Author:  Jeff Shinabarger

ISBN: 978-0-7814-0820-2

 

More or Less: Choosing a Lifestyle of Excessive Generosity should be at the top of the reading list for every human being. This is a quick, easy read, but it will challenge you, excite you, and make you rethink just about everything in your life. The author’s goal is not to make you feel guilty for what you have; but rather, to feel grateful, and then begin to bless the people around you, out of your abundance. 

Jeff Shinabargar’s story of generosity begins when he and his wife moved into an eclectic neighborhood in Atlanta, Georgia. As they were settling in, wondering how many of their neighbors might welcome them into the community, the doorbell rang. It was Clarence, the only one, as it turned out, that ever came to greet them. Although he was their neighbor, Clarence had no home. He was proud, self-sufficient, intelligent, hard-working, and he needed a job. Jeff hired him to do yard work, and thus began an interesting, complicated, and enduring friendship in which both parties benefited. Getting to know Clarence changed Jeff’s worldview and his life.

Each chapter in More or Less explores an area of life in which most of us enjoy an abundance: food, clothing, gifts, transportation, time, and so on. He writes, “The good life is not found in luxury; rather it is found in a life that enhances the life of another human. We will become known by the choices we make because people will see the lifestyle that we live and how we give to others. If we have more than enough, we have the opportunity to bless others. That is the start to living a life of generosity. You see, generosity is not about giving money. Generosity is a lifestyle that seeks to understand the needs of others and strives to bring an end to that suffering.” (p. 181) 

Included throughout are links to online videos where the reader can see and hear the author and others explain what they’re doing to live with less so that those in need can have more. There are also call-out boxes titled “Enough Talk” with ideas the reader can implement immediately to embark on this new lifestyle.

No need to fear that you’re going to get a guilt trip for having nice things or asked to give it all away. Shinabarger readily admits he owns a closet full of good clothes and shoes. This is not a book about plunging yourself into poverty; it’s about giving out of your abundance, giving with joy, and thereby leading a life filled with even more joy. 

The book ends with ideas, suggestions, and instructions on how to set up your own Enough Experiment. This is a book that will make you think and challenge your choices. It’s a book that has the potential to change your life and even your community. It’s a book that you’ll want to read, suggest to your book club, and pass on to others, because the end result is living your life with greater purpose and joy. 

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