Ron Goch
The Telios Group
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Finding Happiness by Serving Others

September 15th 2008

There are many different definitions of happiness, and each in their own way may define success, but a quote I came across today summed it up best for me.

Albert Schweitzer once said: “I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know; the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.”

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Will You Choose to be a Johnny Today?

May 9th 2007

I received an inspiring short story about a grocery store bagger named Johnny who has touched many people with his kindness.
 

Johnny’s inspiring true story changed the culture of the grocery store, and positively impacted not only the customers who chose to shop at the grocery store, but also each of the employees who worked at the store.
 
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Ron Goch,
The Telios Group
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A Little Omission of Kindness

May 1st 2007

I received the following story (written by Paul F. Boller. Jr.) and believe it is a great reminder of how our decisions (however big or small) tell a lot about us.
 

William McKinley, the 25th U.S. president, once had to choose between two equally qualified men for a key job. He puzzled over the choice until he remembered a long-ago incident. (more…)

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We Can All Be Less Critical

April 19th 2007

I read the following story that Doug Healy shared in the April edition of the Global Traveler on how we all can be less critical, and thought it would be well worth your reading in today’s blog post.  Here it is:
 

“After a hectic week in Australia, I was flying home to Los Angeles — and frankly I was plain (and plane) tired. Nevertheless, I’ve always practiced common courtesy and make sure to thank flight attendants and agents for their services during my flights. (more…)

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Generation Y Attracted to Volunteerism

April 18th 2007

I read a story earlier this week that companies that enabling Volunteerism May Help Recruiting of Generation Y talent.

Considering how many Americans today feel overwhelmed, stressed and stretched to their limits, it’s refreshing to reach story of our Generation Y is committed to Volunteerism.

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Ron Goch,
The Telios Group
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Have You Earned Your Tomorrow?

February 16th 2007

I recently attended a Saturday morning men’s breakfast at our church and one of the guys shared the following poem by John Hall that I think is terrific: (more…)

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Women Sending Many More Cards Than Men

February 14th 2007

Each year, over one billion Valentine’s are sent worldwide on this day, according to the Greeting Card Association, making Valentine’s Day the second largest card-sending day of the year behind Christmas.
 

That makes sense to me, but the statistic that surprised me was how many more women than men send cards.  I’ve always viewed Valentine’s Day as a mutual exchange of Valentine’s, but that’s hardly the case since the Association reports 85 percent of greeting cards are purchased by women.
 

Maybe that doesn’t surprise some of you, but I was very surprised. (more…)

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Dolly Donates Millions of Books

February 7th 2007

We all know Dolly Parton for her country singing and her Dollywood theme park in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., but did you know Dolly is donating over 330,000 books each month to youth and hopes to be donating over half a million books each month in the next year?  Phenomenal!
 

The program is called Imagination Library and I encourage you to check out the web site and learn more about the program.  It’s a terrific initiative.
 

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Ron Goch,
The Telios Group
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Opening Eyes and Mind

January 29th 2007

I read about a neat program where 10 Youth Idols are selected from around the country and paired up with at-risk youth in an initiative to introduce them sports.

The program is called “Backcountry Base Camp” and it was held at the Brighton Ski Resort in Utah. (more…)

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Look to be a Great Teammate in 2007

January 1st 2007

Our family recently went to a sports-themed restaurant that has several televisions and a big screen to view sporting events, an arcade / game room, and a large restaurant.  It’s a neat place with good food.
 

We finished our meal and were anxious to make our way to the game room, but sat about 15 minutes waiting for our waitress to return with our check.
 

Another waitress passed by our table twice during that time, looked at our table of empty dishes, and continued on her way.  As she attempted to pass by a third time, I said, “Excuse me. Could you please let our waitress know we’re ready for our check?” The waitress said, “Sure,” and continued on her way.
 

I turned to my wife and said, “She could have been a good teammate – especially in a sports-themed restaurant – and let her fellow waitress know we had finished our lunch and were ready for our check about 10-15 minutes ago.”
 

