Soul Food: Stories to Keep You Mentally Strong, Emotionally Awake, & Ethically Straight

Soul Food: Stories to Keep You Mentally Strong, Emotionally Awake, & Ethically Straight

by Dan Clark

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Soul Food: Stories to Keep You Mentally Strong, Emotionally Awake, & Ethically Straight by Dan Clark

Since the beginning, stories have been the primary tool used to pass down valuable lessons learned by the generations before us. These lessons help to guide us through challenges faced today. New York Times bestselling author Dan Clark has masterfully combined many of these life lessons into the pages of Soul Food: Stories to Keep You Mentally Strong, Emotionally Awake, and Ethically Straight.            

When asked if the stories are true, Clark writes, 'Yes. They are true to principles, they are true to heart, they are true to the soul.' Each one is written with a purpose—a lesson for those who are seeking to grow from their experiences, rather than falter through their pain. Soul Food fills readers with a steady diet of love, support, concern, and counsel. In this wonderfully crafted book, Clark touches upon the importance of understanding, self-worth, service, perspective, communication, commitment, and love, just to name a few.            

Whether through learning about a little girl who arrives home late from school because she stayed behind to help a friend cry, or an eighty-seven-year-old college student named Rose, each story will elicit a pause—a brief moment to reflect and to personalize the message conveyed. These stories will captivate readers' hearts and nourish their souls.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780757317262
Publisher: Health Communications, Incorporated
Publication date: 09/04/2012
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 264
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Dan Clark is a professional motivational speaker, author, university professor, and CEO of Clark Success Systems. He has authored twenty-one books, and has been inducted into the National Speaker Hall of Fame. He speaks to corporations, charities, universities, conventions, U.S. military academies, and to troops and their families. Clark has appeared on a number of television and radio shows, including The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Glenn Beck Program, and The Adam Corolla Show. To learn more visit

Read an Excerpt

Puppies for Sale

A store owner was tacking a sign above his door that read 'Puppies for Sale.' Signs like that have a way of attracting small children, and, sure enough, a little boy appeared under the store owner's sign.

'How much are you going to sell the puppies for?' he asked.

The store owner replied, 'Anywhere from thirty to fifty dollars.'

The little boy reached into his pocket and pulled out some change. 'I have two dollars and thirty-seven cents,' he said. 'Can I please look at them?'

The store owner smiled and whistled, and out of the kennel came Lady, who ran down the aisle of his store followed by five tiny balls of fur. One puppy was lagging considerably behind. Immediately, the little boy singled out the lagging, limping puppy and said, 'What's wrong with that little dog?'

The store owner explained that the veterinarian had examined the little puppy and had discovered it didn't have a hip socket. It would always limp. It would always be lame. The little boy became excited. 'That is the little puppy that I want to buy.'

The store owner said, 'No, you don't want to buy that little dog. If you really want him, I'll just give him to you.'

The little boy got upset. He looked straight into the store owner's eyes, pointed his finger, and said, 'I don't want you to just give him to me. That little dog is worth every bit as much as all the other dogs and I'll pay full price. In fact, I'll give you two dollars and thirty-seven cents now and fifty cents a month until I have him paid for.'

The store owner countered, 'You really don't want to buy this little dog. He is never going to be able to run and jump and play with you like the other puppies.'

To this, the little boy reached down and rolled up his pant leg to reveal a badly twisted, crippled left leg supported by a big metal brace. He looked up at the store owner and softly replied, 'Well, I don't run so well myself, and this little puppy will need someone who understands.'

Puppy Love

The young boy who had been wearing a steel brace on his left leg for the last four months walked through the front door of his home with a newly purchased puppy in his arms. The dog didn't have a hip socket, and it walked with a serious limp. The boy's selection of a physically challenged puppy intrigued his parents. The boy had been down-and-out, but with his new companion at his side, they sensed a newly revitalized spirit of hope and enthusiasm emerging from his soul.

The next day the young boy and his mom went to see a veterinarian to find out how he could best help his little dog. The doctor explained that if he stretched and massaged his puppy's leg every morning and then walked with him at least one mile per day, the muscles around his missing hip would eventually strengthen, and the puppy would have no pain and less of a limp.

Although the dog whimpered and barked out his discomfort, and the boy winced and hassled with his own leg brace, for the next two months, they religiously kept to their massage and walking rehabilitation regimen. By the third month, they were walking three miles every morning before school, and they were both walking without pain.

One Saturday morning as they returned from their workout, a cat leaped out of the bushes and startled the dog. Ripping the leash from the boy's grip, the dog darted into oncoming traffic. With a speeding truck only seconds away, the boy instinctively ran into the street, dove for his dog, and rolled into the gutter. He was too late. The dog was hit and was bleeding profusely from the mouth. As the boy lay there crying and hugging his dying dog, he noticed that his own leg brace had bent and popped loose. With no time to worry about himself, he sprang to his feet, picked up his dog, cuddled it close to him, and started for home. The dog quietly barked, giving him hope and turning the boy's jog into an all-out sprint.

His mother rushed him and his suffering pup to the pet hospital. As they anxiously waited to see if his dog would survive the surgery, he asked his mother why he could now walk and run.

