In an Over-Communicated, Intrusive World, Simple is Better

Yes, Virginia, There
Is a Santa Claus

Copyright © 2007
by Ed Bagley

(Editor’s Note: The following editorial by Francis P. Church was first published in The New York Sun in 1897 in response to an
8-year-old girl’s letter to the editor, and is arguably the most famous editorial ever written in an American newspaper. This incredible piece of writing happened when newspapers were the primary means of communication. In 1897 there was no mass communication by radio, television, computers, cell phones and the associated technical goodies we have today. Readers actually believed and trusted in newspapers. Now we do not believe and trust in newspapers anymore than we do in politicians.)

Here is how Francis P. Church responded to Virginia O’Hanlon’s letter:

“We take pleasure in answering thus prominently the communication below, expressing at the same time our great gratification that its faithful author is numbered among the friends of The Sun:

Dear Editor—
I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, “If you see it in The Sun, it’s so.” Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except (in what) they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds.

All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy.

Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The external light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies. You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if you did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove?

Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived could tear apart. Only faith, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal (supernal means “of exceptional quality or extent”) beauty and glory beyond.

Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding. No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.”

About the Exchange
Francis P. Church’s editorial, “Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus” was an immediate sensation, and went on to became one of the most famous editorials ever written. It first appeared in The New York Sun in 1897, more than a hundred years ago, and was reprinted annually until 1949 when the paper went out of business.

Thirty-six years after her letter was printed, Virginia O’Hanlon recalled the events that prompted her letter:

“Quite naturally I believed in Santa Claus, for he had never disappointed me. But when less fortunate little boys and girls said there wasn’t any Santa Claus,
I was filled with doubts.
I asked my father, and he was a little evasive on the subject.

It was a habit in our family that whenever any doubts came up as to how to pronounce a word or some question of historical fact was in doubt, we wrote to the Question and Answer column in The Sun. Father would always say, ‘If you see it in the The Sun, it’s so,’ and that settled the matter.

‘Well, I’m just going to write The Sun and find out the real truth,’ I said to father.

He said, ‘Go ahead, Virginia. I’m sure The Sun will give you the right answer, as it always does’.”

And so Virginia sat down and wrote her parents’ favorite newspaper.

Her letter found its way into the hands of a veteran editor, Francis P. Church. Son of a Baptist minister, Church had covered the Civil War for The New York Times and had worked on the The New York Sun for 20 years, more recently as an anonymous editorial writer.

Church, a sardonic man, had for his personal motto, “Endeavour to clear your mind of cant.” When controversial subjects had to be tackled on the editorial page, especially those dealing with theology, the assignments were usually given to Church.

Now, he had in his hands a little girl’s letter on a most controversial matter, and he was burdened with the responsibility of answering it.

“Is there a Santa Claus?” the childish scrawl in the letter asked. At once, Church knew that there was no avoiding the question. He must answer, and he must answer truthfully. And so he turned to his desk, and he began his reply that was to become one of the most memorable editorials in newspaper history.

Church married shortly after the editorial appeared. He died in 1906, leaving no children.

Virginia O’Hanlon went on to graduate from Hunter College with a Bachelor of Arts degree at age 21. The following year she received her Master’s from Columbia University, and in 1912 she began teaching in the New York City school system, later becoming a principal. After 47 years, she retired as an educator.

Throughout her life she received a steady stream of mail about her Santa Claus letter, and to each reply she attached an attractive printed copy of the Church editorial. Virginia O’Hanlon Douglas died on May 13, 1971, at the age of 81, in a nursing home in Valatie, N.Y.

Musings by Ed Bagley


On Your Potential:
It is possible that you are squandering your ability to develop your potential by spending too much time mooning over what is not right with your life rather than using that same energy to take action to achieve what you want to happen. To do so you must first decide who you are, what it is you want, and why you are here. Once you answer those questions for yourself, you will naturally gravitate toward becoming the person you are, you want to be, and what you are going to do with the rest of your life. Along the way, you will be feeding your passion rather than trying to discover your passion on an ever ending journey to despair.

