"Michael Malgeri has created a series of small books that could change the way an entire generation views individualism, profit-making, and capitalism. The books are easy to read and fun to discuss with children of all ages. They capture the imagination and explain the moral foundations of a free society with just a few words and pictures. Adam Smith and Milton Friedman would have approved!" Joseph Bast, President, The Heartland Institute
"Kids will learn from these. But adults would, too! Should be mandatory reading in Washington." Steve Forbes, Forbes Magazine, on the "Johnny Profit" series
Written by Michael A. Malgeri
Layout and Illustrations by Michael Schultz
By Michael A. Malgeri
To my wife Lisa, whose heart can warm a globe
"If you make a small footprint, no one will ever try to fill your shoes." Mother Nature
Like the first two books in the "Johnny Profit" series, "Warm This!" is focused on an important lesson, which is to present an uncommon, pro-human perspective on environmental issues to young people. Through simple storytelling it explores the notion that humans where meant to reach for the stars and as the real Mother Nature says, "If you make a small footprint, no one will ever try to fill your shoes."
"Citizens of Kimor, it is with pride that I announce an amazing discovery! Our astronomers have found a planet located in a distant galaxy surrounded by an atmosphere as blue and beautiful as the place we call home. If life exists beyond our world, our scientists believe it will be found on the blue planet. "
The great Johnny Profit and his pal Ben stood high on a platform addressing the people of Kimor. Kimorians were members of an advanced society on the brink of immortality. They lived in peace, friendship and unbounded prosperity.
Among the many "oooos" and "ahhhhs" were hugs and tears of joy! Everyone shared a common desire to know if they were alone in the vast universe or if somewhere there were others just like them.
" Tomorrow, Ben and I will embark on a journey to the blue planet and may fortune be our guide."
The crowd cheered as Johnny and Ben left the stage. A glistening starship could be seen in the distance, standing not just ready for take off, but as a monument to the achievements of all Kimorians.
"This is Mission Control, you are cleared for take off." The orders came as the Kimorian Sun peaked over an orange horizon.
The engines hummed like a bow sliding slowly across a finely tuned violin, elevating the spaceship as the morning sky grew brighter. When it reached a certain height, the ship rocketed skyward. Johnny and Ben, strapped in their harnesses, raced through space on their amazing journey.
Upon escaping the grip of Kimor's gravity and smashing the last barrier to outer space, Johnny engaged the anti-matter drives, which would propel them at many times the speed of light.
At precisely the right moment, with the ship cruising at warp speed, the bio-computer instructed the cyber jackets to put the space travelers to sleep for the duration of the voyage.
Glancing at Ben, Johnny winked and said, "See you soon old buddy." Ben smiled as they slowly slipped into darkness.
"Are we there yet?!" Ben said as he regained consciousness in a playful mood.
"No!" said Johnny, playing along. Excited as a child with a new puppy, he released his harness anxious to read the ship's instruments and learn the status of their voyage.
Ben looked on as Johnny flicked switches and pressed buttons like a maestro conducting an orchestra. With a glimmer in his eyes and a wave of his hand Johnny toggled the final switch that illuminated the color screen and displayed images captured from the ship's space cameras.
"Behold the blue planet!" said Johnny. He and Ben stared in awe at a heavenly body more beautiful than they'd ever imagined. "It looks like she's spinning in a welcome dance and wearing a dress of feathery clouds."
"We made it!" said Ben recalling that a few hundred years ago, they were poor farmers, waiting patiently to die. "Thanks to your shovel, we were lifted from our knees and given time to think, to invent and to create the wealth that brought us to this day."
"Fortunately you guys were so good at it," said Johnny. "There's nothing like a society that understands the value of making an honest profit." He never looked up as he continued studying the readings from the planetary sensors.
"What's wrong Johnny? You look troubled."
"Our instruments are not detecting any significant man made sources of energy. Let's land our ship on that rocky Moon. If there are people on the blue planet, and they've achieved space travel, they most certainly would have used it as an outpost. That smooth, surface between the craters is a good spot."
The engines hummed again as Ben slowed the starship for a soft landing. Johnny and Ben climbed into their space suits, opened the ship's hatch and floated gently in the near weightless environment to the Moon's surface. The blue planet shined majestically over the horizon.
Their feet touched the soft white sand simultaneously. Ben remained frozen with his knees bent giving Johnny the honor of being the first Kimorian to walk on another world.
"That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for all Kimorians."
