The goal of the book was unique. It was not intended to feature these people and their accomplishments, but to gain an understanding of who their personal heroes are and who inspired them to become the people they are today.
You know, some days, you wonder why people are rewarded with powerful Senate appointments for no reason, except that they will be fundraisers. The ridiculous Duffy trial in Canada has been on my mind. Appointed senators, self-entitled, with 6-digit incomes who charge the taxpayers for meals.
This is an important book, to my mind. Many get recognition and rewards for simply doing their jobs. It always irked me. The award for the Teacher of the Year could be the person whose principal had the time to fill in the recommendations. There are so many unsung heroes in this world. People get up every day, care for a loved one, or punch in a clock, and make a difference in their spare time.
The people who should get awards are those who do something, not on their employer's time, but those above and beyond their call of duty. Randy Sutton has chosen stories about those whose lives have been changed by either a mentor, or a challenging or traumatic incident, and they have decided to make a difference.
What I like about it is that it shows how the Pay It Forward notion has a lasting impact. We carry on with our lives and we never know what will happen that will change it. It is our response to this that shapes us forever. For example, providing palliative care for my parents led me to burn out and quit teaching. I am now a hospice volunteer to one or two clients a week. It is a simple way in which I have managed to overcome my life circumstances, and changed my path, as many of these people have done.
The heroes in the book include Frank Shankwitz (Make-a-Wish Foundation), Gary Sinese (Gary Sinise Foundation for Veterans), Bonnie Carroll (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors), Myrlia Purcell (Look to the Stars: celebrities who give back), author Jacquelyn Mitchard (adoptive parent).
This is an interesting chapter: Kevin Saunders (accident survivor, para-Olympic athlete, motivational speaker), and he has a wonderful YouTube video.