"Three Important Questions"
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Congratulations! Keep up the good work!
I have 3 questions for you, along with my own answers. These are questions you probably have thought about before, and I am encouraging you to think even more about them now and in the future.
First of all, note that on your table for each one of you is a pencil as a memento of this occasion, . . . and a few, large index cards. Everyone here get a pencil and an index card. After you have done that, do not talk to your neighbor, but give me your attention again. Get the pencil and card now.
I. The first question is: Who is an educated person? Answer the question by beginning “An educated person is” – then fill in your answer. You have two minutes to think . . . and write down your answer on the card. Who is an educated person?
OK, time is up.
Who is an educated person? An educated person is a person who WANTS to learn new things, and does what is necessary to continue to learn new things. Especially note that your graduating with any degree is not what makes you an educated person. You will meet some people with Ph.D.’s who are not educated persons and do not understand that being an educated person is an attitude and a continuing process . . . not an event.
My grandfather only had a formal, sixth grade education. But he was an educated person. He always demonstrated the characteristic of wanting to learn new things and did what was necessary to continue to learn new things. He was a successful merchant, farmer, and businessman. My father, who earned a doctorate, learned that lesson well from my grandfather, and taught it to me.
Make learning your objective, not making a grade, and the good grades will come as a byproduct. The people who learn because they want to learn, that is, the ones who have that internal motivation, will always, in the long run, outshine the ones who just study and learn for an external reward, such as a grade. (But I think most of you know that already.)
II. The second question is this: Recognizing that pretty much everything else is not within our total, personal control, what is the one, important “thing” we each can totally, personally control? You have two minutes to think . . . and write down your answer on a card. What is the one, important “thing” we each can totally, personally control?
OK, time is up.
Recognizing that pretty much everything else is not within our total, personal control, what is the one, important “thing” we each can totally, personally control?
Here is the answer given by Socrates: Your own integrity. Integrity. Your own virtue, whatever the situation. For example, are you going to be an honest person or not? It’s your choice. Therefore, your integrity is what really defines who you really are, since it is really the only thing you really can control.
If you know someone who cheats, do not ever trust that person. That person will cheat on you, too.
You know that you are an academically intelligent person. However, it is even more important for you to develop being an emotionally intelligent person. Answer this question: What are some characteristics of an emotionally intelligent person? You have two minutes to think . . . and write down your answers on a card. What are some characteristics of an emotionally intelligent person?
OK, time is up.
According to Daniel Goleman (http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newCDV_59.htm):
People with emotional intelligence are Self Aware: They understand their own emotions, their strengths and weaknesses, and they don’t let their feelings rule them.
People with emotional intelligence Control Their Emotions and don’t allow themselves to become too angry. They generally think before they act and don’t make careless decisions.
People with emotional intelligence have empathy for others. They listen and understand the wants, needs, feelings, and viewpoints of others. They have excellent social skills and help others to develop.
People with emotional intelligence are optimistic, patient, motivated, and love a challenge.
A major characteristic of an emotionally intelligent person is being persistent and doing what is necessary to achieve a goal, whatever it is. For example, among many, many other ventures, my grandfather grew Pecans on his farm in North Carolina. . . . (a footnote: I am talking about the real, Southern Pecan not the Northern Pecahn variety.) After my grandfather became too blind to see the Pecans on the ground to pick them up, I saw him literally crawl around on the ground on his hands and knees under the trees feeling for and picking up the pecans. He was persistent and did what it took to achieve his goal.
Likewise, my father survived being a prisoner of war, held by the Japanese for three years under very harsh conditions during World War II. My father made the conscious decision to do what it took to live, honorably, one more day, each day. He told me that every day he lived would mean his wife would eventually receive his one-more-day’s worth of pay as a U.S. soldier. He was determined to add that one more day of pay for her each day, which would be based on his reported, official date of death. He survived, and I was born right after the war.
As an example of this concept and finish this talk, I am going to give you the entire, four-sentence speech Prime Minister Winston Churchill gave near the beginning of World War II when the future for Great Britain looked extremely bleak, before Pearl Harbor and before the U.S. was in the war.
Prime Minister Winston Churchill said:
"Never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, give up. Never give up. Never give up. Never give up."
Note: There were 520 people in attendance, including inductees and their families.
Also see http://www.consistent-parenting-advice.com/emotional-intelligence.html
Note, but not in talk.
On October 29, 1941, U.K. Prime Minister Winston Churchill visited Harrow School to hear the traditional songs he had sung there as a youth, as well as to speak to the students. When he was invited to give a speech, Churchill stood before the students and said, (http://www.neverevergiveup.com/ )
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