Category Archives: Words from the wise

Sage sayings, maxims and quotable quotes

On the Meaning and Wonder of Life

  • Life has no meaning the moment you lose the illusion of being eternal. – Jean-Paul Sarte
  • This is it. There are no hidden meanings. All that mystical stuff is just what’s so. – Werner Erhard
  • The search is what anyone would undertake if he were not sunk in the everydayness of his own life. To become aware of the possibility of the search is to be onto something. Not to be onto something is to be in despair. – Walker Percy
  • The mountains, rivers, earth, grasses, trees, and forests are always emanating a subtle, precious light, day and night, always emanating a subtle, precious sound, demonstrating and expounding to all people the unsurpassed ultimate truth. – Yuan-sou
  • In my hut this spring, there is nothing — there is everything! – Sodo
  • The world is not to be put in order, the world is order incarnate. It is for us to put ourselves in unison with this order. – Henry Miller
  • I am a part of all that I have met. – Alfred Lord Tennyson
  • Darkness within darkness. The gateway to all understanding. – Tao Te Ching
  • Perhaps the truth depends on a walk around the lake. – Wallace Stevens
  • How could drops of water know themselves to be a river? Yet the river flows on. – Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • Hide your body in the Big Dipper. – Zen saying
  • Being is. Being is in-itself. Being is what it is. – Jean-Paul Sarte

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Friedrich Nietzsche (memes to wake the soul)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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To pass along these remarkable insights of Nietzsche, right click on the images and copy/save – and then share widely.  To receive similar, profound memes on a regular basis, follow By George on Facebook and Twitter.

Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

12 Ernest Hemingway Memes

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By George wordsmiths absolutely love the observations of Ernest Hemingway. Here are a dozen of our favourite memes featuring Papa.

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Consider joining the By George Facebook page for daily posts of inspiration and motivation from the likes of Ernest Hemingway. Click here to “like”.  To pass along Papa’s wisdom, right click on these images and copy/save – and then share widely.

Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Wisdom of Winston Churchill (6 FAV memes)

Here are 6 brilliant sayings by Sir Winston Churchill which have been made into attractive memes (ready for you to right-click-copy-and-paste into your presentation).

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Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

 

Poetry for the day; sentiments for the ages

Here are three remarkable poems that capture the solemn and significant essence of this day. These Remembrance Day poems express sentiments for the ages.

Timberline Remembrance Day Ceremony

For the Fallen – Laurence Binyon

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

 

Solemn the drums thrill: Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres.
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

 

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

 

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

 

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England’s foam.

 

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

 

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain,
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

 

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In Flanders Fields – John McRae

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

 

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

 

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

 

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Dulce et decorum est – Wilfred Owen

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.
Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime . . .
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.
If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent(14) for some desperate glory,
The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est
Pro patria mori.

 

(ed. – DULCE ET DECORUM EST are the first words of a Latin saying taken from an ode by Horace. These words were often quoted at the start of the First World War. They mean “It is sweet and right.” The full saying ends the poem: “Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori” which is “It is sweet and right to die for your country.”)

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Chris George, providing reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Lest we forget

Poignant quotes and verse, lest we forget…

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  • The living owe it to those who no longer can speak to tell their story for them. – Czeslaw Milosz, The Issa Valley
  • The greatest glory of a free-born people is to transmit that freedom to their children. – William Havard
  • We must be prepared to make heroic sacrifices for the cause of peace that we make ungrudgingly for the cause of war. There is no task that is more important or closer to my heart. – Albert Einstein
  • When our perils are past, shall our gratitude sleep? – George Canning, The Pilot that weathered the Storm
  • And they who for their country die shall fill an honored grave, for glory lights the soldier’s tomb, and beauty weeps the brave. – Joseph Drake
  • When you go home, tell them of us and say, for their tomorrow we gave our today. – John Maxwell Edmonds
  • The dead soldier’s silence sings our national anthem. – Aaron Kilbourn
  • They hover as a cloud of witnesses above this Nation. – Henry Ward Beecher
  • To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die. – Thomas Campbell, Hallowed Ground
  • I dream of giving birth to a child who will ask, ‘Mother, what was war?’ -Eve Merriam
  • In war, there are no unwounded soldiers. – Jose Narosky
  • For death is no more than a turning of us over from time to eternity. – William Penn
  • They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. / At the going down of the sun and in the morning, We will remember them. – Laurence Binyon, For The Fallen
  • In my dreams I hear again the crash of guns, the rattle of musketry, the strange, mournful mutter of the battlefield. – American General Douglas MacArthur
  • And each man stands with his face in the light of his own drawn sword. Ready to do what a hero can. – Elizabeth Barrett Browning
  • Nurture your minds with great thoughts, to believe in the heroic makes heroes. – Benjamin Disraeli
  • Valor is stability, not of legs and arms, but of courage and the soul. – Michel de Montaigne
  • Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened. – Billy Graham
  • The more we sweat in peace the less we bleed in war. – Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit
  • Heroism … is endurance for one moment more. – George F. Kennan
  • The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example. – Benjamin Disraeli
  • Give me American supply lines, British planes, German officers and Canadian troops, and I can take over the world. – German Nazi General Erwin “The Fox” Rommel
  • Praising what is lost makes the remembrance dear. – William Shakespeare, All’s Well That Ends Well

