I am sorry….three simple words but words that can repair a lot of relationships. Without admitting you are wrong, the bad feelings are allowed to fester until eventually they grow into something so big and ugly and almost beyond repair.
Digi is running the “Dear Malaysians” campaign in conjunction with Merdeka, calling for Malaysians to say sorry to fellow Malaysians. The message, simply, is that forgiveness doesn’t change the past but it certainly sets the stage for a superb future. Hopefully, it’ll teach us how to brighten someone’s day, one apology at a time.
There is nothing wrong in making mistakes and this is a great time to start making amend. Just because you think it is right doesn’t make it right. Part of a matured society is being tolerant and respecting each and everyone.
The three-minute “Dear Malaysians” video shows an array of people holding up cardboards with written apologies for past mistakes. It is a poignant exploration into the power of apologies and forgiveness.
One man says sorry to his children for smoking while another apologises for talking at the cinema. One lady feels sorry for being an impatient driver while another apologises for not supporting the national football team.
The video has moved many, with more than 200,000 people liking it on Facebook since it was launched on Tuesday night.
Many admitted to having shed tears after watching the video, which has singer-songwriter Min’Z providing vocals for the background song.
The video has also prompted many to post apologies on social networking sites.
Many have apologised for their bad driving habits and parking skills while some have said sorry for not keeping in touch with their friends.
Wong Sen Kiat, associate creative director of advertising agency Naga DDB that came up with the campaign concept, said that since Hari Raya, Merdeka and Malaysia Day were around the corner, there was no better time to spread the joy of forgiveness.
“All of us make mistakes but how often do we try to atone for them?” he asked.
“It was not meant to be a tear-jerker but to hit a raw nerve. Many people can relate to not apologising enough.”
Wong himself was in the video, where he apologises to a taxi passenger for not returning a wallet he had found a long time ago.
He said that while sorry was probably the most powerful word in the dictionary, it was one of the most difficult things for anyone to say.
Watch the video and share the joy of forgiveness:
Digi, congratulations for a job well done!
Ami Sano, 20, was born in Aichi, Japan, without any arms and only one partially formed left foot with three toes which she uses to get by in her everyday life. Despite her handicaps, she is determined to lead a normal life, refusing to look down on her handicapped body as an obstacle. Her joyful disposition is truly an inspiration.
She has a passion for cheerleading and writing. Currently an office clerk and motivational speaker, she was a cheerleader at Toyokawa High School in Aichi Prefecture, Japan. She works part-time also as an assistant at a local FM radio station and speaks at lectures.
Sano published her memoir titled “Teashi-no-nai Cheerleader” (Cheerleader Without Limbs) in the autumn of 2009 and released a poetry book titled “Akiramenaide” (Don’t Give Up) in autumn last year.
Currently taking voice training lessons twice a week, she hopes to use her voice in a job as a professional narrator or MC in the future.
“I want to climb the staircase of adulthood, step by step,” a smiling Sano said. Her mother, Hatsumi, said, “We had some difficult times, but I believe those experiences helped my daughter become a person with a kind heart. Twenty years sounds long, but it went by in a flash.”
Sano really teaches us lessons about really living. She has just released an album with a music video for her single ‘Aruki Tsuzukeyou’. Watch the music video and be inspired to live your life to its full potential!
Courageous teenager Alice Pyne of Ulverston, England, has written a “bucket list” of things she wants to do before she dies of cancer.
The 15-year-old pupil at Barrow’s Chet-wynde School has been fighting Hodgkin’s lymphoma – cancer of the white blood cells – for four years. She has undergone extensive chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments and has also received a stem cell transplant where her own treated cells were used, but treatment was not effective. Last year more than 1,000 people signed up to see if they could donate bone marrow to Alice, along with help from the Anthony Nolan Trust, but in October a scan showed there were no more curative treatment options and her condition was diagnosed as terminal.
Alice, who describes her occupation as “full-time cancer fighter”, refused to be downhearted and started her blog Alice’s Bucket List to share her list of things she is trying to get done before she goes.
Even though she’s dying with maybe only weeks to live, she hasn’t given up. She says she wants to make the best of what she has.
Her bucket list includes swimming with sharks, meeting Take That, whale watching, entering her dog Mabel in a show and visiting Cadbury World to eat “loads of chocolate”.
