Aristotle | The Purpose of Life

Aristotle | The Purpose of Life


(384 BC – 322 BC)

Aristotle was a Greek philosopher whose ideas have deeply influenced science, philosophy and religion for more than two thousand years. He is known as the father of logical, scientific thinking. Although many of his scientific beliefs were later proved wrong, other of his discoveries in physics, biology and zoology were centuries ahead of their time.

Aristotle was born near modern-day Thessaloniki, Greece. His father was physician to the King of Macedon, so Aristotle was raised as an aristocrat and studied under the greatest thinker of the time, the famous Plato. Aristotle’s theories were the basis of modern science, and his works on philosophy and ethics helped form the teachings of religions and philosophers that are still held in high regard to this day.

Aristotle | The Purpose of Life

“Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.”

When I first read this quotation from Aristotle, I thought it was simplistic. I reasoned that Aristotle had lived a long time ago and perhaps life was less complicated then. After many years of study, however, I have come to the conclusion that Aristotle was correct; the quest for happiness is indeed universal. After all, whose life quest is to be unhappy?

The challenge lies in finding the difference between what we believe will make us happy versus what actually does make us happy.

Discovering where happiness comes from is the process of finding fulfillment. Many people assume that happiness comes from making money, which will allow them to buy things. In my experience and observation, happiness comes from serving other people – and I don’t mean “serving” in the sense of “volunteering,” I mean using our own gifts for the benefit of others in a way that is meaningful to us. (This may, in fact, be the way we earn our living.)

So how do we figure out which of our gifts will allow us to find happiness by serving others? Aristotle talked about that, too, when he said, ”Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” This search can take years. Be patient.

The journey begins with accepting yourself. So many of us are trying to be someone else. So first you have to accept yourself as you are. The next step is to believe in yourself.

From there, your instincts will guide you toward knowledge of what will make you happy, and the ways in which you need to treat others in order to be fulfilled.

We all need to work on “becoming” ourselves. We need to become ourselves more and more every day – and on that journey, we need to be our own best friends.

Aristotle | In His Own Words

Happiness is the settling of the soul into its most appropriate spot.

Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.

Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.

Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.

I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies, for the hardest victory is over self.

For the things we have to learn before we can do, we learn by doing.

To be conscious that we are perceiving or thinking is to be conscious of our own existence.

Excellence is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives – choice, not chance, determines your destiny.

The educated differ from the uneducated as much as the living differ from the dead.

He who has overcome his fears will truly be free.

Education is the best provision for old age.

Hope is a waking dream.

Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime.


One of 50 Lessons from Amazing Teachers in my new book Wisdom to Live Your MAGIC!™

“A motivational book of words to live by and how to live by them. A valuable guide that encourages and enables self-actualization.” – Kirkus Reviews

“I heartily endorse this book whose lessons have the power to positively impact the lives of its readers.” – Ralph B. Young, Chancellor, University of Alberta

“This compilation of life’s great teachers and heroes, will inspire youth to take these lessons and connect the dots from where they are now, to their own future dreams and goals.” – Jay Ball, President & CEO, Junior Achievement of Northern Alberta


FREE Ebook Download is available at this FREE ebook link

The Print Book is available from for $14.95 plus shipping. 100% of net proceeds, including author royalties, are donated to charities that support youth.

PRINT Book Link


Anaïs Nin | How We See

Anaïs Nin | How We See

Anaïs Nin

(1903 – 1977)

Anaïs Nin was a French-Cuban author who became famous for her personal diaries, which spanned 60 years and gave fresh insights into the many famous people she knew. Her writing was embraced by early feminists who admired her independent, free-living lifestyle at a time (nearly 100 years ago) when women had their roles limited by society.

Nin was born in France to an artistic family; her father was a composer and pianist living in Cuba and her mother a classically trained singer. Moving to the United States when her parents separated, Nin abandoned formal schooling at age 16 to become a dancer and model. Although mostly self-taught, her writings (ranging from her diaries to analyses of literature and erotic fiction) continue to be widely read and studied.

