Saturday, December 26, 2009
Anything I could have done better? Yup.
Anything good that I did? YES.
Anything bad that I did? I won't do it again.
I thought 2009 was going to be a good year.
Turned out to be one of the worst years I've had yet.
Made more money, yes, but deficient in so many other things.
2010 is the Year of the Tiger.
If anything, this is the year to go for the goals set and to achieve them.
Happy New Year and God bless everyone!
wider roads but narrower viewpoints,
we spend more, but have less,
buy more but enjoy less,
we have bigger houses , but 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 have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values.
we talk too much, love too seldom and hate too often.
we drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, but laugh too little ,
drive too fast,
get too angry,
stay up too late,
get up too tired,
read too little, watch too much TV and pray too seldom.
We have learnt how to make a living but not a life,
we have added years to life but not life to years,
we have 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 have not conquered our hearts...
The fun is when we switch roles.
I am lucky to have good parents. I can only hope to emulate them.
Tomorrow's my father's 76th birthday.
Happy birthday, Daddy! And many happy returns!
Here's an example of how we may under-appreciate our parents:
At: 4 Years: My daddy knows only to love.
At: 6 Years: My daddy is great.
At: 10 Years: My daddy is good but is short tempered
At: 12 Years: My daddy was very nice to me when I was young.
At: 14 Years My daddy is getting anxious about me.
At: 16 Years My daddy is not in line with the current times.
At: 18 Years My daddy is becoming increasingly cranky.
At: 20 Years Oh! Its becoming difficult to tolerate daddy. Wonder how Mother puts up with him.
At: 25 Years Daddy is objecting to everything.
At: 30 Years It's becoming difficult to manage my son. I was so scared of my father when I was young.
At: 40 Years Daddy brought me up with so much discipline. Even I should do the same.
At: 45 Years I am baffled as to how my daddy brought us up.
At: 50 Years My daddy faced so many hardships to bring us up. I am unable to manage a single son.
At: 55 Years My daddy was so far sighted and planned so many things for us. He is one of his kind and unique..he is great and knows only to love.
Thus, it took 56 years to complete the cycle and come back to the 1st. stage.
Realize the true value of your parents before its too late...
Friday, December 18, 2009
By Barry Maher
A few years ago, a management and sales expert cameup with what he considered a first-rate idea. With so many unhappy, lonely people in the world, he figured he could provide them with a little comfort and make money at the same time by offering them personalized, written advice on their problems.
Since so many people have problems that are similar,he figured he could train his employees to write a quick paragraph or two of personalization, then fill up the rest of the letter with appropriate boilerplate.
He placed trial ads in all the leading tabloids. The problems and the checks came pouring in.
He read four letters.
And immediately killed the project.
"I realized I was dealing with living, breathing people," he says, "not a marketing opportunity. I realized the answers I'd provide would have an effect on their lives. They all had such heavy burdens compared to anythingI'd ever gone through. Their problems went far beyond the scope of any boilerplate, beyond the scope of any quick, pat answers. And I was completely unqualified to tamper in their lives. I ended up returning their money, and absorbing the price of the ads."
But he did a little more than that. With each refund he sent along a personal, handwritten response. This is one of those letters.
Thanks for writing. Sorry to hear of your situation. Sometimes we simply have to endure until we finally get the life we deserve. And you've endured. I'm returning your $9.95 because I want you to have the money. From your letter, it sounds likeyou need it more than I do, and I want the best for you.
I also want YOU to want the best for you.
I know you feel small. I know you feel alone. But you're not alone. You're a human being which means that you're related to all of us, a relative, apart of us all.
Biologically, in your genes, all your ancestors going back to the beginning of time are a part of you. They struggled and slaved so that you, their descendant,would someday walk this planet. It's taken billions ofyears to create the universe of possibilities that's within you.
If you undervalue yourself, if you sell yourself short, you're undervaluing all of us, and all of those who came before you.
And even beyond that, Lorie, you are, as an individual human, a miraculous being, more alike than unlike the greatest men and women who ever lived. More alike than unlike Jesus and Einstein and Lincoln and Mozart and Mother Teresa and Vincent Van Gogh, with many of their greatest qualities lying somewhere inside you. With thoughts and feelings and desires. And, most miraculous of all, the divinity within you which we call free will. Which gives you the ability to control those feelings and desires, and therefore to control your own destiny, to actually control what you are today and what you will be tomorrow.
