It Was the Best of Times, It Was the Worst of Times…

By Coach Ron Wolforth – 


Many of you already know that I’m a big history, literature guy and from one of my favorite novels of all time, ‘A Tale of Two Cities’, comes a famous quote that has literally come to life over the past six months for me:


It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.

Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities


As you are all aware, the greater Houston area and SE Texas were handed a horrific blow by Hurricane Harvey; Billions of dollars in damage, families displaced, homes, businesses and lives lost.  And it appears, Irma, another monster storm is steaming toward the Florida coast.


It has been said that adversity develops and/or reveals character. Apparently, the Good Lord believes the folks in the southern part of the U.S. are in need of significant character assessment and/or character building in 2017. 


Over the past 6 months, I have personally experienced some of the most inspiring, generous, kind, giving and compassionate people I have ever encounter in my 58 years of life.  Over that same stretch I have also been forced to deal with some of the most arrogant, small, petty, vindictive and spiteful people I have ever had to interact with in my life. Thus, the title of my blog today.


At the Texas Baseball Ranch® we were extremely blessed to have been spared and to have our homes spared from most of Harvey’s fury and flooding.  We are also fortunate to enjoy the incredible support and concern of our clients and our neighbors. It has been an amazing outpouring of encouragement and interest from those the Ranch has touched over these past 20 years. Your genuine concern has touched every one of us at the Ranch.  Thank you.  From the bottom of our hearts…Thank You.


On the other hand, it has become a more arduous task than ever dealing with the arrogant, the nefarious, the extremely self-absorbed and the down-right dishonorable. I don’t know if the age of social media, immediate accessibility and instant expression is the primary culprit for the uptick in bad behavior and poor form…but it can’t help.


It appears to me that common courtesy, civility, thoughtfulness and statesmanship are in rare supply today.  In my opinion, we are more self-centered than ever before. We lash out when things don’t go our way.  We manipulate, we misrepresent, we spin, we twist and if necessary, we simply falsify.  Some lack true empathy and compassion.


As a culture, it appears we have replaced the ‘law of the farm’ and ‘law of the harvest’ with the ‘law of the jungle’ and instant gratification.  We too often fail to respect each other’s insights and contributions.  ‘The Golden Rule’ that many of us were taught as children has been turned into a fool’s creed and a sign of weakness.


I don’t like dealing with these types of people any more than you do.  One thing is for certain, they have always existed and they will always exist.  It takes a little darkness to appreciate the light.


I have 7 simple self-assessments that I suggest you perform on a fairly regular basis to help make certain that the Machiavelli’s and the Nebuchadnezzar’s in your path don’t steal your joy or make you cynical and interfere with your instincts to help your neighbor and live your life with honor and meaning.




In your actions of today, of this week, of this month…rate your embodiment of the following 7 characteristics 0-10.  The score of a zero would indicate a total and complete lack of that behavior and 10 would represent the greatest embodiment of that quality in human history to your knowledge.  (I have placed description of each characteristic below.)



#1. Empathy….0         1          2          3          4          5          6          7          8          9          10


#2. Humility…0            1          2          3          4          5          6          7          8          9          10


#3. Integrity…0           1          2          3          4          5          6          7          8          9          10


#4. Respect of others…

                        0          1          2          3          4          5          6          7          8          9          10


#5. Generosity…0      1          2          3          4          5          6          7          8          9          10


#6. Courage…0          1          2          3          4          5          6          7          8          9          10


#7. Industriousness  

                        0          1          2          3          4          5          6          7          8          9          10


Empathy: The ability to truly understand and share the feelings or perspectives of another.  To seek to understand before seeking to be understood.  One doesn’t necessarily have to like, admire or agree with a person to empathize with them and their situation. This is NOT a feeling of pity or sorrow…that is sympathy. Empathy is the ability to understand the viewpoint of another person. Empathy is the ability to have figuratively walked in another man’s shoes. Without genuine empathy, it is very difficult to ever meaningfully connect with anyone outside of your inner circle.


Humility: The modest, ordinary or unprivileged estimation of one’s own value or merit in the world at large. It’s the ability to place self-interest and personal ego aside for the betterment of the team or organization.  It’s the belief in something bigger than one’s own self-interest and well-being. Put frankly, if something is ever all about you…then in that area… there can really be no us…or we.  Humility is the ability to put others before yourself.


Integrity: Honesty, virtue, honor, decency and truthfulness. One’s adherence to the generally time tested characteristics of uprightness, goodness and trustworthiness. Without trust, there can be no substantial relationship built.  And without integrity, true trust cannot be developed.


Respect of Others. It is an often unreported reality that we of course will frequently see things very much differently than our peers and neighbors that live close to us…let alone those of different cultures or those who live far away from us.  While we should not be required to like nor embrace another’s perspective, it is important that we recognize and respect every person’s right to have a viewpoint that differs from our own and that it absolutely can be a legitimate one.   The world can and has operated very smoothly even with people holding simultaneously geometrically opposing positions.  Trouble arises when someone or some group attempts to squelch, delegitimize or marginalize another perspective solely because it is in conflict or in competition with their own and in turn they force that viewpoint upon us.


Generosity: The mindset of abundance, plenty and magnanimity.  It is following through on the instinct to share, give and cooperate.  It is not uncommon for some people’s first reaction to covet and/or hoard.  This pernicious behavior even includes coveting obscure things such as ‘credit’, or ‘recognition’ or ‘status’. It’s usually borne out of a mindset of scarcity, shortage, envy and fear of loss.


Courage: The intestinal fortitude to do the right thing…especially when that ‘right thing’ is decidedly difficult or unpopular to do.  It is following the strength of your principles and conviction of your beliefs.  It can be stepping up and placing yourself in less than optimal positions to speak for others whose voices are muted or to advocate on their behalf.  It can be standing up for yourself when it would be far easier and safer to say nothing.


Industriousness: To work, to give attentive and persistent effort.  Nothing will work unless you do. So often people want to live off or depend upon the good will of others.  Industriousness is the innate desire to earn your own way and carve out your own path. To personally be active, vigorous and productive. To be a valued contributing member of any team or organization.




Lastly, I’m certain a few reading this will ask me questions along the lines of “What number in each of these categories should I shoot for?”  Or “What in my opinion is a minimum recommended number for each category?”


It is, of course, the wrong question.  Some days and weeks we will score better in one category and worse in another. 


The keys to these assessments are to

1) be constantly aware of your current behavior (awareness is in itself curative)

2) set as a goal to purposefully improve your behavior in each area and grow as a person and

3) to establish a regular interval in which you actually self-reflect on these crucial behaviors which may in fact guide you in becoming the person one day you would be proud of becoming.


You see every day…it is the best of times and it is the worst of times.  And the wonderful thing about life is regardless of what occurs…we get to pick which one we choose. I encourage you to be the light.  You and the world around you will be better for it. 

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Our 2017 & 2018 Fall/Winter Boot Camp dates have been released including our Youth & Alumni camps in October.  You can learn more about them by going to  

Space is limited and they will fill up quickly so don’t delay.



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