Why Include Inspirational & Motivational Stories on Our Site?
Because… Homes, Houses & Property are About People.
Home is your Refuge and sometimes we just need reminding that ‘We are Enough!’
Enjoy these stories, images & quotes of inspiration. If you know of others, pretty please, tell us and we’ll share them as well.
Don’t Let Others Kill Your Dreams
One reason is the negative cynical attitudes of some other people. These people are not enemies, they are friends, even family members. If our friends are negative towards our dreams or aspirations – our friends can kill our dreams.
A man or woman of any age, gets excited about the possibility of a new job or a new idea. They see the opportunity to make money, do more meaningful work, rise to a personal challenge; revving up for its stimulating new prospect.
But then they tell their neighbour about if over the back fence one evening, they get a smirk, a laugh that says, “you can’t do that”, a foot-long list of all the problems and obstacles and fifty reasons why they will never make it and are better off to stay where they are.
Maybe this has happened to you.
Their enthusiasm disintegrates. They lose all their fire and self-confidence and begins to think of all the reasons why they can’t make it, instead of the reasons that they can. Friends can do more damage than a dozen enemies. Remember, the easiest thing to find on earth is someone to tell a person who has never made $50,000 a year, who knows all the reasons why you can’t make $100,000 or more.
If you have a dream, give it a chance to happen.
Don’t let your brother-in-law or your plumber or a guy in the next office, rob you of that faith in yourself that makes things happen. Don’t let the person who lives on the couch and watches T.V. every night to tell you how futile life is.
If you have that flame of a dream deep down inside you somewhere, do something about it and don’t let anyone else blow it out. Believe you can, and you will find you can.
Find some new friends, uplifting people to support you.
You will be surprised at how many good things can happen.
Living Life and Having Fun
A house becomes a home when you can write ‘I love you’ on the furniture. I can’t tell you how many countless hours that I have spent cleaning. I used to spend at least 8 hours every weekend making sure things were just perfect – ‘in case someone came over.’ Then I realized one day that no-one came over; they were all out living life and having fun!
Now, when people visit, I find no need to explain the condition of my home. They are more interested in hearing about the things I’ve been doing while I was away living life and having fun. If you haven’t quite figured this out as yet, please heed this advice.
Life is short, so enjoy it! Dust if you must, but wouldn’t it be better to paint a picture or write a letter, bake a cake or plant a seed, or even ponder the difference between want and need? Dust if you must, but there’s not much time, with rivers to swim and mountains to climb, music to hear and books to read, friends to cherish and life to lead. Dust if you must, but the worlds out there with the sun in your eyes, the wind in your hair, a flutter of snow, a shower of rain. This day will not come around again.
Dust if you must, but bear in mind, old age will come and it’s not kind. And when you go – and go you must, you, yourself will make more dust! It’s not what you gather, but what you scatter that tells what kind of life you have lived … and remember, a layer of dust protects the wood beneath it.
A Message by George Carlin (May 12, 1937 – June 22, 2008)
A Comedian of the 1970’s & 80’s wrote this after his wife died.
The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider Freeways , but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.
We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.
We have multiplied our possessions but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.
We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life. We’ve added years to life not life to years. We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbour. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We’ve done larger things, but not better things.
We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We’ve conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.
These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight or to just hit delete…
Remember; spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever.
Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.
Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn’t cost a cent.
Remember, to say, ‘I love you’ to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. An embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.
Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again.
Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.
AND ALWAYS REMEMBER:
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.
What Love Means to 4-8 year-old Kids …
A group of professional people posed this question to a group of 4 to 8 year-olds,
‘What does love mean?’
‘When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn’t bend over and paint her toenails anymore.
So my grandfather does it for her all the time , even when his hands got arthritis too.
Rebecca- age 8
‘When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different.
You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.’
Billy – age 4
‘Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne
and they go out and smell each other.’
Karl – age 5
‘Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries
without making them give you any of theirs.’
Chrissy – age 6
‘Love is what makes you smile when you’re tired.’
Terri – age 4
‘Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and
she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK.’
Danny – age 8
‘Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents
and just listen.’
Bobby – age 7
‘If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate. ‘
Nikka – age 6
‘Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt,
then he wears it every day’.
Noelle – age 7
‘Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still
friends even after they know each other so well.’
Tommy – age 6
‘During my piano recital, I was on a stage and I was scared.
I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling.
He was the only one doing that.
I wasn’t scared anymore.’
Cindy – age 8
‘My mommy loves me more than anybody.
You don’t see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night.’
Clare – age 6
‘Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken.’
‘Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and
still, says he is handsomer than Robert Redford.’
Chris – age 7
‘Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him
alone all day.’
Mary Ann – age 4
‘I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes
and has to go out and buy new ones.’
Lauren – age 4
‘When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little
stars come out of you.’ (what an image)
Karen – age 7
‘Love is when Mommy sees Daddy on the toilet
and she doesn’t think it’s gross’
Mark – age 6
‘You really shouldn’t say
‘I love you’ unless you mean it.
But if you mean it,
you should say it a lot. People forget.’
Jessica – age 8
And the final one:
A four-year-old child whose next door neighbour was an
elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife.
Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old
gentleman’s yard climbed onto his lap, and just sat there.
When his Mother asked what he had said to the neighbour, the little boy said,
‘Nothing, I just helped him cry’
The Corn Farmer
There was a farmer who grew excellent quality corn. Every year he won the award for the best-grown corn.
One year a newspaper reporter interviewed him and learned something interesting about how he grew it.
The reporter discovered that the farmer shared his seed corn with his neighbours. “How can you afford to share your best seed corn with your neighbours when they are entering corn in competition with yours each year?” the reporter asked.
“Why sir,” said the farmer, “Didn’t you know? The wind picks up pollen from the ripening corn and swirls it from field to field. If my neighbours grow inferior corn, cross-pollination will steadily degrade the quality of my corn. If I am to grow good corn, I must help my neighbours grow good corn.”
So is with our lives… Those who want to live meaningfully and well must help enrich the lives of others, for the value of a life is measured by the lives it touches.
And those who choose to be happy must help others find happiness, for the welfare of each, is bound up with the welfare of all…
-Call it the power of collectivity…
-Call it a principle of success…
-Call it a law of life.
The fact is, none of us truly wins until we all win!
The Train of Life
At birth, we boarded the train and met our parents, and we believe they will always travel on our side.
However, at some station our parents will step down from the train, leaving us on this journey alone.
As time goes by, other people will board the train and they will be significant.
i.e. our siblings, friends, children and even the love of your life.
Many will step down and leave a permanent vacuum.
Others will go so unnoticed and we don’t realize they vacated their seats.
This train ride will be full of joy, sorrow, fantasy, expectations, hellos, goodbyes, and farewells.
Success consists of having a good relationship with all passengers requiring that we give the best of ourselves.
The mystery to everyone is…
We do not know at which station we ourselves, will step down.
So, we must live in the best way, love, forgive, and offer the best of who we are.
It is important to do this because when the time comes for us to step down.
To leave our seat empty, we should leave behind beautiful memories for those who will continue to travel on the train of life.
I wish you a joyful journey on the train of life.
Reap success and give lots of love.
More importantly, thank God for the journey.
Be sure to thank those who are the passengers on your train.
The Two Wolves a Cherokee Legend
An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.
“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
Footprints in the Sand
One night I had a dream.
I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.
Across the sky flashed scenes from my life.
For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand,
one belonging to me, and the other to the Lord.
When the last scene of my life flashed before me,
I looked back at the footprints in the sand.
I noticed that many times along the path of my life
there was only one set of footprints.
I also noticed that it happened at the very lowest
and saddest times in my life.
This really bothered me
and I questioned the Lord about it:
“Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you,
you’d walk with me all the way.
But I have noticed that during the most
troublesome times in my life
there is only one set of footprints.
I don’t understand why
when I need you most you would leave me.”
The Lord replied:
“My precious child, I love you and would
never leave you.
