It's hard to see my fork going into my food when I'm eating with tears in my eyes; more to the point, it's embarrassing to think someone at the next table might be watching me. But that's what happened each time I took "Leaving Microsoft to Change the World", by John Wood, along to read while eating out.

I'd been warned. Tom Peters, coauthor of "In Search of Excellence", wrote: "I haven't cried so much reading a book in a long time."  But I couldn't resist reading the book at every chance I got, finally finishing it today.

At the beginning of this first year of the new decade, you can add a little spring to your philanthropical step by donating to John Wood's passionate project, Room to Read.  Wood has selflessly devoted his entire -- and I mean entire -- life to giving children from poor countries, access to books, an education and a better future.

Had John Wood been around Afghanistan when the Soviets pulled out prompting the US to leave and wash its hands of a bombed and battered nation, leaving a huge void promptly filled by schools set up by Saudi Arabia and Iran -- all of which have been teaching only hatred of the West, particularly America, to generations of children, things would be much different today with far fewer brainwashed adolescents and young adults easily persuaded to wear suicide vests. Your small contribution, here, will help spread the amazing gift of literacy to millions more kids around the world.

Wood reminds us in his book that Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe once wrote about Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, "If all the musicians in the world played this piece simultaneously, the planet would go off its axis.", and then reveals to us that that's how he feels about education for the children of the developing world. Your donation to Room to Read will be in very good hands!

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