By Bob Goff
Lots of people have lots of things to say about love: what types of relationships it shows up in and how, whether or not there are rules to follow, and what it means to be in love. Bob Goff doesn’t get caught up in all the heady arguments about the logistics of love. Rather, he sticks to the simple notion that loves does. Love shows up in our actions, and every action every day is an indicator of the presence of love. Love can show up when someone has been intentionally shot by their friend with a BB gun, when children write letters to heads of state in every country of the world asking to have a conversation and inviting them to dinner, and after mistaking Crisco for low-fat cream cheese. Each anecdote Goff shares is uniquely personal yet intimately relatable, and always hopeful. The lessons and learning he develops through his blunders, good intentions gone awry, and leaps of faith almost suggest a life lived in excess, but in reality come with a hefty dose of humility and a roll-with-the-punches attitude that sees every opportunity as a perfect opportunity to show that love does.
“Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World” by Bob Goff is a collection of anecdotes, memories, and reminiscences that each conveys a fundamental yet profound life lesson. His attitude toward life infuses his writing with a sense of mirth and joy, and though he very clearly cares very deeply about each lesson he has learned, his tone also shows that he does not take himself, or life, too seriously. It almost seems a disservice to refer to his writing as chapters or stories in a book because he puts so much heart and soul into his work that it no longer fits the mold of a book. The subtitle, “Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World,” perfectly sums up the shenanigans Goff recounts. He talks of interactions with his family and friends as conspiracies and grand plans rather than routines and commitments to fit into his schedule. He approaches his professional work with the assumption that whatever he can dream he can do, and when he encounters a barrier he concocts a way around it. His adventures demonstrate the importance of tenacity, grit, and creativity, and his writing focuses on the myriad ways in which love does.
This is a fantastic book. Each memory and corresponding lesson usually lasts 4-8 pages, so this book can be consumed bite-by-bite or in one sitting. I recommend bite-by-bite. His adventures are often hilarious and usually unbelievable, and his writing offers plenty of food for thought about how to approach daily routines and interactions with an attitude of open curiosity, humility, and a thirst for more. If nothing else, you at least get to read through a bunch of ridiculous occurrences and remark on the things one person is capable of when they see opportunities instead of limitations. Well worth the read.