Daily Archives April 16, 2015

Welcome to Holland

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability, to try to help people who haven\’t shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It\’s like this…

When you\’re going to have a baby, it\’s like planning a fabulous vacation trip to Italy. You buy a bunch of guidebooks and make your wonderful plans..the Coliseum, the Michelangelo, gondolas. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It\’s all very exciting.

After several months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says,\” Welcome to Holland.\”

\”Holland?\” you say. \”What do you mean Holland? I signed up for Italy! I\’m supposed to be in Italy...

The Angel Project

I held onto the hand of my shivering granddaughter as we waited our turn to get into the huge barn-like building. We couldn\’t see inside because of the length of the line up and so we passed our time watching the outside lineups.

Volunteers were busily placing frozen turkeys into bags at the head of one line up and in the other, families and individuals were receiving milk.

The parking lot was filled with trucks and cars and still more were waiting to get onto the lot. Strangely, though vehicles were blocked, no one honked nor appeared impatient. It seemed surreal as though everyone had been touched by something magical.

Finally we could see into the building and I was overcome with emotion as my eyes took in hundreds of overflowing boxes...

\”Pao, Senhor?\”

He couldn\’t have been over six years old. Dirty face, barefooted, torn T-shirt, matted hair. He wasn\’t too different from the other hundred thousand or so street orphans that roam Rio de Janeiro.

I was walking to get a cup of coffee at a nearby cafe when he came up behind me. With my thoughts somewhere between the task I had just finished and the class I was about to teach, I scarcely felt the tap, tap, tap on my hand. I stopped and turned. Seeing no one, I continued on my way. I\’d only taken a few steps, however, when I felt another insistent tap, tap, tap. This time I stopped and looked downward. There he stood. His eyes were whiter because of his grubby cheeks and coal-black hair.

\”Pao, senhor?\” (Bread, sir?)

Living in Brazil, one has daily opportunities to buy a candy ...


People are unreasonable, illogical and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you help them.
Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you\’ll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you\’ve got anyway.

Keep Marketing You

Rejection and job searching go hand in hand. As a writer, I can tell you something about disappointment. I had enough \”reject\” slips from New York publishers to start a bonfire. Then one day, an editor said, \”Yes,\” and my world was drastically transformed.

Ken Taylor began re-writing the Bible in a contemporary translation and had more than 60 rejections. He finally decided to self-publish \”The Living Bible\” and it became one of the greatest best-sellers in publishing history.

If you\’re qualified for a particular job, never stop interviewing — even if you return to the same companies five or six times. Meanwhile, you need to accept an interim position to keep yourself gainfully employed. When you add lack of funds to job rejection, it\’s a double-whammy...