During your times of trial and suffering,
when you see only one set of footprints, it was then
that I carried you.”
by Mary Stevenson
Dance Like Nobody Is Watching
We convince ourselves that life will be better after we get married, have a baby, then another. Then we are frustrated that the kids aren’t old enough and we’ll be more content when they are. After that, we’re frustrated that we have teenagers to deal with. We will certainly be happy when they are out of that stage. We tell ourselves that our life will be complete when our spouse gets his or her act together, when we get a nicer car, are able to go on a nice vacation, when we retire.
The truth is, there’s no better time to be happy than right now. If not now, when?
Your life will always be filled with challenges. It’s best to admit this to yourself and decide to be happy anyway. Alfred D Souza said, “For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin – real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last, it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.”
This perspective has helped me to see that there is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way. So, treasure every moment that you have. And treasure it more because you shared it with someone special, special enough to spend your time … and remember that time waits for no one…
So stop waiting until you finish school, until you go back to school, until you lose ten pounds, until you gain ten pounds, until you have kids, until your kids leave the house, until you start work, until you retire, until you get married, until you get divorced, until Friday night, until Sunday morning, until you get a new car or home, until your car or home is paid off, until spring, until summer, until fall, until winter, until you are off welfare, until the first or fifteenth, until your song comes on, until you’ve had a drink, until you’ve sobered up, until you die, until you are born again to decide that there is no better time than right now to be happy…
Happiness is a journey, not a destination.
Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all people. Speak your truth quietly and clearly and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser person than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your career, however humble, it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore, be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labours and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy.
Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep
Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream – and not make dreams your master,
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!
Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)
Most Important Words
The 10 most important words:
I won’t wait for others to take the first step.
The 9 most important words:
If it is to be, it’s up to me.
The 8 most important words:
If not me, who? If not now, when?
The 7 most important words:
Let me take a shot at it.
The 6 most important words:
I will not pass the buck.
The 5 most important words:
You can count on me.
The 4 most important words:
It IS my job!
The 3 most important words:
Just do it!
The 2 most important words:
The most important word:
Our Deepest Fear
Our Deepest Fear Is Not That We Are Inadequate,
Our Deepest Fear Is That We Are Powerful Beyond Measure.
It Is Our Light, Not Our Darkness That Most Frightens Us.
We Ask Ourselves, “Who Am I to Be Brilliant, Gorgeous, Talented and Fabulous?”
Actually, who are you not to be?
You Are a Child of God; Your Playing Small Doesn’t Serve the World.
There Is Nothing Enlightened About Shrinking So That Other People, Won’t Feel Insecure Around You.
We are all meant to shine as children do.
We Were Born to Make Manifest the Glory of God that is Within Us.
It’s Not Just in Some of Us, It’s in Everyone and as We Let Our Own Light Shine We Unconsciously Give Other People Permission to Do the Same.
As We Are Liberated from Our Own Fear, Our Presence Automatically Liberates Others.
From ‘A Return to Love’ (1992) by Marianne Williamson.
To laugh often and much;
to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;
to appreciate beauty;
to find the best in others;
to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived;
this is to have succeeded.”
A man found a cocoon of a butterfly. One day a small opening appeared. He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole. Then it seemed to make any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could and could go no farther.
The man decided to help the butterfly, so he took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily. But it had a swollen body and small shrivelled wings.
The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that at any moment the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time. Neither happened! In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shrivelled wings. It was never able to fly!
What the man in his kindness and haste did not understand, was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening, were nature’s way of forcing the fluid from the body of the butterfly into the wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.
Sometimes, struggles are exactly what we need in our life. If we were allowed to go through life without any obstacles, it would cripple us. We would not be as strong as what we could have been…and we would never fly.
There was once a stone-cutter who was dissatisfied with himself and with his position in life.
One day, he passed a wealthy merchant’s house and through the open gateway saw many fine possessions and important visitors.
“How powerful that merchant must be!” thought the stonecutter. He became very envious and wished that he could be like the merchant. Then he would no longer have to live the life of a mere stonecutter.
To his great surprise, he suddenly became the merchant, enjoying more luxuries and power than he had ever dreamed of, envied and detested by those less wealthy than himself. But soon a high official passed by, carried in a sedan chair, accompanied by attendants, and escorted by soldiers beating gongs. Everyone, no matter how wealthy, had to bow low before the procession.
“How powerful that official is!” he thought. “I wish that I could be a high official!”
Then he became the high official, carried everywhere in his embroidered sedan chair, feared and hated by the people all around, who had to bow down before him as he passed. It was a hot summer day, and the official felt very uncomfortable in the sticky sedan chair. He looked up at the sun. It shone proudly in the sky, unaffected by his presence.
“How powerful the sun is!” he thought. “
I wish that I could be the sun!”
Then he became the sun, shining fiercely down on everyone, scorching the fields, cursed by the farmers and labourers. But a huge black cloud moved between him and the earth so that his light could no longer shine on everything below.
“How powerful that storm cloud is!” he thought. “I wish that I could be a cloud!”
Then he became the cloud, flooding the fields and villages, shouted at by everyone. But soon he found that he was being pushed away by some great force, and realized that it was the wind.
“How powerful it is!” he thought. “I wish that I could be the wind!”
Then he became the wind, blowing tiles off the roofs of houses, uprooting trees, hated and feared by all below him. But after a while, he ran up against something that would not move, no matter how forcefully he blew against it — a huge, towering stone.
“How powerful that stone is!” he thought. “I wish that I could be a stone!”
Then he became the stone, more powerful than
anything else on earth.
But as he stood there, he heard the sound of a hammer pounding a chisel into the solid rock and felt himself being changed.
“What could be more powerful than I, the stone?” he thought.
He looked down and saw far below him the figure of a stonecutter.
Rules for Being Human
- You Will Receive a Body
You may like it or hate it, but it will be yours for the entire period this time around.
- You Will Learn Lessons
You are enrolled in a full-time informal school called Life. Each day in this school, you will have the opportunity to learn lessons – you may like the lesson or think them irrelevant and stupid.
- There Are No Mistakes, Only Lessons
There is a process of trial and error; experimentation. The ‘failed’ experiments are as much a part of the process as the experiment that ultimately ‘works’.
- A Lesson Is Repeated Until It Is Learned
A lesson will be presented to you in various forms until you have learned it. When you have learned it, you can go on to the next lesson.
- Learning Lessons Does Not End.
There is no part of Life that does not contain its lessons. If you are alive, there are lessons to be learned.
- ‘There’ Is No Better Than ‘here’.
When your ‘there’ has become a ‘here’, you will simply obtain another ‘there’ that will again look better than ‘here’.
- Others Are Merely Mirrors of You.
You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects something you love or hate about yourself.
- What You Make of Your Life Is Up to You.
You have all the tools and resources you need. What you do with them is up to you. The choice is yours.
- Your Answers Lie Inside You.
The answers to Life’s questions lie inside you. All you need do is look, listen and trust.
- You Will Forget All This.
- You Can Remember It Whenever You Want
Donkey in The Well
One day a farmer’s donkey fell down into a Well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided the donkey was old, and the Well, needed to be covered up anyway; it just wasn’t worth it to retrieve the donkey.
He invited all his neighbours to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone’s amazement, he quieted down.
A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well. He was astonished at what he saw. With each shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey did something amazing. He shook it off and took a step up.
As the farmer’s neighbours continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off!
Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a steppingstone. We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping, never giving up! Shake it off and take a step up.
Potatoes, Eggs, and Coffee Beans
Once upon a time a daughter complained to her father that her life was miserable and that she didn’t know how she was going to make it. She was tired of fighting and struggling all the time. It seemed just as one problem was solved, another one soon followed.
Her father, a chef, took her to the kitchen. He filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Once the three pots began to boil, he placed potatoes in one pot, eggs in the second pot, and ground coffee beans in the third pot.
He then let them sit and boil, without saying a word to his daughter. The daughter moaned and impatiently waited, wondering what he was doing.
After twenty minutes he turned off the burners. He took the potatoes out of the pot and placed them in a bowl. He pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl.
He then ladled the coffee out and placed it in a cup. Turning to her he asked. “Daughter, what do you see?”
“Potatoes, eggs, and coffee,” she hastily replied.
