My Letter to Art

Below is a letter I wrote to my dear friend Art. I challenge you to let those who are special to you know how you feel while they are still around. Life has no guarantees! Don’t wait.

August 2015
Dear Art:

As I sit here, more than 50 years of memories are dancing in my head and most make me smile. The smile represents how blessed I was to love you at the deepest level and to admire you for the path in life you chose. The world and so many lives where you have left your mark of a caring and loving man are your legacy. They will go out in the world and find themselves silently echoing your wisdom as I will in my time left. Your voice lives on in those of us who have shared moments with you.  

In our friendship, you have always led with your heart and no gift is more precious. Our constant teasing and joking got me through so many difficult times but I relied on your advice to help me see my path clearer. You always represented my family during times when I felt like I had no family. You were present at so many special moments in my life and I will always love you for those.

I find, at this moment, more feelings than words but this one thought has been at the forefront of writing this. I would like to borrow a thought from Lou Gehrig that is relational to you and me. As I sit here at my desk, I consider myself one of the luckiest people on earth for knowing and loving you and Kathy and for being able to call you my friend and my family.

I will not say goodbye because I know I will see you again.

Your friend and brother,



Races, Religious Organization Set Difference Aside to Create Christmas for Families In-Need

jk_fb_photos15aChristians, Jews and Muslims band together to bring holiday joy to families

ROYAL OAK, MI, December 2015 — Setting aside cultural and ideological differences in the spirit of giving this holiday season, one thousand volunteers will gather on Christmas morning to bring holiday cheer to families in SW Detroit. The Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit and United Council of Islamic Societies are joining with several Christian Organizations and area churches to assist youth advocate, Jim Tuman and his Jimmy’s Kids Christmas Morning Program.

Tuman and his non profit, Jimmy’s Kids, collected food, clothing, toys and other gifts for the Christmas Morning Program that volunteers will deliver to tens of thousands of Metro Detroit’s “forgotten” children — those who may be in-need or emotionally or physically challenged.  Volunteers will follow a semi-truck filled with gifts to SW Detroit, then surprise 500 families with a special delivery on the morning of Dec. 25.

“I’ve been speaking in schools about the importance of kindness and relationships for many years, and realized that some children and their families were not were not able to afford a Christmas celebration, because they were falling through the cracks of the system.” said Tuman.  “In 1988 we took toys to 22 children, and this year we will serve 25,000. The volunteers get such joy from this experience that they come back every year.  We even have people travel from Europe to join us.”

This year, volunteers from two-dozen Metro Detroit churches will join volunteers from Islamic associations and masques, Jewish Federation and synagogues.

“If you want to feel the real spirit of the season, come and join us for this very special experience,” said Tuman.

 Volunteers will gather Christmas morning 9:00am at Stephen Lutheran Church, 1235 Lawndale, Detroit. For more information, visit


No Regrets



For the next couple of months I would like to try a different approach to inspiration. I don’t think any of us escape life without some regrets. We all have dreams, goals, relationships and opportunities that have not been checked off our list. Many of these can be revisited, changed or discarded. Those items relating to relationships would be important to resolve on our healing journey.

Over the years I have received so many letters, phone calls, emails and texts from people who have missed opportunities. I believe by sharing some of those, you can learn from their situations and hopefully improve your circumstances. Changing regrets can change lives. I hope you can have positive success in any area that you share with friends and family.

After my last talk, a girl emailed her entire family with whom she hadn’t spoken to in years – and they reunited. It starts with a baby step and grows with each move forward.

Good luck on your journey and keep me in the loop so I can support you. Please share your dreams and goals!

Your Friend,

An Important Message that Stands the Test of Time

BestThingsAudioBy David Sawicki for

“Life has NO guarantees!”

While that statement may provoke serious contemplation, it also serves to underscore the need to live each day full-out and goal-oriented.

That is just one of the inspirational messages from Internationally-acclaimed speaker Jim Tuman. Tuman’s message has resonated with over 2 million people of all ages, world-wide, for the last 40 years.

“How do you want the people in your life to remember you?” – putting a spotlight on the superficiality of a materialistic-driven society – is another.

Now in his mid-70’s, Mr. Tuman continues to urge his audiences to take a serious look at the path they are on and to put “people first, things second.” His message certainly resonated with one woman, who is now a mother that decided to share it with her own child:
“Hi Jim, I remember when I heard you speak 25 years ago.  I was in junior high at the time and we had a self-esteem week.  I was really moved by your “The Best Things in Life Aren’t Things” speech and then immediately got your cassette with the same title.  Your booming voice and poignant stories really affected me.  I have a daughter who is now at my same junior high and I am going to have her listen to that old cassette tape.  I still have it.  We will also listen to your “You Are Not Alone” video on your website and whatever else you have.  Please know that you really did change my life and after 25 years I am passing on your message to my children. Best to you.” —KA, Santa Barbara, CA

There is good news for this mother, and those that have experienced the effect of Mr. Tuman’s presentation: that cassette is now available on CD and digital download. CD Baby, the world’s largest distributor of independent music, now carries the CD. Digital distribution partners include: CD Baby, iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody and many more. The Apple Music Store will also carry the work for download.

