A lesson in Gratitude – The Breadwinner

The Breadwinner is a beautiful story written by Deborah Ellis as a book series which was made into an Oscar nominated animated film.

I just saw this film last night and felt that I needed to share.

Set in Kabul, Afghanistan, ‘The Breadwinner’ is a very poignant story reminding us of just how good most of us have it and how much we take for granted.

I watched it with my young sons and gave them the usual lecture of “See? You complain about chores, but look what other children in the world have to do!!! A whole family living in one room – while you complain about sharing a bunk bed; Not enough food – while you whine about the food on the table because you would rather eat McDonald’s; Living in fear with an on-going war and nowhere to escape to – while you mope around complaining because we have to go to basketball practice or you don’t feel like going outside today, would rather stay in and play video games; Children have to work for a living and are denied schooling – while you complain about homework and school and a whole myriad of other insignificant things that you can only complain about because you have it too easy.”

Yes, this is a great film for teaching kids gratitude.

But of course, the story spoke to me specifically as a woman! To be reminded that there are little girls in the world who will never be given a choice in how they live their lives, who have to pretend to be boys just to be able to go out on the street, who are in danger of being beaten because they have not followed certain rules dictated by men. This touches me deeply.

Many of us live life so freely, we rarely spare a thought for the women who still now, in many parts of the world, have no freedom of choice and are suffering.

We may complain about our politicians being pro- or anti- choice. But that is just ONE choice of so many. These women have NONE.

I speak of teaching our children gratitude, but we should learn this lesson too. Be Grateful…and Help!

One way to help is to purchase the book series because all royalties go to Parvana’s Fund/Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan which supports education projects for Afghan women and children.

The Breadwinner Book series can be purchased at:



The film is available on Netflix, YouTube and Google Play.

I highly recommend this film and the Book Series even more.

Enjoy and Be Inspired!





Awesome vs. Ugh

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

This quote has been attributed to Albert Einstein but the Internet is rife with arguments that these words are not his.

No matter!

Regardless of who said these words, they came to me today and were welcome because they are a reminder to be grateful for absolutely everything in life, for life itself.

Today we had a snow storm.

Last night the media filled us with fear and foreboding about the treacherous storm that was about to destroy everything in its path. Schools and workplaces were shut in advance. Long lines ran round the block at grocery stores as people bought all their emergency food supplies. Everyone prepared.

And everyone complained.

It’s March..why is it still winter?…

Another storm? More shoveling, ugh!…

The city is shutting down? Oh no, but I need to do this and that, and now I can’t…

And so on and so forth.

Well, though we did have a snow storm, it was not as bad as had been predicted. Instead of 18 inches of snow, we had 6. And guess what?

That’s right…we complained!!

This is what they call a Blizzard?? This is barely even a storm!,

Is this what we closed the schools for?? We could have gone to work.

Where is all the snow they promised? I thought we could go out sledding, this is more ice than snow.

Ugh, it is so wet and cold outside.

More shoveling!!!

We are habitual complainers!

I don’t know if humans have always been this way, but there is no doubt that it is definitely who we are nowadays. We need to complain and be dissatisfied or we are not normal. Society requires us to bitch and moan about something, anything, but there must be something.

If you are happy and go lucky…you are probably on something.

But then think about the saying I opened with.

What about the miracles??? What if every thing is a miracle? Maybe we would be in awe more often instead of complaining.

We are alive! It snows! We get to experience snow! We get to feel cold, or wet and we come inside and enjoy warmth.

We drink a cup of hot chocolate and cuddle up in front of a movie. TV? How amazing. Cable? Wow! Streaming?? OMG!

We get a snow day off! An unplanned vacation day! Yay!

A day away from the office! Time to have some fun with the kids! Yippee!

We are strong enough to shovel snow. Watch how amazingly your arms lift the shovel full of snow, how your back supports you, how strong your legs are. How perfectly everything works together. The human body is the most amazing machine of all.

Look at the snow….how does that even happen??? Tiny amazingly perfect flakes of ice falling from the sky…if that isn’t a miracle, I don’t know what is.

Look around you. Look at every little mundane everyday thing and be amazed at what a miracle everything really is.

It just makes you say, Wow! and Thank you! over and over and over again.

And what a positive and wonderful place that is to be in – a place of awe and gratitude – every single day in every moment.

Now that is living a miracle. I like that!

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Closed for non-payment of Taxes

Down the block from the school my children attend, there is a Subway Sandwiches Store.

We pass by there almost everyday after school to grab an after-school sandwich. The owners, a Hispanic family, know us by name and are extremely kind and friendly.

We were shocked and disappointed today when we passed by only to see a bright orange sign – “Seized for non-payment of Taxes.”

There were a whole bunch of their clientele standing in front of the store looking upset and worried.

