Little Pearls are “tiny films” that open hearts and minds, inspiring authentic connection and compassionate action on behalf of all living beings. Created by the media non-profit Little Pearls, these beautiful films are gifts of the heart – for you and for the world. MISSION AND VISION
"First-time author ben Izzy's vocation as a professional storyteller may fill his life with heady myth and poetry, but as he acknowledges early on in this slim but memorable recollection of personal tragedy, "the absence of magic" in his childhood is the very thing "that sent me looking for it." He found it in the unlikeliest and most cruelly ironic way. After undergoing surgery to remove thyroid cancer, ben Izzy lost his voice-the instrument of not only his art, but also his livelihood. Telling himself that a return to the routine of performance would spark a recovery, ben Izzy accepted an offer to perform at a bar mitzvah, but only "whispers and gasps" emerged. Retreating into self-pity, anger, hopelessness and sullen solitude, the author searched, like the protagonists in the stories he used to tell, for a spiritual explanation of the loss. He reconnected with his estranged, cantankerous mentor, who offered support by telling dizzyingly enigmatic stories hinting at the idea that ben Izzy had been given a magical gift by losing his voice. When a doctor suggested he might be able to help ben Izzy speak again in a risky procedure, ben Izzy's wife told him she liked him better without it, an incident the author does not satisfyingly explain. But ben Izzy successfully translates the best elements of oral storytelling to the page; his memoir shines with brisk suspense as well as his unerring, precise eye for including only the elements of his hard-won wisdom that matter the most."
This anthology of tepid uplift celebrates the democratization of the once larger-than-life status of the hero. Initiated by the myhero.com website of inspirational postings aimed at kids, the volume gathers short essays from heroic (or at least well-known) people paying personal tribute to their own heroes. The old prerequisites for heroism-nearly super-human achievement and self-sacrifice for the public good-have now broadened to include graceful coping with the normal vicissitudes of life and being friendly and supportive of other people. Close relatives of the contributors constitute the largest category of heroes, often extolled for their care-taking and courage in the face of their own or others' illnesses and disabilities; teachers and career mentors come in a close second. Many of these salutes amount to little more than wan personal appreciations: Physicist Leon Lederman calls his wife his hero, citing her skills as a hostess, horsewoman and photographer, while WNBA star Sue Bird admires her older sister because "she's real-with no pretensions and no airs." Nelson Mandela is the primary exemplar of old-school heroism, named by figures like heavyweight champ Muhammad Ali and children's troubadour Raffi. A few offbeat tributes-social scientist Felton Earle credits Charles Darwin as inspiring his opposition to the Vietnam War, while Senator John McCain celebrates baseball great Ted Williams for his sheer orneriness-add some interest.