COMMENTARY: A Personal Note from Michael Josephson

Dear Reader and Friend,

I hope it’s not presumptuous to address you as “Friend,” but I’ve shared with you so many of my deepest thoughts — including my recent sense of loss and uncertainty when the radio station KNX in Los Angeles cancelled the Character Counts broadcasts — that I feel a genuine intimacy with you. I’ll turn 69 in a few weeks and I had been seriously thinking of  “hanging it up.” (Please care enough to read on.)

But I received hundreds of letters, including nearly 80 essays submitted in our “Have Lunch With Michael” contest. (Don’t forget to read the top 10 and vote at our Contest Page.  The encouragement and expressions of gratitude moved me to tears and made me realize I’m not ready to surrender my opportunity to play a meaningful role in the lives of those who value my work.

So, with the help of more than 1000 responses to my request for input as to how I might adjust to my new reality, I’ve decided to make an all-out effort to build a dynamic online community. I hope you noticed that this newsletter leads you to a new blog that includes much more than my commentaries. Please go directly to and poke around. I am trying to make it a place worthy of regular visits, and of course, your willingness to broaden our reach by recommending us to friends.

I have also considerably increased my engagement in our two Facebook pages, the official CHARACTER COUNTS! page and a more personal What Will Matter page. If you are on Facebook, please “like” both pages so you can receive my commentaries and other posts daily. Soon you will be able to get audio versions of my commentaries from iTunes.  (Hopefully this can replace listening on the radio.) We will even have an app that will give folks owning iPhone and Android smart phones access to everything on our new blog.

To make this work I really, really need your help and I am asking you to consider taking on a personal challenge to convince at least five new people to subscribe to the newsletter and like our Facebook pages. I’m told the most effective way to do this is through multiple e-mails or posts — not a small commitment.

In the comments section below, let me know what you think, what you’re willing to do, and any other ideas you have to make this work.

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