TAT Book Review: A Path Appears

A Path Appears

Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunity

By Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn

A book review by Kylla Lanier, TAT deputy director

 

Hope is a powerful emotion … credited with saving lives, keeping spirits buoyed through terrible times, the spark needed to keep dreams alive… it is often the one thing that provides the light at the end of a dark tunnel. A Path Appears is the uplifting, hope-inspiring follow up to Nicholas Kristof’s and Sheryl WuDunn’s best selling novel Half the Sky, which detailed the problems and extreme challenges facing women and children the world over.

This book informs the would-be activist, the savvy investor, and the average citizen, who want to make a difference but have no idea where to start, how their small or large donation will be used or who to trust. To the seemingly too young or to the older person who has an idea or life experience to bring to bear, this book gives real life examples of people who had a dream, who weren’t done dreaming or giving back, and who are now changing lives through their presence and the sharing of their gifts and talents.

A list of organizations of all sizes is included in the back of the book. Among those listed are groups that fight for human rights, provide literacy support, health care, mentoring, pregnancy counseling, job opportunities for the homeless, fresh water, vaccinations, education, microloans, funding for start-up charity projects, eyeglasses, and counseling. As an activist myself, I was encouraged tremendously by the creativity, gumption and amazing work being done all over the United States and around the world by concerned citizens who recognize that change begins in and with each one of us.

The stories of a businessman training those who are homeless to bake, and setting up a commercial bakery where they can earn a living; the children who raised money for charities in lieu of birthday and holiday presents; the recycled eyeglasses being sold to people living in underdeveloped countries enabling them to be more productive, strengthening families and local economies; a Nashville reverend opening a home, business and café for survivors of commercial sexual exploitation to live and work; sustainable sanitary napkins being manufactured locally and allowing girls to have steady school attendance … these are a tiny sampling of the empowering and amazing stories of people seeing a need and finding creative, multi-pronged solutions to those problems.

If you need that extra push to get involved or to allow your dream and idea to take flight, or crave concrete examples or well-researched, on-the-ground feedback about domestic and international efforts to make this world better, A Path Appears is the book for you. It inspires, informs, and leaves you with that mystical and potent feeling … hope. There is not much better than that.