Soul Food for the last Friday in September 2011

Recently, as part of our Leadership development efforts we have
been taking a battery of evaluations—some that use different colors to
identify our traits, and others that use different letters as short-hand to
help us better understand our attributes. These can be quite insightful in
helping us to be more self-aware of our preferred learning/communication styles
as well as those of others, so we can both apply the Platinum Rule: “Do unto
others as others would have done unto them
and affirm the diversity
and differences that a well-rounded team can bring to bear in creating a high
performance, high accountability & high fulfillment culture.

Not surprisingly, the people part as contrasted with
attention to process or strictly delivering results is something
that is second nature for me.

In coming up with a motto to represent our group in one session,
we chose, “people don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you

This week’s soul food strikes
right at the heart of the matter…

*Author and lecturer Leo Buscaglia once talked about a contest he was asked to judge. The purpose of the contest was to find the most caring child.


A four-year-old child, whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman, who  had recently lost his wife. Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old Gentleman’s’ yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there.

When his mother asked him what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy just said, ‘Nothing, I just helped him cry.’


Teacher Debbie Moon’s first graders were discussing a picture of a family. One little boy in the picture had a different hair color than the other members. One of her students suggested that he was adopted.

A little girl said, ‘I know all about adoption, I was adopted..’

‘What does it mean to be adopted?’, asked another child.

‘It means’, said the girl, ‘that you grew in your mommy’s heart instead of her tummy!’


On my way home one day, I stopped to watch a Little League base ball game that was being played in a park near my home. As I sat down behind the bench on the
first-base line, I asked one of the boys what the score was.

‘We’re behind 14 to nothing,’ he answered with a smile.

‘Really,’ I said. ‘I have to say you don’t look very discouraged.’

‘Discouraged?’, the boy asked with a puzzled look on his face.

‘Why should we be discouraged? We haven’t been up to bat yet.’


Whenever I’m disappointed with my spot in life, I stop and think about little Jamie Scott. Jamie was trying out for a part in the school play. His mother told me that he’d set his heart on being in it, though she feared he would not be chosen.

On the day the parts were awarded, I went with her to collect him after school. Jamie rushed up to her, eyes shining with pride and excitement..  ‘Guess what,
Mom,’ he shouted, and then said those words that will remain a lesson
to me….’I’ve been chosen to clap and cheer.’


An eye witness account from New York City , on a cold day in December, some years ago: A little boy, about 10-years-old, was standing before a shoe store on the roadway, barefooted, peering through the window, and shivering with cold.

A lady approached the young boy and said, ‘My, but you’re in such deep thought staring in that window!’

‘I was asking God to give me a pair of shoes,’ was the boy’s reply.

The lady took him by the hand, went into the store, and asked the clerk to get half a dozen
pairs of socks for the boy. She then asked if he could give her a basin of
water and a towel. He quickly brought them to her.

She took the little fellow to the back part of the store and, removing her gloves, knelt down, washed his little feet, and dried them with the towel.

By this time, the clerk had returned with the socks.. Placing a pair upon the boy’s feet, she
purchased him a pair of shoes. She tied up the remaining pairs of socks and gave them to him.

She patted him on the head and said,
‘No doubt, you will be more comfortable now.’

As she turned to go, the astonished kid caught her by the hand, and looking up into her face, with tears in his eyes, asked her, ‘Are you God’s wife?’

Happy Soul Food Friday! – Friday, September 23, 2011.

The Autumnal Equinox is today Friday, September 23, 2011.

It’s one of only two times in a year that the day and night are of equal length. (Light and Dark in Balance)
The Equinox reminds us about the passage of time-change, the motion of the Earth-change, and the different seasons-change. (Change is certain, Growth is optional)

Along with the Winter and Summer Solstices they demarcate the four seasons.
Today marks the start of Autumn (Fall)  for us in the Northern Hemisphere.