On Personal Growth:
There is a huge difference between “professional growth” and “personal growth”. Do you know the difference? Virtually all successful people have professional growth. Professional growth is getting more education (a bachelor’s degree or an advanced degree), or successfully completing a training course in some specific skill (an apprentice carpenter becoming a journyman carpenter). Personal growth is totally different because personal growth requires you to change your thought process and belief system. Of every 100 people who could benefit from personal growth, only 10 at most would even attempt to develop personal growth, and, of those 10, only 1 will achieve personal growth because it is so difficult to achieve on your own without professional help of some kind. The one percent of people who achieve personal growth could be called “1 percenters”.
The 1 percenters may be 99% ahead of those who do nothing to change their thought process and belief system.

On Making Comparisons:
It is not good mentally or emotionally to compare yourself or your job with others because there will always be other people who will be greater or lesser than you regardless of what basis of comparison you use.

On Perception:
Perception is a cruel mistress, and as such is an affair you must end. Perception, without critical thinking skills, can become a reality of confusion. Perception, like fear, is real when it is imagined. There may be no real fear, but if you think there is fear, then the fear may as well be real because it is real to you. You have heard the expression, don’t let your imagination run away with you.

Click Category of Choice to See List of Articles Inside.


Finance and Investment

Jobs and Careers

Marketing and Business

Mixed Bag

Movie Reviews


Religion and Faith

Running – Cross Country and Track and Field

Self-Improvement and Communication

Sports Quotes By Famous Coaches

What Ed Reads



Children Learn What They Live

Facing Down Your Worst Threat – How to Handle the Schoolyard Bully

Fathering a Child and Leaving Does Not Make You a Man, Raising the Child Does

If You Could Only Choose One, Would You Rather Have Money, Power, Fame or Health? And Why?

If You Have a Spit of Irish in You, This Is What It Means to Be in an Irish Family

If You Think as a Parent that Little League Baseball Does Not Teach Important Survival Skills, Think Again

Our Lovely Kristin

Should We Be Concerned About the Apparent Violence of Our Children?

Some Thoughts on Marriage

The First Time I Had Witnessed a Miracle

The Real Heroes of Our Time Are Those Who Serve Others

The Story of My Life

What Women Could Know: A Man’s 5 Basic Responsibilities – Part 1

What Women Could Know: A Man’s 5 Basic Tendencies – Part 2

What Women Could Know: 4 Realities in a Man’s World – Part 3

Who Has Had the Greatest Influence on Your Life, and Why?

Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus

Finance and Investment

Clason’s “The Richest Man in Babylon” Reveals the Fastest Way to Become Financially Savvy – Part 1

Clason’s “The Richest Man in Babylon” Part 2 – The 7 Cures for a Lean Wallet and The 5 Laws of Money

Financial Predators: Vermin, Rodents and Other Insect Pests

If USA Families Ran Finances Like Their Government, They Would Go Bankrupt

Why Bankers and Lenders Are Not Your Friends – Part 1

Why Bankers and Lenders Are Not Your Friends – Part 2

Jobs and Careers

A Job Interview Nightmare: When He Asked, “How Do You Motivate Yourself?” I Was Without a Good Answer

Before You Interview, Learn and Practice Ed’s “Zip a Lip” Theory

Female Executives Who Are Too Bold and Too Aggresive Do Not Rise as Fast

Life Is Full of Rejection: Take Harvard University – 22,955 Student Applications and 20,897 Rejections

Online Hiring Threatens to Do Away With Traditional Hard Copy Resumes – Is It Really True? (Part 1 of a 4-Part Series)

Online Hiring – People Skills Are the Most Important Trait You Have to Present in Selling Yourself at an Interview (Part 2 of a 4-Part Series)

Online Hiring – 94% of Candidates Are Hired the Traditional Way: With a Hard Copy Resume and an Interview (Part 3 of a 4-Part Series)

Online Hiring – Many Job Hunters Are Frustrated With the Continual Digitized “Depersonalization” of the Hiring Process (Part 4 of a 4-Part Series)

Potential Hires Who Are Quick to Judge May Be Quickly Eliminated by Interviewers

Professional Resumes Designed To Rev Your Future by Understanding Marketing, Probability and the Marketplace

Recruiter Suggests “Dumbing Down” Your Resume So You Will Be Less of a Threat Getting Hired in a Recession Economy – Is This a Good Idea?

