My name is August. I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse.
Are you ready to meet Auggie Pullman?
Wonder might be one of the most powerful novels I've ever read. As the Guardian wrote, it has the power to move hearts and change minds. What makes the book even more incredible is the fact that R. J. Palacio describes the reality. Thinking about the origin of this novel, one can see how important it is to talk about appearances, friendship, identity, courage and kindness. During an interview, the author told us how she opted for flight after her son began to cry because they sat next to a girl having a deformed face and she obviously didn't know how to react.
The amazing thing about the novel is that R. J. Palacio created a book mainly based on the children's voices which leads to more emotions and helps the reader to put himself in the characters shoes.
Auggie Pullman, the main character, is an inspiration for so many people out there. He shows that everything we have to go through makes us strong. In life everybody encounters obstacles and one should never give up.
When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind.
This quote might be one of the deepest in the novel. Everybody seeks to be right, but being right is sort of the desire to put ourselves above others. If we think about it we should notice that being right is overrated, chiefly when it comes at the expense of basic human kindnesses. It's in the human nature that people struggle with their ego, that we are afraid to be wrong. However, being right is not the goal. Being right means that we accept the fact of being unkind, whether we intend it or not. So when you are given the choice, follow your heart and choose kind.
Your deeds are your monuments. (p.65)
I won't talk much about this precept because I think that Auggie's answer says it all. Auggie wrote:
This precept means that we should be remembered for the things we do. The things we do are the most important things of all. They are more important than what we say or what we look like. The things we do outlast our mortality. The things we do are like monuments that people build to honor heroes after they've died. They're like the pyramids that the Egyptians built to honor the pharaohs. Only instead of being made out of stone, they're made out of the memories people have of you. That's why your deeds are like your monuments. Built with memories instead of with stone.
Now that I look back, I don't know why I was so stressed about it all this time. Funny how sometimes you worry a lot about something and it turns out to be nothing. (p.215)
Worrying and stressing about the future? Well most of us know what I'm talking about. But do you know what? We cannot control the future. Everything happens for a reason. It's always easy to say this, but instead of focusing your energy on the things we have zero control over, we should focus our energy on the things we can control and just accept everything else. Stop worrying and trust yourself! Believe in yourself!
Kind words do not cost much. Yet they accomplish much. (p.311)
Kind words don't cost much. Why? Because it's not difficult at all to be kind to someone. We never know what other people are going through and a little word like thank you or have a great day or whatsoever might mean a lot to them. Kind words are free, they come from the heart and they have the power to change someone's life.
What we learn from Wonder
Auggie Pullman does not look as all the other kids in his new school. He has to go through bullying which shows us how mean children can be. However, after a certain time, some of his classmates give him a chance so he can show who he really is and they immediately realize how beautiful his inner values are. Auggie shows them how funny he is, that he is very smart and especially that he is as normal as all the others. The message R. J. Palacio tries to give the reader is that appearance means nothing. What really counts are our inner values.
In life it is important to realize that your happiness is not defined by your environment but it all depends from your attitude, your outlook. At the beginning of the novel, the other children insult him and run away from Auggie. At a certain moment he even calls himself ugly. And this scene might be one of the most emotional parts of the novel:
You are not ugly Auggie.
You just say that because you are my mom.
Because I'm your mom it counts the most. Because I know you the most.
Auggie decides to stay positive, he shows us that we should not waste our time on things we cannot change and that our happiness should never depend on those things. He is a great inspiration for so many people out there because he sort of represents what self-acceptance really means. We should always accept ourselves, no matter what other people out there might think about us. Always accept yourself, you're beautiful just the way you are!