The Kind Press, Australia, 2020
Pina Di Donato brings a lifetime of business and life learnings to her first book, a work that could loosely be described as a guide to living a satisfying, worthy and productive life.
Coming from an Italian background meant that Pina was framed by cultural traditions and expectations – ones that didn’t necessarily fit well with the person she was and is.
In this reflection on where she came from and where she has arrived, the author shares her candid views on the importance of facing the many challenges and joys of a life focused on doing one’s best, finding one’s happy niche and valuing oneself. Along with this, Pina stresses the importance of philanthropy and community giving – finding something that will allow each individual to leave a legacy, a practical epitaph of one’s own making, if you like.
A range of topics is explored in Who switched the Lights On?, as you can imagine, including the significance of certain decades in one’s life in the growing up process. In a sense we have here a stream of consciousness sharing, albeit structured and accessibly written delving into everything from dog-love to meditation. The voice to the reader is direct, personable, revelatory.
When an author bares at least some of her soul to us, it of course allows connection. Pina DI Donato speaks without guile of the sorts of difficulties she has faced in working in a male-dominated world.
She gives us entrée into her own occasional episodes of self-doubt and how she has managed them – generally by just going ahead bravely, Thespian-like if necessary, and by equipping herself with the education necessary to make the grade. She reveals her capacity to work with others, to cede when needed and equally to stand her ground when that works better.
Most of all, what we are left with is the big three messages – back yourself, give, live in the present.
This book fulfils one of Pina’s goals and at the same time will resonate with people struggling with similar challenges (as do we all at times). The commonality of the human struggle across many personal and cultural differences is astounding. Who Switched the Lights On? is a forthright, readable pocket philosophy and is soon to be followed by Pina’s COVID year musings The Reset Switch.
Find out more about Pina Di Donato and how to buy her book at https://www.pinadidonato.com/