I recently read This Kind of War by T.R. Fehrenbach. It’s a history book about the Korean War. It had sat in my Kindle library for a while and one day I decided to read just a bit of it. But then I couldn’t stop reading it!
The book is a page-turner for me. It’s a history book but reads like a thriller. I found myself spending a long stretch of time on it. At this point, I haven’t finished the book yet (it’s 600+ pages long), but I’ve learned a lot from it.
There are lessons on strategy from the book, but here I’d like to focus on the life lessons. The lessons are simple, but they have a profound impact on me. They help me cultivate the right attitude toward life.
Here are two life lessons I learned from This Kind of War.
1. Be grateful for peace.
I’ve always lived in peacetime. Having lived my whole life that way, I often take it for granted. But this book opens my eyes to the fact that it’s a great blessing.
When I read about wars in the past, I often just saw the big picture. I learned about the important events and numbers. But I didn’t get the “feel” of how a war is like.
Reading this book gives me a different perspective. In addition to the big picture, the book also tells detailed stories from soldiers on the ground. Given the details, the pain of war feels quite real for me.
In short, war is horrible. You could suffer hunger and exhaustion. You could get wounded or killed anytime. You could be perfectly healthy one moment and then hit by bullets the next moment.
With that perspective, now I feel grateful for peace. It’s a great blessing. It allows me to write this blog post for you. It allows me to develop my talents and realize my potential.
2. Be willing to take risks.
If you want to live your life to the fullest, you need to leave your comfort zone and take risks. Unfortunately, fear of failure or rejection could stop you in your tracks.
Reading this book opens my eyes that the risks I face are nothing compared to the risks on a battlefield. As I wrote above, on a battlefield you risk physical pain or even losing your life.
Compared to those risks, the risks that I need to take seem small. Even the worst-case scenario isn’t that bad. So there is no reason not to take action.
These lessons are simple, but they make quite an impact on me. Reading story after story in the book imprints them in my mind.
The lessons may also be applicable to you. Be grateful for peace. Make the most of the opportunities it gives you. And be willing to take risks. The downside might not be as bad as you think.