a little east of reality

Monday, October 24, 2005

people who make a difference

This was emailed to me today and I liked the message. It was credited as having come from Charles Schultz, but I have no idea if that's accurate. You don't need to find the answers ~ just read them through to see if you know them. The questions are from the email, the comments I've changed a little.

1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.
3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America.
4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.
5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winner for best actor and actress.
6. Name the last decade's worth of World Series winners.

How did you do?

I think all of us could make a decent guess at something on that list, but I don't know anyone I think could nail all six categories off the top of their head. Why is that? These are no second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields. But the applause dies. Awards tarnish. Achievements are forgotten. Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners. Because while some of these achievements represent real and excellent effort, in the final analysis, they aren't the kind of achievements that matter.

Contrast those questions with the ones that follow. How many of these can you answer easily? I've put my own answers in.

1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.

Grina Holthouse: my English & Drama teacher in high school. She also ran the Drama club ~ some of the best fun I had in high school. She was so intuitive and she really cared about us.
Sis. Ballestrin: a church youth leader who taught me (and all of us) the meaning of Christlike love. She helped me become who I am and if you think I have any good qualities send a silent 'thank you' her way.
Curt Andressen: university lecturer, for a while my part-time employer and now a friend. Without him I'd never have ended up in Japan and that was a major turning point in my life.

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

who cannot even touch type, but still typed my HUGE bibliography for my honours thesis so I could spend the time finishing my last chapter.
Tetchan, who was so accessible when no-one in Australia could understand why I missed Japan so much, and
Kim, who is there through every difficult time, and always has been.

3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.

who taught me how to be responsible for my own life.
Korten, who showed me why capitalism as it’s practiced today will never fulfil its promises.
Chomsky, who made me aware of the relationship between information and power.
My mother, who taught me to avoid debt (wish I’d listened earlier).
Pam, who taught me that I shouldn’t be afraid to sing.

4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.

Jojo, a friend who loves me and always picks the right moment to say so.
Josh Smith, who appreciates every bit of goodness in me and ignores all my flaws.
Graham, who made sure I knew he loved me, even after we decided we should break up.

5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.
Sky & Rev & Co
– one of the main reasons I moved to Canberra.
Phi – makes my house more of a home; I hope he never leaves.
Seth - when I get the chance.
Roofshadow and Jojo - my favourite people to chat with on MSN.
Tetchan – whose head is so full of ideas she may spontaneously combust one day.

The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. They are the ones that care. And I include in that category those who care enough to tell the truth and fight for a just world.