Her inspiration to create her bucket list came from the 2008 movie The Bucket List starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman who play terminally-ill patients who go on a road trip with a wish list of things to do before they “kick the bucket”.
Her blog continued: “I’ve not quite finished the list yet. I keep remembering other bits, so I might add things to it as I go along.
“I’m not expecting to do everything on it. Some of the things are just not going to happen because I can’t even leave the country now. But they’re there because they were on my ‘to do’ list at some point.”
One of those things on her bucket list is to become a trending topic on Twitter. Well, she has achieved that way beyond her wildest dream.
With the simple hashtag #alicebucketlist, she’s rising to the top of Twitter, trending Worldwide. It all started with a few Tweets from prominent Twitter users like Terry Moran from ABC News and actor Channing Tatum, urging people to make Pyne’s day. And with that, Twitter exploded, sending a torrent of well-wishes and love to Pyne who writes on her blog, “I’ve been fighting cancer for almost 4 years now and I know the cancer is gaining on me and it doesn’t look like I’m going to win this one. The cancer is spreading through my body. It’s hard because I gave it my all. And it’s a pain because there’s so much stuff I still want to do. Anyway, Mum always tells me that life is what we make of it.”
Parents Vicky and Simon, 48, a project manager, have embarked on a string of fundraising events with daughter Milly to raise money for charity since Alice was diagnosed.
Vicky, 42, said: “Sometimes I see kids walking down the street, and I think, ‘It isn’t fair, she should be out there with them’ – but she never complains.”
Among Alice’s hopes is for everyone to sign up to be a bone marrow donor.
Barrow and Furness MP John Woodcock took up her cause during Prime Minister’s Question Time in Parliament.
Mr Woodcock told David Cameron: “After four years, 15-year-old Alice Pyne in my constituency is losing her battle against cancer.
“At the top of the list is a call to make everyone sign up to be a bone marrow donor, so will he work with the leader of the opposition and I to address why too few people are currently on this life-saving register?”
Mr Cameron responded by saying: “I will certainly do that and I am sorry to hear about the situation facing Alice and what she’s going through, and our thoughts go out to her and her family.
“We do want to get as many people as possible on to the register.”
Take That’s manager is in discussion with Alice’s parents Vicky and Simon Pyne after being inundated with requests on behalf of the teenager.
Alice, believed to be at Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool, said that the torrent of comments to her blog this week has kept her up at night, staying up to read every single comment that flooded in from all over the planet, and they have made her smile. She also replied to hundreds of fans on her blog site.
“I’m excited about the things I am going to be doing, but the biggest thing has to be all the people who are joining bone marrow donation schemes because of me.
“I will take a camera with me wherever I go and post photos of everything I do.”
Well-wishers from the USA, Canada and the UK sent her story in a relay which generated more than 2,000 pledges of help. Beauty salons from Barrow and fashion designers from London have offered massages and hotel trips while an international community from New York to Berlin rallied round to organise sending iPads and music vouchers to be sent from abroad.
Thousands praised Alice for her optimistic outlook.
Celebrities have lined up to support her cause on Twitter, including pop star Katy Perry, comedian Dara O’Briain, comedian Bill Bailey, former footballer Robbie Savage and TV presenters Phillip Schofield, Stephen Fry, Richard Madeley and Fearne Cotton.
The remarkable thing about her blog is that she is not asking for donations or money; she wants ALL people to register to become bone marrow donors. What an amazing goal for a young girl, and one the Prime Minister endorses.
ALICE’S TO DO LIST SO FAR
To swim with sharks
To make everyone sign up to be a bone marrow donor
To go to Kenya (I can’t travel there now but I wanted to)
To enter Mabel in a regional Labrador show
To have a photo shoot with Milly, Clarissa, Sammie and Megs
To have a private cinema party for me and my BFFs
To design an Emma Bridgewater Mug to sell for charity
To stay in a caravan
To have a purple Apple iPad but I’m not really allowed to put that on here and mum is trying to borrow one
To be a dolphin trainer (I can’t do this one either now)
To meet Take That
To go to Cadbury World and eat loads of chocolate
To have a nice picture taken with Mabel
To stay in the chocolate room at Alton Towers
To have my hair done if they can do anything with it
To have a back massage
To go whale watching
Alice lives with younger sister Milly and parents Vicky and Simon. She and her family have campaigned tirelessly to increase the number of people registered as bone marrow donors and Alice derives a great deal of comfort from the fact that she has, in all likelihood, been instrumental in helping to find donors for other people with life threatening conditions.
