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Hearts & Minds
A short, personal history

by Bill Blackman

     Hearts & Minds began simply as an idea to inspire and empower people to make positive changes.

     I wanted to do something like this all my adult life. Influenced by the idealism of the late sixties and early seventies, I sought to help fix society's injustices. At first, I thought I would do this by becoming a great guitar player and creating music that moved people. I worked hard at that for several years but ultimately decided music wasn't the best way for me to motivate and help others. After college, I entered the advertising field to learn other ways of effectively communicating with many people.

     Throughout my career, I've always tried to assist others directly - working in soup kitchens or tutoring homeless children. While these efforts were fulfilling, I never gave up trying to use my growing communication skills to aid others in a broader and more comprehensive way.

     In the mid-1990s, the idea of a nonprofit information clearinghouse to help individuals, communities and society began to crystallize in my mind.

     The moment hit one Sunday afternoon in the spring of 1996, when I was having brunch with a friend in New York City. We were at one of those Upper West Side restaurants with crayons and paper tablecloths, doodling while waiting for eggs and pancakes. I wrote the words "Time for Change." Then I thought, "Maybe it is."

     A picture of the doodle and more about it are in my blog.

     For me, the American Revolution is one of the most positive developments in human history. It started with a powerful idea: We have the right and the responsibility to control our lives. I believe that idea still applies. With freedom to use our full potential, we can seek and find growing fulfillment by connecting with others and the world around us.

     I also was inspired by the Bible's high ethical ideals and Bill Moyers' PBS series, The Public Mind. That program's message really hit home with me -- people too often make critical decisions about their lives and society based on the 60 seconds of information they get from media sound bites and commercials. To really get to the root of problems, people need to think much more deeply about the decisions they make, and Hearts & Minds strives to help them do this.

     Many of the Inspiring Quotes located on our website are from these sources. They helped me keep thinking about ways to help others have fulfilling experiences, benefit our democracy and make a real difference in peoples' lives. We should never underestimate our powers for good!

     Although Hearts & Minds started small, it continues to grow thanks to all the volunteer assistance we've gotten since starting our work. You can help us too. We can also show you many ways to help yourself or help make a difference for others.

     And now we're even more focused on the most pressing issues with our Global Survival CampaignSM.

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This web page and entire website Copyright: 1997 - 2015 by Hearts and Minds Network, Inc.
http://www.heartsandminds.org/history.htm - online August 2, 1998, latest update October 18, 2006

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