This week is loaded with some great content and reminders that there is something to be grateful for in your life.
What I am Watching
My kids grow.
That’s right – no video content this week, just a not-so-subtle reminder that your kids are NOT with you forever. At most, you get 18 summers with them. If the last 18 months have taught me anything, it’s to slow down and watch them grow.
Maybe you don’t have children at home anymore or never have at all. Let this section be a reminder to deepen authentic relationships in general. Let’s be honest: what else are we here to do?
What I am Reading
The hermit kingdom of North Korea is known for its maniacal dictators, isolation from the outside world, lack of electricity, and terrible human rights atrocities. I have to share two books with you that give first-person accounts of what is going on inside North Korea’s borders. It is heartbreaking that this goes on in our modern world to this day.
First, Escape from Camp 14 by Blaine Harden is the heroic story of one man’s escape from a North Korean death camp and his extremely challenging journey to gain his freedom. North Korea’s political prison camps have existed twice as long as Stalin’s Soviet gulags and twelve times as long as the Nazi concentration camps. No one born and raised in these camps is known to have escaped. No one, that is, except Shin Dong-hyuk.
BONUS CONTENT: Watch Blaine Harden’s TedTalk here.
The second book is a memoir by Yeonmi Park called In Order to Live. Yeonmi and her family saw the highs and lows of life in North Korea and eventually decided to escape during a season of starvation. The book shines a light not just into the darkest corners of life in North Korea, describing the deprivation and deception she endured and which millions of North Korean people continue to endure to this day, but also onto her own most painful and difficult memories. She tells with bravery and dignity for the first time the story of how she and her mother were betrayed and sold into sexual slavery in China and forced to suffer terrible psychological and physical hardship before they finally made their way to Seoul, South Korea—and to freedom.
BONUS CONTENT: Listen to Yeonmi Park’s interview with Joe Rogan here.
Quotes I am Pondering
When we see men of worth, we should think of equaling them; when we see men of a contrary character, we should turn inward and examine ourselves.
~ Confucius, Chinese teacher and philosopher
I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have. I must stand with anybody that stands right, and stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong.
~ President Abraham Lincoln
If you put everything off until you’re sure of it, you’ll get nothing done.
~ Norman Vincent Peale, minister, author, progenitor of the theory of “positive thinking”