Perhaps the greatest natural law in the universe is something we call Cause and Effect. This simply means that “for every cause there is an effect, and for every effect there is a cause.”
In practical terms, a good example would be the actions, habits, attitudes and words we use that are “good” will come back to us good — and the actions, habits, attitudes and words we use that are “bad” will come back to us bad. Now that sounds simple enough, but there are thousands, perhaps millions, of people in our nation who never truly understand this natural law, or if they do they misuse it. Otherwise we would not have so many highly educated people sitting in a prison cell.
A while back my good friend Cliff Garrison had the program at our weekly prayer breakfast (which would not be a bad thing for all of us to be involved in).
He shared something on this occasion that got me to thinking about this great natural law and how it relates to several public officials being sentenced to prison over the past several months.
When I did some research on this, I found a whole host of former state legislators from across the nation, including my state of Arkansas, sitting in prison for committing various crimes while they were in office — nine in the state of New York alone.
Cliff shared some information he had saved from the late Don Meyer, and he talked about why this coach was so successful.
Coach Meyer was not only a great coach but also a great human being. To be sure, he understood the law of Cause and Effect.
One of Cliff’s handouts was titled “Two Sets of Threes.” This consisted of just 13 words that are powerful. I’m going to give you the words, and I would ask that you please clear your mind and focus on them because they can make a big difference in your life and the lives of those with whom you share them or teach them.
Here they are:
Don’t Make Excuses.
There is a most important point that I can promise you, my friend: You can have 10 college degrees and still not understand these 13 powerful words and what they mean, and in return you are not going to be successful in life.
One time I heard my former employer, the late Earl Nightingale, say, “We can’t be any better than we know how to be.” The problem for many people is simply this: they hear or read these 13 words but don’t really believe them. Rather they live by a rule they see as a “matter of expediency.”
If it is expedient for them to shade it a bit, cut a few corners, tell a white lie or think it does not matter just this once, that is what they do to achieve their objectives. They find out too often, sometimes sitting in jail or prison, that such actions do not work.
When my own children were growing up there were basically two things I tried to teach them. First, to always respect other people and their rights, and next, to always be willing to work and earn the things they wanted in life.
While these are very simple and basic concepts, they contain the foundational ingredients for a successful life. To the glory of God, I am pleased to say this has worked out well.
In closing, may I share those powerful 13 words again? They are: Never Lie. Never Cheat. Never Steal. Don’t Whine. Don’t Complain. Don’t Make Excuses.
You have great worth and value.
(Jim Davidson is a syndicated columnist who appears each Saturday in The Times Leader. He can be contacted at 2 Bentley Dr., Conway, AR 72032.)