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“Do not judge men by mere appearances for the light laughter that bubbles on the lip often mantles over the depths of sadness, and the serious look may be the sober veil that covers a divine peace and joy.”

– Edward P. Chapin, American lawyer and soldier (1831 –1863)


It was 1994 and I was attending a leadership conference at the esteemed Banff Centre: three 12-hour days of intensive training with topics ranging from team building to interpersonal savvy. We were informed that some of the finest facilitators in the business would be conducting the sessions and that we should feel honoured to be the recipients of such wisdom.

On the first day of the conference, after a restless sleep and a faulty alarm clock, I was late and rushing to catch the elevator. Runnin...

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