Reviews

The following reviews were received about the book so far. After reading the book, if you’d like to write a review about the book to be posted on the book’s Website and/or Facebook Page, Contact the Author. The Safe Living Project reserves the right to edit comments for clarity, grammar, length (200 words or less) and good taste. Please include your name and title when you comment.

  • “I knew from its opening lines that I was going to have fun with this book! Jerry Kirkpatrick really is Regular Folk, and the wisdom of his life experience sprinkles down on his readers like a warm summer rain. He makes us feel as though it’s okay to be just who we are because when we are doing our best — and mindful of the rest — we can all be pretty extraordinary!” — Kathy Mercure, Storyteller.
  • As I read through these two chapters “Who’s Your Buddy” and “Settling Into Old Geezerhood,” I was over come by laughter and a warm fuzzy feeling in my core. Jerry’s entertaining words tap into our common sense and help us understand the inner qualities of our personal relationships. He has applied his life’s experiences, lessons and shared advice we all can benefit from. What I know for certain is to have a lifetime buddy is a true blessing. One must be accepting of differences, be dedicated and have genuine passion for the other person. Each day in life can be wonderful with a buddy…even the geezer days. Noella (and Lorne McDonald), Buddies in love.
  • With the chapter *How’s Your Timing*, Jerry is spot on. Timing is everything. In my case, timing, for regular folks (as you say) you need to work hard and then you also need  lots of support from family and friends. I have never considered myself to be Mr Stuffy but I feel privileged to have the right stuff to allow me to be in the right place at the right time. And in life that’s what it is all about. Gordon Woodworth, still lucky to have the right stuff and good timing. Canadian Curing Official and UCT Supreme Director.
  • The chapter Me, You and the Other Fellas is well written and holds your attention from beginning to end. I read it more than once. The author’s views on right and wrong are worth reading. I think he gets his point across through the shopping mall story (so much fun to read). And, I like his views on how to handle the less serious and more serious choices we make. Now, Mr. Author, I do not agree that your comments about the short club being the “right” bid to make in the card game of Bridge. But, if it works for you, “go for it,” like you said, there is no right and wrong way, it’s all in the way you look at…and I like my way of bidding, not yours…right? Sara, fairness advocate.
  • What an honor to get the best chapters of the book dedicated to me!! I had a big laugh with How to Effectively Negotiate with the Government and really enjoyed One Minute You Say You Will the Next You Won’t (without knowing I was the recipient of those dedications). These chapters may help the government, higher ups and other government organizations to understand that they can’t serve people or make things better while being disconnected from the people these decisions are being made for. As a Regular Folk I think we need to be patient; as it is hard for higher ups to understand simple things. As for me, well, I like getting things done but don’t stress myself out in the process, although I do my homework and try to have things as clear as possible. The process to immigrate to Canada took me close to 5 years; than more time and effort getting my Cuban credentials recognized in Canada as a Chemistry teacher; and finally becoming a Canadian citizen. Everything requires time, paperwork and off course; money, but, it’s very pleasant to achieve every goal and move forward. There is no “effective” way to negotiate with the government, but there are ways to get what you want; just make sure they get tired of you before you get tired of them. Canadian government may give you a hard time but it’s far better dealing with them than it is dealing with the Cuban government. Thank you Jerry for dedicating these two chapters to me, although I don’t deserve all the credit, I’m lucky enough to have Regular Folks in my life that have fought with me during my biggest battles and have taught me that Regular Folks should do that for each other. Mavis Oliva Rodriguez, a permanent resident of Canada (now a full Canadian citizen) and N.B. Teacher
  • In the chapter, Be Careful What You wish For, author Jerry examines his appreciation of the things he has. Sometimes we are unsettled with what we have; as we regularly seek out new wishes to make us happy. I’ve been so very fortunate. Fortunate to have been born with the skills necessary to get a decent job that pulled me out of minimum wage cycle. Fortunate to have supportive, kind and generous family members that shared their time and home with me and were the epitome of who I wanted to be when I grew up. Fortunate that some of my “goofy” choices in life didn’t turn out worse for me. Fortunate to be born with a positive outlook on the world. And, fortunate to have developed a good work ethic at an early age. I grew up without a lot of things though I can never remember being hungry or cold or scared about it. This is because my mom made sure we were fed, clothed and warm; and though we did not live the wealthy life, mom always made sure we never felt impoverished. In fact, I don’t think I even understood that we may have been “poor” growing up until I was much older. Now, it’s absolutely overwhelming to me how blessed I truly am. I love being a mom more than anything in the entire world. My daughter is healthy and happy and hilarious. My partner is kind and generous and supportive. Our families are loving and helpful and involved, and I love my job. I’ve been blessed with a gift to recognize the values in my life and A Regular Folks Guide to Humanity reminds me of the pathways I wish to stay on. Robyn Kirkpatrick, working professional, loving wife and mom to one great daughter.
