Chapter 8: Success
Within this chapter, faithfulness is a constant theme. This chapter continually tells stories of homies who were killed by rivals. Even though these stories were truly upsetting and hard to read, they showed how difficult it can be to remain faithful during hardships. Remaining faithful is easily one of the things I struggle with the most in my faith. This chapter showed me that God is still present in hardships, and that He has a plan for those hardships. One story that I felt was the quintessential example of this was the story of Soledad. Even after she lost her two sons, she was able to pray for another woman's son, who was most likely in some way responsible for her sons' deaths. This chapter focuses not on successes but on how we should remain faithful in times that we would consider failures.
The most apparent theme I saw in this chapter was acceptance. The stories in this chapter focussed on the value of working together and viewing everyone as equals because we are all the same in God's eyes. Before reading this chapter, I vaguely understood the value of acceptance, but the stories showed how even the smallest acts of compassion and equal treatment can greatly impact others' lives. My favorite story was about Bandit's daughter Carolina, who was the first in her family to go to college. This story focussed on showing Bandit and his family that they had worth just like everyone else. This story along with the others shows how creating an infinite circle of acceptance, or kinship, can resolve our problems.