Character

For years I have heard on television and read in newspapers that a poor person who could not find a job was, if not expected to turn to crime, at least excused for doing so.  Unfortunately, the more this idea is promoted, the more likely it is to occur, especially among those who do not have a strong character base.  The facts concerning this issue are interesting, and as a friend of mine was inclined to say, "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but no one is entitled to the wrong facts."

Ed Shipman is a throwback to those people who believe in free enterprise, independence, hard work, faith, commitment and responsibility.  Mr. Shipman is also the principal of the school which he and his wife started over twenty years ago, when they took in five teenage foster children.  Today, Happy Hill Farm, located just outside of Granbury, Texas, is a widely-praised Christian boarding school and working farm for kids with behavioral and academic problems.

Like most parents, my wife and I believe that straight teeth are a real asset to a person, so we invested in braces for three of our children who needed them. By spending a considerable sum of money for a beautiful smile, we believe we have received more than a good return on that investment. Our granddaughter, Katherine, got lovely results from wearing her braces.

In the January 14, 1995, Washington Post Colman McCarthy tells the encouraging story of three male teachers at Garrison Elementary School in Washington, D.C.  The school is in an underprivileged neighborhood; street violence is common and roughly three-fourths of the Garrison kids live in poor, mostly female-headed single-parent families.  

As a young father, my mother frequently said to me, "Your children more attention pay to what you do than what you say."  She also repeatedly said that if you "set the example, you won't need to make many rules."  Later in life I heard someone else say that rules without a relationship lead to rebellion.  I believe the statements my mother made, combined with the other one, can lay the basis for a marvelous relationship and the raising of positive, morally sound, successful youngsters in our racist, sexist, and violent society of today.

If you have children at home, particularly teens or preteens, chances are good that when nothing exciting has happened in the past seven minutes you frequently hear the young person say, "I'm bored."

Several years ago while on a long flight I was seated next to a flight attendant who had broken her leg in an accident.  Eventually, we started talking and I found her language to be shocking.  It seemed so inappropriate - she was a vivacious, personable young woman.  Frankly, filthy language offends me so I commented on her choice of words.  She, in turn, expressed amazement that I was offended and said they were "just words."  I responded, "You're right.  And I'm sure this is the way you talk in front of your parents."  She responded, "Absolutely not!" so I commented, "Well, why not?

 

When anyone takes a job, they must perform the duties of that job, or they won’t have it for long. How they perform those duties matters, but at the end of the day, that fact that they did perform their duties matters most. That’s what we’ll call “taking care of business.”

 
The African impala can jump to a height of over 10 feet and cover a distance of greater than 30 feet.  Yet these magnificent creatures can be kept in an enclosure in any zoo with a three-foot wall.  The animals will not jump if they cannot see where their feet will land.   

Albert Einstein said, "A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life are based on the labors of other men living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received."  As you think about what Einstein said, you will come to realize the completely unselfish wisdom of those words.  First, we're indebted to our parents because they were responsible for bringing us into the world.

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