Don’t Give Up, Don’t Give In
by Louis Zamperini
When Angelina Jolie signed up to produce and direct Unbroken, the screen version of Laura Hillenbrand’s written tome of Louis Zamperini’s life and survival through the most horrific conditions during World War II, people were understandably excited. This was a man who lived an incredible life, with a story of survival and forgiveness that defies all logic and belief, and a story that needed to be told. Louis himself had a lot to do with both the book and the movie, and in fact co-penned Devil At My Heels about his experiences personally. Another book that wasn’t given as much attention was Don’t Give Up, Don’t Give In, completed only days before his death last year.
This book isn’t another memoir. It’s not about surviving the war. It’s Louis sharing the lessons he learnt in life that enabled him to endure his lot, to make the most of the bad situations, to inspire so many others. I won’t go too much into in, because this is truly one of those books that everyone should read, but some of the lessons Louis shared that hit home with me most were:
– It’s not how you win; it’s how you lose.
– Preparation determines your survival – break down the big picture into small, manageable steps. Survival depends on education, preparation and anticipation.
– Never let anyone destroy your dignity.
– Hate is a personal decision – if you cling to the axe you’re grinding, you’ll only hurt yourself.
– You can’t run away from yourself or your problems.
– You need a cloud to have a silver lining; a smooth sea never made a good sailor.
– You only have one life; you should never be too busy to save it.
I’ve written down these and other lessons that really resonated with me in one of my journals, in the hopes that I’ll always be able to read back over them and take a little with me from this incredible man. Truly, do your soul a favour and track down a copy of this book –you can buy one here, or perhaps check out your local library.