Chet Marshall
Chet R. Marshall
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Marshall & Robertson

"Vinegar is good but just a little can ruin the lemonade."

Chet Marshall

'Rotary WATCH' guides personal ethics

October 2, 2007

Rotarians today heard words of wisdom from Putnam's own busineess consultant, author and motivational speaker, Chet R. Marshall.

"Papa Chet," as he is affectionately known on five continents, told his own Putnam club to keep in mind the "Rotary WATCH." The word WATCH is an acronym, he explained.

The W in watch is for words. Watch what you say. "How often has a slip of the tongue damaged even the best of intentions?"

A is for actions. Actions speak louder than words -- an old but accurate saying.

T is for thoughts. "What in the world was I thinking?" And while we tell ourselves that our thoughts are private, they are a very real part of our metacognative makeup. What you think is a part of what you are. And negative thoughts tend to multiply.

Marshall always livens his talks with audience participation. He handed realtor Wanda Robertson a glass of lemonade. It tasted good, she responded as she took a sip.

"Now we'll add a bit of vinegar," said Papa Chet. And a few drops turned the bright yellow of the drink into a dull brown.

"You like vinegar, too," he said. "But just a bit of vinegar ruins the lemonade. Bad thoughts can do the same thing to your inner self."

C is for companions. "You are known by the company you keep."

And finally, says Marshall, H is for habits. Bad habits lead to other bad habits -- including associating with bad company, bad thoughts, bad actions and bad words.


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