No matter your politics, no matter your race, faith or age: if you have ever experienced bullying or sexual abuse as a teenager, or neglect by a parent, then Jagmeet Singh’s autobiography Love and Courage is for you.
I knew nothing about the man—not many of us do—but after reading of his many hurdles during childhood, and how he overcame them, I have nothing but the utmost admiration for him.
Singh was forced to deal with continual discrimination by classmates. As a young teenager, he was sexually abused by a coach. He lived in a house made fearful by a seriously alcoholic father who lost his job and consequently the family home.
Yet Singh took care of his younger brother and sister, because his mother’s time was spent trying to deal with her husband’s addiction. Singh eventually moved away to study at university and took his siblings with him, working several jobs at the same time as studying for class, in order to support them all. How he achieved it is nothing short of a miracle. I can only guess that youth and energy helped, alongside great determination.
He later came to terms with the abuse that had caused feelings of guilt for years. His account of that whole terrible experience is worth reading, and will be helpful for many who have lived through similar events. Having been abused myself, albeit at a much earlier age, it was beneficial for me to read of his feelings, the long silence before he opened up about what had happened (which is how many of us react), and to feel that I was not alone. (I believe the same is true of my own memoir, Rag Dolls and Rage, in that others will feel there is solidarity.)
Jagmeet Singh’s book is easily found online, in stores and in libraries.
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