"Yes," said Ben. "Our greatest achievements are at times symbolized by the simplest of actions. What's that!" he said, lowering his binoculars and pointing to a shiny object in the distance.
"There's one way to find out," said Johnny. "Let's go."
When they finally reached what caught Ben's attention they discovered a plaque, with an inscription beneath two circles. It read: "Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the Moon, July 1969, A.D. We came in peace for all mankind."
Johnny and Ben were overjoyed! They recognized the circles on the plaque as representing the blue planet. Now they knew its name.
"They were here! Men from the planet Earth stood on this very surface in the year 1969! We're not alone! They must be just like us!" exclaimed Ben.
"They may not be, Ben," said Johnny. "1969 could have been a million years ago. Our sensors say there's no man made power being generated on Earth, at least not at the level that would sustain a civilization capable of this great achievement."
"I suspect they've all died or left for another world. We'll activate the cloaking device as we approach Earth. It will allow us to investigate at close range before landing."
Nodding in agreement, Ben turned with Johnny as the two determined space travelers returned to their ship for the final leg in their adventure. It was time to find the answers.
The People of Earth
"I'm getting a reading on our life sensors!" exclaimed Johnny as the ship entered the Earth's atmosphere. "There are pockets of complex life forms whose bio-signatures closely match those of the people of Kimor."
"You may be right old friend, they could be just like us. But where is the energy?!" Johnny was excited but remained puzzled. "Let's move in for a closer look."
Ben navigated to an altitude that would allow them to see the Earth's surface while the cloaking device kept the ship invisible. The planet was indeed more beautiful than any distant image captured by the astronomers of Kimor. It was a land blessed from sea to shining sea.
Cruising to an even lower altitude, man made structures started to appear, such as tall buildings, bridges, roads and homes, ALL IN RUIN! Every city on every continent was lifeless and in decay. It was a shocking discovery!
"Something tragic happened on Earth, Ben. This once amazing world lost everything it built."
"Do you think there was a great war?" said Ben.
"No, those cities were not destroyed by bomb blasts. They are monuments to neglect. It's as if a long, long time ago, people just walked away."
"What could drive a civilization to abandon everything they achieved?" said Ben. "What could make them never want to return?"
"There's only one thing that comes to mind, Ben. They changed their way of thinking and then let someone else think for them. It's time to meet the people of Earth."
Ben plotted the ship's course towards the largest concentration of life their instruments had detected. He landed beside a huge field where they were able to observe the planet's inhabitants.
What they saw was startling! Men and women were on their knees, clad in tattered smocks, plowing the soil with their bare hands under the hot sun, while others brought water in primitively made buckets. Children scurried about, some crying for the attention of adults, who were all too busy toiling away for survival.
"This is what I feared, Ben after seeing those lifeless cities."
"Do you think we can learn what happened?"
"We can try."
They embarked without weapons, believing they'd either be feared or completely ignored. Johnny and Ben made no attempt to hide after leaving their ship. They strolled across a field towards a group of workers.
A member of the group stood up slowly. He rubbed the soil from his knees and remained standing with his hands on his hips and a wary expression. When they were within a few yards, Johnny raised his hand as a sign of friendship.
"Greetings!" said Johnny. "We're visitors from Kimor, a planet very far away."
There was no reaction from the worker. Ben held out his hand but the same thing happened.
Nothing changed as they moved from group to group. Their approach was noted and their presence was eventually ignored as each worker returned to plow the soil. At one point, Ben thought he'd made a breakthrough with a frail young woman, whose smile seemed out of place with the drudgery of her task.
"What are you doing?" he said.
"Johnny and Ben were astonished! "What is your name?" asked Ben.
"Yes," said Ben. "Rest is good. What do you do after you rest?"
"We work," was the robotic reply.
"Working and resting, working and resting, yes," said Ben. "I know your life well." Ben remembered when his life was nearly identical to this woman's and the flashback made him shudder.
"And then, we die." She slowly returned to her knees and continued plowing with her callused and weather beaten hands.
Dejected, Johnny and Ben walked away and continued their search for answers. As the sun set in the distant hills, Ben's words painted a gray picture in stark contrast to the orange and blue pastels, which feathered across the evening sky.
"The time has come for us to leave," said Ben sadly. "Our energy cells are degrading with each passing moment and this world does not have the technology to recharge them. I'm afraid we'll never know what happened here on planet Earth."
