There is so much wisdom in this book. These are lessons that can only be taught through life and death situations that reveal perspective, exactly how it is.
Some of the most powerful quotes:
“When I was certain all of you were dead, I knew I would never recover from the loss. It was as if my house had burned to the ground, and I had lost everything I owned, forever. And now, to have you back, it’s as if I have stumbled on something precious in the ashes. I feel I am reborn. From now on, I will try not to feel sorry for what was taken from me, but to be happy for what was given back.” (From one of the fathers of the survivors)
“Did I have the strength to trade the glamorous life I was living for long days toiling at my fathers hardware store? In the end, there really was no question. The lessons I’d learned on the mountain prevented me from doing anything but choosing correctly; I would make my future with the woman I loved.”
“In the mountains, there was never a minute that I did not feel death at my side, but the moment I stood on the summit of the mountain and saw nothing but towering peaks as far as the eye could see, was the moment all my doubts were swept away and the certainty of my own death became viscerally real. The realness of death stole my breath away, but at the time same time I burned more brightly with life than I ever had before, and in the face of total hopelessness, I felt a burst of joy. The realness of death was so clear and so potent that for a moment it burned away everything temporary and false. Death had shown its face, dark, predatory, invincible, and for a split second, it seemed that beneath the fragile illusions of life, death was all there is. But then I saw that there was something in the world that was not death, something just as awesome and enduring and profound. There was love, the love in my heart, and for one incredible moment, as I felt this love swell-love for my father, for my future, for the simple wonder of BEING ALIVE- death had LOST its power. In that moment, I stopped running from death. Instead, I made every step a step toward love, and that saved me.
“I have never stopped moving toward love. Life has blessed me with material success. I like fast cars, good food, fine food. I love to travel. I believe life should be enjoyed, but my experienced have taught me that without the LOVE of my family and my friends, all the trappings of worldly success would ring hollow. I also know that I would be a happy man if all those trappings were taken from me, as long as I am close to the people I love.”