Tuesday, April 04, 2017

A Selfish Plan to Change the World by Justin Dillon

Disclaimer: I was given a free copy of this book for the purpose of review. My integrity is not for sale. Those who know me well are aware a free book isn't enough to assuage my cutting honesty. If I've failed to write a bad review, it has nothing to do with the source of the material and only with the material itself.

As part of A Selfish Plan to Change the World, author Justin Dillon talks about finding our passions and strengths and leveraging those to change the world for the better. I suspect he would have done well to stick to that plan and have someone else write this book. Dillon has been a successful non-profit innovator and has done tremendous work to combat modern slavery, but the book is a mashup of the history of his organization, Made in a Free World, and some of his personal insights on activism and passion.

The title is catchy, although a bit ill-informed. I agree that doing good for others provides a personal benefit and perhaps this is a solid motivating factor for people to begin to engage in fighting injustice. I'm not sure, however, that this kind of work actually provides the solace and fulfillment Dillon claims. Theologically, I'd argue its only when we give up the fight for fulfillment that we can approach some kind of genuine humanity. This book might be but a mid-level step towards larger goals. But it is a catchy title, for sure.

Dillon is a gifted narrative writer - most chapters open with a story that provides depth and feeling - however when he gets to the part about explaining how that story applies, the metaphors tend to wander and prose gets repetitive. I thought the book would've been stronger if it had focused just on the third section and done more with each narrative; the best work is near the end.

I whole-heartedly endorse Made in a Free World and the need for people to jump in to living out their passions where they are, but I'm not sure I'd recommend this book to anyone for any reason. I do hope it secures Dillon's financial future a bit, though, so he can remain devoted to an incredibly worthy cause.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com® book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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