Do you set a lousy example?

The editor talks with you

Posted 5/2/21

In “Tame Geese,” philosopher Soren Kierkegaard wrote about a wise old goose. 

He challenged his fellow barnyard geese to test their wings

He extolled the marvel of flight, how all of …

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Do you set a lousy example?

The editor talks with you

Posted

In “Tame Geese,” philosopher Soren Kierkegaard wrote about a wise old goose. 
He challenged his fellow barnyard geese to test their wings
He extolled the marvel of flight, how all of them have wings and the ability to fly.
When he concluded, the other geese went back to eating corn, happily earthbound.
Professional speaker Mark Sanborn tells that story and asks his audiences why they think the geese never left the ground.
Some called the geese lazy, or afraid of trying or comfortable where they are.
Others blamed the wise old goose for not inspiring them but most importantly, the old goose never left the ground himself. 
He does not teach by his example. He talks a good game but that’s all it is.
Think about that. What example are you setting for those you care about? 

As a young man in a small Southern town, my fondest dream was to explore the world, a place so wide and strange that it called me to come find it.
In my impetuous teens I joined the Army. 
It took me half way around the world and gave me a maturing experience. 
In retrospect, it taught me to accept life’s challenges, trying to sleep on cold ground, endure the elements without complaint and to inspire others as a leader.
Aside from a few great commanding officers, ancient Stoics became my teachers.
Zeno, Seneca. Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius taught me to greet my challenges. 
Those challenges give us choices. We can become victims, think like victims, act like victims mourning our fate. 
We can make another choice. We can choose to tackle those challenges, overcome them and find solutions to them. 
It is what we do with those challenges that is important. God tests us to see what kind of material He is working with.
He is not alone in testing us. 

Dark forces are at work in the world. 
Americans are envied and resented for our abundance while others have little.
We are the most generous society in human history. But to our enemies we are ugly Americans, throwing money at them because we have so much of it.
Our southern border is flooded with migrants. Many all over the world dream about flying away to America.
They see our opportunities and aspire to join us for the promise of better lives.
 You may remember the old gospel song Albert Brumley wrote. He was picking cotton on his father’s Oklahoma farm when the idea for the hymn came to him. 
It was Providential and has become one of the most recorded hymns of all time.
“Some glad morning when this life is o’er
I’ll fly away,” he wrote.
Brumley was thinking about the back breaking work of labor in the fields. He saw how hard life can be for many of us.
None of us escape life on this earth without pain. Life is filled with challenges, disappointments, failures and heart breaks.
You have had your share. All of us do.
But what example do you set? Do you talk a great game or do you play one?
Next: Precious memories

A gift suggestion
Do you know someone trying to find their way in life? Give them Jerry Bellune’s inspiring e-book, “Your Life’s Great Purpose.” 
It’s been updated with new stories and a bonus chapter. It’s available for $9.99 on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Lifes-Great-Purpose-Jerry-Bellune-ebook

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Soren, Kierkegaard, Mark, Sanborn, Albert, Brumley

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