Kinda like Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood - for adults.
Hi! I’m Dahlia. Do you think too many bad things happen in this world? Do you think bad things happen to you? Do you feel like you’re the only one? Yup. Life is hard. But we can make it better for you - and for others. It took a near-death experience for me to figure out how. And I don’t want you to wait until it’s too late.
Why live and let live when you can live and help live?
From convincing the Army - live, on-air - to save a small town from being wiped off the map, to influencing the government to rename a statutory holiday, to giving away thousands and THOUSANDS of dollars on my show throughout the pandemic - not money from the station, but from listeners who wanted to help strangers ... I help make good things happen. But, this light came from the darkest place.
LIVE AND HELP LIVE
Back in 2009, I came face to face with my own mortality in the shape of a black SUV.
I’m driving my compact car through a green light and see this black behemoth heading for the red light. Heading towards me. Within probably three nanoseconds, three thoughts ran through my head:
“I can avoid this.”
“S***, I can’t avoid this.”
“I’m too young to die.”
A pregnant woman in that SUV drove directly through that red light. She crashes into me. Driver’s side. My car is launched half a block down the street. With me in it.
Then, I saw that bright white light so many people talk about before dying. And I’ll tell you what that bright white light is: The airbag.
Burns, broken bones, ripped ligaments, a concussion, messed up knees, whiplash that eats other whiplashes for breakfast, an imprint of my sunglasses branded into my face for a while, PTSD … I was so lucky.
I came this → ← close to death. And it was one of the best things that ever happened to me.
We all know death is inevitable but you somehow still think that distant future makes you invincible. Until it doesn’t.
That pregnant woman helped me birth a new life. She literally pushed me off my path and figuratively pushed me onto a better one.
I almost died! No amount of cool shoes (I’m Shoe’ish) would have left my footprint. I felt … empty. What’s the point? Does my existence matter? How does anyone matter?
That’s the thing: Treat others generously and they will matter more. Leave a trail of meaningful things, and it will lead you down a fulfilling path. You will leave your mark, even when you don’t know it.
So, since then, I made it my mission to make good things happen. Whether as a syndicated columnist or a talk show host, I’ve had the privilege of a platform that could help others. But it’s also been challenging to do within the constraints of what the media machine wants.
I mean, do you think the stories you consume need a boardroom of gatekeepers, 10 producers, 6 researchers, a subscription to 10,000 shows, and a host? Some of the greatest stories in history belonged to your grandparents - and they shared them without any bureaucracy, while walking up a hill, both ways, in the snow - with polio!
Over the years, my work has proven that the more you want to make good things happen, the more you must circumvent bureaucracy. Because the media machine is just that - a machine. It doesn’t have a heart. It walks to the beat of the bottom line. One person with a heart is all you need to start a chain of events that will make good things happen.
That’s why my mini-Goldendoodle rescue Fozzie Bear is in charge of this new podcast and multimedia journey: DAHLIA. Because there’s no better person than he to foster a LIVE AND HELP LIVE way of life.
And the best way to live and help live is to take down that fourth wall and create a safe and inclusive space. (FUN FACT: That fourth wall is made out of bureaucracy.)
WHO THE EFF IS DAHLIA?!
I’ve been a talk show host since 2013. After that car crash, I set goals. And realized them. I became a national columnist. Then, a nationally syndicated columnist. Then, as I got invited on more and more radio shows, I thought why don’t I have my own show. But, careful what you wish for …
For my first show, I was given the slot that belonged to a radio icon: Charles Adler.
It’s September 3rd, 2013, 1:04 p.m. The mic goes live. The first words out of my mouth:
“Hi! I’m Charles Adler … ”
The rest of the show went downhill from there.
I had no clue what I was doing. And I couldn’t be like all of the men at that station who had been hosting, since before I was born. So I decided I’d screw up the least if I were just me. And that’s when it happened.
I created a show to help make good things happen.
People laughed at the beginning. The bosses would not even promote my show - not on the station, nor on social media. What an embarrassment. But you know what happened? The bosses didn’t have to market my show. People who were looking for a safe, positive, and kind space - people who were looking for the helpers and looking to be the helpers - found it.
It’s the science of kindness: Swarming. I studied it. Really. With a professor from McGill University who made it his life’s work. Because kindness helps makes life work better.
In 2018, I moved to Canada’s capital to host a new show. I secured this big-name guest who shied away from media for years. The news is made public. Some guy tweets:
“Who the f*** is Dahlia Kurtz?”
Naturally, I respond:
“I ask myself that question every day.”
And it’s true. I do. Which is okay. We’re all just figuring it out, right? (But why does my mum keep asking who the f*** is Dahlia Kurtz?)