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Remembrance Verses

Our cheer goes back to them, the valiant dead!
Laurels and roses on their graves to-day,
Lilies and laurels over them we lay,
And violets o’er each unforgotten head.

– Richard Hovey

 

How sleep the brave, who sink to rest,
By all their country’s wishes blest!
When Spring, with dewy fingers cold,
Returns to deck their hallow’d mould,
She there shall dress a sweeter sod
Than Fancy’s feet have ever trod.
By fairy hands their knell is rung,
There Honour comes, a pilgrim gray,
To bless the turf that wraps their clay;
And Freedom shall awhile repair,
To dwell, a weeping hermit, there.

– William Collins

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Cover them over with beautiful flowers,
Deck them with garlands, those brothers of ours,
Lying so silent by night and by day
Sleeping the years of their manhood away.
Give them the meed they have won in the past;
Give them the honors their future forcast;
Give them the chaplets they won in the strife;
Give them the laurels they lost with their life.

– Will Carleton

 

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

– John McCrae, In Flanders Fields

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Chris George, providing reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

 

12 quotes in the name of peace

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  • Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Peace is not an absence of war, it is a virtue, a state of mind, a disposition for benevolence, confidence, justice. – Baruch Spinoza
  • A people free to choose will always choose peace. – Ronald Reagan
  • It isn’t enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it. One must work at it. – Eleanor Roosevelt
  • Peace begins with a smile. – Mother Teresa
  • Peace is not only better than war, but infinitely more arduous. – George Bernard Shaw
  • The real and lasting victories are those of peace, and not of war. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Peace is not absence of conflict, it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means. – Ronald Reagan
  • I believe that to meet the challenges of our times, human beings will have to develop a greater sense of universal responsibility. Each of us must learn to work not just for oneself, one’s own family or nation, but for the benefit of all humankind. Universal responsibility is the key to human survival. It is the best foundation for world peace. – Dalai Lama
  • I am convinced that everyone can develop a good heart and a sense of universal responsibility, with or without religion. – Dalai Lama
  • You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist. – Indira Gandhi
  • Mankind must remember that peace is not God’s gift to his creatures; peace is our gift to each other. – Elie Wiesel

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Chris George, providing reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Ernest Hemingway on his craft of writing

  • All good books have one thing in common – they are truer than if they had really happened, and after you’ve read one of them you will find that all that happened, happened to you and then it belongs to you forever: the happiness and unhappiness, good and evil, ecstasy and sorrow, the food, wine, beds, people and the weather. If you can give that to readers, then you’re a writer.
  • Any man’s life, told truly, is a novel. There is no rule on how it is to write.
  • There are events which are so great that if a writer has participated in them his obligation is to write truly rather than assume the presumption of altering them with invention.
  • A writer should write what he has to say and not speak it (you lose it if you talk about it).
  • All you have to do is write one true sentence.
  • My aim is to put down on paper what I see and what I feel in the best and simplest way.
  • All my life I’ve looked at words as though I were seeing them for the first time.
  • Writing, at its best, is a lonely life…  for he does his work alone and if he is a good enough writer he must face eternity, or the lack of it, each day.
  • You invent fiction, but what you invent it out of is what counts. True fiction must come from everything you’ve ever known, ever seen, ever felt, ever learned.
  • You put down the words in hot blood, like an argument, and correct them when your temper has cooled.
  • All our words from loose using have lost their edge.
  • When writing a novel a writer should create living people; people not characters. A character is a caricature. If a writer can make people live there may be no great characters in his book, but it is possible that his book will remain as a whole; as an entity; as a novel.
  • If a writer of prose knows enough about what he is writing about, he may omit things that he knows and the reader, if the writer is writing truly enough, will have a feeling of those things as strongly as though the writer had stated them. The dignity of movement of an iceberg is due to only one-eighth of it being above water.
  • I was trying to write then and I found the greatest difficulty, aside from knowing what you really felt, rather that what you were supposed to feel, and had been taught to feel, was to put down what really happened in action; what the actual things which produced the emotion that you experienced..
  • There are only two absolutes I know about writing: one is that if you make love while you are jamming on a novel, you are in danger of leaving the best parts of it in the bed; the other is that integrity in a writer is like virginity in a woman – once lost, it is never recovered.

