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Sunday, August 9, 2015

All about 'tone' ... and listening

“People think that you have to do something huge, like go to Africa and build a school, but you can make a small change in a day. If you change Wednesday, then you change Thursday. Pretty soon it's a week, then a month, then a year. It's bite-size, as opposed to feeling like you have to turn your life inside out to make changes.” – Hoda Kotb

News anchor and TV host (The Today Show) Hoda Kotb has won accolades for both her broadcasting and writing.  She won a Daytime Emmy for her work on Today and a News Emmy for her reporting on Dateline NBC.   Battling breast cancer in 2007, she allowed NBC’s cameras to follow her through the treatments, surgeries and ultimate recovery and then wrote about it in a bestselling, poignant and funny book called Hoda: How I Survived War Zones, Bad Hair, Cancer, and Kathie Lee.

Her second book Ten Years Later: Six People Who Faced Adversity and Transformed Their Lives, in which she chronicles six stories by identifying a life-changing event in each subject's life and then revisiting each of those six people a decade later, also hit the New York Times’ Best-Seller list.

The daughter of Egyptian immigrants, she was born in Oklahoma on this day in 1964, lived in Egypt and Nigeria for a time, and then grew up in suburban Washington, D.C., where her mother has had a long career at the Library of Congress.  “To this day, my mom's unsinkable spirit is an inspiration to me. For nearly thirty years, she's worked at the Library of Congress. Everyone knows Sameha simply as 'Sami.' Along with 500 miles of shelved books, her closest friendships are cataloged in that library. They are as much the value of work to my mom as is the work itself.”
Hoda Kotb
A graduate of Virginia Tech, where she also has been on the Alumni Board, she said she has learned the value of “measured” use of words and being a good listener.  Tone is often the most important part of a conversation,” she said,  “and listening is so much more important than what you say.”

Wise words, indeed, in these times of often unbridled rhetoric and noise in our world.

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