Leaving Microsoft to Change the World by John Wood

I’ve been following Room to Read for a while before they published this book. Such a good book for more insights about how things came to be.

John Wood himself fits my perfect image of a 20th century hero. He worked at Microsoft as the Marketing Director for Asia Pacific region when one day he took a long due vacation to Nepal, a trip that changed his life. A sentence from the head of school in the mountain, “Perhaps, Sir, you will someday come back with books”, took a profound and long lasting effect in his life, probably more that he could’ve imagined that time. In a year time he came back with books, delivering them with yaks to the kids who were so eager and excited. Not long after, he quit his job, left his luxurious expatriate life, girlfriend, and found Room to Read.

I went to one of Room to Read charity night in Singapore and heard the man himself. I can’t explain how, but I just totally get it when people say he’s a mixed of Donald Trump and Mother Teresa. He looks and feels genuine and kind. You cannot not love this guy. Have I told you he fits my perfect image of 20th century hero?

I admire and support John and his works. This book has done a great job in laying out everything from beginning, his personal thoughts, journey, and struggles. It’s hard to believe that all these started from one man. Whoever said that one man can do very little?

So far Room to Read have “opened 287 schools and established over 3,600 bi-lingual libraries and 110 new computer and language rooms, put more than 2.8 million books into the hands of eager young readers, and are funding long-term scholarships for 2,336 girls. Over 1,200,000 children now have access to enhanced educational infrastructure.” ~ taken from the mailing list signature

~Finished on 28 April 2007


“This love of reading, learning, and exploring new worlds so predominates my memory of youth that I simply could not imagine a childhood without books.” ~ John Wood

“There is nothing with which every man is so afraid as getting to know how enormously much he is capable of doing and becoming.” ~ Soren Kierkegaard

“What good are savings if you can’t use them to fund your dreams?” ~ John Wood

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like hard work.” ~ Thomas Edison

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