Of the thousands of News "Nuggets" that are added to our databases each day, we try to select weekly a few that we feel challenge and inform our viewers/readers the most.
Recent postings from our clients....
Here's how the Chicago Times in 1865 evaluated President Lincoln's Gettsyburg Address in commenting on it the day after its delivery. "The cheek of every American must tingle with shame as he reads the silly, flat and dish-watery utterances of a man who has to be pointed out to intelligent, foreigners as President of the United States."
When it comes to Presidents, sometimes they just can't please the press.
Silver/Gold Circle Awards for 2017
The Michigan Chapter is pleased to announce this 2017 Silver Circle® class:
- Bill Becker (BECKER INFORMATION GROUP LLC)
- Jay Lowe (WGVU-TV)
- Jerry Rimmer (former WXYZ-TV)
- William Anthony Stevenson (former WWJ/WKBD-TV)
- Donald Thompson (DETROIT PUBLIC TELEVISION)
Gold Circle Class:
- Henry Baskin (BASKIN LAW FIRM)
Aren'tchaglad you're not working in Washington, D.C. right now? Aren'tcha?
And aren'tchaglad you're not a commentator on one of those TV news shows where they line up a mess of broadcasters or so called experts and they all talk at the same time?
And aren'tchaglad life is so sweet that you never ever learned how to Tweet? Oh yes, aren'tchaglad?
Yes, aren'tchaglad sometimes that you have a delete on your cell phone or on your computer and you can go Delete Delete Delete Delete Delete and, that easy, there is no breaking news at all to deal with because too many times it turns out to be disgusting or even heart breaking.
Aren'tchaglad? Well I am.
A Fun-Filled Family Reunion after 50 more than Years
Several weeks ago, five of my wife’s cousins from Iowa who she hadn’t seen in more than 50 years, came to Phoenix for a visit. None of us had any expectations and each of us wondered how the week would go. It turned out to be the most fun week we’ve ever experienced. What made this time even more special is that my wife’s mother, these cousins’ only living aunt, was on hand for the festivities. We cooked three big family-style evening meals at our house and one night, the cousins cooked Iowa pork tenderloins for everyone at the place where they were staying. Each night, we spent hours around the dining room table talking, sharing stories from childhood, laughing and enjoying each other’s company. The atmosphere surrounding each of these dinners consisted of one thing—love. At the end of the final evening, everyone was saying the same thing: “We’ve got to do this again next year!” Plans have already been made and it will happen again next year and none of us can wait.
Seven Rules of Life
A friend of mine posted this set of life rules on Facebook. They are so succinct and dead-on that I felt compelled to share them with you.
- Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up your present.
- What others think of you is none of your business.
- Time heals almost anything, give it time.
- Don’t compare your life to others. Comparison is the thief of joy.
- Stop thinking too much, it’s alright not to know all the answers.
- No one is in charge of your happiness, except you.
- Smile. You don’t own all the problems in the world.
If you can think of anything that is missing from this list, please let me know.
I've been on a binge for over a month now and it just beginning to show some positive results. I've been working on a booklet tentatively titled "Stuff I Wrote". One by one I have sorted all of the books or booklets I have written in the past fifty five years or so.One or two booklets are as few as six pages.And a few of the books are over 300 pages. Before I began to take this gathering seriously, if you had asked me how many there were I would have guessed a hundred all together. Well, right now the count is up to 119 and there are one or two yet I haven't found.
I scanned the covers of most of these and wrote short summaries on each book's contents. I'm showing them in chronological order. I'll also make a list of all the books and booklets showing them in categories such as Speaking, Safety, Sales, Children's,
Memoirs, Creativity, Photography and such.
So what does all of this have to do with a Binge? Well, as I keep pulling masses of books off my shelves and out of nooks and crannies and from places I didn't even realize there were books, well I got this tremendous urge to get rid of some of this stuff. All of this entails hours of moving stuff around, carrying boxes filled up with other authors downstairs.
Last week I took a big load of books to the shelter at the dump and they were gobbled up by visitors in the half hour I was there. I met a famous mural artist there who helped me move some boxes. What interesting people one can meet at our local dump.
I figure a couple more weeks and I should have this mess under control. Then I will move on to sorting boxes full of VHS videos and Cassettes of speeches we've taped along the way. So many of them haven't been transferred to DVD's or CD's and there are about a dozen of each of these I'd like to preserve. If any of you have found a good place to have these transfers made please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can phone me at 919 732 6994. Many thanks.
My wife, Jean, just celebrated her 82nd birthday and the cards and candy and flowers and phone calls and the messages on Facebook - they were inspiring.
