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 persons. 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 vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always therewill be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however be humble; it is a real possession in the changing of 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 then the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you may conceive him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all it's sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy.
Simple Friends and Real Friends
A simple friend can stand by you when you are right,
but a real friend will stand by you even when you are wrong.
A simple friend identifies himself when he calls.
A real friend doesn't have to.
A simple friend opens a conversation with a full news bulletin on his life.
A real friend says, "What's new with you?"
A simple friend thinks the problems you whine about are recent.
A real friend says, "You've been whining about the same thing for 14 years.
Get off your duff and do something about it."
A simple friend has never seen you cry.
A real friend has shoulders soggy from your tears.
A simple friend doesn't know your parents' first names.
A real friend has their phone numbers in his address book.
A simple friend brings a bottle of wine to your party.
A real friend comes early to help you cook and stays late to help you clean.
A simple friend hates it when you call after he has gone to bed.
A real friend asks you why you took so long to call.
A simple friend seeks to talk with you about your problems.
A real friend seeks to help you with your problems.
A simple friend wonders about your romantic history.
A real friend could blackmail you with it.
A simple friend, when visiting, acts like a guest.
Real friend opens your refrigerator and helps himself/herself.
A simple friend thinks the friendship is over when you have an argument.
A real friend knows that it's not a friendship until after you've had a fight.
A simple friend expects you to always be there for them.
A real friend expects to always be there for you!
Real Friends (simplified version)
Friends help you move.
Real friends help you move bodies.
The Bag of Nails
There was a little boy with a bad temper.
His father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, to hammer a nail in the back fence.
The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Then it 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.
A verbal wound is as bad as a physical one".
Friends are a very rare jewel, indeed.
They make you smile and encourage you to succeed.
They lend an ear, they share a word of praise, and they always want to open their hearts to us.
The Cracked Pot
A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on each end of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the master's house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.
For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water to his master's house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.
After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream.
"I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you."
"Why?" asked the bearer. "What are you ashamed of?"
"I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your master's house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don't get full value from your efforts," the pot said.
The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion he said,
"As we return to the master's house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path."
Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it some. But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again it apologized to the bearer for its failure.
The bearer said to the pot, "Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of the path, but not on the other pot's side? That's because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you've watered them.
For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master's table. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house."
Each of us has our own unique flaws. We're all cracked pots. But if we will allow it, the Lord will use our flaws to grace His Father's table. In God's great economy, nothing goes to waste!
A seat awaits you in First class
The following scene took place on a British Airways flight between Johannesburg and London. This is a true story.
A White woman, about 50 years old, was seated next to a Black man. Obviously disturbed by this, she called the air Hostess.
"Madam, what is the matter," the Hostess asked.
"You obviously do not see it then?" she responded.
"You placed me next to a Black man. I do not agree to sit next to someone from such a repugnant group. Give me an alternative seat."
"Be calm please, " the Hostess replied. "Almost all the places on this flight are taken. I will go to see if another seat is available."
The Hostess went away and then came back a few minutes later.
"Madam, just as I thought, there are no other available seats in the Economy class. I spoke to the Captain and he informed me that there are also no seats in the Business class. All the same, we still have one seat in the First class."
Before the woman could say anything, the Hostess continued:
"It is not usual for our company to permit someone from the Economy class to sit in the First class. However, given the circumstances, the Captain feels that it would be scandalous to make someone sit next to someone so disgusting."
She turned to the Black guy, and said,
"Therefore, Sir, if you would like to, please collect your hand luggage, a seat awaits you in First class."
At that moment, the other passengers who were shocked by what they had just witnessed stood up and applauded.
Think About your Attitude
Michael is the kind of guy you love to hate. He is always in a good mood and always has something positive to say.
When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would reply, "If I were any better, I would be twins!"
He was a natural motivator. If an employee was having a bad day, Michael was there telling the employee how to look on the positive side of the situation. Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up to Michael and asked him, "I don't get it! You can't be a positive person all of the time. How do you do it?"
