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Issue 546 - My Favorite Dynamic Duo: Booker T. Washington and John Wooden: "What Will Pay?" (Booker T. Washington Part Twenty Seven)

Woodens Wisdom
Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 11 Issue 546
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.
Booker T. Washington and John Wooden both had the same approach to honesty.
Coach Wooden learned three simple rules from his Father:
"Never lie
Never cheat
Never steal"
Coach liked to say: "Tell the truth. That way you don’t have to remember a story."
In his 1902 book, Character Building, Mr. Washington delivered a great message to his students on the same topic. The title of his speech was "What Will Pay?’:
"What things pay in life? Will this course of action, or that business? What will pay? What will profit me most? What will make my life most useful? What will bring about the greatest degree of happiness? What will pay best?
Not long ago a certain minister secured the testimony of forty people,who had been successful in business. The question which this minister put to these businesspeople was, whether under any circumstances it paid to be dishonest in business; whether they had found, in all their business career, that under any circumstances it paid to cheat, swindle or take advantage of their fellowmen, or in any way to deceive those with whom they came in contact.
Every one of the forty answered, without hesitation, that nothing short of downright honesty and fair dealing ever paid in any business. They said that no one could succeed permanently in business that was not honest in dealing with his fellowmen, to say nothing of the future life or of doing right for right’s sake.
It does not pay an individual to do anything except what his conscience will approve of every day, and every hour and minute in the day. Whenever you are tempted to yield a hair’s breadth in the direction which I have indicated, ask yourself the question over and over again: "Will it pay me in this world? Will it pay me in the world to come?"
How do you stack up in the honesty department?

Yours in Coaching,
Craig Impelman




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Application Exercise



Playing For Keeps

I've watched him change from his bibs and things, from bonnets known as 'cute,'
To little frocks, and later on I saw him don a suit;
And though it was of calico, those knickers gave him joy,
Until the day we all agreed 'twas time for corduroy.
I say I've seen the changes come, it seems with bounds and leaps,
But here's another just arrived—he's playing mibs for keeps!
The guide posts of his life fly by. The boy that is to-day,
To-morrow morning we may wake to find has gone away,
And in his place will be a lad we've never known before,
Older and wiser in his ways, and filled with new-found lore.
Now here's another boy to-day, counting his marble heaps
And proudly boasting to his dad he's playing mibs for keeps!
His mother doesn't like this change. She says it is a shame—
That since he plays with larger boys, he's bound to lose the game.
But little do I mind his loss; I'm more concerned to know
The way he acts the times when he must see his marbles go.
And oh, I hope he will not be the little boy who weeps
Too much when he has failed to win while playing mibs for keeps.
Playing for keeps! Another step toward manhood's broad estate!
This is what some term growing up, or destiny, or fate.
Yet from this game with marbles, played with youngsters on the street,
I hope will come a larger boy, too big to lie or cheat,
And by these mibs which from his clutch another madly sweeps,
I hope he'll learn the game of life which must be played for keeps.

Edgar Albert Guest (1881-1959)






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