I Aint Much But I am All I Got  

TomEboy10 60M
357 posts
10/3/2005 12:43 pm

Last Read:
3/5/2006 9:27 pm

I Aint Much But I am All I Got

I was speaking to a group of marketing and advertising professionals at a “Meet A Member” session on the Friday morning program. This is how I intoduced it: This morning I do not want to talk about myself because I will bore you to death and I do not want to talk about my company because I will bore myself to death. Instead, I want to talk about “ 22 Things I have learned in 41 Years”. Every month Esquire magazine has a column featuring famous and semi-famous celebrities who share the things they have learned- some funny, some profound, all usually very interesting. (For those are interested in this presentation, let me know and I will hook you up)

One of those things I included was advice I had heard from Charlie” Tremendous” Jones which I expanded on. It is this -. You will be the same person you are today, five years from now, with the exception of the people you meet, the books you read, the places you go and the risks you take. Those are the things that change us- people, books, places and risks. Today I want to share a book that had a profound impact on me and helped change my life.

I was in high school struggling with deep feelings of inadequacy and self-hatred, brought on in large part because of my father. I was not going to be a doctor like he wanted. I was not going to be an honor student like my sister. I was not accepted for who I was and it hurt me deeply. Most of the time I felt that I was not OK.When you are called stupid, a failure,and numerous other painful names it has a deep impact on a teenager.

I found this book “I Ain’t Much But I am All I Got” at my lowest point. Jess Lair was a man who had built a successful company doing a job he hated when he was stuck down by a heart attack . He survived and began to make radical changes in his life. He sold the business, sold the mansion and moved to a farmhouse so he could go back to school. He began teaching a Life Class and this book was originally written for his students but rewritten for publication.

Here is an excerpt:
What are some of the discoveries I have made? I found I needed people because I needed the love they could give me. I found that love was something I did. I found that the way I showed people my need and love for them was to tell how it was with me in my deepest heart. I came to feel that was the most loving thing I could do for anyone -- tell them how it was with me and share my imperfections with them. When I did this, most people came back at me with what was deep within them. This was love coming to me. And the more I had coming to me, the more I had to give away. I ain't much, baby -- but I'm all I've got."

Chapters deal with why we are so afraid of ourselves, loving from Your Deepest Heart, Accepting Yourself Five minutes at a time, Changing, Controlling Behavior, Sexuality, Trust, Responsibility, Touching Others, and many others. It is a book about life and at the time I found it, I held on to every word. It helped change my way of thinking about myself and gave me hope. It set me on the path I am today.

The Last Chapter is called Magic Cards.This was a device he used to get the students to write more freely. Each student had to write on a 3x5 card a comment, question or feeling. They did not have to be signed and about half did not. The cards were left on the table in the front of the room when the student arrived and he never knew who turned in cards and who didn’t. At the beginning of class he read all the cards and made comments where he felt appropiate. One student called them magic cards because this became the most popular part of every class he taught. He did not ask that they be original or that sources be given.

Here are some random examples:

Around and around
I run
In ever widening
Trying to find
A center
For my life.

The days are slipping though my fingers no matter how hard I hold them

I am an identity, floating through a void called life, seeing all the beauty, majesty and glory; yet is signifies nothing for I have never felt true love

If everyone was put on earth for a purpose why is it that no one knows what they are doing?

This book started me collecting quotations and I have several books, notebooks and files as a result.

I checked out the largest bookseller on the internet and you could purchase this book used for as low as a penny! I do not know how this will hold up 33 years later but I do know it was a book that helped save the life of a 17-year-old boy who needed desperately to know that he was OK after all.

rm_luke69iner 49M
3275 posts
10/3/2005 9:59 pm

thanks for sharing that

i'm adding the book quote to my list

S'io credesse che mia risposta fosse
A persona che mai tornasse al mondo,
Questa fiamma staria senza piu scosse.
Ma perciocche giammai di questo fondo
Non torno vivo alcun, s'i'odo il vero,
Senza tema d'infamia ti rispondo

tillerbabe 57F

10/3/2005 11:01 pm

"I found that love was something I did."

"LOVE" is a verb. This is a huge revelation. Congrats to you!


You are so beautiful. Hugs and kisses {=} to u....and the best blow job you've ever had.{=}

I "do" love u.

tillerbabe 57F

10/3/2005 11:02 pm


I miss you in my BLOG baybeeeeee.

rm_rsp54 59F
531 posts
10/4/2005 6:31 am


What a great post. Everybody needs to find something to get them through rough times. The book was a help for you. I recently talked to a young boy that I know. We were discussing dsyfunctional families. We pretty much came to the conclusion that everybody has some sort of dysfuntion. How we deal with and feel about these dysfunctions is the important part.

He told me about a book that many of his friends read and liked very much. It's called "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" If you haven't read it, please do. It blew me away. He said that kids are considering it a modern day Catcher in the Rye.

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