I’m early. I know Thanksgiving is not until next week but I’m giving thanks today.

The reason I’m giving thanks today is because it’s my birthday. Well, not actually MY birthday, but a birthday for the ParmFarm. One year old.


One year ago I started this blog in an effort to grow in a new direction and, hopefully, encourage others to do the same.

It’s been challenging, painful and depressing. But more often fun, uplifting and rewarding.

For me, the best part is that I am in a completely different place now than I was when I started, and I am quite sure my journey has just begun.


While most people fear change because they fear failure, I am always stunned by the number of people who are willing to go out of their way to help you succeed.

Old friends, new friends and complete strangers.

One year ago I didn’t really even know what a blog was and now I have been invited to blog for the Huffington Post. No kidding. It happened right as this picture of Arianna and me was being snapped. (Photo credit: The Sheriff)

So, I wanted to express my appreciation, even though the holiday set aside for that is not until next week.

There is no growth without gratitude. And giving thanks requires more than an annual ritual.

So, I’ve decided to start naming names. Spelling it out. Making a public list of people who have inspired me. Starting with…


1. Elie Wiesel

Two years ago I heard Elie Wiesel speak at Bucknell’s graduation. He used no notes. He spoke from the heart. And in the end, this was his message:

“Think higher, feel deeper.”

And then he said it again.

“Think higher, feel deeper”.

I got it the first time. But it can’t be repeated enough.

2. Adam Kaplan

Adam was my older brother but he died. I don’t really want to write about that here except to say that Adam was a voracious reader. He knew a lot and constantly passed along interesting tidbits as if they were common knowledge.

When Adam died I wondered what I would not learn, what I might never know because he was no longer around to share it. So, he is the other person who inspired the ParmFarm. I try to honor his memory by continuing to learn. Plus, Adam would be really psyched to think he was on a short list with Elie Wiesel.


In the next few weeks I will be publishing my first ebook. It’s about reinventing yourself. It’s something I’ve done on several occasions in my life, each time with a good measure of success — but never without help.

For more than a year now people have given without my asking, said yes instead of no, held me up and pushed me forward.

So this is just my first list. There will be others.

If you are reading this post, you are on my list.

You have inspired me.

And, I am not early for Thanksgiving. I’m late for giving thanks.

Who is on YOUR list? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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