Dick Mawson's The Gods who Fell from the Sky makes for inspiring reading
Published: 15 July 2014
Dick Mawson’s non-fiction debut is nothing short of inspiring. Titled The Gods who Fell from the Sky, it outlines his adventurous life including the loss of both his legs during two separate incidents.By Abbygail Zwane
Sometimes life is stranger than fiction and Mawson has certainly gone out of his way to prove it. Mawson presents a memoir of a man who proves himself to the world, not just once, but many times.
Born in England, Mawson and his parents crash-landed in southern Africa during the 1940s. It was a few years later, at the age of eleven, that Mawson lost his right leg in a farm accident.
A few years after that Mawson experienced another life-altering trauma when a 100 mile per hour boat accident left his other leg badly injured. With an amputated right leg and the left badly damaged the young Mawson’s outlook was bleak, but he continued to live with tenacity and did not allow his disability to cripple his life.
This book outlines how the author managed to defy the odds and break the boundaries of the norm to live not only a normal life but a life of largesse. He was enticed into a world of speed and competition on water and ultimately on the race tracks of southern Africa and Europe, competing against and defeating his fellow drivers on a level playing field.
As I read the memoir and the story unravelled, I was reeled in by Mawson’s charm, his lust for life and his love of women. I finished the book feeling inspired. Here is a man, who against many odds, made a success of himself and of his life. He was never a victim, but a survivor and not just a survivor but someone who was willing, and still is, to not only chew on the meat and bones of life, but suck the marrow.
Mawson’s story is not without struggle; often he tries to ignore his disabilities in order to simply get on with it. He also finds inspiration in Douglas Bader – a World War Two pilot who lost both his legs in a plane crash, but taught himself to fly with artificial legs and went on to become a RAF squadron leader.
Dick Mawson’s The Gods who Fell from the Sky is proof that how we live our life is our choice. More importantly, how we choose to see ourselves is our choice.