Activist book shows how to change the world

Suggestions ranging from flossing your teeth to becoming an ambassador to Africa characterize  “Generation Change,” a new book co-authored by Jayan Kalathil and Melissa Bolton-Klinger that speaks to the younger voter.The book is a collection of 150 suggestions for living a better life, participating in society and changing the world for the better.Some suggestions are silly, such as “show your grandma how to text.” But each of them undeniably makes at least one person’s life better.  “Generation Change” is divided into three sections: “Change Ourselves,” “Change Our Country” and “Change Our World.” Within those categories, three main points shine through repeatedly.  One must discover, think about and share knowledge; one must speak up and one must be respectful toward other people and the planet. The pursuit and sharing of knowledge enables people to make informed decisions, as well as connect with themselves and others.  Speaking out ensures that people have a voice in society — their own.  Respect creates a livable environment and makes life pleasurable for everyone.In the book, the authors revolve their discussion around technology.  They show some of its negative aspects — one suggestion is “Put Down the Remote and Pick Up a Book” — but they clearly value its role in activism and change. The book is littered with myriad informative websites — Twitter, Skype and YouTube.  Still, they emphasize the importance of taking a break every once in a while to reconnect with oneself.Though the authors are very clearly liberally aligned, political affiliation doesn’t necessarily change the book’s impact. All of the suggestions are thoughtful, all of the referenced books and movies are intriguing, and Obama’s quotes at the beginning of each section are far more inspiring than they are partisan. The blurb on the back cover states that the book’s goal is to “show readers how a little time and a little effort can bring about personal change, change to a neighborhood, change to a country, or to our world.”  Between its suggestions, quotes, websites, TV shows, movies and other resources, “Generation Change” succeeds  not only in offering different points of view, but also in inspiring readers to think about the world’s problems and make those changes happen.