“Whatever failures I have known, whatever errors I have committed, whatever follies I have witnessed in public and private life, have been the consequences of action without thought. - Bernard Baruch
Just thinking about this post is giving me a killer craving for a bowl of Wendy’s chili. But, I’ll try to press on through the conversation my stomach’s having with my brain.
Dave Thomas was a fascinating man with a fascinating story. Unfortunately, he, like many people, had a difficult childhood. He was adopted and raised by Rex and Auleva Thomas, and never knew or met either of his birth parents. Sadly his mother, Auleva, died when Dave Thomas was only five. Rex Thomas moved the family often and re-married 3 times.
At the age of 12, Dave had to quit school and take his first job – working full time in a restaurant.
He worked his way up from a busboy in the family restaurant to a manager in four different failing Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants.
Kentucky Fried Chicken’s colorful founder, Colonel Harland Sanders, became young Dave Thomas’s mentor, teaching him the ropes of the restaurant business – running and promoting the restaurant, and possibly a little about letting your personality shine through beautifully.
The hero of our story was a fast learner. And how! He turned the 4 failing Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants around and was given a stake in those businesses. The profits? They made him a millionaire by the time he was 35 and provided him with the capital needed for opening his first Wendy’s in 1969.
If there are things you don’t like in the world you grew up in, make your own life different. – Dave Thomas
There are a few things that we can take away from this story and apply to our own lives.
- Dave Thomas fought his way through adversity and, most definitely, came out on top. He didn’t whine and gripe about his circumstances and feel sorry for himself. He simply made life as he knew it better (and tastier).
- He was willing to be the pupil. Many people miss out on life-changing lessons and advice simply because they have too much pride to be the pupil. Everyone was someone’s pupil at one time. Everyone has something to teach us. When we get so full of ourselves and think that we are the BE ALL and the END ALL, two thing happen: We stop learning and we stop growing. We’re right, then, about one thing: It is the END of it ALL.
- Dave Thomas didn’t give up. How many people (with 4 failing restaurants under their hat) would have stomped out of the restaurant business and never gone back? Probably a lot. But Dave Thomas persevered and fought his way to success.
If that’s not a self help lesson in itself, I’m not sure what is.
The only question that remains is, “Do I want iced tea or a Frosty with my chili?”
To learn more about Dave Thomas, you might want to read his wonderful book, Well Done! – The Common Guy’s Guide to Everyday Success. I don’t know about you, but I just LOVE success stories that involve super nice, happy, quality people.
“Our bodies are our gardens,to which our wills are gardeners.” – Shakespeare, 1564-1616
I dearly love irony – I guess that’s why God allows me to see so much of it. He knows it floats my boat. I’m not sure I completely appreciate this morning’s irony, however. It smarted.
Here I was, in the midst of my morning ritual, sitting at my desk with my sleeping cat, Alexa, sprawled out between me and the computer (having to dodge the occasional paw or furry tail that hangs over the edge and hovers above the keyboard). As always, we have the blinds lifted, affording us the gorgeous a.m. showing of birds and squirrels at the feeders. Peaceful morning. I felt the need for a Shakespeare quote for today’s Quote of the Day, so I had one of my many Shakespeare books out, looking for one that moved me. A multi-tasker (moms have to be, out of necessity), I was also sorting through my e-mail at the same time.
I had moved joyfully to coffee cup number 2 and was contemplating one of the iced brownies with walnuts I’d recently made.
So, the stage was set for irony: Within the span of 2 minutes – I decided on two things: I found the quote I wanted (the one above… yes, men, there’s a quote above! Good Lord…) and I decided that I had a date with the biggest brownie on the platter, with the most icing. Yeah, baby! Some plans are set in cement and some are set in chocolate.
Oh, but wait… there’s an e-mail from a favorite fashion site. What? Heidi Klum has new pictures? She’s one of my favorite models… let me see the pics, THEN I’ll have that brownie.
I never made it to the brownies.
