I was enthralled, therefore, when I encountered words of wisdom in the somewhat bizarre new Alon Hilu novel, As Far As It Gets. The novel tells the story of an uncle and a nephew, Michael and Nadav. Michael inherits $70,000 and leaves Israel to travel around the world, spending the money on giving other people joy. Almost on the same day as his uncle leaves, Nadav enlists in the IDF and is having a hard time fitting in. In one of his letters to Nadav, Michael attempts to cheer him up: “You have freedom, true freedom which is not just another truth but the ultimate truth for all humanity, the freedom to awaken in you -- always, in every situation, even in the midst of despair, sorrow and anger, and despite all the pain and suffering you endure -- good thoughts and wonderful feelings like love! Hope! Mercy!” And in the next paragraph Michael continues: “Your strength is in your thoughts, in your imagination, and they are with you wherever you go.”
Thoughts, Michael implies, are the source of resilience! They are the rope for escaping the hole! Finding that optimistic, grateful thread of thoughts is the way out of wallowing in a bad situation. I wonder if this is always true. Is the power of my thoughts the ultimate solution to falling in holes? And I think: how amazing! If I could master this golden key, I would no longer need to fear making mistakes, and I could choose to walk in any street I want, whether well-paved or not.