Within 30 seconds, our waitress appeared with our check; we paid and were on our way.
 

Many times we have opportunities to be a good teammate and yet we decide “it’s not our job” or we “don’t have time” to stop and help someone else.
 

This situation emphasized for me the opportunities I have to be a good teammate – to my wife, to my kids, to my friends, to everyone I come in contact with and I hope you too will consider taking the time or going the extra mile to be a great teammate to others in 2007.
 

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Ron Goch,
The Telios Group
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I Believe in Santa Claus

December 21st 2006

I received a neat story about Santa Claus by email and felt motivated to share it in today’s blog post. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.  It’s a great story with a terrific message about Christmas.  Here it is:
 

I remember my first Christmas adventure with Grandma. I was just a kid. I remember tearing across town on my bike to visit her on the day my big sister dropped the bomb: “There is no Santa Claus,” she jeered. “Even dummies know that!”
 

My Grandma was not the gushy kind, never had been. I fled to her that day because I knew she would be straight with me.
 

I knew Grandma always told the truth, and I knew that the truth always went down a whole lot easier when swallowed with one of her “world-famous” cinnamon buns. I knew they were world-famous, because Grandma said so. It had to be true.
 

Grandma was home, and the buns were still warm.
 

Between bites, I told her everything. She was ready for me.
 

“No Santa Claus?” She snorted. “Ridiculous! Don’t believe it. That rumor has been going around for years, and it makes me mad, plain mad!! Now, put on your coat, and let’s go.”
 

“Go? Go where, Grandma?” I asked. I hadn’t even finished my second world-famous cinnamon bun.
 

“Where” turned out to be Kerby’s General Store, the one store in town that had a little bit of just about everything.
 

As we walked through its doors, Grandma handed me 10 dollars. That was a bundle in those days.
 

“Take this money,” she said, “and buy something for someone who needs it.
I’ll wait for you in the car.
 

“Then she turned and walked out of Kerby’s. I was only eight years old. I’d often gone shopping with my mother, but never had I shopped for anything all by myself.
 

The store seemed big and crowded, full of people scrambling to finish their Christmas shopping. For a few moments I just stood there, confused, clutching that 10 dollar bill, wondering what to buy, and who on earth to buy it for.
 

I thought of everybody I knew: my family, my friends, my neighbors, the kids at school, and the people who went to my church.
 

I was just about thought out, when I suddenly thought of Bobby Decker. He was a kid with bad breath and messy hair, and he sat right behind me in Mrs. Pollock’s grade-two class.
 

Bobby Decker didn’t have a coat. I knew that because he never went out to recess during the winter. His mother always wrote a note, telling the teacher that he had a cough, but all we kids knew that Bobby Decker didn’t have a cough; he just didn’t have a good coat.
 

I fingered the 10 dollar bill with growing excitement. I would buy Bobby
Decker a coat!
 

I settled on a red corduroy one that had a hood to it. It looked real warm, and he would like that.
 

“Is this a Christmas present for someone?” the lady behind the counter asked kindly, as I laid my ten dollars down.
 

“Yes, ma’am,” I replied shyly. “It’s for Bobby.”
 

The nice lady smiled at me, as I told her about how Bobby really needed a good winter coat.
 

I didn’t get any change, but she put the coat in a bag, smiled again, and wished me a Merry Christmas. That evening, Grandma helped me wrap the coat (a little tag fell out of the coat, and Grandma tucked it in her Bible) in Christmas paper and ribbons and wrote, “To Bobby, From Santa Claus” on it.
 

Grandma said that Santa always insisted on secrecy. Then she drove me over
to Bobby Decker’s house, explaining as we went that I was now and forever officially, one of Santa’s helpers.
 

Grandma parked down the street from Bobby’s house, and she and I crept noiselessly and hid in the bushes by his front walk.
 

Then Grandma gave me a nudge. “All right, Santa Claus,” she whispered, “get going.”
 

I took a deep breath, dashed for his front door, threw the present down on his step, pounded his door and flew back to the safety of the bushes and Grandma.
 

