The review below is for one of the most inspiring and wonderful books I’ve read and reviewed over the years. I am editing it a bit and republishing it today. Why? Because, frankly, I believe we need bold, brazened, on-fire for the right reasons people more than ever before and if reading these stories lights a fire under even just one person, it will be more than worth it.
After all… well… One Can Make a Difference. ~ Joi (“Joy”)
I want to tell you about an inspiring book I know you’ll love as much as I do. It’s pictured on the right and linked to several times below. It may sound flowery (fortunately I love flowers, so that won’t slow me down) – but I believe this book will, in some way, touch every single one of my tomorrows. I’d love to see millions of tomorrows similarly touched, because I believe the result would be a better world for everyone and everything.
So, you find yourself on the fringe of a post telling you why you HAVE to read this book.
One Can Make a Difference: Original stories by the Dali Lama, Paul McCartney, Willie Nelson, Dennis Kucinch, Russel Simmons, Bridgitte Bardot, Martina … Dozens of Other Extraordinary Individuals is a remarkable book, filled with information, inspiration, and motivation. In its pages, you’ll read about real life heroes and heroines. People who weren’t born remarkable, but through determination and compassion did their part in changing the world.
Everyday people just like you and me who put their mind to doing extraordinary things.
A Few of the Stories That Touched Me the Most:
- Carol Buckley cofounded The Elephant Sanctuary in 1995. The acres and acres of land in Tennessee are home to elephants who had been in circuses or zoos. Elephants.com has pictures of these beautiful elephants, as well as a web cam, a gift shop, opportunities for support, and addictively interesting stories about each of the elephants – with pictures to help you fall even more in love with each. In One Can Make a Difference, Carol Buckley tells about one of her elephants that loved to make Orange Juice. She also details the very special elephant that led to this amazing sanctuary.
- Kevin Bacon tells how, at first, he didn’t know what to think about the game Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. When he realized that it was, in fact, flattering to have a game named after you, he realized something else: With a heart full of genuine care for the world around him, he wanted very much to do his part to make a difference. Thanks to this game, he now had an “angle” or as he calls it a “brand,” to launch a charitable organization and website called Six Degrees.org. This very talented actor and family man details how this all came about.
- Reverend Al Sharpton’s essay was also fascinating. I especially loved his words of motivation: The only person you ever have to conquer in life is not your enemy, it’s yourself. And once you conquer yourself, your ego, your vanity, your misplaced overestimation – once you conquer yourself, then you can fight for a higher purpose and conquer what it is you’re supposed to conquer and realize that’s what your purpose is.
We define success by what we have, not by what we did. But the only success in life is what you did. Because whatever you have, you could lose, and whatever you have, somebody else could have more. But nobody can take from you what you did. – Al Sharpton
- Rebecca Hosking tells of the unbelievable impact plastic has on the environment. I read her essay twice to make sure I was getting the full impact. PlanetArk.com helps educate people about keeping our environment healthy, clean, beautiful and, frankly, about what we can to do keep from turning our earth into one big giant dump.
- Oliver Stone’s essay was another one that was spellbinding. He, like every single essayist in the book, had me putting pen to paper – I put the words onto paper as they put the words in my heart. Oliver Stone tells how he has been led by ghosts, how they encourage him to make a difference. Interestingly enough, he was also one of the first people to sign a petition asking NASA to stop sending monkeys into space.
- Petra Nemcova tells of her horrible ordeal after the tsunami struck Thailand (she lost the love of her life and suffered a broken pelvis). The experience made her better rather than bitter and a lot of LOVE, literally came from the devastation. She now focuses her life on helping children who have suffered loss and pain from hardships all over the world. She’s a classic example of being as beautiful inside as she is outside – and that’s saying something in her case!
- Martina Navratilova talks about fair play, Russell Simmons talks about respect, and Willie Nelson addresses the subject of self-reliance.
There are far too many individuals and even more subjects to even think about covering in one post. I guarantee that they’ll be mentioned in future posts, however. Their stories have become a part of me. I’ve always fancied myself one of the overly zealous “We can change the world” crowd… but now? Ready to take the ills of the world with a toothbrush!
One Final Thought:
It’s wrong that, very often, people who are trying to make the world a better place are looked upon as eccentrics. Believing (rightfully so) that helpless animals shouldn’t be abused doesn’t make an individual crazy, it makes them compassionate. The author of the book, Ingrid E. Newkirk, is also the founder and president of PETA. So, she knows a thing or two about controversy.
I admit that when people are on the front lines doing battle for what they believe in, they sometimes seem to go “too far.” But I’d rather they go too far than to not go at all! The next time a PETA ad generates a snicker or two, challenge yourself to think about all of the animals that have been saved because of this organization…. of all the needless suffering and pain PETA has brought to an end. If your own pet were being abused, wouldn’t you want PETA to ride in to its rescue?
I certainly would!
This book is one of the best books you’ll ever read. So what are you waiting for?! Order it today and, within a week, you will have opened a whole new world! When you click through to the book on Amazon, you’ll find several options for buying the book. There are many available “used,” which is one of my favorite ways to buy books!
One Can Make a Difference: (Amazon link) Original stories by the Dali Lama, Paul McCartney, Willie Nelson, Dennis Kucinch, Russel Simmons, Bridgitte Bardot, Martina … Dozens of Other Extraordinary Individual