Some books I love for their ability to make me look at the life I'm currently living, and question everything.
Big Little Lies, is the second kind of book.
Sure, it's in Australia, which isn't exactly Minnesota. But people are people, and they certainly feel very familiar to me in Piriwee, where the book takes place.
It's about a group of primary school parents. It's about their school politics. And it's about the life they present to others, compared to the lives they're truly living.
It's about how secrets separate us, and connect us.
I haven't finished it yet, but I can't stop reading. I want to know what happens to these people!
My life is largely an open book. I tell people about so much, probably much more than I should. But I know I don't tell people everything. I know I have my secrets, those little things I keep to myself for fear that if I said them out loud, people would look at me differently.
So, someone I know is being abused by their husband. And they haven't told me.
Someone is having an affair, and I don't know that either.
Someone has a history of trauma, that they're trying to hide, for fear that if I know, I'll see them as a victim, instead of the strong person they want to be.
Not knowing how the book ends, I have no idea what my ultimate take-away will be. But right now, I'm stuck with the idea that we spend a lot of time being judgmental of what we think of others, when we so rarely have enough information with which to pass that judgement.
And this is not something I'm innocent of.
I'm always hoping that each day gives me the opportunity to be a better person. I know I don't always take it. And sometimes I find myself, at the end of the day, wishing I'd done certain things totally differently. But maybe if I keep asking the questions, and I keep recognizing those opportunities, I can keep growing.
One day, maybe I'll be the person my kids think I am.
And maybe that should be our goal. If we're keeping secrets in order to make people think we're better, to make ourselves think that we're better, instead of actually trying to be better, then it's time to let those secrets go, and give up the power they have. It's time to be honest with those around us, and most importantly: ourselves.
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