Mosquito in the Room - Eugene J Rautenbach

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...A reality of life is that simple problems with simple solutions are always complicated on a mainly political-philosophical level. That is one of the main reasons that the systems theory will not be sufficient in itself to explain the discrepancies in society. The power balance will always be out – in chess/checkers terms the players are not of equal ability...

Looking at the list of contents, one can clearly see that different things in life sparked reactions within me. From my background as both sociologist and theologian, I could not resist reacting to it. The themes range from leadership and power play to love, behavioural patterns and more. There are, at times, a more light-hearted approach, and an attempt to provide hope. One could call it lessons learnt from life. Coming from a family of rebels, if this could contribute (!), I always try to look at things in a different way, trying to see similarities and comparing things. The alternative approach that I follow has been questioningly compared to Joyce Meyers and Joel Osteen’s alternative approaches.

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16 July 2021

Reviewer: Liezl Van Vuuren – Freelance Writer (M.A. in Communication & Journalism)

Title: Mosquito in the room

Author: Eugene J Rautenbach

Genre: Reflective Essays – based on real life experiences and events

A brief synopsis: The author succeeds in giving the reader a valuable, insightful, reflective perspective on various sensitive ‘issues’/complexities in life presented in various essays. He does not shy away to share his perception/opinion on many “taboo topics” - those topics many of us do not dare to debate or unravel too much. The title of the book, Mosquito in the room – is indeed a very accurate description of the author’s persistent approach with his perspectives on various topics such as; leadership, love, faith, religion, perceptions and power (to name a few).

Furthermore, the author has a very unique way of explaining complexities by using everyday anecdotes to simplify these complex concepts (sometimes perceived as “issues”) in life. With his simplified approach he succeeds in providing the reader with some ‘food for thought’ with his unique perceptions on otherwise complex concepts.

The author also dares to challenge the reader to overcome and reinterpret the complexities of life – presenting the reader with a choice to either hide behind excuses (sore fingers as he refers to these excuses) or to accept these complexities and rather perceive it as challenges, choosing to overcome whatever life throws at us. The revelation is presented that once such a mind shift is made, only then one will be able to learn to walk and dance in the rain – and that that is where the true art of living lies.

In addition, some of the essays succeed in providing the reader with some hope when failure occurs in life or when one seems to get stuck (also very valuable in the times we are living in today). He shares some insight on entering our ‘Promised Land’(achieving dreams/reaching goals) and that not reaching a goal or dream does not mean that one has failed. “Being diverted from our ‘Promised Land’ most often leads to something far better than we thought.” He also explains the risks of choosing to stay in a comfort zone versus the benefits of choosing to expand our horizons.

The author’s simplified definition/description of faith is quite powerful and made a lasting impression on me: “Faith is the pursuing of love, practical assistance to the needy, to do what is necessary to make the world a better place for every plant, animal and human being – without attaching a price tag to it, or a person’s name. Faith is to put another person’s interests above your own. Faith is to take God on His word, without any indication that what you expect in faith can happen at all.”

I would recommend this book to readers who are willing to be challenged to think ‘outside’ the box. To those wanting to step out of their comfort zones and to approach life from a different angle – this book might just be your ideal stepping stone to achieve just that or to inspire you to start thinking about it at least.

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