Reading Small ways to shape our world is like visiting an art exhibition – you really need to take the time to look at each page and consider it from every angle.
Written and published by the team at Igniting Change, it’s one of a series of projects to help spark just that – change.
It’s easy to become completely overwhelmed by all the things that need our attention in the world today. Refugees, drug addiction, poverty, elder abuse, inequality, domestic violence…
The best advice I’ve ever been given was, “Pick one. Just pick one cause and devote your time to that.”
Cleverly, each double-spread page addresses a single concept or question to allow you the time to stop and think.
Why do some cultures have elders but others have the elderly? An excellent question – why, indeed? I’d never really thought about it like that.
And when you tip the domestic violence or refugee ‘debate’ on its head like this, it forces an international issue to become personal:
Small ways to shape our world covers a really wide range of causes, ideas and concepts. I asked Ziggy, from Igniting Change, how they managed to decide what went in and what ended up on the cutting-room floor. Ziggy told me:
We began with the issues the people we work with saw as most important (eg. no kid dreams of becoming an addict, homeless doesn’t mean nameless) and then built it out from there.
We wanted there to be a good mix of gritty issues like the ones above, environmental issues and phrases that are understandable and relevant to everyone (eg. connect with people, have a talk or the art of listening is about not speaking).
From there, it really took on a life of its own and its material became very organic.
There are so many points at which we could ignite change for the better in the world today. I asked Ziggy where readers of Small ways to shape our world should start? Ziggy told me:
Basically, one page at a time!
The idea behind the book is that we are all capable of reshaping our own world, and the world as a whole, by being curious and performing small acts of kindness and compassion.
As the equation at the start says, ‘small change x lots of people = big change’!
I tried to read the book all in one sitting, from cover to cover. This was a very bad idea! I don’t think that’s how it was intended to be read.
It strikes me as the kind of book you could allow to float around the house, sit on your desk or prop on your coffee table. When you need some cheering up, inspiration or deeper thoughts, just open a random page and stare at it for a while.
Give it to your friends if conversation is lagging and encourage them to pick a page. It’s sure to be a conversation starter. And you never know, it might even ignite a little… change?
Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher for the purpose of review. This post contains affiliate links.