Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Just Do Good: From salad dressing to philantrophy (rated 5 stars)

by Paul Newman

I have been a fan of Paul Newman for a while now – ever since I saw those big blue eyes in “Hud”. I know, that is a big cliche but for me it was true. I then started watching his movies and just became more and more enamored by him. I loved the love story between he and his wife, Joanne Woodward. I loved that he was private and shared what he wanted to share. He kept the mystery there and let his work speak for itself. There will be no other actor like him, at least not for a very long time.

Then he started coming out with these organic products and I thought, “wait, like Paul Newman – Paul Newman? the actor?” I tried some of them because if Paul Newman endorsed it, well, I would at least give it a go. I started buying his cookies, the ones like Oreos, and then I learned about where the profits went…that made me want to buy them even more.

So, when he passed away I decided I would read the book he co-wrote with A.E. Hotchner about their company “Newman’s Own.” It is filled with quotes that may or may not be exaggerated. It is heart-warming, inspiring, humorous and entertaining. They approached their products and their company with honesty. They were remained true to the type of products they wanted to make. They remained true to the types of ingredients the products contained. They remained honest and true to the vision they had for “Newman’s Own.” There were a lot of naysayers and “professionals” in the food industry that tried to steer them away from making their dressing but they proved them all wrong by doing things their way. From the story about spending $40,000 as opposed to $4 million for conducting a marketing test to building a camp for terminally ill or extremely ill children, they continued doing what they wanted to do and doing it how they wanted.

It is a wonderful story about being honest to yourself and your dream and how being good and doing good will bring about wonderful changes in people’s lives. The end of the book is filled with letters from people who went to the camp or people who fell in love with the food that will make you laugh and cry. Paul Newman and A.E. Hotchner show that no matter how they went about it, it all came down to helping others and through one small salad dressing they helped changed the lives of thousands around the world.

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