Here is your Friday story, A Fine Line Courtesy of Insight of the Day

Tears poured from her eyes as if there was no tomorrow, and in a sense, for her, there were no tomorrows. That was her reality. Her daughter was in the Shock Trauma Intensive Care Unit (STICU), having sustained a severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) as well as numerous other injuries. The 17-year-old patient, still in a coma, had been injured two months earlier and the mother had just been told, “You know, with this kind of injury, your daughter’s current condition might be the best she’ll ever be.”

The nurse who told the mother that night that terrible prognosis might have been 100% correct. But, no mother wants to hear words like that from a nurse. Mothers just want to hear, “Everything is going to be fine. Your daughter (or son) will one day be able to get married, go to school….One day this will merely be remembered as a terrible nightmare.”

However, we all know that “bad things happen to good people,” and sometimes unfortunately, there is no “happy Hollywood movie ending.” No matter how hard the staff tries, people pass away at hospitals all the time.

However, working in a hospital, I’ve seen first hand, patients who were given “absolutely no hope” to awaken from a coma, sometimes eventually “miraculously” improved. That is why I often tell people, “I love my job because I get to see ‘miracles’ happen all the time.”

I guess one can say I have a unique perspective as I was one of those patients of whom the doctors said, “There is absolutely no hope.” I sustained a traumatic brain injury. However, as I said, I’ve seen many patients suffering from strokes, heart attacks, internal bleeding, who were all given “no hope” diagnoses, but survived and many went on to live productive fulfilling lives.

Why do some patients with absolutely “no hope” diagnoses survive while others do not? I’m not sure whether there is a definite answer to that question. However, the statement made by the nurse to that mother keeps bothering me. Basically, I believe, that nurse was telling the mother not to have hope. (More altruistic people might say that the nurse was preparing the mother for the inevitable.)

On the other hand, good friends often try to help by saying things like, “Mary is going to be just fine, or “Johnny will be well in plenty of time for his senior prom.” However, what happens if that, or anything else, does not go the way it is “supposed to”?

I like to say, “Hope can be miraculous.” I always say, “I hope…,” as I believe that no human knows for sure the eventual outcome. Doctors know statistics. They know, for example, that there is a 98% chance or even a 99.999% chance of something happening. However, no human can say they know with 100% certainty that something will happen, because if one says that, that is when the “one in a million” will happen. It is like the election on TV. The news reporter says, “We predict that the next president will be____ with a 96% chance of certainty.” That means they are 96% sure of the winner; however they still leave a 4% possibility of the opponent winning. It happens. Just ask Harry Truman.

Some staff at the hospital might say that a family is in “denial.” However, I believe that sometimes denial can be an effective coping skill. I am glad that my family, when I was hurt, “was in a constant state of denial.”

I am not saying that the staff should tell families that “Everything is going to be okay.” No one can say that — just as no one can say the opposite. However, I believe that the staff should share a wide range of possible outcomes — from the worst to the best. When I do that, I always add as a postscript, “My hopes and prayers are with you and your son (or daughter).” Remember, hope can be miraculous. It was for me, as well as many other “hopeless patients.” Whether you are in the hospital room, a courtroom, or a board room; a person needs hope!

———————————————–

By the way: concerning the patient who I spoke about in the beginning of this story, I was fortunate enough to be invited to her high school graduation a few years after her accident and she recently completed a 5K walk for charity. Yes, sometimes hope can be, and is, miraculous!

©2008 by Michael Segal; all rights reserved

Michael Jordan Segal, who defied all odds after being shot in the head, is a husband, father, social worker, freelance author (including a CD/Download of 12 stories, read with light background music, entitled POSSIBLE), and inspirational speaker, sharing his recipe for happiness, recovery and success before conferences and businesses. To contact Mike or to order his CD, please visit www.InspirationByMike.com

Also, please view Mike’s new video at www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZLkyz4KG7A

 

 

 

Here is your Friday story.  Arthur and the Witch – courtesy of Bob Proctor

Young King Arthur was ambushed and imprisoned by the monarch of a neighboring kingdom. The monarch could have killed him but was moved by Arthur’s youth and ideals. So, the monarch offered him his freedom, as long as he could answer a very difficult question. Arthur would have a year to figure out the answer and, if after a year, he still had no answer, he would be put to death.

The question…? What do women really want? Such a question would perplex even the most knowledgeable man, and to young Arthur, it seemed an impossible query. But, since it was better than death, he accepted the monarch’s proposition to have an answer by year’s end.

