Working your hands to the bone, serendipitous circumstances, a little help from friends, or goodwill from strangers… We are who we are because of a number of little big things that happened to us somewhere along the way.

Sometimes the road to better future can begin with carefully crafting three paragraphs…  and sending them out to a handpicked group of 2,000 people.

Check out:  Make a Stranger Believe in You





  • salutation – a form of words used as an opening to a speech or letter, such as Dear Sir or Ladies and Gentlemen
  • hinterlands the remote or less developed parts of acountry; back country
  • expansive – grand or extravagant
  • sleuth – detective
  • scour – to range over, as in a search
  • narrowcast – to aim a program or programming at a specific, limited audience orsales market
  • suss – to investigate or figure out
  • imbue – to impregnate or inspire, as with feelings, opinions, etc.


Think about it

Based on the text answer the following questions. Leave your answers in the comments below!

  • Describe the author’s initial reaction to the e-mail she received.
  • Why did the author agree to meet Zanele? What past event influenced this decision?
  • What kind of people did Zanele target and how did she find them?
  • What similarities does Dina Gusovsky see between herself and Zanele?
  • How do you understand Sir Isaac Newton’s words? Do you agree with what he said?


Practice makes perfect

In the paragraph below replace the phrases in bold with the expressions from the original text. Leave your answers in the comments below!

I recently received an e-mail [. . .] that began with the greeting “Dear Ms. Anne,” — the kind of greeting that suggested that the rest of the note would offer me wealth from some recently departed Estonian cousin I didn’t know I had. It went on, “I know you have no clue as to my identity, however, I will try to keep this as succinct as possible” — words bound to cause a further bad feeling about what comes next. But in the seconds I quickly read the note, a few words struck me and I was captivated. In three short paragraphs, Zanele Mutepha [. . .] told me that she was an immigrant Zimbabwean-born orphan and youth advocate who wished to become a television talk show host. With a grandiosity that might have been discouraging, she said, “Rest assured,  my dynamic life story will one day appear in every newspaper…but most importantly change lives, it just needs to be shared with the perfect person.” She was coming to New York City — might I have time to meet with her?


Form the correct word from the ones below. All the words you need to form are in the text.

  • salute – (noun) __________
  • destiny – (verb) __________
  • assurance – (verb) __________
  • empower – (noun) __________
  • conceive – (adjective) __________
  • vulnerable – (noun) __________


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