The Biggest Mistake Potential Hires Make While Interviewing for a Job

The Greatest Explosion Can Only Occur When Opportunity Meets Preparedness

There Is No Huge Correlation Between Education and Income and Here Is Why

Unfortunately, Career Fairs Best Serve Everyone But the Intended Jobless

Want a Six-Figure Income Without Getting a College Degree of Any Kind? Here Is How

What Is the Most Critical Career Choice Graduating Students Make?

What Warren Buffett Thinks Is Important When Hiring Staff for Berkshire Hathaway

Who Earns the Most Based on Their Educational Level

Marketing and Business

Just When You Thought That Customer Service Was Dead in America, Along Comes Lasko

Lessons from a Greek Fisherman

Shopping Online = Caveat Emptor (Latin for Let the Buyer Beware)

Why Benjamin Franklin Was Such a Great Entrepreneur – He Would Be All Over Internet Marketing Online

Mixed Bag

We Were Blessed by Visiting Manzanillo, South of Puerto Vallarta, and the Hidden Vida del Mar

Where to Go When You Want to Leave the Rat Race Behind

Movie Reviews

“A Christmas Story” One of the Best Movies Ever Tells of a Boy’s Perfect Gift – 4 Stars (Excellent)

“A Man for All Seasons” Demonstrates What Integrity Should Be in the Middle Ages and Now – 4 Stars (Excellent)

“An Affair to Remember” Rates as a Classic Romantic Drama with Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr – 3 Stars (Good)

“Annie” Rates as One of the Most Uplifting, Harrowing and Positive Broadway Musicals Ever Made – 4 Stars (Excellent)

“Apocalypto” Mel Gibson Brings the Past Violent Mayan Life into Our Consciousness – 4 Stars (Excellent)

“Breakfast at Tiffany’s” Stars Audrey Hepburn, Hollywood’s Most Perfect Actress with Beauty, Fashion, Grace and Humility – 3 Stars (Good)

“Camelot” Is a Magical Movie, and a Primer in Civilized Human Relationships and Personal Growth – 4 Stars (Excellent)

“Chariots of Fire” Is Very Simply the Greatest Running Movie Ever Made – 4 Stars (Excellent)

“Chicago” Shows Two Murderesses Who Beat the Rap in a Fight for Fame – 4 Stars (Excellent)

“Chocolat” Is Moviemaking at Its Best: A Sweet Story With an Important Message – 4 Stars (Excellent)

“Cinema Paradiso” Director Giuseppe Tornatore Wins Best Foreign Film Oscar – 4 Stars (Excellent)

“Don Juan DeMarco” Can Johnny Depp Convince You That He Is “Don Juan DeMarco”? Bank on It – 4 Stars (Excellent)

“Dressed to Kill” The Best Psychological Thriller Since “Wait Until Dark” – 4 Stars (Excellent)

“Fiddler on the Roof” Celebrates Jewish Heritage and Cultural Change – 4 Stars (Excellent)

“Forrest Gump” Teaches Many Lessons, and Tom Hanks Earns Best Actor Oscar – 4 Stars (Excellent)

“Ghost” Appeals to Our Fervent and Subtle Imagination – 3 Stars (Good)

“Little Big Man” Old Lodge Skins Makes This a Perfect Blend of Comedy and Drama3 Stars (Good)

“Million Dollar Baby” – This Is One Fight Where You Get Your Money’s Worth – 3 Stars (Good)

