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AN EXISTENTIAL DIRTBAG GAVE AWAY HIS BILLION DOLLAR COMPANY

A good friend, Tom Brokaw, has called him a dirtbag. This is a term of endearment.

According to mountain climbing lore, a dirtbag is a person who dedicates her or his entire existence to the pursuit of mountain climbing, even living in a tent or vehicle to save money.

If you have been reading the news lately, you will know who I am talking about. It is Yvon Chouinard.

Chouinard has been in the news because he has just given away his billion dollar company.…

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MAKE A REAL DIFFERENCE IN UNDER 3 MINUTES – WITH COMPOUND INTEREST

You can make a huge difference in this crazy world. And it is so easy to get started.

You can help a child go to school, learn to read and build a life for herself, her family and her community. It only takes less than 3 minutes to start your incredible journey.

And the benefits, especially for children in low-income communities, will grow and grow, almost like compound interest.

Melinda Gates said it well in her inspirational book, Moment of Lift: How empowering women changes the world:

“When you send a girl to school, the good deed never dies.

Read More »

INSPIRATION FOR YOUR MID-LIFE CRISIS

This is a guest post from Lacey Connor. I appreciate Lacey reaching out to contribute to this blog and I want to encourage her and others on their writing journeys.

A mid-life crisis is a time of reflection and change. It’s a time to think about what you want out of life and how you can make your remaining years the best they can be. Just because you’re experiencing a mid-life crisis doesn’t mean it has to be a negative experience.…

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BEST HEADLINE FOR FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN

HER FIRST ACT OF DEFIANCE? GOING TO SCHOOL

This headline drew me in and I was hooked.

This headline, ad and article was part of a fundraising campaign called Defy Gravity from the University of Toronto. It featured Basnama Ayaz who won a scholarship to the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing at the University of Toronto.

Here is an excerpt from the moving article in the U of T Alumni magazine.

Growing up, Basnama Ayaz was inspired by people in her community who looked after the sick.…

Read More »

RBG – SO NOTORIOUS, WITH A RIDDLE

I just finished reading Dinners with Ruth: A Memoir on the Power of Friendships by Nina Totenberg and I loved it.

It is packed with details on the life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, as seen through the eyes of a lifelong friend, journalist Nina Totenberg.

The stories and amazing lives of Nina and Ruth helped open my eyes. Both women struggled to have their accomplishments and talents recognized in the male dominated fields of law and journalism, despite their high levels of achievement.…

Read More »

HOW TO LIVE A CREATIVE LIFE IF YOU ARE “NOT CREATIVE”

When you think of being creative do you start to feel a little freer? Or do you quickly freeze up with frustration or self-doubt?

I would like to help you to loosen up with a few practical ideas from people who know a few things about what creativity really is.

Let’s start with Sir Paul McCartney. He is well-known for his relaxed approach to writing songs. For instance, he frequently comes into the studio with a vague idea for a song.…

Read More »

A MEMORY TEST – WE CAN DO BETTER

Our memories store much more than what has been going on in our lives. Much more than what we learn at school or from the web.

Take this quick memory test and see what I mean.

It may surprise you. No hints.

Did you learn anything?

I did and it made me think – about the way I look at almost everything.

First thoughts are revealing. Second thoughts can tell us how we want to move forward.…

Read More »

8 IDEAS TO IMPROVE YOUR MENTAL HEALTH

This is a guest post from Stephanie Haywood. I appreciate Stephanie reaching out to contribute to this blog and I want to encourage her and others on their writing journeys.

You can find more articles like this from her website, MyLifeBoost.com.

Few things in life are more important than your mental health, yet most people never invest in keeping it in the best shape possible. Below are eight ideas to improve your mental well-being so you’re happier and healthier overall.…

Read More »

MORE OF TOMORROW’S MONEY GOING TO WOMEN AND GIRLS

Here are some startling numbers.

I read about these numbers in a moving book by John Wood (co-founder of Room to Read) and Amalia McGibbon, called Purpose Incorporated: Turning cause into your competitive advantage.

WHO WILL RUN THE WORLD? GIRLS!

1 – Women control slightly more than half of the private wealth in the United States.

2 – Women make 80% of all purchases.

3 – Over $50 trillion will transfer to the younger generation over the next few decades.…

Read More »

HOW TO LIVE AN EXTRAORDINARY LIFE AT ANY AGE

What does living an extraordinary life mean to you? World travel? Sky diving? Writing a best-selling novel?

These life experiences and accomplishments are exciting. But what about all of the life in between these peak experiences?  Don’t we want each day to be extraordinary?

The Happiest Day of My Life

John Wood, one of the founders of Room to Read, was trekking in Nepal and came across a school with a library, but no books.…

Read More »

AMEERA WILL WARM YOUR HEART

Have you met Ameera?

She is the newest Sesame Street character with a big message. Hers is a powerful message of representation and inclusion. This should not surprise us, coming from Sesame Workshop, creator of the Sesame Street television show.

My daughter brought this to my attention. She is nurse and a strong and caring advocate for children with disabilities. She knows that having a positive character on television, one her patients can relate to, is empowering and validating.…

Read More »

NEW VIDEO – THE POWER OF GIRLS EDUCATION

Hania has done it again. A new video and a bonus feature.

Hania’s video gives us a deep look into how educating girls and women around the world benefits us all.

This is particularly true for girls and women in low income countries. When girls are given the opportunity to go to school, there are many benefits to all levels of society.

The girls and young women benefit directly and are given the opportunity of a real future with real choices for the life they want to live.…

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MELINDA FRENCH GATES – HOW DOES SHE DO IT?

If you had billions of dollars how would you use that money to make our world a better place?

Who would you help first? How would you make that happen? How would you make sure that your donations were not wasted?

These questions and concerns are part of the everyday life for Melinda French Gates, a philanthropist, businesswoman, and global advocate for women and girls. As co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, she shapes and approves the foundation’s strategies, reviews results, and sets the organization’s overall direction.…

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FEMININITY, AUTHENTICITY & POWER

Being a male, I am no expert on femininity.

But I thought I would share some insights from a few impressive women.

According to Neha Prakash, Marie Claire’s Senior News and Culture Editor, femininity isn’t a bad word—it’s just a misunderstood one – ever-evolving, nuanced, and individualized.

In a recent issue of Marie Claire, Ms. Prakash profiled a more wholistic view of how real women interpreted the concept, giving them the chance to redefine it in their own terms. …

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HOW TO KEEP UP IN A FAST-CHANGING WORLD

Many people, of all ages, feel that our fast-changing world is leaving them behind.  And this is especially true when it comes to technology, computer skills and social media.

Before we begin to discuss solutions, though, I have a confession.

I love computers and the internet, a fascination that began in the early 1990s. Before Internet Explorer and before Google, the most popular program to access the internet was Netscape Navigator. Many of you may remember this innovative software.…

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UH-OH – I AM SO SORRY

I made a big mistake. And as a result, some of you who requested a Free copy of my ebook did not receive it. Worse yet, you may have received no response at all.

I am so sorry for my big goof up.

What happened was that I had paused a program from Mailchimp and forgot to restart it. This program automatically sends a Thank You email to anyone who subscribed to this blog, A Warm Heart.…

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HOW TO FEEL YOUNGER AT ANY AGE, PART 3/5

I hope you are still with me – for a fun ride toward more energy, activity and meaning in your life. This might be in your retirement years or really at any age.

STAND UP FOR WHAT YOU BELIEVE IN

This post describes another step in your journey and can be done in a variety of ways. 

You can write about your views on specific issues, with your own blog, articles or social media posts. You can support others’ views or join groups that are doing the kind of work that you value.…

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YOUR NEW YEAR’S BOOST – POWERED BY SOUL

Have you been feeling overwhelmed or maybe a bit worn down by the seemingly endless bad news all around us. If you have been watching a lot of traditional or social media, you probably have.

Here is a little counter weight to all of the heavy lifting you have been doing. A burst of creativity, inspiration and positivity.

Sit back and let it sink in. And get you New Year off to a good start.

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A HOLIDAY MESSAGE FROM A MIGHTY GIRL

A Mighty Girl – what an amazing name. And a perfect fit for a business devoted to the empowerment of girls.

A Mighty Girl was founded, as a labour of love, by Carolyn Danckaert and Aaron Smith from Washington, D.C..

