No 45. Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury
Friday, November 13, 2015
The Four Cornerstones of Character
“The four cornerstones of character on which this nation was built are: Initiative, Imagination, Individuality and Independence.”- Eddie Rickenbacker (1890 – 1973) American Aviator and Business Executive
Why do we go through so many tests? It seems that from the moment we awaken, to the moment get to sleep we have problems. The toilet breaks. The insurance payment did not go through. The dryer breaks. You have a leak over your office at work. You have a flat and you’re late to an appointment. Why Why Why?
For me, it’s all a test of character. I’m impatient and I have a very short fuse. Life is always throwing me under the bus and I seem to always meet those who are pushing my “go off on you button”. And you know what? I don’t go off. I don’t get upset. I don’t say the foolish words that first come to my mind. I breathe and think before speaking. Getting older and wiser I bet!
Initiative: Be a self-starter. Be the first one to raise your hand and say “Yes, I’ll do that for you”. Be the one in the front row and volunteer for that job that you know nothing about and become an expert in a new field. Read a book about a problem and give a talk on it. Write an article on something you know little about and study until you are wise in that area. Be the first, be the best. Step up. Raise that hand high and speak up and say “Here I am…Use me!”
Imagination: Yes, you can do what you’re dreaming about. Yes, you can fulfill your hopes and desires. Yes, you can start a new life, begin to dance, sing, and perform in front of hundreds of people. Dream and act on your vision in life. Become deaf to those who are telling you can’t do something just about the time you are completing your task.
Individuality: Well, I just want to be unforgettable. I’m a handful and what comes out of my mouth sometimes stops other in their tracks, but usually we are all laughing so hard that I’m forgiven being so brash. Be who you have to be, without hurting anyone else, and go make a difference in the world. For me, you love me or you don’t. You’ll remember me one way or the other. Even your enemies can become good friends at some point in your life.
Independence: I don’t need anybody, yet I need everybody. I don’t want anyone’s help, but I need help all the time. I’m on my own, yet surrounded by guides and mentors. I can get the job done by myself and don’t need you to get me through, yet I’m helpless without some collaboration. Don’t be afraid of being independent. There are so few leaders, you’ll always feel a little lonely at the top, but go there anyway. If you are waiting for that phone to ring and the opportunity of a lifetime to be offered to you, you are dreaming my friend. Go out there and make that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity happen on your own. Knock on doors and don’t take no for an answer until you conquer your world.
“Shallow men believe in luck, believe in circumstances — it was somebody’s name, or he happened to be there at the time, or it was so then, and another day would have been otherwise. Strong men believe in cause and effect.”- Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882) American Poet and Essayist
“I have fought: that is much. Victory is in the hands of fate. Be that as it may with me, at least future ages will not deny of me, be the victor who it may – that I did not fear to die, yielded to none of my fellows in constancy, and preferred a spirited death to a cowardly life. (These were the final words of Giordano Bruno (1548-1600), an Italian philosopher who refused to recant his beliefs when being tried by the Inquisition.)”- Giordano Bruno
“Don’t listen to anyone who tells you that you can’t do this or that. That’s nonsense. Make up your mind. Go anywhere you want to. But never, never let them persuade you that things are too difficult or impossible. – Sir Douglas Bader was a British fighter pilot who lost both legs in a flying accident, but still fought in World War Two. He was knighted for his work with the disabled, and the quote above is from his talk to a 14-year-old boy who had lost a leg in a car accident.”- Sir Douglas Bader (1910 – 1982) British Aviator
Keep on Dancing!