THIS I beheld, or dreamed it in a dream:–
There spread a cloud of dust along a plain;
And underneath the cloud, or in it, raged
A furious battle, and men yelled, and swords
Shocked upon swords and shields. A prince’s banner
Wavered, then staggered backward, hemmed by foes.
A craven hung along the battle’s edge,
And thought, “Had I a sword of keener steel–
That blue blade that the king’s son bears, — but this
Blunt thing–!” he snapped and flung it from his hand,
And lowering crept away and left the field.
Then came the king’s son, wounded, sore bestead,
And weaponless, and saw the broken sword,
Hilt-buried in the dry and trodden sand,
And ran and snatched it, and with battle shout
Lifted afresh he hewed his enemy down,
And saved a great cause that heroic day.
– by Edward Rowland Sill
- “Do what you can,
- with what you have,
- where you are.”
– Theodore Roosevelt
A 10-year-old boy decides to study judo despite the fact that he has lost his left arm in a devastating car accident.
The boy begins lessons with an old Japanese judo master. The boy is doing well, so he can’t understand why, after three months of training the master has taught him only one move.
The boy finally asks: “Sensei, shouldn’t I be learning more moves?”
The sensei replies: “This is the only move you know, but this is the only move you’ll ever need to know.”
Not quite understanding, but believing in his teacher, the boy keeps training.
Several months later, the sensei takes the boy to his first tournament. Surprising himself, the boy easily wins his first two matches. The third match proves to be more difficult, but after some time, his opponent becomes impatient and charges. The boy deftly uses his one move to win the match. Still amazed by his success, the boy is now in the finals.
This time, his opponent is bigger, stronger, and more experienced. For a while, the boy appears to be overmatched. Concerned that the boy might get hurt, the referee calls a time- out. He is about to stop the match when the sensei intervenes and convinces the referee to let him continue.
Soon after the match resumes, his opponent makes a critical mistake: he drops his guard. Instantly, the boy uses his move to pin him. The boy has won the match and the tournament. He is the champion!
On the way home, the boy summons the courage to ask what is really on his mind.
“Sensei, how did I win the tournament with only one move?”
“You won for two reasons,” the sensei answered. “First, you’ve almost mastered one of the most difficult throws in all of judo. And second, the only known defense for that move is for your opponent to grab your left arm.”
- Turn your weaknesses into strength.
(John Kanary tells us the story of Charlie Boswell.)
Charlie is blinded during World War II while rescuing his friend from a tank that is under fire. After the war, even though Charlie is blind, he takes up a sport: Golf!
Through determination and a lot of hard work, he becomes the National Blind Golf Champion! He wins that honor 13 times.
One of his heroes is the great golfer Ben Hogan, so it truly is an honor for Charlie to win the Ben Hogan Award in 1958.
Upon meeting Ben Hogan, Charlie is awestruck and states that he has one wish and it is to have one round of golf with the great Ben Hogan.
Mr. Hogan agrees that playing a round together would be an honor for him as well, as he has heard about all of Charlie’s accomplishments and truly admires his skills.
“Would you like to play for money, Mr. Hogan?” blurts out Charlie.
“I can’t play you for money, it wouldn’t be fair!” says Mr. Hogan.
“Aw, come on, Mr. Hogan…$1,000 per hole!”
“I can’t, what would people think of me, taking advantage of you and your circumstance,” replies Mr. Hogan.
“Chicken, Mr. Hogan?”
“Okay,” blurts a frustrated Hogan, “but I am going to play my best!”
“I wouldn’t expect anything else,” say the confident Boswell.
“You’re on Mr. Boswell, you name the time and the place!”
A very self-assured Boswell responds “10 o’clock . . . tonight!”
- Make others play to your rules.