The powerful and inspiring story of a man who, instead of despairing over his own impoverished plight or the systems that make it hard for others to climb out of poverty, created a solution that's breaking cycles of poverty and bringing hope to a new generation.
With the fortitude to survive a poor home life growing up and eventually thrive, Duncan Campbell set out to make his mark in the world--but it wasn't the one he originally intended. After utilizing his entrepreneurial skills to amass a small fortune, Campbell set his sights on a venture he saw as far more worthwhile: helping the most vulnerable and at-risk children escape a fate of poverty.
Over the last two decades, Campbell's organization, Friends of the Children, has not only attempted but succeeded in eye-opening ways. The Art of Being There shares Campbell's inspirational journey along with the heart-warming stories of those he's helped.
Duncan's story is a moving reminder of the healing power of relationships and an excellent illustration of the social entrepreneur's journey.
- David Bornstein, Author of How to Change the World,
and Co-Author, Fixes Column, The New York Times
I don't casually toss words around like 'brilliant' and 'unique,' but what Campbell did is brilliant and unique. What he created in Portland could change the way this country tries to help children.
- Gary Walker, Former President,
Duncan Campbell has toiled for decades to give these kids a chance to achieve big things. Personally, he is a modest man, but I have seen firsthand how his quiet style has produced a legacy of powerful, constructive change.
-U.S. Senator Ron Wyden
- Inspiring but completely secular. This is not a Christian book.
As an entrepreneur with a heart to serve the youth of my community, I was excited to listen to this book. There was certainly much to inspire, both in Mr. Campbell's business journey and in his organization, Friends of the Children, and the impact it's had on so many lives.
What I found disappointing, though, is that this is a completely secular book. There is no indication that Mr. Campbell is even a professing Christian or if he's a self-driven successful entrepreneur who gives of his time and money for self-satisfaction. Given only this book to discern, I would guess that he is a professing Christian (there is one mention of him going to church when he was a kid) who is also in it for the latter. The glory in this book is clearly given to Mr. Campbell and to the power of money. The Godhead is never mentioned in any way in this book.
Towards the end of this book, I believe the motives are revealed. The author writes that Mr. Campbell realized that the next step to bring Friends of the Children to have nationwide impact is to open the door to receiving public funds. This is never made clear whether that means government funding or donations from the secular public in general. But it is clear that this is the reason why this is a secular book (if Mr. Campbell is not a secularist himself).
From the perspective of witnessing the power of self-determination (the author repeatedly reminds us that the reason for his success is his motto "A Campbell Never Quits.") and generosity to impact the world, this is a great book. But if you're looking to be reminded of the power of the Gospel to transform the world, look elsewhere as you won't find that here.
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