Alice says she’s excited about crossing items off her bucket list, and hopes to take pictures and blog about her experiences. But most of all, she’s glad people are joining bone marrow donation schemes because of her.
Alice’s courage and compassion is a benchmark for us all.
On her blog, Pyne asks, “If today was your last day on earth, how would you spend it?” Seriously think about it.
When God created men and women, he made them different. Men come with a “P” and women come with a “V”. Yes, men and women have different genitalia. But is that all the difference between men and women? Not by a long shot!
Women fall in love with men for their charm and rough edges, but they will only keep their men when their men show that they can take a certain degree of training. Remember, a good woman will change her man, but it’s almost always for the better.
There are some men who believe they need a complicated empirical formula to understand women. It’s true that women can at times be almost impossible to understand in relationships. However, it only takes some patience, time and a little determination to decipher even the most confusing female behavior.
Do research by spending some time with your female friends, female colleagues, sisters, or female relatives and pick their brains. Ask questions that have been baffling you. You’ll be surprised at how much you can learn about female behavior, habits, interests and desires just by spending time with them.
Get out of your comfort zone. Most women expect their men to be in touch with their own emotions as well. Learn to open up and not keep all your feelings bottled up inside. Let down your guard and confide in her about any life-changing events or experiences, such as the death of a loved one. As you continue to share your inner-most emotions with her, the bond between you and her will grow immensely. For women, sharing emotions and stories is an important part of a relationship.
Women need to communicate often to feel connected. This means talking, looking, touching … but essentially talking. Listen to what she has to say. This requires staying silent on your part. You have probably conditioned yourself to look as though you’re listening when, in fact, your mind is somewhere else completely. It’s time to stop such disrespectful behavior and get used to giving the woman in your life your undivided attention. All you have to do is to listen. In most situations, you don’t even have to give any advice because all she wants is to know that you care.By listening intently, you will be warmly appreciated.
Women do not always want you to fix things; they often just want you to listen, be sympathetic and tell them about a time when you felt the exact same way. When men listen to a problem, they immediately think of doing something to solve it. Do not do that, just listen without offering advice or, if you feel you must do something, ask: “Is this one of those times when you want me to listen and not give you advice, or can I say something?” If you do it this way, she will see you really understand her and she is going to appreciate you a lot.
Talk to her. When the two of you have a disagreement or argument, do not give her the silent treatment. You must let go of your pride, however difficult it may be, and approach her for a heart-to-heart conversation. If you refuse to open up, you will only make the woman in your life feel more insecure and uncertain about the relationship, and this will make her behavior seem that much more confusing.
Walk a mile in her shoes. You will gain a much broader understanding of women in relationships if you simply take the time and effort to acknowledge the struggles and disappointments that women face. Try to look at the world from a female viewpoint, but be aware that the view may be quite overwhelming. As you become familiar with some of the hardships that women face, you will gain a much deeper understanding of a woman’s mind and heart. When that occurs, you will never be confused again.
Women understand that they are physically weaker than men. Women see the world as “violent”, contrary to men, who mainly find it “competitive”. That is why women, even teenagers, look for company to walk with them in the streets, or look forward to living with a man by their side when they grow up. This gives them a feeling of security: the most important requirement to develop and fulfill their femininity.
When they find this security, the next step in a woman’s world is to take care of their immediate environment. Not only do they have to be beautiful, taking care of themselves… their immediate environment also needs to be beautiful. That is why women care so much about that “pretty little earring” and little things.
It has been said that women are funny beings and the more men try to understand them the more men get confused and disoriented. The secret to understanding women is to realize that they are emotional beings driven by spikes in hormonal changes in the body.
When a woman says, “You’re … so manly” it means—– You’re a little strong on the scent, need a shave, and you sweated a lot.
When a woman says, “You’re certainly attentive tonight”, it means —— Is sex all you ever think about?
When a woman says, “Do you love me?”, it means —– I’m going to ask for something really expensive from you.
