Serving With a Smile

For those of you who have already read the hardback version of "More Than Money," you know a common thread among those I profile — from the world of politics, sports and business — is this: Not a one takes him or herself seriously and they all have a killer smile.

I don't think that's coincidence.

What's got me remembering the power of both is remembering the power of one Franklin Roosevelt. He's been all the rage lately. There's a big special on him on the History Channel and a sappier one on HBO.

Yet in both, we see the essence of the man, particularly as a young man, long before his fame.

Riddled with polio, almost giving up on life "because" of that polio, young Franklin somehow found the will to smile, even laugh. It's a famous smile and a hearty laugh.

Winston Churchill, no stranger to joke telling himself, once said FDR made him feel like anything was possible. High praise, considering both were fighting a World War and a depression.

It matters not their policies, but their steadfast optimism that they would succeed with their policies.

I think belief in one's character often shows up in the upward curve of one's mouth.

JFK knew it and survived the Bay of Pigs.

Lyndon Johnson didn't know it and couldn't survive Vietnam.

Ronald Reagan appreciated it and won a Cold War.

His predecessor, Jimmy Carter, never grasped it and got the political cold shoulder.

Proof that if you want to ultimately win out, it doesn't exactly hurt to smile, even laugh throughout.

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