The founders had spent years looking for empowering and inspirational books for their four young nieces. In the end, they decided to create A Mighty Girl as a resource site to help others equally interested in supporting and celebrating girls.…

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HOW TO FEEL YOUNGER AT ANY AGE, PART 2/5

Who is driving our world’s newish interest in climate change?

Is it the old guard, hanging out in Scotland at the recent Climate Change Summit (UNFCCC COP 26)? They may have the power and the money, but who says they have the courage and commitment needed to make a real difference.

Who is generating the groundswell of interest and publicity that political leaders crave?

Young people. They have the energy, powerful social media tools and are driving the agenda.…

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WHAT KIND OF LEGACY WILL YOU LEAVE?

Avid readers of this blog and website will know that I am a big fan of and regular donor to Room to Read.

I have written quite a bit about the huge accomplishments of co-founders, Erin Ganju, John Wood and Dinesh Shrestha. And there will be more to come in future posts.

I received a recent email from Erin Ganju. Her email was warm and touching. I liked that.

Here is a short excerpt from Erin’s email.…

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HOW TO FEEL YOUNGER AT ANY AGE, PART 1/5

Do you want to feel younger during your retirement years? Of course you do – we all do. And not just in our later years, but at any age.

One part of the solution is to figure out how you want to live your life. Or if you are in or near retirement, a new large question may be hanging over your head.

What am I going to do with the rest of my life?

This is a big question and one I am just starting to get a handle on, I think.…

Read More »

BE THE DIFFERENCE – YOU CAN DO IT

Need more evidence that girls’ education matters? Here are some powerful facts from one of my favourite organizations, Room to Read.

Whether or not a girl stays in school has an astounding effect on not simply her quality of life, but that of her future family and community.

  • Educated women earn more 
    • Providing girls with one extra year of education beyond average boosts her wages by 10-20%. 
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WHY I LOVE SETH GODIN

It is because of his kind and generous view of creativity and how to live in an ever changing world.

Here is what I mean – a brief snippet from his recent blog.

(Seth’s Blog, October 17, 2021)

Here is what Seth says about effort.

“And then, perhaps, there’s a third option.

Expending more effort than most people think is sufficient.

This is attention to detail. Care in design. Follow through in customer service. This is an embrace of elegance and wabisabi and the opposite of laziness.

Read More »

WHAT DOES A BRIGHT AND HOPEFUL FUTURE REALLY LOOK LIKE?

The short answer, it looks like the education of girls, in all communities, all around the world.

The education of girls in communities where girls are discouraged or even prevented from going to school.

The education of girls in families where only the boys have a chance for education and a real future.

The continued education of girls past the age when many girls and young women are pressured into early marriage.

These are the goals of a compassionate world where we all try to lift up each other and create and nurture opportunities for those with less advantage.…

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DEBBIE ALLEN – YOU DID IT AGAIN

Thank you Debbie.

I am not a dancer, choreographer, actor, director or producer. But, I do love that you have excelled in all of these ways. And I mean really excelled. It is hard to believe that any one person can be so creative and accomplished.

Gail King said it right, “Debbie Allen is a creative supernova.”

And she did it again at the recent Primetime Emmy Awards, where she was given the Governors Award.

The Governors Award is presented to those with an “outstanding achievement in the arts and sciences or management of television which is either of a cumulative nature or so extraordinary and universal in nature.…

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HANIA’S NEW VIDEO – LEARNING TO READ IN YOUR OWN LANGUAGE

Hania Azimi is becoming more creative and talented everyday. And I really appreciate all of her hard work.

Recently, she has learned how to create and edit videos. Below is her first creation about a very important topic.

Learning to Read in Your Own Language

In this video, Hania reviews the importance and benefits of helping children learn to read in their own language. This helps children to learn to read better and faster. And it also helps them to learn to read in other languages, such as English.…

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A LITTLE MORE SINCERITY FROM GARTH BROOKS

I must admit that I don’t know much about Garth Brooks.

I know a little. I know that he is a widely recognized and decorated country music star. He is one of the bestselling musicians on the planet.

IN GOOD COMPANY

I learned a little more from his recent appearance. He was one of the outstanding artists selected as Honorees at the 43rd Kennedy Center Honors. He was in good company with four other honorees this year -multi-disciplinary artist, choreographer, and actress Debbie Allen; singer-songwriter and activist Joan Baez; violinist Midori; and actor Dick Van Dyke.…

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DO YOU WANT SOME SHIVERS?

Well sit back and be moved.

Here is a short video that will rev you up and make you want to be a part of this amazing organization.

From Room to Read, here is

WELCOME TO THE END OF IMPOSSIBLE

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SUCH AN INSPIRATIONAL INTERVIEW – NO RESISTANCE HERE

I was surfing through some sports channels on TV and came across a very inspiring interview on Tara Sloane’s show, Top of [Her] Game, on SportsNet.

Tara’s guest was Samantha Rapoport and man was she smart and impressive. I learned a lot and I loved it.

On Tara’s show, they talk about how Sam’s love of football, as a young girl, blossomed into a 20 year career with the NFL.

Now, Sam Rapoport is the NFL’s Senior Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.…

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HOW DO YOU MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE?

You start with passionate teenagers and watch them go.

Ten teens who are changing the world, in their own unique ways, were recently profiled in People magazine. And they are impressive.

Here are a few examples:

Hollis Belger – 16

Started Juggling for Jude to raise funds to raise funds for St. Judes Childrens Research Hospital. Check out her video and awesome juggling skills.

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HOW DO I “DO SOMETHING” AND MAKE IT COUNT?

There are lots of ways and it is really easy and fun to get started.

And for any one in their mid or later years, it can make you feel young again.

You can feel young again by stimulating your mind and your heart. You can feel young again by feeling useful, productive and maybe even powerful in your own way.

If you want to feel like a really young person, go to DoSomething.org. This energetic organization describes themselves as A youth-led movement for good.

Read More »

CAN EDUCATING GIRLS REALLY HELP THAT MUCH? A DOODLY VIDEO

The answer to this question is an enthusiastic yes.

An enthusiastic yes because of how much educating girls really does help.

I have written about these benefits in other posts and on my main website pages. You can also find detailed discussions in two of my favourite books that cover this topic.

Moment of Lift: How empowering women changes the world

by Melinda Gates

Creating Room to Read: A story of hope in the battle for global literacy

by John Wood

The education of girls has also been adopted as one of the priorities of Michelle Obama’s Girls Opportunity Alliance.

Read More »

MEN HELPING WOMEN – WITH MOOSE HIDE

The numbers are staggering.

More than 6,000 women and children are housed in emergency shelters each night across Canada trying to escape abuse. And this is only the tip of the iceberg.

We know that 67% of Canadians say they have personally known at least one woman who has experienced physical or sexual abuse. Approximately every six days, a woman in Canada is killed by her intimate partner.

Violence against women and girls is a huge international problem as well.…

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DOES MEGHAN MARKLE GET IT?

Yes she does.

And she had the confidence to talk about it on a widely publicized interview with Oprah on March 7, 2021.

She gets that representation is important – representation of women, persons of colour, LGBTQ, and persons from all cultures and walks of life.

We all need to see others like us, at school, at work, in health care and in the popular culture and media that is all around us. This is what representation is all about.…

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WHY I BECAME A MONTHLY DONOR TO ROOM TO READ?

I became a monthly donor over the past year and am very glad I did.

I had many good reasons to choose Room to Read and to begin donating. Here is my rationale, some of which appears on page two of my website.

WHY I BECAME A MONTHLY DONOR

Last year I discovered a moving story about a Microsoft executive, John Wood, who came upon a school library in rural Nepal with no books in it – and no money to buy books for the children who attended the school.…

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HOW DO YOU HELP PEOPLE THE WAY MELINDA GATES DOES?

Let me start with a clue.

You don’t have to be a billionaire to help people the way Melinda Gates does. Of course, it helps, but money is not the key to her success.

I learned about Ms. Gates from her fabulous new book, The Moment of Lift.

It is an incredible read. Well written (as you would expect), entertaining and so inspiring.

And, on every page, an uplifting tone of possibility and optimism. No hype–she is not trying to sell you anything.…

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NOT JUST CELINE DION – 1000 MORE

Who doesn’t admire Celine Dion.

