Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Wizard's New Apprentice

You can't live a perfect day
Without doing something for someone
Who will never be able to repay You.
- John Wooden

Two weeks from this very day shall mark the fifth anniversary of the death of legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden.  Coach Wooden died approximately four months before what would have been his 100th birthday. 

Having retired from the coaching profession upon the completion of the 1975 season, thirty-five years or so before he died, it is a certainty that he never coached Josiah Duncan.  Inasmuch as Josiah is, himself, just five years old, it is likely that Coach Wooden and Josiah Duncan never met.  Given that Coach Wooden died at or near the mid-point of 2010, there is roughly a 50% chance that Josiah had not yet made his entrance upon the Earth's stage at the time that Coach Wooden made his exit.  

For two people born roughly one hundred years apart, in different parts of the United States (Coach Wooden was a Hoosier and Josiah is an Alabaman), it is remarkable just how much the new emulates the old.  

It is a story too worth telling correctly to be entrusted into my workmanlike hands, so it shall not be. Rather, I shall invite you to do that which I did yesterday after having been made aware of this story by my brother Bill:  Read it and view it for yourself.    

Coach Wooden's wallet included a copy of the Seven Point Creed that his father bestowed upon him as an eighth-grade graduation gift:  

(1) Be true to yourself;
(2) Make each day your masterpiece;
(3) Help others;
(4) Drink deeply from good books, especially the Bible;
(5) Make friendship a fine art;
(6) Build a shelter against a rainy day;
(7) Pray for guidance and give thanks for your blessings every day. 

Whether five-year-old Josiah carries a wallet, I know not.  I know however that when he starts carrying one, the first thing that shall be inside of that wallet shall be a copy of Coach Wooden's long-ago graduation gift.  Actually, judging from the manner in which this youngster carries himself, it is already in there. 

Along with a lot of other really, really good stuff. 

-AK 


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