“I’m into making people happy. So, whenever I leave the house, I just try to do a good deed.”
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Shaq said he didn't intend for this story to get out, but someone captured him on camera picking up the tab for a young man who had put an engagement ring on layaway at Zales. Shaq, who has a jewelry line at Zales, talked about the power of random acts of kindness. Separately, food for thought: the president of Zales recently said the pandemic has boosted jewelry sales, specifically of engagement rings!
“You have to be a fighter and no matter what people say about you, you still have to stand up for what you know is right.”
#OTD in 1990 Ryan White, one of the first American children to contract the AIDS virus, passed away at age 18. Ryan became an advocate for those living with AIDS, fighting discrimination in court, incl. an effort to bar him from school out of fear he could spread the virus through casual contact (like sneezing). Congress named the largest federally funded AIDS program after him.
“The lesson which life repeats and constantly enforces is ‘look under foot.’ You are always nearer the divine and the true sources of your power than you think.”
Writer John Burroughs, born on April 3, 1837, followed in the path of Henry David Thoreau composing American nature essays that influenced American thinking (and potentially leadership!). The former farmer & Treasury worker befriended Walt Whitman, John Muir & traveled with President Theodore Roosevelt in Yellowstone National Park.
“There are these ups and downs in your journey… That’s where all of the lessons are.“
#OTD in 1944 the Queen of Motown was born. The legendary Ms. Ross rose to fame in The Supremes and went on to have a decades-long solo career in song and stage. Overall, she's sold more than 100 million records. The mother of five has won a Golden Globe and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012.
“I believe that every one of us – Republicans, Democrats, and Independents – shares a common bond: our love for the outdoors and a desire and obligation to keep our nation livable for future generations.”
The Senate confirmed Pres. Biden's choice for Secretary of the Interior - Deb Haaland, the first Native American to serve in this role AND in the Cabinet. The Dept. of the Interior manages one out of every five acres in America. Haaland previously made history as one of the first Native American women elected to Congress, where she developed a reputation for bipartisanship.
“Finding light in the darkness is a very American thing to do.”
In his first national primetime address the President announced the following: every American adult will be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine by May 1, a new website to source vaccines, renewed efforts to open all American schools and a goal for July 4th to "not only mark our independence as a nation, but we begin to mark our independence from this virus."
“Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.”
The three hidden words on NASA's Perseverance rover's parachute reading "dare mighty things" are from an 1899 speech by Pres. T. Roosevelt (then NY governor) in which he emphasizes the need to embrace challenges, advising "not to shirk difficulties, but to overcome them; not to seek ease, but to know how to wrest triumph from toil and risk."
“We’re all better together.”
Ahmaud Arbery's mother on the one-year anniversary of her son's death, responding to a question about whether she has hope America can unite. Arbery’s death was the first of several notable cases that ignited debate, protests and civil unrest about race in America. We have a full timeline of the Ahmaud Arbery case linked in bio.
“Great moments are born from great opportunity … You were meant to be here. This moment is yours.”
Head coach Herb Brooks inspired the amateur U.S. Olympic hockey team before one of the greatest upsets in sports history, defeating the Soviet Union 4-3 on Feb. 22, 1980. "The Miracle on Ice" came during a tumultuous time - the Cold War, U.S. hostages held in Iran, long gas lines & rising crime. The U.S. team went on to win the gold medal.
“Perseverance will get you anywhere.”
"I’m safe on Mars," NASA's Mars rover "Perseverance" from its Twitter account. The successful landing of "Percy" (the spacecraft's nickname) begins a two-year mission on the Red Planet, incl. a search for signs of ancient former life in areas scientists believe water flowed billions of years ago. The soonest we'll see Mars samples back here on Earth? 2031.
“(The spirit of political party) agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection…A fire not to be quenched, it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into a flame, lest, instead of warming, it should consume.”
On George Washington's observed birthday a member of the Senate reads aloud his 1796 "Farewell Address" where he warns political parties are "potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government."
“Love is stronger than fear.”
Volkov, supporter of Putin critic Alexey Navalny, called for Russians to shine their cellphone flashlights in courtyards Sunday night to reflect support for Navalny; his recent arrest and imprisonment led to the largest protests in Russia in recent years - and a violent government crackdown.