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Inspire Me! is a compilation of quotes from people both widely and never before published. From world leaders and philosophers, to farmers and young bloggers, this collection of inspiring quotes is organized along 12 guiding principles of life to help readers find inspiration at their fingertips. Compiled by a father and daughter who have been saving and using their favorite quotes over the years to communicate and inspire each other, they are proud to have researched each quote carefully to ensure accuracy of the phrasing and attribution of its original source. All profits from this book will be donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

We always have been passionate about the power quotes have to change attitudes, minds, and lives. Words can be transformative. They can touch us in such a way as to change us and give us the ability to look at our world differently.

It is often not the words but the message behind the words that makes a quote so meaningful. Even the shortest of quotations can convey the most powerful of messages, provide meaningful perspective, and impart hard-won wisdom. In the words of 16th-century Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes, quotations, at their core, are “short sentences drawn from long experiences.”

Our family’s “long experience” — in fact our family’s “lifelong” experience — is rooted in our connection with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. In 1957, our father/grandfather, Joseph Ayoub (a.k.a. “Big Joe”), met with entertainer Danny Thomas in Chicago. Danny had invited a group of first-generation Americans of Lebanese and Syrian heritage to hear about a plan he had to build a hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, for the sickest of children. From that meeting arose ALSAC, an organization formed to raise funds and awareness to support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Five years later, in 1962, the Hospital opened its doors with the vision of Danny Thomas that “No child should die in the dawn of life” and “No child should be denied care because of an inability to pay.”

ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is now among the largest non-profit organizations in the United States. Today, St. Jude is leading the way the world understands, treats, and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Our own passion and commitment to St. Jude motivated us to create this book and to donate all profits to the Hospital.

Big Joe lived a life consistent with philosopher William James’ saying, “The greatest use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.” Through his service to ALSAC and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Big Joe left us with a legacy that we hope to carry on through our own continued involvement with ALSAC and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. This book is but a small step in that journey.