Big Russ and Me

I just finished reading Tim Russert’s book “Big Russ and Me“. The book is full of anecdotes from daily life, focusing on the lessons Tim Russert learned from his father, whom he calls ‘Big Russ’.

Russert has been one of the finest journalists on American Television, and was known for his ability to translate complex policy formulation in to a language that the common man could understand.

In this book, Russert recounts his school days, the influence of his teachers, the inspiration from seeing his father work two jobs to ensure his kids could go to school, the love of parents, the feeling of intimacy in a small town, joys of simple living and the ethic of discipline. The book is inspiring because so many of these stories and incidents are the stuff that most of us can relate to, through direct experience. Tim Russert did a fine job putting them in to words.

Amongst the lessons from the book that I can recall off-the-top of my head, are:

1. Smile and confidently greet people when meeting them, especially for the first time.
2. Channel extra energy constructively.
3. Be mindful of the effects of your actions on others, and make sure you have a positive impact.
4. Have fun, food and frolic in life.
5. Try to think out-of-the-box; I translate it to myself thus: retain your common-sense, under all circumstances.
6. There is much beyond education that constitutes learning and ability.
7. Work with people who inspire you.
8. Set high standards for yourself, and be disciplined.
9. Things are never perfect; objective optimism is a good policy.
10. When you screw something up, own it and apologize.

Of course, there’s much more…. and anecdotes are always interesting to read. Overall, a very good book — one that I’d definitely recommend my younger brother to read.

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