Over the years as I have written this column, one of the things I have sincerely tried to do is to always include some personal benefits for you, the reader. This is not always easy. Unlike a large group of people who show up at a meeting knowing ahead of time what the topic will be, my readership is very diverse. My readers are of all ages, have various interests and backgrounds, and are people from all walks of life. While I am not naive and know that I don’t always succeed, I welcome the challenge and do my best to help as many of you as I possibly can. This came to mind when I thought about what I want to share with you today. While most of us seek to be better at something, there is one thing we can all work on -- including yours truly -- and that is to be a better human being.
And boy, do I have some good news for you. I have already soaked it in. A while back a friend shared something with me that was printed in a Quaker newsletter several years ago. When I read it, I could not believe how good it was. You be the judge, but I believe that learning, using and being reminded of the following information will help any of us live a little closer to heaven and prepare us for better things to come.
Please carefully and thoughtfully consider each one: “Live beneath your means -- Return everything you borrow -- Stop blaming other people -- Admit it when you make a mistake -- Give clothes not worn in three years to charity -- Do something nice and try not to get caught -- Listen more; talk less – Every day take a 30-minute walk -- Strive for excellence, not perfection -- Be on time -- Don’t make excuses -- Don’t argue -- Get organized -- Be kind to kind people -- Be kind to unkind people -- Let someone cut ahead of you in line.
Take time to be alone – Re-read your favorite book -- Cultivate good manners -- Be humble -- Realize and accept that life isn’t fair -- Know when to keep your mouth shut -- Go an entire day without criticizing anyone -- Learn from the past -- Plan for the future -- Live in the present -- Don’t sweat the small stuff -- It’s all small stuff.”
Well, how about that? This little short piece contains as much good and solid information as anything I have ever run across in my entire life. I am going to keep this in my wallet and pull it out and read it from time to time. I will be a better human being if I can just learn to do most of the things on the list.
At this point I am pleased to tell you that this information came from the late Coach Don Meyer, who came here to Conway to speak at a basketball clinic coordinated by my friend, Coach Cliff Garrison. The day following his presentation, Cliff brought him to our prayer breakfast and I had the chance to hear him speak and meet him in person. Later, I wrote a column about Coach Meyer, and it ran in newspapers all across the nation, including his hometown paper, The American News, published in Aberdeen, South Dakota.
Coach Meyer was the epitome of what a successful coach and a terrific human being should be. During his career, he coached at three universities as men’s head basketball coach, winding up at Northern State University in Aberdeen. His combined record at both NAIA and NCAA schools was 923 wins and 324 losses. When he retired in 2010, he had won more games than any coach in history, until being surpassed by Duke University Coach Mike Krzyzewski the following year. As good as he was he was a better human being. Thanks, Cliff, for bringing him our way.