The whole book centers on, exactly as the title indicates, Allen's obsession with finding Cesar, a boy who was in his life for not even a whole year. Allen spent his sixth grade year at Aiglon, a boarding school in Villars Switzerland and in that amount of time Allen says of Cesar "[He] entered my life and reshaped it forever."
Now, I was never bullied so maybe I have no right to pen my thoughts and conclusion of Allen's life but I did read his book and feel the need to share my opinion on not only Allen's view of his life but my own as well.
Through out the book and all the way to the end Allen blames (and credits) Cesar for making him into the person he is today.
I find that shallow.
He let the events of sixth grade define who he grew up to be. It defined who he was as a husband, a father, a friend, professional, and a writer.
Looking back in my life I can admit to a time that I did the same. I may not have dealt with bullying but I did go through some trials and for a couple years after that time I let it define me.
I struggled with self worth, I hated life, I hated myself, I wished I was never born, I cut, I convinced myself to be suicidal. Then one day, I'm not even sure when, I finally admitted to myself what was truly happening. Daily I was choosing self pity over God's grace and the life He had given me. I didn't really want to admit it but the truth was that I was deciding which parts of my life were allowed to shape me. I chose only the times I had been hurt, scarred, and at my lowest and let them run my life. I was choosing the life of self pity and essentially creating the identity I wanted.
I say all that to point out our motto shouldn't be:
We Are Defined By What Has Happened To Us
We Are What We Allow To Define Us
Join me in breaking away from letting negative events in our lives define who we will become and choose rather to be who we want to be, be who Christ wants us to be. Be alive and full of love, full of joy, full of all things honorable. Grow throughout life and don't simply let your life be "reshaped" "forever" due to a few, or even many, low points of life. Let us be the generation that stops blaming our past for everything today; lets be stronger than circumstances!