I can’t quite decide if I like this book or not. Well…I guess I should rephrase that, I enjoyed the book, Mark Seal does a great job with his writing but I don’t know if I really like Joan Root. I have several major issues with her even though she’s hailed as a “dedicated environmentalist.” Either the book doesn’t do her justice or she isn’t really all she’s shot up to be. I have major problems with the way she relies on men pretty much her entire life, whether it’s her father or her husband Alan or Chege (head of her Task Force used to stop poachers). She was a great, talented Organizer, but…environmentalist? I’m not convinced.
Her father is the one who starts the tourist business that she essentially runs very successfully but he does everything to get it started (yes, I know she was just a teenager at the time), Alan does everything when it comes to the movies and when he leaves her for another women she essentially spends the next 14 years waiting on him to return. To hell with that, if a man runs off and leaves me for another woman there ain’t no way he’s coming back to me; and it annoys me even more that she didn’t see it coming. Her father and husband are almost exactly alike personality wise. Both doing adventurous stuff with wives standing by actually handling the day to day lives, and both eventually run off with other women. There’s no doubt in my mind that she loved Alan, and there’s no doubt in my mind that he loved her, but if he is willing to run off with another woman during “short term” affairs, she should have known that he’d never stick around for the long term.
Then, when poachers are taking over her beloved lake she has Chege do all the “dirty work.” Yes, she funds it, and yes everyone knows it, but when does she actually face to poachers? Maybe there’s a lot missing that I don’t get through the book, but I don’t see as to where she really did much on her own, by herself or for herself. She was essentially there to help and take care of everyone else.
With that being said (and assuming I’m still surviving after the stoning I’ll get from environmentalist for the above opinion), there was a quote or two I really enjoyed from the book that were very inspirational.
“Join the mob or go what you want. Give yourself plenty of quiet time alone in order to get in touch with who you are….Focus power of thought. Remind yourself that the world is yours for the asking. The non-risker does not grow, you just get older. When you have decided which ideas, beliefs, relationships, and situations no longer work for you, it is time to release them. Let go of negative thoughts—view them as a flight of birds crossing your path. See them fly into view and continue on their way.”
“Responsibility is a position. An attitude towards events. You can either take responsibility or you can feel victimized by the world. Your choice of whether to play the victim or take responsibility will determine who power grows—yours or someone else’s. If you take the position of victim, you lose power. If you choose responsibility, you have power then, to do something about what’s happening—to choose your next step. It’s all about attitude.”
My other issue with this book is the “untimely death” the cover claims. Yeah, being murdered probably qualifies as untimely, but…she was 69, many people her age are dying all over the world right now. (and yes I know this is mean, but.) She lived a complete, full life and I doubt she’d say it was an untimely death, and especially considering that by her death the Lake she was fighting for received International attention…something it probably would have never gained if it weren’t for her death.