Michael replied, "Each morning I wake up and say to myself, you have two choices today. You can choose to be in a good mood or you can choose to be in a bad mood. I choose to be in a good mood. Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or...I can choose to learn from it. I choose to learn from it. Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or... I can point out the positive side of life. I choose the positive side of life.
"Yeah, right, it's not that easy," I protested.
"Yes, it is," Michael said. "Life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice. You choose how you react to situations. You choose how people affect your mood. You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood. The bottom line: It's your choice how you live your life."
I reflected on what Michael said. Soon hereafter, I left the Tower Industry to start my own business. We lost touch, but I often thought about him when I made a choice about life instead of reacting to it.
Several years later, I heard that Michael was involved in a serious accident, falling some 60 feet from a communications tower.
After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care. Michael was released from the hospital with rods placed in his back. I saw Michael about six months after the accident. When I asked him how he was, he replied, "If I were any better, I'd be twins. Wanna see my scars?"
I declined to see his wounds, but I did ask him what had gone through his mind as the accident took place.
"The first thing that went through my mind was the well-being of my soon to be born daughter, " Michael replied. "Then, as I lay on the ground, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live or ...I could choose to die. I chose to live."
"Weren't you scared? Did you lose consciousness?" I asked.
Michael continued, "...the paramedics were great. They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the ER and I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes, I read "he's a dead man. I knew I needed to take action."
"What did you do?" I asked.
"Well, there was a big burly nurse shouting questions at me, said Michael. "She asked if I was allergic to anything. "Yes, I replied."
The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply. I took a deep breath and yelled,"Gravity."
Over their laughter, I told them, "I am choosing to live. Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead."
Michael lived, thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude. I learned from him that every day we have the choice to live fully. Attitude, after all, is everything.
"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:34
After all today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.
GROWING OLDER IS MANDATORY, GROWING UP IS OPTIONAL
The first day of school our professor introduced himself and challenged us to get to know someone we didn't already know. I stood up to look around when a gentle hand touched my shoulder. I turned around to find a wrinkled, little old lady beaming up at me with a smile that lit up her entire being.
She said, "Hi handsome. My name is Rose. I'm eighty-seven years old. Can I give you a hug?"
I laughed and enthusiastically responded, "Of course you may!" and she gave me a giant squeeze. "Why are you in college at such a young, innocent age?" I asked.
She jokingly replied, "I'm here to meet a rich husband, get married, have a couple of children, and then retire and travel."
"No seriously," I asked. I was curious what may have motivated her to be taking on this challenge at her age.
"I always dreamed of having a college education and now I'm getting one!" she told me.
After class we walked to the student union building and shared chocolate milkshake. We became instant friends. Every day for the next three months we would leave class together and talk nonstop. I was always mesmerized listening to this "time machine" as she shared her wisdom and experience with me.
Over the course of the year, Rose became a campus icon and she easily made friends wherever she went. She loved to dress up and she reveled in the attention bestowed upon her from the other students. She was living it up.
At the end of the semester we invited Rose to speak at our football banquet. I'll never forget what she taught us. She was introduced and stepped up to the podium. As she began to deliver her prepared speech, she dropped her three by five cards on the floor. Frustrated and a little embarrassed she leaned into the microphone and simply said, "I'm sorry I'm so jittery. I gave up beer for Lent and this whiskey is killing me! I'll never get my speech back in order so let me just tell you what I know."
As we laughed she cleared her throat and began, "We do not stop playing because we are old; we grow old because we stop playing. There are only four secrets to staying young, being happy and achieving success. You have to laugh and find humor every day. You've got to have a dream. When you lose your dreams, you die. We have so many people walking around who are dead and don't even know it! There is a huge difference between growing older and growing up. If you are nineteen years old and lie in bed for one full year and don't do one productive thing, you will turn twenty years old. If I am eighty-seven years old and stay in bed for a year and never do anything I will turn eighty-eight. Anybody can grow older. That doesn't take any talent or ability. The idea is to grow up by always finding the opportunity in change.
