Friday, August 15, 2008

Give Peas a Chance

Cheryl's mother always said ...
“Eat your peas!
They’re good for you.”

Each one of Cheryl's "Eat Your Peas" books are filled with nutrients of another kind. Nutrients that feed the relationships that we treasure most.

I met Cheryl Karpen at a gathering earlier this summer in St. Andrews, NB and discovered a woman who has been touching lives on a whole new level with her 3-minute books that include one three unique promises. Her first book in the series - "Eat Your Peas for Young Adults" - was written for a special young friend, who lived more than 1,800 miles from her and going through an especially difficult time. "I wanted her to know she could call me any time, at any hour, and I would be there for her," Karpen recalls. "At the very beginning of her book I made a place to write my phone number so she knew I was serious about being available. And right beside her phone number I put my promise to listen---really listen---whenever that call came. Finally, I promised to listen without judging.

Soon after "Eat Your Peas for Young Adults" was published, people began to ask Karpen if she had the same promise for adults. As she puts it, "I realized it isn’t just young people who need to be reminded how truly special they are. We all do".

What I have come to admire about Cheryl in the time I have gotten to know her is that she embodies an ideal that many talk about but rarely act on. As Mother Teresa was once quoted as saying, "If we want a love message to be heard, it has got to be sent out. To keep a lamp burning, we have to keep putting oil in it. Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person".

Karpen's publishing company, based in Anoka, Minnesota is doing it person-to-person in a big way ; selling more than 10,000 books that touch hearts and souls each month. You can discover more at

Have you ever wished someone would just listen to you without judging? Listen and accept you unconditionally? If we're lucky, we might come accross a handful of those kind of people during our lifetime. If you are fortunate enough to stumble on to a genuine listener, do you return the favor?

On a scale of 1-to-10, how do you rate in the listening department?

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