Life is a thrilling mystery novel, a conglomeration of seemingly random events, pieced together to form a thrilling story. The Five People You meet in Heaven, written by Mitch Albom, is a novel about the afterlife of Eddie, an amusement park maintenance worker. When Eddie arrives in his afterlife, he meets five people who were involved in his life. These five people explain to him the meaning of events that took place in his life. “The Book of Esther” one of the latter books of the Hebrew Bible, is a recounting of the threat of annihilation faced by the Jewish Nation and the nation’s salvation from this threat.
The salvation comes about through a series of ordinary events. When looked upon after the story, these events are seen to have been divinely ordained. Both The Five People and “The Book of Esther” convey a similar theme about the nature of occurrence in this world. Although not always immediately recognizable, all events in life have a purpose. Oftentimes, a person does something or learns something, seemingly insignificant, which helps them immensely years later.
Other times a person finds himself forced into an undesirable position which upon the passage of time is seen as being their good. A erson will live a happy, fulfilled, life if they understand that everything that occurs has a purpose. All events that occur have a purpose, usually only recognized after the completion of the event. The Five People You Meet in Heaven, portrays this idea throughout its entirety. The whole idea of Eddie meeting five people after his death is so that he could understand and appreciate all that occurred in his life.
The first man Eddie meets in heaven, the Blue Man, explains this to Eddie in their introductory talk. He says, “This is the greatest gift God can give you, to understand what happened in your life Albom 35). ” The Blue man explains to Eddie the significance of understanding the occurrence of one’s life. He further explains that there are no random events in life. Through this understanding, which Eddie gains through meeting the five people, Eddie is able to come to peace with the life he lived on Earth. With this peace he is able to bask in the serenity of heaven.
Whereas in The Five People You meet in Heaven, Eddie is only revealed the explanation to the events in his life posthumously, the Jewish Nation, in “The Book of Esther” merit such a revelation at the time of their salvation. On the thirteenth day of he Jewish month of Adar the Jews understand the purpose of the plot against them and how it was really for their good. It states in “The Book of Esther”: “… on the day that the enemies of the Jew’s expected to prevail over them, and it was turned about: The Jews prevailed over their adversaries.. nd no man could stand before them, for fear of them had fallen upon all the peoples (Esther 9:1,2). ”
The purpose of the decree against them was for its ultimate annulment which causes the Jews to rise in power and prevail over their enemies. The Jews, who for the past year had been in despair over their ill fortune, now view he events that occurred with a new perspective. Their suffering is no longer seen as the result of unfortunate happenings but rather as a product of deliberate events for their own good. With this knowledge the Jews are able to rejoice in their salvation.
The theme of both The Five People You Meet in Heaven, and “The Book of Esther” provide the reader with guidance at how to view all events that occur in life. Many people go through life miserable, viewing every difficult situation as a misfortune that they were afflicted with. Both of these books teach that the proper way to go through life is to view every challenging ccurrence as an integral part of life, placed upon a person them for their own good. If one views each event as purposeful experience, then they can go through their life with confidence and happiness.
An obstacle one encounters is no longer a hindrance but rather an experience integral to one’s life. Many times a person learns new something or does an act which helps them in an unimagined way, later in their life. As a child, Eddie grow up at Ruby Pier and learns to juggle, a regular skill for a child at the pier. At the time no one could imagine how Eddie would put this skill to use late in his life to save himself nd his fellow comrades from captivity. Albom displays the enormity of this unimportant skill important way in his description of the events. It was no big deal. Most pier kids could juggle. But now he worked the two rocks furiously, juggling them faster impressing the guards (Albom 73). ” The use of comparison in this quote conveys a message to the reader regarding how seemingly insignificant things one learns in life are often put to good use later in life.
It may seem unfathomable at the time the skill or knowledge is acquired that it will ever have any significance, but it wise to alue everything one learns for one day it may save their life. ng used in such an Similar to how a skill that Eddie has saves his life and that of his fellow soldiers in The Five People You Meet in Heaven, a good deed that Mordechai, the leader of the Jews, performs in “The Book of Esther”, helps save his life and the lives of his nation from the hands of the evil Haman. Mordechai overhears two of the king’s officers plotting to assassinate King Ahasuerus Mordechai informs the queen of this plot and, the two plotters are caught and hanged (Esther 2:21-23). Years later, when Mordechai’s own life is threatened, the act that he had erformed saves his life.
