There is a quote attributed to Russian author Leo Tolstoy that states, “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” The progression of modern society would disagree with the author of War and Peace. More and more people are awakening to the notion that the act of changing the world cannot come without first reinventing oneself. For many, the spark that sets off this internal evolution comes from turning on the TV. Any news network,particularly during coverage of international affairs, offers a non-stop nightmare for an anxious person: environmental catastrophe, non-stop warfare,abject poverty and human suffering. With this in mind, the stouthearted turnoff the dial and turn on their light of compassion and look to make a difference. In We are the New Radicals, author Julia Moulden wants to show readers how they can get started.
Moulden, a journalist and career consultant, helps individuals who in many ways havereached the top of the business mountain. In addition to being lonely at thetop, many of her clients have found it a bit empty, as well. It should not comeas a surprise to readers that many successful business leaders take as seriousan interest in improving the world as they do in increasing their corporatecoffers. The CEO with a heart of gold is a character that garners theoccasional headline. Moulden’s “new radical” is in some respects morebold. He or she could well be an ordinary person who has achieved modestsuccess but wants to do good works for the sake of the world. This can involveleaving behind the life that he or she knew in an effort to create a careerthat enriches the world rather than the individual.
The author establishes from the outset that the path to becoming a new radical is not an easy one to tread. In fact, she writes at length about the process of getting started. “What Do You Have To Offer?” “What Moves You?” “What Does the World Need?” “What Is Your New Role?” These are questions to which the author devotes entire chapters. This is an essential element of the book’s success. We are the New Radicals understands that impatience and frustration often bring a premature end to people’s attempts to live a more purposeful life. Moulden stresses time and again that the process of giving takes work. In many ways, it requires just as much, if not more work to build one’s charitable career as it does a professional life. The gravity of making the effort to pursue one’s true path has as much to do with the person as it does with the cause. As Moulden writes, “our enthusiasm will inspire us to take on the challenge and give us the strength to carry on in the face of inevitable difficulties.” Moulden has an obvious passion for her own role in the betterment of society, and that translates well to the reassuring advice she offers and examples she provides.