Anaïs Nin | How We See

“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.”

“We see things as we are.” What does that mean?

Well, let us start with what we “are.”

What we are is what we believe. Our beliefs interpret things, events and people, and give them meaning. Our interpretations or judgments are driven by our beliefs and, in particular, by our personal values – the things we consider to be important in our lives.

If you believe fashion is the most important thing in life, then you see people from the context of their fashion choices and your beliefs about what constitutes good fashion. If you believe attaining wealth is the most important thing in life, then you look at opportunities in the context of how much money you can “make” from them. If you believe that football is life (and I can hear some of you saying, “Who doesn’t?”), then playing or watching football and cheering for your chosen team is a big part of your life – and doing that, to the exclusion of other activities, is an obvious choice for you.

It is as though you are wearing glasses, where the lenses are your core values through which you see (interpret) the world.

If we understand that each person has a different set of beliefs, and that therefore different people experience the same things and events completely differently, we gain a deeper understanding of other people. In addition, when we understand that how we view things is based on our beliefs, this can open us to examining our core beliefs and, maybe, choosing to adjust our priorities.

Throughout life, our experiences change us, and change our perceptions. Meeting someone and falling in love, the birth of a child or a grandchild, starting a business or connecting to a charity – these and many other things can alter our personal values and our priorities in an instant.

If you want to know what your personal values are, examine where you spend your time and money. You may then wish to examine these choices and see if they serve you well.

We all see the world from our own perspectives, but we have power over those perspectives.

Anaïs Nin | In Her Own Words

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.

The role of a writer is not to say what we can all say, but what we are unable to say.

Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don’t know how to replenish its source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds; it dies of weariness, of witherings, of tarnishings.

We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.

How wrong is it for a woman to expect the man to build the world she wants, rather than to create it herself?

Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.

Throw your dreams into space like a kite, and you do not know what it will bring back, a new life, a new friend, a new love, a new country.

If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don’t write, because our culture has no use for it.

Do not seek the because – in love there is no because, no reason, no explanation, no solutions.

You don’t find love, it finds you. It’s got a little bit to do with destiny, fate, and what’s written in the stars.


One of 50 Lessons from Amazing Teachers in my new book Wisdom to Live Your MAGIC!™

“A motivational book of words to live by and how to live by them. A valuable guide that encourages and enables self-actualization.” – Kirkus Reviews

“I heartily endorse this book whose lessons have the power to positively impact the lives of its readers.” – Ralph B. Young, Chancellor, University of Alberta

“This compilation of life’s great teachers and heroes, will inspire youth to take these lessons and connect the dots from where they are now, to their own future dreams and goals.” – Jay Ball, President & CEO, Junior Achievement of Northern Alberta


FREE Ebook Download is available at this FREE ebook link

The Print Book is available from for $14.95 plus shipping. 100% of net proceeds, including author royalties, are donated to charities that support youth.

Print Book Link

Dr. Albert Ellis | The Power of Beliefs

Dr. Albert Ellis | The Power of Beliefs

Albert Ellis


Albert Ellis was an American psychologist who helped revolutionize psychotherapy. In 1955, he developed Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy, a new way of helping people understand and change their own behaviors. A 1982 professional survey of U.S. and Canadian psychologists rated Ellis the second most influential psychotherapist in history – after Carl Rogers, and ahead of Sigmund Freud.

Ellis was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1913. His father was a businessman who was often away, and he described his mother as a self-absorbed chatterbox with opinions on most subjects that were rarely supported by facts. He received his PhD in clinical psychology from Columbia University in 1947. His legacies include the Albert Ellis Institute and the many books he wrote for professional and general audiences that still influence psychology today.

Dr. Albert Ellis | The Power of Beliefs

Rational beliefs bring us closer to getting good results in the real world.”