"I don't like giving up, Ben." Johnny's face reflected the radiance of the colorful horizon.
"The spirit may die in some men but never in all. This planet was once home to a great civilization. There must be someone here who can tell us what happened."
"We still have time. Let's continue our search in the morning. Something is telling me a ray of hope remains on Earth."
At sunrise, Johnny and Ben headed towards the foothills in search of answers to Earth's mysteries. By mid-morning, they were walking along a trail well above the valley where another day of monotonous labor was underway.
Suddenly, a voice startled them. It was a voice of rugged confidence. "Warm this!"
Johnny and Ben turned to see a young man appear from behind a boulder. His clothes were simple but far from the primitive smocks worn by the field workers. He was pointing to his forehead and carrying a tool that looked a lot like the shovel Johnny invented many years ago.
"I'm Johnny Profit and this is Ben. We come from the planet Kimor, many light years away. What was that you said?"
"Oh, that's our motto. It's a greeting around here, but it's also a challenge that reminds people to warm up their minds whenever they have a problem."
"It also tells them, 'we won't get fooled again!'" The young man spoke like a mighty warrior.
"Can you please explain what you're talking about?" asked Ben. "Who are you and what happened here?"
"I'm Kilo. My ancestors survived the Great Regression."
"Did you say the Great Regression?!" asked Johnny.
"Johnny Profit, eh?" Kilo said putting their questions aside for a moment. "I should have known. A lot of good can get done when people make honest profits."
"So you want to know about the Great Regression. I guess since you had the smarts to race across the Galaxies, you had no problem sightseeing around this planet. I'm sure you figured it wasn't war, disease or famine that made those zombies out there."
"It was an impostor that destroyed this planet! She made us doubt our minds and killed our pride and everybody just gave up! What you see out there is pure and pointless surrender!"
"What kind of impostor could do such a thing?!" Ben asked in disbelief.
"I'll tell you, Ben, but I wanted you to know what you were looking at. Without pride and reason to drive our spirit, we regressed to the sorry creatures you see in those fields."
A society without spirit was doomed to failure. Johnny and Ben knew it all too well. They wondered how and why the people of Earth, who seemed to have accomplished so much, let it all slip away.
Kilo continued, "As you probably figured out zooming around in your starship this was once a fine place to live. Pull up a rock Ben, you too Johnny. What you're about to hear has traveled through the hearts and minds of many generations, each committed to passing on the story of the Great Regression."
He paused for a moment then asked, "Say, did you happen to stop by that Moon of ours?"
"We sure did," said Johnny.
"Is it still there?" asked Kilo.
Johnny knew Kilo was referring to the plaque he and Ben found on the moon. He knew it was proof for everything Kilo was taught about Earth's history and greatness.
"Here men from the planet Earth," Johnny paused to witness the effect his words had on Kilo.
With a playful smile Kilo said, "I never doubted it for a second." His mind wandered for a few moments as if he was the one holding the plaque and walking on the Moon.
"Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, people here were inventing great things every day! We had flying cars and personal submarines."
"With bionic eyes blindness became a thing of the past. Deaf people were able to hear and those in wheel chairs walked. Nothing was impossible for our eager minds."
"The scientists would make a discovery and the engineers worked out how to build it. Then the businessmen figured out how to make an honest profit, which provided the fuel for more great inventions. We kept moving forward and were giddy children, excited to be alive!"
"Who tore it all down?" asked Ben.
"The Naysays!" said Kilo. "Every time we made a great discovery to make our lives easier, every time we used our minds to create something nature didn't provide, the Naysays raised their ugly voices."
"We were just children Ben, and they wanted us to be ashamed rather than proud of our work. We were defenseless against the envy of the Naysays."
"There's always danger from those who are threatened, rather than inspired, by the achievements of their brothers," said Johnny.
Kilo nodded. "So around the time when we were getting ready to send our boys to the moon and it seemed like we could accomplish anything, the Naysays discovered their greatest ally in their quest to bring the children of Earth to their knees, the Great Impostor disguised as Mother Nature!"
"They told us Mother Nature was the trees, birds, bugs, fish, dirt, rocks, rivers, oceans, she was even the barren wasteland. She was everywhere and she was angry with her children. Our guilt was deep because what child can withstand a mother's scorn."
"How did she destroy you?" asked Ben.