“Look closer,” he said, “and touch the potatoes.” She did and noted that they were soft. He then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, he asked her to sip the coffee. Its rich aroma brought a smile to her face.
“Father, what does this mean?” she asked.
He then explained that the potatoes, the eggs and coffee beans had each faced the same adversity– the boiling water.
However, each one reacted differently.
The potato went in strong, hard, and unrelenting, but in boiling water, it became soft and weak.
The egg was fragile, with the thin outer shell protecting its liquid interior until it was put in the boiling water. Then the inside of the egg became hard.
However, the ground coffee beans were unique. After they were exposed to the boiling water, they changed the water and created something new.
“Which are you,” he asked his daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a potato, an egg, or a coffee bean? “
Moral: In life, things happen around us, things happen to us, but the only thing that truly matters is what happens within us.
Which one are you?
A Dish of Ice Cream
In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less, a 10-year-old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and sat at a table. A waitress put a glass of water in front of him.
“How much is an ice cream sundae?”
“50 cents,” replied the waitress.
The little boy pulled his hand out of his pocket and studied a number of coins in it.
“How much is a dish of plain ice cream?” he inquired. Some people were now waiting for a table and the waitress was a bit impatient.
“35 cents,” she said brusquely.
The little boy again counted the coins. “I’ll have the plain ice cream,” he said.
The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on the table and walked away. The boy finished the ice cream, paid the cashier and departed.
When the waitress came back, she began wiping down the table and then swallowed hard at what she saw.
There, placed neatly beside the empty dish, were 15 cents – her tip.
Rocks, Pebbles, and Sand
At the beginning of a philosophy class at university, the professor stood with some innocuous looking items on his table – an empty mayonnaise jar, some rocks, some pebbles, and some sand. The college students looked on with interest, wondering what the professor was up to and unable to guess what the demonstration was going to be.
Without saying a word, the professor started putting the small rocks into the mayonnaise jar one by one. The students were puzzled, but the professor did not offer any explanation just yet. Once the rocks were up to the neck of the jar, the professor spoke for the first time that day. He asked the students if they thought the jar was full. The students unanimously agreed that it was.
The professor then picked up the pebbles on his table and slowly poured them into the jar. The small pebbles found their way in between the larger rocks. The professor then lightly shook the jar to allow the pebbles to settle in the open spaces in the jar. He then again asked the students if they thought the jar was full, and the students again agreed.
The students now knew what the professor would do next, but still did not understand why. The professor picked up the sand and poured it into the mayonnaise jar. The sand, as expected, filled up any remaining space in the jar. The professor for the last time asked his students if the jar was full, and the answer was again a resounding yes.
The professor then explained that the mayonnaise jar was an analogy for life. He likened the rocks to the most important things in life – good health, your spouse, your children – all the things that make life complete. He then compared the pebbles to things that make your life comfortable such as your job, your home, and your car. Finally, he explained the sand is the small stuff that doesn’t really matter.
Putting the sand in the jar first will leave no space for the rocks or the pebbles, the professor elucidated. Similarly, cluttering your life with the small stuff will leave no room for the big things that really count.
Pay attention to everything that is essential for a happy fulfilling life. Spend time with your children and spouse. Fixing the disposal and organizing that dinner party can wait. Holding a grudge against someone is not worth your while. Get your priorities right and differentiate between the rocks, the pebbles, and the sand.
The Butterfly and Cocoon
One day, a man saw a cocoon. He loved butterflies and had a craze for its wonderful combination of colours. In fact, he used to spend a lot of time around butterflies. He knew how a butterfly would struggle to transform from an ugly caterpillar into a beautiful one.
He saw a cocoon with a tiny opening. It meant that the butterfly was trying to make its way to enjoying its world. He decided to sit over and watch how the butterfly would come out of the cocoon. He was watching the butterfly struggling to break the shell for several hours. He spent almost more than 10 hours with the cocoon and the butterfly. The butterfly had been struggling very hard for hours to come out through the tiny opening. Unfortunately, even after continuous attempts for several hours, there was no progress. It seemed that the butterfly tried its best and could not give any more.
The man, who had a passion and love for butterflies decided to help the butterfly. He got a pair of scissors and tweaked the cocoon to make a larger opening for the butterfly and removed the remaining cocoon. The butterfly emerged without any struggle!
Unfortunately, the butterfly looked no longer beautiful and had a swollen body with small and withered wings.
The man was happy that he made the butterfly come out of the cocoon without any more struggles. He continued to watch the butterfly and he was quite eager to watch the butterfly fly with its beautiful wings.
He thought that at any time, the butterfly might expand the wings, shrink the body and the wings could support the body. Unfortunately, neither the wings expanded or enlarged nor the swollen body reduced.
Unfortunately, the butterfly just crawled around with withered wings and huge body. It was never able to fly all through its life.
Although the man did it with good intention, only going through the struggles the butterfly would have emerged like any other beautiful butterflies! The continuous effort from the butterfly to come out of its cocoon would let the fluid stored in the body convert into wings. Thus, the body would become lighter and smaller and the wings would be beautiful and large.
If we don’t want to undergo any struggle, we won’t be able to fly!
The Mother with One Eye
My mother had only one eye. When I was growing up, I hated her for it. I hated the uninvited attention it got me at school. I hated how the other children stared at her and looked away in disgust. My mother worked two jobs to provide for the family, but I was just embarrassed by her and didn’t want to be seen with her.
Every time my mother came to visit me at school, I wanted her to disappear. I felt a surge of hatred towards the woman who made me the laughing stock of the school. In a moment of extreme anger, I even once told my mother I wanted her to die. I was completely unconcerned about her feelings.
As I grew up, I did whatever was in my power to distance myself from my mother. I studied hard and got a job overseas so I wouldn’t have to meet her. I got married and started raising a family of my own. I got busy with my job and family and with providing a comfortable life for my beloved children. I didn’t even think about my mother anymore.
Out of the blue, my mother came to visit one day. Her one-eyed face scared my young children and they started crying. I was angry at my mother for showing up unannounced and I forbid her to ever return to my home and new family life. I yelled and screamed, but my mother quietly apologized and left without saying another word.
An invitation to a high school reunion took me back to my hometown after decades. I could not resist driving past my childhood home and stopping by the old shack. My neighbours told me my mother had passed away and left a letter for me.
“My dear child:
I must begin by apologizing for visiting your home unannounced and frightening your beautiful children. I am also deeply sorry that I was such an embarrassment and source of humiliation to you when you were growing up.
I have learned that you may be coming back to town for your reunion. I may no longer be there when you come, and I think it is time to tell you an incident that happened when you were a young child. You see, my dear child, you were involved in an accident and lost one eye. I was devastated at the thought of my beloved child growing up with only one eye. I wanted you to see the beautiful world in all its glory, so I gave you my eye.
My dear child, I always have and always will love you from the bottom of my heart. I have never regretted my decision to give you my eye, and I am at peace that I was able to give you the ability to enjoy a complete life.
Your loving mother.”
Ram received an automobile from his brother as a Birthday present.
One day when Ram came out of his office, he saw a street urchin was walking around the shiny new car, admiring it.
“Is this your car?” – He asked.
Ram nodded, “My brother presented me on my birthday.”
The boy was astounded. “You mean your brother gave it to you and it didn’t cost you nothing? Boy, I wish…” – He hesitated.
Of course, Ram knew what he was going to wish for. He was going to wish he had a brother like his brother but what the lad said jarred Ram all the way down to his heels.
“I wish,” the boy went on, “that I could be a brother like that.”
Ram looked at the boy in astonishment, and then impulsively he added, “Would you like to take a ride in my automobile?”
“Oh yes, I’d love that.”
After a short ride, the boy turned and with his eyes aglow, said, “Would you mind driving in front of my house?”
Ram smiled a little. He thought he knew what the lad wanted. He wanted to show his neighbours that he could ride home in a big automobile.
But Ram was wrong again.
“Will you stop where those two steps are?” The boy asked. He ran up the steps. Then in a little while Ram heard him coming back, but he was not coming fast. He was carrying his little crippled brother. He sat him down on the bottom step, then sort of squeezed up against him and pointed to the car.
