Andrew Carnegie arrived in America as a penniless 13-year-old. He was a stranger in a strange land. As an immigrant, the odds were stacked against him. Through hard work and self-belief, Carnegie would become the richest man in the world. He left a mixed legacy as one of the world’s greatest philanthropists and a ruthless businessman.
Irena Sendler smuggled children in boxes, suitcases and caskets, saving the lives of more than 2,500 Jewish children. During World War II, she watched in horror as the Nazis forced Jewish people to live in a ghetto in Warsaw, Poland where disease ran rampant. Soon, it became clear that the Nazis intended to exterminate the Jews. That’s when Sendler took courageous action. To gain access to the ghetto, she pretended to be a nurse. She used a fake I.D. and told German soldiers she was there to deliver supplies and care for the sick.
Daniel Tammet was born in London. His mother spoke English and he grew up in an English-speaking environment. Yet to his ears the English language was an alien language. Words and sentences were a puzzle the young boy could not figure out. Daniel was an autistic savant. He was a self-confessed misfit in a world of words. He was also a mathematical genius. Daniel felt, thought, and dreamed in a private language of numbers.
Hypnosis is a form of direct communication with the unconscious mind. It is a valuable tool for raising self-awareness. It can also help people change negative patterns of behavior. It was accidentally invented by a man named Franz Anton Mesmer. Mesmer belongs to a small group of people who have a verb named after them. To ‘mesmerize’ means to capture the complete attention of someone. Mesmer spent a lifetime trying to do exactly that.
At the tender age of five, Ryan Hammons told his mother that he remembered being someone else. He recalled traveling the world, marrying five women, dancing on Broadway, and becoming a successful Hollywood agent.
Charles Darwin, sometimes called the father of evolution was actually a co-parent in the groundbreaking theory of evolution. Interestingly, Darwin was influenced by a man called Alfred Russell Wallace, a follower of spiritualism. Spiritualism is defined as “a system of belief or religious practice based on supposed communication with the spirits of the dead…” Wallace was also a Welsh scientist and explorer. He thought of the idea of evolution independently of Darwin. They say lightning never strikes twice. In this case, it did.
‘A rose by any other name would smell as sweet’ is a common Shakespeare reference from Romeo and Juliet. In the play, Juliet tells Romeo that his family name is not important. Their love is what matters. To many soon-to-be mothers and fathers, names do matter. Young parents spend countless hours trying to find the perfect name for their baby.
Christopher Columbus was a hero to some and a villain to others. He was a brave explorer, but he also enslaved, murdered and stole from native people across the Americas. He first met the Arawak natives in the Bahamas in 1492. They generously traded everything they owned. Columbus saw this as a weakness. He wrote in his journal, “They brought us parrots and balls of cotton and spears and many other things. They do not bear arms, and do not know them. They would make fine servants.”