Learning from The 100 Year Old Man

I’ve carried this book with me on so many trips over the past year, yet never started it. Both my husband and son read it, enjoyed it and assured me I would as well. Of course I did not fail to recognize it is a best selling title, so many other people around the world have also enjoyed this book. Finally, on the flight down to the Baja, I started.

Needless to say, many hours of sitting in the sun, a good book as your steady companion, is a must. My choice did not disappoint, I only wish to have stretched it out a little longer, (not going home for a couple more days!)

Even though this is pure fiction, I really think I learned a few things from Allan the Swede. The ideas or lessons which the book kept circling back on are central themes of human existence. Nothing new. But I very much enjoyed the way they were told. The entitlement, impatience and expectation, which seems to pervade society today were completely removed. The characters suffered far greater hardships than most of us have or ever will. Allan in particular kept a positive attitude the whole time.

For me, the whole story was believable because these things do happen to people. Of course, not all these events have happened to the same person over a single lifetime. But in our own way, we could all reach inside ourselves and behave a little better in the tough spots.

Enjoy this selection of quotes. I am adding some of these, maybe all of them, to my list of “mantras”. And when I remember the context of these words from the book, I’ll smile.

“But as long as we think positively, I’m sure a solution will appear.”

“…you’ll see that things will turn out like they do, because that is what usually happens – almost always, in fact”

“People could behave how they liked, but Allan considered that in general it was quite unnecessary to be grumpy if you had the chance not to.”

“Things are what they are, and whatever will be, will be.”

“How can I help?”

― Jonas Jonasson, The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared

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One thought on “Learning from The 100 Year Old Man

  1. I loved that book – really didn’t want it to end! For me, the biggest lesson was about being willing to set off on an adventure, regardless of your age.

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