Question: How would you feel if you lost an Olympic Gold Medal by two-thousandths of a second?  You probably wonder, "How could they measure that closely?"  Mathematically speaking, the distance you can swim in two-thousandths of a second is about the thickness of a coat of paint or about one-tenth of the time of a typical eye blink.  To have worked years and years and to have been so close to the ultimate prize and yet miss it by that length of time in a four hundred meter individual medley, must have been a difficult pill to swallow.

One of the interesting phenomena of nature is the Giant Sequoia tree, which is the largest living organism on earth, reaching into the heavens nearly 300 feet.  One of them can produce enough lumber to build thirty-five five-room homes, and you can drive an automobile through the trunk of one.

We truly live in a hurry-hurry world, and in this day of two-working-parent families there is never enough time to do the things we want and need to do.  One of those want-to/need-to do things is to spend more time with our children.  Unfortunately, time constraints make it easier for us to automatically respond with a "no" when our children ask for little things.  Solution:  In an article published in "Better Families," Dr. Kay Kuzma offers some practical approaches we can use.


There are sources of happiness that are quite independent of money.  A millionaire does not enjoy a book more than a poor man.  Plain food tastes as good to a worker who has earned his dinner as do the choicest delicacies to the man whose appetite is jaded from an unnatural diet.  The outdoors is as beautiful to a factory girl as to the wife of a factory owner, and the member of the sand lot ball team gets as much fun out of his sport as does a polo player.

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.

Subscribe to RSS - Character