This recording is based on concepts that will affect every person at some time in their lives. It is intended to inspire and motivate people to complete unfinished business and pursue their dreams, goals and wishes before one’s time is up.

“The reason it is so powerful is that it happens everyday, all over the world,” Jim states. “The fact that life can change in a phone call, for everyone on the planet, helps the listener to understand that NOW is the only moment they have to tell somebody they love them. If we don’t say it, we could carry the weight of regret- ‘I wish I would have said it’, one day!”

Jim Tuman has appeared on broadcast TV, including: ABC, NBC, CBS National News, the Today Show and the Oprah Winfrey Show. He has also been featured in leading publications, including: Newsweek, USA Today, Business Week, Chicago Sun Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Newsday, Detroit Free Press, Detroit News, and the New York Times.

He founded the Jimmy’s Kids charity, a Christmas (and now year-round) Program serving over 30,000 children who would not otherwise have a holiday. A portion of the proceeds from the sales of CD’s and digital downloads will benefit this non-profit organization. Visit for more info.

To underscore this powerful and relevant message is the inclusion of an original song, “Time”, by accomplished musical artist Karl Anthony (Track 7). Click the link below to make this remarkable work your own:

PLEASE NOTE: For the maximum experience, we recommend listening to this program, in it’s entirety, from start to finish. Track separations have been assigned for your convenience- to pick up the program where you may have left off- and by no means are designed to separate the presentation.

Jimmy Tuman talks about “A Girl Like Her”

by David “Mello-D” Sawicki for

The scene gets played out, in almost every school across the country, on a daily basis. The interactions may be brief, however, leave an emotional scar that can last for a lifetime. Motivated by their ego or a deep-rooted pain that they have not yet come to terms with, someone goes out of their way, or makes an effort to exercise the routine commonly referred to as “bullying.” A deliberate effort to demean, ridicule, or inappropriately confront another, with the intention of causing harm. Sometimes the episodes escalate into physical abuse. Either way, it is WRONG, ILLEGAL* and it is also the subject of a movie released Nationally through AMC Independent, titled, “A Girl Like Her.”

Jimmy Tuman, has presented to millions of students, in thousands of school assemblies, delivering a message of making good choices when it comes to ones behavior and future goals. I met up with Jimmy to discuss the movie and the part he played in it…

DS: I’m here with Internationally-renowned speaker Jimmy Tuman. Jim, you have a very important role in the nationally-released movie produced by the Radish Group in Royal Oak, Mich. called “A Girl Like Her.” Jim, tell me why you think this movie is important.

JT: This movie is unprecedented in its importance because it’s “totally real.” There was no script for this movie, it was just kids and adults playing themselves, which is, again, unprecedented in the movie industry. The key to this movie is that, every morning, parents send their kids to school and they’re wondering if their kids are going to be safe. I mean, we live in times where school shootings have become more common — kids in the wrong place at the wrong time — the question is whether their kids are going to come back whole, and whether their kids are going to be safe. One of the areas of safety for kids is feeling like they “belong.” Like they fit in with their peers. Like they fit in with the school environment. And because of that, bullying has now taken center-stage in the past 10 years, and has become a buzzword for challenges that kids are facing. Bullying emanates itself in suicide. It emanates itself in withdrawal. It emanates itself in kids feeling depressed, and this movie demonstrates the reality of what kids are facing. It gives parents and educators a chance to dialogue. Dialogue about the problem which has long since been swept under the carpet. Dialogue about the school’s involvement, the parents involvement. Most important is, “how do we create a safe place, where kids can walk through the door every morning and feel like they can be 100% themselves.”

DS: That’s so important! Jim, talk a little bit about your role in the movie.

JT: I’ve been a national speaker for 35 years and talked over 2 million kids in more than 2000 schools. When I first started speaking, the one ingredient that I talked about, in the earlier question, is “how can I help kids feel safer.” Part of that ability is for kids to be able to have a voice in their school. My exchange in the movie is basically asking a very predominant question that I ask in my keynote, which is “how many of you feel safe to go to school every day,” and “raise your hand, if you have a best friend, and tell me what makes that person a best friend, to you.” The key to “best friends,” is the ability to be yourself, and not to be judged or put down or hurt by your friend. Using that as a model, schools can discover how to create that “best friends climate.” I use the word climate because I feel that is the biggest challenge for schools these days, to create a climate of acceptance, of support, of caring. I call it “safe, valued, loved.” Every school wants their young people to feel safe, valued and loved.

DS: Do you talk about that in the movie?