This is described at the beginning of Chapter 6 when the King’s has trouble sleeping and has his book was found written [there] that of records read before him: And Mordechai had denounced Bigthana and Teresh… who had sought to send [their] hand against King Ahasuerus. The king said, “What honor or majesty has been done to Mordechai for this? “… The king said, “Who is in the courtyard? ” (Now Haman was [just] coming… to speak to the king about hanging Mordechai on the gallows he had prepared for him. (Esther 6:2-4)”
At the same time that Haman is coming to ask the king o hang Mordechai, King Ahasuerus is contemplating how to honor Mordechai. Because of this, Haman has no way of carrying out his plot. Had Mordechai not informed the queen about the plot years earlier, the king would have had no reason not to acquiesce to request of his prime minister and Mordechai would have been hanged. Furthermore, the final incriminating evidence which results in Haman’s execution and the annulment of the death decree against the Jewish Nation is that Haman plotted to have Mordechai – a man who saved the king’s life hanged.
Mordechai’s action not only saved his life but also he lives of the entire Jewish Nation. “The Book of Esther” is teaching a lesson that every act that a person performs has inconceivable ramifications. A person who goes through life knowing this, will make sure to make their actions count. Throughout life a person will do many acts and learn new skills and ideas. A person should realize that everything they ever do in their life will affect them later in life. If a person knows this, they will make conscience decisions perform their best and to constantly learn.
Eddie’s skill of juggling, which he learns as a child, saves him from captivity in battle. Mordechai’s ecision to inform the queen about the planned assassination, ultimately saves himself from Haman’s plan to have him hanged. Both The Five People You Meet in Heaven and “The Book of Esther” demonstrate that everything a person does is for a reason. People are often coerced into undesirable positions, positions which are ultimately to their benefit. In The Five People You Meet in Heaven, Eddie feels trapped in the position of maintenance man at Ruby Pier, a position of monotony and boredom.
When Eddie meets Tala, his fifth person, learns that this position was actually his life’s calling Tala explains: “Supposed to be there.. Children… You keep them safe. You make good for me. ” With this explanation, Eddie now understands that being a maintenance worker, was not merely a result of unfortunate circumstances but rather a predestined position for his own good. Working at the amusement park, keeping children safe, was Eddie’s rectification for having ‘killed’ Tala. This rectification is completed when Eddie is killed saving a child from under ‘Freddy’s Free Fall’.
The position that Eddie loathed is the position that allows Eddie to fulfill his life’s purpose. Had Eddie lived with belief that there is a reason for every position a erson finds himself in, he would have lived a much more satisfied life. Unfortunately for Eddie, he only learns this lesson after he already passes on to the next world. Like Eddie in The Five People You Meet in Heaven, Esther, “Book of Esther”, is also forced into an unwanted position which turns out to be for the good.
Towards the beginning of “The Book of Esther”, Esther is taken against her will to be queen to the King Ahasuerus. For Esther, a Jewish girl, this is a most undesirable position. But when a decree for genocide is put forth against the Jewish Nation, Esther, as queen is in the best position to make a difference. Mordechai convinces Esther to risk her life and intercede before the king with the following message: “”And who knows whether it was for just for such a time that you attained the royal position! ” (Esther 4:14).
With this encouragement of Mordechai, Esther realizes the importance of her role as queen, and understands that every position a person is put in is for a purpose. Esther goes before the king to beg for her nation. Through Esther comes the salvation of the entire Jewish Nation. Whatever station a person finds themselves in, they must realize that it is for their best. It may not be immediately pparent as to how a certain position is for their benefit, but eventually, but eventually it will become clear.
Eddie pities himself for his unproductive life as a maintenance worker when in reality, this position is his life’s calling. Esther bemoans her fate as queen to King Ahasuerus. Little does she know that being queen would give her the opportunity to save the Jewish Nation from annihilation. The Five People and “The Book of Esther” demonstrate that every situation a person is placed in is for a specific purpose. If a person goes through life with this in mind then there is no room for negativity, whatever situation they encounter.
To live a happy fulfilled life, one must believe that nothing occurs without reason. One must know that everything that happens has a purpose, sometimes, recognized in one’s lifetime, but often only recognized after one passes on. Every time one does an action or learns a skill they are acquiring a tool that will help them later in their life and every position one is placed in is for their own good. If a one goes through life with this belief firmly planted in their heart, the levels of happiness they will attain is unimaginable.