Celine Dion is not just an accomplished singer, she is also a very successful entrepreneur. Her entertainment empire has been valued at $800 million. Not bad for a woman of modest means from a small town in Quebec.

A new report, Women Entrepreneurs Beyond the Stereotypes, and awareness campaign, See It Be It, has come out to celebrate women entrepreneur success stories. It includes 1000+ stories of diverse Canadian women.…

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AN INVITATION ON INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY

Room to Read is celebrating the very important International Women’s Day.

On this special day, I was sent this invitation from Room to Read. And I wanted to pass it along to you.

The invitation is for you to educate a girl for only $15.

Imagine only $15 to support a girl’s education for a whole year.

For $15, you can help a girl stay in school longer, progress toward completion of secondary school and acquire the skills and agency she needs to choose her own path in life.…

Read More »

IS AMANDA GORMAN REALLY A MOTH?

That would be silly – wouldn’t it? Let’s investigate.

Unless you have been asleep at the wheel, you have heard of a bright new star, Amanda Gorman.

She delivered, and I mean delivered, a touching, entertaining and powerful poem she wrote at the recent inauguration of U.S. President Joe Biden and Vice-president Kamala Harris. It was called, The Hill We Climb.

She was a highlight of the star-studded ceremony. According to Anderson Cooper from CNN, she stole the show.…

Read More »

WHO IS DR. MAYIM BIALIK?

This is not a trick question. But, the answer may surprise you.

Many of you would know her as Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler, one of the stars of The Big Bang Theory.

Dr. Bialik began playing a recurring character as Sheldon’s “friend that’s a girl, but not a girlfriend.” Later in season 4, she became part of the main cast. Dr. Bialik plays the character, Amy, a neurobiologist in The Big Bang Theory. Her very funny portrayal earned her Emmy Award nominations in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.…

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BECAUSE I AM A GIRL – MANY HEART WARMING ACHIEVEMENTS

Every day there are new things to learn. It’s exciting, especially when I read about groundbreaking ideas and new ways to make a difference in this world.

I was familiar with the advocacy and fundraising campaign from Plan International called Because I Am A Girl, and have been donating to this fund for years now. I believe this is a very important cause.

Because I Am A Girl is a very smart and engaging idea that has helped change the face and focus of charities around the world.…

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IS ROOM TO READ A GOOD CHARITY?

I think so and here is why.

Less than 1 percent of charities have received a 4-star rating for 12 years from Charity Navigator. Room to Read is one of these top 1 percent charities.

Now this is no guarantee, but it is a pretty good start. Actually way more than a good start. Room to Read has achieved these 4-star ratings for over 12 years, since 2007.

Charity Navigator is a good place to find out and compare the track record of charities that may interest you.…

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WATCH & IMAGINE – YOUNG LIVES WITH HOPE

I am still learning about all of the incredible work that is being done to educate children around the world. This is so important. And it is one of the best ways to give children, their families and their communities a lift out of poverty. A real future.

This is why Room to Read has chosen the following message to summarize their goals and mission: WORLD CHANGE STARTS WITH EDUCATED CHILDREN. With just a few words, this simple message says a lot.…

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ALICIA KEYS HAS A HAUNTING MESSAGE

I have been a big fan of Alicia Keys for a long time now. I have almost all of her music and have recently read her new book, Alicia Keys: A Journey (with Michelle Burford).

In her book, Alicia opens ups about her struggle to become a person true to herself – the kind of person she wants to become. One might naively think think that someone so talented and so successful would be exempt from such struggles.…

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A GENEROUS CREATIVE LIFE BY SETH GODIN

Generosity is a core principle for Seth Godin.

In his new book, The Practice, he shows you how to live a creative life and how to be productive in the creative work you want to do. He stresses the importance of three main ingredients for a successful creative practice, curiosity, generosity and connection.

Seth offers a one-minute video explaining how you can create magic, with these three ingredients. It is on his blog at

seths.blog/the practice

(Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to directly embed his video here, but his short video is well worth the extra click.)…

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THE HEART AND HEAD OF GIVING – FROM PETER SINGER

Peter Singer starts his well-known TED Talk with an alarming video of a two year old Chinese girl, Wang Yue, being run over by a van and then again by another van.

Several people walked by the child lying in the street and did nothing to help. Eventually a street cleaner called for help. She was taken by ambulance, but it was too late for her, she died in the hospital.

Singer asked the audience to raise their hands if, in a similar situation, they would have done everything they could to assist this injured child.…

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BRENÉ BROWN – COURAGE AND EMPATHY

What is the best way to help someone who is suffering? This could be someone who is suffering a little or a lot.

The fastest and simplest way is is to listen and make a heartfelt connection with them. This is empathy in a nutshell.

But empathy is sometimes very hard to do. It is hard because we all have a strong temptation to say the wrong thing. We are tempted to jump in and try to say something that we think will make the suffering lessen.…

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IN PRAISE OF GSD (GETTING SHIT DONE)

My wife used to make fun of me. She said I was “A man on a mission”.

I wasn’t offended – I kind of agreed with her. I was driven to create a psychology business and help as many people as I could. I am sure I wasn’t the easiest person to live with.

I was sent down memory lane, recently, when I came across a TED talk by John Wood, the very driven founder of a global children’s literacy charity called Room To Read

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THEIR SUPERPOWERS WILL SURPRISE YOU

I was watching an interesting video from Room to Read called “What’s Your Superpower”. It had a lot of great ideas. Attainable and inspiring superpowers to help young girls and women build their confidence and power in a difficult world.

Here is how some of the superpowers are described.

I have a superpower.

But it is not what you might think.  

It’s not flying.  It’s not time travelling.

I’m talking about the life skills that every girl and every woman need.…

Read More »

AN EXISTENTIAL DIRTBAG GAVE AWAY HIS BILLION DOLLAR COMPANY

A good friend, Tom Brokaw, has called him a dirtbag. This is a term of endearment.

According to mountain climbing lore, a dirtbag is a person who dedicates her or his entire existence to the pursuit of mountain climbing, even living in a tent or vehicle to save money.

If you have been reading the news lately, you will know who I am talking about. It is Yvon Chouinard.

Chouinard has been in the news because he has just given away his billion dollar company.…

Read More »

MAKE A REAL DIFFERENCE IN UNDER 3 MINUTES – WITH COMPOUND INTEREST

You can make a huge difference in this crazy world. And it is so easy to get started.

You can help a child go to school, learn to read and build a life for herself, her family and her community. It only takes less than 3 minutes to start your incredible journey.

And the benefits, especially for children in low-income communities, will grow and grow, almost like compound interest.

Melinda Gates said it well in her inspirational book, Moment of Lift: How empowering women changes the world:

“When you send a girl to school, the good deed never dies.

Read More »

INSPIRATION FOR YOUR MID-LIFE CRISIS

This is a guest post from Lacey Connor. I appreciate Lacey reaching out to contribute to this blog and I want to encourage her and others on their writing journeys.

A mid-life crisis is a time of reflection and change. It’s a time to think about what you want out of life and how you can make your remaining years the best they can be. Just because you’re experiencing a mid-life crisis doesn’t mean it has to be a negative experience.…

Read More »

BEST HEADLINE FOR FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN

HER FIRST ACT OF DEFIANCE? GOING TO SCHOOL

This headline drew me in and I was hooked.

This headline, ad and article was part of a fundraising campaign called Defy Gravity from the University of Toronto. It featured Basnama Ayaz who won a scholarship to the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing at the University of Toronto.

Here is an excerpt from the moving article in the U of T Alumni magazine.

Growing up, Basnama Ayaz was inspired by people in her community who looked after the sick.…

Read More »

RBG – SO NOTORIOUS, WITH A RIDDLE

I just finished reading Dinners with Ruth: A Memoir on the Power of Friendships by Nina Totenberg and I loved it.

It is packed with details on the life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, as seen through the eyes of a lifelong friend, journalist Nina Totenberg.

The stories and amazing lives of Nina and Ruth helped open my eyes. Both women struggled to have their accomplishments and talents recognized in the male dominated fields of law and journalism, despite their high levels of achievement.…

Read More »

HOW TO LIVE A CREATIVE LIFE IF YOU ARE “NOT CREATIVE”

When you think of being creative do you start to feel a little freer? Or do you quickly freeze up with frustration or self-doubt?

I would like to help you to loosen up with a few practical ideas from people who know a few things about what creativity really is.