He returned to his kingdom and began to poll everyone: the princess, the priests, the wise men and even the court jester. He spoke with everyone, but no one could give him a satisfactory answer.

Many people advised him to consult the old witch, for only she would have the answer.

But the price would be high; as the witch was famous throughout the kingdom for the exorbitant prices she charged.

The last day of the year arrived and Arthur had no choice but to talk to the witch. She agreed to answer the question, but he would have to agree to her price first.

The old witch wanted to marry Sir Lancelot, the most noble of the Knights of the Round Table and Arthur’s closest friend!

Young Arthur was horrified. She was hunchbacked and hideous, had only one tooth, smelled like sewage, made obscene noises, etc. He had never encountered such a repugnant creature in all his life.

He refused to force his friend to marry her and endure such a terrible burden; but Lancelot, learning of the proposal, spoke with Arthur.

He said nothing was too big of a sacrifice compared to Arthur’s life and the preservation of the Round Table.

Hence, a wedding was proclaimed and the witch answered Arthur’s question thus:

What a woman really wants, she answered….is to be in charge of her own life.

Everyone in the kingdom instantly knew that the witch had uttered a great truth and that Arthur’s life would be spared.

And so it was, the neighboring monarch granted Arthur his freedom and Lancelot and the witch had a wonderful wedding.

The honeymoon hour approached and Lancelot, steeling himself for a horrific experience, entered the bedroom. But, what a sight awaited him. The most beautiful woman he had ever seen lay before him on the bed. The astounded Lancelot asked what had happened.

The beauty replied that since he had been so kind to her when she appeared as a witch, she

would henceforth, be her horrible deformed self only half the time and the beautiful maiden the other half.

Which would he prefer? Beautiful during the day….or night?

Lancelot pondered the predicament. During the day, a beautiful woman to show off to his friends, but at night, in the privacy of his castle, an old witch? Or, would he prefer having a hideous witch during the day, but by night, a beautiful woman for him to enjoy wondrous intimate moments?

What would YOU do?

What Lancelot chose is below.

BUT….make YOUR choice before you scroll down below.

 

 

OKAY?

Noble Lancelot said that he would allow HER to make the choice herself.

Upon hearing this, she announced that she would be beautiful all the time because he had respected her enough to let her be in charge of her own life.

Here is your Friday story,  Everyone Needs a “Me” File – courtesy of Bob Proctor

During a dinner with friends I mentioned an e-mail I’d received from a 13-year-old thanking me for the way my commentaries had influenced his life. I was clearly proud of the note, and Sally Kinnamon said I should save this and other affirming mementos and put them in a “Me” file.

At first I thought she was being sarcastic, but she assured me she was quite serious. Sally came upon the idea while training in-home nurses, who often work in isolated conditions with little or no affirmative feedback.

She gave each nurse an empty folder labeled “Me” and instructed them to put every form of grateful or complimentary feedback into the file, including cards, notes, letters, and positive performance reviews. She said that this folder should be taken out and read whenever any of them felt unappreciated or questioned the value of their work.

Sally acknowledged that most of the nurses were initially reluctant, fearing it was too self-indulgent, egotistical, or just plain silly, but she explained it’s not a bragging file to show others how good we are. Rather, it’s a private collection evidencing the large and small triumphs that give us psychic gratification and reconnect us with the best reasons we do what we do. Eventually, she said, most of the nurses came to use and draw great comfort and encouragement from their “Me” files.

What a terrific idea. You ought to start a “Me” file for yourself and put in it anything that validates what you do at work or home.

The next step, of course, is to be sure you’re spending time doing the kinds of things that will fill your “Me” file.

Michael Josephson

www.charactercounts.org

To chase down a dream! By Tyer Perry

Sorry I’ve been MIA but we just finished the movie, For Colored Girls, and

I have to tell you, I have new respect for Ntozake Shange’s 1975 writings.

Listening to these words spoken through the voices of Phylicia Rashad,

Kerry Washington, Tessa Thompson, Macy Gray, Kimberly Elise, Thandie

Newton, Whoopi Goldberg, Janet Jackson and Loretta Devine, made me not

only respect the brilliance of the material, but also pull out everything

in me to do my best to give it the care and attention to detail that it

deserved. Out of all that I’ve ever done in my life, nothing has taken

more out of me than this film. It is remarkable.

