Reviewer Lois C. Henderson: Lois is a freelance academic editor and back-of-book indexer, who spends most of her free time compiling word search puzzles for tourism and educative purposes. Her puzzles are available HERE and HERE Her Twitter account (@LoisCHenderson) mainly focusses on the toponymy of British place names. Please feel welcome to contact her with any feedback at LoisCourtenayHenderson@gmail.com.
Author: Snyder, Jenn; with Betsy Thorpe
Publisher: Foot Soldier Publishing
This ennobling text was written,
according to its author, Jenn Snyder, “to help inspire people to
seize moments in their lives to help others. In one moment, you can
change someone’s life forever. In one moment, you can change the
world.” Don’t Change the Channel tells of how Snyder had an
epiphany watching CNN coverage of how a two-and-a-half-year-old boy,
Blake, was found by his grandmother alone in his house after the
disappearance of his pregnant mother. When the news conference
revealed that his mother’s body had been found, and that her
boyfriend, Blake’s father, was being charged with double murder,
she felt compelled to spring into action. As she describes it, Snyder
“heard the call, felt the conviction and that there was no turning
away. There was no going back to my busy life without making an
attempt to alleviate some of this family’s suffering.”
Based on such an outpouring of empathy rose Snyder’s commitment to the cause of Don’t Change the Channel, which is a movement for promoting awareness of the importance of engaging in community-enhancing projects for every age, from pre-school through retirement. Snyder has clearly felt the call not only to become involved in social upliftment projects on a personal level, but also to help inspire others to respond to needs that are so evident in our society today. Part of her response has involved the writing of this book. Don’t Change the Channel is a clarion call to those of us who have, up until now, felt the occasional twinge of conscience that we are not doing enough for our communities, but who, until now, have put off such feelings by telling ourselves that we are just far too busy to do anything more.
Most of us really have to be honest with ourselves and admit that if we sacrificed some of the time that we spend watching TV or participating in some other form of leisure activity could be spent on helping others, which does, after all, ultimately help us as well. The reduced levels of anxiety and the boosted sense of self-esteem that almost inevitably result from showing that we care for people other than our nearest and dearest, which also makes our own lives much more meaningful, are rewards in themselves. One of the most inspiring aspects of this work is that Snyder points out, most cogently, that you are never either too old nor too young to impact positively on those around you.
Don’t Change the Channel is clearly written and powerfully presented, illustrated with real-life anecdotes and black-and-white photos of people’s involvement in a range of programs and activities. The chapters are carefully signposted throughout with helpful headings and short excerpts from the text given in bold. Snyder ends the work with a list of online resources for each of the chapters concerned. This work is ideal as a starting-point for those of us who feel that we really could do more, if only we knew how. You could make a start by reading her pointers on “5 things you can do today” that she includes with each chapter. Come on, now, you really have no more excuses…
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