The picture is at the top of the post. Guys, you’re welcome. Girls, I’m sorry.
Lady Heidi has many children. She recently had one, in fact. What’s fair about that? “Our bodies are our gardens,to which our wills are gardeners.” Heidi Klum’s will is one heckuva gardener.
I hear you treadmill. I hear you.
It’s not the load that breaks you…. it’s the way you carry it. – Sandi Bachom
“I shall allow no man to belittle my soul by making me hate him.” – Booker T. Washington
One of my pet peeves is hatred. The crazy thing is, I don’t just cringe when I see one person hating another one. I don’t just feel uncomfortable around someone who hates people who look, love, or believe differently from them. And I don’t just want to throw things when people show hatred toward animals.
I’m ill at ease in the company of any sort of hatred. Sure, I know I carry it too far – I call it my Mary Poppins complex and I’ve carried it too far to put it down now.
My most extreme anger and disgust is, of course, saved for those who hate and harm children, other individuals, and animals. I always wonder, “Who do haters think they are?!”
Think about it this way. Everything’s relevant. If any of us hate someone we feel is “beneath us” (whether it’s in intelligence, wit, charm, looks, money, power, etc..) – do we not realize that there are those out there who have more on the ball than us? Would we want to be on the receiving end of their ridicule or snarls? Would we want them to talk down to us or make fun of us? Would we want them to snap at us if we were to ask a simple question or berate us if we made a mistake?
No one is perfect and, make no mistake about it, no one has the right to hate anyone else.
I once wrote a post in which I said that we shouldn’t hate other people – under any circumstances. I heard from a woman who listed about 20 types of people she hated. When I said that we never know what others have gone through to get to where they are, she got so mad that I’m pretty sure I joined the list. She wanted no part of anything that resembled compassion and seemed to cringe at the thought of loving others. In the end, I asked her if she realized how hard she was fighting for HATE. She said, “Yes I do.”
So, I hope she’s happy being hateful.
That’s the thing. Since my daughters were old enough to talk, I’ve always taught them to find as few foods, colors, books, and so on that they claim to hate. They were weaned on the Mary Poppins Complex.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it as long as I’m able to write, type, speak, or gesture: The more things we hate – the more hate resides inside of us. At the risk of sounding like a First Grade Reader….. Hate is ugly. Love is beautiful.
Booker T. Washington is one of my personal heroes. He was a brilliant, brilliant man with an incredible mind. Unfortunately, he lived during a time when the color of his skin brought out a lot of hatred and ugliness from people with not so incredible minds.
When I think of the nasty looks, hateful comments, and cruel injustices that Booker T. Washington and other blacks had to endure during this period of time, it makes me want to cry a river. You and I will probably never know the sort of hatred Mr. Washington saw first-hand. But he wasn’t bitter and he wasn’t filled with anger and hatred.
Rather, he said, “I shall allow no man to belittle my soul by making me hate him.”
The next time you feel hatred rising in your heart toward a co-worker, neighbor, driver in front of you (!!!), family member, etc – remember Booker T. Washington’s words and ask yourself, “Is it worth belittling my own soul?”
Not even the worst driver on earth is worth that, and I was nearly hit by her this morning.
I’ll leave off with excerpts of an article written by author Sloan Wilson (“The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit“):
A long while ago, I had a job I didn’t like and a boss who seemed to me to be a major menace. For months I would come home and tell my wife about the horrible new attrocities he had committed.
“I really hate this guy,” I often said to my wife, and when she remonstrated, I added, “He’s just a guy who was made to hate!”
It was right after one of these stormy sessions that I happened to read these words, “I will allow no man to belittle my soul by making me hate him.” I have never been so strongly affected by one sentence, for in a flash it showed me how small and mean I had become.
At just about this time I began to work harder at my writing during evenings and weekends. When I stopped wasting energy on hatred, I found I had lots more strength for better things. – Sloan Wilson, “On Hate” (Words to Live By, 1956)