“My Big Fat Greek Wedding” An Independent Film Production That Became an Excellent, Big Fat Paycheck – 4 Stars (Excellent)

“My Fair Lady” Won 12 Nominations and 8 Oscars with Audrey Hepburn as Eliza – 4 Stars (Excellent)

“Nanny McPhee” – An Excellent Movie with Magic and a Message for Children – 4 Stars (Excellent)

“Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” Johnny Depp Makes the Best Pirate in the Best Pirate Picture Ever – 4 Stars (Excellent)

“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” Was a Real Disappointment – 2 Stars (Average)

“Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” Ends the Series in Excellent Fashion, Savvy Mate? – 4 Stars (Excellent)

“Phantom of the Opera” – A Great Musical and a Great Story that Tugs at Your Heart – 4 Stars (Excellent)

“Pretty Woman” Rocketed Julia Roberts into Becoming Hollywood’s Sweetheart – 4 Stars (Excellent)

“Radio” Is One of the Most Under-Rated and Under-Appreciated Films in Movie History – 4 Stars (Excellent)

“Ryan’s Daughter” Is a Love Triangle with Passion, Adultery, Rebellion and a Village Idiot – 4 Stars (Excellent)

“Secondhand Lions” Is a Masterpiece of Storytelling by Writer/Director Tim McCanlies – 4 Stars (Excellent)

Sergio Leone Spaghetti Westerns: “A Fistful of Dollars” The Man with No Name (Clint Eastwood) Creates a Masterful Character Who Plays One Side Against Another in the First of Leone’s 3 Gems – 4 Stars (Excellent)

Sergio Leone Spaghetti Westerns: “For a Few Dollars More” The Man with No Name (Clint Eastwood) Joins with Another Bounty Hunter to Outwit an Outlaw Gang that Has Scored an Impossible Heist in the Second of Leone’s 3 Gems – 4 Stars (Excellent)

Sergio Leone Spaghetti Westerns: “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” The Man with No Name (Clint Eastwood) in the Third of Leone’s 3 Gems – 4 Stars (Excellent)

“Shadow of a Doubt” Leaves No Doubt About Being an Alfred Hitchcock Classic – 4 Stars (Excellent)

Six Movies That Are Simply Terrible and Not Worth Seeing Under Any Circumstances – 1 Star (Terrible)

Six Terrible, Crappy Movies That Allow Us to Recognize the Really Good Movies – 1 Star (Terrible)

“Sleepless in Seattle” Offers Up Romance Without Any Stress – 4 Stars (Excellent)

“The Anchorman” Simply Fails to Impress with a Lame Script – 1 Star (Terrible)

“The Chorus” French Director Christophe Barratier Has an Incredibly Good Movie – 4 Stars (Excellent)

“The Departed” Is the Best Mob Film Since Mario Puzo’s “The Godfather” in 1972 – 4 Stars (Excellent)

“The Quiet Man” Is a Love Story Set in the Emerald Isle of Ireland4 Stars (Excellent)

“Waking Ned Devine” Among My Top 10 Favorites Ever and the Funniest Comedy I Have Ever Seen4 Stars (Excellent)


Liberal Progressives Would Love a European Social Democracy in America – Little Do They Know Where They Are Headed

One Reason Why Our Civility in American Has Become Worse

Our Politicians in Congress Are Like Kids in a Candy Store

Sid Miller Wants to Know: What are you voting for?

These Are Possibly the 5 Most Accurate Sentences You Will Ever Read

Religion and Faith

A Christmas Message from Ed Bagley

A Poem for Lost Souls

Blessed Teresa’s Special Prayer for Your Well Being This Sunday, and Every Day

Nine Lessons in Life by Matthew Kelly for Becoming Perfectly Yourself

One Man’s Thoughts – God Gives Men 4 Crucial Gifts: Life, Choice, Faith and Women

The Final Curtain

The Sun and the Moon and the Stars, But What If There Were No Visible Stars?

