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A smile can always overcome the barrier of language.

Darlene Zolides
Today's fortune submitted by:
Darlene Zolides

Charleston, SC, USA

Darlene, her brothers and I grew up playing man hunt, buck buck and attending summer camp together. I’m so grateful for all the moments we shared and the many good memories we created.

One Step Beyond.

Today's Marketing Cookie is about going beyond a smile.

A birthday card arrived yesterday from my angel mother, and luckily, our little wiener dog Lucy didn't get a hold of it and shred it to pieces. Inside the card, I was greeted by the sweetest handwritten sentiments such as, "I have a memory that you don't have—but you were there. The day you were born is a wonderful memory." This was preceded by another note in the card which says, "Thanks to Facebook, I know you're still alive." Upon reading this, I knew it was time to call my mother, which I did promptly.

During our conversation, I asked her to tell me the story of how my father had come to learn sign language and become an interpreter for the deaf. I remember him teaching me the basic conversational phrases and how to spell my name in sign language. It is a recollection I have from when I was a little boy, but I had never really learned all the details of his story.

In the 1970s, my father was a social worker for the state. He worked in a small office in Worcester to assist disabled individuals in getting a college degree, specialized training, internships, and obtaining gainful employment. He would find and connect them with volunteers who were willing to drive them to and from school, or perhaps assist them with shopping or simple chores, which helped them live more independently.

One day, my father observed a coworker who had been struggling to communicate with a young woman who was deaf. He could see how frustrated she was having to write everything on paper, so he walked over to his colleague's desk and asked the young woman to come back the next day. That evening, my father went to the library and borrowed a book on sign language. He studied the book well into the night and memorized some basic phrases.

The next day, when the young woman returned to their office, my father clumsily spelled his name, welcomed her, and asked how he might help her. She smiled, and her eyes welled up with tears. She was alone. Although she was smart and highly capable and more than willing to work, she had been unable to find anyone willing to hire her. Greeting her through sign language, the way my father had done that day, gave her hope, showed her that she was worthwhile, and gave her a voice even though she could not speak.

My father continued to study sign language, and more deaf people heard about him and came seeking his aid. As it turns out, there were many deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals, and Vietnam War veterans in need of social assistance. They had previously been unable to communicate with the people who were trying to help them. Over the next few years, my father was instrumental in opening a special state-funded office in Worcester, MA, providing continued specialized training and employment placement assistance for the deaf.

We can all learn something valuable from what my father did for that young woman and for the hundreds of others who followed. He saw an unmet need, found a way to solve it, and taught himself how. One of the sweetest things in this world is the moment you realize that you're being understood and knowing that you are able to communicate in your mother tongue. While today's fortune is true when it says, "A smile can always overcome the barrier of language," I am proud knowing my father cared enough to go one step beyond.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 Cookie

Percent Daily Value


Percent Daily Values are based on the essential nutrients required to maintain a healthy mindset, fostering success in your marketing, prosperity in your career, and fulfillment in your life.








Submitted by:

Darlene Zolides

Unpackaged in: 

Charleston, SC, USA

Cookie Ingredients:


What marketing is really saying:

"Kid's popcorn, candy and soda: $158."

What marketing says:

"Kid's discounted movie tickets: $8."

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by Myles Bristowe

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