 

Being so drained, I decided to take a few days off. Yesterday I was

hiking a mountain in Hawaii with a friend. I was laboring up this

beautiful green pastured mountain, looking down at my feet trying to be

sure of my footing, while at the same time trying to catch my breath from

the altitude. At times, I would make big steps, sometimes all I could do

was take small ones. The terrain was uneven and rough at times. It took

a lot of effort and a lot of thought so, needless to say, I was getting

really tired and at times wanted to stop or just turn back.

 

I got to one peak and I thought “I’m here, great, we can rest now” only to

realize that just because I was at the top of one peak, that didn’t mean I

had arrived. There were more…more valleys to go through and more heights

to reach. It was interesting to me, that in order to go higher, we

usually had to go down through a valley, and it went on and on and up and

up. I was tired and wanted to sit down but my friend said, “Come on,

let’s go a little higher.” So, not to be outdone by a girl (lol), I dug

my hiking boots in and went a little higher. We finally got to one of the

highest points and she said to me, “This is the best part, now turn

around.” I turned around and behind me was the most amazing view that I

had seen in my 40 years on this earth. As far as my eyes could see,

beauty reigned. The Hawaiian Islands seemed to be leaping up out of the

silver blue sea, stretching up to catch the dust of the sky. The clouds

seemed close enough to catch in my hand and make a wish; rays of sunlight

danced through them trying to find a path to show off their own glow and

power. Not even Picasso could have out-painted the canvas that was before

me. The heavens were declaring the glory of God. I saw Him in motion.

 

I said to my friend, “When did we get this high?”, and she said, “It was

in the climb.” I couldn’t help but think about life – mine and maybe even

yours. I thought about how hard it had been for me chasing down my dream.

I thought about how hard it can be to believe sometimes. I thought about

the entire struggle, all of the pain, all of the hope, all of the doubt.

I thought about the times I was working a dead end job, trying to believe;

moving through day-to-day with my head down just taking one step at a

time, some small, some big ones, wanting to give up; wanting to stop and

sit for a while; wanting to lay in my sorrow; nobody believing in me;

nobody thinking it would come to pass and never realizing that every step

was taking me closer to higher. That hike was painful, it hurt, but

through it all I was getting higher and had no idea how high I was.

That’s what it’s like to chase down a dream.

 

Sometimes in life dreams are hard to follow, like that climb. You don’t

know how high you’re going or even if you’re moving, but every step, even

when you can’t see what’s behind you, will take you closer to your goals.

It’s in the climb. I know you may be struggling right now, but you’re in

the climb; things may be hard right now, but you’re in the climb; people

may not believe in you, but it’s part of the climb. They may take shots

at you, but stay in the climb; you may have to stand alone, but you’re in

the climb. Even if you’re not where you want to be right now, I want to

say to you what she said to me, “This is the best part, now turn around.”

Look how far you’ve come. God has not brought you this far to leave you.

Stay in the climb.

 

So thankful for all of you. Be well. CLIMB!

 

Tyler Perry

Here is your Friday story, Acres of Diamonds. Courtesy of Bob Proctor

One of the most interesting Americans who lived in the 19th century was a man by the name of Russell Herman Conwell. He was born in 1843 and lived until 1925. He was a lawyer for about fifteen years until he became a clergyman.

One day, a young man went to him and told him he wanted a college education but couldn’t swing it financially. Dr. Conwell decided, at that moment, what his aim in life was, besides being a man of the cloth – that is. He decided to build a university for unfortunate, but deserving, students. He did have a challenge however. He would need a few million dollars to build the university. For Dr. Conwell, and anyone with real purpose in life, nothing could stand in the way of his goal.

Several years before this incident, Dr. Conwell was tremendously intrigued by a true story – with its ageless moral. The story was about a farmer who lived in Africa and through a visitor became tremendously excited about looking for diamonds. Diamonds were already discovered in abundance on the African continent and this farmer got so excited about the idea of millions of dollars worth of diamonds that he sold his farm to head out to the diamond line. He wandered all over the continent, as the years slipped by, constantly searching for diamonds, wealth, which he never found. Eventually he went completely broke and threw himself into a river and drowned.

Meanwhile, the new owner of his farm picked up an unusual looking rock about the size of a country egg and put it on his mantle as a sort of curiosity. A visitor stopped by and in viewing the rock practically went into terminal convulsions. He told the new owner of the farm that the funny looking rock on his mantle was about the biggest diamond that had ever been found. The new owner of the farm said, “Heck, the whole farm is covered with them” – and sure enough it was.

The farm turned out to be the Kimberly Diamond Mine…the richest the world has ever known. The original farmer was literally standing on “Acres of Diamonds” until he sold his farm.

