Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Worlds Outside Your Window

Isn't it funny how life can change in an instant?

And change not only your world, but the one outside your window as well?

That's what happened to Robert.

Sitting at home one night, on a comfy couch watching the telly, Robert is suddenly glued by a news report from a foreign country.

Watching in disbelief, Robert becomes emotional.

Before long, he is unglued by what he is witnessing on his window to the world.



The Michael Buerk story that aired on the BBC in 1984 was the moment Robert decided he couldn't stomach what he saw. He decided right then and there to take action.

He started with a phone call to his pal Midge. Soon, other calls are placed to people like Phil, Paul, George and Gordon.

A studio steps up and donates 24 hours of recording time.

The rest is history.

It is the #1 Christmas Rock Song ever recorded.



"Do They Know Its Christmas?" was released on November 29, 1984, and shot straight to No. 1 on the UK singles chart, outselling all other records on the chart put together. It became the fastest- selling single of all time in the UK, and helped direct millions of relief dollars to people in desperate need of help. But, more than anything, it showed yet again, how a single person can make a difference when they decide enough is enough.

Twenty-five years later, Bob Geldof visits Ethiopia and notes education enrolment has doubled, malaria death rates halved and HIV/AIDS is on the decline. He adds wtoo many people still rely on aid, but food shortages are happening less and less as distribution and early warning systems have improved.

Bob Geldof opened a window and saw something he didn't like.

And then did something about it.

Is there a world before you - even in your own home town - that is worth taking a look at? It might involve volunteering at a soup kitchen, donating used toys to the Salvation Army or just looking the panhandler in the eye when you slip him the $20 he doesn't expect and wish him a Merry Christmas.

Can you open your window a crack and see what Bob saw?

You might discover you don't need to be a famous rock star to be a real hero this Christmas.


"Music is something I must do, business is something I need to do, and Africa is something I have to do"
BOB GELDOF


p.s. ... This is the final TSB post for 2010. A short holiday break begins tomorrow and our practice of posting new material every Tuesday and Thursday resumes on January 4th, 2011. Until then, we wish you a happy and safe Christmas season and as my good friends Tom Young and Jeremy Demont would say, "the very best" in the New Year.


Would you like Gair to re-energize, re-focus or re-inspire your organization or event? Details on his keynotes and speaking programs can be discovered at http://www.gairmaxwell.com/ His book, "NUTS, BOLTS AND A FEW LOOSE SCREWS" is also waiting patiently for you at Chapters.ca and Amazon.com.

Get to know Gair on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/#%21/gair.maxwell

For more info on The Seamless Brand and how this program can benefit your company or organization, explore http://www.seamlessbrand.com/

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Ray of Hope

Ask Ray about his philosophy on "hope" and you might be fascinated by his answer.

For more than two decades, Ray toiled at his craft with the reputation of being the very best in the business. But, no matter how many individual awards and honors came his way, the ultimate prize continued to elude him year after year.

In the twilight of his career, Ray could not be faulted for wanting to lose hope.

The organization he had been with for 20 years was in no position to compete for the holy grail Ray was searching for. And so it was with heavy hearts, the Boston Bruins found a way to restore hope for one of the greatest players ever to wear one of their black and gold uniforms.





Ray Bourque still holds records for most goals, assists and points by a defenceman in the National Hockey League. He played in nineteen consecutive NHL All-Star games, surpassing Wayne Gretzky for the league record, represented his country in three Canada Cup tournaments and wore the Team Canada jersey at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano Japan.

Tonight, Ray Bourque brings his Hall of Fame credentials and so much more to the Moncton Coliseum as he joins the Maritime All-Stars for a charity game against the New Brunswick Police Association. This touring club of former pro and university stars will be playing tonight in an effort to restore hope for others and having the legendary Bruin captain in the line-up should generate much more interest in supporting some of the worthwhile causes that will benefit.

Game time is 7:00 and tickets will be available at the door.


"I don't like losing. Being a competitive player, it's not a good feeling. I was trying to do everything I could do, get a big hit or make a good play and get something going. That's the style I always play”
RAY BOURQUE



Would you like Gair to re-energize, re-focus or re-inspire your organization or event? Details on his keynotes and speaking programs can be discovered at http://www.gairmaxwell.com/ His book, "NUTS, BOLTS AND A FEW LOOSE SCREWS" is also waiting patiently for you at Chapters.ca and Amazon.com.