  • One of the things that kept coming to mind throughout my read was; “What sounds obvious to me is not always so obvious to others,” as a matter of fact my own kids have said that to me way too often! This chapter feeds us with some pretty obvious thoughts…. So why did I stop often and wonder; “Why I didn’t I think of that?” or “Why don’t people just get it?…haha”. As any normal (or abnormal in your case) person would, I spent some time reflecting on the parts of my life that I had long since put in the back of my mind. Minor Hockey, also known as  the rivalry of the Kirkpatrick’s, volunteering at the Lions Club in the early 1990’s when the building was small and things where simpler, coaching baseball at a couple of levels with my good friend Mike Donahoe and certainly my times as President at Manchester Lawn bowling Club. Thanks for the reminders…… Great content and a fun read……………….Don’t change a thing! I am looking forward to seeing the rest of the book. Best of luck with the launch. Todd Prime, Operations Manager, Information Technology Division, J.D. Irving Limited.
  • I was very impressed with the content of this book. Jerry has really captured the essence of the folks that he is talking about. The greatest thing that I have enjoyed about being involved with Special Olympics is that even though I am their coach and mentor, I have learned more about life and what it is all about just from being around these incredible individuals. Great book. Glen Agnew, Special Olympics coach; recipient of the Harry Red Foster Award, the Special Olympics National Volunteer Award and inductee to the Moncton Wall of Fame.
  • “Inspiration for all of us to be the best we can be.” Dawn Arnold, Chairperson of the largest literary event in Atlantic Canada, The Frye Festival.
  • I just recently retired with 39 years of public service at Fundy National Park in Alma, NB. Over that period of time, I feel privileged and honored to have met so many wonderful and interesting people from around the world. It was my pleasure to share stories of the good old days and promote one of the most beautiful areas in Canada. I was very excited when Jerry let me know he was including me in this book. It was nice to know that Jerry’s family thought of me after all these years and I was glad he chose to dedicate the “Keep Your Fork” chapter to me which relates to family tradition and values, something I hold dear. Thank you, Hazel. Hazel Dixon, the FNP government worker packed with sugar and spice.
  • I am surprised, first of all, for the little time we were together, that Jerry was able to detect the type of person I am.  The stories he related in “That’s My Charisma You’re Smelling” are true to life; similar to those I have experienced myself over the years.  A job well done. James Sherry, Past International Director, Lions International.
  • Jerry, I am one of the “regular folks” who worked with you for over twenty years of the thirty plus you were with MCRI.  Looking back over these years I realize “The Platinum Rule” was being followed to the best of our ability, without having a name for it.  I say to the best of our ability as there were a lot of factors we had to consider.  I had a lot to learn when I became employed with MCRI.  I was hired as a bookkeeper and pay role clerk, which was my background.   I had no experience working with, or having friends with disabilities. I was aware of the many hardships an individual with a disability had to face everyday but all I knew how to do was to say “hi”, give a smile and hold a door.  MCRI, as a whole, worked hard to make life easier for these individuals by including them in the “regular folks” group.   I am thankful every day I was given the opportunity to be part of this.  As I said, I had a lot to learn.  I was lucky to have leaders like you, and many others, to model and teach that everyone deserves to be treated equally, regardless of our disabilities. I am looking forward to the release of this book. If all the chapters are as humorous and interesting as “The Platinum Rule”, it will be a book I will pick up and read more than once.   Your humorous and passionate personality shines through in your writing.   He shoots, he scores, GAROO!! Orris Garland, Human Relations Specialist.