Together we waited breathlessly in the darkness for the front door to open.
Finally it did, and there stood Bobby.
 

Fifty years haven’t dimmed the thrill of those moments spent shivering, beside my Grandma, in Bobby Decker’s bushes.
 

That night, I realized that those awful rumors about Santa Claus were just what Grandma said they were: ridiculous. Santa was alive and well, and we were on his team.
 

I still have the Bible, with the coat tag tucked inside: $19.95.
 

May you always have LOVE to share, HEALTH to spare and FRIENDS that care.
 

And may you always believe in the magic of Santa Claus!
 

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Ron Goch,
The Telios Group
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The Perfect Gift

December 1st 2006

This week, a good friend and I were visiting about the holidays and celebrating the holidays. I proposed our families do something together during the holidays for another family. Our kids would really enjoy and the lessons and memories would be priceless.

As I researched ideas, I came across a story – “The Perfect Gift” – about a family tradition started during Christmas during the late nineties. I hope you enjoy the story as much as I did. Here it is:

It’s just a small, white envelope stuck among the branches of our Christmas tree. No name, no identification, no inscription. It has peeked through the branches of our tree at this time of the year for the past 10 years or so.

It all began because my husband Mike hated Christmas. Oh, not the true meaning of Christmas, but the commercial aspects of it. You know, the overspending, the frantic running around at the last minute to get a tie for Uncle Harry and the dusting powder for Grandma, the gifts given in desperation because you couldn’t think of anything else.

Knowing he felt this way, I decided one year to bypass the usual shirts, sweaters, ties and so forth. I reached for something special just for Mike. The inspiration came in an unusual way.

Our son Kevin, who was 12 that year, was wrestling at the junior level at the school he attended. Shortly before Christmas, there was a non-league match against a team sponsored by an inner city church. The kids were mostly black.

These youngsters, dressed in sneakers so ragged that shoestrings seemed to be the only thing holding them together, presented a sharp contrast to our boys in their spiffy blue and gold uniforms and sparkling new wrestling shoes.

As the match began, I was alarmed to see that the other team was wrestling without head gear, a kind of light helmet designed to protect a wrestler’s ears. It was a luxury the ragtag team obviously couldn’t afford. Well, we ended up walloping them. We took every weight class. And as each of their boys got up from the mat, he swaggered around in his tatters with false bravado, a kind of street pride that couldn’t acknowledge defeat.

Mike, seated beside me, shook his head sadly, “I wish just one of them could have won,” he said. “They have a lot of potential, but losing like this could take the heart right out of them.” Mike loved kids-all kids. He understood kids in competitive situations, having coached little league football, baseball and lacrosse. That’s when the idea for his present came.

That afternoon, I went to a local sporting goods store and bought an assortment of wrestling headgear and shoes and sent them anonymously to the inner city church. On Christmas Eve, I placed the envelope on the tree, the note inside telling Mike what I had done and that this was his gift from me.

His smile was the brightest thing about Christmas that year and in succeeding years. For each Christmas, I followed the tradition – one year sending a group of mentally challenged youngsters to a hockey game, another year a check to a pair of elderly brothers whose home had burned to the ground the week before Christmas – on and on…

The envelope became the highlight of our Christmas. It was always the last thing opened on Christmas morning and our children, ignoring their new toys, would stand with wide-eyed anticipation as their dad lifted the envelope from the tree to reveal its contents.

As the children grew, the toys gave way to more practical presents, but the envelope never lost its allure. Still, the story doesn’t end there.

You see, we lost Mike last year due to cancer. When Christmas rolled around, I was still so wrapped in grief that I barely got the tree up. Yet Christmas Eve found me placing an envelope on the tree, and in the morning, it was joined by three more. Each of our children, unbeknownst to the others, had placed an envelope on the tree for their dad.

The tradition has grown and someday will expand even further, with our grandchildren standing around the tree with wide-eyed anticipation, watching as their fathers take down their envelopes.

Mike’s spirit, like the spirit of Christmas, will always be with us.

