Books and More Books

not enough hours in the day

Leaving Microsoft to Change the World by John Wood

For a few years anyway, libraries and books were my life.  How could I not fall in love with this book, the man behind it, and the incredible journey he made to help people half a world away?

John Wood, the author of this book, gave up much to follow his dream.  As a way to decompress he took a trip to Nepal, met a few interesting local people, and discovered something other travelers to that part of the world had overlooked. 

There he saw children who truly wanted an education and were willing to work for it.  He also saw they had very few resources and very little money with which to work.  But what really struck a chord for Wood was seeing the school “library.”  It consisted of a few, totally inappropriate, but nontheless cherished, books locked in a room because they were afraid they would be damaged or stolen.

On the trip home Wood couldn’t forget the people he’d met and their desperate needs, and after some very deep soul searching, decided to up and leave his very lucrative, but soul crushing job with Microsoft to form a nonprofit foundation that would provide books for the children of Nepal.

But Wood didn’t stop with Nepal.  His organization, Room to Read, now provides educational access to 10 million children in 8 countries. 

This is an inspirational story of how just one man made an enormous difference in the lives of so many children.  Never again should you think you can’t do anything to make a difference in this world.  It doesn’t have to be as complex and large as what John Wood did, but as simple as reading to your own child every night or volunteering in your community.

As an aside, I was so taken by this man’s story I even considered applying for a job with the organization.  The reason I didn’t is because I think the fire in Wood’s belly is so strong, it might be all consuming.  If I were 20 years younger I might be able to devote that kind of energy to his cause.  But now that I’m older, I need more balance in my life.  I still applaud his efforts and wish him all the success his efforts deserve.

Read this book!!

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September 4, 2008 - Posted by | Books | , , , ,

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