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WIT & WISDOM - August 26, 1998
To love is to risk getting hurt. Not to risk loving is the greatest risk of all. 
~~~~~~~ SPECIAL THOUGHTS:
The greatest saleswoman in the world today doesn't mind if you call her a girl. That's because Markita Andrews has generated more than eighty thousand dollars selling Girl Scout cookies since she was seven years old.
Going door-to-door after school, the painfully shy Markita transformed herself into a cookie-selling dynamo when she discovered, at age 13, the secret of selling.
It starts with desire. Burning, white-hot desire.
For Markita and her mother, who worked as a waitress in New York after her husband left them when Markita was eight years old, their dream was to travel the globe. "I'll work hard to make enough money to send you to college," her mother said one day. "You'll go to college and when you graduate, you'll make enough money to take you and me around the world. Okay?"
So at age 13 when Markita read in her Girl Scout magazine that the Scout who sold the most cookies would win an all-expenses-paid trip for two around the world, she decided to sell all the Girl Scout cookies she could - more Girl Scout cookies than anyone in the world, ever.
But desire alone is not enough. To make her dream come true, Markita knew she needed a plan. "Always wear your right outfit, your professional garb," her aunt advised. "When you are doing business, dress like you are doing business. Wear your Girl Scout uniform. When you go up to people in their tenement buildings at 4:30 or 6:30 and especially on Friday night, ask for a big order. Always smile, whether they buy or not, always be nice. And don't ask them to buy your cookies; ask them to invest."
Lots of other Scouts may have wanted that trip around the world. Lots of other Scouts may have had a plan. But only Markita went off in her uniform each day after school, ready to ask - and keep asking - folks to invest in her dream. "Hi, I have a dream. I'm earning a trip around the world for me and my mom by merchandising Girl Scout cookies," she'd say at the door. "Would you like to invest in one dozen or two dozen boxes of cookies?"
Markita sold 3,526 boxes of Girl Scout cookies that year and won her trip around the world. Since then, she has sold more than 42,000 boxes of Girl Scout cookies, spoken at sales conventions across the country, starred in a Disney movie about her adventure and has co-authored the best seller, How to Sell More Cookies, Condos, Cadillacs, Computers . . . And Everything Else.
Markita is no smarter and no more extroverted than thousands of other people, young and old, with dreams of their own. The difference is Markita had discovered the secret of selling: Ask, Ask, Ask! Many people fail before they even begin because they fail to ask for what they want. The fear of rejection leads many of us to reject ourselves and our dreams long before anyone else ever has the chance - no matter what we're selling.
And everyone is selling something. "You're selling yourself everyday - in school, to your boss, to new people you meet," said Markita at 14. "My mother is a waitress: she sells the daily special. Mayors and presidents trying to get votes are selling . . I see selling everywhere I look. Selling is part of the whole world."
It takes courage to ask for what you want. Courage is not the absence of fear. It's doing what it takes despite one's fear.
And, as Markita has discovered, the more you ask, the easier (and more fun) it gets. Once, on live TV, the producer decided to give Markita her toughest selling challenge. Markita was asked to sell Girl Scout cookies to another guest on the show. "Would you like to invest in one dozen or two dozen boxes of Girl Scout cookies?" she asked. "Girl Scout cookies? I don't buy any Girl Scout cookies!" he replied. "I'm a Federal Penitentiary warden. I put 2,000 rapists, robbers, criminals, muggers and child abusers to bed every night."
Unruffled, Markita quickly countered, "Mister, if you take some of these cookies. maybe you won't be so mean and angry and evil. And, Mister, I think it would be a good idea for you to take some of these cookies back for every one of your 2,000 prisoners, too." Markita asked. The Warden wrote a check.
By Jack Canfield and Mark V. Hansen, from Chicken Soup for the Soul, Copyright 1993 by Jack Canfield & Mark Victor Hansen 
~~~~~~~ THIS & THAT:
There once was a lady from Polson
Who married a man named Stan Olson
They were really in love
And with help from above
There son were more Olsons in Polson.
- Bill Beckett, Great Falls, MT
Fifty Five Famished Frisky Friendly
Finicky Fearless Frugal Frolicking
Frogs Found Four Frowning Foolishly
Fidgety Frazzled Fat Freckled Fussy
Full Fresh Fruit Flies Fluttering
Freely Falling Fatally Finished For
Flavorful Fast Food Feast.
- By: Janice Chisholm, Greeley, CO
There was a young lady from Butte
Who went to Great falls on a toot
She had a grand time
With much dancing and wine
And went home with a husband to boot.
- Bill Beckett, Great Falls, MT
There once was a man from south Yuma
Who told an elephant joke to a puma
Now his bleaching bones lie
Beneath a hot desert sky,
The puma had no sense of huma!
- By: Marianne Johnson, Tri-Cities, WA
Had two flats 10 miles west of Simms
In the rain, so I rode the rims.
I should'a known better
But the walk would'a been wetter
And it wasn't my truck it was Jim's.
- Bill Beckett, Great Falls, MT
TIDBITS, Walla Walla, WA, September 23, 1997
~~~~~~~ KEEP SMILING:
Not realizing our mother had left some leftover turkey in our oven's broiler, my sister, 19, turned the oven on to bake cookies. Once the oven was hot, she put in the cookies and came back to check on them ten minutes later. When she pulled open the oven door, flames shot out, and my sister shouted, "Mom! Fire!" as she closed the door. Immediately our mother called the fire department and rushed all of us out of the house.
The firefighters were over in a flash, and they quickly hosed the oven down with some foam, then helped us clear the house of smoke. As one of the young firemen was leaving, he turned to my mother and said, "Your daughter is cute. I would ask her out, but I only date women who can cook." 
In Jesus' day Temple guards had to be careful not to sleep on duty. If caught catching z's, the guard's captain would have the slumberer's clothing stripped off and burned. The disrobed guard was then sent away in disgrace. Revelation 16:15 may refer to this practice. - The Youth Bible
 (Encounter Weekly http://www.gospelcom.net/actsi/weekly/)
 (Chicken Soup for the Soul: Free Home Delivery http://www.soupserver.com/)
 (Donald Kamadulski via Keith's Mostly Clean Humor & Weird List KSullivan@worldnet.att.net)