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Brian Cox

By Brian Cox

Good Books About How One Person Can Make a Difference

05/15/13


It can be easy to assume that one person cannot make much of a difference in the community. Sometimes the need seems greater than the energy you have to offer, but never doubt the difference you can make in another person's life or in the life of a community. The following titles are good books to read about just that.

Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore

The unlikely friendship between an art dealer and a homeless man began with an introduction at a soup kitchen. As the friendship grew, so did the recognition of similarities between the two men. In the face of hardship, the one who had been served became the one who was a source of stability. Everybody was changed.

Middle of Everywhere by Mary Pipher

Pipher tells the stories of various refugee families she meets in the heartland of America and what she learns about the challenges they face when they reach the States. Her desire to know their story leads to a desire to help them navigate the throws of government aid, the excessive selection of unfamiliar foods in American grocery stores, and which mail pieces are important and which ones are junk. Pipher's assistance helps the families and their stories motivate her.

Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne

Claiborne has strong opinions about how the outcasts of society should be treated. In this book, he shares stories about how he has chosen to live out those opinions by entering the world of those he seeks to serve and living there full time. It is in that context that he and those who join his cause experiment with a variety of ways to meet needs. From wasted food to urban gardens, from homemade clothes to a new way of paying for medical care, he tackles social justice issues head on.

Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson

What began as a backpacking adventure morphed into a quest to build schools for children in remote villages of Pakistan. Mortenson had no experience as a teacher and no background in building schools, but conversations with village leaders over the traditionally hospitable cups of tea lit a fire in him that changed everything.

These titles are more than just good books to read, they are great stories to tell. The wonder of the stories cannot be adequately summarized without spoiling aspects of the account. Suffice it to say the books are motivational because they are true stories about real people making a difference. There are countless good books to read, but not nearly as many that tell true stories that do more than entertain. Let these books motivate you to get involved in your own community.

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