Two hydrogen and one oxygen don't make water!

Two hydrogen and one oxygen don’t make water!


True to its name, New Society Publishers are surely into the business of spreading ‘good’. Else, it won’t have been as eager in getting ‘Small Stories, Big Changes’ across to this reviewer. Fourteen ordinary folks narrate their unique ‘inner’ journeys that inspired and empowered them to pioneer extraordinary ideas of change towards creation of a better world. Lyle Estill’s conviction that ‘evolution has its own logic that favors the agile, the adaptable, and smart over the complacent, powerful and stupid’ has guided him to pick ordinary folks of extraordinary imagination, whose stories of small possibilities are big on hope.
The stories clearly demonstrate that ‘it is possible to do well while doing good’. One only needs a liberal dose of inspiration and a sense of clear direction. Award winning author Nicola Ross opines: inspiration comes through challenge. A big proponent of sabbaticals, Ross argues that ‘inspiration only happens when you get out of your comfort zone and plunk yourself down into unknown territory’. Green developer Tim Tobe, organic innovator Eric Henry and watershed warrior Elaine Chiosso have had their share of challenges before coming out good with their innovations. Each of the stories of grass-root change propounds that while we may not control the forces changing our lives, we can indeed influence those forces.
The message that comes clearly from these heart-warming stories is that if you are in the field of sustainability, you ought to have patience. Else, mixing two parts of hydrogen with one part of oxygen could have created water on demand, anytime anywhere. But ‘there is a third thing that makes it water’, said imaginative novelist D H Lawrence, ‘and no one knows what it is.’ In each of the stories there is that ‘third thing’ that has been left to the readers’ imagination.
Each story has an interesting, somewhat anecdotal, introduction followed by the story in the words of its author. More than creating smart influences, the stories packed in the volume offer an exercise in defining the problems in the first place. It goes to the credit of Lyle Estill in letting the reader know that the cause of all problems is solutions and yet we need solutions!
Small Stories, Big Changes
by Lyle Estill
New Society Publishers, Canada
Extent: 200, Price: $17.95
(Dr. Sudhirendar Sharma is author (development journalist), academic (offers lectures), advisor (provides consultancy) and activist (providing knowledge backup) rolled into one, based in New Delhi.)


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