I’m an Outdoorsman

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Josh: Tell me democracy doesn’t have a sense of humor. We sit here, we drink this beer out here on the stoop, in violation of about 47 city ordinances. I don’t know, Toby, its election night. What do you say to a government that goes out of its way to protect even citizens that try to destroy it?

Toby: God bless America.

Sam: God bless America.

C.J.: God bless America.

Donna: God bless America.

Josh: God bless America.

Your Gift

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10:45 p.m., Christmas Eve… Don’t stop fighting.

It’s almost time to open that gift.

See many of us, we give up, right before we reach that last step.

We start to listen to the echos, of the doubters.

We start to listen to the echos, of the people who don’t even believe in themselves.

Young King,

You literally got to see it, before its in your hands.

You want to jump to different careers, when at the end of the day, your gift is your career.

Don’t let that person convince you to go up another flight of stairs, when your dream and your gift is four steps away.

We got to get it.

They aint see nothing in us. They saw us as trash that they walk passed on the ground.

But God got a funny way, he got a funny way of lifting you up.

Lifting that trash from the ground, breathing air into the dust, and taught it into man.

Placing a crown on his head.

For me, he took a man on the side of a Tokyo gas station.

No money, no cellphone, no hope.

And he lift me up, and he told the world,

“Watch my son shine!”

Young King,

You got greatness in you.

We come from the bottom, but we wont stay there.

Let’s become everything they told us we couldn’t. Let’s become everything they can never see.

And let’s become everything they want to be.

No matter where you start, don’t you ever quit on your dream.

Because you might just be that person, leaving your gifts down stairs under the tree,

And God already wrote your name on it.

Go claim what belongs to you.

No matter what hits you in life, no matter who leaves you, no matter who walks away,

Continue to fight for your gift under that tree.

I got plenty of men who watch me do what I do,

And they look at me like “I cant believe it.”

But what I whisper to them, with everything in my heart, I tell them,

“It was never meant for you to see. It was never meant for you to understand.”

Understand that tears are necessary. Understand that pain is necessary.

They wont give you nothing. You’re gonna have to earn it.

So just like when you walk into your momma’s room, 10:45 p.m. Christmas eve,

And you say “Momma, can i please open a gift?”

She say,

“No baby, you gotta wait, you gotta wait til the morning.

But I promise, if you can lay down, and you can toss and turn a little bit longer,

In the morning, you’ll see the best gift you ever seen in your life.”

Kings,

Its 10:45 p.m. Christmas Eve.

Stay strong. Stay steady.

And enjoy the gifts in the morning.

Take This Sabbath Day

You know, you remind me of the man that lived by the river.

He heard a radio report that the river was going to rush up and flood the town, and that all of the residents should evacuate their homes. But the man said, “I am religious. I pray. God loves me, God will save me.” The waters rose up, a guy in a rowboat came along and he shouted, “Hey, hey you! You in there, the town is flooding let me take you to safety!” But the man shouted back, “I am religious. I pray. God loves me, God will save me.” A helicopter was hovering overhead, and a guy with a megaphone shouted, “Hey you down there, the town is flooding, let me drop this ladder and I’ll take you to safety!” But the man shouted back that he was religious, that he prayed, that God loved him, and that God would take him to safety.

Well, the man drowned. And standing at the gates of St. Peter he demanded and audience with God. “Lord,” he said, “I’m a religious man, I pray, I thought you loved me. Why did this happen?” God said, “I sent you a radio report, a helicopter, and a guy in a rowboat. What the hell are you doing here?”

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Undecideds

Good morning.

My prayers are with Ronnie Burke’s family today, I know yours are too. My prayers are with Officer Rafael Martinez and his family – they are not struggling with the loss of a child, but they are struggling with a terrible truth. My prayers are with those families, and with this one.

You know, I find myself on days like this casting about… for someone to blame. I blame the kid he stole a car. I blame the parents, why couldn’t they teach him better? I blame the cop, did he need to fire? I blame everyone I can think of and I am filled with rage.

And then I try and find compassion. Compassion for the people I blame. Compassion for the people I do not understand. Compassion. Doesn’t always work so well.

