Saturday, June 29, 2013

Success is what you leave behind

Today, my friend Jerry Hays passed on this card. I don't know where it originated. Spanish is my second language, so this is a loose translation. Feel free to dive in if you can do better:

Prayer for those who have passed on

It has been five years since you went to everlasting life in the Lord. You went in peace and serenity, with the joy and confidence of one who had completed a beautiful mission on this earth.

Thanks be to God, because we know you are enjoying the infinite love of the father.


Judo continues to miss a great man with a great history who will always remain in our memory and in our hearts.

To: Frank Fullerton, June 25, 2008

The fact that I am not in Chino Women's Prison right now is due  to a few people, large among them Frank Fullerton, Bruce Toups and my grandmother, Emilia Maria. It is no coincidence that my daughter and granddaughter are named Maria and Emilia. If I had a boy his middle name probably would have been Bruce.

I still miss Frank. One of my treasured memories is running into him on the plane on the way back from Athens when he said to me,

You were so much trouble when you were young. I'm glad to see that you turned out to be worth it.

Frank and Bruce were the president and director of development of U.S. Judo, Inc. when I was young. They were as fair as anyone could possibly be in selecting teams and when people like me could not afford to travel internationally, they often provided the funds out of their own pockets.

When I teach judo now, whether it is at Gompers Middle School or at a clinic or camp, it is to pay them back for the time, money and faith they invested in me.

In the end, I don't think it matters how nice of a car you drove, how much money you made or what your title was.

As Walter Lippman said,

“The final test of a leader is that he leaves behind in others the conviction and will to carry on.”

Frank was a true leader. So was Kenso Kiyohiro who was the heart and soul of Venice Judo Club for many years. So was John Ogden, whose Ogden Judo School hosts the West Coast Judo Training Center. Years after John has passed away, his legacy carries on. 

Who will miss you when you are gone, and try to justify your belief that they were worth the trouble?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree with this. When I was younger, I drew the logical conclusion that life was meaningless because no matter what, you'd end up dying anyway. I deliberately lived life waiting to die. However, I realized at some point that instead of living life waiting to die, I could instead live to contribute something that would outlive me and this is what I still live my life around.