Two Stories by Other Writers

The Excellence of Your Work

My first job was mowing lawns. I had a push mower, and I said to my father, “I could make a lot more money with a power mower.” My dad was a Mr. Fix-It type, so he went into the garage and built me one—out of a little old motor, some black plywood, and a few pipes. I was embarrassed when I saw it. I thought I couldn’t be pushing that around. All of my friends are going to have slick-looking machines. Kids did tease me at first—until they realized my mower could go through anything. So I got the toughest jobs in town, and suddenly I was making more money than I could count. The experience was a real lesson for me. It showed me that what matters above all is the excellence of your work. (Tom Brokaw, former anchor, NBC Nightly News)

Experience Counts

Christopher Columbus was stranded in Jamaica and needed supplies. He knew that an eclipse was to occur the next day. He told the tribal chief, “The God who protects me will punish you. Unless you give me supplies this night, a vengeance will fall upon you, and the moon shall lose its light!” When the eclipse darkened the sky, Columbus got all the supplies he needed.

In the early 1900s, an Englishman tried the same trick on a Sudanese chieftain. “If you do not follow my order,” he warned, “vengeance will fall upon you, and the moon will lose its light.”

“If you are referring to the lunar eclipse,” the Sudanese chieftain replied, “that doesn’t happen until the day after tomorrow.” —anonymous