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2 hours, 5 minutes
First broadcast:
Wednesday 07 July 2010

Join Sarah for a weather canter, Graham Norton's gone to the dogs and the listeners have come over all dipsy-doodle on us.

Music Played

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  • Pause For Thought

    This week's theme is Success, and today we hear from the Jewish lecturer & writer, Jenny Nemko.

    "I don’t usually get that excited about sport but over the last few weeks I’ve really caught the “England has to win” summer sports bug. Whether it’s been the World Cup, Wimbledon, the cricket or rugby, I find myself getting quite het up when England isn’t doing well. It’s even affected my weekly netball game. I’m no longer satisfied with one goal - if I’m lucky. I watch my fellow players and want to be better than they are. I really want to win.

    The Rabbis of the Talmud insist that success in life isn’t necessarily about winning. It’s about getting the most good out of each day. And the way to do that, they say, is to treat every day as if it were your last one. And when it comes to last days, there’s a lovely story about a man called Reb Zusya who was coming to the end of his life. And he just couldn’t stop crying. His students tried to comfort him asking “Why are you crying Reb Zusya? You’ve been such a good man – you’ve been as good a father to us as our Father Abraham”. The crying continued. “Please do not cry, Reb Zusya, have you not been as good a teacher to us as our great teacher Moses?” The crying only increased. “What is it?” they asked in distress.

    Reb Zusya replied, “When my soul stands in judgment before the Heavenly Judge, He will not ask me if I have been as good as Abraham was, or Moses was; He will ask if I have been as good as Reb Zusya could have been.”

    However successful Reb Zusya’s students thought he was, Reb Zusya wasn’t happy with himself. He thought he could have done more with his life. That he could have used the gifts that he had to a greater advantage. He knew that to be a real winner we have to get to know our strengths and weaknesses and what we can and what we can’t do. And then we have to do the best we can with the tools that we have.

    A hard act to follow but probably the key to true success. So I suppose it means I’ll have to accept that I’ll never be as good as my friends at netball. It’s not going to happen. Sport for me’s been much more about meeting friends and catching up with what’s going on. That’s what I enjoy doing and that’s what I’m good at. So here’s to losing at netball and winning at life!"


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