I learned from Albert Ellis that it is not rational thought but our beliefs that interpret events and trigger our emotional and behavioral responses – and that we don’t have to let them do that.

A psychiatric nurse was working with kids with behavioral problems at an elementary school in Edmonton. She was teaching them strategies based on Albert Ellis’s principles of Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy that would help them manage the emotions that were preventing them from learning effectively. One Saturday, I was a guest at a session she held to show parents how they could help their children with these techniques at home.

I watched these parents become overwhelmed – some even burst into tears – as they realized that they could not only help their kids, they could also use the strategies themselves when their own emotions got out of control.

I have since read everything Ellis has written, and his theories have become a core part of my view of the world. He showed me that we are what we believe. Attitude is nothing but beliefs, and the voices of our negative beliefs prevent us from moving forward.

It is a simple but profound model: A leads to B, leads to C.


Here is an example. Let us say that you are cut after the second round of tryouts for a sports team. (This is the activating event, Block A, in the diagram above.)

If one of your beliefs (B) is, “I must make the team to be popular,” or “I am worthless if I don’t make the team,” now you’ll get anxious and depressed. That is called the “consequent emotion” (C).

We tend to “awful”-ize things. But we can change our irrational beliefs by asking questions like: “What is the evidence for my must/should?” (e.g., “Why did I believe that I was worthless if I didn’t make the team?”). We can ask, “Why is this situation terrible? Why is it awful? Why can’t I stand it?”

In Ellis’s view, we just need to add a D and an E to the ABC model to move forward. If we change the wording of our belief only slightly – in this  case from “I must make the team” to “I prefer to make the team” (D), our emotional responses change immediately (E).

Until I read Ellis, I thought that we had to get our self-limiting beliefs right out of our heads in order to avoid negative emotional responses. Now, I realize we just need to change them a little.

Dr. Albert Ellis | In His Own Words

The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny.

Acceptance is not love. You love a person because he or she has lovable traits, but you accept everybody just because they’re alive and human.

People have motives and thoughts of which they are unaware.

People don’t just get upset. They contribute to their upsetness.

Happiness is experienced largely in striving towards a goal, not in having attained things, because our nature is always to want to go on to the next endeavor.

There are three musts that hold us back: I must do well. You must treat me well. And the world must be easy.


One of 50 Lessons from Amazing Teachers in my new book Wisdom to Live Your MAGIC!™

“A motivational book of words to live by and how to live by them. A valuable guide that encourages and enables self-actualization.” – Kirkus Reviews

“I heartily endorse this book whose lessons have the power to positively impact the lives of its readers.” – Ralph B. Young, Chancellor, University of Alberta

“This compilation of life’s great teachers and heroes, will inspire youth to take these lessons and connect the dots from where they are now, to their own future dreams and goals.” – Jay Ball, President & CEO, Junior Achievement of Northern Alberta


FREE Ebook Download  is available at this FREE Ebook link

The Print Book is available from for $14.95 plus shipping. 100% of net proceeds, including author royalties, are donated to charities that support youth.

Print book link.


Albert Einstein | My Greatest Gift


Albert Einstein


Albert Einstein is one of the most famous and influential scientists and intellectuals in history. In 1921, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for his theory of relativity that revolutionized our understanding of time and space. In 1999, Time Magazine named Einstein the Person of the Century, one hundred top physicists named him the greatest physicist ever, and a Gallup Poll recognized him as the fourth most admired person of the 20th Century.

Einstein was born in Germany; his father was a salesman and engineer. Although intelligent, Einstein had some learning difficulties and rebelled against regimented and rote learning. Still, in 1900, Einstein graduated from the Polytechnic in Zurich with a diploma in mathematics and physics. As a philosopher, Einstein taught us to value curiosity, respect and peace.

Albert Einstein | My Greatest Gift

“I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.”