When a woman says, “How much do you love me?” it means —– I did something terrible today and you’re really not going to like it, but if you love me as much as you should it won’t really matter.
When a woman says, “Did you just hear the baby?” it means—– Get your butt out of bed right now, and go get the baby and do what ever it takes to quiet him, so I can get some rest.
A woman’s prerogative is to change like the wind! So be prepared!
Oh yes, my fellow men, despair no more. I have found the definitive guide to understanding women. So cheer up, man! You are gonna love this book!
The haunting story of a dying girl who leaves a drawing of a sandpiper for the grouchy man she has befriended on the beach has touched the lives of many people. The story has been attributed to no less than three persons: Ruth Patterson, Ruth Peterson and Robert Peterson. But the real author is Mary Herman Hilbert; the full-length of Hilbert’s story appeared in 1978 in a periodical produced by a religious order in Canada and was subsequently published in condensed form in Reader’s Digest in 1980.
We can learn two lessons from the story. First, it teaches us not to let our own grief and suffering blind us to the travails of others. Second, it advises us that even in the face of unfolding personal tragedy, we should strive for all the “happy days’ we can, like the six-year-old girl in the story.
The story serves as a reminder to all of us that we need to take time to enjoy living and life and each other. The price of hating other human beings is loving oneself less.
The shadow of your smile
When you are gone
Will follow all my dreams
And light the dawn …
By Mary Sherman Hilbert
S he was six years old when I first met her on the beach near where I live. I drive to this beach, a distance of three or four miles, whenever the world begins to close in on me. She was building a sand castle or something and looked up, her eyes as blue as the sea.
“Hello,” she said.
I answered with a nod, not really in the mood to bother with a small child.
“I’m building,” she said.
“I see that. What is it?” I asked, not caring.
“Oh, I don’t know, I just like the feel of sand.” That sounds good, I thought, and slipped off my shoes.
A sandpiper glided by.
“That’s a joy,” the child said.
“It’s a what?”
“It’s a joy. My mama says sandpipers come to bring us joy.” The bird went glistening down the beach.
“Good-bye joy,” I muttered to myself, “hello pain,” and turned to walk on.
I was depressed; my life seemed completely out of balance.
“What’s your name?” She wouldn’t give up.
“Peter,” I answered. “I’m Ruth Peterson.”
“Mine’s Wendy… I’m six.”
She giggled. “You’re funny,” she said.
In spite of my gloom I laughed too and walked on. Her musical giggle followed me.
“Come again, Mrs. P,” she called. “We’ll have another happy day.”
The days and weeks that followed belong to others: a group of unruly Boy Scouts, PTA meetings, and ailing mother. The sun was shining one morning as I took my hands out of the dishwater. “I need a sandpiper,” I said to myself, gathering up my coat.
The ever-changing balm of the seashore awaited me. The breeze was chilly, but I strode along, trying to recapture the serenity I needed. I had forgotten the child and was startled when she appeared.
“Hello, Mrs. P,” she said. “Do you want to play?”
“What did you have in mind?” I asked, with a twinge of annoyance.
“I don’t know, you say.”
“How about charades?” I asked sarcastically.
The tinkling laughter burst forth again.
“I don’t know what that is.” “Then let’s just walk.”
Looking at her, I noticed the delicate fairness of her face. “Where do you live?” I asked.
“Over there.” She pointed toward a row of summer cottages.
Strange, I thought, in winter. “Where do you go to school?”
“I don’t go to school. Mommy says we’re on vacation.”
She chattered little girl talk as we strolled up the beach, but my mind was on other things. When I left for home, Wendy said it had been a happy day. Feeling surprisingly better, I smiled at her and agreed.
Three weeks later, I rushed to my beach in a state of near panic. I was in no mood to even greet Wendy.
I thought I saw her mother on the porch and felt like demanding she keep her child at home.
“Look, if you don’t mind,” I said crossly when Wendy caught up with me, “I’d rather be alone today.”
She seems unusually pale and out of breath. “Why?” she asked.
I turned to her and shouted, “Because my mother died!” and thought, my God, why was I saying this to a little child?
“Oh,” she said quietly, “then this is a bad day.”
“Yes, and yesterday and the day before and-oh, go away!”
“Did it hurt? ”
“Did what hurt?” I was exasperated with her, with myself.
“When she died?”