Let’s start with Sir Paul McCartney. He is well-known for his relaxed approach to writing songs. For instance, he frequently comes into the studio with a vague idea for a song.…

Read More »

A MEMORY TEST – WE CAN DO BETTER

Our memories store much more than what has been going on in our lives. Much more than what we learn at school or from the web.

Take this quick memory test and see what I mean.

It may surprise you. No hints.

Did you learn anything?

I did and it made me think – about the way I look at almost everything.

First thoughts are revealing. Second thoughts can tell us how we want to move forward.…

Read More »

8 IDEAS TO IMPROVE YOUR MENTAL HEALTH

This is a guest post from Stephanie Haywood. I appreciate Stephanie reaching out to contribute to this blog and I want to encourage her and others on their writing journeys.

You can find more articles like this from her website, MyLifeBoost.com.

Few things in life are more important than your mental health, yet most people never invest in keeping it in the best shape possible. Below are eight ideas to improve your mental well-being so you’re happier and healthier overall.…

Read More »

MORE OF TOMORROW’S MONEY GOING TO WOMEN AND GIRLS

Here are some startling numbers.

I read about these numbers in a moving book by John Wood (co-founder of Room to Read) and Amalia McGibbon, called Purpose Incorporated: Turning cause into your competitive advantage.

WHO WILL RUN THE WORLD? GIRLS!

1 – Women control slightly more than half of the private wealth in the United States.

2 – Women make 80% of all purchases.

3 – Over $50 trillion will transfer to the younger generation over the next few decades.…

Read More »

HOW TO LIVE AN EXTRAORDINARY LIFE AT ANY AGE

What does living an extraordinary life mean to you? World travel? Sky diving? Writing a best-selling novel?

These life experiences and accomplishments are exciting. But what about all of the life in between these peak experiences?  Don’t we want each day to be extraordinary?

The Happiest Day of My Life

John Wood, one of the founders of Room to Read, was trekking in Nepal and came across a school with a library, but no books.…

Read More »

AMEERA WILL WARM YOUR HEART

Have you met Ameera?

She is the newest Sesame Street character with a big message. Hers is a powerful message of representation and inclusion. This should not surprise us, coming from Sesame Workshop, creator of the Sesame Street television show.

My daughter brought this to my attention. She is nurse and a strong and caring advocate for children with disabilities. She knows that having a positive character on television, one her patients can relate to, is empowering and validating.…

Read More »

NEW VIDEO – THE POWER OF GIRLS EDUCATION

Hania has done it again. A new video and a bonus feature.

Hania’s video gives us a deep look into how educating girls and women around the world benefits us all.

This is particularly true for girls and women in low income countries. When girls are given the opportunity to go to school, there are many benefits to all levels of society.

The girls and young women benefit directly and are given the opportunity of a real future with real choices for the life they want to live.…

Read More »

MELINDA FRENCH GATES – HOW DOES SHE DO IT?

If you had billions of dollars how would you use that money to make our world a better place?

Who would you help first? How would you make that happen? How would you make sure that your donations were not wasted?

These questions and concerns are part of the everyday life for Melinda French Gates, a philanthropist, businesswoman, and global advocate for women and girls. As co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, she shapes and approves the foundation’s strategies, reviews results, and sets the organization’s overall direction.…

Read More »

FEMININITY, AUTHENTICITY & POWER

Being a male, I am no expert on femininity.

But I thought I would share some insights from a few impressive women.

According to Neha Prakash, Marie Claire’s Senior News and Culture Editor, femininity isn’t a bad word—it’s just a misunderstood one – ever-evolving, nuanced, and individualized.

In a recent issue of Marie Claire, Ms. Prakash profiled a more wholistic view of how real women interpreted the concept, giving them the chance to redefine it in their own terms. …

Read More »

HOW TO KEEP UP IN A FAST-CHANGING WORLD

Many people, of all ages, feel that our fast-changing world is leaving them behind.  And this is especially true when it comes to technology, computer skills and social media.

Before we begin to discuss solutions, though, I have a confession.

I love computers and the internet, a fascination that began in the early 1990s. Before Internet Explorer and before Google, the most popular program to access the internet was Netscape Navigator. Many of you may remember this innovative software.…

Read More »

UH-OH – I AM SO SORRY

I made a big mistake. And as a result, some of you who requested a Free copy of my ebook did not receive it. Worse yet, you may have received no response at all.

I am so sorry for my big goof up.

What happened was that I had paused a program from Mailchimp and forgot to restart it. This program automatically sends a Thank You email to anyone who subscribed to this blog, A Warm Heart.…

Read More »

HOW TO FEEL YOUNGER AT ANY AGE, PART 3/5

I hope you are still with me – for a fun ride toward more energy, activity and meaning in your life. This might be in your retirement years or really at any age.

STAND UP FOR WHAT YOU BELIEVE IN

This post describes another step in your journey and can be done in a variety of ways. 

You can write about your views on specific issues, with your own blog, articles or social media posts. You can support others’ views or join groups that are doing the kind of work that you value.…

Read More »

YOUR NEW YEAR’S BOOST – POWERED BY SOUL

Have you been feeling overwhelmed or maybe a bit worn down by the seemingly endless bad news all around us. If you have been watching a lot of traditional or social media, you probably have.

Here is a little counter weight to all of the heavy lifting you have been doing. A burst of creativity, inspiration and positivity.

Sit back and let it sink in. And get you New Year off to a good start.

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Read More »

A HOLIDAY MESSAGE FROM A MIGHTY GIRL

A Mighty Girl – what an amazing name. And a perfect fit for a business devoted to the empowerment of girls.

A Mighty Girl was founded, as a labour of love, by Carolyn Danckaert and Aaron Smith from Washington, D.C..

The founders had spent years looking for empowering and inspirational books for their four young nieces. In the end, they decided to create A Mighty Girl as a resource site to help others equally interested in supporting and celebrating girls.…

Read More »

HOW TO FEEL YOUNGER AT ANY AGE, PART 2/5

Who is driving our world’s newish interest in climate change?

Is it the old guard, hanging out in Scotland at the recent Climate Change Summit (UNFCCC COP 26)? They may have the power and the money, but who says they have the courage and commitment needed to make a real difference.

Who is generating the groundswell of interest and publicity that political leaders crave?

Young people. They have the energy, powerful social media tools and are driving the agenda.…

Read More »

WHAT KIND OF LEGACY WILL YOU LEAVE?

Avid readers of this blog and website will know that I am a big fan of and regular donor to Room to Read.

I have written quite a bit about the huge accomplishments of co-founders, Erin Ganju, John Wood and Dinesh Shrestha. And there will be more to come in future posts.

I received a recent email from Erin Ganju. Her email was warm and touching. I liked that.

Here is a short excerpt from Erin’s email.…

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HOW TO FEEL YOUNGER AT ANY AGE, PART 1/5

Do you want to feel younger during your retirement years? Of course you do – we all do. And not just in our later years, but at any age.

One part of the solution is to figure out how you want to live your life. Or if you are in or near retirement, a new large question may be hanging over your head.

What am I going to do with the rest of my life?

This is a big question and one I am just starting to get a handle on, I think.…

Read More »

BE THE DIFFERENCE – YOU CAN DO IT

Need more evidence that girls’ education matters? Here are some powerful facts from one of my favourite organizations, Room to Read.

Whether or not a girl stays in school has an astounding effect on not simply her quality of life, but that of her future family and community.

  • Educated women earn more 
    • Providing girls with one extra year of education beyond average boosts her wages by 10-20%. 
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WHY I LOVE SETH GODIN

It is because of his kind and generous view of creativity and how to live in an ever changing world.

Here is what I mean – a brief snippet from his recent blog.

(Seth’s Blog, October 17, 2021)

Here is what Seth says about effort.

“And then, perhaps, there’s a third option.

Expending more effort than most people think is sufficient.

This is attention to detail. Care in design. Follow through in customer service. This is an embrace of elegance and wabisabi and the opposite of laziness.

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WHAT DOES A BRIGHT AND HOPEFUL FUTURE REALLY LOOK LIKE?

The short answer, it looks like the education of girls, in all communities, all around the world.

The education of girls in communities where girls are discouraged or even prevented from going to school.

The education of girls in families where only the boys have a chance for education and a real future.

The continued education of girls past the age when many girls and young women are pressured into early marriage.

