With this blog I keep telling you over and over: individuals have a massive impact on our planet. And therefore, every single person can have positive impact, every single day. Up until this point the focus of this blog has been about sustainable changes to cross out the negative impact on the planet. But there are other ways to make positive impact. This book gives you the tools to do it: Het Hedendaagse Heldenboek (The Herobook of Today) by Rachel van de Pol.
Het Hedendaagse Heldenboek
Het Hedendaagse Heldenboek is a book in which the author, Rachel van de Pol, does a challenge where she performs one heroic act every single day for an entire year. It is similar to the book Sleeping Naked is Green, but this book from van de Pol is not just about sustainability only. I love such projects! The heroic acts she performs are very different throughout the book. From walks with the elderly to picking up trash. Since there’s a lot of variety we can get a lot of inspiration from this book!
‘Some scientists say that the brain automatically goes into a pleasure mode when people do well, also called ‘the helpers high”Rachel van de Pol
The Build-up in The Book
In the beginning of the book you mostly find answers to the question: why should I fulfill heroic acts? Then you also find out why this whole project from van de Pol has started in the first place. You read why you shouldn’t want to be someone who complains, but why you should want to be someone who actually does something if you can. After this the heroic acts are described. There are not 365 acts described in the book itself because the book reads like a diary. If you want read all 365 acts, you can read them on van de Pol’s blog here.
All the heroic acts are very practical. I like this a lot because these are things you can do yourself. If she’d say: ‘give more attention to others’ or something, that would be way too vague for me personally. Of course these practical tips add up to a bigger picture, but I like the concrete steps a lot. Here are some examples of acts I personally really like and had never heard of (these below are really focussed on sustainability because I personally like that part but there are not only sustainable tips in the book).
– The Solar Bell. This is a doorbell on solar energy. This would make you rely less on your energy supplier because it saves you energy. Check out their website here.
– ZonnepanelenDelen. I loved this initiative so much that I wrote a whole separate post about it. I’ve been investing in solar energy ever since!
– A must watch: Virunga. A documentary about a group of ranger who protect the Virunga park. It’s on my list of must-watch now!
something about Unicef
And something really interesting (but also really random) I learned from the book. Michiel Kramer en Rachel Glennester have tested whether new books, better books, teachers and free uniforms would make more children go to school in Kenia. Their research showed that none of these things helped. By a tip from the World Bank they researched another subject, deworming. It seems to be that more than a billion people suffer from it. When they started the deworming programs 25% more children went to school! This really gave me insight in white saviorism. We think we know what’s best for other people, but we really don’t. I keep thinking about the commercials from Unicef who are currently going round. They ask for money to give kids who don’t go to school books and a school bag.