half the sky

My two favorite books are the two readings I want to recommend in this article. They are Pencils of Promise by Adam Braun and Half the Sky by Nicholos D. Kristof and Sheryl Wudunn. These two books share many similarities in the overall message and purpose of the text, but the style and context shed light on two different perspectives on the major social injustices occurring in the world today.

Pencils of Promise is a book that revolves around the steps author Adam Braun took to quit his corporate-level job and start an international non-profit organization that would provide a decent education to those who couldn’t have one before. Braun used to be a businessman in New York City until he found something that piqued his interest more than any desk job could. It all started when he completed a semester at sea and was allowed to see the world. As he was in each of the countries he visited, instead of buying souvenirs at tourist traps, he decided to ask a child in each place, “If you could have one thing in the world, what would it be?”. Although he expected most of them to say they wanted a million dollars or nice cars and houses, here he found that most of their answers were so simple that we take them for granted every day. One of the kids even said he just wanted a pencil. These answers ultimately result in him finding his passion and working hard to achieve his goals of making the world a better place. Over the course of a year he slowly moved out of the world of finance and into where he traveled across Asia and Central America in search of the least developed places to build schools so that their youth could receive a proper education for the first time. It wasn’t an easy decision for him, he knew that if he stayed in New York he would be unhappy but he would be financially secure for the rest of his life although he wouldn’t live his passion to live the prospect of that Living in comfort was hard to leave. However, this life of comfort and financial stability was not enough for him. He decided he’d rather live outside his comfort zone and be happy to make a difference than sit still just to please those around him who had doubted him from the start. He began by venturing through Thailand, expanding through Asia and finally working his way through Central America to continue growing that dream. At 34, he is CEO and co-founder of MissionU, a debt-free education program, and founder of Pencils of Promise, which now has over 100 schools around the world. He is also the New York Times bestselling author of The Promise of a Pencil: How an Ordinary Person Can Create an Extraordinary Change.

The other book I recommend is Half the Sky by Nicholos Kristof and Sheryl Wudunn. This novel is also a national bestseller, taking a different approach to the same social issues. However, the main focus of this novel is the oppression of women in developing countries. This book is compiled from numerous short stories by women across Asia and Africa who have suffered from something extreme. Although they took those incidents and harmful experiences and turned them into something beautiful. There is the story of a girl who was forced to work in a brothel in Cambodia and managed to escape and eventually set up a retail business to support her family. A woman from Ethiopia who had been abused and had her injuries treated and healed was working towards becoming a surgeon. Although this novel relates more to what women can achieve, it is a wonderful book for everyone to read. It shows the strength that an individual has and can achieve if they work towards it. It shows that a person can make a difference and achieve the ultimate goal that they are working towards in life. It is a very inspirational novel that I would recommend anyone to read, especially if they are looking to put themselves in a situation of helping people like the ones being written about. Not only is it inspiring what these women have done and what they are capable of, but it also inspires you to know that you could be the person behind the urge to help someone in need to help themselves.

We live in a place where we have so much and many of us are not even aware of it. Reading books like the two I listed above really helps bring attention to what many people are going through. It also shows that there is hope. Just because the world isn’t perfect now doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement. When something as small as reading a novel draws attention to larger problems, that’s the first step we need to take. Just to create more awareness of the issues so they can be properly addressed and dealt with.

Overall, I think these two books are great, whether you’re planning on volunteering abroad or not. They truly shed new light on the issues facing humanity and how you can get off the beaten track to help those in need. It shows what others are going through and how they work to solve their lives and others in the most dramatic ways. It proves that a desk job isn’t for everyone. Even once you’ve started down this path, it’s never too late to step back and pursue what you’re really passionate about. I would recommend everyone to read both books. They truly represent what the world is going through and how it’s never too late to pursue your passion.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.