“There he is, brother. Like I told you upstairs, his brother gave it to him and it didn’t cost him a penny. Someday I’m going to give you one just like it then you can see for yourself all the pretty things in the shop windows that I’ve been trying to tell you about.”
Ram got out and lifted the crippled boy to the front seat of his car. The shining-eyed older brother climbed in beside him and the three of them began a memorable ride.
When I got home that night as my wife served dinner, I held her hand and said, I’ve got something to tell you. She sat down and ate quietly. Again I observed the hurt in her eyes.
Suddenly I didn’t know how to open my mouth. But I had to let her know what I was thinking. I want a divorce. I raised the topic calmly.
She didn’t seem to be annoyed by my words, instead she asked me softly, why?
I avoided her question. This made her angry. She threw away the chopsticks and shouted at me, you are not a man! That night, we didn’t talk to each other. She was weeping. I knew she wanted to find out what had happened to our marriage. But I could hardly give her a satisfactory answer; she had lost my heart to Jane. I didn’t love her anymore. I just pitied her!
With a deep sense of guilt, I drafted a divorce agreement which stated that she could own our house, our car, and 30% stake of my company.
She glanced at it and then tore it into pieces. The woman who had spent ten years of her life with me had become a stranger. I felt sorry for her wasted time, resources and energy but I could not take back what I had said for I loved Jane so dearly. Finally, she cried loudly in front of me, which was what I had expected to see. To me her cry was actually a kind of release. The idea of divorce which had obsessed me for several weeks seemed to be firmer and clearer now.
The next day, I came back home very late and found her writing something at the table. I didn’t have supper but went straight to sleep and fell asleep very fast because I was tired after an eventful day with Jane.
When I woke up, she was still there at the table writing. I just did not care so I turned over and was asleep again.
In the morning she presented her divorce conditions: she didn’t want anything from me, but needed a month’s notice before the divorce. She requested that in that one month we both struggle to live as normal a life as possible. Her reasons were simple: our son had his exams in a month’s time and she didn’t want to disrupt him with our broken marriage.
This was agreeable to me. But she had something more, she asked me to recall how I had carried her into out bridal room on our wedding day.
She requested that every day for the month’s duration I carry her out of our bedroom to the front door every morning. I thought she was going crazy. Just to make our last days together bearable I accepted her odd request.
I told Jane about my wife’s divorce conditions. She laughed loudly and thought it was absurd. No matter what tricks she applies, she has to face the divorce, she said scornfully.
My wife and I hadn’t had anybody contact since my divorce intention was explicitly expressed. So when I carried her out on the first day, we both appeared clumsy. Our son clapped behind us, daddy is holding mommy in his arms. His words brought me a sense of pain. From the bedroom to the sitting room, then to the door, I walked over ten meters with her in my arms. She closed her eyes and said softly; don’t tell our son about the divorce. I nodded, feeling somewhat upset. I put her down outside the door. She went to wait for the bus to work. I drove alone to the office.
On the second day, both of us acted much more easily. She leaned on my chest. I could smell the fragrance of her blouse. I realized that I hadn’t looked at this woman carefully for a long time. I realized she was not young any more. There were fine wrinkles on her face, her hair was greying! Our marriage had taken its toll on her. For a minute I wondered what I had done to her.
On the fourth day, when I lifted her up, I felt a sense of intimacy returning. This was the woman who had given ten years of her life to me.
On the fifth and sixth day, I realized that our sense of intimacy was growing again. I didn’t tell Jane about this. It became easier to carry her as the month slipped by. Perhaps the everyday workout made me stronger.
She was choosing what to wear one morning. She tried on quite a few dresses but could not find a suitable one. Then she sighed, all my dresses have grown bigger. I suddenly realized that she had grown so thin, that was the reason why I could carry her more easily.
Suddenly it hit me… she had buried so much pain and bitterness in her heart. Subconsciously I reached out and touched her head.
Our son came in at the moment and said, Dad, it’s time to carry mom out. To him, seeing his father carrying his mother out had become an essential part of his life. My wife gestured to our son to come closer and hugged him tightly. I turned my face away because I was afraid I might change my mind at this last minute. I then held her in my arms, walking from the bedroom, through the sitting room, to the hallway. Her hand surrounded my neck softly and naturally. I held her body tightly; it was just like our wedding day.
But her much lighter weight made me sad. On the last day, when I held her in my arms I could hardly move a step. Our son had gone to school. I held her tightly and said, I hadn’t noticed that our life lacked intimacy.
I drove to office… jumped out of the car swiftly without locking the door. I was afraid any delay would make me change my mind… I walked upstairs. Jane opened the door and I said to her, Sorry, Jane, I do not want the divorce anymore.
She looked at me, astonished, and then touched my forehead. Do you have a fever? She said. I moved her hand off my head. Sorry, Jane, I said, I won’t divorce. My marriage life was boring probably because she and I didn’t value the details of our lives, not because we didn’t love each other anymore. Now I realize that since I carried her into my home on our wedding day I am supposed to hold her until death do us apart.
Jane seemed to suddenly wake up. She gave me a loud slap and then slammed the door and burst into tears. I walked downstairs and drove away.
At the floral shop on the way, I ordered a bouquet of flowers for my wife. The salesgirl asked me what to write on the card. I smiled and wrote, I’ll carry you out every morning until death do us apart.
That evening I arrived home, flowers in my hands, a smile on my face, I run upstairs, only to find my wife in the bed – dead.
My wife had been fighting cancer for months and I was so busy with Jane to even notice. She knew that she would die soon and she wanted to save me from the whatever negative reaction from our son, in case we push thru with the divorce – At least, in the eyes of our son – I’m a loving husband…
The small details of your lives are what really matter in a relationship.
It is not the mansion, the car, property, the money in the bank. These create an environment conducive for happiness but cannot give happiness in themselves. So find time to be your spouse’s friend and do those little things for each other that build intimacy. Do have a real, happy marriage?
The Tale of Two Pebbles
Many years ago in a small Indian village, a farmer had the misfortune of owing a large sum of money to a village moneylender. The moneylender, who was old and ugly, fancied the farmer’s beautiful daughter. So he proposed a bargain. He said he would forgo the farmer’s debt if he could marry his daughter.
Both the farmer and his daughter were horrified by the proposal. So the cunning money-lender suggested that they let providence decide the matter. He told them that he would put a black pebble and a white pebble into an empty money bag. Then the girl would have to pick one pebble from the bag.
If she picked the black pebble, she would become his wife and her father’s debt would be forgiven. If she picked the white pebble she need not marry him and her father’s debt would still be forgiven. If she refused to pick a pebble, her father would be thrown into jail.
They were standing on a pebble strewn path in the farmer’s field. As they talked, the moneylender bent over to pick up two pebbles. As he picked them up, the sharp-eyed girl noticed that he had picked up two black pebbles and put them into the bag. He then asked the girl to pick a pebble from the bag.
Now, imagine that you were standing in the field. What would you have done if you were the girl? If you had to advise her, what would you have told her?
Take a moment to ponder this. What would you recommend that the girl do?
The girl put her hand into the moneybag and drew out a pebble. Without looking at it, she fumbled and let it fall onto the pebble-strewn path where it immediately became lost among all the other pebbles.
“Oh, how clumsy of me!” she said. “But never mind, if you look into the bag for the one that is left, you will be able to tell which pebble I picked.”
The moneylender dared not admit his dishonesty. The girl changed what seemed an impossible situation into an extremely advantageous one.
By Edward de Bono
Most problems do have a solution, sometimes we just need to think in a different way.
Soar Like an Eagle
Did you know that an eagle knows when a storm is approaching long before it breaks?
The eagle will fly to some high spot and wait for the winds to come.
When the storm hits, it sets its wings so that the wind will pick it up and lift it above the storm. While the storm rages below, the eagle is soaring above it.
The eagle does not escape the storm. It simply uses the storm to lift it higher. It rises on the winds that bring the storm.
To pay for his education, a poor boy used to sell goods from door to door. One day, the young boy found he was really hungry but had no money to buy any food. He decided to ask for something to eat when he knocked on the front door of the next house.
