How to Change the World
By Summer Parkin
This book really struck a chord with me.
Its objective? To equip the reader with the skills to make a change and be more determined to do so.
From start to finish, Flintoff beautifully refers to historic examples which both inspire and question every decision you will ever make. He challenges the reader with personal and practical exercises which are designed to help you get your life-ducks in order and put things into perspective. Contrary to what you would expect, the book does not come parading in like a motivational speaker, all bells and whistles, telling you to look at yourself in the mirror repeating the words “you CAN change the world. You CAN change the world”. Rather, it is a beautifully modest practical guide which is a pleasure to absorb.
What have I taken from this book? Ultimately, our time on the planet is not eternal. Although our existence to some may seem insignificant, this book teaches that even the smallest of decisions can make the most brilliant impact on the world around us - if you truly believe in something, you can achieve it. This is something which echoes in the ORCHID ethos, if you are to give your heart and soul to something and spend the most valuable thing you possess - time - you need to make it count: ‘When we are immersed in activities we love, we are living by our intrinsic values’.
The book talks through some unbelievable historic examples of personal challenges and decisions which have, in retrospect, helped to change the course of history. From a young woman telegrapher who risked her life by failing to call for reinforcements when prisoners started to escape from a Polish Prison of War during WWII, to subversion of German musicians undermining the prohibition during WWII by playing American Jazz (which was strictly forbidden) by renaming the musical pieces with German names.
Throughout these examples the reader is put into a subjective position so as to understand the reasoning behind an individual’s behaviour. To illustrate his thinking, Flintoff refers to a number of great minds, including Ghadi, Tolstoy, Socrates and Iris Murdoch, but to name a few. It shows that even the smallest of acts can inspire others, such as Rosa Parks and her decision to simply sit on a bus.
If I’m honest, to really understand what I’m talking about, you need to read this book. It is inspiring, optimistic, strategic, humorous, concise and riddled with a feel good feeling.
What did I love?
Being completely aesthetic – I loved the way the book fits into your hands. The branding and print spec is really enjoyable to touch. I have not been converted to the Kindle way of life I’m afraid, so these things really matter to me!
‘In real life we also have the ability to step outside of our normal role and do something else, but we often forget it – if we ever knew.’
‘If we are not interested in something, we will not be inspired to do much about it.’
'He who has a “why” to live can bear almost any “how”. If we find a reason, we can overcome anything.’ - 'Man’s Search for Meaning', Nietsche quoted by Frankle.
John Paul Flintoff
£5.99 (paperback, Amazon)
"How To Change The World combines insights from Tolstoy, Gandhi and Sartre and outlines a refreshing theory of political power, giving examples of successful non-violent action from across the world, from the start of recorded history to the present day. Of course, we don't all need to topple dictators, but any attempt to change the status quo requires us to overcome inertia, indifference and perhaps active hostility from people who feel threatened. This book explores the idea that we can break down our goals into small pieces, and highlights that there will never be a better time to start. Bursting with ideas, this book will give you a sense of what might just be possible, as well as the inspiration and the courage you need to go about improving and changing the world we live in." (Google Books)