Have no regrets. The elderly usually don't have regrets for what we did, but rather for things we did not do. The only people who fear death are those with regrets." She concluded her speech by courageously singing "The Rose." She challenged each of us to study the lyrics and live them out in our daily lives.
At the year's end Rose finished the college degree she had begun all those years ago. One week after graduation Rose died peacefully in her sleep.
Over two thousand college students attended her funeral in tribute to the wonderful woman who taught by example that it's never too late to be all you can possibly be.
Thougths from Eleanor Roosevelt
Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart.
To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart. Anger is only one letter short of danger.
If someone betrays you once, it is his fault; if he betrays you twice, it is your fault.
Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.
He who loses money, loses much; he, who loses a friend, loses much more; He, who loses faith, loses all.
Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art.
Learn from the mistakes of others. You can't live long enough to make them all yourself.
Friends, you and me - you brought another friend - and then there were 3. We started our group - our circle of friends - and like that circle - there is no beginning, nor an end.
Yesterday is history - tomorrow is a mystery - today is a gift.
The Hand Of God
Rick volunteers with prison ministries, and in his work has become friends with a pastor of a store front church. The pastor's church is called Almighty God Tabernacle. On a Saturday night several weeks ago, this pastor was working late, and decided to call his wife before he left for home. It was about 10:00 PM, but his wife didn't answer the phone. The pastor let it ring many times. He thought it was odd that she didn't answer, but decided to wrap up a few things and try again in a few minutes.
When he tried again she answered right away. He asked her why she hadn't answered before, and she said that it hadn't rung at their house. They brushed it off as a fluke and went on their merry ways.
The following Monday, the pastor received a call at the church office, which was the phone that he'd used that Saturday night. The man that he spoke with wanted to know why he'd called on Saturday night. The pastor couldn't figure out what the guy was talking about.
Then the guy said, "It rang and rang, but I didn't answer." The pastor remembered the mishap and apologized for disturbing him, explaining that he'd intended to call his wife.
The man said, "That's OK. Let me tell you my story. You see, I was planning to commit suicide on Saturday night, but before I did, I prayed, 'God if you're there, and you don't want me to do this, give me a sign now.' At that point my phone started to ring. I looked at the caller ID, and it said, 'Almighty God'. "I was afraid to answer!"
Is there a magic cutoff period when offspring become accountable for their own actions? Is there a wonderful moment when parents can become detached spectators in the lives of their children and shrug, "It's their life," and feel nothing?
When I was in my twenties, I stood in a hospital corridor waiting for doctors to put a few stitches in my son's head. I asked, "When do you stop worrying?"
A nurse said, "When they get out of the accident stage." My mother just smiled faintly and said nothing.
When I was in my thirties, I sat on a little chair in a classroom and heard how one of my children talked incessantly, disrupted the class, and was headed for a career making license plates. As if to read my mind, a teacher said, "Don't worry. They all go through this stage, and then you can sit back, relax, and enjoy them." My mother listened and said nothing.
When I was in my forties, I spent a lifetime waiting for the phone to ring, the cars to come home, the front door to open. A friend said, "They're trying to find themselves. In a few years, you can stop worrying. They'll be adults."
By the time I was 50, I was sick and tired of being vulnerable, I was still worrying over my children, but there was a new wrinkle. There was nothing I could do about it.
But I continued to anguish over their failures, be tormented by their frustrations and absorbed in their disappointments. My friends said that when my kids got married I could stop worrying and lead my own life. I wanted to believe that, but I was haunted by my mother's wan smile and her occasional, "You look pale. Are you all right?" "Call me the minute you get home." " Are you depressed about something?"
