Challenges and setbacks are part of the human condition. Like most people, there have been many times in my life when I felt completely alone or as though I was the only one experiencing what life was throwing at me.
And, as I was reading, “The Invention of Hugo Cabret” by Brian Selznic, I remembered some of those challenges and realized that those times shaped me into the person I am today..that I was simply a cog in the wheel of the entire world.
Similar to my experience, and universal experiences of taking on life’s trials, the book’s central character, Hugo Cabret has to learn to handle what is in his path. Just a young boy, Hugo is made responsible for winding the clocks in a train station after he becomes orphaned.
Although he is taken in by a family, he leads a less-than-desirable life. Hugo’s only solace is his robot. The small, automated robot was his father’s prized possession, but it’s broken, so Hugo makes it his mission to repair it.
But it isn’t as easy as you might imagine, he has some difficulties along the way, and he rubs a merchant the wrong way while trying to find parts for his little machine.
Hugo’s world changes, and he makes friends and some enemies, but in the end its his personal philosophy that keeps him strong. His belief is that the world functions like the clocks that he runs, and machines don’t come with extra parts.
Therefore, Hugo must belong somewhere, too. He must have a purpose. With a resolute faith in his purpose and place in the world, and coupled with some compassion, Hugo is able to make his stamp on the world.
Like Hugo, we all have a purpose, and an afternoon spent reading this book just might help put things into perspective for you. It will also give you a greater appreciation for the things you do have. I recommend savoring Selznick’s prose, and really evaluating the work and artisty of the book illustrations.
The story of Hugo will draw you in, and you’ll fall in love with Hugo and he’ll come to feel like he is part of your own family. I know that Hugo’s story has inspired me to strive to make the days with my family more lighthearted and full of love. With Hugo as inspiration, we can get out there and reinvent our lives.