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How can one story change your life?


Occasionally, I come across a book that I want to share with everyone who has touched my life. Books can often change the way we look at our lives, and this one has touched my life, in a profound, meaningful way.

When I came across Immaculée Ilibagiza’s book, Left to Tell, I was curious to learn about her harrowing story of the 1994 Rwandan genocide that took the lives of nearly one million Tutsis. Men, women and children, including her entire family except for one of her brothers, were massacred at the hands of Hutu marauders. “How can something like that happen in today’s world?” I thought.

Immaculée found shelter at a pastor’s home, where she and seven other women hid from the deadly rebel mob in a 3-by-4-foot bathroom for 91 days. During those 91 days of unimaginable suffering, Immaculée found her faith, taught herself English, and most incredibly, committed herself to a life of peace, hope and forgiveness, even for those who had murdered her family.

I first learned about Immaculée’s story while listening to Wayne Dyer’s radio show. Wayne spoke so highly of it, I was compelled to read it. Wayne also wrote the forward for the book and he writes:

“To me Immaculée was not only left to tell this mind-blowing story, but more than that, she’s a living example of what we can all accomplish when we go within and choose to truly live in perfect harmony with our originating Spirit.”

Immaculée’s vision for writing this book is to show others that love and compassion, not only in Rwanda, but in all places in the world, where hatred has resided for so long, is the moving force towards peace.

In Immaculée’s preface she writes: “I believe that our lives are interconnected, that we’re meant to learn from one another’s experiences. I wrote this book hoping that others may benefit from my story.”

This is a book, that will forever remain a staple in my library, and for that I am grateful. It’s a testament that each one of us, despite the circumstances, can derive meaning from one another’s story.

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