4 out of 4 stars
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Then I Met Margaret was an excellent read. I typically don’t read a lot of non fiction, but the description of the book piqued my interest so I thought I would give it a shot. I was not disappointed! A lot of times, these “self-help” and “motivational” type books are broad and vague, not offering a lot of real life advice. You can only take repeating the mantra “find your inner self” so far. Rob White humorously pokes fun at those types of gurus and instead focuses on real, uplifting stories. It is such a positive read that leaves you feeling hopeful. I give it a four out of four stars.
The thing that I loved most about this book was how it was organized. It is in chapters like a regular book, but each chapter is only a few pages, so you eat up this book in bite sized pieces. I read this in-between classes or right before bed when I wanted a quick read before dozing off. Each chapter starts with a myth and then goes into a story about what the truth to that myth really is. One of my favorites from the book started with the myth: “Kindness is an act of self-interest”. White launches into his story of how meeting one man changed his perspective on what it means to be kind and generous. By the end of the chapter, we are left with the truth: “Kind acts demonstrate the height of love”.
There were a lot of quotes that stuck with me throughout the book. Without giving away any spoilers, one in particular stuck with me because I am a student who is working hard through my college years. One of his pieces of advice is: "Say to yourself, 'I'm smarter than I think I am,' when you brush your teeth, when you get on the bus to come to school, when you enter each classroom... and begin acting as though it is so". When I'm sitting in my biology class, struggling to understand neuroplasticity, I remind myself of this story and tell myself I'm starter than I think I am. The fact that it has effected me in my daily life is why it's worth four stars.
The most powerful part of this book was that it focused on finding the answers to life’s questions through every day people. Reading all about life from so-called experts isn’t necessary when life lessons surround you. As I was reading, I, personally, became more aware of the people around me and what I could learn from others. His lessons are straight, to the point and easy to apply to everyday life. By using stories about regular people as teaching tools, it’s easy to relate to. It’s motivational, without being too gimmicky or over the top.
I give Then I Met Margaret four stars because it is well written, easy to read, and inspirational. This is the perfect book to pick up if you’re feeling bogged down by negativity. Turn off the negative news channels, get away from the negativity on social media, and read this instead. These sweet stories will restore your faith in humanity and remind you that there is a lot of good in the world if you just look for it.
And Then I Met Margaret
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