When I was a youngster in Yazoo City, Miss., twice each week -- on Tuesday and Friday nights -- I delivered the hometown newspaper. One night a week, I collected for the paper. The financial rewards were small but important. More important was the fact that I developed commitment and learned responsibility and how to deal with people. ...Read more
Today was "one of those days." I don't believe I've ever seen as much rain fall so hard or for so long as I did today. My wife and I were on our way to Tyler, Texas, to make a couple of purchases and, more importantly, to see Dr. John Hudnall, an ear, nose and throat specialist, because I had a little physical problem. A blood vessel apparently ...Read more
This morning, I heard a fascinating conversation between a father and a talk-show host. The father said his two little boys had been put on school probation because they had been late to school nine times in the last 60 days. The father felt good about it because it served as a wake-up call.
A family council was called, and the entire family (...Read more
Many people cringe when they see the word "discipline" because they are confusing discipline with punishment. Discipline is something you do for someone; punishment is something you do to someone.
Discipline is the missing quality in many people's lives. Individuals who have never been disciplined consequently do not know how to discipline ...Read more
Many times, I'm asked the question "Is motivation permanent?" and my standard response is "No, but then, neither is bathing." However, in view of a recent letter I received, I'm going to change my answer to "No, motivation is not permanent, but the impact can be permanent, depending on what the motivation is."
For example, several years ago, ...Read more
A friend of mine frequently says that "everyone is entitled to his own opinion -- but no one is entitled to the wrong facts." Yet it seems to be universally true that confidence seems to go with ignorance; the less we know, in many cases, the more dogmatic we are in our statements.
I love the observations that Lawrence Fargher makes concerning ...Read more
Several years ago, on a cold, drizzly morning, I was working in my office, when I heard a strange noise in the chimney. After several minutes, my wife heard it too and thought it might be a bird or a squirrel. I realized it was a bird and that it was trapped, so I opened the damper, and in a few minutes, the bird made his appearance on the ...Read more
We live in a stressful world, and stress has been identified as a prime health culprit. It reduces productivity and often brings illnesses -- including high blood pressure and palpitations of the heart. The experts tell us we should relax, but the question is: how?
You might not be able to relax where you are at the moment, so a short walk to a...Read more
"I was just a kid," said Mr. Sharpe. "One spring day, Father called me to go with him to Old Man Trussell's blacksmith shop. He had left a rake and a hoe to be repaired. And there they were, ready and fixed like new. Father handed over a silver dollar for the repairing, but Mr. Trussell refused to take it. 'No,' he said. 'There's no charge for ...Read more
The parable has always been my favorite method of teaching. The reason is simple: People remember the story, and when they remember the story, they remember the lesson the story provided. As an example, the greatest storyteller of all time, the Carpenter from Galilee, told parable after parable. Incidentally, two-thirds of them had to do with ...Read more
Chances are excellent that when you read the heading on this column, you thought to yourself, "Man, what's he talking about? I live in Chicago, New York or Los Angeles! That's not a small town!" You're right. However, in every big city there are lots of "small towns." The place you work, the neighborhood in which you live, the local church, etc....Read more
Many years ago, Abraham Lincoln said that most of us are about as happy as we make up our minds to be.
Somewhat more recent studies done by David Meyers of Hope College in Holland, Mich., and Ed Dyner of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, indicate that happy people have four things in common: First, they have a support system. For ...Read more
One of the ongoing discussions we hear is that of family values. There are some who try to identify them; others say there are no established family values.
The reason people have been unable to isolate and identify family values, in my opinion, is very simple: There are no "family" values because the values that make for a strong family are ...Read more