I remember as a young man listening on the radio to Dr. King in 1968, he asked of us compassion and we responded. Not necessarily because we felt it but because he… convinced us that if we could find compassion, if we could, express compassion, and if we could just pretend compassion, it would heal us, so much more than vengeance could.

And he was right, it did. But not enough.

What we’ve learned this week is that more compassion is required of us and an even greater effort is required of us. And we are all, I think, everyone of us, tired. We’re tired of understanding. We’re tired of waiting. We’re tired of trying to figure out why our children are not safe and why our efforts to make them safe seem to fail. We’re tired.

But, we must know that we have made some progress. And blame will only destroy it. Blame will breed more violence and we have had enough of that. Blame will not rid our streets of crime, and drugs, and fear and we have had enough of that. Blame will not strengthen our schools, or our families, or our workforce – blame will rob us of those things. And we have had enough of that.

And so I ask you today to dig down deep with me and find that compassion in your hearts. Because it will keep us on the road. And we will walk together, and work together. And slowly, slowly, too slowly, things will get better.

God bless you. God bless you, and God bless your children.

santos

 

Lion or Gazelle?

Eric Thomas was asked to speak to

high school all american football players about having a sound mind and sound body…

This camp is not about you coming and putting on a shirt that says, “Sound Mind. Sound Body.” That’s not what this camp is about. This camp is you leaving and possessing – possessing! Everything they teach you, you taking it with you. You’re not just here to hear it – you’re not just here to hear it! You’re not just here to meet coaches, you’re not just here to get in the environment. You are here for everything Guy just told you, all the core things he told you about a sound mind — everything coach Antonio just told you — everything you heard, everything you see, you are supposed to take that! You take it with you and you embody it! You become the essence of everything they talked about and poof! You are going to automatically put yourself on a whole other level.

Some of you, you’re a beast! … until its uncomfortable. You’re a beast! … when the weather is right. You’re a beast! … when coach tell you to do something that you’re comfortable with. You’re a beast! … when you’re playing your position. You’re a beast! … When everything is going right. But sometimes stuff starts happening where it is uncomfortable and you start to break. You start to bend, you start to fold!

And what he told little man was, “You got to learn to become comfortable with being uncomfortable.” It aint always going to be the way you like; its not always going to be comfortable. The conditions aint always going to be perfect but if you want this – if you really want this – you gotta learn to sacrifice. You got to learn to give up to go up.

Some of ya’ll, there is some stuff when you leave this place… to make it to the next level there is some stuff you’re going to have to give up. Some people you are going to let go of, some habits you’re going to have to let go of, are you hearing what I am telling you? There’s some stuff you are going to have to give up, are you hearing me? There’s some stuff you’re going to have to sacrifice, some people you’re going to have to let go, some things you’re going to have to let go, some mind sets you’re going to have to let go of to get to that next level.

The thing that scares me about this room right here, is that you all got the same dream, but only a few of you are going to make it become a reality. The person with the strong mind and the strong body is the person that’s — listen to me very closely, this is what bothers me. I’m sitting in a room where everybody’s dreams can’t be a reality. Everybody who is playing the same position, ya’ll can’t all go to the same school – somebody is going to out beat somebody. Somebody is going to out do somebody, somebody is going to be the gazelle and somebody is going to be the lion. Somebody is going to walk out of here and say, “Everything I heard –” you going to take it and you’re going to apply it! You’re going to be a different person, you are going to operate different. Coach aint even going to know who you are – your parents aint going to know who you are! You’re going to shock yourself and surprise yourself!

When I was in Cairo, Egypt talking to ten thousand people it shocked me, I couldn’t believe it! High school drop-out, West side of Detroit, 8 Mile and Braile… in Cairo, Egypt. When I went to Australia: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, I’m like “Yo, I’m from Detroit. By the grace of god, god’s mercy I am here!” I had a strong mind, a strong body; I started studying, I started putting in the work and I realized somebody else is trying to do exactly what I am trying to do.