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

On Gratitude

The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving. – H.U. Westermayer

Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving. – WT Purkiser

So while it’s true that Thanksgiving only comes but once a year, we should actually celebrate thanks each and every day. It’s just a matter of learning to live with a spirit of gratitude. – Unknown

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity.  It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.  Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. – Melody Beattie

On Thanksgiving Day we acknowledge our dependence. – William Jennings Bryan

Greed grabs, Gratitude receives. – Unknown

Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed.  Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude. – D. Waitley

Thankfulness is the ‘chief exercise of godliness’ in which we ought to engage during the whole of our life. ‘Gratitude is the heart … of the Christian life.’ – Unknown

Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings. – William Arthur Ward

How wonderful it would be if we could help our children and grandchildren to learn thanksgiving at an early age. Thanksgiving opens the doors. It changes a child’s personality. A child is resentful, negative, or thankful. Thankful children want to give, they radiate happiness, they draw people. – Sir John Templeton

Gratitude is a constant attitude of thankfulness and appreciation for life as it unfolds.  Living in the moment, we are open to the abundance around us and within us.  We express appreciation freely.  We contemplate the richness of our life.  In life’s trials, we seek to understand, to accept, to learn. Gratitude is a continual celebration of life. – Unknown

Gratitude is a vaccine, an antitoxin, and an antiseptic.’ This is a most searching and true diagnosis. Gratitude can be a vaccine that can prevent the invasion of a disgruntled attitude. As antitoxins prevent the disastrous effects of certain poisons and diseases, thanksgiving destroys the poison of fault-finding and grumbling. When trouble has smitten us, a spirit of thanksgiving is a soothing antiseptic.- John Henry Jowett

Thanksgiving Day is a jewel, to set in the hearts of honest men; but be careful that you do not take the day, and leave out the gratitude. – E.P. Powell

I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual. – Henry David Thoreau

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Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

 

Henry Miller’s 10 Commandments for Writers

  1. Work on one thing at a time until finished.
  2. Start no more new books, add no more new material to “Black Spring.”
  3. Don’t be nervous. Work calmly, joyously, recklessly on whatever is in hand.
  4. Work according to Program and not according to mood. Stop at the appointed time! When you can’t create you can work.
  5. Cement a little every day, rather than add new fertilizers.
  6. Keep human! See people, go places, drink if you feel like it.
  7. Don’t be a draught-horse! Work with pleasure only.
  8. Discard the Program when you feel like it—but go back to it next day. Concentrate. Narrow down. Exclude.
  9. Forget the books you want to write. Think only of the book you are writing.
  10. Write first and always. Painting, music, friends, cinema, all these come afterwards.

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Chris George, providing reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Margaret Atwood’s 10 Rules for Writers

  1. Take a pencil to write with on airplanes. Pens leak. But if the pencil breaks, you can’t sharpen it on the plane, because you can’t take knives with you. Therefore: take two pencils. If both pencils break, you can do a rough sharpening job with a nail file of the metal or glass type.
  2. Take something to write on. Paper is good. In a pinch, pieces of wood or your arm will do.
  3. If you’re using a computer, always safeguard new text with a ­memory stick.
  4. Do back exercises. Pain is distracting.
  5. Hold the reader’s attention. (This is likely to work better if you can hold your own.) But you don’t know who the reader is, so it’s like shooting fish with a slingshot in the dark. What ­fascinates A will bore the pants off B.
  6. You most likely need a thesaurus, a rudimentary grammar book, and a grip on reality. This latter means: there’s no free lunch.
  7. Writing is work. It’s also gambling. You don’t get a pension plan. Other people can help you a bit, but ­essentially you’re on your own. ­Nobody is making you do this: you chose it, so don’t whine.
  8. You can never read your own book with the innocent anticipation that comes with that first delicious page of a new book, because you wrote the thing. You’ve been backstage. You’ve seen how the rabbits were smuggled into the hat. Therefore ask a reading friend or two to look at it before you give it to anyone in the publishing business. This friend should not be someone with whom you have a ­romantic relationship, unless you want to break up.
  9. Don’t sit down in the middle of the woods. If you’re lost in the plot or blocked, retrace your steps to where you went wrong. Then take the other road. And/or change the person. Change the tense. Change the opening page.
  10. Prayer might work. Or reading ­something else. Or a constant visual­isation of the holy grail that is the finished, published version of your resplendent book.

