In More or Less, Jeff Shinabarger calls readers to create their own social experiments to answer the question, “What is enough?” It all started with one idea: What would happen if we created a culture in which we gave away whatever was more than enough for us? How would our habits change if we shed the excess of money, clutter, and food in our lives? In More or Less, readers will learn how to draw a line of “enough” in their consumer choices, how to see generosity as a chance to experience freedom in a greedy world, and how to make small changes now that will help others forever. As Shinabarger reminds them, defining “enough” is more than a responsibility—it is an opportunity to give hope. With a foreword by Bob Goff.
|Publisher:||David C Cook|
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
|File size:||1 MB|
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More or Less: Choosing a Lifestyle of Excessive Generosity should be at the top of the reading list for Christians and humanitarians alike. This is a quick, easy read, but it will challenge you, excite you, and make you rethink just about everything in your life. The author’s goal is not to make you feel guilty for what you have; but rather, to feel grateful, and then begin to bless the people around you, out of your abundance. Jeff Shinabargar’s story of generosity begins when he and his wife moved into an eclectic neighborhood in Atlanta, Georgia. As they were settling in, wondering how many of their neighbors might welcome them into the community, the doorbell rang. It was Clarence, the only one, as it turned out, that ever came to greet them. Although he was their neighbor, Clarence had no home. He was proud, self-sufficient, intelligent, hard-working, and he needed a job. Jeff hired him to do yard work, and thus began an interesting, complicated, and enduring friendship in which both parties benefited. Getting to know Clarence changed Jeff’s worldview and his life. Each chapter in More or Less explores an area of life in which most of us enjoy an abundance: food, clothing, gifts, transportation, time, and so on. He writes, “The good life is not found in luxury; rather it is found in a life that enhances the life of another human. We will become known by the choices we make because people will see the lifestyle that we live and how we give to others. If we have more than enough, we have the opportunity to bless others. That is the start to living a life of generosity. You see, generosity is not about giving money. Generosity is a lifestyle that seeks to understand the needs of others and strives to bring an end to that suffering.” (p. 181) Included throughout are links to online videos where the reader can see and hear the author and others explain what they’re doing to live with less so that those in need can have more. There are also call-out boxes titled “Enough Talk” with ideas the reader can implement immediately to embark on this new lifestyle. No need to fear that you’re going to get a guilt trip for having nice things or asked to give it all away. Shinabarger readily admits he owns a closet full of good clothes and shoes. This is not a book about plunging yourself into poverty; it’s about giving out of your abundance, giving with joy, and thereby leading a life filled with even more joy. The book ends with ideas, suggestions, and instructions on how to set up your own Enough Experiment. This is a book that will make you think and challenge your choices. It’s a book that has the potential to change your life and even your community. It’s a book that you’ll want to read, suggest to your book club, and pass on to others, because the end result is living your life with greater purpose and joy.
This book is truly inspirational for anyone who is seeking to break the status quo and seek justice in this world. I loved the many examples of people who have chosen to live lives that reflect a desire to live beyond themselves and to seek the good of those around them. The principles contained within this book just make sense. In fact, if we all applied them perfectly, we could overcome the injustices in this world. I was particularly motivated to seek ways to encourage those around me and to invite people along for new experiences in order to expose them to areas of social action and to allow them to more fully use the gifts they have been given. I would have preferred if the author had spoken more about his faith and how this impacts his call to social justice, but I believe this was intentional in order to appeal to a greater audience. I received a free digital copy of this book from Story Cartel for an honest review. I am thankful that I had the opportunity to read it and would be interested in hearing more from this author.
In his book More or Less Jeff Shinabarger challenges us all to live like we all know we should, but often don't have the courage to follow through. Often times we are looking for a leader to make the hard decision first, which then gives the rest of us permission and a confidence that we don't have to do it alone. Jeff is that leader. More or Less brings up an obvious but all to hushed up point...most of us have more than we need, so what will we do with our excess? Will we be a blessing to others or will we be duped by societal and natural pressure for more? It's one of those books that won't blow your mind, but will stay with you forever. Far and away it will influence and bring an actual positive change to your life. It encourages me to think about what we could all do together if our abundance was used to bless others.