Thursday, September 23, 2010

Day 34: The Book

Photo of the Day: Manifesto

Every once in a while, I find a book resonates so closely with me, that articulates a framework of thinking that somehow puts all the pieces of my mind into place, and helps me make sense of the world. They are powerful finds, and I finished reading one such book today. It's called Do It Anyway: The New Generation of Activists by Courtney E. Martin, released just this month. This series of profiles of young activists offers a brutally honest look at the social change movement among this sometimes overly idealistic generation. One of my favorite quotes from the book cuts right to the point:
"It turns out there is no surefire way to 'do good' in the twenty-first century. There are no pat or pure answers. There are no true heroes—and those who cast themselves in this light probably haven't thought enough about the complexities of their work or explored the terrain of their own souls with enough honesty. There are only occasional triumphs and, more often, good failures.

Good failures are what you achieve when you aim to transform an entire broken system and end up healing one broken soul."
It's a great message that, yes, you will fail, and, no, you won't change the world. But it does matter. And you should do it anyway. Martin offered a perspective that matched what I've seen and experienced in the nonprofit field—stagnation, bureaucracy, hypocrisy, inefficiencyand still manages to come to an optimistic and hopeful conclusion. I highly recommend this inspiring book to anyone remotely involved or interested in the social change movement. I'm not sure if it's in bookstores yet, but you can order it from Beacon; it's totally worth the price. The best part is the author is coming to visit our offices next month for a leadership seminar, so I will get to meet her in person!

On another note, my sister and mom fly in to visit me in New York tomorrow! I know it's only been a month since I left Houston, but it feels like forever since I've seen them. I'm so excited to host my first guests! I'm planning quite the culinary tour for them, so stay tuned for lots of food photography in the coming days.

The light was really pretty walking to the office today.
Lunch time! A chicken saltimbocca panini from Cer té, stuttfed with grilled chicken, prosciutto, mozzarella, and spinach with lemon caper aioli on a baguette.
Picking up some freshly ground coffee from Stumptown Coffee Roasters in the Flatiron District.
Classic marquee lights at Ace Hotel.

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