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Ron Goch,
The Telios Group
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The Hand that Reaches Out

November 23rd 2006

I read an inspiring story Steve Goodier shared and although it seemed at first to be most appropriate for Thanksgiving, it’s a lesson for every day.

Here’s Steve’s story:

Thanksgiving Day was near. The first grade teacher gave her class a fun assignment — to draw a picture of something for which they were thankful.

Most of the class might be considered economically disadvantaged, but still many would celebrate the holiday with turkey and other traditional goodies of the season. These, the teacher thought, would be the subjects of most of her student’s art. And they were.

But Douglas made a different kind of picture. Douglas was a different kind of boy. He was the teacher’s true child of misery, frail and unhappy. As other children played at recess, Douglas was likely to stand close by her side. One could only guess at the pain Douglas felt behind those sad eyes.

Yes, his picture was different. When asked to draw a picture of something for which he was thankful, he drew a hand. Nothing else. Just an empty hand.

His abstract image captured the imagination of his peers. Whose hand could it be? One child guessed it was the hand of a farmer, because farmers raise turkeys. Another suggested a police officer, because the police protect and care for people. Still others guessed it was the hand of God, for God feeds us. And so the discussion went — until the teacher almost forgot the young artist himself.

When the children had gone on to other assignments, she paused at Douglas’ desk, bent down, and asked him whose hand it was. The little boy looked away and murmured, “It’s yours, teacher.”

She recalled the times she had taken his hand and walked with him here or there, as she had the other students. How often had she said, “Take my hand, Douglas, we’ll go outside.” Or, “Let me show you how to hold your pencil.” Or, “Let’s do this together.” Douglas was most thankful for his teacher’s hand.

Brushing aside a tear, she went on with her work.

The story speaks of more than thankfulness. It says something about teachers teaching and parents parenting and friends showing friendship, and how much it means to the Douglas’s of the world. They might not always say thanks. But they’ll remember the hand that reaches out.

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Ron Goch,
The Telios Group
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Make a Life

September 18th 2006

I recently read a great quote I thought our readers might enjoy:
 

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” – Henry Bucher
 

Look for opportunities to give today.
 

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Ron Goch, The Telios Group
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Going, Going, Gone!

August 4th 2006

I recently came across an advertisement from June for the 2006 Prostate Cancer Foundation Home Run Challenge and think this is a great event.

Here’s what the ad had to say:

Going, Going, Gone. That’s what they say when somebody knocks one out of the park. Until we can say the same thing about prostate cancer, we’ll be searching for a cure. And now you can help make every home run bring us one step closer.

Pledge as little as a quarter for every home run hit between June 7th and Father’s Day, June 18th.

We’ll tally the home runs and your total donation. Or you can make a flat donation of any amount you choose.

Call 1-800-798-CURE to pledge.

It also featured the web site – http://www.prostatecancerfoundation.org/ 

I’m not affiliated in any way with the Prostate Cancer Foundation and this is actually the first I’ve heard of it, but it looks like a great cause to invest our time and money. Check out their web site here.

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Ron Goch, The Telios Group 

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Are You Like Katie Wynn?

July 24th 2006

I met an extraordinary person – Katie Wynn – many years ago at the University of Tennessee and thankful to call her a friend.

Katie is one of the kindest people I’ve ever met. She constantly goes out of her way for people, and you can always count on Katie to follow through on whatever she says she’ll do.

One lifelong lesson I learned from Katie the first day I met her is that we can all do something special for someone – each and every day – and not expect anything in return. That’s what Katie does daily, and it’s what each of us should strive to do each day.

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Ron Goch, The Telios Group 

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Make Sacrifices for Others Gain

July 7th 2006

I watched the movie “Five People You Will Meet in Heaven” and I thought it was great movie with some wonderful life-long lessons.

One quote in the movie was something like “Don’t think about what you lose, but what others gain.”

“Sometimes when we think we’re losing something, we’re really just passing it on to someone else.”

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Ron Goch, The Telios Group 

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