What I Learned from Dolly Parton

Do good for the right reasons, not to serve your own ego. That’s what I learned from Dolly Parton. Okay, I did grow up with the same values as Dolly. I just wrote about that the other day. But her initiative to provide children with books, and the recent revelation that she quietly helped to fund a covid vaccine, remain inspiring.

“This will sound crazy, but when I was interviewing Dolly Parton, I almost felt like she had healing powers.”

Gene Siskel, quoted by Roger Ebert in “Dolly Parton: Gee, She’s So Nice” (December 7, 1980)

Her charitable work aside, that fact that she remains so humble and down-to-earth in spite of being an icon is amazing unto itself. I can absolutely picture her taking off the wig, the makeup, and jewelry, putting on ordinary clothes, and walking down the street unrecognized. Her husband has managed to stay out of the limelight for decades, allowing them to live a life of relative normalcy.

What I Learned from Dolly Parton

You can be ambitious, and you can be successful, but you ultimately need to be true to yourself. That fact that she seems to happy is attributable to the fact that she is so grateful. Her thankfulness for the opportunities she’s had are made manifest in her kindness and her charitable work. My wife Katie refers to her as an angel on Earth. I don’t think she’s far from wrong. I aspire to have my act together, and to be as generous, as Dolly.

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