Salome Thomas-EL releases new book!

Salome Thomas-EL is perhaps known best for his best-selling book I Choose to Stay  in he recounts  his experience as a chess coach in inner-city Vaux High School.  Thomas-EL told The Chess Drum about his new book The Immortality of Influence,

"The book highlights the many ways we influence young and old people. Of course, there are updates on my chess students featured in the first book. Some have graduated from law school, graduate school, and other four-year institutions. Many are graduating from college in May. That is the ultimate goal. Using chess to show children how to avoid getting checkmated in life!!"

The following is the foreword written by actor
Will Smith, who is a chess aficionado and also wrote a foreword to Maurice Ashley's book, Chess for Success.

Foreword, The Immortality of Influence
by Will Smith

If you finish this book and are not inspired to immediately go out and effect change in your community, then you were not paying attention and should read it again.  Salome Thomas-EL was called to serve and has had amazing experiences in his career as a teacher and author.  He uses these experiences and his own personal struggles and triumphs to inspire a new generation to pick up the torch of service. 

With this book, he illustrates how as responsible adults we can and should influence those around us for the better, beginning with leading by example.  He draws attention to the scores of children who are labeled early on as 'lost causes', and he points out that if we allow them to go through life without any positive role models, then they will become self-fulfilling prophecies. 
But, if someone takes the time and does not give up, Thomas-EL knows from personal experience that these children can grow up and become some of the best minds of the next generation.

The Immortality of  Influence (Salome Thomas-EL)

Influence is a powerful tool, one that we often forget that we wield.  The hidden danger is that we never know exactly who we are influencing and what it is we do that influences them.  Every time we interact with people, we are giving them an impression of who we are, what we believe and what we think of them.  It is important that we make choices that we would want others to emulate, not only those of us that work in a very public position like Thomas-EL as a principal and myself as an entertainer, but anyone who is a parent, brother, sister, son, daughter, cousin, friend, neighbor, colleague…the list goes on.  You never know who is looking to you for inspiration, so first and foremost you must be mindful of the message that you are sending out.

In today's media-saturated society, it is hard to miss so many of the tragedies that have hit our worldwide community.  Between the Tsunami in Southeast Asia, Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf Coast, and the continuing AIDS epidemic in Africa, there are plenty of reminders that suffering is a universal constant.  While it is important to contribute to our local communities, we should always be mindful that we are part of a global environment.  Although money is often requested to aid victims both at home and abroad, time is also one of the most valuable donations we can make.  Giving of one's time to any of these causes is just as meaningful as writing a check.

So read this book, be inspired by the great things that Thomas-EL has accomplished in his community, and take that inspiration and make an impact in your own.  If influence can be immortal, then why not make yours worth remembering?

Posted by The Chess Drum: 1 May 2006