Finding happiness is everyday normal human nature. There are many ways to go about finding it, and it is seen in many shapes and forms in people. You can tell if someone is feeling uplifted, especially if they are not usually happy. The most common form of happiness would be Love. People get married because they are in love, people laugh because of love, people become friends because of love. Love does not have to be just an intimate form, because there are many different ways love is inhabited. People can easily overstep themselves if they are blinded by what they want, and do not consider what could possibly happen, whether or not the consequences are extreme or even if they are nothing.
When Arturo and Alma decided to move from Mexico to the U.S in Cristina Henriquez’s book “The Book of Unknown Americans”, it was because they had wanted to enroll their daughter Maribel in a school known for helping with situations like the one she had (Henriquez 3). To give up their life they had been used to in Patzcuaro was no easy task, but they care about Maribel so it was an act of love to sacrifice almost everything they had. The repercussions from the move had made their lives very difficult compared to what it was. It was not easy for them to get by, living week to week, but the problems they faced were not from a bad decision but a decision they felt that was needed to be made. You can say that what they did was excusable because it was a just decision. Relationships like this are not always ending good, because it can become a selfish type of love that destroys them in the end.
Mayor from Henriquez’s book had made some decisions that led to very bad consequences in the novel, because he felt very attracted to Maribel. Mayor knew very well that Maribel was not like the average person because she was hurt before the leaving Mexico. Mayor had said “There was something wrong with her. I never would have guessed it. I mean, to look at her . . . it didn’t see possible” (Henriquez 43). Mayor instantly felt attracted to Maribel from the way she looked, describing her, and that is what caused him to not realize that she was not normal. Maribel was beautiful but broken. In a standpoint different from the book, people are all different. Different backgrounds lead to different ways of learning things, which also leads to different ways of thinking. It would make sense he found her attractive, that’s how he thinks, but later it went to the point of it all going downhill.
According to the American Academy of Childhood and Adolescent Psychiatry, the amygdala part of the brain, “responsible for immediate actions including fear and aggressive behaviour” forms early in the human brain (AACAP). Quick, unconsidered decisions are most common in the lives of teenagers, such as the life of Mayor’s and Maribel’s. Even furthermore when someone is in love. Mayor had a conversation with his friend William regarding how to drive stickshift, knowing very well he did not have a license. Mayor had said “After I ran inside and stole the car keys from the windowsill again, the two of us got in my dad’s car and took it down to the abandoned auto body shop on the corner. . .” (Henriquez 226). Mayor was previously grounded from doing activities, which did not let him see Maribel, so he took his fathers car to see Maribel at her school. His decision was obviously not a good one to make, but he had really wanted to see her, to the point of making unhealthy, family wise, decisions.
Henriquez had understood what feelings for another person does, and she understood that adolescents do not entirely consider possibility when it comes to doing what they feel is good. Mayor not only affected himself, his family, but he also affected Maribel’s family and it would never be the same.
Going on from Mayors stunt that he pulled with the car Alma said she had waited for Maribel’s bus to arrive from her school (Henriquez 239). Maribel was not up to par when it came to her executive functions with herself, and that is common in people who tend to sustain a brain injury such as her. These functions help with every day decision making and with new situations that arise in life according to Dr. Andrew Bateman and Professor Jonathan Evans. “Decision making many different cognitive functions working together” (Bateman and Evans).
Maribel’s father Arturo had went to search for her because she had not come home and was with Mayor. Arturo was put at gunpoint by Garrett’s father (Henriquez 257). This event had occurred because of Mayor’s over interest in Maribel. It is very understandable to want to do nice things for others, especially people we love, but it can get too blinding to see that more than one person is affected.
Ultimately love has a way of becoming too overwhelming. Arturo had ended up dying from his encounter with Garrett’s father, and that can easily be traced back to Mayor’s rash decision making. He stirred up problems within his own household and that of Maribel’s. Maribel and her mother Alma had moved back to Mexico (Henriquez 279). He cannot be blamed for falling in love but he can definitely be blamed for how it ended, despite Maribel having wanted him to do somethings for her; he could have said no if he thought more about what he was doing. This book had ended where it was started, but with less. Less people, more sad emotions, but realization that people had seemed to be pieced more back together, more so Maribel if anything. It could have been different if he was more humble with himself, but with each living person it does not play the same way when it comes to thinking.
Henríquez Cristina. The Book of Unknown Americans. Vintage Books, a Division of Random House LLC, 2015.
Bateman, Andrew, and Jonathan Evans. “Difficulty with Making Decisions – Fact Sheet.” Synapse.org.au, 2018, synapse.org.au/information-services/difficulty-with-making-decisions.aspx
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