A beautiful young woman opened the door, and the boy lost his nerve. He simply asked for a drink of water, too embarrassed to ask for food. The young woman brought him a glass of milk instead, which the boy greedily drank.
The boy asked her how much he owed, but she simply smiled and said her mother had taught her to be kind to others and never expect anything in return. The young boy left the woman’s home with a full tummy and a heart full of renewed strength to push on with his education and continue working hard. Just when he was ready to quit, the woman had instilled in him newfound faith and fortitude.
Years later, in a big city, renowned surgeon Dr. Howard Kelly was called to consult on a woman who was suffering from a rare disease. When the woman told him the name of the small town where she lived, Dr. Kelly felt a faint memory arise in his mind, and then suddenly recognition dawned on him. She was the woman who had given him the glass of milk many years ago.
The doctor went on to provide the woman with the very best care and made sure she received special attention. In fact, it was his skills as a doctor that saved her life. After a long and difficult hospitalization, the woman was finally ready for discharge home. The woman was worried it would take her years to settle her account with the hospital. Her serious illness and long hospital stay had produced a substantial bill. However, when she received the bill, she found that Dr. Kelly had paid the entire bill himself and written a small note for her.
The note simply stated: Paid in full with a glass of milk.
Life Is a Gift
Today before you think of saying an unkind word–
think of someone who can’t speak.
Before you complain about the taste of your food–
think of someone who has nothing to eat.
Before you complain about your husband or wife–
think of someone who is crying out to God for a companion.
Today before you complain about life–
think of someone who went too early to heaven.
Before you complain about your children–
think of someone who desires children but they’re barren.
Before you argue about your dirty house, someone didn’t clean or sweep–
think of the people who are living in the streets.
Before whining about the distance you drive–
think of someone who walks the same distance with their feet.
And when you are tired and complain about your job–
think of the unemployed, the disabled and those who wished they had your job.
But before you think of pointing the finger or condemning another–
remember that not one of us are without sin and we all answer to one maker.
And when depressing thoughts seem to get you down–
put a smile on your face and thank God you’re alive and still around.
Life is a gift – Live it. Enjoy it. Celebrate it & Fulfil it.
There Was a Boy, Whose Family Was Very Wealthy
There was a boy, whose family was very wealthy. One day his father took him on a trip to the country, where he aimed to show his son, how poor people live. So they arrived to a farm of a very poor family, as he considered. They spent there several days. On their return, the father asked his son, did he like the trip.
“Oh, it was great, dad” – the boy replied. “Did you notice how poor people live?” “Yeah, I did “- said the boy. The father asked his son to tell in more details about his impressions from their trip.
“Well, we have only one dog, and they have four of them. In our garden there is a pool, while they have a river that has no end. We‘ve got expensive lanterns, but they have stars above their heads at night. We have the patio, and they have the whole horizon. We have only a small piece of land, while they have the endless fields. We buy food, but they grow it. We have high fence for protection of our property and they don‘t need it as their friends protect them.”
The father was stunned. He could not say a word.
Then the boy added: „Thank you, dad, for letting me see how poor we are.”
This story shows that the true wealth as well as happiness is not measured by materials things. Love, friendship and freedom are far more valuable.
Boy Giving Blood
There was a story of a little girl named Liza who was suffering from a disease and needed blood from her five-year-old brother, who had miraculously survived the same disease and had developed the antibodies needed to combat the illness. The doctor explained the situation to her little brother, and asked the boy if he would be willing to give his blood to his sister. I saw him hesitate for only a moment before taking a deep breath and saying,
“Yes, I’ll do it if it will save Liza.”
As the transfusion progressed, he lay in bed next to his sister and smiled, as we all did, seeing the colour returning to her cheeks. Then his face grew pale and his smile faded. He looked up at the doctor and asked with a trembling voice, “Will I start to die right away?” Being young, the boy had misunderstood the doctor; he thought he was going to have to give her all his blood.
The Smell of Rain
A cold March wind danced around the dead of night in Dallas as the Doctor walked into the small hospital room of Diana Blessing. Still groggy from surgery, her husband David held her hand as they braced themselves for the latest news. That afternoon of March 10,1991, complications had forced Diana, only 24 weeks pregnant, to Danae Lu Blessing.
At 12 inches long and weighing only one pound and nine ounces, they already knew she was perilously premature. Still, the doctor’s soft words dropped like bombs. I don’t think she’s going to make it, he said, as kindly as he could. “There’s only a 10 percent chance she will live through the night, and even then, if by some slim chance she does make it, her future could be a very cruel one.” Numb with disbelief, David and Diana listened as the doctor described the devastating problems Danae would likely face if she survived. She would never walk, she would never talk, she would probably be blind, and she would certainly be prone to other catastrophic conditions from cerebral palsy to complete mental retardation, and on and on. “No! No!” was all Diana could say. She and David, with their 5-year-old son Dustin, had long dreamed of the day they would have a daughter to become a family of four. Now, within a matter of hours, that dream was slipping away.
Through the dark hours of morning as Danae held onto life by the thinnest thread, Diana slipped in and out of sleep, growing more and more determined that their tiny daughter would live, and live to be a healthy, happy young girl. But David, fully awake and listening to additional dire details of their daughter’s chances of ever leaving the hospital alive, much less healthy, knew he must confront his wife with the inevitable. David walked in and said that we needed to talk about making funeral arrangements. Diana remembers, ‘I felt so bad for him because he was doing everything, trying to include me in what was going on, but I just wouldn’t listen, I couldn’t listen. I said, “No, that is not going to happen, no way! I don’t care what the doctors say; Danae is not going to die! One day she will be just fine, and she will be coming home with us!”
As if willed to live by Diana’s determination, Danae clung to life hour after hour, with the help of every medical machine and marvel her miniature body could endure. But as those first days passed, a new agony set in for David and Diana. Because Danae’s under-developed nervous system was essentially raw, the lightest kiss or caress only intensified her discomfort, so they couldn’t even cradle their tiny baby girl against their chests to offer the strength of their love. All they could do, as Danae struggled alone beneath the ultraviolet light in the tangle of tubes and wires, was to pray that God would stay close to their precious little girl. There was never a moment when Danae suddenly grew stronger.
But as the weeks went by, she did slowly gain an ounce of weight here and an ounce of strength there. At last, when Danae turned two months old, her parents were able to hold her in their arms for the very first time. And two months later-though doctors continued to gently but grimly warn that her chances of surviving, much less living any kind of normal life, were next to zero. Danae went home from the hospital, just as her mother had predicted.
Today, five years later, Danae is a petite but feisty young girl with glittering grey eyes and an unquenchable zest for life. She shows no signs, what so ever, of any mental or physical impairment. Simply, she is everything a little girl can be and more-but that happy ending is far from the end of her story.
One blistering afternoon in the summer of 1996 near her home in Irving, Texas, Danae was sitting in her mother’s lap in the bleachers of a local ballpark where her brother Dustin’s baseball team was practicing. As always, Danae was chattering non-stop with her mother and several other adults sitting nearby when she suddenly fell silent. Hugging her arms across her chest, Danae asked, “Do you smell that?” Smelling the air and detecting the approach of a thunderstorm, Diana replied, “Yes, it smells like rain.” Danae closed her eyes and again asked, “Do you smell that?” Once again, her mother replied, “Yes, I think we’re about to get wet, it smells like rain. Still caught in the moment, Danae shook her head, patted her thin shoulders with her small hands and loudly announced, “No, it smells like Him. It smells like God when you lay your head on His chest.” Tears blurred Diana’s eyes as Danae then happily hopped down to play with the other children.
Before the rains came, her daughter’s words confirmed what Diana and all the members of the extended Blessing family had known, at least in their hearts, all along. During those long days and nights of her first two months of her life, when her nerves were too sensitive for them to touch her, God was holding Danae on His chest and it is His loving scent that she remembers so well.
Nails in a Fence
There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the fence. The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily, gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.
Finally, the day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper. The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone.
