Diversity

Words of wisdom

Words of Wisdom – Quotes

It seems to me what is called for is an exquisite balance between two conflicting needs: the most skeptical scrutiny of all hypotheses that are served up to us and at the same time a great openness to new ideas … If you are only skeptical, then no new ideas make it through to you … On the other hand, if you are open to the point of gullibility and have not an ounce of skeptical sense in you, then you cannot distinguish the useful ideas from the worthless ones.
Carl Sagan
The Burden of Skepticism

The time to buy stocks is consistently over time. You should never buy your investments with the idea, ‘I have to get a certain return.’ You should look at the best return possible and learn to live with that. But you should not try to make your investments earn what you feel you need. It doesn’t work that way. The stock doesn’t know you own it.
Warren Buffet

The phrase I use all the time is, “the kids are alright,” from the Who. It’s amazing to me, you know, I’m 54 years old, and it’s amazing to me watching my peers turn into these cartoons. They say, shit like, “well you know, when we were kids we weren’t this rude, and we wouldn’t say this stuff. I would have never done this….. and we certainly have records going back thousands of years that adults always hate the younger generation. Adults always find a reason to hate people that are 20-years-old, and I don’t know why it is. Clearly and provably every generation gets better. Every generation gets healthier, smarter, more sophisticated, and that’s always been true. Twenty-year-olds are just better than us. Old people just can’t seem to get it through their heads that things are getting better and that’s wonderful. Not only do young people not have polio, not only are young people less racist, less homophobic, and less violent – not only is all that true, but they also have some really really cool art, and some of that art we don’t understand. The problem is a question of time.
Penn Jillette

You know, when I was 15, 16, 17-years-old, I spent five hours a day juggling, and I probably spent six hours a day seriously listening to music. And if I were 16 now, I would put that time into playing video games. The thing that old people don’t understand is – you know if you’ve never heard Bob Dylan, and someone listened to him for 15 minutes, you’re not going to get it. You are just not going to understand. You have to put in hours and hours to start to understand the form, and the same thing is true for gaming. You’re not going to just look at a first-person shooter where you are killing zombies and understand the nuances. There is this tremendous amount of arrogance and hubris, where somebody can look at something for five minutes and dismiss it. Whether you talk about gaming or 20th century classical music, you can’t do it in five minutes. You can’t listen to The Rite of Spring once and understand what Stravinsky was all about. It seems like you should at least have the grace to say you don’t know, instead of saying that what other people are doing is wrong. The cliché of the nerdy kid who doesn’t go outside and just plays games is completely untrue. And it’s also true for the nerdy kid who studies comic books and turns into this genius, and it is also true for the nerdy kid who listens to every nerdy thing that Led Zeppelin put out. That kind of obsession in a 16-year-old is not ugly. It’s beautiful. That kind of obsession is going to lead to a sophisticated 30-year-old who has a background in that artform. It just seems so simple, and yet I’m constantly in these big arguments with people on the computer who are talking about, “I would never let my kid do this and this in a video game.” And these are adults who when they were children were dropping acid and going to see the Grateful Dead. I mean, the Grateful Dead is provably shitty music. It’s impossible – it’s theoretically impossible to make a video game as bad as the Grateful Dead. I throw that out there as a challenge.
Penn Jillette

Death is nothing to us, since when we are, death has not come, and when death has come, we are not.
Epicurus

I have concluded through careful empirical analysis and much thought that somebody is looking out for me, keeping track of what I think about things, forgiving me when I do less than I ought, giving me strength to shoot for more than I think I’m capable of. I believe they know everything that I do and think, and they still love me, and I’ve concluded, after careful consideration, that this person keeping score is me.
Adam Savage
Reason Rally

He says, you have to study and learn so that you can make up your own mind about history and everything else but you can’t make up an empty mind. Stock your mind, stock your mind. You might be poor, your shoes might be broken, but your mind is a palace.
Frank McCourt
Angela’s Ashes

No man knows how bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good.
C.S. Lewis
Mere Christianity

Children are not colouring books. You don’t get to fill them with your favourite colours.
The Kite Runner
Khaled Hosseini

Democracy demands that the religiously motivated translate their concerns into universal rather than religion-specific values… it requires that their proposals be subject to argument and amenable to reason.