JT: My part in the movie was a speaker – in the environment of the movie –- and so I interact with my audience. The scene was shot at in a high school auditorium. I interacted with my audience and tried to draw them out and ask them questions, that would be pertinent to the movie itself.

DS: So, since you are – in reality – a speaker, it’s kind of like “art imitates life imitating art,” in a way?

JT: That may be more of a simplistic synopsis of it, I think it’s more important that people be able to, think in terms of stepping into the shoes of kids, and discovering – in those shoes – how they can best support kids, as educators or as a parent.

DS: The reviews I’ve read have referred to the movie as more of a “mockumentary,” because it uses this technique of employing technology, by the person that’s being bullied, to be able to record those episodes – and to use those recordings as a way to build a case against the bully.

JT: Again, it goes back to the issue of safety – kids are intimidated, to step forward. And I’ve had kids say to me, through the course of my career, “I’d rather lose my life then not be accepted.” The idea of being accepted, by your peers, fuels the predominance of how kids face issues, like bullying. Obviously, if you report bullies, then you become an outcast in the school. Somebody that’s a “snitch,” somebody that’s “reported somebody,” and your ostracized by the very kids that you want to fit in with. So that’s a huge problem in the reporting aspect of bullying! Some of the technology that is being utilized in the movie is the opportunity for someone not to be held “center-stage.” With some schools, it becomes an “us and them” mindset. If you report something, then it behooves the school to prove it. In many cases, it’s based on hearsay, or it’s based on third-party. The technology can help support some of the claims, and I think it’s becoming more of a “wave of the future.”

DS: Yes, anything that helps someone who is a victim of bullying or feels threatened in some way shape or form – to protect themselves without violence- actually, that’s a remarkable concept! It’s a good lesson for a lot of the young people out there, and adults as well. As it’s been said,” watch what you say – it can and will be held against you.”

JT: I encourage everyone to see this movie. When you see the movie, you will see how everything unfolds and, in many cases, you’ll see a “modeling” that is going on. The modeling of the girl that is the bully, the modeling of her parents. You’ll see, without giving away the movie, the key to this is understanding the source, for many of the bullies. For many of the bullies, the source is basically about them, not feeling valued themselves, so all they do is bring other kids down to the level that they feel. I designed a poster about bullying, that says: “No matter who you are, no matter what you do, there will be people that like you, and people that dislike you. There are going to be people that love you and there are going to be people that hate you, and there are going to be people that are indifferent.” The most important thing of all, is “it’s never about you,” it’s about them. So if you understand the resource that the movie provides, then you can get to the solution! If you don’t understand the source, then you’re fishing all the time, and you’re guessing. We’ve been guessing for too long in our history, and were guessing wrong, because bullying is still as prevalent today, as it was 50 years ago.

DS: Yes, it’s most likely not to go away too soon, but at least knowing there is hope out there, based on the fact that these young people figured out a solution in the movie…

JT: This movie creates hope. If you watch the movie and don’t take it just as a “movie that you go to see, walk out, and life is the same,” then you won’t get the whole impact of what the movie was designed to do. After viewing, when given the chance – in the days, weeks and months later – create a dialogue over this, and look for ways to make a better climate in the schools environment. Then, the movie will have had way, way longer value, than most movies.

DS: That’s important – to talk about those situations – and not sweep them under the rug, or stick them in a closet, but to really dialogue, as you say. That’s an awesome thing that the movie deals with. Is there anything else Jimmy that you would like to say before we wrap up?

JT: Again, I want to reiterate – go see this movie. Many of you will see yourselves, in the various scenarios. By seeing yourself, you will gain much more than just reading about it, or just having seen it on the news. It will take a real “living and breathing” shape in your life. It will act as a mirror for what you went through, and, in identifying through what’s in that mirror, it will give you more insights to help support your children.

DS: Well, thank you Jimmy Tuman, we encourage everyone to see “A Girl Like Her,” an AMC independent release, at your local theaters.

JT: Thank you, for some very insightful questions.

*49 States have Bullying Legislation in place, making inappropriate bullying activities subject to prosecution in a legal court of law.


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You Are Not Alone, Part 1

International Speaker Jim Tuman – Part 1: You Are Not Alone

Watch on YouTube

Part 1 of a 3 Part Series titled “You Are Not Alone.” These insights on life will touch your heart and inspire you to live the fulfilled life of your dreams.


Over my 30 years as a national speaker, I have watched the age-old concept of bullying in schools reach new dimensions, in not only true form but Internet as well.

This culminated recently when I received a call from the parents of a six year old who had taken her own life because the kids were picking on her at school. I remember the feeling of frustration, hurt and anger when I hung up the phone that day.

I have developed a model for schools and communities to be more pro-active in their approach to create a safe school environment. I was invited by 14 world leaders to demonstrate this model.

I believe schools these days can no longer do it alone and they must create an environment where students feel safe, valued and loved.

Please contact me anytime for specifics on my approach. I look forward to working with you.


Jimmy Tuman