These are the goals of a compassionate world where we all try to lift up each other and create and nurture opportunities for those with less advantage.…

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DEBBIE ALLEN – YOU DID IT AGAIN

Thank you Debbie.

I am not a dancer, choreographer, actor, director or producer. But, I do love that you have excelled in all of these ways. And I mean really excelled. It is hard to believe that any one person can be so creative and accomplished.

Gail King said it right, “Debbie Allen is a creative supernova.”

And she did it again at the recent Primetime Emmy Awards, where she was given the Governors Award.

The Governors Award is presented to those with an “outstanding achievement in the arts and sciences or management of television which is either of a cumulative nature or so extraordinary and universal in nature.…

Read More »

HANIA’S NEW VIDEO – LEARNING TO READ IN YOUR OWN LANGUAGE

Hania Azimi is becoming more creative and talented everyday. And I really appreciate all of her hard work.

Recently, she has learned how to create and edit videos. Below is her first creation about a very important topic.

Learning to Read in Your Own Language

In this video, Hania reviews the importance and benefits of helping children learn to read in their own language. This helps children to learn to read better and faster. And it also helps them to learn to read in other languages, such as English.…

Read More »

A LITTLE MORE SINCERITY FROM GARTH BROOKS

I must admit that I don’t know much about Garth Brooks.

I know a little. I know that he is a widely recognized and decorated country music star. He is one of the bestselling musicians on the planet.

IN GOOD COMPANY

I learned a little more from his recent appearance. He was one of the outstanding artists selected as Honorees at the 43rd Kennedy Center Honors. He was in good company with four other honorees this year -multi-disciplinary artist, choreographer, and actress Debbie Allen; singer-songwriter and activist Joan Baez; violinist Midori; and actor Dick Van Dyke.…

Read More »

DO YOU WANT SOME SHIVERS?

Well sit back and be moved.

Here is a short video that will rev you up and make you want to be a part of this amazing organization.

From Room to Read, here is

WELCOME TO THE END OF IMPOSSIBLE

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SUCH AN INSPIRATIONAL INTERVIEW – NO RESISTANCE HERE

I was surfing through some sports channels on TV and came across a very inspiring interview on Tara Sloane’s show, Top of [Her] Game, on SportsNet.

Tara’s guest was Samantha Rapoport and man was she smart and impressive. I learned a lot and I loved it.

On Tara’s show, they talk about how Sam’s love of football, as a young girl, blossomed into a 20 year career with the NFL.

Now, Sam Rapoport is the NFL’s Senior Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.…

Read More »

HOW DO YOU MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE?

You start with passionate teenagers and watch them go.

Ten teens who are changing the world, in their own unique ways, were recently profiled in People magazine. And they are impressive.

Here are a few examples:

Hollis Belger – 16

Started Juggling for Jude to raise funds to raise funds for St. Judes Childrens Research Hospital. Check out her video and awesome juggling skills.

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HOW DO I “DO SOMETHING” AND MAKE IT COUNT?

There are lots of ways and it is really easy and fun to get started.

And for any one in their mid or later years, it can make you feel young again.

You can feel young again by stimulating your mind and your heart. You can feel young again by feeling useful, productive and maybe even powerful in your own way.

If you want to feel like a really young person, go to DoSomething.org. This energetic organization describes themselves as A youth-led movement for good.

Read More »

CAN EDUCATING GIRLS REALLY HELP THAT MUCH? A DOODLY VIDEO

The answer to this question is an enthusiastic yes.

An enthusiastic yes because of how much educating girls really does help.

I have written about these benefits in other posts and on my main website pages. You can also find detailed discussions in two of my favourite books that cover this topic.

Moment of Lift: How empowering women changes the world

by Melinda Gates

Creating Room to Read: A story of hope in the battle for global literacy

by John Wood

The education of girls has also been adopted as one of the priorities of Michelle Obama’s Girls Opportunity Alliance.

Read More »

MEN HELPING WOMEN – WITH MOOSE HIDE

The numbers are staggering.

More than 6,000 women and children are housed in emergency shelters each night across Canada trying to escape abuse. And this is only the tip of the iceberg.

We know that 67% of Canadians say they have personally known at least one woman who has experienced physical or sexual abuse. Approximately every six days, a woman in Canada is killed by her intimate partner.

Violence against women and girls is a huge international problem as well.…

Read More »

DOES MEGHAN MARKLE GET IT?

Yes she does.

And she had the confidence to talk about it on a widely publicized interview with Oprah on March 7, 2021.

She gets that representation is important – representation of women, persons of colour, LGBTQ, and persons from all cultures and walks of life.

We all need to see others like us, at school, at work, in health care and in the popular culture and media that is all around us. This is what representation is all about.…

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WHY I BECAME A MONTHLY DONOR TO ROOM TO READ?

I became a monthly donor over the past year and am very glad I did.

I had many good reasons to choose Room to Read and to begin donating. Here is my rationale, some of which appears on page two of my website.

WHY I BECAME A MONTHLY DONOR

Last year I discovered a moving story about a Microsoft executive, John Wood, who came upon a school library in rural Nepal with no books in it – and no money to buy books for the children who attended the school.…

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HOW DO YOU HELP PEOPLE THE WAY MELINDA GATES DOES?

Let me start with a clue.

You don’t have to be a billionaire to help people the way Melinda Gates does. Of course, it helps, but money is not the key to her success.

I learned about Ms. Gates from her fabulous new book, The Moment of Lift.

It is an incredible read. Well written (as you would expect), entertaining and so inspiring.

And, on every page, an uplifting tone of possibility and optimism. No hype–she is not trying to sell you anything.…

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NOT JUST CELINE DION – 1000 MORE

Who doesn’t admire Celine Dion.

Celine Dion is not just an accomplished singer, she is also a very successful entrepreneur. Her entertainment empire has been valued at $800 million. Not bad for a woman of modest means from a small town in Quebec.

A new report, Women Entrepreneurs Beyond the Stereotypes, and awareness campaign, See It Be It, has come out to celebrate women entrepreneur success stories. It includes 1000+ stories of diverse Canadian women.…

Read More »

AN INVITATION ON INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY

Room to Read is celebrating the very important International Women’s Day.

On this special day, I was sent this invitation from Room to Read. And I wanted to pass it along to you.

The invitation is for you to educate a girl for only $15.

Imagine only $15 to support a girl’s education for a whole year.

For $15, you can help a girl stay in school longer, progress toward completion of secondary school and acquire the skills and agency she needs to choose her own path in life.…

Read More »

IS AMANDA GORMAN REALLY A MOTH?

That would be silly – wouldn’t it? Let’s investigate.

Unless you have been asleep at the wheel, you have heard of a bright new star, Amanda Gorman.

She delivered, and I mean delivered, a touching, entertaining and powerful poem she wrote at the recent inauguration of U.S. President Joe Biden and Vice-president Kamala Harris. It was called, The Hill We Climb.

She was a highlight of the star-studded ceremony. According to Anderson Cooper from CNN, she stole the show.…

Read More »

WHO IS DR. MAYIM BIALIK?

This is not a trick question. But, the answer may surprise you.

Many of you would know her as Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler, one of the stars of The Big Bang Theory.

Dr. Bialik began playing a recurring character as Sheldon’s “friend that’s a girl, but not a girlfriend.” Later in season 4, she became part of the main cast. Dr. Bialik plays the character, Amy, a neurobiologist in The Big Bang Theory. Her very funny portrayal earned her Emmy Award nominations in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.…

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BECAUSE I AM A GIRL – MANY HEART WARMING ACHIEVEMENTS

Every day there are new things to learn. It’s exciting, especially when I read about groundbreaking ideas and new ways to make a difference in this world.

I was familiar with the advocacy and fundraising campaign from Plan International called Because I Am A Girl, and have been donating to this fund for years now. I believe this is a very important cause.

Because I Am A Girl is a very smart and engaging idea that has helped change the face and focus of charities around the world.…

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IS ROOM TO READ A GOOD CHARITY?

I think so and here is why.

Less than 1 percent of charities have received a 4-star rating for 12 years from Charity Navigator. Room to Read is one of these top 1 percent charities.

Now this is no guarantee, but it is a pretty good start. Actually way more than a good start. Room to Read has achieved these 4-star ratings for over 12 years, since 2007.

