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Payton's Map

Page history last edited by Payton N 15 years, 1 month ago






This book is about a young south african kid, about his life and the many experiences and mentors that helped shape the man he became. 








''first with the head then with the heart, that's how a man stays ahead from the start.'' H.G. (page 103)


''sadness has a season and will pass''(page 117)


''pride is holding your head up when everyone around you has theirs bowed. Courage is what makes you do it.''(page124)


''if a man can't hit you he cant hurt you.''(216)


''box, never fight.''(216)


''a good boxer is like a dancer, he is still pretty to watch even if you look only at his feet.''






I became what I am today at the age of twelve, on a frigid overcast day in the winter of 1975. I remember the precise moment, crouching behind a crumbling mud wall, peeking into the alley near the frozen creek. That was a long time ago, but itâs wrong what they say about the past, Iâve learned, about how you can bury it. Because the past claws its way out. Looking back now, I realize I have been peeking into that deserted alley for the last twenty-six years.


Then he would remind us that there was a brotherhood between people who had fed from the same breast, a kinship that not even time could break.


Children aren't coloring books. You don't get to fill them with your favorite colors.- Rahim Khan


     With me as the glaring exception, my father molded the world around him to his liking. The problem, of course, was that Baba saw the world in black and white. And he got to decide what was black and what was white. You can't love a person who lives that way without fearing him too. Maybe even hating him a little.


If America taught me anything, it's that quitting is right up there with pissing in the Girl Scouts' lemonade jar.


There is only one sin, only one. And that is theft. Every other sin is a variation of theft....When you kill a man, you steal a life. You steal his wife's right to a husband, rob his children of a father. When you tell a lie, you steal someone's right to the truth. When you cheat, you steal the right to fairness.


One time, when I was really little, I climbed a tree and ate these green, sour apples. My stomach swelled and became hard like a drum, it hurt a lot. Mother said that if I'd just waited for the apples to ripen, I wouldn't have become sick. So now, whenever I really want something, I try to remember what she said about the apples.


   I wondered if that was how forgiveness budded, not with the fanfare of epiphany, but with pain gathering its things, packing up, and slipping away unannounced in the middle of the night.


     I think that everything he did, feeding the poor, giving money to friends in need, it was all a way of redeeming himself. And that, I believe, is what true redemption is, Amir jan, when guilt leads to good.


   That was a long time ago, but it's wrong what they say about the past, I've learned, about how you can bury it. Because the past claws its way out. (1)


  But coming close wasn't the same as winning, was it? ... He had won because winners won and everyone else just went home. (56)


    It was Homaira and me against the world... In the end, the world always wins. That's just the way of things. (99) Rahim Khan


  War doesn't negate decency. It demands it, even more than in times of peace. - Baba (115)


    I stepped back and all I saw was rain through windowpanes that looked like melting silver. (109)


     You're gutless. It's how you were made. And that's not such a bad thing because your saving grace is that you've never lied to yourself about it. Not about that. Nothing wrong with cowardice as long as it comes with prudence. But when a coward stops remembering who he is.. God help him. (275) Amir


   But that's what I'm saying to you... That there are bad people in this world, and sometimes bad people stay bad. Sometimes you have to stand up to them. (319) Amir


    Quiet is peace. Tranquility. Quiet is turning down the volume knob on life. Silence is pushing the off button. Shutting it down. All of it. (361)


     How could I of all people, chastise someone for their past? - Amir


      There is a way to be good again. (2) - Rahim Khan


     For you, a thousand times over. (2) -Hassan, Amir


      I ran. A grown man running with a swarm of screaming children. But I didn't care. I ran with the wind blowing in my face, and a smile as wide as the valley of Panjsher on my lips. I ran.

*       P. 391

“I firmly believed that if I had picked up a rifle and gone on a murdering rampage, I would have still had the benefit of her unblinking love. Because I have rid her heart of its greatest malady. I had relieved her of the greatest fear of every Afghan mother: that no honorable khastegar would ask for her daughter’s hand. That her daughter would age alone, husband-less, childless. Every woman needed a husband. Even if he did silence the song in her.” - pg. 178

“I’d sooner ear dirt,” he said with a look of indignation.

“Really, you’d do that?”

He threw me a puzzled look, “ Do what?”

“Eat dirt if I told you to”, I said

“If you asked, I would”, he finally said, looking right at me, I dropped my eyes









Comments (7)

paul bonnell said

at 10:40 pm on Dec 3, 2008

Payton, any reflections? What did you think about the book? Any other favorite quotations?

paul bonnell said

at 7:53 pm on Dec 7, 2008

Any vocabulary?

Tana S said

at 4:47 pm on Mar 3, 2009

Do you recommend this book??

Jaylee L said

at 6:27 pm on Mar 3, 2009

did you like a power of one? cause i did alot!

paul bonnell said

at 3:57 pm on Mar 6, 2009

What book are you reading now, Payton?

mrkevind said

at 1:06 am on Mar 9, 2009

The Power of One has been near the top of my list for about ten years. :)

Becky M said

at 2:34 pm on Apr 15, 2009

The Power of One sounds good just by the title and the quotes you choose make it sound more interesting. i think it would be a good book to see what others have to go through and how many people are alone. but ill have to see if i ever get to reading it

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