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Issue 527 - I Am Everything But Discouraged (Booker T. Washington Part Eight)

Woodens Wisdom
Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 11 Issue 527
Craig Impelman Speaking |  Championship Coaches |  Champion's Leadership Library Login



Booker T. Washington was an American educator, author, orator, and adviser to several presidents of the United States. Between 1890 and 1915, Mr. Washington was the dominant leader of American educational innovation and reform. He is a great American by deed and an American Treasure by example.
In 1872, at the age of sixteen, Washington left his hometown of Malden to somehow make the 500-mile trip to Hampton, Virginia where he hoped to enroll at the Hampton Institute.
In his 1901 autobiography, Up From Slavery, Washington described the last part of his journey:
"By walking, begging rides both in wagons and in the cars, in some way, after a number of days, I reached the city of Richmond, Virginia, about eighty-two miles from Hampton. When I reached Richmond, I was completely out of money. Knowing nothing else better to do, I walked the streets. In doing this I passed by many food-stands where fried chicken and half-moon apple pies were piled high. But I could not get either of these, nor anything else to eat. I must have walked the streets till after midnight. At last I became so exhausted that I could walk no longer.
I was tired, I was hungry, I was everything but discouraged.
Just about the time when I reached extreme physical exhaustion, I came upon a portion of a street where the board sidewalk was considerably elevated. I waited for a few minutes, till I was sure that no passers-by could see me, and then crept under the sidewalk and lay for the night upon the ground, with my satchel of clothing for a pillow.The next morning I woke up somewhat refreshed."
Mr. Washington proceeded to find work unloading a ship. He did this for several days and continued to sleep under the sidewalk so he could save enough money to complete his journey to the Hampton Institute to continue his education.
"When I had saved what I considered enough money with which to reach Hampton, I thanked the captain of the vessel who employed me for his kindness and started again. I reached Hampton with a surplus of exactly fifty cents with which to begin my education."
He was tired, He was hungry, He was everything but discouraged.
Booker T. Washington would go on to change American History.
Are you discouraged?

Yours in Coaching,
Craig Impelman




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Application Exercise



When We Play The Fool

Last night I stood in a tawdry place
And watched the ways of the human race.
I looked at a party of shrieking girls
Piled on a table that whirls and whirls,
And saw them thrown in a tangled heap,
Sprawling and squirming and several deep.
And unto the wife who was standing by,
'These are all angels to be,' said I.

I followed the ways of the merry throng
And heard the laughter and mirth and song.
Into a barrel which turned and swayed
Men and women a journey made,
And tumbling together they seemed to be
Like so many porpoises out at sea-
Men and women who'd worked all day,
Eagerly seeking a chance to play.

'What do you make of it all?' she said.
I answered: 'The dead are a long time dead,
And care is bitter and duty stern,
And each must weep when it comes his turn.
And all grow weary and long for play,
So here is laughter to end the day.
Foolish? Oh, yes, it is that,' said I,
'But better the laugh than the dreary sigh.

'Now look at us here, for we're like them, too,
And many the foolish things we do.
We often grow silly and seek a smile
In a thousand ways that are not worthwhile;
Yet after the mirth and the jest are through,
We shall all be judged by the deeds we do,
And God shall forget on the Judgment Day
The fools we were in our hours of play.'

Edgar Albert Guest (1881-1959)






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