Charity Navigator is a good place to find out and compare the track record of charities that may interest you.…

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WATCH & IMAGINE – YOUNG LIVES WITH HOPE

I am still learning about all of the incredible work that is being done to educate children around the world. This is so important. And it is one of the best ways to give children, their families and their communities a lift out of poverty. A real future.

This is why Room to Read has chosen the following message to summarize their goals and mission: WORLD CHANGE STARTS WITH EDUCATED CHILDREN. With just a few words, this simple message says a lot.…

Read More »

ALICIA KEYS HAS A HAUNTING MESSAGE

I have been a big fan of Alicia Keys for a long time now. I have almost all of her music and have recently read her new book, Alicia Keys: A Journey (with Michelle Burford).

In her book, Alicia opens ups about her struggle to become a person true to herself – the kind of person she wants to become. One might naively think think that someone so talented and so successful would be exempt from such struggles.…

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A GENEROUS CREATIVE LIFE BY SETH GODIN

Generosity is a core principle for Seth Godin.

In his new book, The Practice, he shows you how to live a creative life and how to be productive in the creative work you want to do. He stresses the importance of three main ingredients for a successful creative practice, curiosity, generosity and connection.

Seth offers a one-minute video explaining how you can create magic, with these three ingredients. It is on his blog at

seths.blog/the practice

(Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to directly embed his video here, but his short video is well worth the extra click.)…

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THE HEART AND HEAD OF GIVING – FROM PETER SINGER

Peter Singer starts his well-known TED Talk with an alarming video of a two year old Chinese girl, Wang Yue, being run over by a van and then again by another van.

Several people walked by the child lying in the street and did nothing to help. Eventually a street cleaner called for help. She was taken by ambulance, but it was too late for her, she died in the hospital.

Singer asked the audience to raise their hands if, in a similar situation, they would have done everything they could to assist this injured child.…

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BRENÉ BROWN – COURAGE AND EMPATHY

What is the best way to help someone who is suffering? This could be someone who is suffering a little or a lot.

The fastest and simplest way is is to listen and make a heartfelt connection with them. This is empathy in a nutshell.

But empathy is sometimes very hard to do. It is hard because we all have a strong temptation to say the wrong thing. We are tempted to jump in and try to say something that we think will make the suffering lessen.…

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IN PRAISE OF GSD (GETTING SHIT DONE)

My wife used to make fun of me. She said I was “A man on a mission”.

I wasn’t offended – I kind of agreed with her. I was driven to create a psychology business and help as many people as I could. I am sure I wasn’t the easiest person to live with.

I was sent down memory lane, recently, when I came across a TED talk by John Wood, the very driven founder of a global children’s literacy charity called Room To Read

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THEIR SUPERPOWERS WILL SURPRISE YOU

I was watching an interesting video from Room to Read called “What’s Your Superpower”. It had a lot of great ideas. Attainable and inspiring superpowers to help young girls and women build their confidence and power in a difficult world.

Here is how some of the superpowers are described.

I have a superpower.

But it is not what you might think.  

It’s not flying.  It’s not time travelling.

I’m talking about the life skills that every girl and every woman need.…

Read More »

AN EXISTENTIAL DIRTBAG GAVE AWAY HIS BILLION DOLLAR COMPANY

A good friend, Tom Brokaw, has called him a dirtbag. This is a term of endearment.

According to mountain climbing lore, a dirtbag is a person who dedicates her or his entire existence to the pursuit of mountain climbing, even living in a tent or vehicle to save money.

If you have been reading the news lately, you will know who I am talking about. It is Yvon Chouinard.

Chouinard has been in the news because he has just given away his billion dollar company.…

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MAKE A REAL DIFFERENCE IN UNDER 3 MINUTES – WITH COMPOUND INTEREST

You can make a huge difference in this crazy world. And it is so easy to get started.

You can help a child go to school, learn to read and build a life for herself, her family and her community. It only takes less than 3 minutes to start your incredible journey.

And the benefits, especially for children in low-income communities, will grow and grow, almost like compound interest.

Melinda Gates said it well in her inspirational book, Moment of Lift: How empowering women changes the world:

“When you send a girl to school, the good deed never dies.

Read More »

INSPIRATION FOR YOUR MID-LIFE CRISIS

This is a guest post from Lacey Connor. I appreciate Lacey reaching out to contribute to this blog and I want to encourage her and others on their writing journeys.

A mid-life crisis is a time of reflection and change. It’s a time to think about what you want out of life and how you can make your remaining years the best they can be. Just because you’re experiencing a mid-life crisis doesn’t mean it has to be a negative experience.…

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BEST HEADLINE FOR FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN

HER FIRST ACT OF DEFIANCE? GOING TO SCHOOL

This headline drew me in and I was hooked.

This headline, ad and article was part of a fundraising campaign called Defy Gravity from the University of Toronto. It featured Basnama Ayaz who won a scholarship to the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing at the University of Toronto.

Here is an excerpt from the moving article in the U of T Alumni magazine.

Growing up, Basnama Ayaz was inspired by people in her community who looked after the sick.…

Read More »

RBG – SO NOTORIOUS, WITH A RIDDLE

I just finished reading Dinners with Ruth: A Memoir on the Power of Friendships by Nina Totenberg and I loved it.

It is packed with details on the life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, as seen through the eyes of a lifelong friend, journalist Nina Totenberg.

The stories and amazing lives of Nina and Ruth helped open my eyes. Both women struggled to have their accomplishments and talents recognized in the male dominated fields of law and journalism, despite their high levels of achievement.…

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HOW TO LIVE A CREATIVE LIFE IF YOU ARE “NOT CREATIVE”

When you think of being creative do you start to feel a little freer? Or do you quickly freeze up with frustration or self-doubt?

I would like to help you to loosen up with a few practical ideas from people who know a few things about what creativity really is.

Let’s start with Sir Paul McCartney. He is well-known for his relaxed approach to writing songs. For instance, he frequently comes into the studio with a vague idea for a song.…

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A MEMORY TEST – WE CAN DO BETTER

Our memories store much more than what has been going on in our lives. Much more than what we learn at school or from the web.

Take this quick memory test and see what I mean.

It may surprise you. No hints.

Did you learn anything?

I did and it made me think – about the way I look at almost everything.

First thoughts are revealing. Second thoughts can tell us how we want to move forward.…

Read More »

8 IDEAS TO IMPROVE YOUR MENTAL HEALTH

This is a guest post from Stephanie Haywood. I appreciate Stephanie reaching out to contribute to this blog and I want to encourage her and others on their writing journeys.

You can find more articles like this from her website, MyLifeBoost.com.

Few things in life are more important than your mental health, yet most people never invest in keeping it in the best shape possible. Below are eight ideas to improve your mental well-being so you’re happier and healthier overall.…

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MORE OF TOMORROW’S MONEY GOING TO WOMEN AND GIRLS

Here are some startling numbers.

I read about these numbers in a moving book by John Wood (co-founder of Room to Read) and Amalia McGibbon, called Purpose Incorporated: Turning cause into your competitive advantage.

WHO WILL RUN THE WORLD? GIRLS!

1 – Women control slightly more than half of the private wealth in the United States.

2 – Women make 80% of all purchases.

3 – Over $50 trillion will transfer to the younger generation over the next few decades.…

Read More »

HOW TO LIVE AN EXTRAORDINARY LIFE AT ANY AGE

What does living an extraordinary life mean to you? World travel? Sky diving? Writing a best-selling novel?

These life experiences and accomplishments are exciting. But what about all of the life in between these peak experiences?  Don’t we want each day to be extraordinary?

The Happiest Day of My Life

John Wood, one of the founders of Room to Read, was trekking in Nepal and came across a school with a library, but no books.…

Read More »

AMEERA WILL WARM YOUR HEART

Have you met Ameera?

She is the newest Sesame Street character with a big message. Hers is a powerful message of representation and inclusion. This should not surprise us, coming from Sesame Workshop, creator of the Sesame Street television show.

My daughter brought this to my attention. She is nurse and a strong and caring advocate for children with disabilities. She knows that having a positive character on television, one her patients can relate to, is empowering and validating.…

Read More »

NEW VIDEO – THE POWER OF GIRLS EDUCATION

Hania has done it again. A new video and a bonus feature.

Hania’s video gives us a deep look into how educating girls and women around the world benefits us all.

