Thursday, February 28, 2008

Shocking Stats

Some disturbing stats about the richest nation on earth...

In America, roughly 12.9 million children live in poverty, with about 5 million living in extreme poverty (their families have incomes of less than half the federal poverty level.)

1) One-third of black children live in poverty.

2) 28 percent of Hispanic youngsters living in poor households.

3) 35 percent of all children living in poverty are white, making them the largest group of youngsters in poverty.

These stats are according to information being used in Hillary Clinton's electoral bid so there may be some spin involved (no offense intended towards Clinton specifically, that's just the way of politics) but they are similar to numbers I've heard from other sources as well.

Has anyone seen Canadian numbers anywhere? I'm guessing we are only slightly better.

See for full the complete article.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Philosophy of Schultz

No, not the loveable but dimwitted guard on Hogan's Heroes. This is from an email I received from a former co-worker with some questions attributed to Charles Schultz, creator of the Peanuts comic strip. Just read these straight through (no need to struggle for the answers) and you'll get the point:

1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners .
3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America.
4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.
5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winner for best actor and actress.
6. Name the last decade's worth of World Series winners.

How did you do?
The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday. These are no second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields. But the applause dies. Awards tarnish. Achievements are forgotten. Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.

Here's another quiz. See how you do on this one:
1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.
2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.
3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.
4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.
5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.

The lesson: The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. They are the ones that care.

Makes you think doesn't it? All of the time I spend watching Superbowls and Stanley Cups or noting the winners of the Oscars and Grammys is, in the end, unimportant and entirely forgettable. It's the ordinary heroes who influence my world that really matter. So go change the life at a time.