A Long Walk to Water

My class and I are reading the book A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park.  We have been discussing leadership, survival and more. Our book had been very and intense and it makes me realize how much I actually have and how I take it for granted. Nya and Salva, the two main characters, go through lots and lots of hard times and times they want to just end. But Salva was told by his uncle to take things bit by bit, day by day. This encourages Salva to never give up and keep going. These two characters, Nya an Salva stories are at different time periods. Salva’s story was a true story that happened in 1985 and Nya’s story was based on a true and happened in 2008.

My class and I have been thinking about some questions. One that we discussed and talked about was, What are the qualities of effective leadership? I was thinking about this hard and the first one that popped up in my mind was perseverance. I feel like perseverance is super important characteristic because if a leader gives up the people following might as well give up too because a leader is suppose to show bravery and being strong but if the leader just gives up they will think that if it is to hard for the leader they have no chance to do it either.  Another quality of effective leadership is being bold. I think being bold is super important because if a leader has an idea they should not hide it they should tell it to everybody. Even if the idea does not work, it would be the right choice to at least try because if they don’t then they are losing a chance of a possible good idea and a possible chance of something working and succeeding. In the book A Long walk to Water, Salva shows these characteristics. Salva shows perseverance when he is kicked out of Ethiopia and his refugee camp and ends up leading about 1500 boys and always tells himself to take things bit by bit and day by day. When he keeps telling this to himself  and others he finishes his journey and he gets 1200 boys to Kenya. Salva shows boldness when he decided where he is going. This is boldness because Salva did not hesitate to tell anybody he just decided to go because he knew it would be best. he knew Kenya was the best choice because there would be refugee camps there. Eventually a lot of boys started to follow Salva.

Salva is wise and has great knowledge. His philosophy can help me in my life because Salva shows me that at such a young age I can do sooo much. Salva also inspired me to act more like a leader like persevering and being brave. I chose these two characteristics that Salva has because being brave can affect so many things. For example, if there was a spider and no one else wanted to go near it to kill it, I would go so that the other people that didn’t want to approach it would relax after I killed it for them. I think perseverance is a huge one because if I stop trying, I will never know what it would benefit for me. For example, the Spartan Race. If I give up in the middle of the Spartan Race, then I won’t be able to feel the experience of accomplishing and finishing the race.  Out of all the characteristics, I think that perseverance is the most important because there is always a chance to get to your goal and if you give up, you are missing an opportunity. I think I can develop the ability to persevere if I tell myself the same thing Salva’s uncle to Salva, “bit by bit, one step at a time.” I think this will help me because I will just focus on the things I am doing at the time rather than overthinking  what I am going to do later.

Overall, this book really makes me so thankful for what I have because Salva has almost nothing but yet, can persevere through all of it just from some words, “bit by bit, one step at a time.”

One comment

  1. cboyer

    Very powerful Mia! Gratitude is another characteristic of a leader and a good one to have in life. Staying in the moment is important to developing perseverance, as you stated, “I will just focus on the things I am doing at the time rather than overthinking what I am going to do later.”

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