Blog 5

Nicolas Livon-Navarro - Brazil


March 1, 2018

    
As a kid, I never took much pleasure in reading. I would do it when I
had to, but it was never something I would do voluntarily. Dyslexia made
it hard for me to read without giving me headaches, especially in
English since it was my second language. Although I hated reading, I
really loved being read to. I loved when my parents would read me
stories about adventures and made up places. I must have listened to The
Odyssey book on tape at least ten times growing up, and it was without a
doubt my favorite story. Once I was older and my reading improved I had
the chance to read my favorite book for the first time. The difference
when reading the words myself as opposed to it being read to me was
tremendous. I loved experiencing the adventure of the story first hand.
This was the first time I've ever had that feeling where I didn't want
to stop reading. This story really changed my life. I loved The Odyssey
because of what it made me think of. Different conflicts and challenges,
and what I would have done if I was in that position. I thought
Odysseus was the most incredible character ever. His leadership and
determination was incomparable and he was really someone I looked up to.
I know now, that for me, the deepest pleasure of reading isn't the
words on the page, but what thoughts those words trigger in your head.
What do those words make you feel and why. 

    
My best friend, Raf recommended this book to me. He said it was one of
his favorite books ever and he thought I would like it as well. So I
bought this book and brought it with me to Brazil. The story of
Siddhartha is that of a young Brahmin boy who sets out to find the Buddha in hopes of learning the
purest form of wisdom and self discipline. The story is filed with love
and compassion and fear and hope, and the portrayals or these deep
human emotions made me reflect of the foundation of what it is to be
human.
I
felt extremely connected to this story in the sense that I was also a
young boy taking off to gain wisdom in a far and strange land. This
story provoked so much emotion out of me that it literally brought me to
tears.
Once
again, this story changed my life. I feel so lucky to have felt these
connections with these books and emotions that ultimately shift my
thinking. In a way I feel like these books are very similar to my gap
year; they both have helped me grow and mature a lot, even in ways I
can't see yet, and I'm super excited to discover the ways in which these
changes will unfold.   


Nicolas Livon-Navarro