Albert Schweitzer was a musician and physician who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1952. This is the message he left for us when he died: “I don't know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.”
Now lest you think I’ve gone all touchy-feely, riding my unicorn over the rainbow as I sprinkle sparklies on the world below, I'll poke you with the pointed advice of Ann Radcliffe: “One act of beneficence, one act of real usefulness, is worth all the abstract sentiment in the world.” In other words, “No one wants to hear what you believe. We’re watching. Show us.”
You go, Ann.
Talk is cheap. Beautiful dreams are for rainbow riders. Small actions, relentless actions, committed actions are the signature of people who change the world.
Are you a world changer?
“The first duty of a human being is to assume the right functional relationship to society – more briefly, to find your real job, and do it.” – Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Have you found your real job? Are you doing it?
No? (Don’t worry, if you’re not yet sure of your real job, Sid Lloyd will help you find it on March 13.)
“You're not obligated to win. You're obligated to keep trying to do the best you can every day. A lot of people are waiting for Martin Luther King or Mahatma Gandhi to come back – but they are gone. We are it. It is up to us. It is up to you.” – Marian Wright Edelman
In the spirit of Marian Edelman, Horace Mann challenged the 1859 graduating class of Antioch University thusly: “Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.”
“Be ashamed to die.” It takes real teeth to say things like that. Horace had him some teeth.
Remember the happiness promised to us by Albert Schweitzer? Jimmy James Barrie gave us Peter Pan, then said, “Those who bring sunshine into the lives of others, cannot keep it from themselves.” I'm thinking he was right.
I have confidence in the words of these 7 worthies because they agree with the Jewish rabbi we quoted last week. “Anyone who seeks his own happiness will not find it. But those who seek the happiness of others will find happiness in all they do.” – a transliteration of the words of Jesus from Mathew 16
Hiding for her life in an attic, the irrepressible Anne Frank said, “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”
This was a buoyant attitude for a teenage girl hiding in an attic. But you're not hiding in an attic. You’re staring into the mirror of a brand new year, full of possibilities.
Look into the eyes of that mirror.
Who will you be in 2009?
Roy H. Williams
NEXT WEEK: The Secret of Success
JANUARY 20-21, Fight the Big Boys and Win is a class for small business owners at Wizard Academy. Sign up today and be our guest in Engelbrecht House, the Academy's amazing student mansion. Free room, all meals provided. The only thing that would make this better is if you could register with a 50 percent discount. Read about it in the rabbit hole.