Some of those messages written on the cards were so sweet they might make a grown man cry.
I’ve noticed that some folks without even a hint of kin have takin’ to calling her “Aunt Jean.” Like, “Aunt Jean sez.” No doubt, her sayings will soon start showing up on those Quote sights.
I can just see them now. “Aunt Jean sez take out the garbage.” Or maybe, “Aunt Jean says it is time for me to go to the dump.” I hear that one a lot lately, especially when I don’t go there right away.
In truth Jean can be the sweetest, most caring, patient, attentive, consoling, hardworking, dedicated, generous, kind, soft-spoken, genial, loving woman on this earth.
On the other hand--- Oh, I was just kiddin’. There ain’t no other hand. Let’s just leave it the way it is and I’ll say this.
I sure do love that woman.
My Mama didn’t raise no fool.
A Sure Way to Make This Year Your Best
Author, Harvey Mackay, posted a column recently in The Arizona Republic where he said if you don’t want this year to look like last year, the time to start making changes is now. As Mr. Mackay put it, “Start by taking charge of your life. It’s not easy, but it is necessary if you want to make this year your best year. You don’t have to do what you’ve always done or what everyone else expects from you. Think about what you want to achieve and why. Then determine how you can make that happen.” He goes on to say, “January 1 may have come and gone, but don’t wait another year to get going on your dream. A happy new year can start today.”
The following list is from a sign in the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC. Does any of these apply to the Trump administration?
What Neuroscience has to Say About Happiness
Through the help of a Facebook Friend, I came across an article written by Eric Barker which was posted on time.com. It’s about four personal rituals that neuroscience has concluded make us happy. One of these rituals is touching people—shaking hands, pats on the back, phone calls and, most importantly, hugs. According to Mr. Barker, “Touching is incredibly powerful. We just don’t give it enough credit.” He went on to point out that, “Research shows getting five hugs a day for four weeks increases happiness big time.” I read this article right before I attended a church service and decided to test this touching business out. Before and after the service, I shook a lot of hands and participated in a fair number of hugs. I honestly can’t tell you what the sermon was about, but when I left, I felt great. So, I’m inclined to believe that Mr. Barker and these neuroscientists are on to something. If you would like to read Mr. Barker’s entire article, here’s the link.
The Upstairs Room
In our home located just a couple of stone throws outside the quaint and growing town of Hillsborough, NC I have an upstairs room. Until just recently I seldom went upstairs and that was just to get something I have hiding up there or else to play my set of drums. I seldom play more than a couple of songs and I play so poorly I cannot stand listening to myself for long periods of time.
Since I began my new fitness program in October I go up there most days and ride my stationary bicycle for sixteen minutes a day. I have an ancient but good sounding CD player which also plays 33 RPM records and cassette tapes. As I exercise I listen to my old CD's and it has been a wonderful experience. As I ride my bicycle I look around the room and I have been taking time to look at the hundreds of books I have up there. All of the walls are covered with bookcases jammed full of books and other items. I also have a huge collection of educational cassette tape albums, many featuring friends I have made through the National Speakers Association in the past. Occasionally I listen to an old motivational tape and my mind seems to be getting a little sharper with this review of what I once knew.
I am accumulating quite a number of books and tapes which I will soon take to the dump or to a Charity resale store.
Every day I manage to procure just a tiny new space in which to move up there. I have some spaces I've made on the book shelves. I am losing that claustrophobic
feeling I used to get when I went up those stairs. Perhaps if I stick to it for another month there will be some room to breathe.
One might say that my "Stuff Room" was overstuffed. I have half a shelf full of old 33 RPM Vinyl Comedy Records that I hope to get around to listening to. I'm getting eager to find the time to listen to some of that old stuff.
Four Simple Health Resolutions for 2017 that Everyone Can Keep
Angie Ferguson, an exercise physiologist from Fort Myers, FL wrote an article titled, 4 Simple Goals to Commit to in 2017, which appeared in a recent issue of the Arizona Republic. These resolutions are so simple that even I can keep them, yet they produce lots of lasting long-term health benefits. They are:
- Drink more water. Ms. Ferguson recommends eight ounces per hour.
- Eat more fiber. This helps our digestion, lowers our bad cholesterol and slows the rate that sugar is absorbed into our bloodstream.
- Increase our consumption of green leafy vegetables. Doing so is not only of great nutritional value, it also promotes tissue repair.
- Reduce saturated fats. Ms. Ferguson recommends choosing lean cuts of meat and then grilling, baking or broiling them to reduce fat content. She also recommends eating more fish and poultry, and less red meat.
If you would like to read Ms. Ferguson’s entire column, here’s the link.
