Often we hear things repeated, or we read about them online and we take it for granted that whatever it is must be true. But in this age of rampant false information, we need to take the extra time to check our facts.
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For instance, I found a quiz that I thought would be good for this podcast. In many places online it's mentioned as the philosophy of Charles Schulz, the creator of the 'Peanuts' comic strip. But before blindly following and repeating what many say is a fact, I decided to do some research first and found that Shulz made no such statements.
We don't know who the real creator of the quiz is, but it's been circulating on the Internet since at least 2000, and somewhere along the way someone believed that Schulz had authored the quiz. From there, the story continued to spread. When facts get distorted, it takes a while to straighten them out.
Regardless who wrote this quiz, it's worth repeating because of the truth it contains. You don't have to actually answer the questions. Just think about them and you'll get the point.
1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners. (I had to Google what that even is, since I don't really follow sports. Apparently the Heisman trophy is awarded annually to the outstanding player in NCAA football.)
3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America pageant.
4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.
5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.
6. Name the last decade's worth of World Series winners.
How did you do? If you have a real interest in those topics, you may have been able to answer some of them. The point is, none of us remembers the headliners of yesterday, even those that are the best in their fields.
But the applause dies .. Awards tarnish ... Achievements are forgotten. Praise and certificates are buried with their owners.
Now here's another quiz. See how you do on this one:
1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.
2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.
3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.
4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.
5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.
Wasn't that easier than the original questions?
The lesson here is that the people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money ... or the most awards. They simply are the ones who care the most.
Now I'm challenging you to care for other people, to make a difference in their lives the way someone did for you. Who are you going to spend time with today?