Dignity is as essential to human life as water, food, and oxygen. The stubborn retention of it, even in the face of extreme physical hardship, can hold a man's soul in his body long past the point at which the body should have surrendered it.
I am in an altogether new world now. I can think of nothing more wonderful. It is a real touch of all that heaven means.
Such beauty, he thought, was too perfect to have come about by mere chance. That day in the center of the Pacific was, to him, a gift crafted deliberately, compassionately, for him and Phil. Joyful and grateful in the midst of slow dying, the two men bathed in that day until sunset brought is, and their time in the doldrums, to an end.
The buses drove to the Olympic stadium. Entering in a parade of nations and standing at attention, the athletes were treated to a thunderous show that culminated in the release of twenty thousand doves. As the birds circled in panicked confusion, cannons began firing, prompting the birds to relieve themselves over the athletes. With each report, the birds let fly. Louie stayed at attention, shaking with laughter.
The paradox of vengefulness is that it makes men dependent upon those who have harmed them, believing that their release from pain will come only when their tormentors suffer.
When he thought of his history, what resonated with him now was not all that he had suffered but the divine love that he believed had intervened to save him.
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