Have you ever experienced an AHA! moment in your life? It is a time when you learned a great truth that might influence your entire future. I had such a moment one day in February in 1961. I was attending my first meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous. I arrived early and I walked up to the front of the room and started reading those 12 Steps of AA.
- We admitted we were powerless over alcohol - that our lives had become unmanageable.
- Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
- Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over the care of God as we understood him.
Yes! Yes! I shouted to myself silently. Instantly I felt relief. I would no longer have to try to drink like others do. So many of my friends might have one drink or two and that would be all. Me? Something inside me made me have another and another and another.
No it wasn't easy but with that support group sharing their experiences and their wisdom and with the help of God, it worked. That AHA! moment changed my life.
Over the years there have been many AHA! moments that impacted my life in other ways too. Those precious moments when suddenly you understand something that has troubled you for years. I'll be looking for another today.
An 87-Year-Old Man’s Goal for 2017
International author and speaker, actor, playwright and former railroad executive, Art Fettig will turn 88 this coming July. Someone recently asked him what his goals were for 2017. He responded by quoting a phrase an old Bee Gees song: “stayin’ alive.” By saying “stayin’ alive,” Art didn’t mean merely to continue to exist. Rather, his goal is to continue to try to discover new ways to help make this world a better place. As he put it, “I want to discover different avenues for reaching people and touching their lives in a positive way. As long as I can still walk into a room and share a smile or a laugh or bring just one ray of sunshine into somebody's life then I plan to do it. And if I can no longer walk into a room, then I pray that I will find a way to ride into a room somehow and share the joy of living.” If all of us adopted Art’s goal for the coming year, the world would indeed become a better place.
I've Still Got Rhythm
My first musical instrument was a telephone book. It was a hefty instrument being from Detroit, Michigan. I bought a pair of jazz brushes and sat down on a stool right next to the old seasoned piano in the basement of the home of a guy named Pat Boyer and we would play for hours the two boogie woogie songs we had in our repertoire. One was Pinetop Boogie and the other wasn't. I can't recall ever playing in public with that telephone book but a few months later when I graduated from the 8th grade I moved up to a set of drums. I just now pulled up Pinetop Perkins and found him on the net playing his famous Boogie Woogie number at the age of 95. I pulled out my Research Triangle Park Greater Durham, NC yellow pages and then ran upstairs for my jazz brushes and played along with the original Pinetop Perkins and life was good, believe me. They asked Pinetop his secret to longevity and he said, "I like it here." Sounds good to me.
Acts of Kindness Always Leave You Feeling Happy
A subscriber sent me an email regarding an act of kindness she had performed. It contains an important lesson and I’d like to share it with you. “About 2 weeks ago, I was at the dentist for my semiannual cleaning. I've seen the same hygienist and assistant for years. It was really cold here at the time and I had on a nice cashmere scarf. While hanging up my coat and scarf the assistant remarked on its softness, loved the colors, and playfully wrapped it around her neck. She asked if she could wear it for a little bit as she'd been cold all day. ‘Sure,’ I said. ‘In fact, why don't you wear it forever. Keep it as my gift.’ She thought I was joking until I finally convinced her I was serious. The joy and gratitude on her face was my great joy seeing her so happy. It was a little gesture and made her happy. I felt happy all day knowing she was happy. Amazing how that works.” We all need to perform more acts of kindness. The payoff for doing so is fantastic and it makes the world a better place.
In the End, Love is the Only Thing that Really Matters
A friend of mine made a very touching post on Facebook regarding her elderly mother and it contains a universal truth that all too many of us tend to forget. I’d like to share her post with you: “When you reach the end of your life and your youth and looks and talents and accomplishments are behind you. When you are motionless in a bed, unable to grasp even the smallest of objects and the last remnants of dignity are stripped away, what is left is one thing. The most important thing. And, that is the pure love that exists between you and others. Yesterday, I was blessed to hear my dear mother tell me that she loved me, even though she can barely get words out. I love you too, mom. I love you, too....” This is a lesson that all of us need to be reminded of again and again.
It was December 15th, 1989, my final speech booking of my busiest year yet as a professional speaker and I was booked for a full day of speeches in the Catskill Mountains in New York.
Here is how Dennis H McLean, Superintendent of their Margaretville, New York School summed it up.
"Dear Art, Our school and community at this little mountain town were touched by your inspirational program on Self-Esteem. Your speeches and poetry were enjoyed by people from five to ninety-five years old as witnessed by your visit to the skilled nursing facility at the local hospital and by our young people, kindergarten through senior high school. Best wishes to you and keep up the good work."
