts, your story and your individuality. This book has freed me from baggage and bondages in such a way that I had to share it with you all. 

I wish you all enlightenment in your purpose. May the truth guide you, always.

See you in the next post! 

With light, 

Ashna 


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