How to Change the World

How to Change the World

John-Paul Flintoff, Pan Macmillan

I really like How to Change the World and think everyone should read it.

The author gives sound, relevant advice on how to make changes and describes how one person or a small group of people have made changes to civil rights all over the world.

He tells interesting stories about acts of subversion and civil disobedience; often small acts but which still led to change.

One of most interesting parts of the book is on the beliefs that hold us back from taking action: “As we grow into adults, we are encouraged to believe that employers and governments are all-powerful … And for as long as believe it, they truly are.”

And “… ask ourselves if there have been times when we knew we should have done something, but didn’t, and to remember how awful that felt. And then resolve to do everything we can to avoid feeling that way again.”

I liked the strategies given, too, such as studying the different charities you could donate to and find out which ones are the most effective, finding enjoyable ways to bring about change, encouraging people to help without having to scare them or make them feel miserable and guilty, and helping neglected children develop empathy.

How to Change the World is part of The School of Life series edited by philosopher and writer Alain de Botton.

Katy Gerner

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