“I was born in a small village in Africa in a country called South Sudan. I had a happy childhood,” Deng said. His father had five wives so that gave him the opportunity to be around family. But that changed when the war came. A civil war ripped his county and family.
“When we were attacked and driven out of our homes, my friends were killed. My sisters were killed. I was running for my life. To survive. I ran to survive. I walked to survive. I did everything possible as a boy to survive. I had to create a picture of my survival. If I wouldn’t survive then I would not live to see life. Because many did not see life,” Deng said. He told those in attendance that when they look into their future they should envision survival. Deng never allowed his challenges to pull him down or tear him apart.
Deng used to carry revenge after seeing what happened first hand in his village. He said that the animal instinct is to fight. His actions chose not too. The author gave the example of being a soldier in that war. If Deng had decided to use his own gun, he would have changed into the same person. A fighter. He chose a different path.