Running – Cross Country and Track and Field

Arthur Lydiard on Running

A Senior Moment – Dinner with 3-Time Olympian and American-Record Hammer Thrower Ed Burke

Meet “Pre” – America’s Greatest Running Legend and Greatest Middle Distance Hero

The Problem With USA Track & Field: There Simply Is No Fire in the Belly

Karen Steen Shatters World Steeplechase Record at the 2009 National Masters Meet

Self-Improvement and Communication

All God’s Creatures Have Work To Do

A Little Learning Is a Dangerous Thing, Drink Deep, or Taste Not the Pierian Spring

“Desiderata” Is a Brilliant Piece of Writing with Simplicity and Significance of Message

Failures Would Be Surprised to Learn That Winners Have Failed Many More Times

Here Are My Personal Favorite Quotes That I Live By, Learn By and Grow By

The Easiest Way to Become an Internet Articles Writer

Time to Do Everything Except Think

Sports Quotes By Famous Coaches

Famous Football Quotes by Vince Lombardi, the Great Green Bay Packer Coach

“The Wizard of Westwood” – Famous Quotes by John Wooden, the NCAA’s Winningest Basketball Coach

What Ed Reads

More than one reader has posed the question “What does Ed read?”
Here is a partial list of books that I have read and benefited from doing so, and I invite you to consider reading them as well, especially if one of your strengths is a “learner”. Some of the book titles have comments following and others do not.

Arthritis Revisited
by Dr. Mark Wiley
Dr. Wiley takes on America’s medical community for its inadequate and ineffective answers to treating osteoarthritis. Wiley reveals how to naturally let your body help you stop the advance of osteoarthritis and, in some cases, even begin to reverse the damage. I absolutely believe in Dr. Wiley’s methods and unconventional approach to controlling osteoarthritis and living a better, more productive life.

Benjamin Franklin: An American Life
by Walter Isaacson
Benjamin Franklin remains one of those Americans about whom we can never know enough. Franklin was America’s best scientist, inventor, diplomat, writer, business strategist and one of the most practical political thinkers in American history.

BLITZ – TRUMP Will Smash the Left and WIN
byDavid Horowitz
Horowitz chronicles in amazing detail the brutal battles, bitter backlash and left-wing lies Trump has faced as Democrats repeatedly try to sabotage his presidency. Democrats hate Trump because he is not a politician; he is an accomplished businessman and doer who gets things done without sucking up to the normal power brokers in our nation’s capital. When you read BLITZ you will be informed about the lies and dirty tricks used by high-ranking, left-wing politicians to try and remove a sitting president just because they do not like his personality and are beyond envious about what he has been able to accomplish in turning around America and the engine that runs our capitalist economy, accomplishing in less than 3 years what the opposition could not accomplish in
8 years with the prior president. Among other important, truthful information, you will learn “The Nine Biggest Dangers to America from the Anti-Trump Left” and “The Top Ten Lies the Democrats Have Told You”. Unknown to the Left-Wing Coalition, their practice of hating on Trump is like taking poison and wishing your enemy (Trump) would die.

Bufffett: The Making of an American Capitalist
by Roger Lowenstein
When it comes to finance, Lowenstein offers
a landmark portrait of a uniquely American
life. Buffett reveals a man whose integrity, conscientiousness and good humor exist alongside an odd emotional isolation. It shows how Buffett’s investment strategy—a long-term philosophy grounded in buying stock in companies that are undervalued on the market and hanging on until their worth invariably surfaces—reflects his inner self.

Citizen Jefferson – The Wit and Wisdom of an American Sage
Edited by John P. Kaminski
Thomas Jefferson was a statesman, architect, musician, inventor and the primary author of the United States Constitution. He knew how to craft a turn of phrase and had some advice worth reading.

