Title: The Power of Half: One Family's Decision to Stop Taking and Start Giving Back
Author: Kevin and Hannah Salwen
Genre: Non-Fiction/ Personal Growth
Source: FSB Associates
Who Recommended Book to Me: Caitlin Price - FSB Senior Publicist (thanks Caitlin!)
Written in tandem by the father-daughter team of Kevin and Hallah Salwen, The Power of Half is the story of one family's life-altering decision and its unexpected results. The Salwens hoped that selling their home would allow them to make things better in a small corner of the world. Little did they expect how much they would gain themselves.
What I didn't like in this book:
- I know that it wasn't meant to be construed this way, but I didn't really see how going from a 6,500 sq. ft. home to 3250 sq.ft. was such a hardship. Is this the average size of a home in America??? When you write a book like this it leaves you open to criticism and people questioning your reasons and commitment. So I guess that is what I'm doing here in this comment.
- They were financially able to keep two houses running in regards to a monthly mortgage and upkeep. I applaud that they moved to a smaller house, but honestly where was the "risk" that others will experience if they actually were to do something like this? Again, I didn't feel that by halving the size of their home was a big enough adjustment.....remember, this is my opinion.
- How many people in America have the financial resources that this family has? Yes, I know they worked hard for it and I respect them for that. I am just saying that when they ventured into this idea of half they really didn't have to worry about losing anything. I'm afraid with these economic times some people may only see how MUCH they still had even after giving away half, instead of focusing on their idea of helping others.
- When Kevin mentions a bag, it is an Eddie Bauer bag. When he mentions a shirt it is a Nike Golf shirt....honestly, he should have left the labels out of the description. Why were they included?? I thought the idea of this book was to INCLUDE as many people as possible in this venture and to make them feel as if they too could do something like this. Was it to remind others that he could still afford to buy the nicer things in life, even while giving up a million dollar house?????????????????
Now on to the positive side of things!!! What I did like about this book:
- Hannah! She is a young lady with a vision and with the guidance of her parents was able to start out with an idea and see it become an actual plan that she could contribute to!
- Hannah's essays which are included in each chapter. I loved her ideas and the activities she included at the end for ideas to jump start your own plans.
- The organization that they ended up pairing with: The Hunger Project.
- Self-reliance is the key to helping others, not handouts!!!!
- Community- doing this project together as a family brought a sense of well-being to their home. It also showed the children how to bring it to a group of people.
My Final Thoughts:
This was a good book with a lot of great ideas and of course, some criticism from me. None of the criticisms are aimed at the children!! Only to Kevin. I appreciate that he does acknowledge how blessed his family is and I don't feel like he was trying to be uppity about his portfolio and equity, but at times it just seemed to rub me the wrong way. I applaud this family for putting this small seed of an idea into motion and with all of their hard work seeing it blossom into a Giving Tree!!! I found myself being inspired by Hannah and will be keeping my copy to read again and to see how my family may be able to incorporate some ideas from the Power of Half lifestyle, especially in terms of service and giving to others.
$1 of each copy sold will be donated
to Rebuilding Together, serving America's
low-income home-owners and providing
critical repairs at no charge to those with the greatest need.
For more information, visit Rebuilding Together.
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