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Chris George, providing reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Investment insight from Warren Buffett

Here is investment insight from the infamous “oracle of Omaha”, Warren Buffett.

  • Rule No. 1: never lose money; rule No. 2: don’t forget rule No. 1.
  • You don’t need to be a rocket scientist. Investing is not a game where the guy with the 160 IQ beats the guy with 130 IQ.
  • Long ago, Sir Isaac Newton gave us three laws of motion, which were the work of genius. But Sir Isaac’s talents didn’t extend to investing: He lost a bundle in the South Sea Bubble, explaining later, “I can calculate the movement of the stars, but not the madness of men.” If he had not been traumatized by this loss, Sir Isaac might well have gone on to discover the Fourth Law of Motion: For investors as a whole, returns decrease as motion increases.
  • Time is the friend of the wonderful business, the enemy of the mediocre.
  • After all, you only find out who is swimming naked when the tide goes out.
  • Investors should remember that excitement and expenses are their enemies. And if they insist on trying to time their participation in equities, they should try to be fearful when others are greedy and greedy only when others are fearful.
  • When we own portions of outstanding businesses with outstanding managements, our favorite holding period is forever.
  • You can sell it to Berkshire, and we’ll put it in the Metropolitan Museum; it’ll have a wing all by itself; it’ll be there forever. Or you can sell it to some porn shop operator, and he’ll take the painting and he’ll make the boobs a little bigger and he’ll stick it up in the window, and some other guy will come along in a raincoat, and he’ll buy it.
  • It’s far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price.
  • The stock market is a no-called-strike game. You don’t have to swing at everything–you can wait for your pitch. The problem when you’re a money manager is that your fans keep yelling, ‘Swing, you bum!’
  • Long ago, Ben Graham taught me that ‘Price is what you pay; value is what you get.’ Whether we’re talking about socks or stocks, I like buying quality merchandise when it is marked down.
  • Our approach is very much profiting from lack of change rather than from change. With Wrigley chewing gum, it’s the lack of change that appeals to me. I don’t think it is going to be hurt by the Internet. That’s the kind of business I like.
  • The best thing that happens to us is when a great company gets into temporary trouble…We want to buy them when they’re on the operating table.
  • I have pledged – to you, the rating agencies and myself – to always run Berkshire with more than ample cash. We never want to count on the kindness of strangers in order to meet tomorrow’s obligations. When forced to choose, I will not trade even a night’s sleep for the chance of extra profits.
  • I am a better investor because I am a businessman, and a better businessman because I am no investor.

 

Chris George, providing reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

A life lesson at home plate

This is making the rounds – a great story with a remarkable life lesson.

 

In Nashville, Tennessee, during the first week of January, 1996, more than 4,000 baseball coaches descended upon the Opryland Hotel for the 52nd annual ABCA convention.  While I waited in line to register with the hotel staff, I heard other more veteran coaches rumbling about the lineup of speakers scheduled to present during the weekend. One name, in particular, kept resurfacing, always with the same sentiment — “John Scolinos is here? Oh man, worth every penny of my airfare.”  Who the hell is John Scolinos, I wondered. No matter, I was just happy to be there.

In 1996, Coach Scolinos was 78 years old and five years retired from a college coaching career that began in 1948. He shuffled to the stage to an impressive standing ovation, wearing dark polyester pants, a light blue shirt, and a string around his neck from which home plate hung — a full-sized, stark-white home plate.  Seriously, I wondered, who in the hell is this guy?

After speaking for twenty-five minutes, not once mentioning the prop hanging around his neck, Coach Scolinos appeared to notice the snickering among some of the coaches. Even those who knew Coach Scolinos had to wonder exactly where he was going with this, or if he had simply forgotten about home plate since he’d gotten on stage.

