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Paid Advertisement Al AmericanIncome life Insurance Company BERNARD RAPOPORT Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer EXECUTIVE OFFICES: P.O. BOX 2608 WACO, TEXAS 76797, 817-772-3050 he words are “aspire” and “inspire.” To aspire is to wish to be someone else or to own something which is not now yours. Many commercials employ what advertisers call “aspirational figures.” Little girls want to be Madonna or little boys want to be Michael Jordan. Little people want to be famous figureheads. It is interesting that Madonna wants to be better or taken seriously, so she lobbied to be Evita. The work ethic of Michael Jordan must inspire any boy who wants to grow to be the best “self” that he can be Martha Graham, the inspiring dancer and teacher of dance, wanted to be a “divine noral,” the individual who was in competition with “that person know I can become.” In Waco, some aspire to have the wealth of Bernard Rapoport. Instead, they should be inspired by his example to give of themselves and what they earn. Bob Sherry was an inspirational leader of Waco when it needed someone who could show others how to discipline actions with wisdom and common sense. He inspired those around him to work and earn respect. To be someone who inspires is a gift and a burden. To inspire comes from within. The best of yesterday is only the starting point for today. In the world of achievement, success is a myth. The best individuals inspire but do not ask others to aspire to be them There is a false image that if an individual has wealth or power, that person automatically should be a figure to which we aspire. Wealth and power are tools by which communities can be shaped, can create images which inspire each of us to be the best citizen for the best community. To inspire carries a sense of achievement. Helen Hayes said, “Achievement is the knowledge that you have studied and worked hard and done the best that is in you. Success is being praised by others and that’s nice too, but not as important or satisfying. Always aim for achieve ment and forget about success.” As each of us looks at the new year, we should ask: “A I growing, learning and doing the best that is in me?” If the answer is “Yes,” then you can smile an inner smile to your self. Achievement, though, is not lust Studs Terkel reminds us: “If a car poets, I think the least the poets owe the carpent three or four one-liners on the wall. A little plaque: we labor with our minds, this place we can re by someone who can work with his hand as noble as ours. I think the poet owes guy who builds the cabin for him.” What is wonderful about achievement is that it can be shared and can inspire others to achieve something in a different direction. As each of us grows older we may know more about th difference between aspire and inspire, success and achieve ment. The problem for the young is that they are young. Th problem with some senior citizens is that they never learn. But sometimes with years may come experience and learning. As Soren Kierkergaard observed: “The problem with life is that we understand it backwards, but we have to live it forwards.” Therefore, I thank all those in my youth who inspired this gangling boy to find the achieving man inside. I thank all those institutions that hire inspirational leaders and not just aspirational figureheads. Look around, Waco. We have those who achieve and those who inspire. Learn to see what can be borrowed to make our lives richer, and never just aspire for success. This column originally appeared in the February 11, 1997 edition of the Waco Tribune-Herald, where Joe Klagle is a member of the Board of Contributors. 20 THE TEXAS OBSERVER APRIL 25, 1997