I’m going to tell you a story.
Once upon a time two months ago, I was on Pinterest and found a link to a blog post detailing “14 books you should read before they become movies”. I take an almost hipster-esque joy in discovering the book before it hits Hollywood, so I put all fourteen books on hold at the library. I read precisely one of them, and I didn’t really read it, because I checked it out on audiobook.
Audiobooks, by the way, are the grown up version of story circle. I have been reliably informed that it is something enjoyed only by portly men in their sixties and philosophical truckers. It is, by far, the most passive way to enjoy literature, and I love it, unapologetically. Let’s be real, books that aren’t for work (i.e. reviewing or editing), get shoved to the back of my mental cupboard in favor of such classics as Brown Bear, Brown Bear and Mister Seahorse.
Anyway. The book was The Fault in Our Stars, and Oh My. This isn’t a review, but if you haven’t read it, do. It’s lovely. In a “having your heart ripped out in the most elegant way possible” sort of way.
Around the same time, I began seeing the words “Nerdfighter” and “John Green” popping up all over the Geek board on Pinterest, which I frequent as unapologetically as I listen to audiobooks.
It took several weeks before the correct synapses found each other and I connected the three ideas.
In case you don’t know, John Green is the author of several amazing YA books and, along with his brother Hank, 50% of the duo behind a web series called Vlogbrothers. The series isn’t really about anything in particular. The two brothers take turns recording vlogs, fashioned as video letters to one another, about whatever takes their fancy. Everything from eating a raw onion to the crisis in Syria. The one theme that seems to run through each video, though, isn’t a political message or a personal agenda. It simply this: Be Awesome.
Not in a “Wear these clothes and act this way and then you’ll be cool” way. But in a genuine “Be kind, be generous, be yourself” kind of way. The premise seems to be “You are awesome, and so is life, so live it.”
John and Hank Greene have taken social media and used it to propel a community, known as “Nerdfighters”, in the hopes of fighting World Suck*. Their message isn’t “Feed the Hungry” or “Help the Homeless”. I mean, it can be, but at its core, these two men are simply encouraging each person, on an individual level, to be the absolute best person they can possibly be. They have taken Gandhi’s charge to “Be the change you wish to see in the world” and are helping an entire community of people to live that.
If you haven’t acquainted yourself with John and Hank Green, you should do so here.
*World Suck – n. How much the world sucks at any given time.
PS: I hope to be doing reviews within the next week or so. YAY.