For the Southern Hemisphere, it’s reversed. Spring has just begun… (North and South in Balance)
Today the Sun will begin to rise at the South Pole after six months of darkness (Keep moving into the Light)

Today when the Sun passes straight overhead, at the “zenith” for people on the equator, like in Kenya or Ecuador, there simply aren’t any shadows. (An opposite of Emerson’s Quote: “When it’s dark enough you can see the stars”, “When it’s fully light there ARE no shadows!”)
On this day, the Sun rises directly in the East, and sets directly in the West. (the Rest of the year this varies slightly…)
So on this naturally balanced day may you find your balance and center, in tune and in harmony with mother nature.
Note: Thanks Billy for your inspiration…

Here are some tender vittles to warm the cockles of your heart and inspire mastery in all of us.

The main course is a feel good story captures the importance of manifesting your dreams and achieving your success. ( A goal is a dream with a deadline)

It is never too late…

The  first day of school our professor introduced himself and challenged  us to get to know someone we didn’t already know. I stood up to look  around when a gentle hand touched my shoulder. I turned  around to find a wrinkled, little old lady beaming up at me with a  smile that lit up her entire being.

She said, ‘Hi  handsome. My name is Rose. I’m eighty-seven years old. Can I give  you a hug?’
I laughed and enthusiastically responded,  ‘Of course you may!’ and she gave me a giant  squeeze.. 

‘Why are you in college at such a young,  innocent age?’ I asked.
She jokingly replied, ‘I’m here  to meet a rich husband, get married, and have a couple of  kids…’
‘No seriously,’ I asked. I was curious what  may have motivated her to be taking on this challenge at her  age.
‘I always dreamed of having a college education  and now I’m getting one!’ she told me. 

After class we  walked to the student union building and shared a chocolate  milkshake.
We became instant friends. Every day for the  next three months we would leave class together and talk nonstop. I  was always mesmerized listening to this ‘time machine’ as she shared  her wisdom and experience with me..
Over the course of  the year, Rose became a campus icon and she easily made friends  wherever she went. She loved to dress up and she reveled in the  attention bestowed upon her from the other students. She was living  it up. 

At the end of the semester we invited Rose to  speak at our football banquet. I’ll never forget what she taught us.  She was introduced and stepped up to the podium. As she began to  deliver her prepared speech, she dropped her three by five cards on  the floor.
Frustrated  and a little embarrassed she leaned into the microphone and simply  said, ‘I’m sorry I’m so jittery. I gave up beer for Lent and this  whiskey is killing me! I’ll never get my speech back in order so let  me just tell you what I know.’ 

As we laughed she  cleared her throat and began, ‘ We do not stop playing because we  are old; we grow old because we stop playing.
There are  only four secrets to staying young, being happy, and achieving  success. You have tolaugh and find humor every day. You’ve got to  have a dream. When you lose your dreams, you die.
We  have so many people walking around who are dead and don’t even know  it!
There is a huge difference between growing older  and growing up.
If you are nineteen years old and lie in bed for one full year and don’t do one productive thing, you will  turn twenty years old. If I am eighty-seven years old and stay in  bed for a year and never do anything I will turn  eighty-eight.
Anybody! Can grow older. That doesn’t  take any talent or ability. The idea is to grow up by always finding  opportunity in change.

Have no regrets.
The elderly  usually don’t have regrets for what we did, but rather for things we  did not do. The only people who fear death are those with  regrets..’
She concluded her speech by courageously  singing ‘The Rose.’
She challenged each of us to study  the lyrics and live them out in our daily lives. At the year’s end  Rose finished the college degree she had begun all those months  ago.
One week after graduation Rose died peacefully in  her sleep.
Over two thousand college students attended  her funeral in tribute to the wonderful woman who taught by example  that it’s never too late to be all you can possibly  be.

REMEMBER, GROWING OLDER IS MANDATORY.  GROWING UP IS OPTIONAL. We make a Living by what we get. We make a  Life by what we give.

The second dish is a musical interlude with the Andre Rieu Orchestra from Holland and a thirteen year old virtuoso Melissa Venema playing Taps in its entirety.

The Original version of Taps was called Last Post , and was written by Daniel Butterfield in 1801as you will hear in this clip. In 1862 it was shortened to 24 notes and re-named Taps.

Finally, to see “be the ball” move from a mental concept of being in the flow experience to really happening, check out this video.

Note: Thanks Larry for sending this around…

May you be one with all that brings meaning, purpose, love and laughter to your life and keep the change!

Pay it forward…