Leading Blog






11.23.06

Denzel Washington: A Hand to Guide Me

Thankful for what others have done to guide his life, Denzel Washington put together a valuable book that underscores the lesson: “If you want to change the world, start by changing the life of a child.”

A Hand to Guide Me focuses on some important concepts for and value of laying a firm foundation for children by providing examples from the lives of over 70 people like Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, Whoopi Goldberg, Phil Jackson, Hank Aaron, Muhammad Ali, John Antioco, Yogi Berra, Jimmy Carter, Wesley Clark, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Fr. Monk Malloy, Joe Morgan, Toni Morrison, Colin Powell, Bonnie Raitt, Cal Ripken Jr., Bernard Shaw, George Streinbrenner, Ruben Studdard, John Wooden.

Here are a few thoughts by Denzel Washington from the book:

“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Powerful words don’t you think? It’s a simple sentiment too, and yet I’m amazed how many people lose site of it these days.

• Show me a successful individual and I’ll show you someone who didn’t want for positive influences in his or her life. I don’t care who you are or what you do for a living—if you do it well I’m betting there was someone cheering you on and showing you the way. I’ll lay even odds.

• This is book is about that certain push, that helping hand we’ve all had to reach for in order to get where we’re going. Train up a child in the way he should go, and he might get to where he’s meant to be headed all along.

• I didn’t always make the best choices or put myself in the best situations, and yet at they same time I have to think I made better choices because of the extra efforts of my parents and teachers and coaches, and I put myself in better situations that I might have if I’d been going about it on my own. I had a better chance to find my way because I was open to so many positive outside influences.

• The good people you’ve heard from here have all benefited from a guiding hand or two or three. They’ve been on the receiving end of some profound words of wisdom, or they’ve patterned their lives after men and women or principle. They’ve seen one good turn and helped it blossom into another. Or they’ve made a mistake and managed to learn from it and move on. And that’s the greatest lesson we can all take with us as we set this book aside and return to our lives. Keep open—to possibility, to opportunity, to wonder—or remain forever shut off to the encouraging outcomes that await us all. Change happens. The key is to keep reaching for that guiding hand and to keep extending our own.

An early influence in Denzel Washington's life was the Boys Club. Some of the proceeds from the sale of this book are earmarked for the 100 year old Boys & Girls Clubs of America. This book is a good reminder to honor those whose shoulders you stand on and redouble your efforts with others.

Posted by Michael McKinney at 08:32 AM
| Comments (0) | This post is about Books , Personal Development



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