Your responsibility, as I see it, is to use that free will to make the most of every instant of the life which so many, including yourself, have participated in creating.
Always the Best,
Happy holidays, Everyone.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
A columnist whom I admire, Cary Tennis put it succintly when he said,"Why does it take a serious disease to make us rethink our lives?"
Now, to give an example, the few times I encountered a Daniel, I had problems with them, or rather they found problems with me.
I was beginning to think that all people named Daniel were arseholes.
Then I found out that the last Daniel who clashed with me had a brain tumor. Which made him think, say and behave irrationally.
He was more afraid of dying and that made him think he had to hang on to his ideals more than anything else.
I used to recite the mantra of,"Forgive, but DON'T forget".
Now, to me, it seems so silly that you carry this burden of unforgotten misdemeanours with you all the time.
Now, I'm going to quote Cary Tennis since he discovered he had cancer. Read and think about it.
I wanted to say more about forgiveness.
I mentioned yesterday that one has to go through an internal process to arrive at a moment of letting go. This process can be quickened by having a scare.
My recent cancer diagnosis was just such a scare.
One thought such a scare elicits is that we have been living all wrong. We've been stressed, angry, hurried, not taking good care of ourselves. We think, "Perhaps that led to this disease." We also think, "I've been wasting time worrying when I could have been enjoying life more." And we sometimes think, "I've been holding on to resentments that are doing no one any good."
As we see how our attention has been wasted regretting the past and fearing the future, we pay more attention to the here and now. As a result, we trust our intuition more. This leads to a greater incidence of synchronicity, or apparently positive coincidence.
So it was that the other night I found myself attending a meeting. It was not terribly unusual for me to be there, but I could have skipped it. I followed my instincts.
There it turned out was someone with whom I had had a strong friendship followed by a falling out. It had been years. I had been stuck believing that this person owed me something. I had been insisting that I would not budge in my poor opinion of this person until the imagined debt was repaid. I felt put-upon, ignored, dissed, even disgraced if you want to know the childish truth of it.I have a side that is not very adult. Call it what you will. We must take care of this side, most of us, because it never grows up. Sometimes when the things we most care about are involved, this side is most present. So it was in this case.
When I saw this person, my first conscious response was dread. I groaned inwardly. But that was a protective response I had learned to project in public. My true response, my inner response, was gratitude and excitement. I was actually happy to see this person. Having been through two weeks of extreme fear, regret and uncertainty, I welcomed the chance to see this person from my past. During the meeting, it is true that I entertained various uncharitable thoughts about this person. But it was as though this childish side of me were fighting its one last battle to maintain its sick ascendancy. I was done with the old feelings. The old resentments lifted.
Afterward, this person sat near me and I was able to say with complete honesty that all that old resentment had lifted. It was gone. And it truly is.
Did I have to get cancer to experience this?
Let's hope not. How can we come to cherish life and get our priorities straight? Sometimes it does take a shock of this kind. Perhaps we can get such shocks in other ways. Perhaps we can engineer our lives so that similar shocks of recognition are not so hard to come by.
It is true that I express my emotions through my body, often through illness. This has been true since I was a child. I resist knowing this and saying this but experience shows it to be true.
So the logical thing to do is to seek out peak experiences that can bring us to such brinks.
And towards that end, I always endeavour to behave as an example for them.
There are many ways to measure success;
not the least of which is the way your child describes you when talking to a friend.
Friday, December 04, 2009
Life can pull at your heartstrings ~ and play with your mind.
Life can be blissful ~ and happy and free.
Life can put beauty ~ in the things that you see.
Life can place challenges ~ right at your feet.
Life can make good ~ of the hardships that we meet.
Life can overwhelm you ~ and make your head spin.
Life can reward those ~ determined to win.
Life can be hurtful ~ and not always fair.
Life can surround you ~ with people who care.
Life clearly does offer ~ its ups and its downs.
Life's days can bring you ~ both smiles and frowns.
Life teaches us to take ~ the good with the bad.
Life is a mixture ~ of happy and sad.
Take the life that you have ~ and give it your best.
Think positive, be happy ~ let God do the rest.
Take the challenges ~ that life has laid at your feet.
Take pride and be thankful ~ for each one you meet.
To yourself give forgiveness ~ if you stumble and fall.
Take each day that is dealt you ~ and give it your all.
Take the love that you're given ~ and return it with care.
Have faith that when needed ~ it will always be there.
Take time to find the beauty ~ in the things that you see.
Take life's simple pleasures ~ let them set your heart free.
The idea here is simply ~ to even the score.
As you are met and faced with ~ Life's Tug Of War.
It will affect my career.
It will affect my family.
And I know it will be positive.
Ever had the feeling you were lost?
You didn't know where you were heading out to.
You THINK that you want to spend the rest of your life in the current company you're in?
Good for you.
Then you know YOUR PURPOSE IN LIFE.
I think George Bernard Shaw eloquently puts it in words.
This is the true joy in life, being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one;
being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.
- George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)
Saturday, November 28, 2009
If there's anything you should keep in mind for life, these are the few things.
I have four things to learn in life:
to think clearly without hurry or confusion;
to love everybody sincerely;
to act in everything with the highest motives;
to trust in God unhesitatingly.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Perhaps this year has been the bleakest for humanity.
I watched 2012 and the best quote was,"The day we stop fighting for each other, that's THE day we lose OUR HUMANITY".
Here's something for you to remember.
If you want your dreams to come true, don't oversleep.
The smallest good deed is better than the grandest intention.
Of all the things you wear, your expression is the most important.
The best vitamin for making friends....B1.
The 10 commandments are not multiple choice.
The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts.
Minds are like parachutes...they function only when open.
Ideas won't work unless YOU do.
One thing you can't recycle is wasted time.
One who lacks the courage to start has already finished.
The heaviest thing to carry is a grudge.
Don't learn safety rules by accident.
We lie the loudest when we lie to ourselves.
Jumping to conclusions can be bad exercise.
A turtle makes progress when it sticks it's head out.
One thing you can give and still keep...is your word.
The pursuit of happiness is the chase of a lifetime!
When you go through his life story, you just cannot help but be inspired.
One day a woman came to see Gandhi with her son in tow."Tell my son to stop eating sugar!" she demanded of Ghandi.
Gandhi thought for a moment and said "Come back tomorrow."
The woman and her son returned the next day.
Gandhi motioned the son forward and said "Stop eating sugar".
The son bowed his head, nodded and started to walk away but his mother stopped him and turned to Gandhi.
"You could have said that yesterday. Why did you have uscome back today?" she asked.
"Yesterday", Gandhi replied "I was STILL eating sugar".
Here's something to hope with.
If you can look at the sunset and smile, then you still have hope.
If you can find beauty in the colors of a small flower, then you still have hope.
If you can find pleasure in the movement of a butterfly, then you still have hope.
If the smile of a child can still warm your heart, then you still have hope.
If you can see the good in other people, then you still have hope.
If the rain breaking on a roof top can still lull you to sleep, then you still have hope.
If the sight of a rainbow still makes you stop and stare in wonder, then you still have hope.
If the soft fur of a favored pet still feels pleasant under your fingertips, then you still have hope.
If you meet new people with a trace of excitement and optimism, then you still have hope.
If you give people the benefit of a doubt, then you still have hope.
If you still offer your hand in friendship to others that have touched your life, then you still have hope.
If receiving an unexpected card or letter still brings a pleasant surprise, then you still have hope.
If the suffering of others still fills you with pain and frustration, then you still have hope.
If you refuse to let a friendship die, or accept that it must end, then you still have hope.
If you look forward to a time or place of quiet and reflection, then you still have hope.
If you still buy the ornaments, put up the Christmas tree or cook the turkey, then you still have hope.
If you still watch love stories or want the endings to be happy, then you still have hope.
If you can look to the past and smile, then you still have hope.
If, when faced with the bad, when told everything is futile, you can still look up and end the conversation with the phrase...."yeah....BUT.." then you still have hope.
Hope is such a marvelous thing.
It bends, it twists, it sometimes hides, but rarely does it break.
It sustains us when nothing else can.
It gives us reason to continue and courage to move ahead, when we tell ourselves we'd rather give in.
Hope puts a smile on our face when the heart cannot manage.
Hope puts our feet on the path when our eyes cannot see it.
Hope moves us to act when our souls are confused of the direction.
Hope is a wonderful thing, something to be cherished and nurtured, and something that will refresh us in return.
And it can be found in each of us, and it can bring light into the darkest of places.
NEVER LOSE HOPE.
Saturday, November 07, 2009
I got to the age where I began to be interested in girls. There was a girl, Mei Mei, whom I really liked, and one day when granny and I were at the Lido cinema, she happened to be there too.
I don't know why, but somehow when children TURN into teenagers, they associate being with older people as "UNCOOL".
So, as I walked with my granny, hand in hand, I saw her when we turned the corner. I immediately let go and moved to a distance.
My granny didn't understand, and I never should've done it in the first place.
Mahma, I'm sorry. I know you're in Heaven now, but I know better now.
Here's to the senior folks. We MUST treat them better.
The woman was old and ragged and gray
And bent with the chill of the winter's day.
The street was wet with the recent snow,
And the woman's feet were aged and slow.
She stood at the crossing and waited long,
Alone, uncared for, amid the throng
Of human beings who passed her by,
Nor heeded the glance of her anxious eye.
Down the street with laughter and shout,
Glad in the freedom of "school let out,
"Came the boys like a flock of sheep,
Hailing the snow piled white and deep.
Past the woman so old and gray
Hastened the children on their way,
Nor offered a helping hand to her,
So meek, so timid, afraid to stir,
Lest the carriage wheels or the horses' feet
Should crowd her down in the slippery street.
At last came one of the merry troop,
The gayest laddie of all the group;
He paused beside her and whispered low,
"I'll help you across if you wish to go."
Her aged hand on his strong young arm
She placed, and so, without hurt or harm,
He guided her trembling feet along,
Proud that his own were firm and strong.
Then back again to his friends he went,
His young heart happy and well content.
"She's somebody's mother, boys, you know,
For all she's aged and poor and slow;
"And I hope some fellow with lend a hand
To help my mother, you understand,
If ever she's poor and old and gray,
When her own dear boy is far away."
And "somebody's mother" bowed low her head
In her home that night, and the prayer she said
Was, "God be kind to the noble boy
Who is somebody's son and pride and joy."
He's an amazing guru (if I can call him that) with great perspective on life and it's events.
Here's a sample of a retort you can use against those idiots who have little tolerance for anything or anyone different from them. This is advice for someone has a bigoted colleague.
I suggest you call him out into the hall and in front of your colleagues say something like the following:
"Sir, I hereby notify you, in this semi-public space, before these semi-trusted colleagues, that I disagree with you on every matter under the sun."
Every time you speak your opinion on politics, religion, sex, gender, race, economics, ethnicity, intellectual style, ethics, power, television, presidents, healthcare policy, the death penalty, marriage rights, affirmative action, foreign policy, saturated fats, bottled water, bicycle lanes, commuting, public transit, mileage standards, financial regulation, zoning, coal-burning power plants, global warming, standards of office dress, suitable locations for weddings, acceptable styles of facial hair, how to properly address policemen, judges and elders, standards for advancement within this office, the political implications of the purchase of various gemstones, free-trade coffee, organic gardening, the existence and moral relevance of the Esalen Institute, the relative importance of a degree from Princeton, Sonia Sotomayor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Glenn Beck, Glenn Greenwald, Christopher Hitchens, the existence of God, postmodernism, Walter Benjamin, Renoir, Rodin, the atomic bomb, Palestine, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, the New Testament, Brazilian bikini waxes, 'American Idol,' 'Project Runway,' Tony Blair, Barack Obama and all other topics known to man herein incorporated retroactively and for all eternity, I find myself in such vehement disagreement with you such that I can scarcely believe we inhabit the same cosmos, much less the same planet, nation, state, county, municipality and office building.
Far be it from me to fathom what diabolical hand of fate placed my desk only mere feet from yours, separated by only the flimsiest of modern steel-stud and Sheetrock office partitions.
"You, sir, in short, are the Israel to my Palestine, the Yankees to my Red Sox, the Dodgers to my Giants, the apple to my orange."