Now, I may be opposed to abortion for religious reasons, to take one example, but if I seek to pass a law banning the practice I cannot simply point to the teachings of my church or evoke God’s will. I have to explain why abortion violates some principle that is accessible to people of all faiths, including those with no faith at all.

Barack Obama

If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

We judge others by their actions, but we judge ourselves by our intentions.
Ian Percy

Never cheat. If you must, cheat death.

Never tell anybody that you’re good. If you’re good, they’ll tell you.

If you plan to lead a life of honest, hard work, you’ll be successful because there won’t be any competition.

Education is the silver bullet. Education is everything. We don’t need little changes, we need gigantic, monumental changes. Schools should be palaces. The competition for the best teachers should be fierce. They should be making six-figure salaries. Schools should be incredibly expensive for government and absolutely free of charge to its citizens, just like national defense.
Sam Seaborn
The West Wing

No man ever got very high by pulling other people down. The intelligent merchant does not knock his competitors. The sensible worker does not work those who work with him. Don’t knock your friends. Don’t knock your enemies. Don’t knock yourself.
Alfred Lord Tennyson

The house doesn’t beat the player. It just gives him the opportunity to beat himself.
Nick Dandalos

Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, then will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.

Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.
Voltaire

Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you’ve got about a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies—God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.
Kurt Vonnegut

What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.
Christopher Hitchens

The flaw in our character is our insistence on separating blue-collar jobs from white-collar jobs, and encouraging one form of education over another.
Mike Rowe
Dirty Jobs

You’ve got to be able to hold a lot of contradictory ideas in your mind without going nuts. I feel like to do my job right, when I walk out on stage I’ve got to feel like it’s the most important thing in the world. Also I’ve got to feel like, well, it’s only rock and roll. Somehow you’ve got to believe both of those things.
Bruce Springsteen

Death is very likely the single best invention of life. It’s life’s change agent; it clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now, the new is you. But someday, not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it’s quite true. Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice, heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary… Stay hungry, stay foolish.
Steve Jobs

You want to deliver to the world what you would buy if you were on the other end… You’re not going to get very far in life based on what you already know. You’re going to advance in life by what you’re going to learn after you leave here.
Charlie Munger

Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never – in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.
Winston Churchill

If someone does offer you a job, say ‘yes.’ You can always quit later. Then at least you’ll be one of the unemployed as opposed to one of the never-employed. Nothing looks worse on a resume than nothing.
Stephen Colbert

I saw something in the paper last week about Kermit the Frog giving a commencement address somewhere. One of the students was complaining, ‘I worked my ass off for four years to be addressed by a sock?’ You have worked your ass off for this. For four years you’ve been buying, trading, and selling, everything you’ve got in this marketplace of ideas. The intellectual hustle. Your pockets are full, even if your parents’ are empty, and now you’ve got to figure out what to spend it on… So, my question I suppose is: What’s the big idea? What’s your big idea? What are you willing to spend your moral capital, your intellectual capital, your cash, your sweat equity in pursuing outside of the walls of the University of Pennsylvania? My point is that the world is more malleable than you think and it’s waiting for you to hammer it into shape.
Bono

As you start your journey, the first thing you should do is throw away that store-bought map and begin to draw your own… Don’t spend so much time trying to choose the perfect opportunity, that you miss the right opportunity. Recognize that there will be failures, and acknowledge that there will be obstacles. But you will learn from your mistakes and the mistakes of others, for there is very little learning in success.
Michael Dell

I’m not a master, I’m a student-master, meaning that I have the knowledge of a master and the expertise of a master, but I’m still learning, So I’m a student-master. I don’t believe in the word master, I consider the master as such when they close the casket.
Bruce Lee

A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at.
Bruce Lee

Knowledge will give you power, but character, respect.
Bruce Lee

We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be.
Kurt Vonnegut
Mother Night

You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.
Winston Churchill

A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.
Albert Einstein

Don’t let someone become a priority in your life, when you are just an option in their life.

Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.
Robert Brault

When we look at modern man we have to face the fact that modern man suffers from a kind of poverty of the spirit, which stands in glaring contrast to his scientific and technological abundance, we’ve learned to fly the air like birds, we’ve learned to swim the seas like fish, and yet we haven’t learned to walk the earth as brothers and sisters.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

(contributed by All Fred)

‘Honey, there are a lot of things you can give a man — your body, your time, even your heart. But the one thing you can never, ever, ever let go of is your power.
Lady Heather
CSI, Slaves of Las Vegas

If a drop of water falls in a lake, there is no identity. But if it falls on a leaf of lotus, it shines like a pearl. We need to choose the best place where we can shine.

Life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you respond to it.
Lou Holtz

fear death is to think that we know what we do not know.
Socrates

If you stand up and be counted, from time to time you may get yourself knocked down. But remember this: A man flattened by an opponent can get up again. A man flattened by conformity stays down for good.
Thomas J. Watson

You create your opportunities by asking for them.
Shakti Gawain

A wise man should have money in his head, but not in his heart.
Jonathan Swift

The most effective way to do it, is to do it.
Amelia Earhart

It is not how old you are, but how you are old.
Jules Renard

Inevitably, the further you run from your sins, the more exhausted you are when they catch up to you.
Dalton Russell
Inside Man

Be faithful to that which exists within yourself.
Andre Gide

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Diversity

Of ducks and men…

Of Ducks And Men: Holden Caulfield’s Hard Questions

By Jessica Shattuck

NPR.org, January 29, 2010 · I had seriously low expectations of The Catcher in the Rye. I was 15 when I read it. My father had given it to me for Christmas; the cover was as plain and uninteresting as an instruction manual; the title smacked of inscrutable, Greatest Generation hang-ups. But once I began to read, I was completely transported.

I don’t know if it was Holden Caulfield’s alienated teenage voice that held me so rapt, or his sense of humor and morality, or the understated pathos of the story. But I know what sticks with me from that first reading experience was my unlikely sense of kinship with him (I was a girl in a big public high school, with an almost straight-A average and a mortal fear of getting into trouble) … and his preoccupation with the ducks in Central Park.

Where do they go in the winter when the lagoon freezes? is a question Holden comes back to throughout the book when he should be thinking or talking about something else — getting kicked out of school, for instance, or his younger brother’s death. As a teenager going through my own mourning (I read the book after my mother died) I got this. As a partial product of the often-repressed, ever-indirect northeastern society Salinger wrote about, I delighted in the truth of seeing its mental tics laid out on the page.

Salinger was a master at representing dissociation: that eerie, but highly adaptive, ability we have as human beings to talk about one thing and think another, to do one thing and feel another. It is a huge part of living in society, of navigating the demands of public life and private emotion. And it’s something you can really only explore fully in a novel.

Reading Salinger today, in this time of faltering publishing and constant talk of the death of the literary novel, feels reassuring. What else but a good novel can chronicle — or expose, really — the dual currents that animate our daily lives? The comedy of our private mental evasions? The ducks whose disappearance we think about when, actually, we’re wondering where we go after we die?

