I always loved reading even when I was younger. My mother would buy me books and she would choose those that have good stories and would give me some life lessons to ponder on. I was a Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, Babysitter's Club, Sweet Valley fan. I have read so many books about them. I would sneak to read Goosebumps and Animorphs because my Mom thinks these books aren't good for me. But there was one book that I really loved. The first time I read it, I fell in love with it that it is still with me up to this day.
It was a fine Saturday morning. I woke up late since we didn't have classes. We were entitled to extra hours sleep on weekends. I was 9 years old by then. My mom gave me some books which she just bought. It was still wrapped in a paper from the store. I was so happy that I almost skipped breakfast just to start reading them! Inside were two books, a Nancy Drew and another was a book with a picture of a little boy holding a rabbit in a Christmas setting. It was entitled, "The Velveteen Rabbit" by Margery Williams.
I was curious what this book is. We do not celebrate Christmas, why did Mom got me this book? Who is this Margery Williams? I only know Caroline Keene and all the other authors of the books that I usually read. With my curiosity, I read the book first before the other Nancy Drew novel. And guess what, I was happy I did.
The book is about the quest of a velveteen rabbit who wanted to be real. His wish came true through the love of the little boy. But the story isn't just that. There is more to it. I have learned a lot of important lessons that made this book very valuable. I quoted some lines from the book where we can find great lessons that are totally life changing.
Lessons from the Velveteen Rabbit1. Love genuinely. "What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit. "When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real," said the Skin Horse.
As human beings, we were created from God's love and we have to live with love and by loving others because if not, we cease to being real. Becoming real entails genuine love. This isn't just about romantic love but this includes how your family and friend love you. If you feel unloved, look back to how your mother nurtured you, how you father spent time with you and how your friends helped you when they needed them the most.
2. You'll get hurt in loving. 'Does it hurt?' asked the Rabbit. 'Sometimes,' said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. 'When you are Real you don't mind being hurt.'
Getting hurt while loving someone is all part of it. It helps us see realism and will move us to better life decisions. Sometimes, we would sacrifice and take risks just for the people we love. In the end, when love is present, it can be totally worth it. Like what the Skin Horse said, pain is nothing when you real and when you are loved.
3. You are beautiful to those who truly love you. 'Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,' he asked, 'or bit by bit?' 'It doesn't happen all at once,' said the Skin Horse. 'You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."
Beauty is nothing for those who truly loves you. For them, you will always be beautiful even if you commit mistakes. They can see your inner beauty and would even look for that tiny beautiful spark in you even if other people can only see darkness. When you love, you do not see other's weakness and defects. You will only see their beauty.
4. Once and for always. The Skin Horse says, "Once you become real you cannot become unreal again."
Love cannot be taken back once given. Once you love, your love will remain in that person. Once you found your real self, why would you have that desire to get lost again? Once you are you, you will always be you no matter what others say and no matter what they do. Once you are real to yourself, you can look even more real to others.
There are still other lessons that we can get from the book. Like how a person can be transformed because of love similar to the rabbits transformation from a stuffed toy to a real rabbit. If you will read the book and understand each word, each phrase, each line, you will surely be able to create a long list of life lessons that will remind you of the beauty of life and of living.
A Perfect Gift
This book is perfect for people of all ages especially those who feel unloved, for people who haven't seen their own value, for people who only see negativity in life and for people who find it hard to be real.
So, if you are looking for a perfect gift, this one is the best pick. Wrapping The Velveteen Rabbit as a present is like wrapping a gift of love, giving the readers a lifetime realization that could forever change the way they view life.
As for me, this is a book that I will never get tired of reading over and over again. I will wait for the day that my daughter could read so that I can pass this book to her and so she could get the lessons I learned from it. And I know, she will love this book same way as I did. This will be one of the perfect gifts I can give her even if it isn't new because it has more value than a toy or a new book. It can even mold her into a better person who is ready to love, get hurt and become real.
I definitely recommend one for kids and adults too. Do not be bothered seeing unhappy faces knowing that you have just given them a thin book about a rabbit because once they read it, they will thank you for it and they will feel how much you love them. Like me, they will realize why you gave the book to them. My mother really knows what is best for me. And as a mother, I know that this is also the best book for my daughter.