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Issue 159 - Time Spent Getting Even Would be Better Spent Trying to Get Ahead

Woodens Wisdom
Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 4 Issue 159
Craig Impelman Speaking |  Championship Coaches |  Champion's Leadership Library Login




This favorite quote of Coach Wooden's was inspired by the example of his Father, Joshua.
Joshua Wooden lost his farm because he was sold faulty serum, which ultimately killed all of his hogs.
Joshua never blamed anybody, including the person that sold him the serum; he simply moved to Martinsville, got a job as a masseuse at the local hot springs and moved his family forward.
Joshua and Coach were both inspired in this regard by Abraham Lincoln.
In his book A Game Plan for Life, with Don Yeager, Coach describes it:
Lincoln modeled how to move past disappointments without carrying grudges. The famous closing remarks of his second inaugural address still move me, as he urged Americans:
“With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”
With malice toward none - what a noble goal for us all to hold in our lives!
President Lincoln was standing as the commander in chief of an army locked in battle, but he did not draw strength from the clashes or confidence from the victories. Instead, he grieved over every loss; each fallen soldier pained him, no matter the color of his uniform.
Lincoln understood that the Confederate Army was defending its homeland and rights as they saw fit, and he mourned that the political situation had made battle necessary to resolve the conflict.
He did not savor victories by the Union troops, except in so far as each one might be a step toward ending the war.
That shows a capacity for compassion that is, perhaps, larger than most of us could muster; and yet, what an incredible lesson in forgiveness and reconciliation.
How many of us have conflicts with someone else, and how many of us pray for that person?
We have individuals with whom we are competitive, or whom we dislike or have a quarrel with; but very few of us have true enemies in the martial sense.
And yet, if Lincoln could pray fervently - and contemporary reports indicate he did - for the people who were opposing him, how much more can we do for someone we just find a little irritating?

Yours in Coaching,
Craig Impelman
Twitter: @woodenswisdom




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Application Exercise

Favorite Poetry


The Barefoot Boy


Blessings on thee, little man,
Barefoot boy, with cheek of tan!
With thy turned-up pantaloons,
And thy merry whistled tunes;
With thy red lip, redder still
Kissed by strawberries on the hill;
With the sunshine on thy face,
Through thy torn brim's jaunty grace;
From my heart I give thee joy,-
I was once a barefoot boy!
Prince thou art,- the grown-up man
Only is republican.
Let the million-dollared ride!
Barefoot, trudging at his side,
Thou hast more than he can buy
In the reach of ear and eye,-
Outward sunshine, inward joy:
Blessings on thee, barefoot boy!

Oh for boyhood's painless play,
Sleep that wakes in laughing day,
Health that mocks the doctor's rules,
Knowledge never learned of schools,
Of the wild bee's morning chase,
Of the wild flower's time and place,
Flight of fowl and habitude
Of the tenants of the wood;
How the tortoise bears his shell,
How the woodchuck digs his cell,
And the round mole sinks his well
How the robin feeds her young,
How the oriole's nest is hung;
Where the whitest lilies blow,
Where the freshest berries grow,
Where the groundnut trails its vine,
Where the wood grape's clusters shine;
Of the black wasp's cunning way,
Mason of his walls of clay,
And the architectural plans
Of gray hornet artisans!-
For, eschewing books and tasks,
Nature answers all he asks;
Hand in hand with her he walks,
Face to face with her he talks,
Part and parcel of her joy,-
Blessings on thee, barefoot boy!

John Greenleaf Whittier 






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