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Reviewed by Susan van der Walt for Readers' Favorite
Everything Has Meaning: What the Tree Stand Murders Taught me About Life, Death, and Destiny is the memoir of Scott Roux. He was raised as a Catholic but also inherited his Ojibwe roots from his mother. He started exploring his Native American heritage and discovered the beliefs, traditions, and wisdom of the Ojibwe tribe. An aspect that stood out was the importance of eagles in indigenous religions, which view them as spirit messengers. Roux describes many of his encounters with eagles, most being contrary to an eagle's nature. The Ojibwe believe that eagles bring messages of comfort and guidance, and Roux experienced this during many traumatic experiences in his life.
I loved the facts that Scott Roux shared concerning eagles, including explaining how they can glide on hot air currents. The Tree Stand Murders - a significant event in his life - led to his father's death from PTSD. Looking back over his life, Roux realized that every event had meaning - the murders, his father's death, and the brain injury caused by a car accident. All our experiences prepare us for the future and give us purpose in life. The Ojibwe values of love, respect, bravery, truth, honesty, humility, and wisdom are shared by many religions (albeit expressed differently) and should be embraced by all. I admired the way Roux found a new direction by helping others after the brain injury that robbed him of his career. Everything Has Meaning teaches us that nothing that happens is random, but the events contribute to the meaning we discover in life.