I knew Albert Einstein’s name even when I was a child, as everybody does, but it wasn’t until I began to read about his life and what he’d written that I learned what an amazing man he had been. He wasn’t just a brilliant scientist: he understood human nature, too. One quote of his had a particular impact on me. He said, “I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.” It wasn’t until many years later that I realized how very important that statement was.

The power of that quote led me to read many other things Einstein had written. Another famous quote of his that I love is this one: “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

About 14 years ago, I was mulling over a quote by Mother Teresa: “Life is a promise: Fulfill it.” And I asked myself, “What is the promise of my life? Am I fulfilling it?”

That was when I realized that I had gifts that I hadn’t even known about when I was in my twenties. I knew that everyone has gifts, but I had never thought about the different types of gifts we all possess, and the role each gift plays in fulfilling our promise.

Aptitudes – our talents, including our innate performance excellence and abilities, and our innate understanding or sensory skills – are what we innately do well. I was beginning to understand that these gifts will turn into nothing unless we connect them with two other important gifts, our energy drivers: 1) passion, the driver for performance excellence; and 2) curiosity, the driver for knowledge and understanding. That’s when the brilliance of Einstein’s quote became clear to me. Einstein was passionately curious.

Later, I came to appreciate that the gift of dreams is what gives direction to our aptitudes, talents and abilities, supported by our drivers of passion and curiosity, to create the new reality we see in our imagination. To really unleash the power of my dreams, I learned to turn them into goals supported by action plans and deadlines. Your imagination connects your gifts to your curiosity, your passion and your dreams.

Today, when I think of that particular quote by Albert Einstein, I realize that I have adapted the words a bit to fit with other things I’ve learned in my life. So now I think about it this way: “I have no special gifts. I am only passionate and curious.” I’m sure that Einstein wouldn’t mind the minor change I’ve made to his original wording in order to put his brilliance to work in my life.

Albert Einstein | In His Own Words

A happy man is too satisfied with the present to dwell too much on the future.

If A is success in life, then A = x + y + z. Work is x, play is y and z is keeping your mouth shut.

Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.

A new idea comes suddenly and in a rather intuitive way. But intuition is nothing but the outcome of earlier intellectual experience.

The important thing is not to stop questioning; curiosity has its own reason for existing.

Try to become not a man of success, but try rather to become a man of value.

If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or objects.

I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.

Man can find meaning in life, short and perilous as it is, only through devoting himself to society.

Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom.

Nothing truly valuable arises from ambition or from a mere sense of duty; it stems rather from love and devotion towards men and towards objective things.

As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.


One of 50 Lessons from Amazing Teachers in my book Wisdom to Live Your MAGIC!

“A motivational book of words to live by and how to live by them. A valuable guide that encourages and enables self-actualization.” – Kirkus Reviews

“I heartily endorse this book whose lessons have the power to positively impact the lives of its readers.” – Ralph B. Young, Chancellor, University of Alberta

“This compilation of life’s great teachers and heroes, will inspire youth to take these lessons and connect the dots from where they are now, to their own future dreams and goals.” – Jay Ball, President & CEO, Junior Achievement of Northern Alberta


FREE Ebook Download  is available at this FREE ebook link

The Print Book is available from for $14.95 plus shipping. 100% of net proceeds, including author royalties, are donated to charities that support youth.

Print book link.


John F. Kennedy Personal Mentor

On this 50th Anniversary of his death I am remembering the impact John F. Kennedy had on my life.

When President Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963 I had recently turned 16 (Sept. 17th). My life was in turmoil. The situation in my alcoholic home was becoming impossible. I was anxious to take charge of my own life, chart my own course and pursue my own dreams.

President Kennedy was a beacon of hope in a world filled with fear and uncertainty.

The Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, made the prospect of a nuclear war real to me. Our neighbor had built a Fallout Shelter in their home and I wondered what would happen to me, my family and millions of others if there was a nuclear war. I had been told Edmonton would be a prime target because of the oil industry.