I'd made ten presentations that day, the most ever, and when I arrived back home in Battle Creek, Michigan my throat was sore and voice was gone. I decided to get to a specialist immediately and luckily got right in to see a throat doctor. She explained that I had strained my vocal cords and prescribed an inhalant. She said I must not talk for at least two weeks. "No talking at all." She said. "If you do you might permanently damage your vocal cords."
I had a silent Christmas and on the 26th I received an urgent phone call from a Booking Agent in Charlotte, North Carolina. She explained that the DuPont plant at Kinston, North Carolina had a speaker cancel out for their Safety Kickoff, January 3rd, 4th and 5th.
I swear I limited my conversation to four or five words. "Yes" I had the dates open. "Yes" she had my top fee right plus travel. "Yes" she would e-mail me a confirmation and "Thank You!"
I hung up the phone and realized that DuPont was the #1 corporation in America in Safety and I recalled that the Kinston Plant held the all time record for safety. What an honor to be working for the best of the best.
I began praying extra hard. I still hadn't talked on my way to Kinston and I arrived early in the morning and met with the sound crew. I was both anxious and scared and a guy named Mike was in charge. I explained to him about the trouble with my throat and how I needed his help. His response was music to my ears. "No problem, man! If you can whisper I can make you sound like radio broadcaster Paul Harvey. With our equipment I can turn up the volume and give you some echo and we'll do fine."
I did nine presentations in three days and this is what John & Libby, the folks in charge of the Safety Kickoff at Dupont wrote me.
"Dear Art: Thank you for the excellent job you did at our Kinston DuPont Site 1990 Safety Kickoff and Business Meeting. We particularly appreciate the effort you made to meet our requirements on such short notice.
You were well received by all of our employees. Your message was so sincere because it came from your personal experiences. Most of the time the audience was spellbound. I asked several of our employees to give me a one-word description of your presentation. They choose entertaining, humorous, sobering, inspiring, uplifting, rewarding, rejuvenating and caring. All were very complimentary of both your formal presentations and your casual break-time conversations.
You put an enormous amount of energy into your work and it pays dividends in the impact you have on those who come in contact with you. Keep up the good work."
We will definitely recommend you to others in our company and community who are looking for an energetic, well-informed professional speaker."
That was 27 years ago and I haven't stopped speaking since.
Just A Nudge
My daughter, Nancy, phoned today to say that she had been reading through the achieves of our newsletters and one article about how I called John Burdakin, the Vice President and then soon to be President of Grand Trunk Western Railroad and asked if he would come to Kalamazoo with me and visit our employee who had suffered triple amputations when some box cars rolled over his body. "He's a tough guy and he is going to recover." I explained to Mr. Burdakin. "Yes, I would love to visit him." he responded and that visit was what was responsible for a major change in our safety program and soon GTW started winning national awards for their safety performance.
Nancy told me that what struck her about the story was that Mr. Burdakin was not some untouchable corporate figure at headquarters, he was a real person with compassion. All he needed was a nudge. Then she said that so often she hesitated when she thought of inviting someone to a meeting or an event and how life changing and important that invite, when she made it, turned out to be to her friends.
Sometimes all we need is a nudge. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we all made 2017 the year of the nudge where we all reach out to touch the lives of those around us in a positive way? Thanks Nancy, for the nudge.
Mariana Carper in LSS of the Southwest Newsletter
It's always fun to see one of our students in other organization's newsletter. In this case, it's the End of Year 2016 newsletter from Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest (LSS-SW).
Mariana Carper supported LSS-SW by getting pledges, encouraging voting and registering others to have their voice heard in the democratic process.
Recently somebody asked me,"Art, what are your goals for 2017?" and I began singing that old Bee Gee's song from 1977, "Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin alive, stayin alive. Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin alive."
When you ask a little kid how old he is he will hold up four fingers and say, "I will be five next month." Ask me and I will tell you, "I will be 88 in July."
My friend Ed Myles who is the same age summed it up this way. "Art, I don't have an enemy in the world. I outlived all them bast - - - s."
One of my goals for being 87 was to finish my autobiography but to really finish that I would have to drop dead. I would much rather carry on and face the challenge of discovering new ways to help make this a better world. I want to discover different avenues for reaching people and touching their lives in a positive way.
As long as I can still walk into a room and share a smile or a laugh or bring just one ray of sunshine into somebody's life then I plan to do it. And if I can no longer walk into a room then I pray that I will find a way to ride into a room somehow and share the joy of living.
So what is my goal for 2017? To "never give up! Never give up! Never give up!" Winston Churchill said that so many years ago and it saved a nation.
