Friday, April 22, 2005

Who Is A Winner?

I read about two types of winners in yesterday’s newspapers.

In the Straits Times, there was a commentary on a new book, Winning by ex-GE boss Jack Welch. Like his other books, this one was described as a “runaway hit”. As I read the article, I cannot help thinking that this man, whose motto is, “winning is great”, is a real winner; that was until I came to the part which mentioned that the co-writer was his ex-mistress and wife number three.

Can a person with two failed marriages be called a winner? (I am assuming that the previous two marriages ended in divorce; my apologies if I am mistaken). Not if you ask the next writer, James Dobson of Focus on the Family.

In the Today, James Dobson narrated about a man who gave up hopes, dreams, and bank account for family. Here is what he wrote:

In 1985, Tim Burke saw his boyhood dream come true the day he signed on to pitch for the Montreal Expos. After four years in the minors, he was finally going to get a chance to play in the big leagues. And he quickly proved to be worth his salt, setting an all-time record for most relief appearances by a rookie player. But along the way, Tim and his wife, Christine, had adopted four children with very special needs – two daughters from South Korea, a handicapped son from Guatemala, and another son from Vietnam. All of the children were born with very serious illness or defects. Neither Tim nor Christine were prepared for the tremendous demands such a family would bring. And with the grueling schedule of major-league baseball, Tim was seldom around to help. So in 1993, only three months after signing a $600,000 contract with the Cincinnati Reds, he decided to retire. When pressed by reporters to explain this unbelievable decision, he simply said, “Baseball is going to do just fine without me. But I’m the only father my children have.”

Heroes are in short supply these days, but I’m happy to say that I’ve met one of them.

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