Stop and Think submitted by Dawn Ledeboer in Minnesota 5/9/2000
The following is something to make us stop and think. Take this
Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.
Name the last five winners of the Miss America contest.
Name five people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer prize.
Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor.
Name the last decade's worth of World Series winners.
How did you do?
The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday. These
are no second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields. But
the applause dies. Awards tarnish. Achievements are forgotten.
Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.
Here's another quiz. See how you do on this one:
List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.
Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.
Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.
Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and
Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.
Name half a dozen heroes whose stories have inspired you.
Easier? The lesson?
The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with
the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. They are
the ones that care.
The Rose submitted by Becky Childers 4/17/2000
This takes a couple of minutes to read, but truly worth it :)
The first day of school our professor introduced himself and
challenged us to get to know someone we didn't already know. I stood up
to look around when a gentle hand touched my shoulder. I turned around to
find a wrinkled, little old lady beaming up at me with a smile that lit up
her entire being.
She said, "Hi handsome. My name is Rose. I'm eighty seven years
old. Can I give you a hug?" I laughed and enthusiastically responded,
"Of course you may!" and she gave me a giant squeeze.
"Why are you in college at such a young, innocent age?" I asked.
She jokingly replied, "I'm here to meet a rich husband, get married,
have a couple of children, and then retire and travel." "No seriously,"
I asked. I was curious what may have motivated her to be taking on
this challenge at her age. "I always dreamed of having a college
education and now I'm getting one!" she told me. After class we walked to
the student union building and shared a chocolate milkshake. We became
Every day for the next three months we would leave class together and
talk nonstop. I was always mesmerized listening to this "time machine"
as she shared her wisdom and experience with me.
Over the course of the year, Rose became a campus icon and easily
made friends wherever she went. She loved to dress up and she
reveled in the attention bestowed upon her from the other students. She
was living it up.
At the end of the semester we invited Rose to speak at our football
banquet and I'll never forget what she taught us. She was introduced
and stepped up to the podium. As she began to deliver her prepared
speech,she dropped her three by five cards on the floor. Frustrated
and a little embarrassed she leaned into the microphone and simply
said "I'm sorry. I'm so jittery. I gave up beer for Lent and this
whiskey is killing me! I'll never get my speech back in order so let me
just tell you what I know." As we laughed she cleared her throat and
"We do not stop playing because we are old; we grow old because we
stop playing. There are only four secrets to staying young, being happy,
and achieving success.
"You have to laugh and find humor every day. You've got to have a dream.
When you lose your dreams, you die. We have so many people walking
around who are dead and don't even know it!"
"There is a huge difference between growing older and growing up. If
you are nineteen years old and lie in bed for one full year and don't
do one productive thing, you will turn twenty years old. If I am
eighty-seven years old and stay in bed for a year and never do anything I
will turn eighty-eight. Anybody can grow older. That doesn't take any
talent or ability.
The idea is to grow up by always finding the opportunity in change."
"Have no regrets. The elderly usually don't have regrets for what
we did, but rather for things we did not do. The only people who
fear death are those with regrets."
She concluded her speech by courageously singing "The Rose." She
challenged each of us to study the lyrics and live them out in our
At the year's end Rose finished the college degree she had begun all
those years ago. One week after graduation Rose died peacefully in
Over two thousand college students attended her funeral in tribute to
the wonderful woman who taught by example that it's never too late
to be all you can possibly be.
Some say love it is the river
that drowns the tender reed.
Some say love it is the razor
that leaves your soul to bleed.
Some say love it is a hunger
an aching endless need.
I say love it is a flower
and you, it's only seed.
It's the heart afraid of breaking
that never learns to dance.
It's the dream afraid of waking
that never takes a chance.
It's the one who won't be taken
who cannot seem to give,
and the soul afraid of dying
that never learns to live.
When the night has been too lonely
and the road has been too long,
and you think that love is only
for the lucky and the strong,
just remember in the winter
far beneath the bitter snows
lies the seed
that with the sun's love in the spring
becomes the Rose.
And unless you've made other plans, have a wonderful life!