Before this, I had been captivated by President Kennedy beginning with the Presidential election in 1960. Kennedy became a personal hero based on two speeches he gave that, even today, deeply move me.

President Kennedy’s Inaugural Address on January 20, 1961 filled me with hope. It is still one of the greatest speeches I have ever heard.

He began by saying “the election was not a victory of party but a celebration of freedom”… I urge you to click the link above and listen to this masterpiece of leadership and oratory.

In the fall of 1962 at Rice University, President Kennedy gave his Moon Speech.

Talk about “shooting for the moon,” literally! This is a powerful example of sharing a vision, a challenge, and calling people to get behind it. If you have the time, click the link and hear another masterpiece of leadership and oratory.

Now, I hope you understand why I was so devastated by the assassination of President Kennedy. It was personal for me, in a way that seems irrational to me now.

I know that history has revealed that Kennedy was a womanizer and that he was chronically ill and suffered with pain. I don’t condone his breech of fidelity but it is not my place to judge him, or anyone else for personal failings. His illness and pain makes me marvel all the more at his vibrance and energy. I wonder at the strength of his calling to serve, his passion to lead and inspire.

I visited Dallas and the School Book Depository. It made me wonder what might have been… I left sad.

In 2007, I made a pilgrimage to John Fitzgerald Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston. It is located on a ten-acre park, overlooking the sea that he loved. President Kennedy chose the site himself a month before he was assassinated, planning for years ahead, he thought. It has three parts: a Museum, an Archive and an educational Institute.

The architect was I.M. Pei, selected by Jacqueline Kennedy. The selection was a surprise because he was a young architect and the candidates included some of the best known architects in America. I.M. Pei seemed to Mrs. Kennedy to be filled the promise, imagination and temperament that would reinforce her vision for the library. The building is stunning. Visit the John Fitzgerald Library and Museum online and see for yourself.

The visit was a very personal and emotional experience for me. The multi-media presentation had me relive part of my youth. I spent some time standing quietly in the atrium.

Ultimately, I left home, pursued and realized many of my dreams. Today, fifty years later, I am grateful for John F. Kennedy a man who, as strange as this may seem, was like a personal mentor to me. Thank you.



A Child Teaches | The Greatest Gift

Harrison, Janice, Carson and Jorgia Moore


On this Mother’s Day I want to share a wonderful true story about motherhood from my friend Janice Moore.

“When I had my first child, Jorgia, I was twenty-five. Jorgia was the first grand-child in the family and everyone was excited. When I came home from the hospital the house was filled with flowers.”

“When I had my second child, my son Harrison, there were fewer flowers when I came home. In my thirties, I had my third child,  my son Carson. There was only one bouquet of flowers when I came home. Jorgia and Harrison, who were young at the time, fought over who would give me the flowers. The bouquet was a little worse for their efforts.”

“I sat on the couch looking at the mangled flowers on the coffee table and said to Jorgia, ‘It’s sure is different bringing home the third baby than the first baby’ , thinking it was sad there isn’t as much celebration in bringing Carson home as there was when I brought home Jorgia.

“You’re right mom!,” Jorgia said. “When I came home there was only two people here to love me. Carson has four people here to love him.”

“With a tear in my eye I held out my arms and Jorgia came to me and we hugged. From that day, I try to remember that love is the greatest gift.”

Janice, is now a single mother. “Some people say it must be tough to be alone. I’m not alone. I have my three children. They add so much to my life. Loving them and being loved back is the best gift.”

Janice Moore is the Director of Development at Junior Achievement where, as part of the management team, she is focused on making a difference in the lives of young people here in Edmonton and Northern Alberta.

Happy Mother’s Day Janice, and to Mother’s everywhere.

Margaret Thatcher: Edmonton, A City of Achievers

Margaret Thatcher was the keynote speaker at the Edmonton Oilers fundraising dinner for Junior Achievement in February, 1997. I was there, and in her speech she described Edmonton, as “a city of achievers.” She was an amazing orator and it was an honor to be there.

