Saturday, January 9, 2016

How to be Good by Nick Hornby

This book is good, it needs a post on its own. Yeah, i'd mentioned this book in my previous post. I still have 2 books by Hornby in my TBR list for this year, so i might write another post on yet another Hornby's book read soon.

My family generally talked when we're together. gossiping, discussing mundane matters. sometimes, when we're up to it, we discussed matters that matter (but, because most of us are hard-headed, we usually ended up arguing and pointing at each other as 'budu' which is not a super valid argument, usually settled over dinner). No. If you imagined my family talked politely, no, we don't. We shout and out-shout each other. Polite is the face for public.

There was this one time, we were discussing the matter of doing good (charity). Our point of argument/ discussion was on the merits of doing good, based on Matthew 6:1-4.  Do we, Christians, in all our humility and desire to do good, do good deeds with the idea of rewards from God? (i'll continue with this after i tell you about the book)

I laughed a lot reading this book. How can i not? It started with a divorce proposal over a telephone. A wife called her husband asking how's their children are and ended up in a proposal of divorce. I remember reading a FB post over a woman gotten a talak 3 over a phone conversation between her husband and his friends (the husband jokingly told his friend that he's divorcing his wife with talak 3). However, because this happened in England and they're Brits, of course the unfortunate divorce on FB didn't happen to them.

There must be something rotten in a marriage if one party asked for a divorce, no?. In this story, narrated by Katie Carr, a GP, brought the reader to know her little family (husband David and their children Molly and Tom). David was a stay-at-home dad. He wrote column at a local newspaper as "the angriest man in Holloway". 'Angriest man' is not a term of endearment. David was obnoxious. when Katie mentioned divorce and started an affair with another man (not because she really wanted to, but because she can), David wont let her off (just to pissed her off, more). Their relationship became hostile until David met a stranger (DJ Goodnews), a spiritual healer that he suddenly became calmer, different David. Katie, who thought she's a good (better) person now seems to be the baddie.

The story turned to be more bizarre when Goodnews moved into their house. More funny things happened and the 'trying to do good' increase, only to succumbed to a 'not so good' results.

I particularly liked it when David finally remembered the Latin word caritas: "sometimes its translated as 'charity' and sometimes its translated as 'love'. 

Love and charity shared the same root word.

My brother and I agreed on doing good for the sole purpose to make our heart light (happy). Do good only if it'll make you happy. If you're hoping for any other rewards, you're up for a big disappointment. And if you try to do good to change the world, i'd say "good luck". You're shitting yourself. (O! the little faith in me). But, then again, you can argue, some people can only be truly happy if the deeds are made known to public. Yes, i'd met many people like that. By all means, if that's how you'd be happy, please do. (The Bible however, don't recommend this approach)

My brother pointed out, this idea wont sell good for reward-of life, heaven-seeking-folks. because then, whats the use of doing good? 

May all of us (in our own ways) strive to be good (by doing good), for whatever reasons we bring our self to believe.  

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