The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He said “you have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one.” You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. It won’t matter how many times you say I’m sorry, the wound is still there. Make sure you control your temper the next time you are tempted to say something you will regret later.
A Golden Box
Some time ago, a man punished his 3-year-old daughter for wasting a roll of gold wrapping paper. Money was tight and he became infuriated when the child tried to decorate a box to put under the Christmas tree.
Nevertheless, the little girl brought the gift to her father the next morning and said, “This is for you, Daddy.” He was embarrassed by his earlier overreaction, but his anger flared again when he found the box was empty.
He yelled at her, “Don’t you know that when you give someone a present, there’s supposed to be something inside it?”
The little girl looked up at him with tears in her eyes and said. “Oh, Daddy, it is not empty. I blew kisses into the box. All for you, Daddy.”
The father was crushed. He put his arms around his little girl, and he begged for her forgiveness.
It is told that the man kept that gold box by his bed for years and whenever he was discouraged, he would take out an imaginary kiss and remember the love of the child who had put it there.
The Star Fish Story
Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work.
One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so, he walked faster to catch up.
As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The young man was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects, and throwing them into the ocean.
He came closer still and called out ‘Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?’
The young man paused, looked up, and replied ‘Throwing starfish into the ocean.’
‘I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?’ asked the somewhat startled wise man.
To this, the young man replied, ‘The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them in, they’ll die.’
Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, ‘But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can’t possibly make a difference!’
At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said, ‘It made a difference for that one.’
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 by the store owner’s sign. “How much are you going to sell the puppies for?” he asked. The store owner replied, “Anywhere from $30-$50.”
The little boy reached in his pocket and pulled out some change. “I have $2.37,” he said. “May I please look at them?” The store owner smiled and whistled, out of the kennel came Lady, who ran down the aisle of his store followed by five teeny, 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 quite upset. He looked into the store owner’s eyes, pointing his finger, and said, “I don’t want you to give him to me. That dog is worth every bit as much as all the other dogs and I’ll pay full price. In fact, I’ll give you $2.37 now, and 50 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 good myself, and the little puppy will need someone who understands!”
I Packed Your Parachute!
Charles Plumb was a US Navy jet pilot in Vietnam. After 75 combat missions, his plane was destroyed by a surface-to-air missile. Plumb ejected and parachuted into enemy hands. He was captured and spent 6 years in a communist Vietnamese prison. He survived the ordeal and now lectures on lessons learned from that experience!
One day, when Plumb and his wife were sitting in a restaurant, a man at another table came up and said, ‘ You’re Plumb! You flew jet fighters in Vietnam from the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk. You were shot down! ‘How in the world did you know that?’ asked Plumb. ‘I packed your parachute,’ the man replied. Plumb gasped in surprise and gratitude. The man pumped his hand and said, ‘I guess it worked!’ Plumb assured him, ‘It sure did. If your chute hadn’t worked, I wouldn’t be here today.’
Plumb couldn’t sleep that night, thinking about that man. Plumb says, ‘I kept wondering what he had looked like in a Navy uniform: a white hat; a bib in the back; and bell-bottom trousers. I wonder how many times I might have seen him and not even said ‘Good morning, how are you?’ or anything because, you see, I was a fighter pilot and he was just a sailor.’
Plumb thought of the many hours the sailor had spent at a long wooden table in the bowels of the ship, carefully weaving the shrouds and folding the silks of each chute, holding in his hands each time the fate of someone he didn’t know.
Now, Plumb, asks his audience, ‘Who’s packing your parachute?’ Everyone has someone who provides what they need to make it through the day. He also points out that he needed many kinds of parachutes when his plane was shot down over enemy territory – he needed his physical parachute, his mental parachute, his emotional parachute, and his spiritual parachute. He called on all these supports before reaching safety.
Sometimes in the daily challenges that life gives us, we miss what is really important. We may fail to say hello, please, or thank you, congratulate someone on something wonderful that has happened to them, give a compliment, or just do something nice for no reason. As you go through this week, this month, this year, recognise people who pack your parachutes.
I am sending you this as my way of thanking you for your part in packing my parachute. And I hope you will send it on to those who have helped pack yours! Sometimes, we wonder why friends keep forwarding jokes to us without writing a word. Maybe this could explain it! When you are very busy, but still want to keep in touch, guess what you do – you forward jokes.
And to let you know that you are still remembered, you are still important, you are still loved, you are still cared for, guess what you get? A forwarded joke. So my friend, next time when you get a joke, don’t think that you’ve been sent just another forwarded joke, but that you’ve been thought of today and your friend on the other end of your computer wanted to send you a smile, just helping you pack your parachute.
If You Think You Can
‘If you think you can do a thing, or you think you can’t do a thing, you’re always right.’
If you think you are beaten, you are.
If you think you dare not, you don’t.
If you’d like to win but you think you can’t, it’s almost a cinch you won’t.
For out in the world you’ll find success begins with a persons will.
It’s all in the state of Mind.
Think big, and your deeds will grow;
Think small and you fall behind.
Think that you can, and you will.
It’s all in your state of mind.
If you think you are outclassed, you are.
You’ve got to think high to rise.
You’ve got to be sure of yourself before you can ever win a prize.
Life’s battle doesn’t always go to the stronger or faster one;
But sooner or later, the one who wins is the person who thinks they can.
Give Time to Your Family
After 21 years of marriage, my wife wanted me to take another woman out to dinner and a movie. She said, “I love you, but I know this other woman loves you and would love to spend some time with you.”
The other woman that my wife wanted me to visit was my MOTHER, who has been a widow for 19 years, but the demands of my work and my three children had made it possible to visit her only occasionally. That night I called to invite her to go out for dinner and a movie. “What’s wrong, are you well?” she asked.
My mother is the type of woman who suspects that a late night call or a surprise invitation is a sign of bad news. “I thought that it would be pleasant to spend some time with you,” I responded. “Just the two of us.” She thought about it for a moment, and then said, “I would like that very much.”
That Friday after work, as I drove over to pick her up I was a bit nervous. When I arrived at her house, I noticed that she, too, seemed to be nervous about our date. She waited in the door with her coat on. She had curled her hair and was wearing the dress that she had worn to celebrate her last wedding anniversary. She smiled from a face that was as radiant as an angel’s. “I told my friends that I was going to go out with my son, and they were impressed, “she said, as she got into the car. “They can’t wait to hear about our meeting.”
We went to a restaurant that, although not elegant, was very nice and cosy. My mother took my arm as if she were the First Lady. After we sat down, I had to read the menu. Her eyes could only read large print. Half way through the entries, I lifted my eyes and saw Mom sitting there staring at me. A nostalgic smile was on her lips. “It was I who used to have to read the menu when you were small,” she said. “Then it’s time that you relax and let me return the favour,” I responded. During the dinner, we had an agreeable conversation – nothing extraordinary but catching up on recent events of each other’s life. We talked so much that we missed the movie. As we arrived at her house later, she said, “I’ll go out with you again, but only if you let me invite you.” I agreed.
“How was your dinner date?” asked my wife when I got home. “Very nice. Much more so than I could have imagined,” I answered.
A few days later, my mother died of a massive heart attack. It happened so suddenly that I didn’t have a chance to do anything for her. Sometime later, I received an envelope with a copy of a restaurant receipt from the same place mother and I had dined. An attached note said: “I paid this bill in advance. I wasn’t sure that I could be there; but nevertheless, I paid for two plates – one for you and the other for your wife. You will never know what that night meant for me. I love you, son.”
At that moment, I understood the importance of saying in time: “I LOVE YOU” and to give our loved ones the time that they deserve. Nothing in life is more important than your family. Give them the time they deserve, because these things cannot be put off till “some other time.”
Priceless Gifts You Can Give
THE GIFT OF LISTENING
No interrupting, no daydreaming, no planning your responses. Just listen.
THE GIFT OF AFFECTION
Be generous with appropriate hugs, kisses, pats on the back, and hand holding.
THE GIFT OF LAUGHTER
Share articles, positive news, funny stories, and cartoons to tell someone, ‘I love to laugh with you.’