Then, finally … “You’re probably all wondering why I’m wearing home plate around my neck. Or maybe you think I escaped from Camarillo State Hospital,” he said, his voice growing irascible. I laughed along with the others, acknowledging the possibility. “No,” he continued, “I may be old, but I’m not crazy. The reason I stand before you today is to share with you baseball people what I’ve learned in my life, what I’ve learned about home plate in my 78 years.”

Several hands went up when Scolinos asked how many Little League coaches were in the room. “Do you know how wide home plate is in Little League?” After a pause, someone offered, “Seventeen inches,” more question than answer.
“That’s right,” he said. “How about in Babe Ruth’s time? Any Babe Ruth coaches in the house?”
Another long pause.
“Seventeen inches?” came a guess from another reluctant coach.
“That’s right,” said Scolinos. “Now, how many high school coaches do we have in the room?” Hundreds of hands shot up, as the pattern began to appear. “How wide is home plate in high school baseball?”
“Seventeen inches,” they said, sounding more confident.
“You’re right!” Scolinos barked. “And you college coaches, how wide is home plate in college?”
“Seventeen inches!” we said, in unison.
“Any Minor League coaches here? How wide is home plate in pro ball?”
“Seventeen inches!”
“RIGHT! And in the Major Leagues, how wide home plate is in the Major Leagues?”
“Seventeen inches!”
“SEV-EN-TEEN INCHES!” he confirmed, his voice bellowing off the walls. “And what do they do with a Big League pitcher who can’t throw the ball over seventeen inches?” Pause. “They send him to Pocatello!” he hollered, drawing raucous laughter.

“What they don’t do is this: they don’t say, ‘Ah, that’s okay, Jimmy. You can’t hit a seventeen-inch target? We’ll make it eighteen inches, or nineteen inches. We’ll make it twenty inches so you have a better chance of hitting it. If you can’t hit that, let us know so we can make it wider still, say twenty-five inches.’”
Pause.
“Coaches …”
Pause.
” … what do we do when our best player shows up late to practice? When our team rules forbid facial hair and a guy shows up unshaven? What if he gets caught drinking? Do we hold him accountable? Or do we change the rules to fit him, do we widen home plate?”

The chuckles gradually faded as four thousand coaches grew quiet, the fog lifting as the old coach’s message began to unfold. He turned the plate toward himself and, using a Sharpie, began to draw something. When he turned it toward the crowd, point up, a house was revealed, complete with a freshly drawn door and two windows. “This is the problem in our homes today. With our marriages, with the way we parent our kids. With our discipline. We don’t teach accountability to our kids, and there is no consequence for failing to meet standards. We widen the plate!”
Pause. Then, to the point at the top of the house he added a small American flag.
“This is the problem in our schools today. The quality of our education is going downhill fast and teachers have been stripped of the tools they need to be successful, and to educate and discipline our young people. We are allowing others to widen home plate! Where is that getting us?” Silence. He replaced the flag with a Cross.
“And this is the problem in the Church, where powerful people in positions of authority have taken advantage of young children, only to have such an atrocity swept under the rug for years. Our church leaders are widening home plate!”

I was amazed. At a baseball convention where I expected to learn something about curveballs and bunting and how to run better practices, I had learned something far more valuable. From an old man with home plate strung around his neck, I had learned something about life, about myself, about my own weaknesses and about my responsibilities as a leader. I had to hold myself and others accountable to that which I knew to be right, lest our families, our faith, and our society continue down an undesirable path.

“If I am lucky,” Coach Scolinos concluded, “you will remember one thing from this old coach today. It is this: if we fail to hold ourselves to a higher standard, a standard of what we know to be right; if we fail to hold our spouses and our children to the same standards, if we are unwilling or unable to provide a consequence when they do not meet the standard; and if our schools and churches and our government fail to hold themselves accountable to those they serve, there is but one thing to look forward to …” With that, he held home plate in front of his chest, turned it around, and revealed its dark black backside.  “… dark days ahead.”

Coach Scolinos died in 2009 at the age of 91, but not before touching the lives of hundreds of players and coaches, including mine. Meeting him at my first ABCA convention kept me returning year after year, looking for similar wisdom and inspiration from other coaches. He is the best clinic speaker the ABCA has ever known because he was so much more than a baseball coach.

His message was clear: “Coaches, keep your players — no matter how good they are — your own children, and most of all, keep yourself at seventeen inches.