You can also get to know Gair on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/#%21/gair.maxwell

For more info on The Seamless Brand and how this program can benefit your company or organization, explore http://www.seamlessbrand.com/

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Real Heroes

Real heroes don't leap from tall buildings.

Or move faster than speeding locomotives.

Now, more than ever, real heroes are just doing the right thing.

Quietly.

And this is the time of year when real heroes step forward, go out of their way and do the right thing for those in need.

Quietly.

Nothing against the more public Christmas giving campaigns being blasted through social media (since they meet many legitimate needs), but there is also something to be said for wanting to lend a hand to those who are struggling this time of year. And offer that support without drawing a lot of attention to ones self.

The last thing you or anyone needs is another guilt trip to squeeze one more thing out of you and your family. But, I find it increasingly difficult to sit by and do nothing when I come across real life hardship that you can help alleviate.

There is a family I am aware of that has a lot of kids. To reveal the exact number could jeopardize their privacy and perhaps tear away yet another piece of their already diminished dignity. Let's just say you could almost field a complete softball team with mom, dad and the number of kids in that home. More judgemental types will be quick to point out "If they made the choice to have that many kids, they have to live with that choice". It's a simple and convenient answer but does nothing to address the real issue facing this particular family this particular holiday season.

The real issue in this story, is not charity.

The real issue is hope.

The mother in this case is doing everything she knows under the sun, moon and stars to try and break the poverty cycle. She is re-educating herself, taking odd jobs and making a real effort but, sometimes it gets to the point where it becomes impossible to survive the day to day. Add Christmas to the mix ... and the pressure builds and builds until there is no hope left. She is also the type of person who NEVER asks for help. Not EVER. And for the record, she knows nothing about this blog post and the efforts already underway on her behalf.

This is where you and I enter the picture.

Because this mom won't ask for help, we have to be the ones who give it.

Unless, you and I do something, this family will not have a Christmas this year, but more importantly will continue to lose what little hope they have. Circumstances dictate they don't qualify for certain levels of social assistance, nor will they benefit from any toy drives. They will be the silent ones who slip through the cracks, unless we (who are already maxed out - I get that) do something remarkable, but in a mild-mannered Clark Kent type of way.

Quietly.

Just as despair comes to us only from other human beings, hope, too, is something that only humans can give to one another. And I am hoping this family learns that you can lose everything or have nothing, but as long as you have hope, you still have something.

Can you think of a better gift for a deserving family this Christmas?


"Once you choose hope, anything's possible"
CHRISTOPHER REEVE


P.S... If you would like to help with this project, e-mail me at gmaxwell@seamlessbrand.com for further details on how gift cards or other donations can be dropped off. I am working with a small group that is trying hard to keep as much of this under the radar as possible, which as you know is no small task in a Facebook world.


P.P.S ... If you need a hope-filled story to add even more perspective to this story, a friend sent this my way recently with the intention of making me understand what is truly important.



Would you like Gair to re-energize, re-focus or re-inspire your organization or event? Details on his keynotes and speaking programs can be discovered at http://www.gairmaxwell.com/ His book, "NUTS, BOLTS AND A FEW LOOSE SCREWS" is also waiting patiently for you at Chapters.ca and Amazon.com.

You can also get to know Gair on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/#%21/gair.maxwell

For more info on The Seamless Brand and how this program can benefit your company or organization, explore http://www.seamlessbrand.com/

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Dream and a MAGNIFiER

A little more than two years ago, Mike and Marcel were on their way to a Steve Earle concert.

Somewhere along that copperhead road, they were driving as guys do, shooting the shit about careers, partying and women when the conversation suddenly turned serious. Mike and Marcel put the topics of booze and babes aside for a few minutes and started to focus in on their shared goals and dreams. And as they started to close in on the guitar town they were headed to, decided, "Hey why don't we make a movie?".

And that's how Mike the writer and Marcel the director/camera guy began a series of adventures that has transported them already to some pretty incredible places.

Just recently, a major network has decided to buy their little movie and they are now in negotiations to turn this project into an ongoing television series. Tonight, they will showcase "MAGNIFiER" for hundreds of their closest friends at a premiere being held at Empire Theatres on Trinity in Moncton, NB, where they will also share their story of how they spent thousands of hours plus $20,000 of their own money to follow a dream.

A dream set in 1969, when a 12-year old boy discovers a telescope that can see into infinity.



Nothing has ever been the same for Mike and Marcel.

Not since they started to dream.

And do.


