In my last post, One of 250 Million, I wrote about my first impressions of Zig Ziglar and the peace of mind his words have brought me over the years and the second most impactful book I have ever read, See You At The Top. This post picks up about 8 and a half years later.
Ten Days in May 2000
A lot happened in the 10 days between May 10th and May 19th in the year 2000. On Wednesday, May 10, 2000, after a long battle with cancer, my mother received her ultimate healing and went home to be with Jesus. As many of you who have lost their mother know, this is a difficult life milestone and one you never forget. This made Sunday, May 14, 2000, Mother’s Day, the first one without my mother and also one I was away from the mother of our children, making it memorable but definitely not a good memory for me. I was away because, at the time, I was an independent contractor working in Columbus, Ohio during the week and Sunday was often a travel day.
After returning to Columbus, on the next Tuesday, May 16, 2000, I drove over to Dayton to attend a Success 2000 Seminar where Zig Ziglar was one of the scheduled speakers on the agenda. This was much different than the earlier presentation, only 55 minutes, due to the format and other speakers, but it was good to see Zig performing his craft flawlessly once again and hear his positive, uplifting message. I needed a Zig “checkup from the heart up” at the time and was not disappointed.
I was able to take notes at this event and I did capture a few quotes including these.
Confessions Of A Grieving Christian
After he was done speaking he was scheduled to shake hands and sign books so I took my place in line. I had recently read Confessions of a Grieving Christian on one of my Columbus weekends in one sitting. Since I knew Mom would not be with us much longer it really hit me where I was. I could not put it down. I think I was trying to prepare myself for what seemed to be inevitable.
I wanted to get my copy signed and thank him for sharing the story of his daughter Susan’s homegoing on May 13, 1995. It did help me, as a Christian, come to grips with Mom’s homegoing and find some peace of mind. I see a theme here.
“Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” Psalm 139:16
“The righteous man perishes, and no one lays it to heart; devout men are taken away, while no one understands, For the righteous man is taken away from calamity, he enters into peace, they rest in their beds who walk in their uprightness.” Isaiah 57:1-2
That was the last time I got to see Zig live but I still had the books and recordings with me so he was still around whenever I wanted or needed a “Zig fix” as he still is today.
See You At The Top
I also had 4 copies of See You At The Top, one for each of our children I wanted to get signed and personalized. Since this book has such a profound impact on me I wanted to make it available for them. Sarah was 12, soon to be 13 in July and Amy would reach double digits that Friday, May 19th. I planned to give them their copies on their upcoming birthdays. For Rachel and Thomas, 5 and 4 at the time, I was going to save theirs until they were 10. I didn’t expect any of them to be interested at that time necessarily but knew whenever they did pick it up to read they would benefit from doing so.
After all, Zig was not someone new to them. They already knew who Zig was because they had heard the tapes I often played while driving when they were in the car. They were familiar with how to train fleas, how to be good finders, not to be a SNIOP, the kicking your cat, Birmingham lady, and Prime the Pump stories, among many others.
So, in those 10 days in May my mother died, we celebrated her life and laid her to rest, we celebrated or non-celebrated Mother’s Day, Amy turned 10 years old and I went to see Zig live for the last time. If I haven’t made it clear so far, the fact I include seeing Zig with these other life events shows the high regard I hold for the man and his message and how he lived his life. He not only talked the talk but from all reports I have ever heard he also walked the walk. He was the same person off stage as he was on stage. Don’t get me wrong. I do understand he was just a man but he was a good one.
All the difference in the world
As mentioned in One of 250 Million, I am proud to be counted as one of the 250 million. I hope you now have a better idea why I frequently share Zig Ziglar quotes in my social media feeds. I know my social media influence is insignificant in the grand scheme of things, but you never know when one of these quotes is just what someone needs to see at that particular time in their life. So I provide Zig exposure to others whenever I can. I do regret I haven’t shared more here before now. This story, often told by Zig and others, illustrates my reasoning for sharing now.
A boy was walking along the beach with his grandfather and every few steps his grandfather would reach down and pick up a sand dollar and throw it out into the ocean. As grandsons with grandfathers often do, he asked why he was doing this. His grandfather explained, “These are living breathing organisms. If they stay here on the beach they will die.” That wasn’t quite adding up for the grandson, “But there are thousands of them here. What possible difference can you make?” His grandfather, with wisdom that comes with age and experience, reached down and picked up another one and threw it as far as he could into the ocean and then responded, “To that one, it makes all the difference in the world.”
And then there is you
I know there are millions who haven’t yet been exposed to Zig Ziglar and his message grounded in hope and integrity wrapped in homespun storytelling and “down home” humor. So I asked myself what possible difference could one or two blog posts by me make? After all, I am only One of 250 Million. It will probably only reach 10’s of people. And then I remembered this story and realized, to the one who reads it and discovers Zig Ziglar for the first time it may make all the difference in the world for them.
I hope YOU are that one.
Until next time…
Originally published on Peculiar Perspective on 1/28/18.
P.S. The quickest and least expensive (FREE) way to learn more about Zig is to go to Ziglar.com and sign up for their newsletter and get the 5 Free Life-Changing Tools they are giving away. One of these is an MP3 download called “Biscuits, Fleas and Pump Handles“ which is the original name for See You At The Top. This only lasts about an hour or so but will give you a taste of Zig to see if you want to learn more and it does include one of my favorite jokes about when he first kissed his wife.