The Wisdom Chronicle is designed to bring nuggets of wisdom from the dozens of books I read every year. I endeavor to share the best of what I have gleaned. The determination of relevance lies with you. Blessings, J. Whiddon
401. LIFE LONG LEARNING “What have you learned from your training in history? Pattern recognition is one reason that a thorough grounding in history was once seen as an indispensable part of a liberal education—why, in the words of George Santayana, those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. That’s why the American founders systematically studied every historical example of a republic, so their Constitution could deal with the forces that had destroyed past republics.”
Excerpt From: Murray, Charles. “The Curmudgeon’s Guide to Getting Ahead.”
402. WHAT PRICE SUCCESS? “These are the captains of industry, Hollywood elite, sports celebrities—icons for all ages. They may have different pasts and different futures, but they all have one thing in common—one regret that no amount of money or power can change. In a word, it’s family. In five words, it’s the lack of family time:
I didn’t see my kids grow. They weren’t a part of my life and I wasn’t there for them, and there’s nothing I can do now to fix what I didn’t do then. I have plenty of time to make money. I don’t have any time to make memories.
Told to me by one of the Forbes 400 richest Americans, that disappointment and discontentment with life has crept into the lives of America’s elite is undeniable. Regret, frustration, and disappointment exist even among the most successful, and it transcends economics and politics.”
Excerpt From: Luntz, Frank. “Win.”
403. WISDOM “A fool may talk, but a wise man speaks.” —Ben Jonson
404. PRIORITIES “The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities. —STEPHEN R. COVEY”
405. CHRISTIAN CORPORATE ACCOUNTABILITY “Among Christians, particularly, it is painful to fire staff, criticize performance, and demand excellence. But the Bible isn’t silent on this issue. The narrative of Scripture paints a picture of God’s character with a beautiful balance of both grace and justice.
Proverbs, for example, says, “Whoever rebukes a man will afterward find more favor than he who flatters with his tongue,” and “Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.”
Hard conversations are just that. They’re hard. But board members must be willing to ask difficult questions and hold the executive leader accountable to the full mission of the organization. When boards do that, they put guardrails around the mission. They thwart drift before it starts.”
Excerpt From: Peter Greer, Chris Horst & Anna Haggard. “Mission Drift.”
406. TRUTH’S ADVANTAGE “Men are not more zealous for truth than they often are for error, and a sufficient application of legal or even of social penalties will generally succeed in stopping the propagation of either. The real advantage which truth has, consists in this, that when an opinion is true, it may be extinguished once, twice, or many times, but in the course of ages there will generally be found persons to rediscover it, until some one of its reappearances falls on a time when from favorable circumstances it escapes persecution until it has made such head as to withstand all subsequent attempts to suppress it.”
Excerpt From: John Stuart Mill. “On Liberty.”
407. HUMBITION (humility + ambition)
408. LIES “Considering that the day is coming when everything secret will be publicly exposed in the full light of God’s knowledge, would you rather be one who dies for telling the truth or one who gets away with a lie — for a while?”
Excerpt From: Harris, Raymond. “The Heart of Business.”
409. PERFECTION “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”—ARISTOTLE
“Have no fear of perfection—you’ll never reach it.” —SALVADOR DALÍ
“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.” —VINCE LOMBARDI”
410. ANIMAL RIGHTS & ABORTION “It is a question I ask all animal rights advocates if I get the opportunity: “Where do you stand on abortion?” The answer to this question is a measure of an animal rights person’s intellectual integrity.
She gave me the same answer I have received from every single person I have asked who held her views. “I’m pro-abortion,” she said. Then she clarified, “I’m not actually for abortion, I just don’t believe any unwanted children should be allowed to come into the world.”
When a women is pregnant, the child is already “in the world,” so to speak. The human being already exists; he or she is just hidden from view inside the mother’s womb. This woman’s response assumed that before making the journey down the birth canal, the baby simply does not exist.
I could have responded to her comment by asking, “Do you think children ought to be allowed to stay in the world if they are unwanted?” The answer to this question must always be “yes,” unless someone wants to affirm infanticide, something I’m sure this woman would never do. The door is now open to a final query, the leading question that properly frames the debate: “The issue with abortion, then, isn’t whether the child is wanted, but whether or not a woman already has a child when she is pregnant, isn’t it?”
Excerpt From: Koukl, Gregory. “Tactics.”
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