Sunday, April 26, 2009

A Great Pitcher or a Bad Hitter?

Michael Josephson is the founder of the Josephson Institute for Ethics and Character Counts. He is also one of my favorite commentators and his weekly newsletter is available for free. I strongly encourage everyone to subscribe.

Below is an excerpt from this week’s newsletter. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

“When Ron gave his 7-year-old son Nick his first ball and bat, Nick wanted to play immediately. Ron said, “Son, baseball’s a serious game. You have to practice before you can play well.”

The boy went outside and began throwing the ball high in the air and swinging at it over and over. After an hour, he came in and said, “Dad, can we play now?”

Ron followed him outside and said, “Okay, show me what you can do.”

Nick tossed the ball above him, took a mighty swing, and missed. “Strike one,” he said enthusiastically.

He did it again and missed again. “Strike two!”

Ron said, “Concentrate, Son. Remember, three strikes and you’re out.”

The boy tossed the ball a third time and swung so hard he fell to the ground after hitting nothing but air. Ron winced, but Nick had a triumphant grin.

“Why are you happy?” Ron asked.

“‘Cause I’m great at pitching!”

You have to love Nick’s attitude. He may not turn out to be a good hitter, but he’s likely to lead a happy life. What’s more, he’ll probably bring warmth and cheer into the lives of others because an attitude like his is contagious.

Pessimists might think people like Nick delude themselves by looking at the world through rose-colored glasses. Yet Nick’s world is just as he sees it. His decision to view himself as a successful pitcher instead of a bad hitter will not only make him happier, it may even contribute to his success.

It’s not easy, but if we develop the wisdom to treat frustrations and failures as empowering experiences and generate the strength to let go of self-destructive resentments and grudges, our lives will be filled with a lot more sunshine.

This is Michael Josephson reminding you that character counts.”

Participate. Make a difdference. Live a life that matters.

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