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Saturday, January 02, 2010

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

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I just devoted most of my Saturday to finishing this book. It is a fascinating story of William Kamkwamba, a boy from Malawi in Africa who builds a windmill in his yard to give his home electricity.

It's a very emotional read, as well as inspirational. As I was reading the book, I found myself fixing meals for my family and wondering at just how much I take for granted. It's not often that I consider what a luxury it is that my greatest stress from feeding my family comes from contemplating which oil is healthier, or pressuring myself to fix all meals from scratch rather than take shortcuts with boxed foods or pre-made. I think of the times when I have felt that money was tight, and yet we always had groceries, we never ate fewer than three meals a day. Even when my cupboards felt bare, I've always known that there is a store just down the street overfull with options.

I have never known hunger. I have never known poverty. I take for granted that a switch on my wall will power my lights. At the push of a button I have heat, clean dishes, I wash mountains of laundry, and a window to the world through my computer.

I don't stop and appreciate the riches in my life nearly enough.

William tells a story where these things I take for granted aren't even missed, because it is not assumed that they should be available. At 14, William built a windmill from scraps he foraged from a trash pile, based on diagrams in books he he could barely read because they were written in English. With none of the resources most every American doesn't even realize they take for granted, William taught himself the principles of electricity and physics and he provided his family light, and later water for crops so that they would not go hungry.

If you've ever found any excuse for not accomplishing something in your life, this book will make you rethink your excuses. There are NO excuses for not realizing your dreams. There is no reason big enough to stop you from doing whatever it is you desire to do or create.

"I went to sleep dreaming of Malawi [home], and all the things made possible when
your dreams are powered by your heart."

This is an awesome book and I highly recommend it.

1 comment:

LoryKC said...

Might be just what I was looking for this month. I think I'll take a peek...