Character

St. John's College has roughly 400 students who attend each of the two campuses in  Annapolis and Santa Fe, New Mexico.  They have the strange idea that some writers and some books are better than others, so rather than let students pick and choose, they serve the same menu to everyone - Greek, French, music, math and science - in a four-year great books diet of Plato, Dante, Bacon, Hume, Kant, Kierkegaard, Einstein, W.E.B. DuBois and Booker T. Washington.  



We get information from newspapers and magazines.  Many people downplay the importance of newspapers, saying they are negative, and yet in virtually every newspaper I read there is some positive information.  Newspapers frequently give information on studies and discoveries, and even give book reviews on books that can make a difference in our lives, so I read the daily newspaper and a number of magazines.

I once discussed total success with a young man who was risking his health and his family by following his "hero's" example.  He concluded that if anyone is happy, healthy, reasonably prosperous, secure and has friends, peace of mind, good family relationships and hope, he or she is successful.

His name is Jeff Hostetler and he was the quarterback for the New York Giants and later the Oakland Raiders.  The route he took to reach that position is fascinating.  The first four years he was in the National Football League, he threw only 68 passes in regular season games.  Going into the end of the seventh season, he had thrown fewer than 200 passes.  He played with the New York Giants and Phil Simms was the starting quarterback.

In the world of golf there are many names which are legendary - Jack Nicklaus, Byron Nelson, Bobby Jones, Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer, etc.  However, considering all factors, there are many who would say that Ben Hogan, for special reasons, would have to rate at or close to the top of the totem pole.  

John Cherten Collins says that, "In prosperity our friends know us.  In adversity, we know our friends."  A wit once said that a fair-weather friend is one who is always there when he needs you.  The dictionary says that a friend is "one who is attached to another by affection; one who entertains for another sentiments of esteem, respect and affection, which lead him to desire his company and to seek to promote his happiness and prosperity."  In other words, it means someone who is interested in doing something for another person.

The question is, how many of the unemployed are employable?  The answer is, probably most of them - at least to a degree.  Unfortunately, there are many who are unemployable in the better jobs because they do not have the training, background, education or desire to have those better jobs.  It's true they would like to have someone just give them those jobs, whether they're qualified or not.  However, in business and industry a worker must bring in more than he or she costs in wages and benefits, or the company ultimately goes bankrupt and then no one has a job.

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.

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