 

(ed. – Thank you to Dick Inwood and Claude Bennett who forwarded this poignant story to us.)

 

Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Some of Muhammad Ali’s greatest quotes

ali_1992By George has compiled some of our favourite quotes from the life of Muhammad Ali – “The Greatest of All-time.”

 

“I am an ordinary man who worked hard to develop the talent I was given. I believed in myself, and I believe in the goodness of others.”

 

“It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen.”

 

“It’s lack of faith that makes people afraid of meeting challenges, and I believed in myself.”

 

“Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”

 

“The man who has no imagination has no wings.”

 

“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.”

 

“A man who views the world the same at fifty as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life.”

 

“Rivers, ponds, lakes and streams – they all have different names, but they all contain water. Just as religions do – they all contain truths.”

 

“It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.”

 

“The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses – behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights.”

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“I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.”

 

“He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.”

 

“Silence is golden when you can’t think of a good answer.”

 

ali_foreman“Only a man who knows what it is like to be defeated can reach down to the bottom of his soul and come up with the extra ounce of power it takes to win when the match is even.”

 

“I never thought of losing, but now that it’ s happened, the only thing is to do it right. That’s my obligation to all the people who believe in me. We all have to take defeats in life.”

 

“I wish people would love everybody else the way they love me. It would be a better world.”

 

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Here are a few golden quips about the ring and Ali’s mastery of talking trash.

“Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. His hands can’t hit what his eyes can’t see. Now you see me, now you don’t. George thinks he will, but I know he won’t.”

 

“I’m the greatest thing that ever lived! I’m the king of the world! I’m a bad man. I’m the prettiest thing that ever lived.”

 

“I am the greatest. I said that even before I knew I was.”

 

“It’s just a job. Grass grows, birds fly, waves pound the sand. I beat people up.”

 

“I done wrestled with an alligator, I done tussled with a whale; handcuffed lightning, thrown thunder in jail; only last week, I murdered a rock, injured a stone, hospitalised a brick; I’m so mean I make medicine sick.”

 

“If you even dream of beating me you’d better wake up and apologize.”

 

“I’m so fast that last night I turned off the light switch in my hotel room and was in bed before the room was dark.”

 

“I am the astronaut of boxing. Joe Louis and Dempsey were just jet pilots. I’m in a world of my own.”

 

“I used to tease Joe Louis by reminding him that I was the greatest of all time. But Joe Louis was the greatest heavyweight fighter ever.”

 

“People don’t realize what they had till it’s gone. Like President Kennedy, there was no one like him, the Beatles, and my man Elvis Presley. I was the Elvis of boxing.”

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Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer or experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

 

10 sage quotes on success from Benjamin Franklin

Thankfully, Benjamin Franklin left behind volumes of writings, from which we have gained invaluable knowledge of his thoughts on life, work and success. Here are 10 gems on success that ring as true today as they did in Franklin’s era.

  • Well done is better than well said.
  • Never confuse motion with action.
  • Diligence is the mother of good luck.
  • By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.
  • To succeed, jump as quickly at opportunities as you do at conclusions.
  • Do not fear mistakes. You will know failure. Continue to reach out.
  • When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.
  • Energy and persistence conquer all things.
  • Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today.
  • All mankind is divided into three classes: those that are immovable, those that are movable, and those that move.

For more wisdom from this American intellect, read “14 Lessons From Benjamin Franklin About Getting What You Want In Life.”

 

Chris George, providing reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Harold S. Geneen sharing good business sense

Here are a dozen quotes on a decent approach to the world of business from the legendary, American corporate leader Harold S. Geneen.

  • The worst disease which can afflict executives in their work is not, as popularly supposed, alcoholism; it’s egotism.
  • You can’t run a business or anything else on a theory.
  • In business, words are words; explanations are explanations, promises are promises, but only performance is reality.
  • Leadership is practiced not so much in words as in attitude and in actions.
  • Leadership cannot really be taught, it can only be learned.
  • Better a good decision quickly than the best decision too late.
  • A true leader has to have a genuine open-door policy so that his people are not afraid to approach him for any reason.
  • I don’t believe in just ordering people to do things. You have to sort of grab an oar and row with them.
  • The best way to inspire people to superior performance is to convince them by everything you do and by your everyday attitude that you are wholeheartedly supporting them.
  • The only unforgivable sin in business is to run out of cash.
  • Telephones, hotels, insurance—it’s all the same. If you know the numbers inside out, you know the company inside out.
  • In the business world, everyone is paid in two coins: Cash and Experience. Take the experience first. The cash will come later.

