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Issue 537 - "The most important foundation you build is your own." (Booker T. Washington Part Eighteen)

Woodens Wisdom
Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 11 Issue 537
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, he was the dominant leader of American educational innovation and reform.
In 1881, Mr. Washington arrived in Tuskegee to start the first school in Alabama where African American students could receive a post-secondary education to become teachers. Mr. Washington knew that; "The most important foundation you build is your own." In his 1901 autobiography, Up From Slavery, Mr. Washington describes how did that:
"From the very beginning, at Tuskegee, I was determined to have the students do not only the agricultural and domestic work, but to have them erect their own buildings.
My plan was to have them taught the latest and best methods of labor, so that the school would not only get the benefit of their efforts, but the students themselves would be taught to see not only utility in labor, but beauty and dignity; would be taught, in fact, how to lift labor up from mere drudgery and toil and would learn to love work for its own sake.
At first many advised against the experiment of having the buildings erected by the labor of the students, but I was determined to stick to it. I told those who doubted the wisdom of the plan that I knew that our first buildings would not be so comfortable or so complete in their finish as buildings erected by the experienced hands of outside workmen, but that in the teaching of civilization, self-help, and self-reliance, the erection of buildings by the students themselves would more than compensate for any lack of comfort or fine finish.
I knew it would please the students very much to place them at once in finely constructed buildings, I felt that it would be following out a more natural process of development to teach them how to construct their own buildings.
Mistakes I knew would be made, but these mistakes would teach us valuable lessons for the future.
At the present time, a building of any description or size can be constructed wholly by our instructors and students, from the drawing of the plans to the putting in of the electric fixtures, without going off the grounds for a single worker."
Booker T. Washington was a great people builder because he made people build their own foundations.

Yours in Coaching,
Craig Impelman




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Application Exercise



Mother Nature

Good, kindly Mother Nature plays
No favorites, but smiles for all
Who care to tread her pleasant ways
And listen to the song birds' call.
The tulips and the violets grow
For all the world to gaze upon;
With beauty are the hills aglow
Not for a few, but everyone.

Her grass grows green for rich and poor,
For proud and humble, high and low;
Beside the toiler's cottage door
Her morning glories sweetly grow.
In palace or in tenement
Her sunbeams just as gayly dance;
No special charm to one is sent,
No favored few possess her glance.

Her skies are blue for one and all,
Her flowers for every mortal bloom;
Her rains upon all creatures fall,
For all the world is her perfume.
The rich man gets no sweeter smile
Than does the ragged barefoot boy;
Yes, all who live and love the while,
May Mother Nature's charms enjoy.

Ah, what a lesson we may learn
From kindly Mother Nature's ways!
A smiling face we seldom turn
To strangers, when we meet their gaze.
A kindly word we seldom speak
Except unto a favored few,
And some return we often seek
For every kindly deed we do.

Edgar Albert Guest (1881-1959)






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