Diversity

Curtis Martin Hall of Fame Speech Transcript

First of all, I just want to thank you all.  It’s been a long night, and thank you for your patience and your support for everybody up here on this stage.  I also want to thank Cortez Kennedy for speaking so long that God decided to turn the lights out.  Also, you know something, I learned so much this weekend.  Something I didn’t know, excuse me for a second.  This has nothing to do with the Hall of Fame.
But Willie Roaf, can you stand up for one second?  You see how big this man is?  So we come in on Thursday, and we’re all sitting around, and this big dude, right here, imagine this guy is so big.  He said, “Hey, y’all, let’s go get some mani and pedis and go get a facial.”  I said, “What, man, what?”  All right, all right, all right.  I’m sorry, Roaf, I said I was going to pick on you about that.
Well, listen, this has just been unbelievable for me.  I’ll tell you this, I came into Canton this week, and everyone here who knows me, this section, everyone knows me.  You know that I was never a football fan.  I wasn’t the type of guy to watch football.  I could probably count on one hand how many football games I’ve watched from beginning to end in my lifetime.
Also, another thing about me is I played running back.  I’m up here because of how many yards I ran.  Everyone who knows me also knows that I hate to run.  I don’t like to run at all.  I box now to stay in shape just because I don’t want to run anywhere.
But this has been an incredible road for me.  When I’m in situations like this, especially when I’m being honored for something that I’ve achieved in football, it always makes me feel a little awkward and out of place because I’ve just never really been able to identify with the love and the passion that a lot of my colleagues and a lot of the other alumni of the Hall of Fame have.
Most of these guys have lived for the game of football and eat, breath, sleep football.  I was someone who was somewhat forced to play football.  I can remember draft day like it was yesterday.  My family and I were sitting around and were watching the draft. The phone rings and it’s Bill Parcells.  I answer the phone and say “Hello,” and Parcells says, “Curtis, we want to know if you’re interested in being a New England Patriot?”  I said, “Yes, yes, sir.”  And we hang up the phone.  As soon as we hang up the phone I turn around to everyone and I said, “Oh my gosh, I do not want to play football.”
No, you’re laughing, but this is the truth.  I turned around and said, “I don’t want to play football.  I don’t even know that I like football enough to try to make a career out of it.” My pastor at the time was a guy by the name of Leroy Joseph, and I’m so glad he was there to talk some sense into me.  He says, “Curtis, look at it this way, man.”  He said, “Maybe football is just something that God is giving you to do all those wonderful things that you say you want to do for other people.” I tell you, it was like a light bulb came on in my head.
That became my connection with football.  I don’t know if he wouldn’t have said that to me if football would have gotten out of me what it got out of me.  I definitely wouldn’t be standing here.  And ever since he said that, I knew the only way I was going to be successful at this game called football is if I played for a purpose that was bigger than the game itself because I knew that the love for the game just wasn’t in my heart.
Let me say this:  This weekend, and I’ll tell you this, and this is God’s honest truth, I came up here.  I had a chance to spend time with the older guys and the guys who have been inducted.  I had a chance to listen to their experience.  On Friday morning, we went and listened to Ralph Wilson speak.  Just the passion that he had for this game, being one of the founders, one of the founding fathers of this game, there was something that rubbed off on me, and literally yesterday I felt like it was my first day as a fan of the game of football.
Let me tell you about how I got started playing.  So I grew up in a pretty bad neighborhood.  But the household that I lived in was even worse.  I had a father who I love him dearly and he’s passed and gone on, but he was my guy before he died.  But when I was 5 years old, I remember watching him torture my mother, I mean, literally.  I don’t necessarily have notes, so I’m going to bare my soul and just bear with me.
But I remember watching him torture you.  He had my mother locked in the bathroom. Had her sitting on the edge of the tub, and he turned on all the hot water and stopped the tub up so that the hot water would eventually flow on her legs.  He dared her to move.  As the hot water flowed up and started going on her legs and going on her feet and she would flinch a little bit, he would rush into the bathroom, take her hair and burn it with a lighter.  He would come back out, watch her some more, she’d move again, and he would go in there with a cigarette and put cigarette burns all over her legs which she still bares to this day.  I’ve seen him beat her up like she was a man. I’ve seen him throw her down the steps.  I’ve witnessed this woman go to they got a bet on whether I’m going to cry or not.  So I’m going to hold it in.