Oh, and my radio career began as “Danger Girl,” by broadcasting live underwater, from a 10,000-gallon tank to raise money for Sick Kids. For 48 hours. And, by the by, I'm deathly afraid of water, but no biggie.
WHAT TO EXPECT:
MR. ROGERS’ NEIGHBORHOOD - BUT FOR ADULTS
Expect kindness. And kindness always leads to good. Always.
DAHLIA is like Mister Rogers' Neighborhood - but for adults.
This fun and meaningful podcast looks for the helpers and ways to help you through your day. It may be conversations with everyday people doing extraordinary things, Oscar winners who have overcome the odds, or the man who jumped off The Golden Gate Bridge to take his life, yet miraculously lived to save so many lives. It may be giving a voice to those in need. But it’s always bringing people together.
You won't get inundated with information here. You already get too much of that. You need wonder and reflection. So expect lots of that.
I have been a talk show host for a decade with a mission to spread kindness. And my Network of Angels always leaves a trail. So come on over and let's make good things happen ... Why live and let live when you can live and HELP live?
WHY SUBSCRIBE IF IT’S FREE?
Everyone wants you to subscribe to everything! Before they even show you what they have to offer they tell you to subscribe. You’re overscribed, not subscribed. I get it! So, if you don’t want to get quality content and be part of a community for free, then move away now. Here’s a link to a video you might like. Click it. Quick! Before your eyes move downwards to why you should subscribe.
Oh! Hello. Glad you stuck around … So, perhaps you’ve subscribed to media outlets for which I’ve hosted talks shows or written columns. Now you can subscribe to DAHLIA. You’ll never miss a podcast, article, or video. They land in your inbox first. It’s more direct. You get exclusive extras. And you’re not subsidizing a bonus for some person you don’t even know who judges what you want based on their “audience demographics,” their budget, and their bottom line.
The bottom line here is you’re helping to make good things happen.
As we gear up for the official launch of DAHLIA in September, please, make yourself at home. You could even be one of my Founding Angels and help a couple of strangers with just a click. More on that in a moment …
Now, each week, here on Substack - for free - as part of the newsletter, I will give you articles and videos, as well as a personal podcast. And by the time we officially launch, expect more and more podcasts, in which you’ll meet some of the most inspiring humans (and possibly dogs, owls, or other wildlife that have been known to join me in-studio). Plus other shareable and careable content to help you through your day.
There will also be bonus content, such as behind-the-scenes exclusives - which will likely include me messing up something - or Fozzie Bear preventing me from working.
There are three tiers of subscription: Neighbours, Friends, and Founding Angels.
1. “Neighbours” - Free
For the first while, all of this content will be available by FREE subscription. Even when I add a subscription paywall, there will ALWAYS be free content here for you. And I will also spend extra money to provide you with transcribed audio to make content more accessible.Even when I add a subscription paywall, there will ALWAYS be free content here for you. And I will also spend extra money to provide you with transcribed audio to make content more accessible.
2. “Friends” - $6 a month or $60 a year, Friends will always have:
Access to all of my podcasts, articles, and videos
Online comment board conversations that I host and interact with here on Substack - that will make this podcast and newsletter a community, like its own neighbourhood
A complete online archive that will grow over time
I will never flood your inbox or share your email information. I’ll take the time to do work that’s worthy of your time. I want you to feel that I’ve added to your life, not spammed it.
If you want to support the success of this LIVE AND HELP LIVE mission right away, you can become a paid subscriber right now. Think about it: $6 a month is almost like buying one sip of coffee a month. (Cue my dad telling you about his five-cent giant sandwich, fries, drink, and dessert that he’d buy as a kid - that he ate while walking home, up a hill, in the snow, without an iPhone.)
3. FOUNDING ANGELS: MORE THAN A SUBSCRIPTION
If you have the means to make a bigger contribution to the success of this LIVE AND HELP LIVE mission, you can subscribe as a “Founding Angel.”
As a Founding Angel, you can contribute anything more than the base annual amount of $60 up to $180. It’s your choice.
And if you contribute the full $180 for the year, I will give away TWO free subscriptions - in your name as an Angel, if you prefer anonymity.
You will also get an invitation for a 30-minute video call to chat with me. Maybe you have guest ideas for the podcast, perhaps you just need someone who listens, or you want some completely unqualified advice.
As a subscriber - whether a Neighbour, a Friend, or an Angel - you will never miss out because new podcast episodes, articles, and videos will be sent directly to your email inbox.
I truly appreciate you taking the time to read this. Know, I just want to help make good things happen. And if you’ve read this far, I think you do too. That or you were just hoping for another picture of Fozzie Bear. Well, I guess you’ll just have to subscribe then …
But seriously, I don’t have a job; I have a mission: LIVE AND HELP LIVE. Really, it’s the best way to discover the meaning of life.
Because the meaning of life … is to live a meaningful life.