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The Ring - Part 1, Dream

As I turned 40, I thought I’d give myself a gift that would be meaningful for many years to come. Something like a college class ring. But, not having graduated from any ‘formal’ university, I didn’t have a class ring. Yet, considering I had a graduate degree from the school of hard knocks and experiences, I decided to design my own ring. Along the sides of this ring, I inscribed 24 letters, each representing words that were important in my life and had inspired me over the years. Over the next four weeks, I’m going to describe to you 4 of the letters on my ring: DPAB, starting this week with D. D stands for DREAM. Growing up, I was a dreamer. I had dreamt of owning my own home that ha

If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you

When I was 19, I joined the Marine Corps and reported to Parris Island where Marine recruits in the eastern U.S. went through boot camp. It was late June, in the dead-heat of summer, when the bus arrived at the reception center. We were “greeted” by a Marine Drill Instructor (DI), who told us in a powerful voice, “Get off the bus and put your feet on two yellow shoe silhouettes on the street….NOW!!” As a group, we were all different shapes and sizes, from several parts of the U.S. and were of various ethnicities. We showed up with varying hairstyles and clothing. We all were different; many I noticed differed greatly from me - a boy from Waldo - and thus, me from them. However, in just a few

Forgiveness

Back in the 70’s, I decided to purchase some shares of stock of a local bank that was expanding. Because of the number I bought, I was elected to serve on the Board of Directors. It was quite interesting; me being in my mid 20’s and young enough to be the son of any of the other Board members. As a new member, I initially did what I was brought up to do, and that was to listen, especially to those who are older who had more experience. As the years went by and my confidence increased, I began to express opinions on various issues, including potential loans that needed Board approval. There was this one specific loan that the Bank Board Chairman and I had differing opinions. We had been quite

Knock, and the Door Will Open

In 1994, my daughter, Ashley, graduated from college with a degree in child psychology. Upon graduation she began counseling middle school children, doing her best to help them improve their life. While it was mentally and emotionally rewarding, the financial benefits were not - and she found herself in the unenviable position of having to borrow money to have a reasonable lifestyle. While I was happy to help her out, after a couple of years, I was concerned that she was on a dead-end road. I told her that the reason that I was in position to help her financially was that I had made some good business decisions and that these ventures were paying off. But, to continue to pay, these ventures

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