Essential Liberty
by Mark Alexander
Essential Liberty is a 3.5 by 4.75-inch, 138-page book that recounts our nation’s founding and examines our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution of the United States. Among other points of interest, it notes that the freedoms we enjoy are not free and that our republic (rule by law) is not a pure democracy (rule by majority) if you have not already noticed. Our capitalist society offers us the most freedom and best opportunity to advance among all cultures on Planet Earth. Our cause is the cause of all mankind and we fight for their liberty in defending our own. “We must all hang together, or most assuredly, we shall all hang separately,” said Benjamin Franklin in signing the Declaration of Independence. Not all of us understand and appreciate this common truth. If our citizens expect to be ignorant—and free—it a state of civilization, they expect what never was and never will be. Sadly, almost half of our population does not appreciate the gift God has given us. They kicked God out of our schools, confusing the relationship of church and state, and would love to kick God our of our country, opening the door to socialism, communism or fascism to name a few other forms of government. Many believe it is their right to eliminate human life through abortion (2,500+ abortions daily during 2014 in the United States). I cannot imagine that God is pleased with this turn of events and I have no interest in testing God’s patience with us, although many are willing to try. If you have not read Essential Liberty, you might want to educate yourselves about why your forefathers fought and died for the freedoms you enjoy today.

Hemingway – A Biography
by Jeffrey Meyers
One of American’s greatest writers. Hemingway’s basic principles of writing have provided a model for every author who has followed him (see page 137 in Meyers’ brilliant account of a master storyteller).

Holy Bible – The Authorized King James Version
Holy Bible – The Catholic Edition with the “7 Lost Books of the Bible”
Both Versions of the Bible are Inspired by Jesus and His followers
The Holy Bible is the most important book I have ever read in my life. If you read it the way I read it your life will be changed. Most people read the Pentateuch (which means five books), the first 5 books of the Bible-Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy-and the Gospels-Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Like some people I have read, highlighted and underlined both the King James Version and the Catholic Version cover to cover and benefited greatly from the experience. Life is short and death is certain. I would recommend that you get with it if you haven’t already.

Perfectly Yourself – Discovering God’s Dream for You
by Matthew Kelly
This book is about the dynamics of change. Be honest, understand that diets don’t fail, we fail at diets. Savings plans don’t fail, we fail at savings plans. Relationships don’t fail, we fail at relationships. Kelly shares why: We fail to achieve real and sustainable change because we focus too much on the desired outcome and not enough on the progress we are making. When you read Kelly’s book, he just might make you a believer.

PRE – The Story of America’s Greatest Running Legend, Steve Prefontaine
by Tom Jordan
Pre ran for the University of Oregon. He became the first person ever to win 4 NCAA titles in one event (the cross-country national championships), he set the national high school record for 2 miles in 1969 (8:41.5), and for 5 years no American runner could beat him at any distance over a mile. At age 24 Pre was killed in a freak automobile accident and became a legend, an icon and an American hero like no other. If you want inspiration, read PRE.

Resisting Happiness
by Matthew Kelly
Most of us want to be happy and many of us are not happy. Matthew Kelly offers a reason why: Resistance can stand between us and happiness. For many people, the hardest war to win is one you don’t even realize you are fighting, and the hardest enemy to defeat is the one you don’t even know exists because you can be at war with resistance every day. Why? Well, try laziness, procrastination, fear, doubt, instant gratification, self-loathing, indecision, escapism, pride, self-deception, friction, tension and self-sabotage. Enough said? This book shares how to defeat resistance.

Running – The Lydiard Way
by Arthur Lydiard with Garth Gilmour
Arthur Lydiard is the greatest distance running coach in the history of world. If you are a distance runner (2 miles and up) who would like to learn the physiology of running and have enough God-given speed to become an Olympic champion, following Lydiard’s philosophy will get you there.

