Thoughts from Dale Steenbergen-
“What a Wonderful World” is an excellent song by Louis Armstrong. If you approach the world as depicted in the song, I think there is no doubt you will be more successful in your endeavors.
When I think of positive people, I always think of my high school vocational agriculture instructor. Ralph Thomas was one of those folks who impacted countless thousands of students he taught during his lifetime. I remember attending his funeral, and there wasn’t an empty seat in the house. It was packed with former students whom Ralph’s worldly wit had touched.
Ralph was a WWII veteran that served in the Pacific. He had seen enough in his time there that you wouldn’t expect him to be a “wonderful world” type of human. I recall one story in particular that he told humorously, but it would make most of us shudder.
Ralph was in the Pacific theater, and on this specific day, he was hanging communication wire. He climbed up a tree to hang the wire, and as he did, he threw his canteen over his back so that it would be out of the way of his work. Suddenly “bang,” and Ralph fell off the pole to the ground, shot by a Japanese sniper.
He fell to the floor, exclaiming, “I have been shot.”
Well, Ralph was indeed shot – sort of. He was actually shot in the canteen and thought the water running down his leg was blood. The canteen he had moved to his back probably saved his life.
Ralph always said that particular day was one of the best of his life. Certainly, he dodged a bullet that day but getting shot and falling out of a tree probably is not what most would consider a “good day.”
When he told the story, students would ask, “How can you be so upbeat about the day you almost died?”
He replied, “I am not happy about the day I almost died. I am happy about the day that I continued to live.”
Let us all aspire to be a little more like Ralph because, folks, it truly is a Wonderful World.
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