Aug
9

The A’s, the B’s and the C’s

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It was high school reunion time and 25 years after they had all received their diploma, there was talk of only one graduate.  His name was Harvey, the math-challenged country boy who had accumulated more wealth than the rest of his former classmates combined.  When Harvey arrived they all gathered around with just one question for him, “How did he do it?”  And the now multi-millionaire replied, “Well, you see, I came up with this invention that costs me only $5.00 to make, and I sell them for $100.00 each, and you’d be surprised how fast that 10% profit adds up!”  Recently, a major analytical study was released in which researchers were looking for a singular trait among those who had greatly succeeded in the world of business.  And almost without exception, what these now extremely wealthy individuals had in common was this – having struggled in school, both behaviorally and academically.  It seems they spent more time in the principal’s office than they did in the class room.  One such example was Bill Gates.  When young Gates was written up one too many times by the Harvard University disciplinary committee for class absenteeism due to running a computer business out of his dorm room, the entrepreneur dropped out, created Microsoft, and became the world’s richest man.  This is not to say that academics don’t matter (they do in fields like medicine, law, accounting, etc.), but future tycoons were not made for rote memorization of facts.  So take heart, parents, if you have a child that pushes the academic and behavioral envelope at school.  As has been said, “College is a place where former A students teach mostly B students how to work for C students.”
Speaking of students, when Joey Barrow was a teen-ager all his schoolmates labeled him the class sissy; because while the other eighteen-year-olds were engaged in more “masculine” things (getting into college, finding a mate, starting a business) Joey was taking violin lessons.  His mother had insisted that he do so, hoping Joey would one day make something of himself like the other more talented kids. Then Joey was called a sissy one too many times and smashed the boy who had taunted him, smacking the back of the guy’s head with his violin.  But it didn’t help and just brought him even more ridicule at school.  However, one pupil, Thurston McKinney, didn’t laugh.  Big, strapping Thurston decided it was time Joey got involved in something with a little more muscle.  So he invited him to the gymnasium where Thurston regularly worked out.  Joey went with him, and as always, carrying his violin.  “If you want to exercise with me,” said Thurston, “you’ll have to rent a locker for that thing.”  Locker rental was fifty cents and the only fifty cents Joey had was the money his mother has given him for that week’s violin lesson.  Joey rented the locker with the violin money and put the instrument inside.  Then the first time Thurston invited Joey to spar with him in the boxing ring, Joey flattened the local Golden Glove Champion with just one punch, knocking him out.  From then on, the weekly fifty cents went not for music lessons but boxing lessons; and in five years, Joey Barrow would be twenty-three and the heavyweight champion of the world.  By the way, Joey dropped his last name Barrow, so his mother would not know it was her son all the newspapers were talking about.  Thus the world knew years before she did that sissy Joey Barrow had become the unbeatable “Brown Bomber,” Joe Louis.
I tell this story as a reminder for our young boys who are or will be taking music lessons.  This does not make you a sissy.  Remember, when David was not slaying giants like Goliath, he was busy learning how to play the harp.