The Diary of an Unhappy Nobody: Day 3

I said yesterday that I’d tell y’all about the first organization I’ll be donating to this year in my yearlong effort to be more giving.

But first I need to tell you why.

Last April I purchased a new vehicle. Fully electric. Why? Because I believe every one of us should do what we can to preserve and protect our planet. But circumstances forced me to purchase a gas powered vehicle a week ago. I’m not one bit happy about it.

What I know is scientists working in many different fields are constantly coming up with technologies or improving processes to protect and preserve the earth. Scientists are working to save your planet even if you refuse to “believe” in climate change. It might be funny if it wasn’t so serious.

The first organization I’ll be supporting in 2018 will be the Houston Museum of Natural Science. I love museums more than any person I know. But it’s so much more than that. When huge swaths of the population claim not to “believe” in climate change or evolution it just leaves one questioning where the hell we are and how we got here.

HMNS is an incredible place of scientific knowledge. Scientific fact. Scientific history. Scientific education. 

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Five Books I Recommended to a Non-Reader

This was my video topic for this week, but I decided that I’d better express myself through a written post.

I typically don’t recommend books. It doesn’t matter who is asking or why, but I’ve made exceptions to my rule over the last couple of years. The following is the most recent example.

Earlier this week a friend of mine told me he wanted to start reading in an effort to adopt more healthy habits. With all the things one can do with free time, I think reading would definitely qualify as a healthy habit. What did I do when he told me this? I took him to Half Price Books, of course! Not kidding.

The first thing I did when we reached the store was ask him what he enjoys reading. His response was anything that keeps his attention, he’s open to any topic. So I did the only thing I could do in that situation, I referred back to my own reading history. Kind of like your Google history in books. I came up with five books to tell him about.

Lone Survivor – Marcus Luttrell

No matter your position on war or the military, I’m well aware that nonfiction war books are not for everyone. But to say this book is only about war would be a disservice to Marcus Luttrell and every other man who died during the operation to save him and his fellow Navy SEALs. This book is about faith, family, survival, life and death, and yes, war. Most people living today will never know what it means to trust another person with your life and have them entrust you with theirs. The men described in this book are the best the United States has to offer, and their story is one to remember.

Unstoppable – Bill Nye

I’ve read a few hundred books during my lifetime, and this one (like I said here) is easily the best book I’ve read. It’s science. Another type of book that simply isn’t for everyone. But this book isn’t written for scientists. That would defeat the entire purpose. The book takes on climate change, one of those topics that people seem to want to give up on or kick down the road. But not Bill Nye, nope. The reason this book holds so much weight with me is because of the optimism. Bill Nye is part of the generation currently in power. It’s his generation that has moved technology further than ever before, but it’s this same generation that has gotten us to this point in the climate change debate. This isn’t about blame, it’s about what’s happened. The beauty of this book is that Bill Nye recognizes who will ultimately enact the necessary changes to really combat climate change and begin the the process of preserving our planet for generations to come. Millennials. That group of young adults who gets blamed for things completely out of their control. It’s that same group of young people who are more aware of current issues than just about any generation of people who have come before them. Some would say the issues aren’t as important as the ones previous generations have had to tackle, but to say this is to once again belittle the issues Millennials face today. Humans are imperfect, but we have the ability to preserve this beautiful world we have. I believe history will hold Millennials in particularly high regard when humans look back at who decided enough was enough and that the issue of climate change is not something to leave for others to deal with.

To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

Atticus Finch. I can go on and on about Atticus Finch. I’ll be short and simple. I recommended this book because even when everyone around you is guilty of buying into society’s backward and wrong beliefs, one person can stand up for what’s right and what’s true to the human spirit. That’s what I believe Atticus did in this book, and it’s an idea still relevant after nearly 60 years in print.

The Diary of a Young Girl – Anne Frank

With social media today we’re able to get a glimpse into the lives of persecuted individuals. Anne Frank’s diary is more than just a glimpse. It’s her life. Now that I’m sitting here writing this I realize that her diary is her version of a blog or Facebook account. Through her words we know what a young girl and her family endured during humanity’s darkest hour. She gives us an idea of what it means to be unwanted, untouchable, and hated. She shows us that we always have the ability to be kind, even when facing the worst of circumstances. Another book that has never lost its relevance.

The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins

Society has expectations for just about everyone. It’s up to the individual person and the people they’re surrounded by to stick to what they’re supposed to be doing or to exceed every expectation imaginable. That’s what this book is about. And that’s why I recommended it. In this world the districts are expected to contribute to the welfare of the Capitol by maintaining the status quo and doing as previous generations have done. There’s really no avenue for any individuality. Katniss turns the whole thing upside down. She proved that no matter what society expects of you, you can use your voice to accomplish and change just about anything.

An honorable mention was Elie Wiesel’s Night.

I won’t tell you which book he ultimately decided to buy, but he did buy one.

So those are the books I recommended to an admitted non-reader. I took several minutes to describe the message I took away from each one. This wasn’t a planned thing and I did the whole thing in real time, but I think the books I mentioned shed light on the topics and issues important to me. Every one of these is a notch above their counterparts in my eyes.

Sorry for the LONG post! Have you ever had to suddenly recommend books and felt it was more important than a typical recommendation? What do you think of the books I came up with?

2016 Reading Challenge: Unstoppable by BILL NYE

I love Bill Nye. I follow him on Twitter, which makes us best buds. RIGHT?

Seriously though, one of the hardest things for me to accept within the last decade of my life was how much difficulty I have with scientific concepts. I remember struggling all the way back in middle school. Give me a paper topic and I’ll write you a 98 paper the night before it’s due. Give me a lesson on history and I’ll likely never forget it. Give me a literary masterpiece to analyze and I’ll write a damn good paper and remember the story for years to come (looking at you, Dracula). But put me in a science lab and I’ll crumble. Perhaps that’s why I majored in a social science?

My point is that science is difficult for me. But this book is written FOR ME. One thing I do know is that climate change is real, it’s happening right now as I type this, and humans are contributing to it. You’ll hear people say “I don’t believe in climate change.” all the time, and that’s fine. But there is no “believing” and “not believing”. Not with this.

Which is why this book is so important. At some point all of us will have to face reality because our planet is the only one we have at the moment. It’s our only home, and we’re doing our best to leave the issue of climate change to be dealt with by our children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren. We’re just kicking the can further and further down the road. And our continued inaction will come back to bite us. There’s no doubt about it.

Bill Nye is pushing 60. He didn’t have to write this book. He’s under no more obligation to help save our planet than the rest of us. He wrote this book looking at the future, but also looking at the present. The people of today are going to be the ones who begin making the necessary changes to help preserve our planet, our planet’s resources, and our way of life. Because humankind has never had a greater say in the future and preservation of our planet than we do today.

I know many of you aren’t interested in my videos, but I implore you to take a look this one time. Not because I care about views or subscribers, but because this book is not just entertainment or a good story, it’s IMPORTANT. This is the first time I can say a book I’ve read is more than a book.