Those Valedictorians

An issue of Parade Magazine featured the results of a long-term study of 81 class valedictorians conducted by Professor Terry Denney of the University of Illinois.

His quest was to find out whether or not they succeeded. The answer is yes, they were successful, but as a group, the discovery was that they stand apart in how hard they work. He ...Read more

Message From an Olympian

Matt Ghaffari, an immigrant from Iran who won the Silver Medal in the 1996 Olympics and had been the U.S. national amateur wrestling champ for seven years, addressed our company and gave us some sound advice.

He reminded us that we awaken to an "opportunity" clock and not an "alarm" clock. He pointed out that the opportunity clock rings every ...Read more

Those Neurotransmitters

Psychiatrist Peter Marzuk, M.D., of Cornell University Medical College, did an interesting study concerning the suicide rate among pregnant women. He found that of the 315 New York City women who took their own lives between 1990 and 1993, only six were pregnant. He said that was about 70% less than you'd expect, given the city's pregnancy and ...Read more

Be Cool -- Stay In School

As a freshman in high school, Jason Summey had a dream of every one of his fellow students graduating with him, without a single dropout, so he launched his "Be Cool -- Stay In School" program. He's written a book by that title that gives over 100 reasons why kids should finish school. Members of his Dropout Patrol are committed to helping their...Read more

Disability or Different Ability?

Forty-eight-year-old mentally challenged Hank Nichols has found a warm welcome at St. Francis Episcopal Church. The church is Franciscan spiritually and "takes in everybody." An article by Mary A. Jacobs published in The Dallas Morning News spotlighting Hank quotes Elise Mitchell, a member there: "Among people with disabilities, I think those ...Read more

Crime and Illiteracy

An extensive article in a past edition of The Dallas Morning News describes a program to fight illiteracy called HOPE, an acronym for helping others pursue education. It is a voluntary program started by Lucy Smith of Hurst, Texas, who trains the volunteer teachers at the Hutchins State Jail in South Dallas County.

Since 85% to 90% of inmates ...Read more

If He Can, You Can

Eleven-year-old Kacey McCallister lives in Keizer, a suburb of Salem, Oregon. He plays basketball and is also catcher, first base and the outfield in baseball. His play has been so spectacular that a little league team in North Carolina dedicated its season to him and handicapped Boy Scouts in Georgia were inspired by him. People all over ...Read more

Manners Matter

My mother taught her children that while we might not be the smartest people around, we could be courteous, polite and considerate of others. We were taught to say "please," "thank you," "yes, sir" and "yes, ma'am," not to talk with food in our mouths and a few other little niceties of life.

Now, there are some indications that manners are on ...Read more

Good News: You Can Change!

In the worlds of education, athletics, business, government, etc. it's recognized that a person's attitude is often the determining factor in how well they do. In the business world, the dominant factor of successful employees identified by employers was attitude.

Unfortunately, there are more people with a negative attitude rather than a ...Read more

Chance Has No Memory

In January of 1998, Lleyton Hewitt, an Australian high school tennis player, became the lowest-ranked player (550) ever to win an ATP Tour event.

Question: What are the odds that No. 550 would beat players who were ranked, virtually all of them, in the top 50 in the world, and many of them in the top 20? I wonder if Lleyton honestly thought he ...Read more

The Most Desirable Employees

Dr. Tony Zeiss, president of Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, North Carolina, has identified through research the characteristics of the most desirable employees or job candidates. First, a positive attitude is the most important characteristic. Other research indicates the most often promoted employees have high job performance,...Read more

It Don't Matter

Years ago, I heard a speaker, whose name I have unfortunately forgotten, who worked the refrain "it don't matter" throughout his entire talk. He did it humorously and effectively. It was a version of "don't sweat the small stuff," and it made sense because who will remember those petty difficulties a year or two down the road?

Many years ago, I...Read more


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