No. 1086



When it comes to achieving success, which is something each of us desires, here is a little simile that really hits the nail on the head.
“A woman was bragging about her children. ‘Jean is 26, and is a portrait painter in New Orleans; Willard is 24 and writes poetry; Margaret is 22 and is a professional dancer.’
‘Don’t you have a younger son?’ her friend asked. ‘What is he doing?’
“Oh, that’s Joey,’ the proud mother said. ‘He’s just 20. He’s nothing but a plumber’s helper. But, if it weren’t for him, all the rest of us would be starving’.”
When I read this I could not help but think about the fella who had an MA, a BA, and a PhD, but he did not have a JOB. As I said a moment ago, success is something each of us desires but few are they who truly find it. It is certainly within reach of every person who does not have a debilitating handicap, and many who do far outshine the rest of us.
Really achieving success is very simple. All we need is a worthwhile goal (better if written down on paper) that we are striving to achieve, and one that gives us direction and a reason to get out of bed each day. We need to save and invest some of our income to achieve financial success.
Over the years I have heard a great deal about climbing the ladder of success, and sadly many people want to start in the middle of the ladder rather than at the bottom where they can learn some valuable lessons. We need to always keep in mind that we should be nice to people who help us climb up the ladder, because we may meet some of those same people on the way back down. And also keep in mind, when we start climbing, make sure our ladder is learning against the right wall.
On a more serious and practical note, if you have achieved some measure of success, have you ever thought about those special people who held the ladder for you? I have many times, and am so grateful for them. Of course, my list begins with my parents who brought me into the world, nourished me, and taught me many valuable character lessons like honesty, treating others with dignity and respect. They also taught me to earn my way, be responsible for myself, and not expect someone else or the government to take care of me.
Then there were special teachers like Mrs. Martha Hawley, Mrs. Bernice Boggs, Mr. Jimmy Brown and Mr. Ralph Brantley, who went the extra mile. Later, as an adult, there was a man who was like a second father, the late Bob Gannaway, my Dale Carnegie teacher who later became my business partner.
But to be honest, the man who helped me more than anyone else, at a critical time, was Bert Parke, president of Democrat Printing and Lithographing in Little Rock. For some reason, as a young salesman, Bert took a liking to me and took me with him to quote a printing job for Neiman Marcus in Dallas. He took me to lunch at the Ports of Call Restaurant on the top floor of the Southland Life Building and he took me on three Chamber of Commerce Goodwill Tours to San Antonio, Denver and Houston. This was in the late 1960s.
On these tours I got to spend some quality time with business and government leaders in these cities, as well as top people in Little Rock, our state’s capital city. It was getting to know these leaders that gave me a new perspective of life, business and success, that I could not have gotten any other way.
To be sure, I am grateful for those who held my ladder, and I bet you are, too. Let’s do our best to help others, as this is the only way we can ever repay them.
(Editor’s Note: Bookcase for Every Child – Changing Lives & Futures – ONE AT A TIME. Please visit our website: