Do Hard Things | A Book Review

Without a doubt, pushing yourself to do more than is asked, expected, or required is nearly always a lonely choice.


This book needs little introduction.

If you’re a Mennonite girl between the ages of 13 and 20, you’ve heard of OBSESS. And there’s a very large chance you’ve actually been there. In that case, you know about this book, and have most likely read it at least once. If you’re a little like me, you’ve read it two or three times.

But if you fit into none of these categories, then I guess there’s a chance you’ve never even heard of this book. So here’s my attempt to persuade you to go read it:

Do Hard Things is written by twin brothers named Brett and Alex Harris. These young men have done more in their short lifetime than most fifty-year-olds. At sixteen, they started The Rebelution Blog. At seventeen, they became the youngest interns on record at the Alabama Supreme Court, interning under State Supreme Court Justice Tom Parker. They were then inspired to encourage other teenagers to do great things and wrote this book at age EIGHTEEN. Since then they’ve held youth conferences all over the world, written another book, graduated from college, and gotten married.

This book is for teenagers. Teenagers who’ve grown weary of society’s low expectations for them. Teenagers who feel their life might be meant for bigger things than what everyone else around them might be doing. Even if you’re a twelve-year-old looking for some recognition of your gifts or encouragement that there is something better to be doing with your life — this book is for you. From ten to twenty, it’s a wake-up call for all of us.

And because God is good, by doing what He has put before you with all your hear, regardless of whether it appears significant or not, you will find yourself benefited and strengthened, ready for the next big thing.

This book is full of stories of world-changing young people, and they’re not limited to the teen years. It is inspiring to read of fifteen-year-old Conner who started selling bracelets with his friends to raise money to drill wells in Africa. And twelve-year-old Zach, who was shocked when he learned that twenty-seven million people around the world live in slavery, and that half of them are children. So at his church and school, Zach encouraged people to give up their loose change to help end modern-day slavery. The initial drive raised almost ten thousand dollars!

That may seem over-the-top to you. You know about those statistics, you’ve heard them all before. You support organizations that bring relief to millions around the world. You’re fine where you are right now, in a warm home with your family and friends all around you. But you still have an idea in your head that someday, you’d like to actually get out there and personally touch the suffering…but you have no idea HOW to get to that point, READ THIS BOOK. Seriously, I have two copies. I’ll loan one to you, gladly, if you don’t want to buy it (but I think you should!).

Even while encouraging young activists, Brett and Alex have this to say about young people in the workplace or still in school:

Our vision for the Rebelution is to see these three qualities coming together in a new generation — young people who are passionate about growing in Christlikeness and sharing the gospel (character), who care deeply about skill, strategy, and creativity (competence) and who are committed to finding and working with a community of like-minded rebelutionaries (collaboration) to bring hope and healing to a lost and hurting world.

As a bonus, go watch this video series: The Fabulous Life of a Teenager. And read their older brother Josh Harris’ books.


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