A personal and professional memoir chock-full of sage advice, The Promise of a Pencil: How an Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary Change makes a compelling case for the value of idealism, the power of small acts of kindness, and the possibility of achieving your wildest dreams.
One pencil. An often overlooked, tiny tool cluttering up the desks of schools and offices everywhere. But what if you’d never had access to one? What if no one ever gave you the chance to write, or even learn?
To one boy begging on the streets of India, a pencil was the #1 thing he wanted most in the world. Adam Braun was astonished when the boy told him. And so, Braun’s journey to bring education to children across the world began. The Promise of a Pencil: How an Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary Change is his story.
Adam Braun is the Founder and CEO of the nonprofit, Pencils of Promise. As a student at Brown University, Braun thought he was on his way to a career of Wall Street prestige. That is, until his travels led him to that struggling young boy in India.
This life-defining moment sparked Braun’s backpacking trip across 50 countries. How did he spend his time, you ask? He handed out thousands of pencils.
Met with enthusiasm and relief by children, parents, and teachers, Adam decided it was his mission to make a big splash in global education. Within 5 years of that first pencil, he founded Pencils of Promise: an organization dedicated to funding school building projects in developing countries.
Sharing his Story with the World: The Promise of a Pencil
The Gist of It:
In his memoir, The Promise of a Pencil, author Adam Braun recounts the lessons and adventures of his mesmerizing quest to bring education to impoverished children. Readers will be surprised to discover celebrities, heroes, and even business executives living within its pages.
What you’ll find:
- Each of the 30 chapters relays a lesson Adam learned while creating his nonprofit.
- Adam clearly outlines how you, too, can make your greatest dream a reality.
- It is:
- About overcoming his own limitations and fears.
- An account of his professional challenges and how to overcome yours.
Takeaway: The Promise of a Pencil May Trigger Serious Soul Searching
Hypothetical Reader Epiphanies:
1) Landing a career on Wall Street does not automatically make you a badass.
- Braun’s tale challenges the idea that rising to the top of the income bracket on Wall Street is a worthy goal. Or, at least, a fulfilling one.
- In a nutshell: the journey of the heart is more powerful than that of the pocketbook.
2) Speaking of the heart … do some soul searching when choosing a life path.
- Take that youthful idealism and put it to good use! Why follow the status quo when you could blaze the trail for a better world?
3) Not all wishes are grandiose. Some are simple: like a pencil.
- Changing a child’s life may just be as easy as giving her a tool to draw her own destiny. Everyone deserves an education. It is the one gift we give that truly keeps on giving.
Our Thoughts on The Promise of a Pencil:
1) Adam Braun looks about as genuine as they come.
- His sage advice is accessible and, we believe, quite honest. It appears that he solely seeks to encourage others in altruistic acts.
2) While Adam is on the extreme side of idealistic – it works.
- Pessimists and realists beware: this book proves an idealistic mindset can take you just as far as you dream.
- Optimistic readers will be thrilled to find gems of wisdom on the exact steps to making that vision a reality.
3) This message is universal. Absolutely anyone and everyone can relate.
- Braun’s story translates to people of all countries and income levels.
- Not only is global education a mission we can all get on board with, but his lessons for professional success can apply to any job.