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November 16, 1997

TAKING ACTION

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If you choose to practice the Power of One and live out the Golden Rule, then you should expect to add value to the lives of others. A life lived by the Golden Rule will create a legacy that far outlives our life on earth.

How has another person influenced your life? To get you thinking, answer the following questions.

1. Name three teachers who inspired you to achieve in school.

2. Name three friends who helped you through a difficult time.

3. Name five people who taught you something worthwhile.

4. Name three people who made you feel appreciated and special.

5. Name five people with whom you enjoy spending time.

6. Name half a dozen heroes whose stories have inspired you.

The above-mentioned people have acted out the Power of One in your life! Imagine how many people you could add value to by going for the Golden Rule. Just think that someday, somewhere someone could add your name to a similar list. Wouldn’t that be great?

Remember, it takes just one person to make a difference in the life of another.

In 1645, one vote gave Oliver Cromwell control of England.
In 1649, one vote caused Charles I of England to be executed.
In 1845, one vote brought Texas into the Union.
In 1868, one vote gave saved President Andrew Johnson from impeachment.
In 1875, one vote changed France from a monarchy to a republic.
In 1876, one vote gave Rutherford B Hayes the United States presidency.
In 1923, one vote gave Hitler control of the Nazi party.

Each of us has a single vote to give with our life. It can be either towards influencing others and shaping the ethical North of any corporate enterprise. Or it can be directed back towards our own interest and it can ignore the good, the right, and the true. It is up to me. I must not wait around for someone else to cast the vote in practicing the power of one

Do I really need to do something? Can’t I just wait and let someone else do it? There aren’t nearly as many people actually working as you may have thought, at least not according to this survey. Look at this humorous example.

● The population of this country is a little over 250,000,000.
● 84,000,000 people are over 64 years of age and retired. That leaves 166,000,000 of us to do all the work.
● People younger than 20 years of age total 95,000,000—so that leaves 71,000,000 to do the work.
● There are 27,000,000 who are employed by the government, which leaves 44,000,000 to do the work. (My apologies to those of you who work for the government. I’ll bet you understand.0
● 14,000,000 are in the armed forces, which leaves 30,000,000 to do all the other work.
● Deduct 20,000,000—the number in state and city offices. That leaves 10,000,000 to do the work.
● There are 6,000,000 in hospitals, mental institutions, and various asylums, so that leaves 4,000,000 to do the work.
● Now it may interest you to know that there are 3,999,998 people in jails and prisons—so that leaves just 2 people to carry the load.

That’s you and me—and I’m about ready for a vacation!

OK, that may be pushing it, but you get the point. It’s up to you—and me—each one of us to do all that we can do to show the Power of One to others. You never know who’s “out on vacation,” and when you’ll need to pick up their load.

Yesterday is a canceled check: Forget it. Tomorrow is a promissory note: Don’t count on it. Today is ready cash: Use it!–Edwin C. Bliss

Wayne Alexander and Sam Walton both built their businesses in Bentonville, Ark., around the same time. Alexander, a used-car dealer and landlord, came to Bentonville in 1949 and bought his first car lot. Walton, founder of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., came to Bentonville within a year of Alexander and built his company to be the world’s biggest retailer.

Both men loved business, and both men valued a hard work ethic and spent very little on themselves. But their attitudes toward business were greatly different and the fruit of their life seems very different..

Walton knew how to invest in the future. He had a great idea for a company, and he planned for it every step of the way. He focused on slim profit margins and selling high margins of products to make his money. He worked hard to make his Wal-Mart stores clean and attractive—while working out a nice, but modest, office building.

Sam Walton died in 1992. Today, two CEO’S removed from its founder, Wal-Mart hails as the largest company in the world. Although not every person in the entire world is happy with Wal-Mart they have clearly revolutionized the globe. Walton’s guiding principles were to think and behave around the good, the right, and the true. He was paying it forward, and it has grown into a world-wide harvest.

Alexander, a man in his 70s who still works six days a week to make a living, grew his business quite differently. He refuses to reinvest any of the money he earns into cleaning up his properties. He has taken a more narrow view of life’s pursuits. The city has leveled at least one of the apartment buildings he owns because of its dilapidated condition, and people have brought lawsuits against him for the same issue. Alexander seems to operate on a different path than Sam Walton did. Two very different men with two different paths. Each man, just as we are, was given the chance to practice the Power of One. What an apparent contrast in two lives.

We all have one lifetime to live. Some people have 25. Some have 100 years. What matters is how we use those years, months, weeks, and days.

The Power of One calls on each one of us to enter the marathon and not quit when we get tired or the path becomes challenging.

The smallest good deed is better than the grandest intention.

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