This is particularly true for girls and women in low income countries. When girls are given the opportunity to go to school, there are many benefits to all levels of society.

The girls and young women benefit directly and are given the opportunity of a real future with real choices for the life they want to live.…

Read More »

MELINDA FRENCH GATES – HOW DOES SHE DO IT?

If you had billions of dollars how would you use that money to make our world a better place?

Who would you help first? How would you make that happen? How would you make sure that your donations were not wasted?

These questions and concerns are part of the everyday life for Melinda French Gates, a philanthropist, businesswoman, and global advocate for women and girls. As co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, she shapes and approves the foundation’s strategies, reviews results, and sets the organization’s overall direction.…

Read More »

FEMININITY, AUTHENTICITY & POWER

Being a male, I am no expert on femininity.

But I thought I would share some insights from a few impressive women.

According to Neha Prakash, Marie Claire’s Senior News and Culture Editor, femininity isn’t a bad word—it’s just a misunderstood one – ever-evolving, nuanced, and individualized.

In a recent issue of Marie Claire, Ms. Prakash profiled a more wholistic view of how real women interpreted the concept, giving them the chance to redefine it in their own terms. …

Read More »

HOW TO KEEP UP IN A FAST-CHANGING WORLD

Many people, of all ages, feel that our fast-changing world is leaving them behind.  And this is especially true when it comes to technology, computer skills and social media.

Before we begin to discuss solutions, though, I have a confession.

I love computers and the internet, a fascination that began in the early 1990s. Before Internet Explorer and before Google, the most popular program to access the internet was Netscape Navigator. Many of you may remember this innovative software.…

Read More »

UH-OH – I AM SO SORRY

I made a big mistake. And as a result, some of you who requested a Free copy of my ebook did not receive it. Worse yet, you may have received no response at all.

I am so sorry for my big goof up.

What happened was that I had paused a program from Mailchimp and forgot to restart it. This program automatically sends a Thank You email to anyone who subscribed to this blog, A Warm Heart.…

Read More »

HOW TO FEEL YOUNGER AT ANY AGE, PART 3/5

I hope you are still with me – for a fun ride toward more energy, activity and meaning in your life. This might be in your retirement years or really at any age.

STAND UP FOR WHAT YOU BELIEVE IN

This post describes another step in your journey and can be done in a variety of ways. 

You can write about your views on specific issues, with your own blog, articles or social media posts. You can support others’ views or join groups that are doing the kind of work that you value.…

Read More »

AVOIDING THE RETIREMENT ABYSS

In a previous post, How to Feel Younger at Any Age, Part 2/5, I included a description of the Abyss of Insignificance.

I loved this concept so much, I decided to go to the source and read the book. It is called The Four Phases of Retirement: What to Expect When You are Retiring, written by Riley Moynes. It’s a beauty. I just finished reading it and am letting it sink in. It is a short book, right to the point and pithy.…

Read More »

YOUR NEW YEAR’S BOOST – POWERED BY SOUL

Have you been feeling overwhelmed or maybe a bit worn down by the seemingly endless bad news all around us. If you have been watching a lot of traditional or social media, you probably have.

Here is a little counter weight to all of the heavy lifting you have been doing. A burst of creativity, inspiration and positivity.

Sit back and let it sink in. And get you New Year off to a good start.

In general, if multiple resources recommend the same chiropractor, likelihood is excellent that this chiropractor will levitra online be trustworthy.
Read More »

A HOLIDAY MESSAGE FROM A MIGHTY GIRL

A Mighty Girl – what an amazing name. And a perfect fit for a business devoted to the empowerment of girls.

A Mighty Girl was founded, as a labour of love, by Carolyn Danckaert and Aaron Smith from Washington, D.C..

The founders had spent years looking for empowering and inspirational books for their four young nieces. In the end, they decided to create A Mighty Girl as a resource site to help others equally interested in supporting and celebrating girls.…

Read More »

HOW TO FEEL YOUNGER AT ANY AGE, PART 2/5

Who is driving our world’s newish interest in climate change?

Is it the old guard, hanging out in Scotland at the recent Climate Change Summit (UNFCCC COP 26)? They may have the power and the money, but who says they have the courage and commitment needed to make a real difference.

Who is generating the groundswell of interest and publicity that political leaders crave?

Young people. They have the energy, powerful social media tools and are driving the agenda.…

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WHAT KIND OF LEGACY WILL YOU LEAVE?

Avid readers of this blog and website will know that I am a big fan of and regular donor to Room to Read.

I have written quite a bit about the huge accomplishments of co-founders, Erin Ganju, John Wood and Dinesh Shrestha. And there will be more to come in future posts.

I received a recent email from Erin Ganju. Her email was warm and touching. I liked that.

Here is a short excerpt from Erin’s email.…

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HOW TO FEEL YOUNGER AT ANY AGE, PART 1/5

Do you want to feel younger during your retirement years? Of course you do – we all do. And not just in our later years, but at any age.

One part of the solution is to figure out how you want to live your life. Or if you are in or near retirement, a new large question may be hanging over your head.

What am I going to do with the rest of my life?

This is a big question and one I am just starting to get a handle on, I think.…

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BE THE DIFFERENCE – YOU CAN DO IT

Need more evidence that girls’ education matters? Here are some powerful facts from one of my favourite organizations, Room to Read.

Whether or not a girl stays in school has an astounding effect on not simply her quality of life, but that of her future family and community.

  • Educated women earn more 
    • Providing girls with one extra year of education beyond average boosts her wages by 10-20%. 
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WHY I LOVE SETH GODIN

It is because of his kind and generous view of creativity and how to live in an ever changing world.

Here is what I mean – a brief snippet from his recent blog.

(Seth’s Blog, October 17, 2021)

Here is what Seth says about effort.

“And then, perhaps, there’s a third option.

Expending more effort than most people think is sufficient.

This is attention to detail. Care in design. Follow through in customer service. This is an embrace of elegance and wabisabi and the opposite of laziness.

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WHAT DOES A BRIGHT AND HOPEFUL FUTURE REALLY LOOK LIKE?

The short answer, it looks like the education of girls, in all communities, all around the world.

The education of girls in communities where girls are discouraged or even prevented from going to school.

The education of girls in families where only the boys have a chance for education and a real future.

The continued education of girls past the age when many girls and young women are pressured into early marriage.

These are the goals of a compassionate world where we all try to lift up each other and create and nurture opportunities for those with less advantage.…

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DEBBIE ALLEN – YOU DID IT AGAIN

Thank you Debbie.

I am not a dancer, choreographer, actor, director or producer. But, I do love that you have excelled in all of these ways. And I mean really excelled. It is hard to believe that any one person can be so creative and accomplished.

Gail King said it right, “Debbie Allen is a creative supernova.”

And she did it again at the recent Primetime Emmy Awards, where she was given the Governors Award.

The Governors Award is presented to those with an “outstanding achievement in the arts and sciences or management of television which is either of a cumulative nature or so extraordinary and universal in nature.…

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HANIA’S NEW VIDEO – LEARNING TO READ IN YOUR OWN LANGUAGE

Hania Azimi is becoming more creative and talented everyday. And I really appreciate all of her hard work.

Recently, she has learned how to create and edit videos. Below is her first creation about a very important topic.

Learning to Read in Your Own Language

In this video, Hania reviews the importance and benefits of helping children learn to read in their own language. This helps children to learn to read better and faster. And it also helps them to learn to read in other languages, such as English.…

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A LITTLE MORE SINCERITY FROM GARTH BROOKS

I must admit that I don’t know much about Garth Brooks.

I know a little. I know that he is a widely recognized and decorated country music star. He is one of the bestselling musicians on the planet.

IN GOOD COMPANY

I learned a little more from his recent appearance. He was one of the outstanding artists selected as Honorees at the 43rd Kennedy Center Honors. He was in good company with four other honorees this year -multi-disciplinary artist, choreographer, and actress Debbie Allen; singer-songwriter and activist Joan Baez; violinist Midori; and actor Dick Van Dyke.…

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DO YOU WANT SOME SHIVERS?

Well sit back and be moved.

Here is a short video that will rev you up and make you want to be a part of this amazing organization.

From Room to Read, here is

WELCOME TO THE END OF IMPOSSIBLE

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SUCH AN INSPIRATIONAL INTERVIEW – NO RESISTANCE HERE

I was surfing through some sports channels on TV and came across a very inspiring interview on Tara Sloane’s show, Top of [Her] Game, on SportsNet.

