Thursday, May 20, 2010

From Me to We

Several weeks ago, I read the book From Me to We by Craig and Marc Kielburger. This is yet another find from the bargain section of the book store. As usual, when I find a gem in the bargain section, I have mixed feelings. I'm happy because I found the book, and I probably would not have even found the book had it not been in the bargain section to begin with. But I feel sad for the authors that their book ended up in the bargain section. If they have to sell a certain number of books to keep a book contract, do sales from the bargain section count? I almost feel like I should go back and buy one at full price to support these guys. almost.

Anyway, this book is written by two Canadian brothers. Craig, the younger brother, founded a non-profit organization called Free the Children which strives to end the horrors of child labor in third world countries through education, health services, clean water and food, and loan programs. Here's the amazing thing: he started this organization when he was 12 years old after reading a newpaper article about a boy his age who was murdered for his own work to end child labor. Craig has been nominated for the nobel peace prize three times; the first time when he was only 13.

Marc, Craig's brother, also works for Free the Children and co-founded an organization called Leaders Today, which teaches leadership skills to young adults throughout North America.

The book is divided into chapters that include lessons from the "Me to We" philosophy, as well as personal stories from inspirational people including the authors, Jane Goodall, Desmond Tutu, and Kim Phuc (the girl on the cover of Life magazine running from her village that had just been hit by napalm in Vietnam). The book includes questions to get you thinking of your own life and potential for change, ideas and activities for personal goals, and discussions of social issues that are of importance.

Though at times the book gets a bit text-booky, it is overall an inspiring and uplifting read. The tone is very down to earth and practical. Marc and Craig really make you feel that they are just a couple of regular, everyday guys who have done things that anyone could have done, had they only embraced this "me to we" philosophy.

Though I haven't built a new school or started a non profit in the weeks since I read this book, I feel like I could. almost.

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