Were I less wise, I would deny your very right to exist."
Being wise, however, I know that in our differences we are like rival lovers or squabbling siblings; no matter what lover, or mother, or share of arid land we squabble over, there is in our hearts enough space for whatever trees we need to grow, whatever fruits we need to harvest, whatever springs we need to drink from."
So I am not frightened or disheartened by my implacable dislike of everything you say, do and think.
On the contrary, I am reminded that by certain equally implacable laws of the universe, I must love you with every fiber of my being.
However much it pains me to the core, I must admit that I could not exist without you.
"This, sir, is the sad yet compelling fact of our mutual existence: Your office being next to mine is a torture but it is the torture of existence itself. It is also a fact that you, sir, could neither exist without me.
"Consider that for a moment, however unsettling it may be.
"I cannot claim to know why this is, nor what can be done about it. I just wish you to know that every time you raise your voice in support of one of your so-called opinions, the opposite opinion arises in my mind with equal and comparable vigor.
You are the red flag to my raging bull, the friend to my enemy and the enemy of my friend, the impediment to my dreams, the opposite of everything I adore and the embodiment of everything I could do without.
"Whenever you speak, I grit my teeth and sigh."Lesser minds and weaker spirits might clamor for a new office down the hall. But that would only create the illusion that we do not share the same universe.
The truth is, sir, that whether you were in Hong Kong and I in Saskatchewan or you in Miami and I in Beirut or I in Karachi and you in Kenosha, we would still disagree about everything under the sun; we would still orbit, as implacable opposites, the eternal unity at the center of all things, that silent, infinitely dense nucleus of existence that encompasses you, me, the Dred Scott Decision, Heidi Klum, the Harlem Globetrotters and the latest and most abstruse ruminations on string theory.
"That is the sum of all I have to say to you: I disagree with everything you say, do and think, yet I admit that without you, I myself would not exist."Therefore, I simply say, Good day, sir. Good day!"
Then, shoulders back, head high, you enter your office and slam the door loudly, well, fully, with vigor but not malice.
Most people want to be good, but they do not will to be good.
Strong reasons make strong actions.
Many today do not believe enough to be great.
Mediocrity is the penalty for a loss of faith or character.
- Floyd Maxwell
The point is TAKE and GRAB the moment when it comes. NOT look back with regret and say all this retrospective words.
As Erma Bombeck wrote it back in 1979:
Someone asked me the other day if I had my life to live over would I change anything.
My answer was no, but then I thought about it and changed my mind.
If I had my life to live over again I would have waxed less and listened more.
Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy and complaining about the shadow over my feet, I'd have cherished every minute of it and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was to be my only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.
I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.
I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded.
I would have eaten popcorn in the "good" living room and worried less about the dirt when you lit the fireplace.
I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.
I would have burnt the pink candle that was sculptured like a rose before it melted while being stored.
I would have sat cross-legged on the lawn with my children and never worried about grass stains.
I would have cried and laughed less while watching television ... and more while watching real life.
I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband which I took for granted.
I would have eaten less cottage cheese and more ice cream.
I would have gone to bed when I was sick, instead of pretending the Earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren't there for a day.
I would never have bought ANYTHING just because it was practical/wouldn't show soil/ guaranteed to last a lifetime.
When my child kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, "Later. Now, go get washed up for dinner."
There would have been more I love yous ... more I'm sorrys ... more I'm listenings ... but mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute of it ... look at it and really see it ... try it on ... live it ... exhaust it ... and never give that minute back until there was nothing left of it.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
One song can spark a moment, One flower can wake the dream.
One tree can start a forest, One bird can herald spring.
One smile begins a friendship, One handclasp lifts a soul.
One star can guide a ship at sea, One word can frame the goal.
One vote can change a nation, One sunbeam lights a room.
One candle wipes out darkness, One laugh will conquer gloom.
One step will start each journey, One word must start each prayer.
One hope will raise our spirits, One touch can show you care.
One voice can speak with wisdom, One heart can know what's true.
One person can make the difference,
You see, IT'S UP TO YOU!
I grew up in Trenton, a west Tennessee town of five thousand people. I have wonderful memories of those first eighteen years, and many people in Trenton influenced my life in very positive ways. My football coach, Walter Kilzer, taught me the importance of hard work, discipline, and believing in myself. My history teacher, Fred Culp, is still the funniest person I've ever met. He taught me that a sense of humor, and especially laughing at yourself, can be one of life's greatest blessings.
But my father was my hero.
He taught me many things, but at the top of the list, he taught me to treat people with love and respect...to live the Golden Rule.
I remember one particular instance of him teaching this "life lesson" as if it were yesterday. Dad owned a furniture store, and I used to dust the furniture every Wednesday after school to earn my allowance. One afternoon I observed my Dad talking to all the customers as they came in...the hardware store owner, the banker, a farmer, a doctor. At the end of the day, just as Dad was closing, the garbage collector came in.
I was ready to go home, and I thought that surely Dad wouldn't spend too much time with him. But I was wrong. Dad greeted him at the door with a big hug and talked with him about his wife and son who had been in a car accident the month before. He empathized, he asked questions, he listened, and he listened some more. I kept looking at the clock, and when the man finally left, I asked, "Dad, why did you spend so much time with him? He's just the garbage collector." Dad then looked at me, locked the front door to the store, and said, "Son, let's talk."
He said, "I'm your father and I tell you lots of stuff as all fathers should, but if you remember nothing else I ever tell you, remember this...treat every human being just the way that you would want to be treated."
He said, "I know this is not the first time you've heard it, but I want to make sure it's the first time you truly understand it, because if you had understood, you would never have said what you said."
We sat there and talked for another hour about the meaning and the power of the Golden Rule.
Dad said, "If you live the Golden Rule everything else in life will usually work itself out, but if you don't, your life probably will be very unhappy and without meaning."
I recently heard someone say, "If you teach your child the Golden Rule, you will have left them an estate of incalculable value." Truer words were never spoken.
Founder, Simple Truths
Easy is to judge the mistakes of others
Difficult is to recognize our own mistakes
Easy is to talk without thinking
Difficult is to refrain the tongue
Easy is to hurt someone who loves us
Difficult is to heal the wound...
Easy is to forgive others
Difficult is to ask for forgiveness
Easy is to set rules.
Diificult is to follow them..
Easy is to dream every night.
Difficult is to fight for a dream...
Easy is to show victory.
Difficult is to assume defeat with dignity...
Easy is to admire a full moon.
Difficult to see the other side...
Easy is to stumble with a stone.
Difficult is to get up...
Easy is to enjoy life every day.
Difficult to give its real value...
Easy is to promise something to someone.
Difficult is to fulfill that promise...
Easy is to say we love.
Difficult is to show it every day...
Easy is to criticize others
Difficult is to improve oneself...
Easy is to make mistakes.
Difficult is to learn from them...
Easy is to weep for a lost love.
Difficult is to take care of it so not to lose it.
Easy is to think about improving.
Difficult is to stop thinking it and put it into
Easy is to think bad of others
Difficult is to give them the benefit of the doubt...
Easy is to receive
Difficult is to give
Easy to read this
Difficult to follow
Easy is keep the friendship with words
Difficult is to keep it with meanings
Friday, September 25, 2009
Q + Q + MA = C
where Q is the Quality of service rendered,
Q is the Quantity of service rendered,
MA is the Mental Attitude in which it is rendered, and
C is your Compensation.
"Compensation" here means all the things that come into your life:
school, job, money, joy, harmony with relationships, community status, a sense of tolerance, vacation, respect and responsibility, material possessions, perseverance, or "anything" else worthwhile that you seek.
- Napoleon Hill,
"Success Through A Positive Mental Attitude"
The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of Attitude on life.
Attitude, to me, is more important than facts.
It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than success, than whatother people think or say or do.
It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill.
It will make or break a company, an organization, a home.
The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the Attitude we will embrace for that day.
We cannot change the past.
We cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way.
We cannot change the inevitable.
The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our Attitude.
I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.
And so it is with you.
We are in charge of our Attitudes.
- Charles Swindoll
Saturday, September 19, 2009
I can't give solutions to all of life's problems, doubts, or fears. But I can listen to you, and together we will search for answers.
I can't change your past with all it's heartache and pain, nor the future with its untold stories. But I can be there now when you need me to care.
I can't keep your feet from stumbling. I can only offer my hand that you may grasp it and not fall.
