Deborah Baron
Deborah Baron

Deborah was born on a remote Indian reservation island in Northern Manitoba of a Ukrainian father and French mother. This blending exposed her to different cultures from birth, contributing to a unique world view. Her father went to university for an engineering degree while her mother supported the family. People were critical of her parents for not following the traditional family style. It did not become apparent to her until she was in college that her upbringing had been different. As a child when asked what she wanted to be when she grew up her father would always ask her, “Why not ‘the next level’?” If she said she wanted to be a teacher her father would ask, “Why not a principal?” If she said, “Nurse.” Her father would ask, “Why not a doctor?” There was never a question of her being female as being a hindrance of any kind. In addition, in the Baron household, the question was not ‘IF’ she would go to college but ‘WHERE’. Her mother prepared her for adulthood with, “When you have your own home.” She made it clear that she should live independently before settling down and getting married. Having a quietly willful personality already, this childhood helped shaped her to be the inquisitive, 'question authority' personality she is today.

Before approval could be granted for her parents to marry her father had to sign a declaration that he would raise the children in the Catholic Church. Being the determined person she was she had a lot of questions at Catholic school but she was quiet and shy. The questions were stored away for later. The family moved to California from Quebec and into a secular public school system. There was no apprehension in starting a new school in a different country where the students commented on her clothing and ‘accent’. Accent? What accent? There was some teasing but no bullying. High school was relatively uneventful except for 3 teachers, in particular, English, junior year and senior year Humanities.  Miss Mussey required her students to keep a journal. Initially she was at a loss as to what to write and the pages seemed enormous, white and blank so the entries were sparse and simple but Miss Mussey was complimentary and persistent. By the end of the year, entries were long and detailed, filled with thoughts, unanswered questions, poems and creative writing. This helped determine the college degree choice, Liberal Studies. College was a positive, learning, exploring time and writing became fun, not a chore. This is where, “The questions that had been stored away for later,” started to be answered.

Fortunately, she was able to land a job with a startup electronics company. After a long career in Silicon Valley and corporate America, or perhaps, despite it, she found that she didn’t quite fit in, questioned too much, was critical instead of acquiescent, a solo flyer, not a team player. Faced with condoning the unethical and illegal actions of her CEO she resigned without a job to go to, panicked but with a sense of freedom she searched for the ‘ideal job’. Around this time her husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Initially her reaction was shock, disappointment but also a sense of, “I can handle this.” Ten years of caregiving was overwhelming even for the strong of spirit and by the end it was a daily challenge to get through the day.

When this trial ended she was looking at a widow’s life, an empty nest, but a question from her soon to be sweetheart, “So what are you going to do with the rest of your life?” was the impetus to write two books, develop her art and create a website on her own. Instead of being overwhelmed, it was as if the world was spread before her feet. “Yes, what was I going to do with the rest of my life?” Share, find , explore, question, discover get to the bottom of what made the business world such a crazy place, why were schools so confining to some, figure out prejudices, question social issues and write and create. All of the things she had been too busy to do while raising a family and caring for her husband. During her time at home the internet and various discussion groups were a life line to the outside world leading her to The Idiot Free Zone where she was able to meet and discuss with others who wanted discussion and not argument. Most importantly finding similar folks with the desire to make the world a better place however difficult and challenging it may be to find common ground. Because there is common ground. Because “It’s Possible”.

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