I’ve watched my mother get punched in the face, have a black eye and then go to work with make up on just to support our family.  I’ve watched this.  She did everything to raise me and in hindsight when you’re a kid and your mother’s tough on you, you don’t necessarily understand why.  I used to think it was because my dad was so tough on her that it would just naturally make her tough on me.
I heard a saying one time that says, “Hurt people, hurt people.”  And my mother was dealing with so much hurt and pain, and I know that she had to take some of that out somewhere.  Mom, I’m so grateful that I was there for you to even take some of that pain out on, because you deserved it.
By the time I was 5, my dad was gone.  My mother, because we couldn’t afford it, she would work two and three jobs.  She tied a shoe string around my neck with a key and taught me how to come in the house.  I’d come from kindergarten and first grade almost for two years and stay in the house by myself till like 9:30, 10:00 at night, and my mother said it broke her heart every single day walking up those steps.  We lived in sort of a low income housing project type environment, and I would always be sitting in that front window because I was scared.
So I was so petrified of being in the house by myself.  I didn’t even watch “Scooby Doo”.  I was that scared.  The ghosts on “Scooby Doo” scared the heck out of me.
But my mother made a way for me to start staying in between her and my grandmother.  When I was 9, my mother, she walks into my grandmother’s bedroom and found her murdered. Found her murdered with a knife in her chest, and her neck was broken and everything, eyes wide open, blood everywhere. 
And for me as a little kid, all the other family, they come in and you hear the whispers from adults as a little kid, and they affect you a certain way.  I just heard everyone saying, “If that happened to me, I would go crazy.  I would lose my mind.”  For me, crazy was kind of like what my dad was.  So in my mind, as a 9 year old, my mother told me the only thing that got her through that was I came up to her and grabbed her hand and said, “Mom, are you going crazy?”  And she looked down at me and said, “No.  Why do you ask me that?”  And I just said, “Well, that’s good because if you go crazy, nobody’s going to be here to take care of me.”  I’m so grateful to my mother.  That is the strongest individual that I’ve ever known, and I appreciate her so much.
If all those things and the story gets better.  But just for right now, just entertain me.  If that wasn’t enough on my mother.  When I was 13, her sister, who was like my other mother got killed and died an even worse or more painful death than my grandmother did.  Even through that, my mother stayed strong and raised me.
By the time I was 15, growing up in the environment that I was in, I had so many brushes with death.  I remember one distinct time a guy had a gun to my head, a loaded gun to my head, pulled the trigger seven times.  God’s honest truth, the bullet didn’t come out.  He wasn’t pointing the gun at me and pulled the trigger and a bullet came out.  I was too young to even recognize that God was saving my life.
You get to by the time I’m in high school.  By this time I’m a full-fledged product of my environment.  I’ve done a lot of things that I’m not proud of.  But my mother comes to me and she says, “Curt, listen.  Your grandmother’s gone.  My sister’s gone.  You’ve had so many brushes with death yourself, I’m just going to tell you this, Curt, I want you to do something after school.  It doesn’t matter what it is.  It could be football, baseball, basketball, join the glee club, join the band, whatever it may be.  Just do something so you’re not in this neighborhood 24 hours a day, just take up two extra hours of your time.”  She said, “Because if something happens to you, they might as well kill me too, because you’re the only thing that I’m living for.”
Mom, I thank you so much for the sacrifices that you’ve made for me.  I wasn’t persuaded on football.  I thought I was a better baseball player, so I thought I would end up playing baseball.  But it was too hot in the summer, so I was like “No, no baseball.”  Basketball I was just like, “Well, I’m only at most probably going to grow to be 6 foot.  I’m not that great to be a 6 foot point guard in the NBA.”
And at the same time my gym teacher was the head football coach.  His name is Mark Wittgartner, he’s here.  He comes up to me while we’re in school, and he says, “Son, I want you to play for our football team.”  I said, well, “I don’t really have an interest, Coach.”
He said, well, listen, if you don’t do something with your life, from what I hear about you, you’re going to end up dead or in jail pretty soon.
With him in one ear and my mother in the other ear, football became the default that I fell into.  And Coach Mark Wittgartner, you have no idea what you were saying to me, but I believe what you said could have been the possible thing that saved my life.  I think you were right.