Your joys, triumphs, successes, and happiness are not mine; Yet I can share in your laughter.
Your decisions in life are not mine to make, nor to judge; I can only support you, encourage you, and help you when you ask.
I can't prevent you from falling away from friendship, from your values, from me. I can only pray for you, talk to you and wait for you.
I can't give you boundaries which I might want to determine for you, But I can give you the room to change, room to grow, room to be yourself.
I can't keep your heart from breaking and hurting, But I can cry with you and help you pick up the pieces and put them back in place.
I can't tell you who you are. I can only love you as your friend.
1. Keep skid chains on your tongue; always say less than you think. Cultivate a low, persuasive voice. How you say it counts more than what you say.
2. Make promises sparingly, and keep them faithfully, no matter what it costs.
3. Never let an opportunity pass to say a kind and encouraging word to or about somebody. Praise good work, regardless of who did it. If criticism is needed, criticize helpfully, never spitefully.
4. Be interested in others, their pursuits, their work, their homes and families. Make merry with those who rejoice; with those who weep, mourn. Let everyone you meet, however humble, feel that you regard him as a person of importance.
5. Be cheerful. Don't burden or depress those around you by dwelling on your minor aches and pains and small disappointments. Remember, everyone is carrying some kind of a load.
6. Keep an open mind. Discuss but don't argue. It is a mark of a superior mind to be able to disagree without being disagreeable.
7. Let your virtues speak for themselves. Refuse to talk of another's vices. Discourage gossip. It is a waste of valuable time and can be extremely destructive.
8. Be careful of another's feelings. Wit and humor at the other person's expense are rarely worth it and may hurt when least expected.
9. Pay no attention to ill-natured remarks about you. Remember, the person who carried the message may not be the most accurate reporter in the world. Simply live so that nobody will believe them. Disordered nerves and bad digestion are a common cause of backbiting.
10. Don't be too anxious about the credit due you. Do your best, and be patient. Forget about yourself, and let others "remember." Success is much sweeter that way.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Everyone in the world is set back or defeated in one area of life or another.
Some fall away from their high ideals; others bemoan their failure to marry or having married, lament because the state failed to realize all its hopes and promises; others experience a decline of virtue, a gradual slipping away into mediocrity, or a slavery to bad habits.
Others are subjected to weariness, a failure of health or economic ruin.
All these disappointments are voiced in the mournful regret: "If I only had my life to live over again!"
But it is of the utmost importance that, in facing our defeats and failures, we shall never yield to discouragement; for discouragement, from an introspective point of view, is the result of wounded self-love and is therefore a form of pride.- Floyd Maxwell
A good ending to a great story.
The real moral of this story is this: Be aware of any signs that you're an alcoholic, and if you are, seek help. Too much of anything never did a good thing for anyone.
Bruce started working on one of his cases as soon as he got to the office. He kept watching the clock and the hands seemed to be moving in super slow motion. His mind kept drifting to the words spoken by the old man. Bruce couldn't let that happen to him and his children.
About 1 o'clock, Bruce felt like he had been at the office for 20 hours, he picked up his phone and dialed Beth's cell phone. Beth answered on the second ring.
"Beth, I love you and I'm sorry," he blurted out.
"What?" was all she could think of to say.
"Beth, I'm sorry for the way that I've been treating you for so long and I just want you to know that I love you and I want to know if you could find it in your heart to forgive me, even if it's only a little, and give me a chance to make it up to you."
The words in her heart just wouldn't come out of her.
"I'd like to ask mywife for a date tonight. You pick the place and and the time. All I ask is that you make it someplace special because I've got a lot to make up to you for. I've been a real bastard for a long time. Tell the kids to order a pizza or whatever else they want to eat. I want this night to be ours."
"Bruce, what... are you... did something happen?"
"I'm fine. I think that I'm finally coming to my senses and relearning what a wonderful woman that I have. I just hope that I haven't lost you already."
"You haven't," she said in such a soft voice that he almost didn't hear her.
"I'll drop my briefcase off as soon as I get home and we'll leave for the restaurant. Make the reservations for us please."
All she could say was, "Yes."
"I love you," he said and then hung up the phone.
