"The quality of life of an individual is greatly impacted by their inability to read, which in turn has a ripple effect on society, negatively shaping our economy as a whole. Poverty and illiteracy go hand in hand and illiteracy keeps people trapped in a cycle of poverty."

In a recent entry, I referenced the future of philanthropy being as uncertain as ever and that philanthropic giving has been stuck at 2% of the GDP for years without any signs of this changing. Furthermore, we spend $7 on intervention for every $1 we spend on prevention. I’m no genius, but this makes ZERO sense. We need to make our giving super strategic if we expect anything to look different in the future. With so many worthy causes to support, this can be challenging and emotional, but having a long view is the only view if we expect things to change. To this end, there’s no great lever to pull to positively effect the ill wills of society, than LITERACY.


The “voices” of Women’s History

"Find out who you are and do it on purpose." – Dolly Parton, American singer, songwriter and philanthropist

"I am an example of what is possible when girls from the very beginning of their lives are loved and nurtured by people around them." – Michelle Obama, attorney, author and former U.S. First Lady

"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." – Eleanor Roosevelt, U.S. delegate to the United Nations General Assembly and former U.S. First Lady

"Women belong in all places where decisions are being made. It shouldn't be that women are the exception." – Ruth Bader Ginsburg, U.S. Supreme Court Justice

“A girl should be two things: who and what she wants.” – Coco Chanel

“Women have discovered that they cannot rely on men’s chivalry to give them justice.” – Helen Keller

“We must reject not only the stereotypes that others hold of us, but also the stereotypes that we hold of ourselves.” – Shirley Chisolm


Women’s History (Guest Blogger, Zoë Floriani, my 7th Grade daughter)

As a girl who is set to grow up in a world of sexism, misogyny and discrimination, I find it extremely important that awareness and action is brought to issues like unequal pay and arranged marriages. Historically, women have been expected to be submissive, subpar and inferior to men by the majority of the public. Women’s History Month helps highlight amazing female trailblazers, like Jane Goodall and Emily Dickinson, who surpassed the meek standards the patriarchy had set, and grew to their full potential. Girls like me should look up to women like RBG and Rosa Parks, find what we think is wrong in the world, and realize that as the next generation of women, we have the power to change it.


$&#! happens

Last week you may have noticed a little boo boo with regards to my blog’s email sent to our blog subscribers. If you didn’t notice, we had to send it out three times to get it right. (BTW, if you haven’t subscribed, add your email to the  – I want "on the page" in my inbox – at the top right of this blog post to get my blog in your inbox each Saturday morning.) Of course, the initial reactions were embarrassment, frustration and blame. It’s interesting how our immediate focus turns to what went wrong, ignoring ALL which went right. We’ve all been there, we’ve all felt it, right? But, in reality, these negative emotions are completely useless. They neither help us diagnose what went wrong or help us prevent it from happening again. The fact of the matter is, no matter how hard we try to prevent it, mistakes happen, and they always will. The question is, how will we handle it and what will we learn?

“Gentlemen, we will chase perfection, and we will chase it relentlessly, knowing all the while we can never attain it. But along the way, we shall catch excellence.” -Vince Lombardi

Perspective, Brian, perspective.


Word of the week

Last week, I suggested patience is not always virtuous.

This week I’d like to highlight a word rarely associated with being virtuous or having a commendable quality or trait, naïve. Typically, if someone is naïve, we view them as lacking knowledge or being unaware, which is true. But that said, I’m here to suggest, being naïve can be a really good thing, and maybe even virtuous. What if we knew how hard it would be to be a parent, would we still do it? How about starting a business or movement, would we still do it? Maybe running a marathon, would we still do it? I’ve had the privilege of doing all three and there’s no doubt they are three of the best things I’ve ever done. However, I can tell you unequivocally being “perfectly” naïve when entering these endeavors was essential. Now, I’m pretty stubborn and hardheaded but…


Words don’t cut it

I’m sure we’re all familiar with the phrase, “actions speak louder than words”.

Or maybe, “talk the talk, walk the walk”. Or as my father would say, “talk is cheap”.

No matter your personal favorite, it’s true, talking is easy.

It took me 45 years (I’m approaching 48) to fully understand it’s NOT what people say, it’s what they do that matters. It’s proof of their deepest spoken convictions.

We all have causes and/or social issues important to us, issues we talk about a lot.

Sometimes the talking about it gets us in trouble, even fractures families and friendships.

Let’s save ourselves the trouble and energy of talking, let’s put it towards DOING. 

PLEASE NOTE: This presents a great opportunity for me to admit, I’m writing these blogs just as much for my benefit as for the benefit to anyone else. It helps me walk my talk.


Peace on earth

With the situation in Ukraine on our hearts and in our minds, so is peace.

Seems peace is a word we often see, speak about, focus on, pray for, sing about.

Peace on earth

Peace of mind

Peace treaties

Peace trains

Institutes dedicated to peace

Peace streets

Church names with peace in it

Princes of peace

Peace symbols & signs

Prayers for peace

Peace studies programs


Etc. etc.

Seems we’re surrounded by “peace” but just can’t seem to experience it, live it. But why?

I’m not sure I’m qualified to speculate on the why, but I do have some related questions.

Are we afraid of it?

Who does peace start with?

Could it be too good to be true?

Whose responsibility is it?

Given our selfish natures (including me), is it realistic?

Is it something we wish for? Or really WANT?

If peace is what we want, but never been able to have, what is it we want more?

Who do we respect and praise more, peacemakers or warriors of war?

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1 comment
  • Yep. Mark Twain said, you only need 2 things to succeed ignorance and confidence

    Nancy on

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