Lipis: This I Believe
OpinionThe Bottom Line

Lipis: This I Believe

After exploring what others believe, Allen H. Lipis offers his own thoughts.

Allen H. Lipis
Huge aircraft taking off and landing, as the C-130s do at Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Marietta, is one source of wonder in the world. (Photo by Tech Sgt. Amber Williams, Georgia National Guard)
Huge aircraft taking off and landing, as the C-130s do at Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Marietta, is one source of wonder in the world. (Photo by Tech Sgt. Amber Williams, Georgia National Guard)

I believe in the goodness of people, that people want to do the right thing.

I believe that doing for others is also doing for yourself. Being selfish is useful when you are young because you need to learn how to build your own character and how to succeed in this world, but serving others is the real success in life.

If you are focused only on doing for yourself, that will make you an unloving person.

Until age 25, I believe, you should focus on two fundamental things: getting an outstanding education and building your own character.

Education has always been the secret to survival, especially being Jewish.

It is not enough to get good grades in school. That is the easy part if you are diligent, do your homework and pay attention.

The hard part is to incorporate what you learn into how you live.

Good grades and good schools are union cards. They will get you in the door, but what you know is what gets the job done.

Learning is never done and should continue all your life. Education leads to experience, and experience leads to getting results.

Above all, stay productive.

I believe in finding one thing that you can do well and focusing on that instead of trying to be mediocre at many things.

I believe that teaching is what we all do for those who know less than we know, and learning is one of the great excitements in life, both for the student and for the teacher.

I believe that more important than a good education and excellent experience is your character. That will determine whether you are successful.

School has more to offer than doing well in class. Don’t go through school; let school go through you.

The best way to improve your character is to emulate the people you most admire — not for what they know, but for how they deal with other people.

There is much to learn by studying people and by reading great books about the people who achieved success and failure.

Above all else, speak kindly about people, and give them always the benefit of the doubt. Be optimistic about your life, about your work and about others.

Learn to trust people until you know otherwise. You will be amazed at what others can accomplish if you tell them what they need to do.

I believe in creating ways to benefit the world, regardless of what you create. Finding a better mousetrap is part of the secret of having a good life, and finding more efficient solutions is why we are alive.

I marvel at the wheel, at chemistry, at the knowledge of mathematics and physics, at what we know about the human body and the drugs that make the body work better.

I am impressed with a 300-ton plane taking off and flying 500 mph, and I believe we are in this world to improve it, to understand it better and to leave the world just a little better than when we arrived.

I believe that we are copycats, so the more you do of one thing, the more it creates that same thing in others, whether hatred or love. When we do something good, others will emulate that, and when we do something bad, it gives credence for others to follow the bad.

I believe that progress in this world is created by not being a copycat, but by following your own path, by believing in yourself and your own self-worth, and by being willing to risk your money, your honor and even your life in search of what you believe can contribute to humanity.

There is no doubt that the minority has made the world better, not the majority, because the minority has been willing to risk being different and to think differently.

The bottom line: Focus on your strengths, but remember your weaknesses, for humility is more important than arrogance.

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