Dr. Conwell learned from the story of the farmer and continued to teach it’s moral. Each of us is right in the middle of our own “Acre of Diamonds”, if only we would realize it and develop the ground we are standing on before charging off in search of greener pastures. Dr. Conwell told this story many times and attracted enormous audiences. He told the story long enough to have raised the money to start the college for underprivileged deserving students. In fact, he raised nearly six million dollars and the university he founded, Temple University in Philadelphia, has at least ten degree-granting colleges and six other schools.

When Doctor Russell H. Conwell talked about each of us being right on our own “Acre of Diamonds”, he meant it. This story does not get old…it will be true forever.

Opportunity does not just come along – it is there all the time – we just have to see it.

Earl Nightingale

1921-1989, From Our Changing World Radio Transcript

Author of The Strangest Secret

Here is your Friday story, What You “Know” Can Get in The Way! courtesy of Bob Proctor

There are those that say, “The older you get, the harder it is / the longer it takes to learn.” Then there are those that say “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” Scientists have done studies on how children learn at an accelerated rate compared to adults, etc. Yada, yada, yada… I believe this has become largely “excuses” for most people to not learn or to only go half way with learningsomething new.

I have discovered with my own learning that I personally accelerate when I don’t let what I think I already “know” get in the way of the new information I’m trying to take in. For instance – I have been a trumpet player since the 3rd grade and have been both a “talented” little boy and a “not so lucky” player. In high school, the message of “wanting to be a professional player was a reckless career choice and would carry with it disastrous results in life,” was constantly fed to me by “authority” figures… “You’ll never have a home, never have a Family, etc.” So I essentially stopped Learningbecause after all – what’s the point?

After returning to the horn 3 years after quitting, I was extremely self-conscious of my inabilities on the instrument… because deep down inside I still carried my dream, but had that message being played from within – you’re not lucky enough to have what it takes, etc. Comparing myself to other players, not wanting to appear weak, etc. would ultimately cause me to live by the mantra of “I know that!”

My growth as a player was essentially stifled because of fear – I didn’t want others to see my weaknesses and I worried too much about their opinions of me and my abilities / inabilities. This went on for literally YEARS! Until my wife was able to “break” through and help me see that all of this inability was created by the core issue of fear. It was not an easy process, but once the root of the problem was discovered, I started working on it. Once I did, my learningstarted to grow because I no longer felt captive to the idea of others opinions, etc.

So let’s jump back for a minute… children (largely babies) learn very quickly – there is no question about that. But let’s also remember that not too many people are telling babies “you can’t do that” when it comes to walking, talking, learning languages, and other skills and setting them up with insecurities about their learning. But as school age children through adulthood we run into those that are insecure enough that they must put others down about making mistakes or admitting to not knowing something… causing us to put up our defences and stifle our own growth.

Ultimately, when we build defences and build walls to keep out that which creates fear and pain, we also wall off our ability to grow… learning after all is growth!

Keith Fiala
http://www.TrumpetResources.com

 

Keith Fiala is a professional trumpeter living in Austin, TX with his wife and step-daughter and he DOES have a home!

Here is your Friday story,  Graduation Advice – courtesy of Bob Proctor

Whenever I’m asked to give a commencement speech, I’m intimidated by the challenge of finding something to say that’s profound and practical without being trite. I haven’t succeeded yet, but that hasn’t stopped me from trying. So here are some thoughts for graduates:

· By all means, set goals and go after your dreams, but know that your ultimate happiness will depend not on your plans but your ability to cope with unexpected turns and unavoidable ups and downs. You may not get what you thought you wanted, but if you’re willing to adapt, you can get something even better.

· Don’t ever underestimate the power of character. If you want to win, don’t whine. Success is made from hard work, perseverance, and integrity, not luck.

· Listen to both your heart and your head. Pursue your passions, but don’t confuse feelings with facts. Almost nothing is as good or as bad as it first appears, and all things change.

· Remember, pain and disappointment are inevitable, but tough times are temporary. The enduring impact of experiences and the true nature of relationships are only revealed by time. Persist with confidence that no negative emotion can withstand your will to be happy.

· Fill your life with laughter, but don’t confuse fun or pleasure with happiness. Don’t sacrifice a thousand tomorrows for a few todays.

· Live within your means and don’t overestimate your ability to resist temptations that threaten your relationships or reputation.

· How you make a living is important, but how you make a life is vital. If you don’t pay attention to your personal relationships, no amount career success will be enough.

This is Michael Josephson reminding you that character counts.