Margaret Thatcher was quite the achiever herself. Born into modest circumstances in Grantham, Lincolnshire, on October 13, 1925, she became the first of her family to attend University. In 1979, she was elected Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, the only woman to have held the post, and remained in office until 1990, making her the longest serving Prime Minister of the 20th Century.

Margaret Thatcher, dead at 87, on April 9, 2013.

Margaret Thatcher In Her Own Words

Where there is discord, may we bring harmony. Where there is error, may we bring truth. Where there is doubt, may we bring faith. And where there is despair, may we bring hope.

If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman.

To those waiting with bated breath for that favorite media catchphrase, the U-turn, I have only one thing to say. You turn if you want to; the lady’s not for turning.

Pennies don’t fall from heaven, they have to be earned here on earth.

No one would remember the Good Samaritan if he’d only had good intentions. He had money as well.

We always have to be aware of the enemy within, which is much more difficult to fight and more dangerous to liberty.

Any woman who understands the problems of running a home will be nearer to understanding the problems of running a country.

If you just set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything at any time and you would achieve nothing.

In her Eulogy of Ronald Reagan: We have lost a great president, a great American, and a great man, and I have lost a dear friend…Ronald Reagan knew his own mind. He had firm principles and, I believe, right ones. He expounded them clearly. He acted upon them decisively. When the world threw problems at the White House, he was not baffled or disorientated or overwhelmed. He knew almost instinctively what to do.

I have taken the liberty to rewrite the closing of her eulogy for Ronald Reagan, which seems so perfect a tribute to her too.

Margaret’s mind was clouded by illness. That cloud has now lifted. She is herself again, more herself than at any time on this Earth, for we may be sure that the Big Fellow upstairs never forgets those who remember him. And as the last journey of this faithful pilgrim took her beyond the sunset, and as heaven’s morning broke, I like to think, in the words of Bunyan, that “all the trumpets sounded on the other side.”

Roger Ebert | A Legacy in His Own Words

Film Reviewer Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert, the best known American film reviewer, died Thursday,  April 4, 2012, from cancer. He was 70.

He won the 1975 Pulitzer Prize for distinguished criticism, the first, and one of only three, given to a film reviewer since the category was created in 1970. In 2005, he received another honor when he became the first critic to have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

After winning the Pulitzer Prize he partnered with Gene Siskel to do film reviews on television using their trade-marked “two thumps up!” They were the most influential film reviewers of their time.

His greatest legacy, in my view, are the conclusions he reached from a lifetime of living, expressed in his own words.

Roger Ebert, in his own words:

“No good film is too long and no bad movie is short enough.”

“We fought like cats and dogs, but we always loved each other.” (On his relationship with Gene Siskel)

“My newspaper job … is my identity.”

“Kindness covers all of my political beliefs. No need to spell them out. I believe that if, at the end, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do. To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts. We must try to contribute joy to the world. That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances. We must try. I didn’t always know this and am happy I lived long enough to find it out.”

“Your intellect may be confused, but your emotions will never lie to you.”

“Years from now it is quite possible that ‘Bonnie and Clyde’ will be seen as the definitive film of the 1960s.”

“Every great film should seem new every time you see it.”

“No matter what they’re charging to get in, it’s worth more to get out.”

“To say that George Lucas cannot write a love scene is an understatement; greeting cards have expressed more passion.”

“If you have to ask what it symbolizes, it didn’t.”

“I’ve been around a long time, and young men, if there is one thing I know, it is that the only way to kiss a girl for the first time is to look like you want to and intend to, and move in fast enough to seem eager but slow enough to give her a chance to say ‘So anyway …’ and look up as if she’s trying to remember your name.”









Roger Ebert and wife Chaz Hammelsmith

“She fills my horizon, she is the great fact of my life, she has my love, she saved me from the fate of living out my life alone, which is where I seemed to be heading,” he wrote about wife Chaz Hammelsmith.

