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Family, Generosity and Patience Make the Man

Atlanta's Heroes, Saints and Legends Share Their Nuggets of Wisdom

For 32 years, Wesley Woods Heroes, Saints & Legends has honored extraordinary individuals who have transformed lives through a lifetime commitment to leadership, service and devotion to the greater community. As we recognize each honoree’s work, we also raise funds to achieve our mission to create communities of connection, well-being and promise for older adults by providing charitable financial assistance for housing and meals, robust wellness programming and compassionate pastoral care – all 100% funded by philanthropic support.

Heroes, Saints & Legends will be held August 19 at Flourish, 3143 Maple Drive. For sponsorship or ticket information, please visit


You are entering what can be one of the most exciting and rewarding times of your life. The attitudes and habits that you develop over the next few years will set the framework for your future. My best advice to you now is to think about finding balance in what you do. You will have many priorities that vie for your attention and energy. Take some time to think about how you want to manage those priorities and demands, which fall into four categories: Family and friends, career, personal, and community. It’s often difficult to find the time to invest in all four areas, but making a conscious commitment to each area now will help remind you not to neglect any as you move forward. Community and helping others is perhaps the easiest of the four areas to ignore. As we each find success in our lives, we have an obligation to support those around us in some way. It’s important to find causes you are passionate about and to engage in those passions. There will come a time when you look back over your life and realize that some of your greatest accomplishments have come from unselfishly helping others.


Everyone has a Philosophy of Life, even if they have not thought it through or written it down. Those who know me are not surprised that my Philosophy of Life is grounded deeply in my religious beliefs.

Some basic principles that are important to my Philosophy of Life are not exclusively religious. They are known as the fruits of the spirit and are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22). I try every day, in all my dealings and relationships with others, to reflect these principles.

I believe one important principle every person should develop is the principle of generosity. Often it begins small and then grows as one’s resources grow. However, it first comes from a sense of generosity.

Society has been blessed in many ways by the sharing of the wealth of others. My observation is that such sharing is nearly always rooted in a generous spirit, and you can be generous with whatever you have – wealth, knowledge, wisdom or time.

I hope one day, you will become as "rich" as you desire, but for now, be sure to cultivate a generous spirit with all you possess. I promise that life and society will offer you many opportunities to share that spirit of generosity in the measure in which you have been blessed.

May your future be a bright one!


The fundamental advice I give to my children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren is to be HAPPY. One of the problems is that most Americans believe we are supposed to be given happiness through our Constitution, but the actual wording is “Life, liberty and the PURSUIT of happiness.” So how do you pursue happiness? I believe the following five goals allow you to achieve happiness in your career, your personal life, and through your philanthropy:

  • Honest – To be a trusted person, you must be honest in your assessments and communications. Avoid any situation that would cause people to lose their trust in you.
  • Assertive – There is a difference between being aggressive and being assertive. Aggressive is trying to always have your own way. Assertiveness is when you push for what you know is right.
  • Positive – Always look for innovative ways to accomplish goals instead of being negative and making excuses if you don’t achieve the objective.
  • Persistent – Make the effort that is necessary to achieve success.
  • Yourself  -- It is ok to learn from observing other successful people, but your success will be determined by the person you become in this life.

Being HAPPY is something to work at every day and can’t be given to you by someone else. You have to achieve it for yourself.