I asked if they would be able to re-open and prevent losing the store if the taxes were paid and a lady standing nearby said “Maybe! After all, look at Trump…He did not pay his taxes and he became the President.”

I had to write about that because it shows how the examples we set DO matter! Especially our leaders!

Taxes ARE important! We should be willing to pay them to enable the government to serve us as they are supposed to. Our taxes provide us with healthcare, education, roads and housing, protection through the police, fire department and military, libraries, parks etc. etc. etc.

And we do this, not just for ourselves, but for our fellowman. When we do not pay taxes, we are being selfish. We are keeping for ourselves at the expense of our neighbors and friends – our community.

Sure, we can argue about raising or lowering taxes, but the question should never be whether to pay or not.

I hope that the Subway Store can settle whatever problem has arisen and that they will be able to reopen soon. They are a great example of the American Dream. They are immigrants who bought a franchise as a livelihood for the family. They became part of the community. We would miss them terribly.

I certainly wish them all the very best in overcoming this obstacle.


Selflessness – Woman

Here is a woman who is not afraid to speak her mind.

I have always admired Meryl Streep as an actress. There are only a few movies she has done that I did not like and even if I didn’t like the movie, her performances have always been stellar.

But she took it to the next level last night at the 74th Golden Globes Awards.

She received the well-deserved Lifetime Achievement Award but instead of basking in the Glory she fearlessly shone her light on a wrong she feels needs to be righted.

May we all show this kind of courage when we are called upon.

Well Done Ms. Streep! Kudos!!

What the world needs now…

…is love, sweet love…

That is how the song goes. And it is the truth, and for the most part people are willing to love…what they know!

It is amazing how the most loving person is capable of NOT loving just because of the “other-ness” of another.

So I venture to say that what the world needs now is Understanding!

Here is the dictionary definition of the word…



  1. Sympathetically aware of other people’s feelings; tolerant and forgiving.

synonyms: compassionatesympatheticsensitiveconsideratetenderkindthoughtfultolerantpatientforbearinglenientmercifulforgivinghumane

  1. Having insight or good judgment.


Every single one of those meanings and synonyms could be the secret to lasting peace.

From an early age, we are taught to look at every one through an “us and them” lens  – Women, Men; Black, White; this religion, that religion; house wife, career woman; blue collar, white collar; and so on.

It is drummed into us that we are not to cross the barriers.

Sure, we can not deny that there are differences. Things that are considered normal in one culture or geographic location, would be considered very strange elsewhere under different circumstances.

But I challenge us to look beyond the differences and barriers and get to the human root where we are all very much the same.

We laugh the same, we cry the same, we know fear, anger and sadness the same, we know love and happiness the same and most of the time, most of all, we want the best for our children the same.

I don’t say we must jump into another culture or go against our beliefs or teachings, but when we look from the vantage point of sameness, we acquire understanding.

We become sympathetic and compassionate. Tolerant and forgiving.

And we learn to LOVE.

And isn’t that what the world needs now???

Be inspired!

Endorsed by the Queen

I was on YouTube looking for a particular song from the past when I stumbled across this year’s Christmas Message from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom.

I share this with you because she speaks of the very reasons this website is in existence today – inspirations, aspirations, unsung heroes doing ‘little’ things that make big impacts – that is the essence of The Woman Hood and I am so happy to have it presented from none other than a woman who, no matter what your opinion of the British Monarchy may be, embodies greatness.

She may not actually have her hand on the reign of the country, but she has sat on a throne that she inherited unexpectedly at a very early age for 63 years, overcoming painful struggles, loss and drastic political changes while retaining her grace, dignity, humor and love.

No doubt many of her problems would be very different that yours and mine, but she is human, she is woman, she feels the same emotions we do and despite these, she has had to ‘carry on’ no matter what and continue to be the face of her kingdom, a wife to her husband, a mother to her children. She is no different than you or I.

You and I may not sit on a gilded throne and we may not give Christmas messages that are broadcast all around the world. We have our struggles, our disappointments and may be fighting to keep it together and to make ends meet, but we can do what little we can wherever we are to be the change we want to see in the world. We can, in our own small way, inspire each other to do or be better.

Be inspired…


My Gift to the World

It is the Christmas in the year 2016!

It has been a roller coaster of a year. Incredible highs, Extraordinary lows. Delightful gains, painful losses.

I guess if you really think about it, every year is that way. The year just is. It is not good or bad. It just is.

But everyone experiences it differently. And that is life.

But there comes a time in everyone’s life when you are faced with a defining moment. A moment when it ‘clicks’ and you know what you have to do and you do it!

With the sudden passing of George Michael, we are faced with yet one more loss this year and I am reminded that the only time there is is this present moment. The only time there is, is NOW.

And NOW is my defining moment. NOW it ‘clicks’. I know what I have to do and I do it.

Here in this present moment I give my gift to the world. I call it…

The Woman Hood



Happy Holidays!