|Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 6
|Craig Impelman Speaking | Championship Coaches | Champion's Leadership Library Login
REPLACE CRITICISM WITH CONSIDERATION
In February of 2002, in his presentation at the original John R. Wooden Course, Coach Wooden spoke poignantly about why more consideration, not criticism of others, would make the world a better place and all of us better individuals:
"During the Vietnam situation a number of years ago, it was sort of an antiestablishment era and a lot a young men in our country were running off to Canada or the Scandinavian countries or elsewhere to avoid the draft.
I didn't want my grandsons to run away. I hoped they wouldn't be drafted but if they were drafted, I wanted them to go. I was extremely critical of those who were running away.
But you know, criticism is like envy; it's like jealousy, it can become cancerous within you and you might not even realize it. You know, jealousy doesn't harm the person of whom you're jealous. It harms you. And I think criticism and envy can do the same thing. It can become cancerous within you. And this was happening to me without the realization; I believe.
But I had occasion to go across the country and in coming back from the east on a plane I picked up a magazine. There was an article I hadn't seen before. It was written by a man who was in World War I and he saw the horrors of war at the very front. He was in the infantry. After one terrible battle between the Allies and the Germans there was a lull. During this lull he sat down and wrote some lines he chose to call: Two Sides of War.
In council rooms apart,
They call for greater armament
And map the battle chart.
But out upon the shattered fields
Where golden hopes are gray,
How very young the faces are
Where all the dead men lay.
Portly and solemn in their pride,
The elders cast their vote
For this or that, or something else,
That sounds the warlike note.
But where their sightless eyes stare out
And gone are all their joys,
I've noticed nearly all the dead
Were hardly more than boys.'
The average age of fatalities was in the teens. Considerably older people were sending them to their death; perhaps necessary.
All I know is I'm glad I made that trip. I'm glad I picked up that magazine. It helped me, I hope, get rid of at least some, and I'd like to think most, of this criticism I had of others.
I do believe if there was just more consideration for others the world would be a much much better place."
Do you have a criticism of others that is growing like a cancer within you? Can you replace it with consideration?
Yours in Coaching,
This poem concerns the story of Robert the Bruce who freed Scotland from England in 1314 after a long hard fight and the motivation provided by a spider to continue with his fight against the English who were occupying Scotland. As all Scottish schoolchildren used to know: "If at first you don't succeed, try, try, try again."
Bruce and the Spider
For Scotland's and for freedom's right,
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