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“I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do." - Edward Everett Hale

Tip 50 is on Making a Difference. Do you believe that you can make a difference in the world? Do you believe that just one person can make a difference? I am a firm believer that each and everyone of us can make a difference in the world. William James once said, "Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does." Michelle Rhee is a shining example of someone who believes that she can make a difference. This week's Tip is being dedication to Michelle Rhee who is an inspiration to all of us and someone that I have a tremendous amount of respect for given the fact that she is willing to take a risk, take a stand, make a commitment, and invite us all along for the ride to radically change how the United States Educational System is run. For those of you who don't know Michelle Rhee, please make sure to Google her. In summary, she is the former Chancellor of Schools for Washington D.C. and since her recent resignation has turned down numerous job opportunities even one from the White House. On December 6, 2010, Michelle announced the launch of her new foundation called Students First ( Michelle has some radical and controversial ideas about how to fix the broken system and I for one am committed to helping her achieve her goal. Anne Frank once said, "How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world."

Back in 1977 when Werner Erhardt launched the Hunger Project our first goal was getting people to take the pledge that they wanted to have Hunger end on the planet. Michelle is heading down the same path, asking us to take a
PLEDGE and take a stand saying that we are committed to seeing changes in the educational system so that our children get a better education. Each and every one of taking a pledge really speaks volumes to the powers that be. Leo Rosten once said, "The purpose of life is not to be happy - but to matter, to be productive, to have it make some difference that you have lived at all." Think about that quote and let it really sink in.

Back in 1977 Werner gave me this unbelievable quote by George Bernard Shaw, and it is now one of my favorites:

"This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.

I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can.

I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no "brief candle" to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations."

All you need to know is this: The Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) provided the results of a 2009 study given to 15 year olds in 65 of the world's most industrialized nations and the United States scored 17th in reading, 23rd in science, and 31st in math. How can that be when we are supposed to be the greatest nation in the world? How can our young students compete when they are already at such a disadvantage? What is wrong with the way we are educating our students today and what can we do to make changes before it's too late? There is a lot you can do!! Remember this great quote by Sydney Smith, "It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do a little - do what you can." So, what can you do? First, you can go to the Students First website ( to read more about the study and Michelle's plans to make things right. Then you could sign the PLEDGE declaring your commitment to making changes to the education system so that our students have a better chance to compete with students from other world nations. Finally, you can share this information with as many people as you can, just as I am doing here with you today. Mark Twain once said, "The miracle, or the power, that elevates the few is found in their perseverance under the prompting of a brave, determined spirit." Michelle started this movement, but it is up to each and everyone of us to help her dream of providing a better education to our students come to fruition.

Please feel free to do more, do whatever it is that you can. I love this quote by Mohammed Ali,
"Service to others is the rent you pay for room here on earth." As a speaker I am in front of audiences all the time. I am able to share this message on a regular basis. This past Monday, my friend, family law and appeals attorney and former Mayor of Coral Springs, Scott Brook ( invited me to a PNA meeting at Mythos, a delicious Greek restaurant in Coral Springs, Florida ( to hear my dear friend and colleague Kellie Kuecha ( speak about branding. Scott allowed me a few moments to make an announcement where I shared about Students First. Gil Sternbach, the owner of Mythos, he not only made the pledge, but he offered his restaurant for grass root meetings. WOW!!! Congratulations to Mythos!! Remember, this quote by Winston Churchill, "We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give." Thanks to all of you for your support. On Tuesday at Toastmasters I used Students First during my turn at Topics Master. I asked them all to take the pledge. What ever you can give it adds to the momentum and just taking the pledge helps Michelle reach her goals.

“I expect to pass through life but once. If therefore, there be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow being, let me do it now, and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again." - William Penn


Wishing you all that you wish for…,
Tammy Saltzman
Helping You Achieve Your Dreams!
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