THE GIFT OF A COMPLIMENT
A simple and sincere ‘You look great in red,’ ‘You did a super job,’ or ‘That was a wonderful meal’ can make someone’s day.
THE GIFT OF SOLITUDE
Be sensitive to the times when others want nothing more than to be left alone.
THE GIFT OF A CHEERFUL DISPOSITION
The easiest way to feel good is to extend a kind word to someone, even if it’s just saying hello or thank you.
THE GIFT OF FRIENDSHIP
Without friends, life would hardly be worth living, let your friends know just how much they mean to you today.
THE GIFT OF YOUR SMILE
A simple smile breaks all the barriers of language and culture. Smile and the world smiles with you!
A Man and His Dog
A man and his dog were walking along a road. The man was enjoying the scenery, when it suddenly occurred to him that he was dead. He remembered dying, and that the dog walking beside him had been dead for years. He wondered where the road was leading them.
After a while, they came to a high, white stone wall along one side of the road. It looked like fine marble. At the top of a long hill it was broken by a tall arch that glowed in the sunlight. When he was standing before it he saw a magnificent gate in the arch that looked like mother of pearl, and the street that led to the gate looked like pure gold.
He and the dog walked towards the gate, and as he got closer, he saw a man at a desk to one side. When he was close enough, he called out, ‘Excuse me, where are we?’
‘This is Heaven, sir,’ the man answered.
‘Wow! Would you happen to have some water?’ the man asked. ‘Of course, sir. Come right in and I’ll have some ice water brought right up.’ The man gestured, and the gate began to open. ‘Can my friend,’ gesturing toward his dog, ‘come in, too?’ the traveller asked.
‘I’m sorry, sir, but we don’t accept pets.’ The man thought a moment and then turned back toward the road and continued the way he had been going with his dog.
After another long walk, and at the top of another long hill, he came to a dirt road, which led through a farm gate that looked as if it had never been closed. There was no fence and as he approached the gate, he saw a man inside, leaning against a tree, reading a book.
‘Excuse me!’ he called to the reader. ‘Do you have any water?’
‘Yeah, sure, there’s a pump over there.’ The man pointed to a place that couldn’t be seen from outside the gate. ‘Come on in.’
‘How about my friend here?’ the traveller gestured to the dog. ‘There should be a bowl by the pump’ replied the man. They went through the gate, and sure enough, there was an old-fashioned hand pump with a bowl beside it.
The traveller filled the bowl, then he gave it to the dog and took a long drink himself. When they had quenched their thirst, he and the dog walked back toward the man who was standing by the tree waiting for them.
‘What do you call this place?’ the traveller asked. ‘This is Heaven,’ he answered.
‘Well, that’s confusing,’ the traveller said.’ The man down the road said that was Heaven, too.’
‘Oh, you mean the place with the gold street and pearly gates? Nope, that’s Hell.’
‘Doesn’t it make you mad for them to use your name like that?’ replied the traveller.
‘No! I can see how you might think so, but we’re just happy that they screen out the folks who’ll leave their best friends behind.’
The Cookie Thief
A woman was waiting at an airport one night, with several long hours before her flight. She hunted for a book in the airport shops, bought a bag of cookies and found a place to drop.
She was engrossed in her book but happened to see, that the man sitting beside her, as bold as could be. . .grabbed a cookie or two from the bag in between, which she tried to ignore to avoid a scene.
So she munched the cookies and watched the clock, as the gutsy cookie thief diminished her stock. She was getting more irritated as the minutes ticked by, thinking, “If I wasn’t so nice, I would blacken his eye.”
With each cookie she took, he took one too, when only one was left, she wondered what he would do. With a smile on his face, and a nervous laugh, he took the last cookie and broke it in half.
He offered her half, as he ate the other, she snatched it from him and thought… Oooh, brother. This guy has some nerve and he’s also rude, why he didn’t even show any gratitude!
She had never known when she had been so galled, and sighed with relief when her flight was called. She gathered her belongings and headed to the gate, refusing to look back at the thieving ingrate.
She boarded the plane, and sank in her seat, then she sought her book, which was almost complete. As she reached in her baggage, she gasped with surprise, there was her bag of cookies, in front of her eyes.
I Have Learned…
that you cannot make someone love you. All you can do is be someone who can be loved. The rest is up to them.
that no matter how much I care, some people just don’t care back.
that it takes years to build up trust, and only seconds to destroy it.
that no matter how good a friend is, they’re going to hurt you every once in a while, and you must forgive them for that.
that it’s not what you have in your life but who you have in your life that counts.
that you should never ruin an apology with an excuse.
that you can get by on charm for about fifteen minutes. After that, you’d better know something.
that you shouldn’t compare yourself to the best others can do.
that you can do something in an instant that will give you heartache for life.
that it’s taking me a long time to become the person I want to be.
that you should always leave loved ones with loving words. It may be the last time you see them.
that you can keep going long after you can’t.
that we are responsible for what we do, no matter how we feel.
that either you control your attitude or it controls you.
that regardless of how hot and steamy a relationship is at first, the passion fades and there had better be something else to take its place.
that heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.
that money is a lousy way of keeping score.
that my best friend and I can do anything or nothing and have the best time.
that sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you’re down will be the ones to help you get back up.
that sometimes when I’m angry I have the right to be angry, but that doesn’t give me the right to be cruel.
that true friendship continues to grow, even over the longest distance. Same goes for true love.
that just because someone doesn’t love you the way you want them to doesn’t mean they don’t love you with all they have.
that maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you’ve had and what you’ve learned from them and less to do with how many birthdays you’ve celebrated.
that you should never tell a child their dreams are unlikely or outlandish. Few things are more humiliating, and what a tragedy it would be if they believed it.
that your family won’t always be there for you. It may seem funny, but people you aren’t related to can take care of you and love you and teach you to trust people again. Families aren’t biological.
that it isn’t always enough to be forgiven by others. Sometimes you are to learn to forgive yourself.
that no matter how bad your heart is broken the world doesn’t stop for your grief.
that our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.
that a rich person is not the one who has the most, but is one who needs the least.
that just because two people argue, it doesn’t mean they don’t love each other. And just because they don’t argue, it doesn’t mean they do.
that we don’t have to change friends if we understand that friends change.
that you shouldn’t be so eager to find out a secret. It could change your life forever.
that two people can look at the exact same thing and see something totally different.
that no matter how you try to protect your children, they will eventually get hurt and you will hurt in the process.
that even when you think you have no more to give, when a friend cries out to you, you will find the strength to help.
that credentials on the wall do not make you a decent human being.
that the people you care about most in life are taken from you too soon.
that it’s hard to determine where to draw the line between being nice and not hurting people’s feelings, and standing up for what you believe.
that people will forget what you said, and people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
By Omer B. Washington
The Trouble Tree
A carpenter I hired to help me restore an old farm house has just finished a rough day on the job. A flat tyre made him lose an hour of work, his electric saw quit and now his ancient truck refused to start. While I drove him home, he sat in stony silence. On arriving, he invited me in to meet his family.
As we walked toward the front door, he paused briefly at a small tree, touching the tips of the branches with both hands.
When opening the door, he underwent an amazing transformation. His tanned face was wreathed in smiles and he hugged his two small children and gave his wife a kiss. Afterward he walked me to the car. We passed the tree and my curiosity got the better of me so I asked him about what I had seen him do earlier.
‘Oh, that’s my trouble tree,’ he replied. ‘I know I can’t help having troubles on the job, but one thing for sure, troubles don’t belong at home with my wife and the children. So I just hang them up on the tree every night when I come home. Then in the morning I pick them up again.’
‘Funny thing is,’ he smiled, ‘when I come out in the morning to pick them up, there aren’t nearly as many as I remember hanging up the night before.’
The Wit and Wisdom of Dogs
Quotes that say it all our four legged friends
The reason a dog has so many friends is that he wags his tail instead of his tongue
Don’t accept your dog’s admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful
If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went
There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face
A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself
The average dog is a nicer person than the average person
We give dogs time we can spare, space we can spare and love we can spare. In return, dogs give us their all. It’s the best deal man has ever made
If I have any beliefs about immortality, it is that certain dogs I have known will go to heaven, and very, very few people do
Ever consider what our dogs must think of us? I mean, here we come back from a grocery store with the most amazing haul – chicken, pork, half a cow. They must think we’re the greatest hunters on earth!
