Ishmael Beah, how he shaped his destiny.
Ishmael Beah’s autobiography Ishmael Beah was born on 23 November 1980 in Sierra Leone, a West African State. His native country was one which new civil war all too well as it broke out in 1991…
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Fortunately, UNICEF came to his aid at the age of thirteen as they put an end to his involvement in the war. They put him in a reformation centre in the nation’s capital Freetown. He successfully completed his reformation process in 1996 after which he represented his country as a delegate to attend a UN conference on the effects of civil war and unrest. Contrary to the expectation of many, Ishmael went back to his country to speak on his life experience as a child soldier to encourage others not to choose the same path. It is true that we make our own destiny and that what life throws at people can be a stepping stone to successful. This paper will base its focus on this argument by considering his life and times as portrayed in his book, the battles that he faced that made him inspirational to many. Additionally, it will show how he took charge of his life therefore shaping his destiny. It will also examine the fact that individuals are in charge of their destiny and that fate and Karma are in significant in one’s life. Battle with drug addiction and the choices he made As a boy soldier, Beah witnessed violence first hand by knowing to handle a gun and deplore a human being of his life (Beah 1). His watching of his brother die right before his eyes also made him become ruthless and thirsty for revenge. The number of deaths captured in his head for the two years he was a soldier remained permanently embedded in his mind, which made him emotionally scarred. He saw the plight of the children whom he trained with, the nature of the training curricula was not favorable for the young as it was physically draining. Many children could not endure the suffering therefore lost their lives because they were not productive to the army. Child soldiers at that time were easy to manipulate and therefore were easy to brainwash unlike male adults (Finley 45). They also provided cheap labor to the army, as they did not know their rights. This proved effective, as the only thing they had to learn was how to cock a gun and firing it. Deep down, Ishmael knew that he was destined for greatness as when opportunity to better his life presented itself he took it and ran away with. For him, life is what one makes of it and that one’s experiences do not dictate their future. The life of Ishmael after rehabilitation After rehabilitation, Ishmael lived a positive life. According to his book, personal responsibility is the taking charge of one’s life and spearheading it into a positive direction. This is shown by his willingness to fight the drug abuse vice instilled in him while at the army when he joined the rehabilitation institution. He chose to stay sober and focus not allowing his past death experiences are a reason to stay hooked to drugs. Evidently, his strong will kept him going all through his rehabilitation period (Beah 76). Ideally, he shaped his destiny by choosing the sobriety choice. Had he not chosen to fight his addiction, he would have wasted his life, as UNICEF would have never noticed his potential. In his book, the choices we make are not necessarily determined by our age therefore children should choose their paths wisely, as life is not a rehearsal for a next life. While at the center, he learnt to heal his emotional wounds by forgiving himself and accepting that he could not change the past but was able to plan for his future (Beah 237). He partly blames the adults of his country for not standing up and fighting for what was just for children since they watched helplessly as they joined the child army. The accomplishments he has made in his life Ishmael made a number of accomplishments in his life. His life took a better turn
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