Michael Josephson
www.charactercounts.org

Here is your Friday story, When There’s Nothing We Can Do  courtesy of Bob Proctor

“Out of all that you possess, what do you believe is the most valuable?” he asked me.

“Rich, you know me well enough to know I put little value on things in my life. So, this, for me, is a difficult question,” I replied.

“It’s not the same answer for everyone and yet, most people put little, if any, value on this,” he said.

Rich is a man with more energy than any one person should have. When he is speaking with you he talks to everyone around you. When he is in a room everyone knows it. He is not boisterous, rude or obnoxious. He is just super happy and friendly with everyone he meets.

There are times when I see people and wish out loud, “I want to be that happy.” I’m not sure I’d want to be as happy as Rich. He sometimes exhausts me.

I thought about what he said for a few minutes while he scanned the people nearby.

“Hey, this is Bobby Perks. He’s a big time writer!” he said to someone. I, in turn, wanted to hide.

“Well, I would guess I would say I value my home. It’s a simple one, big enough for Marianne and I, but I would guess shelter would have to be at the top of my list.”

“Good answer. I knew you wouldn’t say your car. You don’t drive a fancy one. You don’t wear a watch or fancy jewelry. You’re right, stuff doesn’t matter to you.”

“So, what’s your answer?”

“Your words. Not because you are a writer and a speaker. I believe that you own your words and many people don’t. You care about what you say.”

He gives me more credit than I deserve for I have, like some people, said things I regretted later.

I thought about “owning my words.”

They say that actions speak louder than words, but people tend to say things without really thinking.

Words build up or tear down.

Words inspire or insult.

The first words spoken have made lovers out of strangers.

The last words whispered may ease a mourners pain.

Words spoken in anger are often forgiven, but rarely forgotten.

“Just what I needed to hear!” means God spoke through you.

You are what you say and how you say it.

Matthew 12:37 “For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”

Dale Carnegie once said, “You have it easily in your power to increase the sum total of this world’s happiness now. How? By giving a few words of sincere appreciation to someone who is lonely or discouraged. Perhaps you will forget tomorrow the kind words you say today, but the recipient may cherish them over a lifetime.”

Sometimes words are all we have when there’s nothing we can do.

“I wish you enough!”

Bob Perks

Bob Perks is an inspirational author and speaker. Bob’s new book I Wish You Enoughhas been published by Thomas Nelson Publishers. A collection of stories based on hisEight Wishes expressed below. Available through your favorite bookstore or online. Visit www.BobPerks.com

“I Wish You Enough!”
(c) 2001 Bob Perks
I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.
I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger.
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish you enough “Hello’s” to get you through the final “Goodbye.”

 

Here is your Friday story, Gliding Through Life – courtesy of Bob Proctor

Jumping over huge snow mounds, then propelling down steep snow slopes at a ridiculously high speed to the bottom of the mountains–what a feeling!

Well, maybe in my dreams. However what was I going to say when the person who had asked me to give an inspirational speech in Boise, Idaho, invited me to try skiing after I concluded my talk? I had just finished my talk with the words: “Nothing is impossible.” However, I am disabled after having been hurt as a teenager, AND I had never, ever, been snow skiing. I asked myself: “What am I going to do?”

Well, I did the only thing I could think of and calmly stated: “I’ve never skied in my life; however, I’m always looking for challenges, so I would love to go.” As I returned to my hotel room I was excited for the next day’s “skiing adventure.”

I awoke and dressed appropriately for the slopes. Tina, who had been the one to invite me to deliver the keynote at Boise State University, came to my room with her friend. We started the 45 minute drive up the mountain. As we got out of the car Tina said, “Wait here, I need to get the instructor, John, who I hired.”

Shortly afterwards, she came back with John who explained that I needed rental equipment (skis, poles, etc.). He helped me put the equipment on and said, “Mike, lets go to the slopes.”

It wasn’t easy getting from the locker room to the slopes, but the guide helped me (a lot!) and we finally got to the “rope tow.” (For those of you who are not aware, a “rope tow” is how beginners on the “bunny hill” get from the bottom of the hill to the top. I never knew there was anything called a “rope tow” but I learned quickly.) John said, as he was ready for me to try to get on the tow, “Are you ready?” and I replied, “Yep.” His response was, “One, two, three…go.” I grabbed the tow, almost falling, but I did it!

John was right behind me on the tow. When we got to the top he explained how we were going to go down the hill: he would hold onto the rented pole at one end and I would hold onto the other end. He then explained that as we would be going down the hill we would put weight on one leg, then on the other, in order to descend the hill on an angle.

