Love Does: How a Book of Ordinary Acts of Kindness Changed My Life

Our Everly Mag Writing Leaders told us about a single piece of art that changed their life.  Whether it’s a song, book, television episode, YouTube video, or more, our leaders discussed why and how this piece of art made an impact.

This article was written by our writing leader EunseoGet to know our Summer 2018 Leaders here!


The book “Love Does” by Bob Goff was given to me for free when I saw him speak at a park near me five years ago. I was nine years old, and was most likely dancing around, not listening at all to what he was saying. I picked up that book and read it for the first time two years ago, and the stories in the book changed how I treat others.

“Love Does” is technically a Christian book, but the stories in the book are more about loving the people around you. From stories of trading a penny all the way up to a truck, to letting someone get married in his backyard, Bob Goff talks about how kindness changes the lives of not only yourself, but the people around you.

Love can do so much. In just Bob Goff’s life, his love freed 60 kids from jail, gave an old lady the chance to forgive herself, and let two people in love have the proposal of a lifetime. All these stories point out that a life full of happiness is one step away if you stop thinking about judgment and small worries, and instead focus on how you can love others.

Bob Goff author love does
Image: Author Bob Goff via @bobgoff twitter

The story that stuck with me the most from the collection of short stories is one of true love and courage. Bob’s kids wanted to visit the leaders of various countries, so Bob let them send letters to the leaders of all the countries in the world. In total, they got 46 countries that invited them over to come hang out with them. Bob sold their truck and almost all their valuables, because according to him, “when love presents an opportunity to do something on this scale, all you need to do is say yes”.

One of the quotes from the book that affected me the most is “I used to be afraid of failing at something that really mattered to me, but now I’m more afraid of succeeding at things that don’t matter”. This impacted me because I’ve lived my life with a ton of anxiety for the way I do things. I’ve missed opportunities because of I was simply afraid of failure. Looking back at those missed opportunities, I realize that losing the chance to let go of my thoughts and simply do what I wanted to do was what I truly lost, and that matters so much more than failure.

One time where I applied the lessons I learned from this book is when I got the courage to speak in front of my school. I was so scared going into it, but I was talking about something that mattered to me, and I told myself that I would rather stutter and mess up and get my point across rather than be too scared to go up and have regrets. I did mess up, but I felt so good afterwards from finally overcoming my fear of public speaking. It feels good to do what you love.

People think that having a life full of excitement requires you to have a ton of money, a ton of friends, to be super outgoing, or to be older. If you have all those things, it’s great. But you don’t need those to live a life full of love. All you need to do is whenever an opportunity is in front of you, take it. If you’re in a bad situation, turn the ending into something you or someone else benefits from.

As Bob Goff said, “In the end, love doesn’t just keep thinking about it or keep planning for it. Simply put: love does.”

How can you put love above anything else in your life?


How has love changed your life?  Comment below!  

If you’re interested in learning more about Bob Goff check out his twitter and his website.

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