A Slice of Americana – Think Sunshine and Good Days Ahead
Ed

Musings by The Rooster:

 

On Tolerance:
The English writer G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936) once remarked that tolerance is the virtue of people who do not believe in anything; consequently, the have no standards by which to judge, which means they can be endlessly “ tolerant”. Within any given society or culture, the majority can, in fact, be wrong. Ergo, “Right is still right if nobody is right, and wrong is still wrong if everybody is wrong.” An act’s rightness or wrongness does not depend upon the number of its supporters. Acts that are popular or even laws passed by a legislature are not necessarily moral or ethical, not to mention fair.

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.

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

Copyright © 2007 Ed Bagley

Part 1 of this 2 Part series ends the synopsis of George Clason’s book “The Richest Man in Babylon,” but Clason raises an important question: Why should
so few men be able to acquire so much gold?

The answer is because they know how.

One may not condemn a man for succeeding because he knows how. Neither may one with justice take away from a man what he has fairly earned, to give to men of less ability.

And so it was that the good king of Babylon sought out the richest man in Babylon to teach to others in his kingdom the secrets of his success.

This is a synopsis of what the richest man taught to the people
of Babylon:

The Seven Cures for a Lean Wallet

1) Start your wallet to fattening. Save one-tenth of all you earn. Remember that a part
of all I earn is mine to keep. Do this faithfully. Do not let the simplicity of this escape you.

When I ceased to pay out more than nine-tenths of my earnings,
I got along just as well.
I was not shorter than before, and, money came to me more easily than before.

2) Control your expenses. How is it that all do not earn the same yet all have lean wallets? Here is the truth: That which each of us calls our “necessary expenses” will always grow to equal our incomes unless we protest to
the contrary.

Confuse not necessary expenses with desires. We all have more desires than our earnings can gratify. Examine which of the accepted expenses of living can be reduced or eliminated. Let your motto be 100% of appreciated value demanded for every dollar spent.

Budget your expenses so that your actual necessities are met without spending more than nine-tenths of your earnings.

3) Make your money multiply. Protect your growing treasure by putting it to labor and increasing. Money in your wallet earns nothing. Money that we earn from our money is but a start; it is the earnings generating earnings that builds fortunes.

When the richest man in Babylon loaned money to the shield maker to buy bronze, he said this: “Each time I loaned money to the shield maker, I loaned back also the rental he had paid me. Therefore not only did my capital increase, but its earnings likewise increased.”

4) Guard your money from loss. Everyone has an idea of how to make quick money; few, however, have the evidence of making money to justify their idea, scheme or offer of quick riches. The first sound principle of investment is security for your principal.

Before you loan your money to any man assure yourself of his ability to repay your loan, and of his reputation to do so. Make no one a present of your hard-earned treasure.

Consult the wisdom of those experienced in handling money for profit. Such advice is often freely given for
the asking, and may possess more value than the amount you
are about to invest.

5) Make your home a profitable investment. When you can set aside only nine-tenths of what you earn to live, and can use a part of that nine-tenths to improve the investment in your housing, do it; owning your own home is also an investment that grows with your wealth.

Your family deserves a home they can enjoy and call their own. It builds a sense of stability and well-being.

6) Ensure a future income. Build income-producing assets that do not require you to work forever. We will all grow old and die.

You should prepare a suitable income for the days to come when you are no longer younger and cannot work as hard, and to make preparations for your family should you no longer be with them to comfort and support them. Provide in advance for the needs of your growing age, and the protection of your family.

7) Increase your
ability to earn.
Desire precedes accomplishment, and the desire must be strong and definite. When you have backed your desire for saving $1,000 with the strength and purpose to secure it, you can then save $2,000.

Desires must be simple and definite. Desires defeat their own purpose when they are too many, too confusing, or too difficult to accomplish. Cultivate your own powers to study and become wiser, more skillful, and more productive.

Here is more sage advice from Clason’s masterpiece on financial matters:

The 5 Laws of Money

If you had to choose, would you choose tons of money or wisdom? Most men would take the money, ignore the wisdom, and waste the money. Here is the wisdom:

1) Money comes gladly and in increasing quantities to any man who will put aside not less than one-tenth of his earnings to create an estate for his future and the future of his family.

2) Money labors diligently and contently for the wise owner who finds for it profitable employment, multiplying unto itself in infinity if kept working diligently. Money multiplies itself in surprising fashion.

