“Breaking Night: A Memoir of Forgiveness, Survival, and My Journey from Homeless to Harvard” is one of the most inspirational books I have read. The movie based on the book is called “Homeless to Harvard”.
Its author, Liz Murray, recounts her childhood in the Bronx with her drug addicted parents. Her mom had been an addict since the age of 13 and was frequently institutionalised. Both parents died of AIDS.
By the age of 15 Murray was on the streets, fending for herself. However, at the death of her mom she realized that she had to make some changes or go the same way. This young girl, with hardly any education and no resources, managed to get herself into Harvard University and today runs a successful company, Manifest Living, as a motivational speaker (http://manifestliving.com/).
What makes her story special is not the hardships she has had to endure, but her rise above it. Nowhere in the book does one detect self-pity. Murray, by her own will, made the choice to overcome the circumstances she had been dealt with.
Her unwavering love for her parents in spite of their shortcomings and failures is inspiring. She has a deep compassion for them in sharp contrast to the usual blaming of parents for limitations.
Her parents too are a testimony to the fact that no matter how big your failures are as a parent, love really does conquer all. Both Liz and her sister escaped their apparent destinies.
Many of us were given so much more than Liz Murray, yet have done so much less with it. Neither do we exhibit the gratefulness, love and forgiveness towards those who caused us pain the way she does.
If you think your life is hard, read this book. I can almost guarantee that you were not given a thornblanket as rough as Liz Murray. So it should be so much easier for you to overcome yours!