Ishmael makes rehabilitation pretty obviously possible for other people to be rehabilitated. If Ishmael can do it, anyone can do it. But the thing is, they have to want to do it. Like there's a joke that I've always heard. How many psychologists does it take to change a light bulb? Well, the answer is one, but the light bulb has to want to change. This applies to Ishmael, because he wanted to change and he wanted to do well. Anyone else can be rehabilitated, but they have to want to be rehabilitated or it will not get them anywhere. I would be happy taking Ishmael into my neighborhood. If I could, I would happily accept him into my family like Laura did or like his uncle did. I feel like Ishmael has tried so hard to make a difference in his life, he needs someone else to complete that difference. They can only complete that by giving him love and bringing him into their family or by bringing him into their neighborhood and welcoming him. I have a close friend who has been in the Air Force and he is once of the nicest people I have ever met. He was actually in the reserves when 9/11 happened. I gave him a chance to get to know him and I feel everyone else deserves that chance too. I know a few people who plan to go into the army or who are already in the army, and they are very nice people.
On page 217 Ishmael writes; "I was scared and worried about what turmoil the next day might bring. Nonetheless, I was happy to have made it out of Freetown, to have escaped the possibility of becoming a soldier again." This is a good lesson in the book. To me, I thought it meant that you have to go out and try to change what you're not happy with. Ishmael was terrified of having to become a child soldier again after everything he went through to get over the trauma of the war. There are so many people who complain about being unhappy and talk about wanting to change, but they don't do anything to change the thing making them unhappy. Ishmael actually took the chance of being killed and he was humiliated several times to get out of being forced into being a child soldier again. I don't want to be stuck doing what makes me unhappy. I want to try and change whatever makes me unhappy by any means.
|This is a picture of Ishmael and his wife Priscillia.|