Can it be that parents are sentenced to a lifetime of worry? Is concern for one another handed down like a torch to blaze the trail of human frailties and the fears of the unknown? Is concern a curse? Or is it a virtue that elevates us to the highest form of life?
One of my children became quite irritable recently, saying to me, "Where were you? I've been calling for three days, and no one answered. I was worried." I smiled a wan smile.
The torch has been passed.
I have Learned
I've learned....that the best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person.
I've learned....that when you're in love, it shows.
I've learned.... that just one person saying to me, "You've made my day!" makes my day.
I've learned...that having a child fall asleep in your arms is one of the most peaceful feelings in the world.
I've learned....that being kind is more important than being right.
I've learned...that you should never say no to a gift from a child.
I've learned....that I can always pray for someone when I don't have the strength to help him in some other way.
I've learned....that no matter how serious your life requires you to be, everyone
needs a friend to act goofy with.
I've learned....that sometimes all a person needs is a hand to hold and a heart to understand.
I've learned....that simple walks with my father around the block on summer nights when I was a child did wonders for me as an adult.
I've learned....that life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes.
I've learned....that we should be glad God doesn't give us everything we ask for.
I've learned....that money doesn't buy class.
I've learned....that it's those small daily happenings that make life so spectacular.
I've learned....that under everyone's hard shell is someone who wants to be appreciated and loved.
I've learned...that the Lord didn't do it all in one day. What makes me think I can?
I've learned....that to ignore the facts does not change the facts.
I've learned....that when you plan to get even with someone, you are only letting that person continue to hurt you.
I've learned....that love, not time, heals all wounds.
I've learned....that the easiest way for me to grow as a person is to surround
myself with people smarter than I am.
I've learned....that everyone you meet deserves to be greeted with a smile.
I've learned....that there's nothing sweeter than sleeping with your babies and feeling their breath on your cheeks.
I've learned....that no one is perfect until you fall in love with them.
I've learned....that life is tough, but I'm tougher.
I've learned....that opportunities are never lost; someone will take the ones you
I've learned....that when you harbor bitterness, happiness will dock elsewhere.
I've learned....that I wish I could have told my Mom that I love her one more time before she passed away.
I've learned....that one should keep his words both soft and tender, because tomorrow he may have to eat them.
I've learned....that a smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks.
I've learned....that I can't choose how I feel, but I can choose what I do about it.
I've learned....that when your newly born grandchild holds your little finger in his little fist, that you're hooked for life.
I've learned....that everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you're climbing it.
I've learned ...that it is best to give advice in only two circumstances; when it is
requested and when it is a life threatening situation.
I've learned....that the less time I have to work with, the more things I get done.
His name was Fleming, and he was a poor Scottish farmer. One day, while trying to make a living for his family, he heard a cry for help coming from a nearby bog. He dropped his tools and ran to the bog. There, mired to his waist in black muck, was a terrified boy, screaming and struggling to free himself. Farmer Fleming saved the lad from what could have been a slow and terrifying death.
The next day, a fancy carriage pulled up to the Scotsman's sparse surroundings. An elegantly dressed nobleman stepped out and introduced himself as thefather of the boy Farmer Fleming had saved. "I want to repay you," said the nobleman. "You saved my son's life." "No, I can't accept payment for what I did," the Scottish farmer replied, waving off the offer.
At that moment, the farmer's own son came to the door of the family hovel. "Is that your son?" the nobleman asked. "Yes," the farmer replied proudly. "I'll make you a deal. Let me take him and give him a good education. If the lad is anything like his father, he'll grow to a man you can be proud of."
And that he did. In time, Farmer Fleming's son graduated from St. Mary's Hospital Medical School in London, and went on to become known throughout the world as the noted Sir Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of Penicillin.
Years afterward, the nobleman's son was stricken with pneumonia. What saved him? Penicillin. The name of the nobleman? Lord Randolph Churchill. His son's name? Sir Winston Churchill.
(Note: this is an untrue story
but if you get uplifted from the story, sobeit.)