“I called my wife outside and I said, ‘Just look at the beauty of what surrounds us,’ ” says Kasich.
If 2017’s Two Paths was a broad-brush rebuke of politicians using extremism and wedge issues to divide Americans, It Starts With Us is more of a handbook for everyday people hoping to navigate that landscape of division without losing themselves.
Kasich wrote the book this spring, after his term as governor ended. The 10 principles inside came to him on a plane flight. He scrawled them on the back of an envelope. The collection of maxims, such as “Love Thy Neighbor” and “Put Yourself In Someone Else’s Shoes,” attempt to calm the squall of uncertainty and anger that now pound the American soul daily. “The most important thing about this book is it’s an antidote to all the political turmoil today,” he says.
In 234 breezy pages organized around his 10 principles, Kasich and his co-author, Daniel Paisner, share inspiring stories about change-makers from across the political spectrum, from teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg (“Start a Movement”) to Kasich’s own longtime press wrangler, Jim Lynch, who got involved in his local government outside of Columbus (“Be Prepared to Walk a Lonely Road”). The stories all add up to principles, and a book, that are larger than politics, Kasich says.
“What we as individuals do to change the world makes all the difference in the world,” he says. “This doesn’t just get to be about political change. It can be about just being kind to somebody. It makes a difference.”