I'm stayin' Alive! Stayin' Alive!
Lady Gaga Tells Fans that Kindness is More Important than Fame
According to an article which appeared in theguardian.com, Lady Gaga was in London recently promoting her new album. As she spoke to her fans, she made it clear that kindness is far more important than anything having to do with fame. As she put it, “Money has been put on a pedestal, beauty has been put on a pedestal, celebrity has been put on a pedestal. I have travelled the world and seen the happiest people in the poorest parts of the world. Their values are intact. In the richest homes, I meet the saddest and most depressed people. With this album, I wanted to remind the whole world and my fans that the most important things are love and kindness. Kindness is what will create harmony, not celebrity and not fame.” Lady Gaga seems to be a very well-grounded celebrity with a message for all of us.
The Obama's Last Christmas in the White House
President and the First Lady wished all Americans a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. They reflected on the honor of serving the American people as President and First Lady over the past eight years and the progress that has been made. The President and the First Lady recognized our troops and their families for their service, and they encouraged everyone to visit JoiningForces.gov to find out how to support service members, veterans, and military families in your community.
Acts of Kindness Make All the Difference in how People View their Day
My cousin posted the following on Facebook: “Wow!!! I decided to stop at the McDonald's Drive Thru tonight before going bowling. As I reached for my purse to pay, the cashier said, ‘The car in front of you paid your bill.’ Thank you to whoever you were!!! I had a really tough day today and that small gesture turned my frown to a smile, THANK YOU again!!!!!” Acts of kindness almost always make peoples’ days. They also leave the kind person feeling very good. Kind acts don’t have to cost money. A smile, a kind word, a compliment and a hug are all examples of kind acts that don’t cost anything and yet, all have the potential making someone’s day. We all need kindness and its ripple effect of well-being now more than ever.
| John H. Burdakin and the Grand Trunk Western Railroad
John H. Burdakin and the Grand Trunk Western Railroad provides a look at the principles and personal values that guided John H. Burdakin through a long, successful career as a top manager at three railroads—the Pennsylvania, the Penn Central, and finally the Grand Trunk Western, where he was president of the regional carrier from 1974 to 1986. The book, written from interviews with Burdakin before his death in 2014, gives real-life examples of how Burdakin’s management principles and personal qualities helped him solve labor- management problems, update railroad technology, protect worker safety, and improve employee morale while managing a four thousand–person workforce. It introduces colorful characters who were involved in American railroads, as well as the serious, life-threatening issues that confronted railroads in the last half of the twentieth century in America. This book will provide insights for managers of any business as well as for those seeking to balance a successful career and a rewarding home life.
Trapped in Shades of Grey
During the trying days of World War II, everyone was called upon to do their patriotic duty. But what if that duty required you to live, eat, sleep, and fight alongside the enemy? Christoph Ernst, the son of German immigrants, is recruited to become a deep cover agent in the German Wermacht. He excels at his assignment as a soldier and a spy. As the war in Europe heats up, he realizes that he has made a huge error- he has made friends and become a part of the army that he is helping to destroy. When the time comes, he is uncertain if he will betray his country or his friends. When treachery is your mission, where do your loyalties lie?
The Greatest Salesman in the World
What you are today is not important... for in this runaway bestseller you will learn how to change your life by applying the secrets you are about to discover in the ancient scrolls.
Mandino's main philosophical message is that every person on earth is a miracle and should choose to direct their life with confidence and congruent to the laws that govern abundance. The Santa Train by Art Fettig [Kindle]
Once upon a time, there was a worn out locomotive that nobody seemed to care about. Except maybe Charlie Weller, who was an old retired railroad engineer. And maybe nobody cared about old Charlie anymore either. At least it often seemed that way to Charlie. He had little to do but sit around and remember the good old days when he would run that ancient train up and down the tracks hauling freight.
The Best Verse of Art Fettig, C.S.P and Friends
The entire collection of The Best Verse of Art Fettig, C.S.P. and Friends is now available as a PDF download for $2.
You can visit The Shop at Connert Media for full details. You can pay by any major credit or through your PalPal account.
The Platinum Rule by Art Fettig [Kindle Edition $2.99]
Thousands have read it. Thousands of people have been changed by it. It's now available again as an electronic book.
If you believe that by giving, you also receive, then this is a book that will explain how to "kick it up a notch". The idea behind the platinum rule is really quite simple, but must be adhered to in the manner described. Try it and see what happens!
Author's Dedication: To all of the wonderful people I've met who have already discovered the awesome power of The Platinum Rule by practicing it in their lives. And to all those who will discover The Platinum Rule and have the courage and the heart to practice it.