A Spanish-language collection of inspiring meditations guiding the reader through a happy, fulfilled life.
In this spirituality book, Castillo (Las Reflexiones del Sr. Castillo, 2012) presents a series of short anecdotes and reflections that offer inspiration and religious guidance. The subjects of these brief stories, many just a paragraph long, are varied, from father-son relationships to unrequited love to the meaning of success, but they are linked by a central theme that emphasizes religious faith as the core of existence. While the book’s recommendations for contentment will be familiar to readers of inspirational literature—“El respeto hacia los demás es el respeto hacia ti mismo” (Respect for others is respect for yourself)—Castillo presents them in an engaging manner. Some of the book’s prescriptions for life are less common and seem rather ineffective: “Cuando mires a un niño o niña en la calle vendiendo cualquier cosa para ganarse la vida, no te sientas mal, triste o culpable, al contrario cómprale algo para que ese niño se incentive y sea una persona de bien” (When you see a girl or boy on the street selling something to earn a living, don’t feel bad, sad, or responsible, on the contrary, buy something so the child is incentivised and becomes a good person). Yet Castillo provides some justification for the book’s avoidance of broader social justice questions and enhances its plausibility by situating his writing within his own experience as an immigrant. The tone of the narrative is generally plainspoken, but there are occasional bursts of lyrical writing: “Si los arboles sueltan sus hojas para revestirse y mostrar su belleza ante la naturaleza en la cual tienen vida, ¿por qué los seres humanos no podemos hacer un pequeño cambio para mostrar que podemos ser mejores seres humanos cada día más de nuestra existencia?” (If the trees let go of their leaves to redress themselves and show their beauty before the nature in which they live, why can’t humans make a small change to show that we can be better humans each day of our existence?) Readers in search of inspiration and everyday guidance are likely to find them in these stories linked by their repeated exhortations to embrace kindness, reject bitterness, and act only after considering the effect one’s behavior will have on the rest of the world.
A charming collection of advice for creating a life that provides self-satisfaction and brings happiness to others.