My friend Paul Doerfler recently sent me an e-mail that contained the philosophy of Charles Schultz, creator of “Peanuts” comic strip.
Ponder the following questions:
- Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
- Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.
- Name the last five winners of the Miss America pageant.
- Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.
- Name the last half-dozen Academy Award winners for best actor or actress.
- Name the last decade’s worth of World Series winners.
How did you do? I’ll admit, I wasn’t able to answer any of them completely. As important as they might seem at the time, they don’t linger in the mind. They don’t make much of a difference in our lives…at least, not for long.
Schultz puts it this way: “The point is, none of us remember the head liners of yesterday. These are not second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields. But the applause dies…awards tarnish…achievements are forgotten…accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.”
Now ponder these questions:
- List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.
- Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.
- Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.
- Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.
- Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.
Lots easier, right? In fact, the only difficult part for me was limiting the lists. Schultz’s lesson is this: “The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials…the most money…or the most awards. They simply are the ones who care the most.”
Paul’s e-mail got me thinking: how many lists am I on? Am I someone who would spring to mind when someone is pondering these questions?
Do I care enough?
Am I making a difference…a real difference…in the lives of others?