Stan Musial

He was one of the best hitters in baseball. 

Musial was so well respected that he had not one but two statues built in his honor outside the Cardinals Busch Stadium in St. Louis.

Musial won seven batting championships, hit 474 homeruns and got 3,630 hits in his career and a career in which he was never thrown out of a game in 22 seasons for arguing with an umpire.

He was such a great guy that 50’s era pitcher Johnny Antonelli reportedly said, “Stan was such a nice guy that I was probably happy for him when he homered off me.”

“Stan the Man” as he was known was a gentleman who had a quality all of us cannot get enough of – humility.

We live in a self-absorbed world. 

We collect Facebook friends just for clicking and document our lives in social media as if we won seven batting championships.

The quality that is so elusive is also so attractive – it’s the one we should all aspire to.

Humility.

“Pride makes us artificial and humility makes us real” – Thomas Merton.

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Losing Faith

See if you can guess who said this:

“I call, I cling, I want – and there is no One to answer – no One on whom I can cling – no, No One.  – Alone … where is my faith – even deep down right in there is nothing but emptiness and darkness – My God, how painful is thus unknown pain – I have no faith”.

In researching my book I was surprised to discover that these words were said by Mother Teresa who is now being considered for sainthood for her work with the poor lepers of Calcutta.

If that great woman could question her faith in a higher power, what are the rest of us to do?

Finding your higher power is not an exercise of religion.  It’s a necessary means for transforming into a life well lived.

It matters not whether we have an official religion or any religion at all.

But we must have faith.

And questioning it is a good thing.  It means we take faith seriously.

For as Sir William Osler said:  

“Without faith a man can do nothing, with it all things are possible.”

And Scott Peck said,

“The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy or unfulfilled.  For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.”

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  • Actually, Sir William Osler’s comment concerning faith is paraphrased from Christ in Matt. 21:21, “Truly I say to you, if only you have faith and do not doubt, not only will you do what I did to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, “Be lifted up and cast into the sea,’ it will happen.  And all the things you ask in prayer, having faith, you will receive.”
     
    Also, in James 2:17:  Thus, too, faith, if it does not have works, is dead in itself.”
     
    Sir Osler must have been a Bible student.

  • Diane Cartwright

The Advantages of Attention Deficit

A recent Wall Street Journal article on the power of concentration raises the issue of the importance of focused concentration.

The article says, “The world’s greatest fictional detective (Sherlock Holmes) is someone who knows the value of concentration of ‘throwing his brain out of action’ as Dr. Watson puts it.  He is the quintessential unitasker in a multitasking world.”

I had a freshmen student in one of my USC music class who visited my office one day and announced, “I have four different kinds of ADD”.   When I said, “Well, you’ll be able to overcome them, I’m sure”, he put me in my place by saying, “It’s not a disadvantage.  It’s an advantage.”

And so it was for that “A” student.

We’re becoming too obsessed with meditation, concentration and the ability to focus.  Not that these things are bad.  Meditation, for example, has many benefits.

My A.D.D. students were very bright.  They just approached things differently.

There is no one way to think, to decide, to learn.  I know that I became a better speaker when I learned new ways to teach students with attention deficit or what we should probably call Attention Positive.

After all, we all have it in some way in the digital age.

That’s why we advance our TiVos past commercials and click off of our iPods before the song has ended.

What really matters is to judge people by what they are, who they are and what they accomplish – not the method by which their minds work.

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6 Ways To Get Real Happy, Real Fast

Sometimes you don’t need meds, shrinks or even friends to jumpstart a better mood.

Life is full of ups and downs.

I know from my television and radio career that sometimes you don’t feel like being happy.  You just want to be left alone until you snap out of it.  That’s a luxury we don’t have in that business.

Before I speak, I try physical activity and nine times out of ten, my emotions rise to the occasion.

But I found these great ideas to get real happy, real fast.  I hope you like them and if you do pass them on to others:

  1. Pump up your activity level.  Increase exercise or even take a walk.  It helps.
     
  2. Contact someone who makes you happy to be in their company.  Even a text or an email will do.
     
  3. Get rid of things that bother you in your space.  Set a timer and see how you feel after 10 minutes.
     
  4. Do a good deed for another – even if you don’t know them.  Practice random acts of kindness (this always works for me).
     
  5. Paste a smile on your face.  My friend Jay Cook was a disc jockey at WFIL, Philadelphia. Before he opened his mike to talk, he broke into a big smile.  Try it.  It works.
     
  6. Do something new.  Anything.  Discovery leads to happiness.

We wouldn’t be human if we didn’t get down from time to time.

If you have a moment, click “comment on this post” and share your best methods for restoring a good mood.

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Things That Say Love

I accept you the way you are.

Actually, psychologists say that try as we may, we can only change 10% of a person – if that!  Mister Rogers was right when he said, “I like you just the way you are.”

It’s all about you, not me.

Try that one in this era of self-absorption.  You’ll feel the love in return.

Forgive me.  I forgive you.

No words can be more powerful that these in a living relationship.

I’m focusing on just you. 

Whatever time can be devoted to giving undivided attention is time well spent.

I will make you laugh.

Laughter heals tears. 

Here’s a hug.

I know no one who doesn’t feel better after a hug.

I will listen.

Open your heart when you open your ears.

See hundreds of other ways on Tumblr.

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