The greatest waste of our natural resources is the number of people who never achieve their potential.



In a full page message in an August 1986 edition of the Wall Street Journal, United Technologies Corp. said, “How we perform as individuals will determine how we perform as a nation. Aim so high you’ll never be bored.”



Get out of that slow lane. Shift into that fast lane. If you think you can’t, you won’t. If you think you can, there’s a good chance you will.



Even making the effort will make you feel like a new person. Reputations are made by searching for things that can’t be done and doing them. Aim low: boring. Aim high: soaring. What are you waiting for?



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The American Medical Association says cutting the cost of health care in America by 30 percent to 40 percent is entirely possible. But do we have the will to do so?



For example, if nobody in this country smoked, we could chop off 15 percent of the money spent on health care. If no one drank alcohol, we could save another 15 percent. And, we could save another 10 percent to 15 percent if people didn’t abuse drugs.



If this is true, think how much more we could save on health care costs if we made a commitment to better nutrition? Obesity is a serious problem that causes diabetes, heart disease and joint pain. I’d say the temptations are so great that most people won’t change their habits.



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Maybe we’re looking at the immigration issue facing America from the wrong angle?



It seems we have millions of disgruntled people living in America who don’t appreciate the freedoms, the rules that we have. They break the laws, commit crimes, don’t take responsibility for their actions, avail themselves of our generosity and generally reap the benefits that our system offers while draining our energy.



With very little effort, they could leave America for greener pastures, but they would never do that because most other countries wouldn’t put up with their “entitlement” attitude and bad behavior.



On the other hand, millions of immigrants come here with nothing but a dream. They quietly work long hours, long days doing hard, dirty work, often risking their safety. They live away from their families, often in substandard facilities, just for the opportunity that someday they can experience the American dream.



Maybe we should take stock of the situation? Shouldn’t we welcome those hardworking immigrants and give the boot to a like number of the unproductive malcontents living among us?



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Here’s a point of view worth your consideration. It all depends on the way you look at things.



One day a father and his rich family took his young son on a trip to the country with the firm purpose to show him how poor people can be. They spent a day and a night on the farm of a very poor family. When they got back from their trip, the father asked his son, “How was the trip?”



“Very good, Dad. It was very enlightening.”



“Did you see how poor people can be?” the father asked.



“Yeah,” the son replied.



“And what did you learn?” the father prodded.



The son answered, “I saw that we have a dog at home, and they have four. We have a pool that reaches to the middle of the garden, they have a creek that has no end. We have imported lamps in the garden; they have the stars.



“Our patio reaches to the front yard; they have a whole horizon.” When the little boy was finished, his father was speechless. His son added, “Thanks, Dad, for showing me how poor we are!”



Isn’t it true that it all depends on the way you look at things? If you have love, friends, family, health, good humor and a positive attitude toward life — you’ve got everything.



You can’t buy any of these things; still you can have all the material possessions you can imagine, provisions for the future, etc., but if you are poor of spirit, you have nothing.



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On Oct. 12, Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google said, “The nature of work is fundamentally changing. One-third of jobs in 2020 will require skills that aren’t common today. It’s a problem we must address.” If that doesn’t challenge our teachers and school administrators, here are a few things current and prospective teachers face every school day.



“The community wants me to go into that room with all those unique kids, correct their disruptive behavior, observe them for signs of abuse, monitor their dress habits, censor their T-shirt messages and instill in them a love for learning.



“You want me to check their backpacks for weapons and drugs. You want me to raise their sense of self-esteem and personal pride. They might even crave attention and love that is missing at home. While at it, you want me to teach them patriotism and good citizenship, sportsmanship and fair play and respect for their fellow students.



“I’m to recognize signs of antisocial behavior, sooth their hurt feelings and prepare them for life after school. In my free time you want me to give them personal attention and send you regular reports on their progress, even if you never have time to visit my classroom.”