||Small Stories, Big Changes
Reviewed by Sudhirendar Sharma
30 Aug 2013
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 favours 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'
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