Screen shot 2014-05-25 at 5.59.16 PMAs soon as I started to read Soul Models, by Angela Daffron and Elizabeth Bryan, I knew that the book was going to be my cup of tea. Part of this was that I have known Angela for just about as long as I have been online, and to me she epitomizes what a soul model is. Angela founded the anti-stalking organization Jodi’s Voice after her young friend Jodi was tragically killed by a stalker. Most people would have mourned, would have lamented how crappy the world is and how unfair that was. Angela did something about it and continues to do so.

Soul Models consists of several stories of individuals or families who faced challenges of various kinds and used those challenges to motivate them to DO. The challenges and the actions vary by person. In most cases, the challenge is a tragedy a person faced – the death of a child, the death of a loved one, or bearing witness to the challenge of others.

In my own life I have had the immense privilege of watching a few soul models in action. In addition to Angela, I have seen Molly Cantrell-Kraig build her Women with Drive Foundation based on her own challenges as a car-less single mother. I have watched Jennifer Stauss build her SMAC! Monkeys Against Cancer effort even while she had to say goodbye to her inspiration – her own mother, who passed away after a long battle with lung cancer. I watched people ride and walk and run races to raises funds for the American Cancer Society because they lost someone to that disease.

Being a Soul Model, as Angel and Elizabeth define it, is something I think we all strive for in a way. We would love to think, universally, that we could find the strength to make the world a better place even if our own world seems to be crashing down. What separates these very special people from the rest of us is that they actually do it.

Reading this book made me cry at times. Some of the challenges these people faced are hard to grasp because of their enormity. The fact that they went on from those events to try to help other people is hard to fathom. But this is another book that you can’t read and then sit still. I found myself engaged, energized, inspired, and motivated, and now that I have finished reading, I want to see if I can also help make the world a better place. That’s a pretty amazing return on investment for buying a book don’t you think?

You can buy Soul Models here, and I highly encourage you to do so.