Leaving Microsoft to Change the World
by John Wood
My young, hip, pastor handed me this book about a month ago and in his most serious, fast- paced voice said, "I have ordered over three hundred copies. Read it. It will change your life and inspire you. It blew me away," and then walked off. And there I stood with a free book in my hands and a mandate to read, knowing I would have to discuss it later with a really smart, passionate guy.
Let me go ahead and say that if you know a teacher, buy them this book, they will love you for it. If you are a teacher, ask for this book! This non religious account of one man's journey to educate the children of the world is so incredibly inspiring, that trust me, you will want to drop what you are doing and have a book drive. If you love books, love to read, love to travel, have a global mindset, are passionate about education, or love kids, this book is for you. If you are an entrepreneur or run a non profit, this book is invaluable for its practical business advice and inspiring call to action. If you are a politician or work for our government, please, read it and know that billions of dollars spent on war could be spent on education instead...war is a band aide, education is a solution.
I found myself flying through the pages wanting to know what happened next. It is poetic, enticingly fluid, smart but simple, and for you non-readers, it is a quick read. I promise. I woke up erratically at 4:00 a.m. one morning and not being able to sleep, I picked up the book for the first time, hoping it would lull me into rest.
At 8:30 a.m. I was still on the couch devouring it.
The author, John Wood, was a normal expat traveling the world, making lots of money, working his high paced, non-stop, dream job for Microsoft. When he takes a break to hike through the beautiful mountains in Nepal he encounters a tiny school with hundreds of kids and only two books in their library. One was a Danielle Steele novel in English. Yikes. This deeply troubled him. Giving his word to this one village that he would bring back books for their children who were hungry to read (which he did, on the back of a yak) turned into a calling to educate children all over the world.
I appreciate this book because his passion is a cause and call for all people. It crosses faiths, countries, political groups, and every other division and puts us on common ground...we are all responsible to pass on knowledge and learning. Because as their logo puts it "world change starts with educated children."
Through John's subsequent foundation you can sponsor an entire library or school being built, pay for a girl's scholarship, adopt a project in numerous countries, or just hold a book drive and donate books! No matter who you are, or what you do, you will put down this book excited about doing something to change the world. Bottom Line: this is a must read!
You can check out the opportunities above and John Wood's personal stories and pictures at: www.roomtoread.org