Childhood poverty in the United States has been in the news of late with the relief bill recently passed set to raise about half of the children out of poverty. I began to wonder, how can we lift the other half? And that’s when I realized the fullness of the title.

A month ago I didn’t know almost anything about Melinda Gates. When I saw her book in a Free Little Library, I figured what did I have to lose? A hard cover. For free? (And as I began reading I heard this interview with BrenĂ© Brown.)

The book is Melinda Gates’ journey of finding her footing on the global stage of addressing issues for humanity. She lets us behind the scenes of the high-profile events and small meetings to see how her experience and knowledge evolved in philanthropic work. Practical, philosophical, and ponder-full, here’s one passage I found invigorating:

“Tradition without discussion kills moral progress. If you’re handed a tradition and decide not to talk about it–just do it–then you’re letting people from the past tell you what to do. It kills the chance to see the blind spots in the tradition–and moral blind spots always take the form of excluding others and ignoring their pain.” (p. 174)

How do we lift people out of poverty? Ms. Gates has done the internal and external work to discover answers. The planet is in good hands with a compassionate, humble, learnable woman at the helm of an instrument for real, necessary, and helpful change.

I learned a lot and am inspired to join the work. 4/5 stars.