The Best Seller – The New Psychology of Selling and Persuading People
by Ron Willingham
Whether you are new to sales or a seasoned veteran, Ron Willingham’s book is worth the read. I say this from personal experience since I doubled my sales income after reading, comprehending, retaining and applying what
I learned from Willingham. When a sales rep makes $50,000 a year and then suddenly makes $100,000 a year, that is a tremendous improvement. Boiled down to its essence, Willingham’s success formula is:
1) Product Knowledge so you can answer questions and objections,
2) Sales Know-How which comes from experience (there is no substitute for experience),
3) Persuasive Ability in developing likeability and trust with buyers, and
4) Achievement Drive which multiplies all of your other skills.
(Ed’s Note: Always remember that, in direct sales, people buy for only two reasons: they like you or they trust you.)

The Capitalist Code – It Can Save Your Life
by Ben Stein
If you are part of the Millennial Generation (those born between 1981 and 1996) and want to get better information on how to make it financially in America, read this book carefully and understand why you don’t want to be given everything in life and live in a socialist country.

The Empire of Business
by Andrew Carnegie
Published in 1902, it is my understanding that much of the text of this book is speeches Andrew Carnegie gave to students in the graduating classes at Harvard University. His message was not that of an upbeat, positive motivator about the excite the graduates. A quote from Carnegie: “The millionaires who are in control started as poor boys, and were trained in that sternest but most efficient of all schools-poverty.” Yea, it’s an eye-opener by a man who sold his steel business in 1901 to J. P. Morgan for $480 million, instantly becoming the wealthiest man in the world. The average annual wage for a worker in 1901 was $450, or $8.65 a week.

The Moral Compass
by William J. Bennett
The decline of the American family constitutes perhaps the greatest long-term threat to our children’s well-being. We should give our children examples that help instill in our children a reverence for the blessings and duties of home and health, and reading is a great medium to help the process along. The Moral Compass does exactly that. Bennett has put together a compilation of heartfelt stories from cultures worldwide that can be read by an adult to the family gathering around the table after your holiday meal. This is what I have done many times for my immediate family. Four stories from The Moral Compass are examples of story time teaching: “All God’s Creatures Have Work to Do” (Page 193), “A Sound for a Smell” (Page 226), “No Greater Love” (Page 466), and “The Man, The Boy, and The Donkey” (Page 221).

The Power of Silence – Against the Dictatorship of Noise
by Robert Cardinal Sarah with Nicolas Diat
The essence of Robert Cardinal Sarah is if you want to get nearer to God and know God better, you must do so in silence, otherwise, we are bombarded by so much stimuli in the modern world that the voice of God that can touch us through the Holy Spirit it drowned out. The Power of Silence is the second most important book I have ever read in my life. Robert Cardinal Sarah was born in Guinea, West Africa and was made an Archbishop by Pope John Paul II and a Cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI.

The Tao of Warren Buffett
by Mary Buffett and David Clark
Learn Warren Buffett’s smartest, funniest and most memorable sayings that reveal his life philosophy and investment strategies.

When Pride Still Mattered – A Life of Vincent Lombardi
by David Maraniss
Vince Lombardi transformed football into a metaphor of the American experience. He became a living legend, a symbol of leadership, discipline, perseverance, teamwork and winning.

The First Time I Had Witnessed a Miracle


(Ed’s Note: This article was written in 1976, 44 years ago, on the occasion of my daughter’s birth, and was first published in The Lacey Leader, the newspaper
I owned and operated for
8 years. As a Christian,
I celebrate the Resurrection of Christ rising from the dead this Easter Sunday so that all who believe might have eternal life. It is a joy for me to recount this miracle with you, recognizing that the birth of life is both a miracle and mystery to be cherished among all of our living experiences.)

Copyright 1976
by Ed Bagley

I have lived on this Earth 31 years, but Saturday night was the first time
I had ever seen a miracle.

It started in the dead of sleep at 5 a.m. For four hours I slept on like a newborn baby. It was nothing unusual for me—
the freight train that cuts Patterson Lake in two could detour through our bedroom, and I would probably not wake up.

Inside Annette—while I cut through zees like rewrite copy—a slow stirring began. Soon it became sharp pains. Finally I woke at 9 a.m. to greet the new day and found out Annette had been up at 5 wondering if her time had come. It had.

