Difference Makers Have Courage

When Jackie Robinson was brought to the major leagues by Brooklyn Dodgers owner Branch Rickey, he was the first African-American to play major league ball. At that point, Mr. Rickey carefully explained to him that he would have thousands of chances to lose his temper and get upset because of the overt racism that existed in the major leagues at that time. He warned him about the hate-mail and boos he would get because many of the white players and fans would be adamantly opposed to his presence in the major leagues.

Jackie Robinson was an intense competitor. He was also a man of considerable pride, who gave everything his best effort. He wanted to win every game he played and his athletic skills were substantial. However, like all great athletes, he had his "off days." On one of "those" days everything was going wrong for him. He made some bad throws, booted some grounders and struck out at the plate. The boos and the catcalls got louder and louder. At a critical moment, after Jackie had booted yet another play, Pee Wee Reese, the captain of the Dodgers, walked up to Jackie and put his arm around him. The crowd grew quiet. What they had just seen was enough to silence anyone. Reese was saying, "This is my teammate. He's a fellow Dodger and I have respect and admiration as well as affection for him." Later, Jackie said that was a huge milestone in his major league career.

Somebody once said, "It's never too soon to do a good turn." In that particular case it made a major difference for Jackie Robinson. He certainly felt good about it, but I'm confident Pee Wee Reese felt even better than he did. It is true that others can give you pleasure but you will never be really happy until you do something for someone else. Branch Rickey, Pee Wee Reese and Jackie Robinson were positive difference-makers. You, too, can be a positive difference-maker if you will give some "hand-ups" and not just "hand-outs." Buy that approach to life and I will SEE YOU AT THE TOP!


A talented author and speaker, Zig Ziglar has an appeal that transcends barriers of age, culture, and occupation. Since 1970, he has traveled over five million miles across the world delivering powerful life improvement messages, cultivating the energy of change. Since 1970, an extensive array of Ziglar audio, video, books, and training manuals have been utilized by small businesses, Fortune 500 companies, U.S. Government agencies, churches, school districts, prisons, and non-profit associations...

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