23 Anderson ‘Victory Maxims’

The chapel felt like a living room today as everyone leaned in, listening intently to the final wisdom of a man who served as leader for 22 years.

With almost every seat full, President Gordon Anderson preached to the North Central community for the last time preceding his retirement. Telling stories about his family, ministry and marriage, Anderson spoke as he has nearly every Friday: casually cracking jokes, speaking metaphorically and using vernacular that makes students Google words to find meaning.

The chapel community gave Anderson four standing ovations during the 65-minute service, bringing the president to tears on multiple occasions.

At the end of Anderson’s final dialogue, he presented a list of “victory maxims” by which to live.

  1. Don’t take yourself too seriously. The number of people who come to your funeral will be determined largely by the weather.
  2. You may as well laugh at yourself. Everyone else is.
  3. The prospects of hanging wonderfully concentrate the mind.
  4. He who learns must suffer. (Aeschylus, Agamemnon)
  5. “Out of the crooked timber of humanity nothing straight was ever made.” (Berlin, Kant)
  6. It’s not the gales, but the set of the sails that tells where the bard will go. (Elizabeth Wheeler Wilcox)
  7. It’s never what’s around you that matters. It’s always what’s in you that matters.
  8. Opinions are Rorschach’s.
  9. When someone lectures you about a situation, you will usually learn more about the person than the situation.
  10. The opposite of a leader is not a follower. The opposite of a leader is a pessimist.
  11. Control your choices and you control your consequences.
  12. No whining allowed!
  13. Blaming is laming.
  14. People are not against you – they are just for themselves.
  15. The size of a man is the size of those things that upset him.
  16. Don’t let small people make you small.
  17. Father, please forgive me for being small.
  18. Let time be your friend.
  19. Time heals all wounds, and wounds all heels.
  20. Leave the ripples along. You only make things worse when you try to pat them down.
  21. It’s not you – it’s the uniform.
  22. The Kingdom of Heaven was designed to work in Rome.
  23. Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but no one is entitled to an attitude.

About the author: Kristin Wileman

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