"Well Ben, it all started when we invented a new insecticide that saved many lives by killing those disease carrying, blood sucking mosquitoes. The Naysays said this miracle chemical was harmful to fish and birds and had it banned worldwide. Millions of people died and a lot of kids never got a chance to splash in a cool clear stream or race down a grassy hill."
"Well if a million deaths a year weren't enough," Kilo continued, "then nothing was going to make them admit they'd caused a problem so the Naysays kept right on going! They limited tree chopping, mining and they wouldn't let us build dams and levees. A few hurricanes showed them the folly of that idea."
"It was as if the winds howled with delight and the rains beat a relentless drum as the floods washed away the cities and took more of our children."
"Why didn't anyone fight?" Ben asked, dumbfounded.
"The Naysays extinguished our pride and replaced it with envy. They made us believe our achievements were monuments to greed. The attacks grew stronger and stronger, and the guilt was unbearable."
"Finally, the Impostor disguised as Mother Nature figured out how to make humans live like animals, by destroying our ability to produce energy. A civilization without energy is destined to end up like those poor souls working on their hands and knees."
"The Naysay's attacks were relentless and made the energy producers look like the most evil group on Earth! Not only were they accused of starting wars but their most unforgivable sin was making a profit! The Naysays began shutting energy production down because the planet had to remain as pristine as possible."
"Why?" Ben was flabbergasted. The thought of some humans choosing plants and animals at the expense and well being of other humans was hard to imagine.
"Why?" said Kilo. "Because the Naysays said humans were heating up the planet! They called it 'global warming' and they said it was caused by humans."
"They said the human footprint was too large and it was upsetting the balance of nature. They made it clear that humans must impact the earth as little as possible."
"So, all energy production was cut back, less things were built, jobs were lost and then more jobs were lost, hospitals were shut down and one by one people started not to care."
"We accepted death and death came for us sooner and sooner. Our geniuses stopped inventing and our cities became less and less desirable as places to live. A once bold and adventurous race of heroes was turned into beggars and cowards."
"Did the warming stop?" asked Ben.
Kilo scoffed. "The Earth warmed a bit, then it cooled again, then it warmed, then it cooled and warmed and cooled, just like it did for millions of years before humans made their first wheel."
Kilo pointed to the Sun and said, "You see, the Naysays forgot a lot of things. Everything they predicted was based on a simple computer model...a robot that falsely concluded humans were destroying the planet! We were constantly reminded that our footprint was too big!"
Kilo switched topics for a moment and asked, "What are Mothers like on Kimor, Ben? Does a Mother lock her child in its crib, never allowing it to crawl outside its bars? Are children's legs shackled so they can never walk or run and are their words silenced so they can never form ideas?"
"Does a Mother laugh if her child falls trying to win a race? Does she stand idle while her child is in grave danger? Does a Mother reward every act of achievement with disappointment and demand a payment of guilt?!"
"The REAL Mother Nature gave humans abilities that far exceed those of the plants and animals. Humans are the only living things that can improve their abilities and do whatever they set their minds to."
"The gap always gets wider between humans and every other species. A fish will only swim, a worm will only crawl and a bird will only fly. Animals will never rejoice at achieving great things. Mother Nature made them incapable of doing so."
Once again Johnny and Ben encouraged Kilo with silence.
"Humans have the power to dramatically improve their lives and reach beyond the boundaries of Earth. Our astronauts didn't walk on the Moon with ballet slippers. Our great builders didn't tiptoe through fields."
"They walked bravely and proudly wherever they needed to go! Their large footprints were symbols of human pride and achievement, not shame."
"I had to set the records straight about the real Mother Nature and her intentions. Mothers have wisdom and strength, but what they have most is courage! The real Mother Nature would be proud of her children's footsteps and would never want to diminish their size."
"Human footprints are symbols of struggle, adventure and accomplishment. They guide the way to progress and happiness for anyone that follows them and they should be large and numerous."
"The real Mother Nature would boldly say, 'if you make a small footprint, no one will ever try to fill your shoes.' The real Mother Nature, by making animals and humans the way they are, made it crystal clear that humans have a natural right to change the Earth!"
"Your wisdom far exceeds your age, young man," said Johnny. "How is it you speak with such power in a society as primitive as this?"
"My ancestor named Uno, predicted the fate of humans. When he was forced to close his business, he knew it would take many generations before the scourge of the Naysay's philosophy was gone from the minds of men."
"Uno knew that a civilization without energy was doomed to become like animals. His prediction is evident in those fields. He spent the rest of his life writing a chronicle of the rise of the Naysays and the Great Regression. Before he died, he left instructions to pass on the chronicle and this tool to get us started again and to help us rebuild civilization."
