4 out of 4 stars
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And Then I Met Margaret: Stories of Ordinary Gurus I've Met by Rob White is a work of inspirational nonfiction recounting stories of the unanticipated life lessons learned from regular people encountered throughout the author's life.
Rob White grew up in a small town where he was expected to follow in the footsteps of his father, landing a secure job working at one of the two factories in town. Breaking tradition was not encouraged, and aspiring to anything bigger and better was often not even a thought. His path to escaping this predetermined fate actualized after an encounter with one of these ordinary gurus. It was a simple statement: "Yup , you're college material, that's for sure," said by his employer in high school. "He assumed that I assumed I was going to college...I'd never assumed that!" This is just one of the many regular interactions that had a profound impact on the author's life. White later went on to become a teacher and an entrepreneur in both the real estate and restaurant industries. This book speaks of his failures, successes, and the inspirational people he met who caused him to change and grow as a person.
In the above college example, how many people in a similar situation, college never posed as a real option, would brush this comment off and not act? Through his storytelling, the author does an excellent job of imparting just how important it is to open yourself up to actually listening to others. Any interaction has the potential to be a teaching moment and it's how we take these unrehearsed words of wisdom and apply them to our own lives that make the difference.
The author seems to have a knack for storytelling keeping the reader entertained and intrigued. In the beginning of the book, as he told stories of his childhood, it reminded me of my grandfather telling stories filled with wisdom and humor. The tone shifted some as the book went on and as the author grew and matured with each story, but it never became didactic. It later read more like listening to a friend tell a story. One thing I really liked is that the author wrote each chapter about what he gained from each experience but does not command the reader to think this way too.
A common theme throughout the book is paying it forward, which I think is what this book aims to do. In its collection of teachings learned by the author, the reader may be able to gain value from these lessons as well, or at least try to look for these little but profound bits of inspiration in our daily lives.
I enjoyed this book very much and rate it 4 out of 4 stars. I would recommend it to anyone interested in inspirational stories and the power we have as humans to positively influence others' lives.
And Then I Met Margaret
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