We checked into St. Peter Hospital at 11 a.m. and began an even longer wait. Soon it was 1 p.m., then 3 and 5 and 7 and 9 and her labor continued. The baby was not in the right position, and Annette spent a good deal of time figuring out how to push when the contractions came.

It was a struggle we went through together, her frank cries of anguish and my dispassionate encouragement. I could not have become emotionally involved, or it would have been all over for me. I wanted to see everything.

Finally monitors were put on her to play out the frequency of the contractions and the frequency of the baby’s heartbeat. A steady blip, blip, blip played across the face of the machine and, to the right, numbers changed every few seconds, telling the baby’s heartbeat per minute. Eventually medicine was used to help induce the contractions.

After 17½ hours, Annette went to the delivery room and I was right behind her. Inside, as Dr. Krug exhibited a totally calm, professional demeanor, I watched as the baby’s head pushed into the new world.

Dr. Krug noted that the cord had a knot and then, with one final push, Kristin Ann came into the world and nothing could hold back Annette’s elation and tears, and Kristin’s cry for survival.

Kristin was bright and alert to the momentous occasion; she immediately opened her eyes and let us know she was here—it must have been a tremendous struggle for her too.

I sat stunned, not giving in to instant joy. I wanted to note, with the patience and calm of a craftsman, every detail of this glorious moment.

Kristin looked blue and—had it not been for her crying—you might have thought she was not alive. Her eyes, if not her voice, said otherwise. I felt like
I could have reached out and touched the Hand of God.

Later, in the nursery, I was astounded that Kristin looked a healthy pink only minutes after her arrival. Her eyes were still open and her mouth was constantly moving.

When Annette came out of the delivery room and the nurse wheeled her up to the window, I was sure I saw Kristin smile. As if to test this observation against reality, I asked the nurse if she had smiled. I could not believe it.

The nurse replied yes and then, when the nurse, Annette and I once again focused on the wonder before us, Kristin Ann smiled again.

(Ed’s Note: Family is the fundamental core unit of our culture, from the unity of many comes the strength of the family to fulfill its destiny, with each generation experiencing the life cycle, and the joys and challenges of realizing our individual and group potential. The gift of life is only our first gift, it is up to us—as individuals and as a family unit—to love and support each other as we develop our unique gifts as children of God. Regrettably, more than 62 million babies have suffered abortion and been killed in their mother’s womb because of the passage of Roe v. Wade in 1973 by the United States Supreme Court. It obviously never occurred to the majority of the 7 of 9 setting Justices that they would have not been alive on Planet Earth if their mothers had aborted them. And many of us thought that those 7 Supreme Court Justices that ruled in favor of the motion were kind, thoughtful and sensible students of the United States Constitution, a document whose authors never, and I mean never, would have approved the motion. I say this because our great nation ensured us that were endowed by God with the fundamental tenet of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”. The majority decision by those
7 misguided Justices have resulted in the killing of 62+ million babies and counting, as more are killed every day in America. It is easy to see why liberal progressives are happy with kicking God out of our schools. These are the same Pro Choice believers who would like to kick God out of our country and kick Christianity out of our nation, then we could become a socialist nation (or Communist or a Dictatorship) without a need for God or religion. Non-believers have some other ideas about this same topic. That’s OK. I believe our universe is big enough to accommodate everyone.)

Financial Thoughts
on Investing
by Warren Buffett


(Ed’s Note: The following condensation is from The Tao of Warren Buffett, written by Mary Buffett and David Clark and available for sale at Amazon and bookstores nationwide. I am always impressed by what Warren Buffett has to say and am doing this condensation to help promote their book.)

On Investing: Never be afraid to ask too much when selling offer too little when buying.
(Ed’s Note: How much you get from a sale or how much you have to pay when making a purchase determines whether you make or lose money and how rich you ultimately become.)

(Ed’s Note: For more of Warren Buffett’s advice go to the menu bar above and click on Financial Thoughts.)