"And what about the tool?" asked Ben.
"This tool had the words, 'Try Again!' carved in its handle," said Kilo. "It's called a shovel, because it allows a human to shove soil aside many times faster than he could with his bare hands. Those of us that used it had many hours each day returned to our lives and we were able to use those hours to progress as only humans could."
"We talked, we invented, we shared knowledge and we made profits. We were excited about helping each other get wealthy from new ideas and we admired those that were good at it."
"Who are you talking about?" asked Ben.
"Over on the other side of those hills is where I live. There are a few thousand of us that live a far more advanced life than what you've seen during your short visit to this planet. We've got schools and hospitals and businesses are springing up every day, but the truth is, we're just getting started."
"Are there any Naysays?" asked Johnny.
"The Naysays perished along with their philosophy as Uno predicted but you never know, however, when someone like the Impostor might try to return. It's not going to happen this time. This time we have the weapon of warming!"
Kilo pointed to his forehead and shouted, "Warm This!' will be our response to anyone who says we can't reach for the stars. 'Warm This!' is a battle cry to those who try to take away our pride and make us feel guilty for the things we do that make us great!"
"This time Mother Nature is on our side and we will never let an impostor take her place. This time, the Earth will glow with the warmth of pride that's found only in the human spirit!" As the evening Sun blazed behind him, his body burned with passion, and it was hard to see which was brighter.
Three men, two from a distant galaxy, sat on a rocky hillside framed by orange and white brush stokes that danced across a blue sky. Like the closest of brothers, they enjoyed each other's presence in silence filled with pride.
As the rays from the evening Sun created long shadows behind the stones they touched, the silence was broken by a Johnny's beeper. His smile remained as he slowly retrieved the device and read the display.
"The time has come for us to leave, Kilo," said Johnny.
"Thank you for choosing to come here," said Kilo. "Your visit proves what's possible to those who think and therefore have a special place in this great Universe."
They rose to shake hands, holding on long enough to seal everlasting friendships. Johnny asked if he could hold Kilo's shovel. As it lay like a baby in his outstretched hands, he recalled the memory of his own similar invention and its legacy on Kimor.
"Use it well, my young friend. It will take you far," said Johnny as he handed it back. Kilo responded with a deeply respectful nod and a warm smile.
The three men made their way back to the ship. The last thing Johnny and Ben saw as they slowly ascended through the Earth's sky was Kilo waving goodbye and pointing to his forehead saying, "Warm This!"
The Return to Kimor
The Return to Kimor "So, good buddy, what worlds would you like to visit next?!" Johnny's attitude always had a way of lifting Ben's spirit, especially when he was in a state of confusion.
"Your outlook on life never ceases to amaze me, Johnny. I don't know how to feel about what we experienced, such a tragic world, such heroic people, and such a painful, yet wonderful story. They're so much like us, yet even though they have a second chance, they may not make it."
"You're right Ben. Here's a world much like ours, full of promise and dreams extinguished by the evil of unearned guilt." He gazed at the stars through which they'd soon fly.
"They'll make it, Ben. They found their real Mother and she's proud of her children. She'll fight for them and she's going to say, 'well done!'"
Upon escaping the grip of Earth's gravity, Johnny engaged the anti-matter drives. With the brave travelers safely secured and the ship cruising at warp speed, the biocomputer instructed the cyber jackets to put the space travelers to sleep for the duration of the voyage to Kimor.
Glancing at Ben, Johnny winked and said, "See you at home buddy!"
Ben smiled as they slowly slipped into darkness.
If you enjoyed Warm This!, consider buying Johnny's Gold, the next book in the Johnny Profit series. Johnny's Gold continues the theme of honest profit making and teaches more of the fundamental principles of Capitalism. Watch out for that evil Wizard! Johnny's Gold is available at this link. ( http://tinyurl.com/8okuxsn )
Johnny Profit is the first book in the Johnny Profit series. It teaches that honest profit making is good and starts young people on their way towards learning the fundamental principles of Capitalism. Kids will love Johnny and his pal Ben as well as the surprise ending. Johnny Profit is available at this link. ( http://tinyurl.com/8nbf4bt )
Johnny Profit, Johnny's Gold and Warm This!
Get all 3 books in 1! Just click this link. ( http://tinyurl.com/jy9peqt )