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Doing Good Is Simple: Making a Difference Right Where You Are Paperback – August 2, 2016
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About the Author
Chris Marlow is the founder of Help One Now, an organization that mobilizes ordinary people to fight poverty by empowering indigenous leaders to care for the world’s most vulnerable children. Help One Now began in 2009 with a $1,000 investment and has since gathered a tribe who have helped build schools, rescue homes, and medical clinics through simple acts like garage sales, community concerts, and lemonade stands.
Chris is a sought-after speaker at churches and conferences such as Tedx, Plywood People, IdeaCamp, Together for Adoption, and The White House’s gathering of Innovators Doing Good. Chris lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, with his wife, two daughters, and a German Shepherd pup. Connect with him online at www.chrismarlow.me.
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Did I describe you? Get this book. You'll be reminded that the entire world is not your burden, but you CAN be used to make real change and save real lives. You'll feel empowered. You'll find yourself waking up from "compassion fatigue."
One of the aspects I love most about this book is Chris Marlow's voice. He never takes the condescending tone I find all too common these days. You know the one? The one that uses sarcasm for "humor," which is really a thinly veiled attempt to make you feel bad and the author feel important. The one that pretends to be doing you a favor but comes across as haughty instead. Chris never does that. He is kind and considerate, and he assumes the best of his readers. If you're afraid this book is one more loud, annoying piece of white noise, let me assure you it is not.
Chris Marlow's book is a gift for those who want to do good and simply don't know how.
“…God is leading, we are following, and we have to learn how to rely on him. If we fail to do this, good people who care about others deeply but try to serve out of their own strength will get frustrated and walk away when they realize that they do not possess the power to make the changes they want to see. Only God does!” Chris goes on to say: “This subtle but vital truth will empower us to know that we are good enough, we are gifted, we share the burden with Christ, and yet we don’t have to carry the impossible weight of fixing all the world’s problems. This means we are free to serve, love, fight for good, and yet we can rest our souls because God is in full control.”
The book tells the author’s journey to starting his nonprofit, the struggles he’s had with seeing such poverty and feeling so insignificant. And, yet, he also talks about we can make a difference for people in simple ways and that it really does make a difference.
He tells stories of people he's met and how he was visiting in a village where his organization had started to help. He was meeting with one of the leaders there. They were sitting around eating, and the guy told him, “There are children who don’t have to sleep on the dirt floor because of your gifts. They got mattresses to sleep on. They can go to school.” He talked about having to go to the bathroom to cry, because he thought of all the other children who would be sleeping on the floor in the dirt.
He warns people that when you get involved in doing good that you have to learn to be like a marathoner: “Over the years I’ve learned a lesson: overwhelmed people quit!...Just like marathoners, you have to come to grips with the fact that you cannot fix the entire world by daybreak…Don’t be the person who loves hard and goes so fast that you run out of gas, give up, and ignore the calling to do good with your life. When we run out of gas, it‘s not because we don’t care; it is because we started to sprint instead of taking small, but important, mini-steps forward. These steps are significant, helping you pace yourself for the long haul ahead.”
He suggests that, “Less is more; narrow your focus, dig deeper, and feel the joy of clarity and keeping life simple.” He gives examples in the book of ways to use the talents you have to help people, how to partner with organizations that are already doing good. But he emphasizes to do something.
Buying this book buys five meals for children as the author is giving towards that from the purchases.
Disclaimer: I received a review copy of his book in order to promote the book, and I have also purchased a book to give away. The quotes I mentioned may be slightly different from the final book since the book I received is a review copy.
For me, this quote sums up the power of the book: “I believe ordinary people can partner with God, unleash good, change the world, and still have a life. We don’t have to carry this heavy, impossible burden to fix all the world’s problems—we just have to know where God has called us to help. You don’t have to move to another country, quit your job, or stop enjoying life. This is not the mission or hope of Jesus; we are free in Christ, not trapped by religion.”
I loved this book. I hope you do, too.
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You can think AND you can take action.
What he is trying to say with his book title is get involved, even if that involvement is...Read more