UNLESS: The Message of the Lorax


“UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” The Lorax.

Last night with my mother I went to a Mirvish play

The story was good but the music, um, no way.

‘Twas the story of the Lorax, who speaks for the trees

who protects our environment – the flowers, birds and bees.


From a Dr. Seuss book to a movie and now musical show

The story’s a classic and one you should know.

It focuses on industry, consumption and waste

Of capitalism and greed it gives a bad taste.


As our society goes on BIGGERING and BIGGERING until

We just keep on growing and growing at will.

Our desire for things that we definitely don’t need

Like a new smartphone or fancy car or maybe a Thneed?


The songs were quite terrible and the dancing I’d score as fair

And the script swayed from the book here and there.

The musical version of the Lorax wasn’t the best

But it did get me thinking of the time I should invest.


Success is not about money or celebrity or fame

Doing good and making the world better is the name of the game.

The direction I must take with my life is much clearer

To help change the world and with my blog I get nearer.


To finding the path I wish to go now

Thank you the Lorax, I will keep my vow.



The 2017 Holiday season has arrived. Halloween is over and the kids consumed more sugar in one night than they do in a typical month. Our American friends ate their turkey with all the fixings on Thursday and Thanksgiving has passed.  Black Friday triggered the official start of the season of buying, consuming and capitalism at its best. Cyber Monday, yesterday, brought out the best in technology and yes, more buying and consuming. Which brings us to today, Giving Tuesday, or more commonly spelled, #GivingTuesday.

We all own too much, we buy too much and we always feel we just need too much. From the ten-pound diaper bag full of supplies for the baby to the children’s playroom overflowing with toys to my own closet stuffed with clothing I barely wear, we have too much. We consume too much.

For me, #GivingTuesday is a breath of fresh air. After days of over-consumption (food and shopping!), I welcome a day to give. Founded in 2012 by the 92nd Street Y in New York City and the United Nations Foundation, this annual international day of giving has raised and moved hundreds of millions of dollars.

In the age of technology, this movement gained momentum almost overnight. And yes, like so many other things, it has its own hashtag. The internet and social media has given #GivingTuesday a tremendous platform to just do good. And I love that.

Okay, I will admit that my email inbox was overwhelmed this morning by requests from many organizations asking me to give them a donation. They are all worthy causes, and I do want to support them. I also got a ton of emails from the same retailers who bombarded me with Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales to now join them in giving back today.

Charitable organizations and businesses are asking me to “celebrate” with them, to use this as an “opportunity” to give and to be “part of something big.” They are all correct, that in the craziness of the Holiday season we should take a moment to pause, to stop buying and just give.

Giving does not necessarily mean handing over money. It could also mean that you can give of yourself and your time. My life is busy, and as I have written recently, often overwhelming. All those emails and social media posts are reminding me to slow down and maybe think of someone else who is more overwhelmed than I am. It reminds me that no matter how much I am balancing in my life and all the stresses I am facing, I can still help someone else.

I am not able today to give money or time to every charity that solicits a donation from me. But I will definitely give to some of them and through this blog I hope I can pay it forward and encourage all of you, my loyal readers, to participate in #GivingTuesday today. Make a donation to a charity that is close to your heart. Volunteer your time. Help a friend. Be kind to a stranger. That’s what today is all about. Let’s do something good. We will all be better off.

My Greatest Asset is Passion Capital

passion capital

Have you ever walked into a party, a meeting, an event or a conference by yourself and felt nervous, almost afraid, to walk through the door? It’s almost like the feeling that a child has on his or her first day of school. That first step in the door is so hard, but once you are inside and have met a few people you realize there is no reason to worry. You are welcomed, you feel comfortable and you know you are in the right place. This happened to me this week when I attended a conference and came home at the end of the day after learning that my greatest asset is Passion Capital.

I sat in a room all day with like-minded individuals, who are leaders in both Corporate Canada and the non-profit sector. We listened, learned and discussed purpose-led business strategies. The speakers discussed the importance of corporate citizenship and making meaningful connections with customers, employees and the community.

All morning I listened intently, as I nodded my head in agreement. I shook people’s hands and introduced myself as a professional who believes in purposeful communication. Then I heard Paul Alofs give a keynote address after lunch. His topic: passion capital.

Paul described passion capital as the combination of “energy + intensity + sustainability to succeed.” He explained the seven building blocks to achieving passion capital, and #3 affected me deeply: courage.

In order to affect change, any kind of change, we must have courage. It’s not a word I have ever heard before at a meeting, at a conference or any part of my professional life. If I want to dedicate myself to find ways for profit and purpose to meet, I need the courage to bring about change. But I learned that I can’t do that on my own.

If I am to be part of a movement to change Corporate Canada I need to align myself with courageous leaders. These leaders need to step up and speak out in support of purpose. These leaders, as I learned from another speaker, need to be in the business of doing good and not just in business and doing good.

The people I met, the workshops I attended and the speakers I listened to opened my mind to passion capital, and they showed me that it’s my greatest asset. Success in business does not only come from intellectual, financial or human capital. They need passion capital too.

I now know that my greatest asset is passion capital. I think that most people, while they do not know it yet, also possess it. We strive for purpose where we work, where we shop, what we buy and how we raise our children. But if we want to affect change, and I mean real change, we need the courage to take the first step.

The Need to Bring Together Profit and Purpose

In previous posts I have asked if women can attain a work-family balance in a society where they are encouraged and expected to build a career and have a family. I have also sought advice and looked inward to see where my career is going and how I envision my future. These thoughts have stayed in my mind, and I have met with and spoken with many inspirational people in recent weeks and months who make me hopeful that I will find my way and follow a career path that is a good fit for me and the life I want to lead. I recently met with one individual who helped me give focus to my many musings about where my life is going, what I want to do next and where my skills and experience can make a difference. She reminded me to think about two words that I believe will help guide me going forward: profit and purpose.

Are these buzz words? Maybe. But their meaning is clear, especially when put together. We often look at organizations as being either for-profit (corporations, stores, restaurants) or non-profit (charities, civic groups, social welfare). They are looked at differently and treated as separate entities.

But I don’t think that should be the case, and many others across Canada (many much smarter than me) feel the same way. They ask the question; can we not profit with purpose? Or can a non-profit organization align itself with a for-profit, and the relationship be mutually beneficial?

Would for-profit businesses reap the rewards and gain customer loyalty if they partner with non-profits, stand behind important causes and care about the many unfortunate people in the community? Definitely.

Are many Canadian for-profit organizations, from small boutique stores to huge conglomerates, bringing together profit and purpose? Definitely, but still much of Corporate Canada, in my opinion, is either not on board yet or doesn’t know how to do it right.

I was fortunate in my previous job that I was empowered to bring together profit and purpose, but in a very limited way. While my employer had a legacy in communities across Canada of supporting children and youth in various ways, that support had eroded over the years. When I was given the opportunity to reinvent the corporation’s connection with the community and bring together profit and purpose in a meaningful way I knew I found something at which I was both skilled and that I loved.

My eyes were opened to a whole other side of strategic communications and brand development through my work (and I can honestly say my devotion) supporting the many communities where my company did business. I saw the vital role Canadian for-profit businesses play in shaping and supporting communities. I clearly saw that relationship was mutually beneficial, as these same families and communities were loyal to the brand that helped them.

So, it brings me back to the questions I have been asking myself about where I am now and where I want my future to be. Profit and purpose. Big or small business or big or small community organization, I want to support them both and bring them together to support each other. Each thought and decision is a stepping stone, and I believe that today I am starting to head down the right path.