Tara’s guest was Samantha Rapoport and man was she smart and impressive. I learned a lot and I loved it.

On Tara’s show, they talk about how Sam’s love of football, as a young girl, blossomed into a 20 year career with the NFL.

Now, Sam Rapoport is the NFL’s Senior Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.…

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HOW DO YOU MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE?

You start with passionate teenagers and watch them go.

Ten teens who are changing the world, in their own unique ways, were recently profiled in People magazine. And they are impressive.

Here are a few examples:

Hollis Belger – 16

Started Juggling for Jude to raise funds to raise funds for St. Judes Childrens Research Hospital. Check out her video and awesome juggling skills.

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HOW DO I “DO SOMETHING” AND MAKE IT COUNT?

There are lots of ways and it is really easy and fun to get started.

And for any one in their mid or later years, it can make you feel young again.

You can feel young again by stimulating your mind and your heart. You can feel young again by feeling useful, productive and maybe even powerful in your own way.

If you want to feel like a really young person, go to DoSomething.org. This energetic organization describes themselves as A youth-led movement for good.

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CAN EDUCATING GIRLS REALLY HELP THAT MUCH? A DOODLY VIDEO

The answer to this question is an enthusiastic yes.

An enthusiastic yes because of how much educating girls really does help.

I have written about these benefits in other posts and on my main website pages. You can also find detailed discussions in two of my favourite books that cover this topic.

Moment of Lift: How empowering women changes the world

by Melinda Gates

Creating Room to Read: A story of hope in the battle for global literacy

by John Wood

The education of girls has also been adopted as one of the priorities of Michelle Obama’s Girls Opportunity Alliance.

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MEN HELPING WOMEN – WITH MOOSE HIDE

The numbers are staggering.

More than 6,000 women and children are housed in emergency shelters each night across Canada trying to escape abuse. And this is only the tip of the iceberg.

We know that 67% of Canadians say they have personally known at least one woman who has experienced physical or sexual abuse. Approximately every six days, a woman in Canada is killed by her intimate partner.

Violence against women and girls is a huge international problem as well.…

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DOES MEGHAN MARKLE GET IT?

Yes she does.

And she had the confidence to talk about it on a widely publicized interview with Oprah on March 7, 2021.

She gets that representation is important – representation of women, persons of colour, LGBTQ, and persons from all cultures and walks of life.

We all need to see others like us, at school, at work, in health care and in the popular culture and media that is all around us. This is what representation is all about.…

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WHY I BECAME A MONTHLY DONOR TO ROOM TO READ?

I became a monthly donor over the past year and am very glad I did.

I had many good reasons to choose Room to Read and to begin donating. Here is my rationale, some of which appears on page two of my website.

WHY I BECAME A MONTHLY DONOR

Last year I discovered a moving story about a Microsoft executive, John Wood, who came upon a school library in rural Nepal with no books in it – and no money to buy books for the children who attended the school.…

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HOW DO YOU HELP PEOPLE THE WAY MELINDA GATES DOES?

Let me start with a clue.

You don’t have to be a billionaire to help people the way Melinda Gates does. Of course, it helps, but money is not the key to her success.

I learned about Ms. Gates from her fabulous new book, The Moment of Lift.

It is an incredible read. Well written (as you would expect), entertaining and so inspiring.

And, on every page, an uplifting tone of possibility and optimism. No hype–she is not trying to sell you anything.…

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NOT JUST CELINE DION – 1000 MORE

Who doesn’t admire Celine Dion.

Celine Dion is not just an accomplished singer, she is also a very successful entrepreneur. Her entertainment empire has been valued at $800 million. Not bad for a woman of modest means from a small town in Quebec.

A new report, Women Entrepreneurs Beyond the Stereotypes, and awareness campaign, See It Be It, has come out to celebrate women entrepreneur success stories. It includes 1000+ stories of diverse Canadian women.…

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AN INVITATION ON INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY

Room to Read is celebrating the very important International Women’s Day.

On this special day, I was sent this invitation from Room to Read. And I wanted to pass it along to you.

The invitation is for you to educate a girl for only $15.

Imagine only $15 to support a girl’s education for a whole year.

For $15, you can help a girl stay in school longer, progress toward completion of secondary school and acquire the skills and agency she needs to choose her own path in life.…

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IS AMANDA GORMAN REALLY A MOTH?

That would be silly – wouldn’t it? Let’s investigate.

Unless you have been asleep at the wheel, you have heard of a bright new star, Amanda Gorman.

She delivered, and I mean delivered, a touching, entertaining and powerful poem she wrote at the recent inauguration of U.S. President Joe Biden and Vice-president Kamala Harris. It was called, The Hill We Climb.

She was a highlight of the star-studded ceremony. According to Anderson Cooper from CNN, she stole the show.…

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WHO IS DR. MAYIM BIALIK?

This is not a trick question. But, the answer may surprise you.

Many of you would know her as Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler, one of the stars of The Big Bang Theory.

Dr. Bialik began playing a recurring character as Sheldon’s “friend that’s a girl, but not a girlfriend.” Later in season 4, she became part of the main cast. Dr. Bialik plays the character, Amy, a neurobiologist in The Big Bang Theory. Her very funny portrayal earned her Emmy Award nominations in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.…

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BECAUSE I AM A GIRL – MANY HEART WARMING ACHIEVEMENTS

Every day there are new things to learn. It’s exciting, especially when I read about groundbreaking ideas and new ways to make a difference in this world.

I was familiar with the advocacy and fundraising campaign from Plan International called Because I Am A Girl, and have been donating to this fund for years now. I believe this is a very important cause.

Because I Am A Girl is a very smart and engaging idea that has helped change the face and focus of charities around the world.…

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IS ROOM TO READ A GOOD CHARITY?

I think so and here is why.

Less than 1 percent of charities have received a 4-star rating for 12 years from Charity Navigator. Room to Read is one of these top 1 percent charities.

Now this is no guarantee, but it is a pretty good start. Actually way more than a good start. Room to Read has achieved these 4-star ratings for over 12 years, since 2007.

Charity Navigator is a good place to find out and compare the track record of charities that may interest you.…

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WATCH & IMAGINE – YOUNG LIVES WITH HOPE

I am still learning about all of the incredible work that is being done to educate children around the world. This is so important. And it is one of the best ways to give children, their families and their communities a lift out of poverty. A real future.

This is why Room to Read has chosen the following message to summarize their goals and mission: WORLD CHANGE STARTS WITH EDUCATED CHILDREN. With just a few words, this simple message says a lot.…

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ALICIA KEYS HAS A HAUNTING MESSAGE

I have been a big fan of Alicia Keys for a long time now. I have almost all of her music and have recently read her new book, Alicia Keys: A Journey (with Michelle Burford).

In her book, Alicia opens ups about her struggle to become a person true to herself – the kind of person she wants to become. One might naively think think that someone so talented and so successful would be exempt from such struggles.…

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A GENEROUS CREATIVE LIFE BY SETH GODIN

Generosity is a core principle for Seth Godin.

In his new book, The Practice, he shows you how to live a creative life and how to be productive in the creative work you want to do. He stresses the importance of three main ingredients for a successful creative practice, curiosity, generosity and connection.

Seth offers a one-minute video explaining how you can create magic, with these three ingredients. It is on his blog at

seths.blog/the practice

(Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to directly embed his video here, but his short video is well worth the extra click.)…

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THE HEART AND HEAD OF GIVING – FROM PETER SINGER

Peter Singer starts his well-known TED Talk with an alarming video of a two year old Chinese girl, Wang Yue, being run over by a van and then again by another van.

Several people walked by the child lying in the street and did nothing to help. Eventually a street cleaner called for help. She was taken by ambulance, but it was too late for her, she died in the hospital.

Singer asked the audience to raise their hands if, in a similar situation, they would have done everything they could to assist this injured child.…

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BRENÉ BROWN – COURAGE AND EMPATHY

What is the best way to help someone who is suffering? This could be someone who is suffering a little or a lot.

The fastest and simplest way is is to listen and make a heartfelt connection with them. This is empathy in a nutshell.

But empathy is sometimes very hard to do. It is hard because we all have a strong temptation to say the wrong thing. We are tempted to jump in and try to say something that we think will make the suffering lessen.…

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