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Thirst summary

Scott Harrison

A Story of Redemption, Compassion, and a Mission to Bring Clean Water to the World

4.5 (18 ratings)
29 mins

Brief summary

Thirst by Scott Harrison is a memoir that follows the journey of a club promoter turned humanitarian. After discovering the power of helping those in need, he creates charity Water to end the world's water crisis. A must-read for anyone wanting to make a positive impact.

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    Scott Harrison had an unusual childhood, with a mother prone to sickness.

    Scott Harrison was born in New Jersey in 1975, and as far back as he can remember, he’s had a restless drive to get things done. This energetic nature may even have saved his life early on when his childhood home had a carbon monoxide leak that nearly killed his mom.

    Since he was always outside playing, and his father was at work, it was only his mom who suffered the effects of the scentless, airborne toxin – though it would take a year of recurring symptoms, such as dizziness, nausea and passing out, before the source of his mom’s troubles were identified. Yet, once the leak from the home’s heating system was found, Scott’s childhood only got more unusual.

    The carbon monoxide leak caused the Harrisons to move, but no matter where they went, his mom would feel sick from the slightest scents. Strong smells like onions, hairspray and pipe smoke weren’t the only offenders – even someone’s makeup could be too much. Sometimes the family would drive out in the middle of the night to find a spot in the countryside where she could get some relief. One night, the smell of car exhaust from a nearby highway was too much, so they ended up sleeping on hay in a barn.

    As a young boy, unusual excursions like this were actually quite fun for Scott, like camping out. But as he became a teenager, his mother’s illnesses became more of a burden for a kid who just wanted a normal adolescence.

    Scott’s mom also became sensitive to any electromagnetic radiation in the air, so there was no TV or radio in the house, on top of there being no gas oven. Plus, a local doctor also diagnosed her as allergic to most foods.

    Then there was the issue of his schooling. Not long after Scott was born, the Harrisons became a very religious family, so Scott was enrolled in a small Christian school with five classrooms that held around nine students each. It was called the New Life Christian School, and Scott hated it so much he told his parents, in no uncertain terms, that he was going to go to public school instead.

    So, in 1991, 16-year-old Scott suddenly found himself the new kid at a much bigger high school. Fortunately for him, he had one skill that helped him make friends: he knew how to play piano.

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    What is Thirst about?

    Thirst (2018) is the inspiring chronicle of Scott Harrison’s life from his unusual childhood to his nights as a party promoter in New York City, and finally, as the world-renowned CEO of charity: water. By using his skills as a promoter, Harrison has brought clean water to millions of people, and his life story, in more ways than one, offers a clear-eyed look at how one person really can make a difference in the world.

    Thirst Review

    Thirst (2018) by Scott Harrison is a captivating memoir that reveals the transformative power of giving. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • It intertwines personal experiences, shocking revelations, and insights from the nonprofit sector, making it a compelling narrative of redemption and impact.
    • Through authentic storytelling and vivid descriptions, the book immerses the reader in Harrison's journey from a hard-partying nightclub promoter to a humanitarian bringing clean water to millions.
    • Offering a wake-up call to societal issues, Thirst brings awareness to the global water crisis while inspiring readers to take action and make a difference in the world.

    Best quote from Thirst

    An Ethiopian mother who had lost children was talking with an American mom who had lost a child, too. No translation was needed.

    —Scott Harrison
    example alt text

    Who should read Thirst?

    • Philanthropic people
    • Entrepreneurs looking to make a difference
    • Anyone interested in helping people in need

    About the Author

    Scott Harrison is the founder and CEO of charity: water, which has been opening access to clean water globally since 2006. With over 28,000 water projects launched, his organization has changed the lives of over 8.5 million people worldwide.

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    Thirst FAQs 

    What is the main message of Thirst?

    The main message of Thirst is the transformative power of using our talents and resources to make a positive impact on the world.

    How long does it take to read Thirst?

    The reading time for Thirst varies depending on the reader's speed, but it typically takes several hours. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just a few minutes.

    Is Thirst a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Thirst is a compelling and thought-provoking book that is definitely worth reading. It offers an inspiring story and valuable insights on finding purpose and making a difference.

    Who is the author of Thirst?

    The author of Thirst is Scott Harrison.

    What to read after Thirst?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Thirst, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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    • The 5 AM Club by Robin Sharma
    • You, Happier by Daniel G. Amen
    • Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
    • A Better World, Inc. by Alice Korngold
    • The Mindful Body by Ellen J. Langer
    • Discipline Is Destiny by Ryan Holiday
    • Hello Sleep by Jade Wu
    • Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond