Class Act: Remembering Wayne Dyer

 In Class Act

What we think determines what happens to us, so if we want to change our lives, we need to stretch our minds.” – Dr. Wayne Dyer

When I was 20 years old I started working as an assistant in the corporate offices for Candlewood Hotel Company. Being very young and needing guidance, I often looked to my boss, Pam, as a role model. Pam gave me two books to help me in my professional and personal life: Dale Carnegie’s classic How to Win Friends and Influence People and Dr. Wayne W. Dyer’s best-seller, Your Erroneous Zones.

I was shocked and saddened to learn this morning that Dr. Dyer passed away August 29th at age 75. While he was not afraid of death and looked forward to life on the other side, those of us left behind will miss his warmth, wisdom and guidance here on this side.

More than just a motivational speaker, Dr. Dyer was a self-improvement icon. Author of more than 30 books, he was a regular guest of Oprah Winfrey and a highly sought after speaker worldwide. His unique blend of motivation, inspiration and spirituality resonated with his audience in a special way.

Dr. Dyer’s message may have made him famous, but he never forgot his roots. Born in Detroit, his alcoholic father left him when he was only three and Dyer grew up in a series of foster homes. He was a counselor and driver’s ed teacher at Catholic school Mercy High School in Detroit in the early 70’s and he continued to support the school financially. Just a few months ago when the school’s president called to thank him for a donation, he told her he would be happy to be included in further fundraising efforts, giving them permission to use his name and picture as much as they wanted. He also donated more than a million dollars to Wayne State University, where he achieved three degrees, and established a scholarship program there.

Dyer also appeared on Public Television and was a big supporter of PBS. Rich Homberg, president of Detroit Public TV said of Dyer, “For millions and millions of people, he was a touchstone of understanding and self-awareness and confidence. He always just felt so genuine, and so real, and he went to such lengths to help people understand.”

A tweet from Dr. Dyer’s family yesterday stated “Wayne has left his body, passing away through the night. He always said he couldn’t wait for this next adventure…”

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