"Tell me a fact and I'll learn. Tell me a truth and I'll believe. But tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever."
Has anyone ever said the right words to you just when you needed them most? When my book The Right Words at the Right Time was released in two years ago, I hoped that readers would be as captivated as I was by the compelling stories of survival and inspiration in its pages--from people like Muhammad Ali, Shaquille O'Neal, Muhammad Ali, Jennifer Aniston, Paul McCartney, and even the Dalai Lama.
What was really exciting to me, though, was how personally the readers of "The Right Words" identified with the book's theme. Everywhere I went, people came up to me, eager to share those special "right words" stories from their own lives that had made such a difference to them. I remember one man from Chicago who called into a local radio station and told us how, without his father's constant reminder--"You can be anything you want to be"--he might never have had the courage to start his own business.
A young woman in Baltimore confided to me that, just the year before, her teacher had taken her aside after she'd failed an exam and said, "Remember, in real life, it's the work that matters, not the score. And no one works harder than you." Those words, said the girl, convinced her to apply to college.
We are compiling a second volume of stories, and Beliefnet has given us permission to post a request inviting you to share a story of your own for possible inclusion in the book. Was there a moment when words changed your life? Whether they were spoken to you by a family member or friend; whether you read them in a book; whether you heard them in a movie or on the radio; we'd like you to share your story with us.
For more information on how to enter the contest, please go to my website, rightwordsbooks.com. The deadline for entries is May 16th. (Please use the submission form on my website. Don't send to Beliefnet.)
Although there is no payment, proceeds from the sale of the new book will go to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, the hospital that my father, Danny Thomas, founded in 1962, which continues to provide care for children all over the world who suffer from catastrophic diseases, regardless of a family's ability to pay.