One Simple Act: Discovering the Power of Generosity
by Debbie Macomber
Howard Books - Christian/Generosity/NF
I'm not sure what possessed me to acquire One Simple Act for review, but I'm guessing it was the author's name. I love Debbie Macomber's charming, upbeat romantic fiction and probably thought it would be interesting to read her thoughts on generosity.
Good decision. The topic sounds a little strange, but Macomber is a natural storyteller and there is nothing dry or dull about One Simple Act. She tells stories of her own experiences, good and bad, to illustrate how someone made her day with a small gesture or could have made her childhood easier with a little encouragement (and how the reader can do so). Macomber also tells a lot of stories about friends who have found ways to give of themselves and how those gifts have come back to them, making them feel happier and more fulfilled.
Debbie Macomber is a Christian, so there are plenty of Bible references in One Simple Act and she devotes a final chapter to scriptures about generosity: "Giving God the Last Word."
There's a lot more to this book than I want to go into, but one of my favorite stories was the tale of Richard Paul Evans -- how he wrote his story, The Christmas Box, for family and eventually sold several thousand self-published copies as word of mouth about the story spread. Eventually, word about his story led to a contract and widespread publication. His first royalty check was $4 million. What would you do with a $4 million royalty check? I had to think about that because I was totally impressed with what Evans did. He didn't want all that money to corrupt him, so he prayed about what he should do with the money and came up with an answer. He built a facility for at-risk children, complete with dentist, classrooms, private rooms for children and a medical facility.
I hope I'd allow God to lead my heart in such a direction if I were to ever come into that kind of money. There are a lot more stories like Evans', but there's plenty of focus on the little things one can do to be kind. This is very much a "pay it forward" kind of philosophy.
4/5 - I loved the ideas and anecdotes in this book, the way Macomber seamlessly included appropriate verses. I had to read it in small chunks, as I often do with nonfiction but that's not a negative statement about the book. If you're looking for thoughts on how you can be a more giving and happier person, this is a great little book.