Thinking about the world today and its society, lots of people are judgmental and hypocritical. Yet, some may also be very conscious of every step they take. Being courageous isn’t necessarily running in the face of danger, nor is it risking your life. Courage can be a private matter and to act with hope that things will get better or that their sacrifices mean something. Being the perfect person and lacking the courage to go out and live freely is constantly drilled into people’s minds.
Continuously having to be looked at and getting disparaged is something 5th grader Auggie Pullman, in the novel, Wonder, by R. J. Palacio, has to go through in his daily life. He is just an ordinary 10-year old middle schooler, but no one sees him like that. Auggie has been loved, nurtured, and protected, but now that he is older and stronger (both physically and emotionally), his parents recognize that it is time for him to face the world. Never born with what he has: a deformed face, never shows how he’s like every other child in the world. He just has to live a more strenuous life because of how society automatically judges others who look different. Auggie Pullman has basically has gone through all the steps in life.
Having the courage to do things at such a young age makes Auggie inspirational, valiant, and versatile. When we deliberate about inspiration, what inspires us most are ordinary people who have done extraordinary things. What we appreciate most is when someone has the ability and conviction to be selfless, ingenious, innovative, or just dares to be unique. Just like Auggie, in the novel, Wonder he demonstrates that actions speak louder than words. “It just feels so weird,” I said, “to not have people talking to you, pretending you don’t even exist.
Auggie started smiling. “Ya think? ” He said sarcastically. “Welcome to my world” (176). Here, Auggie was seemingly and desperately hungry to succeed, when people brought him down. Moreover, he was willing to do what was needed, whenever and wherever it was, to get what he aimed for: trying to not let his peers drag his determination down. There would be days when people stared at him right in the face, but he brushed it off and moved on. Auggie didn’t focus on the kids who broke him down, hated him, or judged him.
He had the strength to persevere, which was what kept him going. Everyday, he constantly heard gossip about his appearance, which is something that could easily break down any 10 year old’s confidence. Nevertheless, Auggie approaches it with enthusiasm. This kind of enthusiasm is infectious not only to only people in his situation, but every human. It reminds people of why they are there and what they are working towards. In addition to this, Wonder is truly an eye-opener for most people who have not figured out how lucky they are.
Having courage is a desirable quality to have and an empowering way to be. Although, we are told throughout life to “be valiant,” it isn’t as easy as it sounds. In reality, it is often one of the most difficult qualities to truly integrate. Evidence shown in Wonder by Palacio states “Anyway, it’s not that I care that people react to me. Like I’ve said a gazillion times: I’m used to that by now. I don’t let it bother me. It’s like when you go outside and it’s drizzling a little. You don’t put on boots for a drizzle. You don’t even open your umbrella.
You walk through it and barely notice your hair getting wet” (207). From this Palacio conveys to the reader that Auggie bravely hangs in there no matter what; even when he is suffering inside, facing the storm of stare, he plays it cool outside. In addition to this, having the courage like him is something most can’t get used to, but Auggie seizes it well, which most would take their whole life to assimilate. Courage is a great word to have in mind, a big idea that can lead and guide us, but do people know what it really means to be valiant a day-to-day life?
Knowing why courage matters to everyone is the moment when most realize what’s actually important to achieve. In order to have courage, you must start with fear and then rise above that fear. The greater the transcended fear, the greater the valiance. It is the ability to act without hope of reward, pain risk or danger, and to confront fear. Do something that you are scared of, not something you do daily. Courage is neither an inborn trait or a learned behavior, but it is an act of will; a choice available to all of us, and Auggie Pullman clearly takes it up to the next level of courage.
Experiencing a difficult lifestyle at a young age like Auggie Pullman is onerous, if we were to put ourselves in his shoes. He was brave enough to transition from homeschool to public school because of how his face has to affect everything else he does. An illustration of this is shown on page 369 when Palacio states “Luckily, a few days later, we did find out that I’d gotten into my first-choice private school, not far from where I lived. I’d have to wear a uniform, but that was okay. ” From this we can see that Auggie is very versatile to where he goes to school and all the things that shift for him.
Appreciating that there will inevitably be new procedures that everyone needs to absorb takes time to forge positive procedures with new colleagues is something Auggie distinctly takes control of. Thinking of Auggie and the hardships he experiences daily, that most people never think of is what I truly see how Auggie is determined to always adapt to a new environment. We hear a lot in our lives about the importance of being flexible and versatile. Whether it’s being flexible in working hours, attitudes with your colleagues, or even changing to a new environment persistently.
Nevertheless, Auggie does handle this very well at his age, where most would cry and whine about it. Although, most think their life seems difficult because of having to move to a new environment or something they are new to; Auggie takes this to the next level where people stare at him to every step he takes and wherever he goes. Therefore, readers can ascertain that Auggie thinks that everyone is unique outside , but inside he is like every other child, which this is something he always has in mind when he needs a lift.
The way you look outside is not relevant, but the way you are inside is relevant. Starting school for Auggie makes him deal with the good, bad, and the ugly, which none he can escape from. Auggie basically faced every challenge demonstrated in this novel: from his peers staring and questioning him to going to school for the first time and making new friends. Being at a young age with had experienced a journey on another world, whom most have not, is what makes Auggie inspirational, valiant, and versatile.
Life for Auggie may be hard as 10 years old, but undoubtedly he is more than prepared and ready for when he grows up in the real world. Maybe blending in is not always the easiest thing for Auggie, when he was born to stand out like no other. Though most can’t know what it is really like to walk in Auggie’s shoes, we can all try putting ourselves put us in his situation. Thinking of that is what make Auggie, the hero for himself, who can pull themselves up by their bootstraps and march on with the flow.