Why Emmanuel Can’t Read

“What age group is the book for?” a former Parliamentarian asked, as he looked into my eyes for an answer.

“Age 0 to age 88,” I answered.

He continued looking at me, and clarified, “I mean, is it for P2? P3? P4? What classes would use it?”

“Any class,” I replied.

The reason we were chatting is because this former MP had been involved in education at the ministry level and shared my passion for education.

As if I had not heard him, he asked again, “Paul, what classes would we buy this book for?”

I responded, “We create books that tell great stories. Each page is well-illustrated. We use high-quality paper and then think about every word, every illustration, and how each page is put together. We don’t consider 'age.' We only ask ourselves, 'Is this book one that kids and even adults will love?’”

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A Family Is a Family by Choice

 

My dad, Dale Sutherland, was born during the American Great Depression. In fact, my grand-mother said about my dad’s birth, “When I went to the bank to get the money for the hospital, the bank was closed.” I still remember that particular sentence from my grandmother, who spoke it directly to me. I remember because I had little one-on-one time with her since I had to share her with a few dozen grandkids all wanting another molasses cookie. It seemed to me Grandma was “A-Okay” with the bank closing—like that was the least of the trouble at that time. I did not find out until later that I was right.

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Meggen PetersenComment
The Commons: How Can I Love You Better?

After the Haiti earthquake, I toured the Port-au-Prince hospital with my wife, Amy, to see a few of the organizations we have supported over the years to make sure we were helping them in ways that foster resilience, self-sufficiency, and non-dependence. The administrator showed us rooms filled with donated supplies, most still boxed or covered in dusty plastic.

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Pay for Preschool or Save for College?

Question: I get paid little but love my work, and my partner and I get by. Now we suddenly have become parents to two children under the age of four. (It’s a long story...) The children came with a modest school trust fund, and I want to spend the trust fund over the next few years on early childhood education, better equipping my home for the children, and allowing me to slow down my work schedule and have more time with them.

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I Don’t Want to Own “America” Right Now

Question: I don’t want to own “America” right now. I don’t want to profit from killing people, destroying jobs in other countries, and ruining lives through a system that places profits over people and the planet. I have a 401(k) and an IRA filled with mutual funds. I really don’t even care if I make less money by being conscientious. My advisor says he has other clients who are “that way.” I don’t think he gets me. Any advice?

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The 4th Industrial Revolution

It’s interesting how our world works. On the one hand, we admire success, yet on the other we often dismiss it. For example, many thought Jeff Bezos’s Amazon would be just another book retailer. Now, he and his company are considered revolutionary and an enormous success. However, as Einstein once said, “It’s all relative!” And Aristotle was known to start his arguments by stating “Let’s define the definitions!”

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Respecting the Three C’s

Over my career, I’ve spoken and written quite a bit on the topics of complexity, connectedness, and change. Respect for these “three C’s” is something that our team at FIM Group regularly discusses as we analyze investments and manage portfolios. I recently circulated a report published by the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, that includes Figure 1, showing major trends and five categories of risks (economic, environmental, societal, geopolitical, and technological) facing the global economy today.

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Current Observations

Happy New Year! I often get philosophical and reflective at the end of the year. I think about the past and reflect on the beautiful people I have known and those who are still in my life. I often miss and am saddened by memories of friends and family members who have lost their lives at relatively young ages. I also feel grateful to be alive in these exciting times. Each day seems to evolve and feel like a sort of “stay tuned for what’s next” drama.

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How Do I Get on My Feet and Out Mom’s Door?

Question: I am 39 years old and want to find a nice boyfriend, eventually get married, and hopefully have a family. However, my finances are in bad shape: no debt, but no savings either. I have struggled with PTSD my entire adult life due to childhood trauma and have been unable to work for long periods of time. I am living with my mom, but I am trying very hard to get back on my feet. I am currently finishing up a course and hope to find a good permanent job and a decent place to live.

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