He also told me, “Curtis, if you play, I think you’ll get a scholarship.  I think you’re that good.  You’ll get a scholarship to anywhere you want to go in the country.”  But to me, I didn’t really care, it didn’t make sense.  But it was like, “No, now that’s two thing that’s I don’t like, football and school.”  I wasn’t really for that, but to appease my mother, I played football.
I ended up doing well in football.  My senior year I broke about every rushing record. And just like Coach Mark Wittgartner said, every school in the country recruited me. And I had to go to college, reluctantly.  And because Pitt was right down the street, I chose Pitt by default.
I’m so grateful to Coach Sal Sunseri and Coach Paul Hackett, because my freshman year, they were the ones who kind of kept me straight.  Just to fast forward to me going into the NFL, well, even before that, by the time I was a junior, my life was so bad that I literally thought    this is something everyone knows    I always thought I would die before I was 21.
So when I was 20 years old, I just said, you know what, I’ve got to go to the nearest church.  I had never went to church.  My mother never raised me telling me about God or anything.  But I said I’ve got to go to the nearest church and tell this God, God, thank you, because I know I’m not faster than a bullet.  I’m not Superman.  But somehow I seem to have had more than nine lives.
I remember, and this is one of the most surreal moments in my life.  I remember sitting there after the preacher had preached his sermon, and I’m up in the balcony and everyone was getting up leaving, and I just sat there.  I looked up at the ceiling and I said   and at that time I was a street guy.
So I looked up and talked to God like he was one of my boys in the street.  I said, “Listen, man, I don’t know nothing about you or this Jesus cat that everybody talk about, but I’m going to make a deal with you.  I heard about people making deals with the devil, but I don’t want to do that.  I’m going to make a deal with you.  If you let me live past 21, dude, I promise that I’ll just try to do my best and try to live right and try to do whatever you want me to do.  I know you’re a smart person, if you’re God.”
So there has to be a bigger purpose for my life than what I’m experiencing.  There’s got to be more to life than this.  I tell you what.  I’m 39 years old now, and God has definitely upheld his end of the bargain, and I’m going to spend the rest of my life trying to do mine, uphold my end of the bargain.
Back to football.  Let me just tell you some Parcells-isms, I like to call them.  Because I tell you this, this guy has taught me, and another thing, even though I didn’t initially like playing football or anything, as I played, I began to understand that football was shaping me as a man.  It was like I was learning about life through football.  It was the first time in my life that I ever committed to something and stuck to it.  It was the first time that I worked hard to really give my all toward something because I didn’t want to squander the opportunity that I had.
But Parcells, there are so many Parcells stories and I’m not going to tell them all because I’m going to try to be brief.  Well, that’s a foregone conclusion.
I’ll never forget.  I was injured one day, and it was really bad.  Coach Parcells was like my consigliore, isn’t that what they call it in the mob?  So I would always call him when I was making big decisions.  So I call him, I said, Coach, my knee is really killing me.  I don’t know that I can play with it.
He said, “Curtis, well, listen, I’m a big fan of you taking care of your body first.”  But he said I’ve always believed one thing, Curtis.  I said, “what’s that, Coach?”  You know that voice Parcells has.  “You should never come out of the huddle because you never know who is going in the huddle.”  And that was something that stuck with me.
Again, that’s one of the lessons that the NFL taught me.  You’re always replaceable. There is someone always right on your heels.  And every year, I tell you, there was someone.  I’m not being modest, there was someone on that team had that had more ability, was quicker, stronger, faster and I just outworked everyone.
Another Parcells story because you’ve got to understand this guy was the first male that I had as a positive role model.  I looked up to him and hung on to every word he said.  One day we’re in practice and he calls me off the field.  So I go over to the sideline and said, “hey, what’s up, Coach?”  He’s like    he called me Boy Wonder.  He said, “Boy Wonder, have you been working hard?” I said, “yeah, of course, Coach.  I mean, you know, that’s just what I do.  I want to outwork everybody in the building, not just the players, I mean, the janitors, front office people, everybody.  I said, but why would you ask me that?”  He said, “I just want to make sure you’re not fooling yourself.”  I said, “What does that one mean?”
He said, “Boy Wonder, as long as you live, never forget this.  There is a big difference between routine and commitment.”  He said some people just do the same routine over and over again in life.  He said some people even get better at that same routine over and over in life.  But there are few people who commit to the next level.  And I tell you, that left an impression on me that even though I knew I had worked hard, it made me work harder.  And I applied that principle to every facet of my life.  Mentally, emotionally, spiritually, financially, however it may have been, I’m always trying to commit to the next level.  Thank you, Coach Parcells.