“Of course it hurt!” I snapped, misunderstanding, wrapped up in myself. I strode off.
A month or so after that, when I next went to the beach, she wasn’t there. Feeling guilty, ashamed and admitting to myself I missed her, I went up to the cottage after my walk and knocked at the door.
A drawn looking young woman with honey-colored hair opened the door. “Hello,” I said. “I’m Ruth Peterson. I missed your little girl today and wondered where she was.”
“Oh yes, Mrs. Peterson, please come in” “Wendy talked of you so much. I’m afraid I allowed her to bother you. If she was a nuisance, please, accept my apologies.”
“Not at all-she’s a delightful child,” I said, suddenly realizing that I meant it.
“Where is she?”
“Wendy died last week, Mrs. Peterson. She had leukemia. Maybe she didn’t tell you.”
Struck dumb, I groped for a chair. My breath caught.
“She loved this beach; so when she asked to come, we couldn’t say no. She seemed so much better here and had a lot of what she called happy days. But the last few weeks, she declined rapidly…” her voice faltered. “She left something for you…if only I can find it. Could you wait a moment while I look?”
I nodded stupidly, my mind racing for something, anything, to say to this lovely young woman. She handed me a smeared envelope, with MRS. P printed in bold, childish letters. Inside was a drawing in bright crayon hues-a yellow beach, a blue sea, and a brown bird. Underneath was carefully printed: A SANDPIPER TO BRING YOU JOY.
Tears welled up in my eyes, and a heart that had almost forgotten to love opened wide.
I took Wendy’s mother in my arms. “I’m so sorry, I’m sorry, I’m so sorry, ” I muttered over and over, and we wept together.
The precious little picture is framed now and hangs in my study.
Six words- one for each year of her life- that speak to me of harmony, courage, undemanding love. A gift from a child with sea-blue eyes and hair the color sand— who taught me the gift of love.
“The price of hating other human beings is loving oneself less”
Life is so complicated, the hustle and bustle of everyday traumas can make us lose focus about what is truly important or what is only a momentary setback or crisis.
This week, be sure to give your loved ones an extra hug, and by all means,take a moment… even if it is only ten seconds, to stop and smell the roses.
This comes from someone’s heart, and is read by many and now I share it with you…
Everything that happens to us happens for a reason.
Never brush aside anyone as insignificant.
Who knows what they can teach us?
I WISH FOR YOU, A SANDPIPER!
It was a cold day in December. A little boy about 10-year-old was standing before a shoe store on Broadway, barefooted, peering through the window, and shivering with cold.
A lady approached the boy and said, “My little fellow, why are you looking so earnestly in that window?”
‘I was asking God to give me a pair of shoes,’was the boy’s reply.
The lady took him by the hand, went into the store, and asked the clerk to get half a dozen pairs of socks for the boy. She then asked if he could give her a basin of water and a towel. He quickly brought them to her.
She took the little fellow to the back part of the store and, removing her gloves, knelt down, washed his little feet, and dried them with the towel.
By this time, the clerk had returned with the socks.. Placing a pair upon the boy’s feet, she purchased him a pair of shoes.
She tied up the remaining pairs of socks and gave them to him. She patted him on the head and said, ‘No doubt, you will be more comfortable now.’
As she turned to go, the astonished kid caught her by the hand, and looking up into her face, with tears in his eyes, asked her, ‘Are you God’s wife?’
“What I have learned from all of the difficulties in my own life is that human beings have very thick skin. I call that skin, spirit, our Highest Most Powerful self. Spirit is the key to everything we desire. It is our weather-proofing, our Teflon, our line of credit that assures if we just keep putting one foot in front of the other, one day; there will be a miraculous payoff.” — Iyanla Vanzant
Iyanla Vanzant was born in Brooklyn New York as Ronda Eva Harris. She is an inspirational speaker, New Thought spiritual life counsellor, award-winning author of five New York Times best-sellers, lawyer, ordained minister and television personality (used to be a frequent guest on the Oprah Winfrey Show) currently residing in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, United States.
In the year 2000, she was named one of the 100 Most Influential Black Americans by Ebony magazine which said that “Her books, lectures and television appearances have made her a multimedia high priestess of healthy relationships.” Her books include Acts of Faith, One Day My Soul Just Opened Up, Value in the Valley, Faith in the Valley, and In the Meantime.
