For the half dozen folks out there who haven’t yet read How Starbucks Saved My Life by Michael Gates Gill, this book is about how losing his job in a New York advertising agency and taking a job at Starbucks turned a silver-spoon prick into a real boy.
Snarkiness aside, I liked this book. It’s a reminder that circumstance and environment has a lot to do with how we behave — and that we have a choice about that environment. It’s a lesson that indivduals are not just what we see on the surface. The jerk who snarled at us may have just had a very, very bad day. Or he may be a real jerk pretty much all the time, but under the right circumstances, become a nice guy with a little guidance and patience. (The obverse may also true, I suspect. If you drop a nice guy in a crappy environment, how long will it take for him to become a jerk? The veneer of civilization can be rather thin.)
As I’ve said before in this blog, two concepts I try to incorporate into the way I approach life are balance and perspective. The angle from which you view the world makes a huge difference in what you see.
This book provided a nice reinforcement of that idea and a guide to how to get back in balance. Gill had his perspective on the world and his place in it radically rearranged and he became a better man because of it.
I’d like to think we can all become better people from reading books like this.
This is a quick and worthwhile read.