You’ve heard that sentiment quoted and paraphrased by many philosophers and poets through the years. Charlie "Tremendous" Jones exemplifies it. In case you’ve never had the privilege of hearing him speak or read one of his books, Charlie has traveled the world speaking to corporate crowds of thousands on sales skills, goal-setting, and success. He’s shared the stage with some of the greatest luminaries of our time—Zig Ziglar, Ken Blanchard, Jerry Lewis, and Og Mandino. But you would never hear that from this humble man. Instead, you’d hear, well, … I’ll let you read it for yourself.
Right now, he’s struggling in the final stages of cancer. The following is an email he sent out last week to his group of Speakers Roundtable colleagues (his mastermind group of 20 professional speakers across the country).
I am thankful for your monthly reports that keep you fresh in my mind. I feel tremendous as always; even though my eyesight, hearing, and strength are going, my energy, excitement, and thankfulness increase with my projects and problems.
I have to remind all my friends that we are all terminal, and none of us can be sure of another day. So I am not concerned when you are graduating, and I don’t want to talk about when I go because there is a possibility I may outlive all of you.
I want to thank Danny Cox for calling me to tell me to watch Bob Schuller on Easter Sunday. I appreciated his call but knew I would be in church and would have to miss it. But for the first time in 57 years, I was so weak Easter Sunday that Gloria went to church without me and left me to watch Bob Schuller. As I watched the program I realized why Danny wanted me to watch. Evel Knievel gave his story of the long road he traveled to discover the love and forgiveness of Christ. It is one of the simplest and most forceful testimonies I’ve ever heard. He got carried away and used up Bob’s sermon time. God gave young Bob wisdom to forget his sermon and invite anyone who wished to receive Christ as savior to come forward. Almost 500 streamed forward, and several ministers heard their profession and baptized them.
Thank you, Danny, for giving me one of the most wonderful Easter mornings I’ve had in my 57 years in Christ. Danny wasn’t around many years ago when Bob had me speak to a few hundred out in the parking lot.
Another blessing was yesterday when I heard of Jerry Falwell’s graduation. Many knew him only as the press portrayed him: as a cold, hard, right-wing conservative. He was my friend for over 40 years. I spoke for him before he had a TV program or college. He was as humble, loving, and joyful as any Christian I’ve ever known. He graduated while working at his desk. What a tremendous way to go. As I read his last sermon to his students, I thought this is something for all of us to think about and remember: We will never know when we are giving our last speech, so make it your best.
I can’t wait to hug you in Park City. Life is truly tremendous.
Charles T Jones
Evidently, I wasn’t the only one touched by his email and his effort to communicate his heart about his impending "graduation" and to express loyalty to a life-long friend under these most trying conditions. See SR member Terry Paulson’s comments as well.
Back to the earlier premise: "As a person thinks," so he or she communicates—loudly: by information and ideas they choose to ignore or to convey, by tone, by word choice, by attitude, and by silence. Charlie’s right, his communication is still tremendously strong.