She is an honorary member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and facilitates workshops nationally with a mission to assist in the empowerment of men and women.
Praised by Los Angeles mayor Tom Bradley as “an inspiration to all women,” her stories of personal struggle and victory as a battered wife and teenage welfare mother have touched millions. In building a life of transformation on the foundation of her troubled past, she has become a standard bearer for the power of forgiveness and love to heal. She has been awarded an “Oni” by the International Congress of Black Women as one of the nation’s unsung heroes.
In 1998, she served as the national spokesperson of Literacy Volunteers of America. In 1999, she was listed among the 100 Most Influential African Americans by Ebony magazine, and her debut spoken word album hit the Billboard Gospel Chart at Number 1. She has been awarded an honorary doctorate of humane letters degree from the City University of New York and an honorary doctor of divinity degree from the Theological Seminary in Atlanta, Georgia.
Iyanla Vanzant once stood in the bedroom of her then recently deceased daughter with a pink, pearl-handled pistol in one hand and prescription pills in the other; mulling over the decision as to the “best” way to finally end the pain.
Nevertheless, Iyanla Vanzant is still alive and has a testimony to share.
From leaving The Oprah Winfrey Show to the cancellation of her own television program; the downward spiral didn’t crater with the death of her daughter at the age of 31 to a rare form of colon cancer — on Christmas Day, no less.
Iyanla remarked, “watching them put my daughter in a box and throw dirt on her let me know I could deal with anything.” The reality though was that things were to get far worse for far longer before they would get better. There was still an unexpected divorce (by way of email), loss of her house and tremendous trouble with the IRS still on the way. The fact that neither the pink, pearl-handled pistol nor the prescription pills won out is nothing short of amazing.
It’s one thing to read the book of Job; it’s another to live it.
In her new book, Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You’re Going Through, Vanzant displays the scars of her life with an authoritative honesty, in the hopes of helping someone who might travel a path similar to hers, hurting unceasingly and hoping for help seemingly never on its way.
Iyanla Vanzant is alive and well; today her testimony might bring tears to your eyes while also forcing you to question the depth and resolve of your own faith and relationship with the Lord. At the same time, she offers neither an excuse nor appeal for pity on her behalf.
Iyanla in her book, tells the truth about the moments of her life leading up until now, from the death of her mother, being raped by her uncle and the pathologies set in motion by both.
She has literally touched the lives of countless people. Below are some of the feedbacks that people have left on her YouTube videos:
My God… so enlightening. It is so important to be clear in life on “who? you are”. If not, people will tell YOU who YOU are and you? will find yourself going down a path of someone’s else’s vision and not your own….I needed this…
So very powerful as always! Thank you for continuing to offer transparency and what seems like unfiltered insight? into life. Much? appreciated!
I cried from 0:11!!! OMGOODNESS!! Let me testify!!! I AM? ETERNALLY GRATEFUL? FOR THE LIFE LINE Iyanla carries!!!
Powerful… and?? I still heal! Thank you.
An amazing woman! Thank? you for being you!?
You have been my Spiritual God Mother every since I read, “One Day My Soul Just Opened Up”. Your spirit? has followed me since then. Thank you Great Mother. Eye love you.
Real? talk!!! Thank you for simply being real, human, honest.
Thank? you for your strength,it out shines so much pain in the world and within all.
Watch and listen to Iyanla’s messages in the five-part YouTube videos and be touched, be inspired, and hopefully be changed!
My blog post today is dedicated to the memory of Alex Brown. Alex Brown was a Texas teenager who was full of life. While texting and driving on her way to school in November 2009, she lost the control of her truck which then flipped – ejecting her.
After being alerted that her daughter hadn’t made it to school, Alex’s mother Jeannie set out to find her. She found Alex and the wrecked truck alongside a road; Alex had died from her injuries.
“Although no other vehicles were involved, Alex was not alone,” Jeanne writes on the Remembering Alex Brown Foundation’s official website. “The cell phone on which she had sent and received over 10,000 text messages in the weeks preceding her accident was with her.”
The Foundation was started by Alex’s parents after her death to bring awareness and educate others about the dangers of texting while driving. The Browns decided to start the Remember Alex Brown Foundation the day she died. “I chose to do it that day at the hospital,” her father Johnny Mac says. “We have to put the wrecked truck on a trailer and we have to go to schools and tell people about the dangers of texting and driving.”
