John Wooden, college basketball’s most successful coach, died yesterday at age 99. Wooden retired in 1975 and ultimately became viewed as a kind of sage for both basketball and life, a symbol of both excellence and simpler times.
I became aware of him when I joined CHARACTER COUNTS! while living in Santa Fe 10+ years ago. I was impressed with this public personality when I read: Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.
Here’s John Wooden’s Seven Point Creed, a message given to him by his father upon his graduation from grammar school, which he carried around with him and lived by:
• Be true to yourself.
• Make each day your masterpiece.
• Help others.
• Drink deeply from good books, especially the Bible.
• Make friendship a fine art.
• Build a shelter against a rainy day.
• Pray for guidance and give thanks for your blessings every day.
[Compiled from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Wooden and The New York Times.]
Here is a person who was living his faith to the best of his ability, a wonderful role model especially for the young adults he coached. It seems to me that he was a spiritual person who impacted many, not just due to his sports knowledge and talent, but by being an emissary for God.
Here’s a few more quotes attributed to John Wooden, which impart (to me) his spirituality:
“Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be.”
“Success comes from knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.”
“Material possessions, winning scores, and great reputations are meaningless in the eyes of the Lord, because He knows what we really are and that is all that matters.”
Thank You for the people who point to You by the way they live their life.