“I believe empathy is the most essential quality of civilization.”

“I do not fear death. I know it is coming, and I do not fear it, because I believe there is nothing on the other side of death to fear.” (From Ebert’s book, Life Itself: A Memoir).

“…thank you for going on this journey with me. I’ll see you at the movies.”

Rest in peace Roger, thank you for your reviews and your insights.

Humbling Author Moment

Last week I had a humbling author moment. As a new author, autographing books is an unfamiliar but exciting experience. Imagine how thrilled I was when Wendy Keiver, President of the Literacy and Learning Day Society here in Edmonton, told me they wanted to buy 60 copies of my book, Inspiration to Live Your MAGIC!™ to give as a thank you gift to all the volunteers.

Later, Wendy called to say that they had put a personal thank you label in the front of each of the books and would appreciate it if I would write a personal autograph to each volunteer. “I’d be thrilled,” I said, wondering what it would be like to do that many autographs at one time.

As I was signing the autographs, I realized that every one of these people were volunteering their time to support the attending parents efforts to help their children learn. It was these volunteers and the sponsors that made it possible for about 1,000 parents to attend this one day event for free. This year, the 10th Anniversary, featured two keynote speakers and 26 workshop sessions for the parents to choose what they felt would be most helpful to them.

Barbara Coloroso

When I opened a book and saw the name Barbara Coloroso, one of the sponsored keynote speakers, I stopped. For 38 years, Barbara has been an international best selling author, speaker and consultant on parenting, teaching, school discipline, positive school climate, bullying, grieving, nonviolent conflict resolution and restorative justice. She has appeared on Oprah, CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN and NPR and has been featured in the New York Times, Time, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek and many other publications. Barbara Coloroso is most well known for her “Kids are Worth it!” series.

David Bouchard

The next copy of my book to autograph was for the other sponsored keynote speaker, David Bouchard. A former teacher and principal, David is one of Canada’s all-time best selling authors (over thirty-five best selling books, published in many countries and languages) and a much sought after public speaker. Through his keynotes and presentations he champions literacy and promotes Aboriginal culture. David Bouchard’s books have won several prestigious awards, including the Order of Canada for literature in 2009, Canada’s highest distinction.

Bouchard believes shared responsibility is the first step to succeeding in reading, saying. “We do not need new curriculum or harder working teachers in order to get our students to read. We need parents, teachers and administrators who read. The key lies in modelling.”

Barbara and David are heroes of mine. What could I write? Since my book is called Inspiration to Live Your MAGIC!™ I typically write, the persons name and “Live Your MAGIC!” and sign Larry. In both of their books I wrote, Barbara or Dave, and “You are living your MAGIC! You inspire me. Larry.”

I was honoured to sign every one of those books and grateful to every volunteer. And grateful to express my feelings in a unexpected way to two of my heroes. Thank you Wendy Keiver and the Literacy and Learning Day leaders for the privilege.

Literacy and Learning Day Full!

Congratulations to Wendy Keiver and the team at Literacy and Learning Day for filling their 10th Anniversary Event on April 14th. Sell Out is not the right term because parents attend free – including lunch.

For all ten years my wife Janet and I, through the Randy Anderson Learning Fund (named for my brother Randy who had dyslexia), have proudly supported this parent initiated event to provide learning and teaching resources to parents to help their children learn.

Barbara Coloroso

 Keynote, Barbara Coloroso will speak on Cyber Bullying

 David Bouchard

Keynote David Bouchard will speak on Reading: The Ultimate Cultural Challenge.

There are also a host of workshops on an variety 0f parenting and education topics. My wife and I are so proud to be associated with the dedicated Literacy and Learning Day team of leaders and volunteers. Visit their website for more information Literacy and Learning Day

ebooks, video episodes and workbooks are available FREE - All Digital Media is FREE on this site