Wednesday, November 28, 2012

R.I.P. Zig Ziglar (1926-2012)

Zig Ziglar, known as the Master Motivator, died of pneumonia in a hospital in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex at the age of 86.  Ziglar was born in Alabama in 1926 but spent much of his youth in Yazoo City, Mississippi.

After serving in the Navy during World War II, Ziglar briefly studied at the University of South Carolina.  But Ziglar chose a career in sales rather than studying and started out selling pots and pans.  He went on to successfully sell for various companies. But as Ziglar improved his pitch and sales increased, he developed a basic philosophy which impacted his personal and professional career for more than half a century.

The Ziglar Way considers action, common sense, fairness, commitment and integrity to be the basis of living well.  Ziglar believed that if you lived by this powers of positive thinking philosophy, you would live a balanced life while achieving significance at work and home.

In the early 1970s, Ziglar began his career as a motivational speaker and corporate trainer.  Along with being a headliner on the speaking circuit, Ziglar  authored 29 books, including 10 best sellers on topics like sales, leadership, personal growth and faith.  His "One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar" is an inspiring daily devotional. His self help classic “See You At The Top” (originally titled "Biscuits, Fleas and Pump Handles") still generates strong sales thirty years after originally being published.

Though he was known as the World’s Greatest Salesman and a Master Motivator, Ziglar was not all business.  The Ziglar Way reflected his fervent evangelical Christian beliefs and much of Ziglar’s work had subtle evangelization without sounding too preachy.

Ziglar continued to be a feature on the speaker circuit through 2010, despite a tumble down the stairs in 2007 which impacted his short term memory.  When Ziglar appearing in Washington, DC in October 2010, he was joined by his daughter who guided him through his presentation.  Ziglar persiverated on “winning the home court” and did not realize that he had thoroughly covered that point a couple of times before.  Still, the then 84 year old speaker was inspiring and offered earnest down home advice.

Zig Ziglar, Verizon Center Washington, DC October 2010 (photo: Gail Broeckel)

Ziglar’s Facebook page proclaims:

Though his time on earth has ended, he is speaking with Jesus now in his heavenly home... The angels in heaven are rejoicing and his family is celebrating a life well lived.

A fitting tribute for an American Icon.  But as Zig Ziglar would put it:

"This is not the end of your story...Turn the page and start a new chapter."

Monday, November 19, 2012

Sunday, November 11, 2012

A Thanksgiving Prayer for Veterans

God of peace, we pray for those who have served our nation and have laid down their lives to protect and defend our freedom. We pray for those who have fought, whose spirits and bodies are scarred by war, whose nights are haunted by memories too painful for the light of day. We pray for those who serve us now, especially for those in harm’s way. Shield them from danger and bring them home. Turn the hearts and minds of our leaders and our enemies to the work of justice and a harvest of peace. Spare the poor, Lord, spare the poor! May the peace you left us, the peace you gave us, be the peace that sustains, the peace that saves us. Christ Jesus, hear us! Lord Jesus, hear our prayer!
On Thanksgiving, we pause to give thanks for the things we have. We should be similarly inspired on Veterans Day to pause and give thanks for those fought for the things we have.
Freedom isn't free.  This is particularly exemplified by the citizen soldiers who are willing to risk it all in order to reflect Perfect Valor (2009).

Monday, November 5, 2012

Dante on Life

Residue from Remembering the Gunpowder Plot

Remember, remember the Fifth of November
The Gunpowder Treason and Plot 
I know of no Reason
Why The Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.

Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes
'twas his intent
To blow up the King and Parli'ment

Today is Guy Fawkes day in the U.K. Now it seems to be treated just as another bank holiday to enjoy carousing and light fireworks.

Despite the 400 years that separates them, the Gunpowder Plot is analogous to the Islamists attacks on 9/11/2001. History shows that the Gunpowder Plot of 1605 stemmed from a reactionary religious partisans trying to decapitate the tyrannical government which prevented freedom of conscience.

Such themes were thematically updated in the "V for Vendetta" comic book that was adapted into a feature film in 2006.