3) Money clings to
the protection of the cautious owner who invests it with the advice of men wise
in its handling.

4) Money slips away from the man who invests it in businesses or purposes that he is not familiar with, or which are not approved by those skilled in its keep. The inexperienced handler of money who trusts his own judgment, and puts his money in investments which he is not familiar, always pays with his money for his experience.

5) Money flees the man who would force it to impossible earnings, or who follows the alluring advice of tricksters and schemers, or who
trusts it to his own inexperience and romantic desires in investment.

Here is the hard lesson of the 5 Laws of Money: You cannot measure the value of wisdom in bags of money. Without wisdom, those who have it quickly lose money, but with wisdom, money can be secured by those who have it not.

This ends the condensation.

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.)

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.

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

 

By Eddie Rooster

Sometimes as parents we forget how simple and subtle the lessons in life
can be.

I was reminded of this yesterday afternoon when
I heard the cheering of youngsters playing a Little League baseball game in the nearby city park. It is amazing when the noise of kids at play can carry the sound a half-block away and into the open window of your living room.

Little League baseball games can get noisy. Kids are excited when the bases are loaded and their next hitter sends a screaming line drive into the outfield.

They know that the outfielder will likely boot the ball, and as it gets by him on its merry way to the fence, all three players on base will score and the hitter will probably come home safe with an inside-the-park home run and 4 ribbies (runs batted in) to his credit.

Ah, baseball, spring is in the air and summer is approaching.

The pure fun of sport is so normal and so natural to our human experience.

I read a study once that interviewed hardened criminals spending life in prison for capital crimes, such as murder. A psychologist asked inmates what they missed most now that they were spending the rest of their lives behind bars without possibility of parole.

The answer stunned me, and it should stun you too. What they missed most was not their girlfriend, or sex, or drinking, or drugging, or gambling; it was the sound of kids playing. Perhaps the one, real, positive memory they have of their life was when they were a child playing.

These are two compelling extremes: children at play without a care in the world, and incarcerated criminals who are burdened with the reality that they will never again be free to play.

With all of the violence we are now seeing with youngsters who solve their supposed “problems” by shooting their perceived “enemies” (many times friends and family), I am reminded that some of our children today seem less able to cope with adversity, and even less so with patience.

How is it that they clearly lack coping skills and patience, two necessary traits for survival as an adult?

It will take someone a lot smarter than me to give you the right answer to this question.

I will leave that answer to what some educated professionals who study psychology think.

In the meantime, I choose not to tell you what I think, but to share with you what
I know.

Here is one thing about Little League baseball that is being taught by some parents and some leaders in some organizations that is really not worth teaching, and that is this:

Certain organizations have adopted the misguided practice of rewarding every kid on each team regardless of their effort or performance. In other words, a team can lose every game all year and each kid gets a trophy for participating, a team picture and his or her own baseball card with their mug on it.

Apparently some parents do not want to hurt their child’s feelings even though the child makes little effort, is clearly incompetent at improving on any skills of the game, does not understand the game, and really could care less.

I doubt the parents in the example given have a clue about the lessons they are teaching their children by insisting on this foolish practice of making their child feel like he or she has accomplished something.

First, they are encouraging mediocrity by rewarding nothingness. Practice this stupidity a few more generations and we will have our children thinking they can show up to work as an adult, do nothing and get paid for their lack of skills, effort and production.

Second, they are rewarding children for having no concept of goal-setting and achieving goals. The parents are not encouraging any concept of self-improvement and providing no incentive to do so.

Third, they are teaching no learning skills in how to cope with failure, and not providing a shred of understanding about the function of failing. Losers would be astonished to learn that successful people have failed more than losers ever thought of failing.

One of the big differences between losers and winners in the game of life is that when winners fail, they get right back up, dust themselves off, learn from the experience, and try again.

Fourth, they devalue the kids who do work hard, fail and then succeed by rewarding a bunch of kids who haul off and do nothing, learn nothing, and have no sense of real accomplishment.

I remember going door-to-door as a 9-year-old kid, looking for a sponsor for a baseball team I was putting together. I instinctively knew kids would want to be on my team if I could get them a free baseball hat and shirt; we would then look like a real team. I had played on a team that had nothing; we could not afford uniforms, we were lucky to have a glove or borrow a glove.

I found that sponsor, a business called Jewell Realty in Flint, Michigan.
I found a sponsor because
I was looking for a sponsor. The people that owned that business were impressed that a 9-year-old kid would have the guts to walk all over town and ask businesses to sponsor his rag-tag team. I put up with the nos and getting kicked out of places because
I wanted it that bad.