Chris George, providing reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Henry Ford on work and life

Here are wonderfully insightful quotes on work and life from American business tycoon Henry Ford.

  • You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do.
  • There is no man living that can not do more than he thinks he can.
  • Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.
  • As we advance in life we learn the limits of our abilities.
  • I am looking for a lot of men who have an infinite capacity to not know what can’t be done.
  • Don’t find fault, find a remedy.
  • Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason why so few engage in it.
  • The only real security that a man can have in this world is a reserve of knowledge, experience and ability.
  • It has been my observation that most people get ahead during the time that others waste.
  • Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.
  • There are no big problems, there are just a lot of little problems.
  • Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs.
  • Quality means doing it right when no one is looking.
  • A business absolutely devoted to service will have only one worry about profits. They will be embarrassingly large.
  • It is not the employer who pays the wages. Employers only handle the money. It is the customer who pays the wages.
  • A bore is a person who opens his mouth and puts his feats in it.
  • Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.
  • You will find men who want to be carried on the shoulders of others, who think that the world owes them a living. They don’t seem to see that we must all lift together and pull together.
  • Life is a series of experiences, each one of which makes us bigger, even though sometimes it is hard to realize this. For the world was built to develop character, and we must learn that the setbacks and grieves which we endure help us in our marching onward.

Chris George, providing reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

 

 

Quotes on Politics, Democracy, etc.

  • What the government is good at is collecting taxes, taking away your freedoms and killing people.  It’s not good at much else. – Tom Clancy
  • It’s important to realize that whenever you give power to politicians or bureaucrats, it will be used for what they want, not for what you want. – Harry Browne
  • Give government the weapons to fight your enemy and it will use them against you. – Harry Browne
  • The State is the coldest of all cold monsters, and coldly it tells lies, and this lie drones on from its mouth: ‘I, the State, am the people’. – Friedrich Nietzsche
  • An oppressive government is much worse than a man-eating tiger. – Confucious
  • It is weakness rather than wickedness which renders men unfit to be trusted with unlimited power. – John Adams
  • If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, it expects what never was and never will be. – Thomas Jefferson
  • A moderate is  either someone who has no moral code  of  his own, or if he  does, then he’s  someone who  doesn’t have the  guts to take sides between good and evil. – Rick Gaber
  • Give a good man great powers and crooks grab his job. – Rick Gaber
  • Overload the police with victimless crimes and other minutiae and eventually only creeps and bullies remain cops. – Rick Gaber
  • Power draws the corrupted; absolute power would draw the absolutely corrupted. – Colin Barth
  • The more prohibitions there are, the poorer the people will be. The more laws are promulgated, the more thieves and bandits there will be. – Lao-tzu
  • Intellect annuls Fate. So far as a man thinks, he is free….The revelation of Thought takes man out of servitude into freedom. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. – Frederic Bastiat
  • There is one safeguard known generally to the wise, which is an advantage and security to all, but especially to democracies as against despots. What is it? Distrust. – Demosthenes: Philippic 2, sect. 24
  • People constantly speak of  ‘the government’ doing this or that, as they might speak of God doing it. But the government is really nothing but a group of men, and usually they are very inferior men. – H.L. Mencken
  • Crime does not pay … as well as politics. – Alfred E. Newman
  • Politics is a means of preventing people from taking part in what properly concerns them. – Paul Valery
  • When we give government the power to make medical decisions for us, we, in essence, accept that the state owns our bodies. – Ron Paul
  • …somebody has to take governments’ place, and business seems to me to be a logical entity to do it. – David Rockefeller
  • Government is big business, with the face of democracy. – Jim West
  • Once we roared like lions for liberty; now we bleat like sheep for security! The solution for America’s problem is not in terms of big government, but it is in big men over whom nobody stands in control but God. – Norman Vincent Peale
  • Democracy is when two wolves and a sheep vote on what they will have for lunch. – Anonymous
  • Democracy is defended in 3 stages.  Ballot Box, Jury Box, Cartridge Box. – Ambrose Bierce
  • We’re [United States] not a democracy. It’s a terrible misunderstanding and a slander to the idea of democracy to call us that. In reality, we’re a plutocracy: a government by the wealthy. – Ramsey Clark

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.