Are you a gazelle? Or are you a lion? Are you a gazelle or are you a lion? And let me tell you the difference between a gazelle and a lion. When a gazelle wakes up it runs, but if a lion aint chasing it… it stops running. But when the lion wakes up… it don’t need nobody to push it, it pushes itself. Why? Because he realizes that if he does not catch that gazelle, not only him but his family don’t eat.

What are you playing this game for? What’s your passion? What’s your drive? What’s your purpose? What’s your purpose for playing this game? Why are you doing what you are doing? And when you know why you are doing what you are doing — you saw my t-shirt: “No Alarm Clock Needed. My Passion Wakes Me Up.” I got up at three o’clock this morning. No clock! I aint used the clock in twenty years, my passion wakes me up! My drive wakes me up. My determination wakes me up. My ability to be, do and have whatever I want, it wakes me up!

What wakes you up!? What drives you!? Why are you playing this game!? Is it just a game!? Or do you eat it, do you sleep it, do you drink it!? Have you possessed the game!? Do you want to change the game!?

I’m sitting with a D1 basketball player this morning, freshman, he pulled out a piece of paper and he showed me twenty goals: what he wants to accomplish in Big Ten. Eighteen year old kid, twenty goals! I asked him “Why you got these goals?” He said, “Because right now, my mama aint eating. Right now… Right now, my grandma, I can’t afford to buy her a drink of water. But I guarantee you next year this time, I’ll make my mark.” I said, “Ooh. I feel sorry for all the guards that got to come up against this kid.”

From this day forward! (From this day forward!)I will give a hundred and twenty percent! (I will give a hundred and twenty percent!) Or nothing at all! (Or nothing at all!) Strong Mind! (Strong Mind!) Strong Mind! (Strong Mind!) Strong Mind! (Strong Mind!) From this day forward! (From this day forward!) I will give a hundred and twenty percent! (I will give a hundred and twenty percent!) Or nothing at all! (Or nothing at all!) Strong Mind! (Strong Mind!) Strong Mind! (Strong Mind!) Strong Mind! (Strong Mind!) Strong Body! (Strong Body!)

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Separate Yourself

I’m not going to say the name, but you will only be That Guy, you will only eat or breath, you will only drive around with people screaming your name for four years if you don’t get your stuff together. You’re the man now, but you won’t be the man forever. And the worst thing in life is not to be broke; the worst thing in life is to taste some success and then you got to go back to being nobody – that’s hard.

I’m going to say it again because I want to make sure you catch it. It’s one thing to be broke because you cool – like we grew up, we were broke, I didn’t know. We just doing honey sandwiches; I didn’t know something was wrong with that. Right? Just mayonnaise sandwiches; I didn’t know anything was wrong with that. But now that I’m successful I see, Oh, we didn’t have options. Right?

Listen to me very closely; the sweetest commercial that MJ did, you know the commercial where Mike was just talking about he made the game look – – he apologizes for making the game look so easy!

Maybe it’s my fault. Maybe I led you to believe it was easy, when it wasn’t. Made I made you think my highlights started at the free throw line, and not in the gym. Maybe I made you think that every shot was a game winner; that my game was built on flash, and not fire. Maybe it’s my fault that you didn’t see that failure gave me strength; that my pain was my motivation. Maybe I led you to believe that basketball was a god given gift, and not something I worked for every single day of my life. Maybe I destroyed the game. Or maybe… you’re just making excuses.

Michael Jordan

You aint the only one doing what you doing. You aint the only one doing what you doing. And there’s some kid who didn’t get to come here and he’s pissed that he didn’t get to come here. He thought he should be here too, and guess what he’s doing? While you’re in here listening to me, while you’re getting your shoes, while you’re getting your Michael Jordan gear, while you’re feeling like, Yup, I made it! I’m one of the top twenty baby! There’s some kid who didn’t get to make it and right now he’s trying to take your spot. Right now he’s saying Yup. He beat me to The Classic, but I’ll get him in the NCA. I’ll get him next year. And if I don’t get him then I’ll get him after that and I’ll see him in the pros and I’ll get him then. Are you hearing what I’m saying? You’ve got an opportunity but you’ve got to separate yourselves.

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~Eric Thomas~