"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them".
~ John F. Kennedy.
There is a poignant story about Vince Lombardi that strikes a sad chord with me. One day a good friend of Lombardi went to his office to find the man sitting in the corner sobbing into his hands. His face was etched in pain and soaked in tears. Now this was toward the end of the great coaches career ~ when he was stricken with cancer and each day brought more agony than the day before. So naturally the friend assumed that the disease was the cause of his anguish - but he asked nonetheless - "Vince, what's wrong?" The legendary coach looked up at him and said "Why do I always have to push them so hard? Why do I always have to drive the players to do more than they want ~ Why? The friend replied quietly "Because Coach ~ That's Who You Are."
Have you ever stopped to think of those who push us to be more of what we can be? Those few who won't allow us to settle for "good enough". Those teachers who are a little stricter than the others. Those instructors who set impossible standards and uncompromising expectations. Those coaches who demand that we do more than we are comfortable doing. Those few that insist we can be "better"? Sports is an easy arena to find such people ~ but life is filled with them. In our day to day business and personal lives we encounter a few remarkable individuals who demand more out of us than we want to give. They are the best of us. They are the most selfless of us. For they have set aside their need to be liked to bring out the best in us. We don't like to be uncomfortable and we especially don't like those who hold a mirror up to us and say "You can do better". We should appreciate those few who demand that we be ALL we can. For they are the very best of us.