Deo asked at one point “Why was I saved?” What qualities do you think Deo possessed that enabled him to survive his journey? Do you think if you were in his place you’d have the same outcome?
It seems to me that Deo is saved because of self-reliance and fellowship, qualities he possesses in an admirable, inspiring balance. On the one hand, he works hard to determine his own destiny; on the other, he identifies people with values he admires and benefits from their friendship and generosity. Neither a loner nor a dependent, he draws both on inner strength and his faith in others to make his incredible journey a successful one. I wish more of us were able to maintain that delicate balance!
In order to survive what Deo managed to overcome, one must have an incredible amount of self-determination, a trait Deo seemed to have in abundance. While there may have been occasions where Deo gave up, they were few and far between, and in the grand-scheme of things, justifiable. I like to believe that I too could have dragged myself out of a country in turmoil, and through the wreck which Deo experienced, but I know I couldn’t have. It takes a special individual to be able to continuously motivate themselves enough to prevail over what he encountered. Deo was one of those special individuals. He was able to push forward, through the death that surrounded him, through famine that ate at him, and through the overall suffering around him. No weak minded, or spirited person could survive that and come through safe on other side. Maybe he kept himself going so that he could once again enjoy the life he had, or maybe it was just his instinct to live but regardless of the reason, the determination he found within himself is what kept him alive.
In my opinion Deo is ‘saved’ due to his persistence and focus on his foreseeable future-and goals-, which allow him to keep on track to a ‘saved’ life. Though he encountered many unforeseen and difficult obstacles along his journey, whatever alternatives were presented to him, he stayed focused on his goals and persistent in his efforts to achieve them. That said, a not so negligible amount of luck was also involved in the outcome of his journey, which could potentially make it difficult to replicate his success. Though I do believe there are others who posses his positive qualities, they would not necessarily end up in the same place because of the role that random events and encounters plays on one’s life.
From his early childhood, it seemed that Deo possessed the qualities of tenacity and a strong will for survival, which ultimately allowed him to be saved. Throughout his life, Deo constantly battled adversity, which manifested itself in a variety of ways: the Burundian/Rwandan genocide; his escape to the United States, a foreign country where he could not speak the language, and the various difficulties he had there; and the list can go on. Yet, despite all the troubles he encountered, Deo displayed a remarkable degree of tenacity. While he was pushed to the limits of his psyche, he never simply gave up; he continued to strive for his goals and dreams, in spite of his tough situation. Furthermore, especially in Burundi and Rwanda, Deo always fought to live to see another day. He never gave himself in or gave up.
Deo’s tenacity and strong will are unique. I don’t believe that in the same situation that I would be strong enough to overcome the adversities and be saved. However, I do strive to be tenacious and have a strong will, because I believe them to be admirable qualities that I wish more people could have.
I personally believe that Deo survived because of two important qualities: strength and love. Throughout his journey, Deo was faced with countless challenges that tested his strength. Yes, physical strength is important, but what’s inside really matters. His ability to push through what he encountered and continue on with his life was a strength that not many posses. He was determined to carry on even when he had no one there for him. No matter what problem he was facing, he never stopped giving up. Secondly, love saved Deo. From the woman who pretended to be his mother crossing the boarder to the people that helped him get on his feet in NYC, love carried Deo to safety and greatness. The hospital was a very significant part of the book because it represents Deo giving back the love he received to the people who need it most, just like people did to him in NYC. Also, it exemplifies his will to never give up on his goal, even when things seem as though they cannot be accomplished. I do not believe that if I was in Deo’s situation the outcome would be the same. Deo’s strength is inspiring and truly magnificent, something I personally strive for.
I think from Deo’s childhood he had always been determined to make something of himself. Deo possessed a tremendous heart, it seemed as if he was always willing to help other people. I think that Deo survived because he wanted to be more than what his country was. He wanted to show people that he could be above the genocide and the fighting. Deo also had amazing courage and fortitude, he kept on where most people would have been too weak to or would have lost hope. I also think that Deo wanted to survive because he knew that the reasoning for people being killed was not fair and did not want to fall prey to something so prejudiced. I don’t think that I would have survived had I been in Deo’s position. I would not be able to carry on after witnessing so many people being killed. Even if I did survive the Genocide I don’t think I would be able to live with all the terrible memories as Deo had to.
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