I received an email the other day; the kind you frequently get and are encouraged to forward on.  Supposedly, the following came from Charles Schultz, but I don't know how true that is.  And it doesn't really matter where it came from.  

It said:

You don't have to actually answer the questions. Just ponder on them.

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 pageant.

4  Name  ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.

5. Name  the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.

6. Name  the last decade's worth of  World Series winners.

How did you do? The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday. 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.

Here's another quiz. See how you do on this one:

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

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

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

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

5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.


The lesson:

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 simply are the ones who care the most.

And this simple email made the think.  Not of the first group of questions, but of the second.  I wrote about the teachers who helped me in a previous blog.  It's easy to come up with three people who have helped me through a difficult time.  (There are so many more than three, but just off the top of my head there's Steve [and that's one of the reasons why I married him], there's Ruth [who I only recently met during a dark time, but whose kindness continues to resonate with me] and Susan [who always is ready to be there for a friend.)  Five people who taught me something worthwhile?  Again there are so many more than five.  They are friends and mentors like Arnel, Stephanie, Fran and Nancy.  They are friends and neighbors like Doreen, Sarah and Mary.  Friends from school:  Lisa, Christine, Ellen, Andee...

I'm not going to continue with the list of five people who make me feel appreciated and special or five people who I enjoy spending time with.  The more I think of the questions, the more people pop into my mind.  Names and memories come crashing back like waves on the ocean. Like Janet and Ken who called and offered help when we were stuck in Florida (or my brother who volunteered to go get my car and drive down to get us).  Or Donna who stood up for my ideas when they were laughed at.  And Christina who sent me the email and got me thinking.

Forget the first few questions, take five minutes to think about the second group.  And suddenly you will realize who blessed you are.


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