Friday, February 22, 2008

Giving by Bill Clinton

I've always been a Clinton fan. Bill was the president of my idealistic youth. Granted, he broke my heart with the Lewinsky scandal, but I forgave him and moved on.

In the last few years, I've been quite impressed with the way he has stayed involved in the world. He could sit back and relax, his job done, but instead he's still out there, doing whatever he can to make this a better world. He and his wife could retire comfortably right now, but they both believe so strongly in public service, they keep working.

I saw Bill Clinton talking about this book on Oprah and then checked out a copy at the library. It took me a while to getting around to read it, but I needed something safe to read while at school, something that I wouldn't mind stopping and starting and this seemed convenient for that purpose.

This book is specifically about ways people give and contribute to the world through money, time or service. It serves not only to praise though who have given, but also as a way to provide examples to others who want to do the same. A person doesn't have to be rich or brilliant, everyone has something they can contribute.

This book felt a little dull in the beginning, but as I continued reading, I found myself getting excited about the opportunities discussed. It gradually starts to sink in that everyone does have something to give. As I was reading, in the back of my mind, I started thinking of things I can do. I don't have any money -- I'm unemployed at the time, making just enough to pay my bills by doing some substitute teaching. But I can paint, and maybe I could contribute paintings to my favorite causes, let them sell the work and keep the money. Little things like that. Reading it felt empowering.

It's a nice read, with a lot of inspiring stories. The sort of book I think everyone should read, but the people who need it most won't.

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