Redemptive power of LITERACY, from San Quentin State Prison

In my opinion, there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a real-life redemption story, especially when it involves LITERACY.

Meet Curtis “Wall Street” Carroll.

Now this, this is “news” worth sharing, good news.

I’ll let Curtis tell his powerful story, but this TED talk, from San Quentin State Prison will inspire you in multiple ways and completely validates the importance of literacy for all. It’s worth all 600 seconds.

Curtis "Wall Street" Carroll: How I learned to read -- and trade stocks -- in prison | TED Talk


Annoying, but GOOD

Pretty much my entire life I’ve been told I need to smile more. You?

Isn’t it annoying? In fact, being told this only made me want to smile less.

But lately, I thought I’d give it a try.

You know what, IT WORKS!

Things are better when you smile – EVERYTHING.

I’ve always thought, “well, if I’m feeling joy in my heart, a smile will come naturally.”

That smiling was a biproduct of being happy, or full of JOY.


It can also work in reverse.

Smiling, can change your emotions.

The act of smiling can bring you happiness, fill you with JOY.

Plus, a smile makes others more happy, puts them at ease, brings them joy.

And THAT, that in itself is worth choosing to smile more.


LOVE 2 READ emoji

Remember life without emojis? Wait, what?

OMG, I can’t imagine how we lived that way.

According to Mrs. Google…

The modern-day emoji can be loosely traced back to chatrooms in the 1990s, when primitive (lol, I can’t believe they used “primitive” and “emoji” in the same sentence) emojis were used in conversations, like : ) to signal a smile or ; ) to punctuate a joke or sarcastic jab. But designer Shigetaka Kurita is considered to be the founding father of today’s emojis.

In 1997, the first emoji “set” was released on the SkyWalker DP-211SW mobile phone, manufactured by SoftBank, known as J-Phone at the time.

Among the original set, the most iconic emoji characters ever in the Unicode Standard, the poo emoji. 💩

Did you know there’s a non-profit corporation devoted to developing, maintaining, and promoting software internationalization standards and date, particularly the Unicode Standard, which specifies the representation of text in all modern software products and standards?

Its name? The Unicode Consortium.

As popular as emojis have become, can you believe there’s no official reading emoji?

Freadom is out to change this!

We’ve started by designing our own, LOVE 2 READ.

Check out the amazing work of our very own, Derek Moore, Chief Creative Steward at Freadom:

Love 2 Read Emoji T-Shirt, Love 2 Read Emoji Long Sleeve Shirt & Love 2 Read Emoji Mini-Stickers.

We’ll keep you posted as our quest for establishing an official reading emoji continues.

We may need your help.


Word of the week

I’ve been called passionate once, maybe twice in my life…queue studio laughter please.

I can’t deny it, I run on faith & passion.

Passion is a trait and ability which stands alone.

It can’t be learned or acquired, but always present.

Trust me, I’ve tried to suppress my passions, ignore them…it’s literally impossible.

Sometimes passion is a blessing, sometimes a curse, no doubt.

Did you know the Latin origin of passion is “pati,” meaning “suffer.”

It would seem our current use of the word passion, a sense of strong liking or enthusiasm, would be the opposite of its original use.

This might be true.

However, I believe there’s a strong relationship between passion & suffering.

Take a few minutes to contemplate this.

What say you?


What “soundtrack” is playing in your head right now?

Last week, I had the privilege to attend the Global Leadership Summit for the second time.

If you are ever in need of inspiration, a new perspective, just some time to reflect and hit the reset button? Put the Global Leadership Summit on your list! It can be attended on-line as well but if you can, attend in person. You know, the way we used to “attend” events.

Every presenter, called “faculty” at the GLS, is unique, super-talented, wise and inspiring.

Each resume as impressive as the next.

Jon Acuff, author of “Soundtracks: The Surprising Solution to Overthinking,” was my favorite.

He describes overthinking as the “sneakiest form of fear” and believes you can transform your overthinking from a problem, to a superpower… IF, you can learn how to be the “DJ of the soundtracks that define you.”

Soundtracks, what you tell yourself, stellar analogy.

I love this…

“If you can worry, you can wonder.”

“If you can doubt, you can dominate.”

“If you can spin, you can soar.”

It’s all in how you CHOOSE…to think.

What soundtracks do you have playing in your mind?

Who is doing the DJ’ing? You? Or someone else?

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