If you want to go fast, go alone.
If you want to go far, go together.

12 out of 52: The Promise of a Pencil

I ended up picking up this book because it was mentioned in I Am That Girl. I have become kind of an ebook hoarder; from one review or one mention of a book or one Amazon suggestion I end up picking up 5 new books. This was the first time I had heard of this for purpose organisation, Pencils of Promise, even though according to the book it was one of the first to really get on board with social media. The book is organised into 30 mantras that tell the story of how Adam Braun came to build over 250 schools around the world all because a little boy said that all he wanted in the entire world was a pencil. He turned down high-paying positions to pursue his passion for providing education in remote areas. It also turns out if I had been a Justin Beiber fan I would have heard of this organistion earlier because he is good friends with Adam (don’t hold it against the organisation!) and $1 from each of his ticket sales goes towards PoP.

Adam comes across as passionate about his cause and he definitely doesn’t sugar coat his good luck, his mistakes and insecurities. As a story about his journey it is fantastic. As an inspiration to travel and explore the world it is is wonderful. As a how to guide to achieving your passion it kind of misses the mark.

For years I had struggled with intense feelings of guilt. I was born into the lottery of life with a winning ticket—a loving family, great education, good health. But what had I done to deserve any of it? Why was I born into those blessings when so many others were born into suffering? Why was I born into a booming city when others are born into villages without electricity or water in war-torn nations? I was reluctant to admit it, but I felt that I owed something to those who were less fortunate, because in my mind I had never done anything to earn the good fortune I enjoyed.


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