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Monday, February 4, 2013

pop-we Reviews Devin D. Thorpe's Your Mark On The World

If you are like me, you have a long list of all the good that you intend to if you ever become rich. Devin D. Thorpe is serious about encouraging the 99 percent who are not millionaires to be more generous with their time and money. As I interpret his message, he seems equally adamant that one should not be ignorant and give more than one is able at a certain stage in his or her life as that could put a person in dire financial need in the future. In his book, Your Mark On The World, he demonstrates how ordinary individuals have the capacity to make a difference in this world without giving up what is most important in life.

People often chart a course of where they hope to be in 10, 20, or 30 years from now in their careers. How often do people consider what their volunteer contributions will be over that same time period? Thorpe relates how concentrating on a few organizations rather than giving small amounts to many organizations can overtime allow a person to really make an impact on their selected organizations. He also points out how giving even small amounts of your time each week or month to your organizations of choice can add up to a few hundred hours over decades. As you concentrate on your organizations, he believes that you do not need to feel guilty about not spreading yourself too thin and funding other causes. An added benefit according to Thorpe is that your record keeping will be easier.

Thorpe helps the readers to ponder what causes they would like to support and how they can best support those causes. He states that some may want to be behind the scenes while others want to have direct contact with those that they help. He gives the reader free reign to decide whether they want to help local organizations or global organizations. For some, a desire for travel can also combine with serving people in those areas. As people are social creatures, he said the right fit for you may be a cause where you can participate with your friends.

I like how he encourages people to consider supporting existing programs with a proven track record such as the Red Cross or the Salvation Army, which do so much good as first responders and helping those in need. He encourages any worthy cause including those relating to mentoring, giving a person a hand up, or programs encouraging the arts. He said that there are literally thousands of charities and not-for-profit organizations to choose from. A site that he trusts to find legitimate organizations is

Thorpe feels that one’s family needs to come ahead of the cause of an organization. If a family can find a cause that they can mutually support, it can increase the family bonds and create beautiful and lasting memories according to Thorpe. At times, you may need to make compromises regarding how you volunteer to help keep the harmony of the family.

Chapters are devoted to saving money and earning money so that you can have more funds to donate and also increase the financial security of your own family. He has chapters that emphasize budgeting and also saving. I found his style to be engaging for me to read although I am not a “numbers person.” Ideas are given to help you save for your retirement, the college education of your children, and for your cause. Some may also be able to save so that they can do full-time service while taking a sabbatical from work. Over all, he emphasizes how you can keep your day job and also have your day job be your partner in doing good. He provides charts to help a person with the process and also recommends software to help one with the budgeting. As couples often disagree on budgeting issues, he cautions not to blame the spouse if they make choices that don’t align with your budget at times. There is a chapter dedicated to getting debt under control and also references to this chapter elsewhere as it is so key to financial security.

Thorpe is using his background in finance and business now to be a champion for social good. He has relevant information regarding home ownership that draws on his background as an owner of a mortgage company. He believes in investing in a way that avoids undue risk. However, he reminds us that there are no guarantees in life and the importance of insurance. At the present time, Thorpe is a weekly contributor at Forbes where he shares information on social entrepreneurship and impact investing to help people make a positive impact on the world.

In between the chapters about financial planning, Thorpe highlights inspiring individuals and organizations. As he wrote the book while he was working as a professor of business in China, it provides some interesting insights into the culture where volunteering is more of an activity done once as a rite of passage rather than on a continued basis. In the book, he writes about Chinese students that have made an ongoing commitment to interact with deaf children. There is a chapter of a woman who witnessed the “Killing Fields of Cambodia” and later as an adult would foster orphans whose families could not afford to care for them. Each of the stories in the book are very compelling and heartwarming. One chapter features the positive influence of Rabbi Benny Zippel who captured my heart because his heart is so full of love that he can reach troubled youth in drug rehab centers in Utah.

Defining moments in Thorpe’s life starting in his preteen years and including two years of volunteering in Argentina and his time living in China have kept him going and helped him to internalize the reasons for selflessly serving others. He relates how a friend read his book that was going through hard times and shifted his focus from himself to others and that his mood has improved. When I asked him to elaborate on his thoughts about service increasing one’s sense of community and passion, he said, “As you spend more time working with people on behalf of others, you will draw closer both to those you serve and to those you serve with, building your sense of community and passion.”

Through my associations at pop-we and social media and Your Mark On the World, I feel more connected to people anxiously engaged in good causes. Thorpe invites the readers of his book to like him on, to read his blog, to follow him on twitter @devindthorpe or to invite him to be a friend at He has such a sense of optimism about what he considers to be a rapidly growing community of people like-minded people. There are people with a sense of purpose who take to heart Helen Keller’s message, "Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it."

-population-we™ blog post by Barb Bohan
© 2013 population-we, LLC 
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  1. Barb, thanks for your kind review! You are obviously doing great things here!

  2. Devin is genuinely a richer person for living life with a sense of purpose.

  3. Thank you, Devin! I feel very blessed that I can spotlight good! I discussed the chapter about a grandfather who became involved with finding a cure for Cystic Fibrosis with a grandfather of a young man in his high school years is inflicted and he told me how he gave $500 dollars to be part of the cure!

    Thank you, Jessica for stopping by. I very much agree!