'You had osteomyelitis, which is a disease of the bone,' she said. 'It weakened and crippled your leg, which caused you to limp in severe pain. Your brace was for support. It wasn't necessarily a permanent condition if you were willing to fight through the pain and hours of therapy. You responded well to the medication, but you always resisted our encouragement for physical therapy, and your father and I didn't know what to do. The doctors told us you were about to lose your leg. But then you brought home your special puppy. It was amazing how you looked at each other day after day and seemed to understand each other's needs. Ironically, as you were helping him, you were actually helping yourself to strengthen and grow. You obviously no longer need the support of a brace, and today you discovered it.'

Just then the operating room door slowly opened. Out walked the veterinarian with a smile on his face. 'Your dog is going to make it,' he said.

The boy learned that when you lose yourself, you find yourself. It is more blessed to give than to receive.

Always Look on the Bright Side

A father promised his son that if he practiced, all day he'd play baseball with him after work. The father arrived home, and they went into the backyard.

'Show me what you can do,' the father said. The little boy shuffled his feet, threw the ball up in the air, took a swing, and missed. 'Strike one,' said the dad.

The son repositioned his feet, threw the ball up again, took a second swing, and missed again. His father said, 'Strike two.'

More determined than ever, the kid dug in deeper, threw the ball higher, and took a third mighty swing. He missed again, spun completely around, and fell on the ground. His father said, 'Strike three, you're out. What do you think about that?'

The youngster stood up, brushed himself off, and said, 'Man, am I a good pitcher!'

©2012. Dan Clark. All rights reserved. Reprinted from Soul Food. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the written permission of the publisher. Publisher: Health Communications, Inc., 3201 SW 15th Street, Deerfield Beach, FL 33442

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xvii

Introduction 1


Puppies for Sale 4

Puppy Love 5

Always Look on the Bright Side 7

Broken Doll 8

What Goes Around Comes Around 9

The Circus 11

The Art Collection 13

The Thermodynamics of Hell 15

Light the Fire Within 17

Promises 21

A Swimmer's Glory 22

Making Memories 24

Attitude Is Everything 26


Jillene 30

It's What's on the Inside 33

Needed? 34

Do You Shun Competition? 36

Painful Prepatation 37

Discipline 39

Trials 40

Potential 41

Full Contact 44


Pay Attention 46

Miss America 48

The Magic in Us All 49

Cornerstones 50

Henry Aaron 52

Player of the Year 53

Absorb the Bumps 54

Be Above Average 56

Desire 57

Never Say Never 59

It's Not Whether You Win or Lose 62

Rose 64

The Last Game 66


The Bellman 68

He Who Travels the Road Best 72

Attention! 73

Free Enterprise 75

Land of Opportunity 78

King for a Day 80

He Gave It His All 82

Paying It Forward 85

Operation Smile 87

Locked Doors 90

Saved by the Book 91

From Slums to Judge 93

Why Should I? 94


The Law of Attraction 96

Be Not Weary 99

The Miracle of Casey 100

Forgive the Mistakes of Others 102

What Really Makes a Leader? 103

Pass It On 104

A Mother's Example 106

The Worth of a Soul 107


What Makes You An American? 112

You Can if You Think You Can 115

Shmily 118

Champions See the Goal 120

Illegitimi Non Carborundum 121

Questions and Answers 125


One Moment in Time 128

Rescue at Sea 129

Stride to Be Better 131

A Brother Like That 132

An Educational System 134

People Are Watching 136

Overcoming 139

Wild Man 140

Commitment 142


Attitude 146

Bamboo 147

Class 149

Elevator Gas 150

Get Yourself Right 151

Time Management 152

Just a Little Extra Effort 154

Together We Can Make It 156

See 157

Losing Your Marbles 159

Positive Thinking 161

The Wisdom of Youth 162

The Power of Imagination 163


Art Form 166

Everything I Needed to Learn in College, I Learned Outside of Class 167

Support 170

Milking the Message Out of Every Moment 171

A Brothers Song 172

Positive Discipline 174

Tree Talk 176

Letter from Camp 177

Bird Talk 179

Interpretation 180

Homeless Preacher 185

Ethical Forgiveness 186

Life Lessons

Mall Memories 190

Halftime Score 192

Piano Perfection 194

A Freshman's First Letter Home 195

The Way It Was and Still Should Be 196

The Spanish Lesson 198

A Father's Journey 200

The Littlest Screw 202

The Hot Tub Theory 203

Urgency 205

Keep Your Fork 208


What Do You See? 212

Friendship 215

The Wrong Foot 216

Musical Influence 217

Work for the Company 218


Tribute to Preparation 222

I Am the Greatest 225

True Nobility 228

Take It Personally 229

Born to Succeed 230

Handle with Care 231

Dream 233


To Thine Own Self Be True 236

One of the Few Good Men 239

Flying 243

Humanitarian Warriors 248

Homecoming 249

Killer Chick 251

Miracle Mission 255

Lyrical Poetry

Special Man 258

Real Man 259

U-2 Eternity 261

Unstoppable 263

Quiet Heroes 265

Parable of the Eagle 266

Clark's Credo 268

About the Author 269

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