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By Peggy McCracken
Others chosen for awards are equally deserving and humble. Some of them
I'd never heard of, so you know they don't go around tooting their own
horns. That's the kind of people I like to see recognized.
Peter Barragan is a young man who deserves recognition for his
level-headed heroism in rescuing his younger siblings from their burning
Lois and George Vasquez reach out to others all year, but opening their
home to a vanload of orphans stranded in Pecos by a wreck went beyond
mere hospitality. I understand clubs and organizations pitched in to
provide food and clothing, as well.
If some snoopy reporter had the time to hang around the hospital's
emergency room, no doubt a lot of hidden heroes would be revealed. Every
time a wreck happens on the highway, sending strangers to the hospital,
somebody has to take a personal interest in them and see that their
needs are met. Not just medical needs, but care for those standing by,
notification of family, disposition of property.
Often it is the law enforcement officers, ambulance attendants and
hospital personnel who go the extra mile. Quietly, without fanfare. As
if it were all part of the job - which much of it is not.
Do we recognize how very fortunate we are to live in a town, a country,
where people care about each other, stranger or not? Do we take time to
thank those who quietly go about their business, bandaging our wounds,
salving our feelings, going the extra mile to do just the right thing at
the right time?
Someone asked me last week if I really plan to live in Mexico when I
retire. Yes, I did find the perfect spot for a mountainside home. Yes, I
could easily get used to the "manana" culture. But when I think about
what I would have to give up, the desire to get away from it all abates
"How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity! It
is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard..."
Psalm 133:1-2, NIV.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Peggy McCracken is an Enterprise writer, editorial page
editor and "Living off the Land" writer/editor whose column appears each
Lesiure activities affect work product
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Coach John Wooden was undoubtedly the greatest college-basketball coach
of all time, especially if we count the character development of the
young men he coached. He won seven consecutive national championships
and, in one stretch, won 10 out of 12. That's a record that surely will
never be equalled.
Coach Wooden was a firm believer in character development. He
recognized the importance of physical and mental talent, but he also put
a high premium on the character of the individual players. He expected
the athletes to go all-out at practice, but he was equally concerned
about what happened in the athlete's life from the time practice was
over until classes resumed the next day. He believed that what they did
away from the basketball court was the determining factor in how they
played in the game.
Picking up that message from Coach Wooden, I have often said that what
you do off the job determines ultimately how far you go on the job. Most
training offers at least temporary improvement in productivity between
8:00 and 5:00, but what happens from 5:00 in the afternoon until 8:00 in
the morning not only determines productivity on the job but the
longevity of that worker. Giving an all-out effort on your job from 8:00
to 5:00 and then going home to a sensible lifestyle with family or
taking a night course at the university or community college will
produce immediate results and long-term benefits. On the other side of
the coin, those who get involved in drugs or alcohol, or sit up half the
night watching television, are not going to be as sharp and/or
productive on the job as they otherwise would be.
Message: When you're on the job, give it your best shot, and when
you're off the job, maintain a good, balanced life, and I'll see you at
The foundations of character are built not by lecture but by bricks of
good example, laid day by day.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Zig Ziglar is a motivational speaker whose column is
copyrighted and distributed by Creators Syndicate Inc.
Nuclear waste plan mars Taiwan image
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Taiwan has rejected South Korea's demand that it stop transferring
nuclear waste to North Korea. The Taipei government insists that its
decision to ship the nuclear waste to North Korea is none of South
Korea's business. But we have a legitimate right to raise concern about
introducing foreign nuclear waste into the Korean Peninsula.
If Taiwan turns down our demand, it will have to risk paying a much
bigger price. Taiwan may think that it can deal harshly with South Korea
because it severed its diplomatic relations with Taipei in 1992. But
when Taiwan sends its nuclear waste to North Korea, the regret and
friendship that South Koreans still hold deep in their hearts towards
Taiwan will disappear.
If Taiwan, despite international pressure, takes advantage of North
Korea's economic weakness and transfers nuclear waste there, it can no
longer expect South Korean assistance in winning international
recognition of its existence.
-- Chosun Ilbo, Seoul, South Korea
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