If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you; that is the principal difference between a dog and a man
Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole
Share Your Time
A man came home from work late again, tired and irritated, to find his 5-year-old son waiting for him at the door.
‘Daddy, may I ask you a question?’
‘Yeah, sure, what is it?’ replied the man.
‘Daddy, how much money do you make an hour?’
‘That’s none of your business! What makes you ask such a thing?’ the man said angrily.
‘I just want to know. Please tell me, how much do you make an hour?’ pleaded the little boy. ‘If you must know, I make $20.00 an hour.’
‘Oh,’ the little boy replied, head bowed. Looking up, he said, ‘Daddy, may I borrow $10.00 please?’
The father was furious. ‘If the only reason you wanted to know how much money I make is just so you can borrow some to buy a silly toy or some other nonsense, then you march yourself straight to your room and go to bed. Think about why you’re being so selfish. I work long, hard hours every day and don’t have time for such childish games.’
The little boy quietly went to his room and shut the door.
The man sat down and started to get even madder about the little boy’s questioning. How dare him ask such questions only to get some money.
After an hour or so, the man had calmed down, and started to think he may have been a little hard on his son. Maybe there was something he really needed to buy with that $10.00, and he really didn’t ask for money very often.
The man went to the door of the little boy’s room and opened the door.
‘Are you asleep son?’ he asked.
‘No daddy, I’m awake,’ replied the boy.
‘I’ve been thinking, maybe I was too hard on you earlier,’ said the man.
‘It’s been a long day and I took my aggravation out on you. Here’s that $10.00 you asked for.’
The little boy sat straight up, beaming. ‘Oh, thank you daddy!’ he yelled. Then, reaching under his pillow, he pulled out some more crumpled up bills.
The man, seeing that the boy already had money, started to get angry again. The little boy slowly counted out his money, then looked up at the man.
‘Why did you want more money if you already had some?’ the father grumbled.
‘Because I didn’t have enough, but now I do,’ the little boy replied.
‘Daddy, I have $20.00 now. Can I buy an hour of your time?’
Love & Acceptance
A story is told about a soldier who was finally coming home after having fought in Vietnam. He called his parents from San Francisco. “Mom and Dad, I’m coming home, but I’ve got a favour to ask. I have a friend I’d like to bring with me.” “Sure,” they replied, “we’d love to meet him.” “There’s something you should know,” the son continued, “he lost an arm and a leg. He has nowhere else to go and I want him to come live with us.” “I’m sorry to hear that, son. Maybe we can help him find somewhere to live.” “No, Mom and Dad, I want him to live with us.” “Son,” said the father, “you don’t know what you’re asking. Someone with such a handicap would be a terrible burden on us. We have our own lives to live, and we can’t let something like this interfere with our lives. I think you should just come home and forget about this guy. He’ll find a way to live on his own.”
At that point, the son hung up the phone. The parents heard nothing more from him. A few days later, however, they received a call from the San Francisco police. Their son had died after falling from a building, they were told. The police believed it was a suicide. The grief-stricken parents flew to San Francisco and were taken to the city morgue to identify the body of their son. They recognized him, but to their horror they also discovered something they didn’t know. Their son had only one arm and one leg.
The parents in this story are like many of us. We find it easy to love those who are good-looking or fun to have around, but we don’t like people who inconvenience us or make us feel uncomfortable. We would rather stay away from people who aren’t as healthy, beautiful, or smart as we are. Thankfully, there’s someone who won’t treat us that way. Someone who loves us with an unconditional love that welcomes us into the forever family, regardless of how messed up we are.
When the Wind Blows!
Years ago a farmer owned land along the Atlantic seacoast. He constantly advertised for hired hands, however, most people were reluctant to work on farms along the Atlantic. They dreaded the awful storms that raged across the Atlantic, wreaking havoc on the buildings and crops.
As the farmer interviewed applicants for the job, he received a steady stream of refusals. Finally, a short, thin man, well past middle age, approached the farmer. ‘Are you a good farm hand?’ the farmer asked him.
‘Well, I can sleep when the wind blows,’ answered the little man. Although puzzled by this answer, the farmer, desperate for help decided to hire him.
The little man worked well around the farm, busy from dawn to dusk, and the farmer felt well satisfied with his work. Then one night the wind howled in loudly from offshore. Jumping out of bed, the farmer grabbed a lantern and rushed next door to the hired hand’s sleeping quarters. He shook the little man and yelled, ‘Get up! A storm is coming! Tie things down before they blow away!’
The little man rolled over in bed and said firmly, ‘No sir, told you, I can sleep when the wind blows.’
Enraged by the response, the farmer was tempted to fire him on the spot. Instead, he hurried outside to prepare for the storm. To his amazement, he discovered that all of the haystacks had been covered with tarpaulins. The cows were in the barn, the chickens were in the coop and the doors were barred. The shutters were tightly secured. Everything was tied down. Nothing could blow away. The farmer then understood what his hired hand meant, so he returned to his bed to also sleep while the wind blew.
Moral: When you’re prepared spiritually, mentally and physically, you have nothing to fear. Can you sleep when the wind blows through your life?
The Midas Touch
You may know the story of the greedy king named Midas. He had a lot of gold and the more he had the more he wanted. He stored all the gold in his vaults and used to spend time every day counting it.
One day while he was counting a stranger came from nowhere and said he would grant him a wish. The king was delighted and said, “I would like everything I touch to turn to gold.” The stranger asked the king, Are you sure?” The king replied, “Yes.” So the stranger said, “Starting tomorrow morning with the sun rays you will get the golden touch.” The king thought he must be dreaming, this couldn’t be true. But the next day when he woke up, he touched the bed, his clothes, and everything turned to gold. He looked out of the window and saw his daughter playing in the garden. He decided to give her a surprise and thought she would be happy. But before he went to the garden he decided to read a book. The moment he touched it, it turned into gold and he couldn’t read it. Then he sat to have breakfast and the moment he touched the fruit and the glass of water, they turned to gold. He was getting hungry and he said to himself, “I can’t eat and drink gold.” Just about that time his daughter came running and he hugged her and she turned into a gold statue. There were no more smiles left.
The king bowed his head and started crying. The stranger who gave the wish came again and asked the king if he was happy with his golden touch. The king said he was the most miserable man. The stranger asked, “What would you rather have, your food and loving daughter or lumps of gold and her golden statue?” The king cried and asked for forgiveness. He said, “I will give up all my gold. Please give me my daughter back because without her I have lost everything worth having.” The stranger said to the king, “You have become wiser than before” and he reversed the spell. He got his daughter back in his arms and the king learned a lesson that he never forgot for the rest of his life.
It is said that one day the Buddha was walking through a village.
A very angry and rude young man came up and began insulting him. “You have no right teaching others,” he shouted. “You are as stupid as everyone else. You are nothing but a fake!”
The Buddha was not upset by these insults. Instead, he asked the young man, “Tell me, if you buy a gift for someone, and that person does not take it, to whom does the gift belong?”
The young man was surprised to be asked such a strange question and answered, “It would belong to me because I bought the gift.”
The Buddha smiled and said, “That is correct. And it is exactly the same with your anger. If you become angry with me and I do not get insulted, then the anger falls back on you. You are then the only one who becomes unhappy, not me. All you have done is hurt yourself. If you want to stop hurting yourself, you must get rid of your anger and become loving instead When you hate others, you yourself become unhappy. But when you love others, everyone is happy.”
The Wise Man
People have been coming to the wise man, every time complaining about the same problems.
One day he told them a joke and everyone roared with laughter. After a couple of minutes, he told them the same joke and only a few of them smiled. When he told the same joke for the third time no one laughed anymore.
The wise man asked why no-one was laughing.
One of the group answered. You have told the same joke three times, it’s not funny anymore because you are not changing any of it.
The wise man smiles and said you can’t laugh at the same joke over and over. So why are you always complaining about the same problem over and over again without changing anything?
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