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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb. 21, 2006 / 23 Shevat, 5766

The Rhino Principle

By Paul Johnson


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | There's a certain rule in life that I've found worth considering. It particularly applies if you're confronted by a crisis. I call it the Rhino Principle.


Now, the rhino is not a particularly subtle or clever animal. It's the last of the antediluvian quadrupeds to carry a great weight of body armor. And by all the rules of progressive design and the process of natural selection the rhino ought to have been eliminated. But it hasn't been. Why not? Because the rhino is single-minded. When it perceives an object, it makes a decision — to charge. And it puts everything it's got into that charge. When the charge is over, the object is either flattened or has gone a long way into cover, whereupon the rhino instantly resumes browsing.


Few people think of learning from a rhino. But I have. And when I hear of an author who cannot finish or get started on a book, I send him (or her) a rhino card. I paint a watercolor of a rhinoceros on the front of a postcard — something I do well, as I've practiced it a great many times. And in the space next to the address I write: "Stop fussing about that book. Just charge it. Keep on charging it until it is finished. That's what the rhino does. Put this card over your desk and remember the Rhino Principle."


Sending a rhino card usually works. Now, the Rhino Principle may not produce the perfect book, but it does produce a book. And once a book is drafted, it can be improved, polished and made satisfactory. But if the Rhino Principle is ignored, there is no book at all.


This principle can be applied to many other things, particularly business. When an entrepreneur has an object in his line of vision, he should dismiss all other considerations from his mind, abandon all other activities and charge directly at that object, continuing to charge until the object has been secured. All kinds of qualities are needed to make a great businessman. But aggressive single-mindedness is by far the most important. Indeed, it is indispensable.


To what extent does the Rhino Principle apply to politics and statesmanship? In my view it applies with even more force. The story of Moses in the book of Exodus is an exposition on this approach. So is the monumental story of Alexander the Great of Macedonia and the destruction of the Persian Empire. Caesar's conquest of Gaul, as described by himself, is another epic in the need to charge and keep on charging until the object is taken.


In the history of the United States one sees time and time again how success was achieved through the concentrated pursuit of a clear and definite aim.


The original settlers who arrived on the Mayflower observed this principle. They wanted the freedom to practice the religion of their choice, and to secure this they disregarded wealth, comfort and safety and worked toward their goal until it was achieved.


The American leaders who objected to George III's government argued around (and beside) the point until they produced the Declaration of Independence. This was the moment at which America adopted the Rhino Principle: A salient object was perceived, and everything was sacrificed for its attainment.


Abraham Lincoln concentrated all his energies into one two-pronged aim: the preservation of the Union and the defeat of those trying to sunder it. He pursued this aim wherever it took him and never deviated from it, despite enormous difficulties and reverses, until the Union was triumphant.


Winston Churchill embodied the Rhino Principle. His objects were not always consistent—and they were sometimes the wrong objects. But there was always the same single-mindedness in his pursuit of them. In 1940 Churchill and the defense of freedom in Europe came together in a common destiny. I remember, as a boy of 11, listening to his broadcasts during that fateful summer and hearing my father say, "That man Winston Churchill has a clear aim and is very determined. That is what we need today."


I've often noted that the statesmen who succeed on the big issues have a distinct vision of their goals combined with undeviating energy in pursuing them. Konrad Adenauer was one such example, Charles de Gaulle another. And in the 1980s two others who shared that trait, Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, joined forces to win the Cold War. Neither was very sophisticated nor subtle, but both understood the importance of having a clear aim and concentrating unreservedly on that aim until it was accomplished.


Is President George W. Bush cast from the same mold? I rather think so. I certainly hope so.


We can choose to lead quiet lives and get through them without achieving much. But if we want to do the big thing, if we hope to leave a record that will be admired and remembered, we must learn to distinguish between the peripheral and the essential. Then, having clearly established our central objective, we must charge at it again and again until the goal is achieved.


That is what the rhinoceros does. It may not be a model animal in most ways. But it does one thing very well. And that one thing we can learn: Charge!

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Eminent British historian and author Paul Johnson's latest book is "American Presidents Eminent Lives Boxed Set: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Ulysses S. Grant". Comment by clicking here.


© 2006, Paul Johnson

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