My excitement was mounting and finally he asked, “Ready?”

As we pushed off, a huge smile on my face could be seen by everyone.

Meanwhile, down at the base of the hill, Tina and her friend had brought “cam cord” cameras to record my “skiing experience” so I could always have a reminder. However, unfortunately, Tina’s camera battery had run out; and to make matters worse, her friend’s camera’s battery also had run out of power.

What was she going to do? She became frantic. She wanted this experience to be videoed.

Just then, out of the corner of her eyes, she saw a news crew with a camera doing a story at the ski mountain. She ran over to them and begged, “Can I buy some video?”

Naturally, they all said, “Of course not.” However, after she explained the need for the camera, the news crew became enthusiastic and they shot the film. That night, there was a story on Channel 7 News about, “a first-time skier whom the camera crew had just run into.” (Actually, it was Tina who had “run into them.”)

I learned many things about life that bright sunny day while skiing down the slopes in Idaho. For everyone, life is full of “bumps and not always smooth”. However, with the right attitude (as well as other factors), few things in life are impossible. I proved that as I glided down to the base of the mountain.

Michael Segal

Michael Jordan Segal, who defied all odds after being shot in the head, is a husband, father, social worker, freelance author (including a CD/Download of 12 stories, read with light backgroud music, entitled POSSIBLE), and inspirational speaker, sharing his recipe for happiness, recovery and success before conferences and businesses. To contact Mike or to order his CD, please visit www.InspirationByMike.com and please take a moment to check out his youtube video at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hNeRqpaoNpQ you will be glad you did.

 

 


Here is your Friday story, “The Big Deal – That Shouldn’t Have Been”. Courtesy of Bob Proctor

The “big deal” in this case has nothing to do with Goldman Sachs, Wall Street, health care, or government bailouts. It did involve money, though, and that is part of the reason it made headlines. A couple of weeks ago, Brian Davis told the truth, acted with integrity, and forfeited $411,000 in the process.

You likely know the story. It happened during the Verizon Heritage golf tournament. Brian Davis and Jim Furyk were on the first hole of a playoff, after finishing the day with identical scores. Davis had holed a clutch 18-foot putt for birdie on the final hole to force the playoff. But he ran into trouble quickly.

Davis was in a hazard that had clusters of reeds all around. He took his time and pondered his options. Playing a 14-time PGA Tour winner such as Furyk, Davis – who has yet to win a PGA event – needed to make a spectacular shot. He and his caddie looked it over carefully. He struck the ball. Then he immediately called a PGA official named Slugger White to come over. He told him that he might have grazed one of the reeds on his backswing.

Nobody had called it. The officials standing nearby had not seen anything amiss. Jim Furyk had not protested. But Davis, although he hadn’t felt it through the shaft of his club, believed he had seen it out of the corner of his eye.

White went to the TV monitor. The touch between club and reed was so slight that it took slow-motion replay to spot it. But there it was! And PGA Rule 13.4 – which prohibits moving any “impediment” with the start of a player’s backswing – says that a player is to be assessed a two-stroke penalty for such an infraction. And that was the end of Davis’ chance to win his first PGA event.

The honesty of Brian Davis became a “big deal” immediately. In some ways, it overshadowed the tournament outcome. E-mails and phone calls flooded in to Davis. Members of the PGA’s senior tour phoned to thank him for restoring some sense of integrity to their sport. Teachers had students write essays. “He’s class,” said Slugger White of the man he had to penalize, “first class!”

As Davis himself admitted in the aftermath of his action, though, it should not have been a big deal at all. That’s what Rule 13.4 says, and golf is played by rules. Shortcuts, cheating, taking advantage of one’s opponent, winning by doing whatever you must – they are all part of the lore of life these days. But they have no place in a person of character. Davis wants to win, but fair and square.

That there was such a fuss over a golfer doing what he was supposed to do may be a commentary on the low expectations we have of one another.

“Choose a good reputation over great riches; being held in high esteem is better than silver or gold” (Proverbs 22:1 NLT).

Rubel Shelly

Rubel Shelly is a Preacher and Professor of Religion and Philosophy located in Rochester Hills, Michigan. In addition to church and academic responsibilities, he has worked actively with such community projects as Habitat for Humanity, American Red Cross, From Nashville With Love, Metro (Nashville) Public Schools, Faith Family Medical Clinic, and Operation Andrew Ministries. To learn more about Rubel please go to: www.RubelShelly.com