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Issue 276 - Replace Criticism with Consideration

Woodens Wisdom
Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 6 Issue 276
Craig Impelman Speaking |  Championship Coaches |  Champion's Leadership Library Login



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.
All wars are planned by older men
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,
Craig Impelman
Twitter: @woodenswisdom




Watch Video

Application Exercise



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,
The Bruce his part has played;
In five successive fields of fight,
Been conquered and dismayed:
Once more against the English host,
His band he led, and once more lost
The meed for which he fought;
And now from battle, faint and worn,
The homeless fugitive, forlorn,
A hut's lone shelter sought.

And cheerless was that resting-place,
For him who claimed a throne;
His canopy, devoid of grace,
The rude, rough beams alone;
The heather couch his only bed -
Yet well I ween had slumber fled,
From couch of eider down!
Through darksome night till dawn of day,
Absorbed in wakeful thought he lay,
Of Scotland and her crown.

The sun rose brightly, and its gleam
Fell on that hapless bed,
And tinged with light each shapeless beam,
Which roofed the lowly shed;
When, looking up with wistful eye,
The Bruce beheld a spider try
His filmy thread to fling
From beam to beam of that rude cot -
And well the insect's toilsome lot,
Taught Scotland's future king.

Six times the gossamery thread
The wary spider threw;
In vain the filmy line was sped,
For powerless or untrue,
Each aim appeared, and back recoiled,
The patient insect, six times foiled,
And yet unconquered still;
And soon the Bruce, with eager eye,
Saw him prepare once more to try
His courage, strength, and skill.

One effort more, his seventh and last!
The hero hailed the sign!
And on the wished-for beam hung fast
That slender silken line!
Slight as it was, his spirit caught
The more than omen; for his thought
The lesson well could trace,
Which even "he who runs may read,"
That Perseverance gains its meed,
And Patience wins the race.

Bernard Barton






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