  • We came to the conclusion that it is next to impossible to go through life without ever using labels. And sometimes they work well; in fact sometimes when we get good service, we make it a point to do so. Labels can be positive but can also work to write someone off. For example: we had a daughter who was born with a heart condition. She went to school a year late because of her frail health. She was bullied by her schoolmates and even by some of the teachers, she was called “Blue lips” and “Slowpoke” and some other choice names. Labels that hurt! But thankfully she rose above it with the help of good friends and family and some very understanding teachers. What we can do is, rather than try to do away with all labeling, we avoid the ones that hurt and keep the positive ones. It makes life easier and better all around. Ed and Eke van Oorschot, builders of New Brunswick’s first L’Arche Community.
  • I agree with what you say about what is usually called “education” these days, and using what you learn.  Two different things.  When I went to school, “education” meant learning facts and stuff but the goal was to open pupils up to critical thinking.  These days, not all kids who get high grades at school and university have minds trained for critical thinking, which is a pity.  Harold MacMillan, prime minister of Britain in the early 1960s (an interesting man; he was seriously wounded in WW I and when they found him in No Man’s Land expecting to die, he was reciting Homer in Greek) was once asked what “education” was and he replied: “The ability to recognize BS when you see it”.  Critical thinking gets you that; learning heaps of facts and how to manipulate them does not.  My dad was a garage mechanic and foreman — and a very good one — in the years before cars and trucks and buses were as well built and technologically advanced as they are today, and when the mechanic had almost zero diagnostic tools to figure out what was wrong, other than his brain.  Dad would spend hours trying to figure out what was wrong with vehicles, sometimes waking up with an idea.  He had good critical thinking abilities but they didn’t come from schooling — he had to leave school at age 12 for health reasons; they came from lived experience.  Still today, trades people have to figure out what is wrong with things before they can put them right and the good ones certainly have critical thinking abilities.  So there is a sense in which some trades people today are more “educated” than some university graduates — if “education” means enhancing critical thinking ability.  If only trades and trades people were respected in Canada as they are in other countries, such as Germany.  There they have high class apprenticeship programs, and many technical universities. David Jory, Professor, University of New Brunswick.
  • As Susan and I have gone through life, we have tried to teach the children in our life to make decisions based on the right thing to do.  Once I make a decision I jump in with both feet. The worst decision you can make is to make no decision.  If you have one foot in the boat and one foot on the dock, you will eventually get wet.  He who makes no decision will get lost sooner or later. Susan and George Nelson, Parents.
  • When we accepted the role as “House Parents” for 5 mentally challenged men at 80 Reade Street we never expected the profound changes we would all experience within ourselves. We lived as would any other family. In fact my daughters, 7 and 9 years old at the time we moved to 80 Reade Street still refer to the five guys living with them as their “brothers.” To outsiders we perhaps seemed like a different kind of family. We were simply known as “The people on Reade” – as though our entire existence revolved around just that…a street! However, the outside world could not have known exactly how “normal and happy” we all were inside that house.  Laughing, teasing each other, helping each other out.  We went on trips together.  We celebrated holidays together….we did it all. Some referred to us as “angels”. “HOW DO YOU DO IT”?? They would ask. Truth is, living with those men taught us more about life than any other experiences could have taught us.  They were the angels, not us. We were living in their world, we were helping them reach their full potential as independent individuals – but in the end they are the ones who gave us a true gift.  They taught us what it meant to truly love unconditionally, to persevere in the face of difficulty. There are no words to truly convey the meaning behind those years – but for those years spent as a “family” we are forever grateful. And to those men “our family” we are forever connected. Lorraine and Marcel Leger, parents to lots of folks.
  • In this chapter the author explores “random “and “regular” volunteering. Regular folks have volunteered randomly throughout the ages in times of catastrophes, poverty, illnesses, etc., and continue to do so, because they want to. They have compassion for their fellow man. Regular or organized volunteering would seem more effective. In my opinion group efforts accomplish more and are more reliable. These concepts are well defined and presented by the author in the upcoming chapter, “Today I”m Going To Try To Change My World.J Wesley Cosman, Past International President, United Commercial Travelers (UCT) and recipient of the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award.