"Someday I'm finally gonna let go 'cause I know there's a better way, and I wanna know what's over that rainbow...I'm gonna get out of here someday..."
STEVE EARLE



P.S... Fan page for more deets on the MAGNIFiER premiere: http://www.facebook.com/#!/


Would you like Gair to re-energize, re-focus or re-inspire your organization or event? Details on his keynotes and speaking programs can be discovered at http://www.gairmaxwell.com/ His book, "NUTS, BOLTS AND A FEW LOOSE SCREWS" is also waiting patiently for you at Chapters.ca and Amazon.com.

You can also get to know Gair on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/#%21/gair.maxwell

For more info on The Seamless Brand and how this program can benefit your company or organization, explore http://www.seamlessbrand.com/

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Day of Infamy

It's a Sunday morning.

Maybe the morning after the night before.

You were planning on sleeping in, especially after enjoying the late night sights and sounds of Hawaii.

Being attacked at 7:55 a.m., while you were sleeping, is not something you signed up for when you joined the Navy. Suddenly, as you wake up to the sounds of horrific explosions, murderous gunfire and panicked screams, you learn in a flash what it means to be "Pearl Harbored".

69 years ago today, when you were part of the crew of the USS Arizona, there was nothing in your field manual or training exercises that prepared you for this.



The Japanese Imperial Navy called it "Operation Z".

FDR described December 7, 1941 as "a date which will live in infamy".

America entered World War Two the very next day.

As for the USS Arizona, it became the final resting place for many of the ship's 1,177 crewmen. She was the most heavily damaged of all the vessels along Battleship Row, but contrary to popular belief, the USS Arizona is no longer in commission. As a special tribute to the ship and her lost crew, the Stars and Stripes still flies from a flagpole attached to the sunken battleship.

"Yesterday, December 7, 1941 - a date which will live in infamy - The United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan...As Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense...With confidence in our armed forces - with the unbounded determination of our people - we will gain the inevitable triumph - so help us God"
PRESIDENT FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT, December 8, 1941



Would you like Gair to speak to your organization or at your event?
Visit http://www.gairmaxwell.com/

His book, "NUTS, BOLTS AND A FEW LOOSE SCREWS" is available through Chapters.ca and Amazon.com.

You can also get to know Gair on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/#%21/gair.maxwell

For more info on The Seamless Brand and how this program can benefit your company or organization, explore http://www.seamlessbrand.com/

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Rosa's Hope

Rosa was small, even for a child.

She suffered poor health and had chronic tonsillitis.

When her parents separated, she moved with her mother and never forgot the day when the Ku Klux Klan marched down the street in front of her house. Her grandfather guarded their front door with a shotgun.

Rosa took academic and vocational courses, but was forced to drop out of school to care for her grandmother, and later her mother, after they became ill.

While in elementary school, she often wondered why school buses would transport white students to their new school while black students had to walk to theirs.

After marriage, Rosa took numerous jobs, ranging from domestic worker to hospital aide. At her husband's urging, she graduated high school at a time when less than 7% of African Americans had a high school diploma.

Older and wiser at 42, this humble, black woman made a decision that throttled all of America.

65 years ago - on December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks took a stand by deciding to sit down and say "no".

65 years ago, Rosa refused to obey bus driver James Blake's order that she give up her seat to make room for a white passenger.

65 years ago, Rosa performed a single, life-defining act that changed an entire country; the kind of thing movies are made of.



Although widely honored in later years for her action, Rosa suffered for it. She lost her job as a seamstress in a local department store. But eventually, she moved to Detroit and found similar work before serving as a secretary for a U.S. congressman.

Long before Martin Luther King became the spokesman for the civil rights movement, Rosa Parks was its soul. A 5-foot-1 acorn of a seamstress who stood up to powerful, narrow-minded oak tress and inspired hope for millions of African-Americans.

As Rosa discovered, once you choose hope, anything is possible.

And it was her hope that forever changed the path for every passenger on a much bigger bus.

A bus called America.


"People always say that I didn't give up my seat because I was tired, but that isn't true. I was not tired physically, or no more tired than I usually was at the end of a working day. I was not old, although some people have an image of me as being old then. I was forty-two. No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in"
ROSA PARKS




Would you like Gair to speak to your organization or at your event?
Visit http://www.gairmaxwell.com/

His book, "NUTS, BOLTS AND A FEW LOOSE SCREWS" is available through Chapters.ca and Amazon.com.

You can also get to know Gair on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/#%21/gair.maxwell

For more info on The Seamless Brand and how this program can benefit your company or organization, explore http://www.seamlessbrand.com/