100 Words - Two Hundred Visionaries Share Their Hope For the Future (Book Review)

There's a French proverb out there that goes: "Hope is the dream of a soul awake." With an endless ebb and flow of media, information and literature out there that overwhelmingly focuses on the negative, the catastrophic and the heartbreaking, is it no wonder that some of us suffer from a vague feeling of burnout? During such trying times, the best antidote is to look to the positive side of things, which is why we find 100 Words, Two Hundred Visionaries a treasure trove of inspiration, full of farsighted gems gathered from two hundred thinkers and changemakers living today. The book features short-and-sweet mini-treatises complied by William Murtha, a former businessman who decided to pursue a more meaningful life path as a philantropist and activist after a near-death experience by drowning in 1999. In subsequently founding the Global Visionaries Project, Murtha sent out a request to two hundred visionaries: "In one hundred words, please share empowering stories and thoughts that best encapsulate your insight, wisdom, and feelings on how we can move towards a more just, fulfilling, and peaceful world."

With a diverse range of eminent contributions arranged alphabetically from the famous (Alice Walker, Julia Butterfly Hill, Satish Kumar, Jane Goodall) to more up-and-coming movers-and-shakers, the book also includes a short biography of each person, plus a list of five books, music, art or ideas that influenced them (which was definitely a tasty bonus to see - Schumacher's Small is Beautiful popped up more than a few times, as did Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way).

So while 100 Words, Two Hundred Visionaries may not be as pragmatic as a book on building your own wind turbine, let's be real - sometimes the soul needs nourishing too.

Red Wheel & Conari Press


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