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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

  1. BOOKER T. INSIGHT ON SLAVERY “Yet while a race remembers and relives its sufferings and wrongs, it is often unwittingly transformed, often into the very image of its oppressor. Moreover, bitterness anchors the mind in the past and takes the heart with it. There is no future and no sense of the possible. There is only the incessant churning. Soon it becomes an excuse, a room into which the heart can run to find justification for failure and wrongs of its own. The end comes after the isolation and the rage have run their course. Bitterness is the second sting of the wound, and its fruit is death.

If his people gave in to such a fate, there would be no day of destiny, no uplift from the bog of slavery. Instead, there would be slums, race wars, poverty, cold distance from the white man and the comforting ooze of anything that deadened the mind and masked the pain. They would never show their worth, never achieve their best, and never give the next generation a higher plane from which to launch into a new day. Then the haters would seem to be right. Black people would indeed be worthless, for bitterness makes impotent all that it touches.

So Washington determined to drive the spirit of bitterness from his people. He had been a slave and he knew that there were “cruel wrongs inflicted upon us.” He admitted these openly, but he also begged his people to remember that the God who loved them had a plan for turning the horror to good. The Negro had come into slavery the pagan property of white people. Now the Negro was a Christian and an American with a ballot in hand. There was good that had come out of the tragedy and blacks “should not permit our grievances to overshadow our opportunities.

Excerpt From: Mansfield, Stephen. “Then Darkness Fled.”

  1. PERSEVERANCE “You outlive your darkest day. In other words, failure can never be your destination. In adverse circumstances, you must remind yourself that this day is not your last. You must look for a destination beyond the devastation.”

Excerpt From: “Coach K’s Key Words for Success”

  1. PROGRESS “Progress is impossible if you only attempt to do the things you have always done.”

Excerpt From: “Coach K’s Key Words for Success”

  1. WINSOME “Wouldn’t you like to have a magic phrase that would stop arguments, eliminate ill feeling, create good will, and make the other person listen attentively?

Yes? All right. Here it is: “I don’t blame you one iota for feeling as you do. If I were you I would undoubtedly feel just as you do.”

An answer like that will soften the most cantankerous old cuss alive. And you can say that and be 100 percent sincere, because if you were the other person you, of course, would feel just as he does.”

Excerpt From: Carnegie, Dale. “How To Win Friends & Influence People.”

  1. HAVE A PLAN “An average plan vigorously executed is far better than a brilliant plan on which nothing is done.”

Excerpt From: Tracy, Brian. “Eat That Frog!”

  1. FLOOD OF FAITH “God informed Noah of His plan: He was going to destroy the world with a flood. So for one hundred and twenty years, by faith, Noah followed the Lord’s leading. He gathered the materials, he built the ark, probably to the ridicule of everyone around him. After all, this was a world that had never known rain; the earth was watered from beneath. And while Noah was building this ark, he was preaching righteousness to those around him. . . . Surrounded and mocked by his depraved . . . contemporaries, this preacher of righteousness, by faith, stood against the tide of his culture.”

Excerpt From: Charles R. Swindoll. “Wisdom for the Way.”

  1. FAILURE = SUCCESS “My personal rule is “Get it 80 percent right and then correct it later.” Run it up the flagpole and see if anyone salutes. Don’t expect perfection the first time or even the first few times. Be prepared to fail over and over before you get it right.

The biggest enemies we have to overcome on the road to success are not a lack of ability and a lack of opportunity but fears of failure and rejection and the doubts that they trigger. The only way to overcome your fears is to “do the thing you fear,” as Emerson wrote, “and the death of fear is certain.”

Excerpt From: Tracy, Brian. “Eat That Frog!.”

  1. LIFE’S CHALLENGES Imagine yourself on a stormy night all alone in your TV room watching a horror film. You are captivated by fear – if only imaginary – and your focus is completely on the plot and images right in front of you.  You are drawn in to the point of obsession. Now imagine that same film playing in your living room – in the background – on a sunny Sunday afternoon as you are in the kitchen baking cookies and talking with family or occasionally on the phone as the oven readies the treats. That is what scary things/problems in our lives are like. We can be totally focused and obsessed with our problems to the exclusion of all else, or we can know that there are always difficult situations in our lives that we must handle.  They are always going on in the background, but we cannot let them continually dominate our attention to the exclusion of other responsibilities and pleasures in life.


  1. PRAYERS ANSWERED “On some occasions my prayers were answered the way I wanted. At other times He seemed to say, “Not now,” or “No,” or simply “Wait.” This third reply is the most difficult to accept.”

Excerpt From: Dobson, James. “Your Legacy.”

  1. CONFRONT EVIL  “The issues of the world must be met and met squarely. The forces of evil do not disdain preparation, they are always prepared and always preparing.”

— C. Coolidge


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