Bob Goff Takes Down the Dos Equis Man – A Review of Love DoesBooks, Essays — By Matt Lossau on May 22, 2012 at 8:09 am
If Bob Goff and the Dos Equis man had a competition to see who the most interesting man in the world truly is, the judges would pull out the mercy rule (a rule often used in little kids’ baseball leagues to protect their young egos, by ending a game before a demoralizing score of 30-0 develops), and the Dos Equis man would slink away with the unfamiliar taste of defeat lingering in his mouth.
I first heard about Bob Goff in Donald Miller’s book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years (which I highly recommend–it’s one of my favorite books of all time), and I was immediately captivated by the man. I started following his blog, and learned about the organization he started, called Restore International.
Restore International’s mission is to find daring and audacious ways to combat human rights violations, including forced prostitution and slave labor. What an incredible combination of positivity, masculinity, compassion, and whimsy. I want to be like Bob Goff! So when I heard about Love Does, his new book, I pre-ordered it immediately.
Love Does is a collection of 31 short chapters, each filled with incredibly entertaining experiences from Bob’s life. Throughout the stories, Bob weaves the lessons he learned from these events, and how they help him to not just think of loving others, but to actually use that love to take action. Each chapter begins with a sentence that summarizes the lesson Bob learned in that chapter. The lesson that had the most impact for me started with: “I used to think being loved was the greatest thing to think about, but now I know love is never satisfied just thinking about it.” (Another one of my favorites is: “I used to think God guided us by opening and closing doors, but now I know sometimes God wants us to kick some doors down.”)
What I really wanted from Love Does was to be transformed. I wanted to become more interesting–more filled with whimsy. As the chapters sped by, my sense of disappointment grew. The stories from Bob’s life were certainly entertaining, and there were some good learnings he drew from them, but the formula that I was looking for was not there. There were no steps to follow, no roadmap revealed. I began to doubt I was going to learn how to add more whimsy to my life, or that I would ever be like Bob Goff.
Gradually though, my thinking began to shift. The chapters began to have a cumulative effect on me, and a new line of thinking began to emerge. I will most likely never be like Bob Goff–he is hardwired in ways that I am not. But I can learn to be more whimsical, and I can certainly choose to love more in action, and less in thought.
My new approach to the book was cemented as I read the chapter titled Bigger and Better. At one point, he says that Jesus is asking us, “Will you take what you think defines you, leave it behind, and let Me define who you are instead?” What a freeing concept–let Jesus define me, rather than striving endlessly to forge my own identity.
If you want to be challenged and encouraged to move from thinking about loving others, to taking outrageous actions that actually demonstrate your love for others, read Love Does. In the off-chance it doesn’t resonate with you, you will at least be entertained, as you watch Bob Goff take down the Dos Equis man.