On seeing the title”Born a crime” I thought to myself how is one indeed born a crime? I later found out while reading this book that Interracial relationships were illegal at a time in South Africa and thus if you were birth out of such a relationship you were indeed a crime.Trevor Noah is a brilliant comedian who I found out about through the Daily Show. I won’t call myself a big fan of Trevor, but I love his commentary on political issues in America. Being that Trevor is a comedian this book is funny but it still discusses profound matters in our society like Racism, Domestic Violence, Crime, Poverty, Equality, Marriage, Friendships, and relationship.

You can tell that Trevor wrote this book after some deep reflection about his childhood and growing up in South Africa.
This book is a gem of life lessons and quotes that I found myself wondering how old Mr. Noah exactly is. I would love to give a review of this book, but I believe that it would not do Justice to what a brilliant read this book is so I would advise, you head to the nearest bookstore and pick up a copy for yourself. What I would do is share some quotes that I learned from Mr. Noah.

“Language, even more than color, defines who you are to people.”
― Trevor Noah, Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood

“Nelson Mandela once said, ‘If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.’ He was so right. When you make the effort to speak someone else’s language, even if it’s just basic phrases here and there, you are saying to them, ‘I understand that you have a culture and identity that exists beyond me. I see you as a human being.”
― Trevor Noah, Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood

“Trevor, remember a man is not determined by how much he earns. You can still be a man of the house and earn less than your woman. Being a man is not what you have, it’s who you are. Being more of a man doesn’t mean your woman has to be less than you.”
― Trevor Noah, Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood

“People love to say, “Give a man a fish, and he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he’ll eat for a lifetime.” What they don’t say is, “And it would be nice if you gave him a fishing rod.” That’s the part of the analogy that’s missing.”
― Trevor Noah, Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood

“The first thing I learned about having money was that it gives you choices. People don’t want to be rich. They want to be able to choose. The richer you are, the more choices you have. That is the freedom of money.”
― Trevor Noah, Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood

“Women held the community together. “Wathint’Abafazi Wathint’imbokodo!” was the chant they would rally to during the freedom struggle. “When you strike a woman, you strike a rock.” As a nation, we recognized the power of women, but in the home they were expected to submit and obey. In”
― Trevor Noah, Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood

“In society, we do horrible things to one another because we don’t see the person it affects. We don’t see their face. We don’t see them as people. Which was the whole reason the hood was built in the first place, to keep the victims of apartheid out of sight and out of mind. Because if white people ever saw black people as human, they would see that slavery is unconscionable. We live in a world where we don’t see the ramifications of what we do to others, because we don’t live with them. It would be a whole lot harder for an investment banker to rip off people with subprime mortgages if he actually had to live with the people he was ripping off. If we could see one another’s pain and empathize with one another, it would never be worth it to us to commit the crimes in the first place.”
― Trevor Noah, Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood

“Don’t fight the system, mock the system”
― Trevor Noah, Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood

“Racism teaches us that we are different because of the color of our skin. But because racism is stupid, it’s easily tricked.”
― Trevor Noah, Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood

“Love is a creative act. When you love someone you create a new world for them. My mother did that for me, and with the progress I made and the things I learned, I came back and created a new world and a new understanding for her.”
― Trevor Noah, Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood

“People love to say, “Give a man a fish, and he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he’ll eat for a lifetime.” What they don’t say is, “And it would be nice if you gave him a fishing rod.” That’s the part of the analogy that’s missing. Working with Andrew was the first time in my life I realized you need someone from the privileged world to come to you and say, “Okay, here’s what you need, and here’s how it works.” Talent alone would have gotten me nowhere without Andrew giving me the CD writer. People say, “Oh, that’s a handout.” No. I still have to work to profit by it.”
― Trevor Noah, Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood

“Born a Crime” left me with one profound statement which is fear regret rather than failure. Do that thing you’ve been thinking about and If you fail that’s an answer. If you pass, it’s an answer. If you are rejected, it’s an answer. If you are accepted, it’s an answer. You don’t want ever to live asking the one question without an answer “WHAT IF?” which will haunt you for the rest of your days.

On that note here is my favourite quote on regret
“I don’t regret anything I’ve ever done in life, any choice that I’ve made. But I’m consumed with regret for the things I didn’t do, the choices I didn’t make, the things I didn’t say. We spend so much time being afraid of failure, afraid of rejection. But regret is the thing we should fear most. Failure is an answer. Rejection is an answer. Regret is an eternal question you will never have the answer to. “What if…” “If only…” “I wonder what would have…” You will never, never know, and it will haunt you for the rest of your days.”
― Trevor Noah, Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood

Author: Vannie Beee

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