It Happened On The Way To War is a book by Rye Barcott. This book talks about a marine who dreams of making a difference in the world. We read about his life, feeling as if we were a part of it. Three values that he clearly shows in this book are balance, leadership and Inspiration. Somebody once said that in order to succeed in life, you have to have a balance between your personal life and your professional life. Rye Barcott not only shows us the importance of having a balance, but he also shows us how hard it is to find that balance. While he was a part of the Marines, he was expected to transition easily from the combat mode to peace keeping mode. He thought that he will be able to separate the founder of Carolina for Kibera(CFK) from the marine that he was meant to be and vice versa. However as he started his journey, he soon realized how difficult finding balance actually is. After he came back from Kibera and started bootcamp.
Rye noticed a difference in his performance. His said that for the first time in his life, he was in the bottom half of the class. “ It’s like a dual culture shock” (90 Barcott, Rye) thats what is what his mother said that he was going through. This was the first time, we see Rye struggling to keep his personal and professional life separate. As time went by he was able to over come the cultural shock, however once he was an official marine. he was presented with a new challenge. He had to look at children that he was trying to improve the lives off, as potential suspects. As a marine he had to check kids that looked innocent for bombs and weapons and then then as a founder of CFK he had to go and help them. In my leadership class, I have been taught that in order to be a good leader you need to do 5 things.
You have to model the way, inspire a shared vision, encourage the heart, challenge the process and enable others to act. In the book, Rye demonstrates most if not all of these 5 qualities. He modeled the way, by showing people that you don’t need to be rich in order to make a difference in the world, you just need dedication and a good group of people who are willing to work with you. When Rye met Salim, he decided to take take Salim’s vision of Kibera and make it his own.
He inspired a shared a vision, Salim told Rye his dream about Kibera’s future and how he is currently trying to achieve it, however he probably did not expect Rye to actually support the dream or even come back to Kibera. However Rye shocked him by not only coming back to Kibera, but also by working with him to achieve his goal. Tabitha’s meeting with Rye is a great example of how Rye encouraged the heart.He had just met Tabitha and she was asking him to trust her and help her. There was no guarantee that Tabitha would succeed, but Rye supported her and helped her achieve her dream. Challenging
the Process requires you to stand up and stand out of the crowd. There are many books published about a person and the amount of good her or she does in the world. However the reason that Rye’s story is different from others is because Rye is a marine. People are attracted to this book, because on the front cover the caption reads “A Marines Path To Peace” Which is very unique. When people think about the Marines, they think of war not peace. There aren’t many books about a marine that fights a war in the day, and runs a non-profit organization by night. The work that Rye does in his book, things like organizing soccer tournaments and trash clean ups, enables others to act. In order for the kids to play the sports, they have to help the community by cleaning up the trash. It taught the kids positive feedback.
They did something good for others and in return they got something good out of it. This practice motivated the people of Kibera to act! This wasn’t the only way he enabled other to act, he was able to convince his friend Nate to help others and modeled the way for him. Inspiration is a huge deal in Rye’s life. He would have not achieved some much in his life, if he wasn’t inspired by the people he met in his life. Tabitha and Salim showed him that even though they have faced many hardships, it is still possible to achieve your dreams as long as you work hard with passion and integrity. His teachers/professors at UNC helped him tremendously.
When him and his friends weren’t able to get many funds, it was his professors that helped him get through, and motivated him and gave him guidance that eventually got him the funds that he needed. Not only did they guide him, but they helped him with his project. Professor Peacock and Kohn who he met in his freshman year helped him with his thesis in grad school and taught him how to run an effective non-profit organization. Even when he was a kid, his father’s marine friends were mentors for him. “My good fortune started when I was a bot.” (110, Barcott, Rye) They guided him and helped him realize his future plan.
They guided him because they knew that he would in return be an inspiration and guide others in the future. Which is exactly what he did. He became an inspiration for the kids of Kibera. Rye Barcott’s journey in this book, wasn’t an easy one. The three values that he demonstrated in this book, balance, leadership and inspiration made him very unique. When he first started his journey, he did not have all three values, however as he grew as a person, he developed these values and tried to perfect them.
• Barcott, Rye. Carolina For Kibera. N.p., n.d. Web. . • Barcott, Rye. It Happend on the Way to War. USA: Bloomsbury, 2011. Print.
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