World Events: Highlights of February 13, 2017
Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau and Donald Trump held bilateral talks at the White House. At a joint news conference the two pledged to strengthen the trade partnership between the two countries. They also discussed cooperation on immigration and environmental issues. . . . At Oroville Dam, crews continue to attempt to shore up the spillway. While the water level behind the dam is dropping, unfortunately more rain is expected this week. . . .More wet, heavy snow blanketed New England less than a week after the biggest snow storm of the season so far. . . .The 141st annual Westminster Dog Show is underway in New York..
WorldsWays Story Of The World Timeline
Series: Story Of Today, February 13, 2017
Making A Livelihood From A Passion
In Perspective: An American Story To Believe In :
It’s Valentine’s Day Eve. A perfect time to talk about two things – passion and chocolate.
For Ben Rasmussen, a family man living in Woodbridge, Virginia, chocolate IS his passion. It started in his boyhood when he enjoyed eating milk chocolate candy bars. He didn’t care much for dark chocolate until about eight years ago when someone gave him a piece of gourmet chocolate. One taste and Ben Rasmussen was hooked.
He loved the gourmet dark chocolate so much, he delved into the craft of making chocolate at home. He studied whatever he could find on the internet and how-to books. He got some second-hand equipment, went to his kitchen, and started to experiment.
Through trial and error, Ben learned the craft of making chocolate. He also discovered how to tweek the process to produce variations in flavor. Ben not only loved the chocolate, he loved the process of making it.
Soon after he took up the craft, Ben Rasmussen started his own company, Potomac Chocolate. He sells and distributes his chocolate bars on the internet.
After Ben won national awards for his chocolate, demand for his product went up. He had to move his operation from his kitchen to his basement. Though production and sales have gone up every year, Potomac Chocolate continues to be a one-man operation. Ben makes and distributes the chocolate, himself.
And that’s how it should be, shouldn’t it?
I hope Ben Rasmussen does not go into mass production. Histories of other companies that have gone the mass-production route usually show economic growth. But they have sacrificed quality. And they have sacrificed the personal touch of the creator of the business.
I call this an American story because I think it reflects something about Americans we don’t pay much attention to, lately. Something that seems to get lost in today’s conversations. We can only vent so much about crooked politicians and big corporations ruining lives.
It is a good time to recall the independent, persistent, and novel ways that people like Ben Rasmussen share their passions with people. They change the country – little by little – for the better, in my opinion. I think they change their lives for the better, too.
How do you think it would be if we all followed our passions and skills to create things that other people enjoy?
What special passions or skills do you have that you might hone and perfect? – – and maybe make yourself a little richer. (Use the form below to answer. )
Timeline: Relevant News Stories February 13, 2017
One-man Chocolate Factory Flourishes
from VOA News
For Ben Rasmussen, his love of chocolate started about eight years ago when he tasted a sample of gourmet dark chocolate. He said he fell in love with it instantly and started learning to make it himself.
“I learned how to make it just through the internet and trial and error and kind of teaching myself on reading old books and just doing it, got some used equipment and started messing around with it, fell in love with the process, and that’s basically how it started,” he said.
What you think matters
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