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Wise Lessons for a Rich Life

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President, Rick Rigsby Communications

Former award-winning journalist

College Professor, Texas A&M University, named twice as an outstanding professor in the college of liberal arts

Motivational speaker

Frequent guest on TV and radio shows and a regular contributor to Fox Business News

Wife: Janet

4 children

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CORE LESSONS
Rick was 41 when his wife, Trina, passed away from a 6-year battle with breast cancer.  He had two young sons and was overcome with grief.  “Our lives as we knew them were over,” says Rick.  “There was no way to hide the harsh and sudden reality that she would never be with us again.  It’s hard to breathe within the space created by never.”  As he stood at his wife’s casket, Rick says he was not alone.  He and his sons were flanked by supportive family members, but one of them stood taller than the rest: his father, Roger Rigsby. “Dad was there during the worst times of my life and the best,” says Rick.  

Growing up, Rick says his father didn’t have many rules nor did he speak many words.  “But when he would repeat something daily, monthly or year after year, we figured it was important,” Rick says.  “I was so blessed to have the wisest man I ever met to be my father.”  

Some of the core lessons Rick learned were:

  1. Kind deeds are never lost. Increase kindness each week by saying thank you and please, allow someone to enter before you or purposefully smile at another. Once Rick’s dad loaned him a car for 2 years until Rick finished graduate school.  “That was a lesson that will last an eternity.”
  2. Always be early.  “I wish I had a dime for every time my dad said, “Son, you would rather be an hour early than a minute late,” says Rick.  This lesson has less to do with time and more to do with self-control and discipline.
  3. Help others.  The first Christmas after Trina died, Rick and his sons were not doing well.  For the first time, the tree wasn’t decorated.  One evening, friends stopped by and pulled out all the decorations and transformed their holiday gloom! Helping others forces you to move beyond yourself and restores value in our culture.
  4. Do a job and do it right! Rick says his father focused on excellence.  Whether a CEO, student or professional, Rick believes we can no longer afford to live a life devoid of excellence.  
  5. Character is what you do in the dark.  Rick says his father believed a man was not worth much if he could not be trusted to do the right thing at the right time in the right way.  Rick says character is absent from the landscape of American culture.  “Living a lifestyle of character means you are choosing right regardless of the cost, consequences and circumstances,” says Rick.
  6. Just stand.  Rick says his father taught him no matter what, sometimes you just have to hold firm knowing that you will get through whatever it is.  Rick says the worst day of his life was seeing his wife in a casket.  “I just wanted to give up,” says Rick.  “Right there, at my wife’s casket, 9/11/96, I made a choice to stand.”  

HELPING OTHERS
Rick says the casket broke him.  For 41 years, he made life all about him.  “I could hear God at the casket say, Do you trust Me?” says Rick.  “My answer was, ‘I don’t like you right now but yes, I trust You.”  Rick says he felt the Lord tell him, “I’m going to take your pain and show the world how great I am in the midst of pain.”  Today Rick, 63, says I realized my calling had always been to help others.  For months after her death, Rick says he was comforted by Psalm 46 and could only get out the first words: God is.  “This is what our hurting world needs to hear.  Our torn, racially-divided country needs to be reminded who God is.  Psalm 46 says God is our very present help.”

Roger grew up in a large family in Texas in the early part of the 20th century.  He was forced to leave elementary school to help work on the family farm.  “We need to convince our present generation to re-learn some timeless lesson,” says Rick.  “As we dust the age off of a few of these time-tested beliefs, we may find answer to many of today’s problems.”

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