“You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”

Will Rogers, humorist

I’m doing laundry today.

And I would like to show you some of my t-shirts and explain the message I want the world to see when I wear them. T-shirts got their start in the 1800s as part of work outfits and later military uniforms.

The t-shirt as we know it today with pictures and phrases started to catch on in the 1940s.

That brings us to shirt number one, green with a picture of the famous hobo clown, Emmett Kelly.

I’m hoping that when you see this character and how pitifully sad he looks, what ever your troubles are, in a strange way you’ll start to feel better. Mr. Kelly said, “By laughing at me, the audience really laughs at themselves, and realizing they have done this gives them sort of a spiritual second wind for going back into the battles of life.”

Now let’s pull another shirt out of the dryer. This one has Mickey Mouse on the front. I’m always inspired by the words of Mickey’s creator Walt Disney who said, “If you can dream it, you can do it.”

“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” So my question for you is, what kind of dreams do you have for your life? History books are full of people who have done what others have said was impossible. I encourage you to add your name to this list.

Here is a shirt with the name Rocky Marciano. He was the only Heavyweight Boxing Champion to retire from the sport undefeated, 49 and 0. 43 by way of knockout. I’m not encouraging you to become a prize fighter. What I am hoping you’ll do is develop the one trait, more than any other, that made Rocky champion. Tenacity, it means not giving up. A sports writer once said of Rocky, “A building could fall on him and he would still be swinging at you.” Pursue your dreams with that kind of passion.

Next we have a shirt with the words “This Shirt Saves Lives” next to a logo for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. They opened their doors in 1962. The place treats children from all over the world who are fighting cancer. And here is the good news, they do it free of charge. That’s right. No patient being treated at St. Jude ever gets a bill. The vision for this project came from entertainer Danny Thomas who said, “No child should die in the dawn of life.”

We have time for one more shirt. This one says “Hollywood” across the front. I am a big fan of the Muppets, especially Fozzie Bear. Their creator Jim Henson said, “Life is a movie, write your own ending.” So friends, what got you here doesn’t have to keep you here. Come up with a plan. Make sure you’re the one holding the pen. Now go to work and make your dreams come true.