The year was 1953 and we were terrible; we lost more games than we won. We were put upon, put down, slapped around and got the crap kicked out of us, but
I never quit, and I made sure my teammates didn’t quit either. When someone quit trying, I kicked him off the team and found someone else.

Two years later we won the league championship, and when we did, I was surrounded by winners who had become my friends.
I did not need my parents to do this for me, I did not need some meddling adult or juvenile counselor to do this for me, I needed to do this for myself.

When I got the guys together and we took that trophy down to Jewell Realty, we all shared in the excitement of being winners. Later that summer I would walk by Jewell Realty, see that trophy in the window, and know who
I was and what I had become: a winner. Jewell Realty did not win that trophy, I won that trophy, and I knew what it would take to win another.

Our parents never saw us play, they were too busy working.

If someone had come around after that first season and given each of us a trophy for losing, we would not have accepted it. Think about it: the message they would have been sending us was we think you are so bad that you could never win a title, so in order to sooth your precious little feelings, here is a trophy for being a loser.

I think I would have spit in their face. I was that competitive. I might have been a 9 year old but I did not need some meddling parent setting goals for me that I thought were so low
I would trip on them walking across the baseball diamond.

If you think a 9-year-old child cannot have some dignity, you are dead wrong, and have probably been wrong about a lot of things in your life.

Once we won that championship and experienced our moment of victory, you could have taken that trophy away and it would not have mattered.
I knew what I had sacrificed to win that trophy, and after all of the blood, sweat and tears, nothing any stupid parent or adult could do would have made me feel less about myself.
I knew I was a winner, and
I wasn’t going to settle for anything less.

Parents, if you do not understand one thing in raising your children, understand this: if your child goes through his or her entire schooling period (kindergarten through high school graduation) and never experiences real success at anything at least one day is his or her life, your child will be handicapped for life. Nothing could be more arcane, stupid and bovine.

Don’t you dare try to prevent your child from failing. Let them try and when they fail, pick them up, dust them off, and encourage them to try again. It is in failing that we learn to succeed.

If you as a parent cannot be a winner in your own pathetic life, if all you have to offer is whining and complaining about this and that, and bemoaning how your child is treated, then get the hell out of the way and let your child fail to ultimately win on his own.

Take a snapshot of two pictures.

In one a child is given a trophy, a team photo and a baseball card with his picture on it featuring a loser who accomplished nothing. In the other snapshot, a child is given only a trophy, or the team is given one trophy to admire, because they have worked their butts off, improved their skills, played their hearts out, taken risks and won a league title. Which is your child?

Any child who has worked to get to the top of the mountain, and experiences the sheer joy of competing and winning, is someone who will go much farther in life.

I can tell you from experience in hiring that there is an incredible correlation between having athletic success at the high school or college level and success later in life. The reason is simple: winners win and losers don’t.

Do not misunderstand what I am sharing here. It is not that you cannot win bigger and better in life unless you are a successful athlete in your youth, it is that you need to have a sense of accomplishment and recognition doing something that takes hard work, dedication, effort and goals. It could be singing, it could be acting, it could be playing a musical instrument; suffice to say any activity that allows you to fail, learn, improve and succeed over a period of time.

It certainly helps to have a strong father in the house to help teach his children what it is to be a winner, to learn coping skills, patience, hard work, dedication, effort, improvement and success. A strong single mother can do the same.

Do not play patty-cake with your children when they are 9 years old, do not knowingly set them up in life to fail, let them struggle and succeed. If you do not do this someday they will be adult and not know how to act when they are put down, put upon, made fun of and beaten up emotionally. They will figure it out if you do not protect them and their feelings so much they become helpless and inept.

They will learn to cope and be stronger for the experience. When they reach adulthood they will be able to dismiss people around them who have mediocre minds and are mental midgets. They will be polite as they treat these losers as irrelevant (which they are) and be unaffected by their negative presence.

Then they will move on quickly to be with the winners. It is the losers who are left standing alone and wondering why.

Do not play to participate, play to win. It is not winning that is the be all to end all,
it is that in the process of winning we learn important skills that make us much more effective in playing and winning in the game of life. After all, life is not a resting place; life is a testing place, it is now and will continue to be as long as you live.

A wise man said it and it bears repeating here: When everyone is somebody then no one’s anybody.