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Issue 79 - The Most Important Word in Our Language is Love and the Second Most Important is Balance - Love

Woodens Wisdom
Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 2 Issue 79
Craig Impelman Speaking |  Championship Coaches |  Champion's Leadership Library Login





This one sentence of Coach Wooden's is a summary of his philosophy and how he lived his life.

Love as an action has many dimensions. One is being nice to people even if they are not being nice to you.
The day after Coach Wooden passed away I concluded that the most important thing I learned from his example was to respond with love to everybody and every situation. RWL became a cheer.
I asked the team I was working with to make a list of all the people and situations they were angry or upset about and determine how to RWL (respond with love) to all of them.
Coach Wooden's philosophy started with his father who, in the evening on the porch of their farm after the chores were done, read to his sons from the Bible, followed by poetry.
The following passage from the Bible became one of John Wooden's favorites:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.
His father reinforced this value when he gave Coach a little card when he graduated from middle school. On one side he had copied down a poem that he loved, by the Reverend Henry Van Dyke:
Four things a man must learn to do If he would make his life more true:
To think without confusion clearly,
To love his fellow man sincerely,
To act from honest motives purely,
To trust in God and Heaven securely.
Coach described the impact this way: Over the years, the poem's message made more and more sense: seek clarity of thought, fill your heart with love and compassion for others, be honest and fair, and trust in the Good Lord.
In the evening before he passed away Coach was visited in the hospital by Dudley Rutherford, who would be conducting his memorial service.
Coach had selected a Scripture passage for his memorial:
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind,” and, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Dudley asked Coach: Do you still want the same Scripture for your service regarding love?
Coach had not spoken much that day and nodded his head.
Dudley then asked: Coach are these two things, loving God and loving your neighbor, things you believe you have done in your life?
Coach replied quietly: Working on it.
Dudley said: Which one are you working on now Coach?
Coach replied: Loving God.
Coach finished and started the same way: with love.
In this great world we get the chance to keep working on both.
Yours in Coaching,
Craig Impelman
Twitter: @woodenswisdom



Watch Video

Application Exercise

Favorite Poetry

 Love Your Neighbor


He is anywhere and everywhere
At the road corner with a sign
Underneath the sun or out in the cold of winter
He is the outcast, the forgotten

It is Christmas but he won't have one
It is Memorial Day, but he is out in the cold
It is July 4th, he is under the bridge away from the sun
It is his life, painful but yet not hopeless

He gathers with peers and celebrates life
In union they enjoy the company of one another
They share a sense of hope by looking at each other's life
Life indeed is not out of sight

He is in search of a new life not suicide
A past to be forgotten and a future to embrace
A sense of belonging and not being alienated
He has answers, he understands his needs

Open up your heart when you see him
For when the sun rises out of the east
On this earth will you stand and see the beauty of this life
People you encounter are the joys of life
For without them you'd be alone on this earth

Embrace therefore your neighbor
Bear no grudge against them
For we walk on this earth but once
And together we will share in the joy of living

David Beckham











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