Clues for Succeeding in Crisis From 50 Graduates of the "School of Hard Knocks"

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TORONTO, Feb. 22 /CNW/ -  Silver linings often follow dark clouds. For anyone who ever needed to work through a real or perceived rough patch in life, authors Paul Bates and Al Emid have written a short but powerful book of life stories. The second printing of What I Have Learned So Far …  And How It Can Help You, published by The Knowledge Bureau, is now available in better bookstores everywhere. It recounts the significant life events that rippled through the lives of famous Canadians, like Terry Jacks and Dianne Buchner, David Crombie and Colin Mochrie. It also explores the sources of strength that today's leaders and aspiring leaders will find inspiring.

"Every single person has a story that must be told," says Paul Bates, "and every story must be heard, because these stories are inspiring!" His co-author, Al Emid agrees. "We found, above all, that most crises have workable solutions."

Evelyn Jacks, Publisher and President of The Knowledge Bureau, added, "We are delighted that this book of 50 stories has inspired so many to take the time to tell, to read, to empathize and to share in order to help others through a rough patch of life. It is truly a book for its times." 

What I Have Learned So Far … And How It Can Help You is available at,, and as well as better bookstores everywhere. 


Someone once said: "Sometimes you have to leave the life you have in order to find the life that is waiting for you." Like so many young men I was an angry teenager. I grew up in the East End of London, the son of a hard-working and deeply caring couple who managed to make ends meet but never much more. By my early teens, I felt increasing anger at my lot in life and began down a path that was unlikely to take me to any meaningful conclusion. One Wednesday, a thoughtful and attentive art teacher asked me to stay behind after class. He laid out pots of paint and a large sheet of paper on the floor. He told me he was leaving, but invited me to stay behind and paint something. I watched him leave, wondering why he was picking on me. For a while, I thought about just heading out the door myself; then, I thought, "Why not, I'll give it a try." I began to paint. It turns out that I could draw, although not well enough to call myself an artist. What did happen, however, changed my life: I discovered that I could communicate creatively. I began to write and I discovered literature. Today, I have come to understand that, of all the skills there are to own, communication is the greatest; communication is the beginning of connection.

This book, What I Have Learned So Far … And How It Can Help You, is designed to be an intervention for you. It is an opportunity to listen to people whose life stories may be just the nudge you need to move in a new direction. We often internalize and cope with dilemma and change by listening to the stories of others. These anecdotes, these glimpses into the lives of others allow us to project ourselves into such circumstances, giving us the tools and the confidence we need to move on. In these interviews you will find stories of reflection — on renewed civility, self-respect, choice, weakness and strength, resilience, work ethic, forgiveness, purpose and, in some cases, faith. In all the stories you will find evidence of the power of the human spirit, driven by the capacity to adapt.


How do you question a woman who is coming to grips with child abuse many years after the fact? How do you talk to a man whose wife has been diagnosed with cancer? Journalists cherish the axiom that the public has a right to know. And the public certainly does have an unassailable right to know in matters such as abuse of the public purse, products offered for sale in the marketplace, and the questionable activities and judgments of elected representatives. But does the public have the same right to know the private torments of known or unknown figures? Or the career hassles of executives? Probably not, but the people in these pages agreed to divulge some of their darker moments. . . because they appreciated the purpose of this book. We set out to provide useful narrative in hopes of telegraphing several concepts, chief among them that most of life's crises have workable solutions.

/NOTE TO EDITORS: Media Assets accompanying this story are available as follows:



SOURCE The Knowledge Bureau

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For media interviews with the authors contact The Knowledge Bureau:, 1-866-953-4769

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