One last football story.  I promise.  It’s a funny one.  I remember that whole not coming out of the huddle thing.  I was jealous of any other running back that stepped foot in that huddle.  I didn’t want anyone else going in there.  We’re playing the Raiders one day.  My fullbacks knew the rule was if you see me lying on the ground because I usually pop right back up after I get hurt.  If you see me laying on the ground I’m probably dazed or knocked out or something.  Come pick me up and shake me.
So we’re playing the Raiders and I get hit down field.  I pop up, but I realize everything is black.  I’m like, oh, my gosh.  I’m kind of knocked out.  So I’m trying to hold on to people.  I finally make my way back to the huddle.  I’m standing in the huddle for a while, and I just have my hands on my hip.  The guy turns around and he says, what are you doing?  And I like looked again.  I was in the Raiders huddle.  I thought that I was just I thought that it was just black because I hadn’t come to yet.  But I was in the Raiders huddle.
At the end of the day, football has taught me so much.  I’ll forever be grateful to this game.  I wish I could go back and play my career with the perspective of football that I have now.
I was asked by a reporter earlier this week, I was asked if I would allow my child to play football.  I said, well, football’s getting bigger, stronger, faster and tougher, I don’t know.  I would probably be reluctant.  But if my kid can learn what I learned from this game, I’d let him play.  I think it’s worth the risk.
At the end of the day, I’ve achieved a lot of things, and I’ve done a lot of wonderful things in life that I’m so grateful for.  But I tell you my greatest achievement in my life was helping my mother and nurturing my mother from the bitter, angry, beaten, hurt person that she was, nurturing her to be a healthy to have a healthy mindset, and to forgive my father for everything that he did to her.  That’s my greatest accomplishment.
By the time he died, she was cooking him food every day and taking it to him.  And she is so happy right now, and I’m so grateful for her.
But out of all the things that I’ve achieved, it’s not necessarily what you achieve in life that matters most, but it’s who you become in the process of those achievements that really matters.
In closing, there are just a couple people that I would like to also thank.  Again, Dary Stone.  This is a guy who has been like my father figure.  He’s been the person who has taken the place of just about everyone else, every male role model in my life. You’ve been the best person for me to look up to.  I honor and respect you.  The reason I’m the man I am today is because of what you taught me, Dary, thank you.
I’d also like to thank my beautiful, beautiful wife.  I just got married a couple years ago. We have a little 7-month old named Ava, and honey, I’d just like to thank you. Can I just have one thing?  Can I have all of my ex-teammates, whether you were in Pitt, New England, or the Jets.  Can I have you stand up for one second?  You guys, I just want you to know that you guys are like the brothers I never had.  Many of you have carried me.  You’ve taught me so much.  In our classroom it was always fun because I never really understood the X’s and O’s of football, so people always made fun of me.
But you guys, I really appreciate you all, and I appreciate every coach and everyone who has had anything to do with my playing career.  Thank you.
I would also like to thank the owners that I played for.  Mr. Kraft, the Hesses, and Mr. Woody Johnson.  Mr. Kraft, you’ve been great to me.  You guys used to invite me over to your house to eat, and I really appreciate that.  Mr. Johnson, you still continue to help me in my life after football, and all the business things that I’m doing.  I really appreciate you both.
If I could, I really wish that I could ask God to stand up right now, because I tell you this, I’m not living, I’m not breathing, my life is nothing without God.  And I’m probably one of the most humbled.  I’m so grateful and so appreciative for what God has done in my life.
Last but not least, I’d just like to thank all the fans.  When I realized that football was a vehicle, I used it to impact people’s lives and do positive things.  But I also used football as a vehicle to reach fans and speak to fans and get to know you all because a lot of what you all do, you just don’t know how much it means to us on the field.  So thank you all.
At my eulogy, I don’t want my daughter or whoever it may be giving my eulogy to talk about how many yards I gained or touchdowns I scored.  I want my daughter to be able to talk about the man that Curtis Martin was.  How when she was growing up, she looked for a man who was like her father.  That he was a man of integrity, a man of strong character, and a God fearing man.  That’s what I want.
Then at the end of the day, she could say, oh yeah, and he was a pretty good football player.  Thank you all.