Character Carved In Stone — Book Review

From the compassion of Ulysses S. Grant to the heroism of Peter Wang ROTC (Granted posthumous admission to the West Point class of 2015. You’ll have to read the book to find out why.) I was held spellbound and captive as I read of the attributes and accomplishments of some of our country’s greatest heroes.

Between the covers of Character Carved in Stone by Pat Williams, you will find stories of West Point graduates whose lives personified the virtues of that institution.  The author then continues with ways to incorporate those some concepts into your own life.

 

These are my favorite quotes from each of the 12 Virtues:

“Leaders with authentic compassion are strong, courageous, honest, and direct.” p35

“Faith replaces fear with courage.” p51

“Live each day dedicated to the future.” p66

Determination means making up your mind that you will achieve your goal…expecting roadblocks and obstacles, but prepared to find a way over, around, or straight through them.” p77

Dignity is a priceless virtue–a virtue that is in danger of extinction in our society.” p92

“Success is the result of discipline, of repeatedly doing the things that lead to excellence.” p104

“A person of integrity is whole and complete–not divided or compartmentalized. A person of integrity will be the same person in public and in private. The inner reality will match the outward reputation.” p123

“Always stand up for your people. Always have their backs. If they are attacked or criticized, defend them… That is what loyalty demands of you.” p137

“Pray for the power to persevere. Never give in. Never give up. Never quit.” p153

“We don’t blame other people. We don’t blame circumstances. We don’t blame God. We accept full responsibility.” p167

“Throughout our nation’s history, generations of Americans have enjoyed freedom and prosperity because American soldiers have selflessly served their country.” p180

“When we trust one another, we can accomplish great things. Without trust, we are defeated before we begin.” p199

Who should read and use Character Carved in Stone? Everyone! Parents, preachers, politicians (especially), grandparents, teachers, teenagers, students, farmers, waiters… Everyone!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell/Baker Publishing Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

This post may contain affiliate links.  When you use them I receive a small commission that helps support the costs of maintaining this blog.

Do Unto Others…

You are different than me…I am different than you.  Some of you are older, some younger.  Some taller, some shorter.  Some richer, some poorer.  It is the way God designed us.  Yet to often we let the differences dictate our actions.

The poem that follows is very meaningful to me.  As we tried to find a really good retirement center for my mother’s last days we moved her several times. Mom’s dementia made her a very difficult patient.  She was sometimes a sobbing blob and sometimes an angry monster.  And everything in between. We three expected her to be treated with love, dignity and respect and that did not always happen.  We found very few caregivers who were able to put those in their care first.  When we finally found the ideal residence for her she had very few days left but those days were lived with loving caregivers who truly cared about her.

old man

When an old man died in the geriatric ward of a nursing home in an Australian country town, it was believed that he had nothing left of any value.
Later, when the nurses were going through his meager possessions, They found this poem. Its quality and content so impressed the staff that copies were made and distributed to every nurse in the hospital.

One nurse took her copy to Melbourne. The old man’s sole bequest to posterity has since appeared in the Christmas editions of magazines around the country and appearing in mags for Mental Health. A slide presentation has also been made based on his simple, but eloquent, poem.

And this old man, with nothing left to give to the world, is now the author of this ‘anonymous’ poem winging across the Internet.

Cranky Old Man

What do you see nurses? . . .. . .What do you see?
What are you thinking .. . when you’re looking at me?
A cranky old man, . . . . . .not very wise,
Uncertain of habit .. . . . . . . .. with faraway eyes?
Who dribbles his food .. . … . . and makes no reply.
When you say in a loud voice . .’I do wish you’d try!’
Who seems not to notice . . .the things that you do.
And forever is losing . . . . . .. . . A sock or shoe?
Who, resisting or not . . . … lets you do as you will,
With bathing and feeding . . . .The long day to fill?
Is that what you’re thinking?. .Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, nurse .you’re not looking at me.
I’ll tell you who I am . . . . .. As I sit here so still,
As I do at your bidding, .. . . . as I eat at your will.
I’m a small child of Ten . .with a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters .. . . .. . who love one another
A young boy of Sixteen . . . .. with wings on his feet
Dreaming that soon now . . .. . . a lover he’ll meet.
A groom soon at Twenty . . . ..my heart gives a leap.
Remembering, the vows .. .. .that I promised to keep.
At Twenty-Five, now . . . . .I have young of my own.
Who need me to guide . . . And a secure happy home.
A man of Thirty . .. . . . . My young now grown fast,
Bound to each other . . .. With ties that should last.
At Forty, my young sons .. .have grown and are gone,
But my woman is beside me . . to see I don’t mourn.
At Fifty, once more, .. …Babies play ’round my knee,
Again, we know children . . . . My loved one and me.
Dark days are upon me . . . . My wife is now dead.
I look at the future … . . . . I shudder with dread.
For my young are all rearing .. . . young of their own.
And I think of the years . . . And the love that I’ve known.
I’m now an old man . . . . . . .. and nature is cruel.
It’s jest to make old age . . . . . . . look like a fool.
The body, it crumbles .. .. . grace and vigor, depart.
There is now a stone . . . where I once had a heart.
But inside this old carcass . A young man still dwells,
And now and again . . . . . my battered heart swells
I remember the joys . . . . .. . I remember the pain.
And I’m loving and living . . . . . . . life over again.
I think of the years, all too few . . .. gone too fast.
And accept the stark fact . . . that nothing can last.
So open your eyes, people .. . . . .. . . open and see.
Not a cranky old man .
Look closer . . . . see .. .. . .. …. . ME!!

Remember this poem when you next meet an older person who you might brush aside without looking at the young soul within. We will all, one day, be there, too!

PLEASE SHARE THIS POEM!
The best and most beautiful things of this world can’t be seen or touched. They must be felt by the heart!

We are told to love one another…can we at least try?  John 13:34-35

Heavenly Father help us…to forget our differences…to honor and respect everyone…to love one another…  Make it so!