we crave meaning and purpose in life, and one way to find it is to connect to a cause larger than ourselves.
nick kristof and sheryl wudunn’s first book, half the sky, is one that has stuck with me for years, so i was ecstatic when i learned they were publishing a second book, a path appears. both are fantastic writers, and their plight to highlight aid programs and social enterprises that are making a difference around the world is extremely inspiring.
where half the sky focused on efforts to improve the lives of women and girls around the world, kristof and wudunn chose to look into altruism and giving in a path appears. the result is a collection of chapters on different programs and initiatives around the world, and the impulses that encourage people to donate to them. each chapter is then followed by an anecdote from a person or organization who is using their skillset to make a difference, whether it be on a local, national, or international level.
so take it from us: don’t disparage the impact of a letter, or scorn a ‘drop in the bucket.’ that’s how buckets get filled, that’s how lives are changed, and that’s how opportunity is created.
as always, i think kristof and wudunn are incredibly thoughtful writers. the amount of research they put into their book is very evident, and their personal desires to help create social change shines through in each paragraph and chapter of a path appears. and they are honest, which i always appreciate. they admit that some initiatives fail – even ones they have vetted and supported in the past – and they also admit that others succeed for reasons they could not have predicted. they are the first to open up about their shortcomings, which makes me appreciate them even more.
continuing with their work in half the sky, i love their focus on women entrepreneurs and women-led initiatives, and it was great to see some familiar names in addition to all the new ones. their continued efforts to improve the lives of women and girls is really an inspiration.
there are ways to incorporate giving into our daily lives so that they constitute not a sacrifice but an opportunity and a heady pleasure.
on a personal note, this was a great time for me to read this book. i am relocating back to the states in mid-june, and a path appears was not only a great inspiration as i begin my job hunt but has also provided me with a number of great organizations to look into. it would be an honour to work for any one of them, and i appreciate the history and background that has already been provided.
my goodreads rating: 5 out of 5 // average rating is 4.22
currently reading: i am malala; a s byatt’s possession [1990’s booker prize winner]; louisa may alcott’s little women; and just restarting goblet of fire.