Seventeen-year-old Alex Brown epitomized the All-American girl — beautiful, smart, vivacious and beloved by everyone who knew her. Tragically her life and her dream of a career in broadcast journalism were cut short due to an accident arising from texting while driving..
The Brown’s are really an amazing family — Jeanne, Johnny Mac and their daughter Katrina. They absolutely have had one of the most tragic situations, losing their child Alex to a texting while driving accident. They have moved beyond their own personal grief, realizing that the message is more impactful than their grief. They want to spread the message about the dangers of texting while driving to teens and their families, hoping that others do not have to go through what they have suffered. The fact that they lost a child and they were immediately able to take a message and move forward with it just testifies to the integrity and the character of this family.
The Browns travel around Texas to local high schools with Alex’s wrecked truck on their flat-bed trailer to remind young people of the dangers of distracted driving. Their goal is simple: They want to save lives.
Dedicated to making sure no other family suffers such heartbreaking loss, the Browns turned their tragedy into something constructive. Remember Alex Brown and help the Brown family by taking the pledge to not text and drive.
thesalesfactory, a local marketing agency, has been working hard behind the scenes of yesterday’s edition of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. The episode centers on raising awareness of the fight against texting and driving, as a home is built for the Brown family. The Brown family was featured on Oprah last year, in the episode that launched the national pledge against texting and driving.
In preparation for the show, thesalesfactory has helped the family develop the Remember Alex Brown Foundation (R.A.B. Foundation) and has donated their time and talent to create the foundation’s brand, website and marketing/social media campaign to raise awareness. The new R.A.B. Foundation website was created by thesalesfactory as a surprise for the Brown family and was revealed to them during the taping of yesterday’s show.
“I have young children, so the Brown family’s story really hit home for me,” said Ged King, president of thesalesfactory. “In addition to helping a good cause, working on this project and developing the foundation has inspired our entire team to sign a pledge to not text and drive.”
Mike Fowler, thesalesfactory’s account director for Palm Harbor Homes, said, “It has been a tremendous experience for us to help the Remember Alex Brown Foundation get up and running, and we’re excited to see what happens after Sunday’s show when the website is officially launched to millions of viewers.”
Fowler and other team members from thesalesfactory were in Texas during the entire project as the home and foundation were built simultaneously. Last week, leading up to the show on Sunday, the Brown family, Palm Harbor and thesalesfactory team were on the road with the Remember Alex Brown Tour, traveling throughout Texas to promote the R.A.B. Foundation and a new song by Mark McGuinn called ‘Til You Got Home, which was inspired by Alex’s story. The song was aired on Sunday’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.
“I’m very proud of our team for all of their hard work and creativity in helping to make the Remember Alex Brown Foundation a reality,” said King. “Mike Fowler has been an inspiration to our team throughout this process as he worked with the client and the Foundation to bring everything together in time for the show.”
The message of “no texting while driving” is not only for teens but for everyone.
You can take the pledge “No texting while driving.” And wear a RAB thumb band that stands for “Remember Alex Brown” so that every time you pick up your phone, the little orange band reminds you “Do not text while you drive.” Don’t text and drive. It is so dangerous. It kills!
Rudyard Kipling’s iconic poem, “If”, gives us a standard to measure our lives by. Meditate on it today and asking yourself the question, “How does my life look?”
The poem touched home for me in many ways. I believe this poem very much represents a counterbalance in life, speaking of the real strengths and virtues of life much of which often gets forgotten amidst the rush for modern comforts and achievements.
If by Rudyard Kipling
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;
If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools;
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on”;
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run -
Yours is the earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a man my son!
“If” is a poem written in 1895 by British Nobel laureate Rudyard Kipling. It was first published in the “Brother Square Toes” chapter of Rewards and Fairies, Kipling’s 1910 collection of short stories and poems. Its status is confirmed by the widespread popularity it still enjoys today.
It is often voted Britain’s favourite poem. The poem’s line, “If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster and treat those two imposters just the same” is written on the wall of the centre court players’ entrance at the British tennis tournament, Wimbledon, and the entire poem was read in a promotional video for the Wimbledon 2008 gentleman’s final by Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.