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The North Pole Project: In Search of the True Meaning of Christmas Kindle Edition
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|Length: 208 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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Having just finished it, I can affirm that buying and reading it was a great decision. It reminded me a bit of Dickens' "A Christmas Carol", though without the frightening visits of ghosts, as a once-poor and happy boy finds himself physically wealthy and spiritually empty. Challenged by his brother to recreate what once made him happy, he does so, and discovers life, love, and happiness indirectly along the way.
One point made by the book that I had not expected, but which rings true to me, is that the poor the protagonist set out to help are by far not the only ones helped. The task also helped heal and fulfill the deep needs of those who join his quest, building a new and better community among them.
I particularly liked the image of giving toys to orphans at Christmas, as that is one of our favorite activities - regularly visiting the 3 young girls we sponsor at a Mexican orphanage, serving as honorary relatives to them so long as God lets us suck air. A friend just sent us a photo of one opening a stuffed animal gift this week with a huge smile that would not have been on her face just two years ago.
Our former pastor once said, God gives some people great wealth so they can do great good. This book is an example of how that might somewhat realistically play out. The book also includes a similar quote I find true: "the only true value in having a great deal of money, was giving you the luxury of not having to worry about money."
It is overtly political, which is not not a minus for me. There is so much propaganda posing as news, this is a novel, it is accepted. And, it is more right wing than most today.
Why deduct points? The author can not do dialog. The moments that dialog are important you will cringe. Next, this story is all about making decisions to stop. That is important and the author should have played up the consequences.
No matter who you are, you will identify with at least one character in this little novel. A novel with the ultimate message that: "When we look after those most in need or in pain, that is the most meaningful Christmas gift we will ever receive." If anyone in Hollywood is paying attention, this story has to be turned into a movie.