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Book Review – Your Next 24 Hours by Hal Donaldson

March 14, 2017

In 1994, the Hal Donaldson decided to try to answer the questions, “What if a person was led by kindness and took his eyes off himself and focused on the need of others? What difference could he really make?” He felt the answers were immediate and amazing, leading him to found the non-profit organization that became Convoy of Hope in response to a situation he encountered.

Following from this experience, Donaldson discovered more interesting stories involving recognizable celebrities (eg. Jennifer Aniston, Josh Donaldson) as well as everyday citizens you would never hear of otherwise. These people demonstrated some form of kindness and thus made a significant difference in their sphere of influence. Your Next 24 Hours is Donaldson’s attempt to categorize these stories of kindness and challenge others to live the same.

While the stories Donaldson recounts are inspiring and convince the reader that one person’s action can make a difference, the range of stories and personalities involved seems to be counter-productive to any underlying or foundational reason for why individuals should be kind. Its a “nice” book, something enjoyable to read when there is so much horrible and sad in the world, the lack a clear explanation as to why individuals should be kind to other people, or animals, or either (or both). It quickly becomes a book of neat but random anecdotes.

I can see junior high (middle school) or high school teachers using the book to challenge and encourage students to think about their actions and how one person can make a difference. Nonetheless, the teacher would need to accompany the stories with a strong rationale for why a student should behave in the suggested ways other than the polite “be nice.”

Note: This book was provided to the reviewer free of charge by Baker Books for an unbiased blog review.

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