Any Ordinary Day by Leigh Sales, Australia, 2018

Any Ordinary Day by Leigh Sales, Australia, 2018

In this thought-provoking book, journalist and television commentator Leigh Sales interviews a number of people, each of whom has experienced a life-changing event – often a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time – in an effort to find out whether it is possible to move on after experiencing such trauma.

Among the many people she talks with is the man who lost his whole family in a mass shooting; the man who was the only survivor after an avalanche killed many people, his wife among them; and the man who, as flood waters swept away four people, including three members of his family, was only able to save himself and one of his children.

Sales, who herself has experienced personal trauma, looks at whether these people managed to rebuild their lives and, if so, how they went about it. She discovers that in many cases the experience, far from destroying the person, has given him or her a special inner strength, empathy and understanding. In some cases, there is a spiritual component to the person’s ability to move on from devastation; in other cases, it is more a case of personal growth and a kind of inner understanding and acceptance.

Photo of Leigh Sales from The Guardian

She notices that the communities surrounding such afflicted persons usually cope with the tragedy in different ways and to different degrees, and she discovers that people in such communities often avoid talking about what has happened for fear of making things worse for the victim. However, as the man who lost his family in the shooting incident explains, nothing can be worse than what he has already experienced.

Because of the subject matter, this is not always an easy book, but it is written with such compassion and empathy it is definitely worthwhile reading.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *