For anyone with an ounce of idealism, or any fond memories of singing "Pass It On," Pay It Forward
offers some morally powerful moments, at least at the beginning. It
opens with a facially scarred teacher, Gene Simonet, directing his
students to come up with a plan to change the world.
On an ordinary day some ten years ago, when I was in the midst of a long-forgotten project, a call came from preschool: “You need to pick up Andy. The nurse found head lice.” So began my first encounter with the horror, the shame, the benightedness—I had no idea then how common and manageable it could be—of this medieval infestation.
A mere two years after publishing an absorbing study of anger, Garret Keizer has produced a probing work on an even thornier subject. Is help, as Keizer asserts, the original human dilemma? Was Eve only trying to help Adam when she offered him that piece of fruit?