Beth continued to hold the phone to her ear after Bruce had hung up until the recording came on, "If you want to make a call, please hang up and dial again."
She softly hung up the phone and a smile came to her lips. She picked the phone up again and called the beauty shop that she always went to and made an emergency appointment. Beth was half way to the beauty shop when she realized that she hadn't left the kids a note about where she was and the fact that she and Bruce were going out on a date tonight."
Beth walked into the shop with a bounce in her step. The beautician that regularly worked on her hair stood up and walked to the empty station. And waited while Beth took off her coat and sat down.
"Do you want me to do it regular, Mrs. J?"
Beth smiled at her reflection in the mirror, "Do it special Brenda. I've got a date tonight."
Brenda arced her eyebrows but Beth didn't offer any more information. Beth motioned to the manicurist and the young girl brought her tray over and began working on Beth's fingernails. While Brenda was setting her hair she dialed information and got the number of the new restaurant that her friends had been raving about. Beth had to plead with the reservation clerk to get a table for tonight but she got the reservations.
Brenda finished up at the beauty shop and then shopped for a nice dress for her date. She finally got home about five o'clock. Her kids were in the kitchen talking over a Coke; actually they were bickering over a Coke.
"Your Dad and I are going out on a date tonight. Order whatever you want to eat tonight. The carryout menus are in the top drawer in the kitchen," she said as she walked past the kids and up to the bathroom with a smile on her face.
Beth's daughter looked at her brother with a funny look on her face, "A date? I really doubt that she's going on a date with Dad. Do you think she's got a lover?"
Her brother gave a shrug that gave her the impression that he really didn't give a darn one way or another.
Beth eased herself into the bath water that was slightly too hot. It took several minutes before she could become accustomed to it. She leaned back and began to think about her marriage to Bruce Jamison and how they were still so much in love but so close to a divorce.
When had they given up on the marriage?
What had driven a wedge between them?
What was behind Bruce's phone call earlier?
Beth soaked in the water until she felt it beginning to cool. She washed and then rinsed herself. She walked into the bedroom from the master bath and began to touch up her hair. The bouffant shower cap had only messed up her hair a little and she soon had it perfect again. She looked at her watch.
Bruce would be home in about two hours. She put on her sexiest bra and panties set and set her new dress on the bed. She cut the labels off of it and held it up against her. She smiled, it would be perfect if Bruce was really trying to change.
Beth slipped the dress over her her head and let it drop onto her body. She turned a bit and smiled. She still had a figure that got admiring glances from men that passed her on the street. A knock on the door startled her.
Beth opened the door and saw her daughter holding a bunch of red roses,"Someone sent you flowers Mom."
Beth took them from her daughter and opened the card. The roses were from Bruce and the card just said, I Love You.
Beth saw that her daughter was looking at her funny, "Are you really going out on a date with Dad?"
"Yes, Honey. Please put these in a vase for me and put them in the entry for me so that your father will see them as soon as he gets home."
"Whatever," her daughter said as she took the flowers and began to walk downstairs.
Beth pulled out a pair of pantyhose from her lingerie drawer. She looked at them for a minute before she pushed them back in the drawer. She rooted through the drawer until she found a new pair of thigh high hose. She wanted to feel pretty tonight for Bruce.
Beth was just starting down the stairs when Bruce walked in the front door.
He watched her with a smile on his face as she descended the stairs. His eyes started to tear when he thought about how badly he had treated this magnificent woman the past few years.
As she walked to him he gathered her in his arms and kissed her. When they broke the kiss he murmured, "My God you are beautiful."
At the top of the stairs their daughter turned and headed for her bedroom muttering, "Gawd, give me a break."
Bruce helped her on with her coat, hollered goodbye to the kids and opened the front door for her. He held her arm as they walked to the car. Beth stood as he opened the car door and then helped her into the car.
Bruce walked around the car and got behind the wheel. He turned the key and started the car. He paused and then turned the car off and turned to her.
"Beth, something happened today. I can't really explain it. I suddenly realized just what a jerk that I've been for quite a while now. I'm drinking way too much. I've withdrawn into myself and I don't include you into my life anymore.
It just dawned on me today that we rarely talk anymore.
I've been doing a lot of thinking today and I want to get back the wonderful woman that I married.
I just hope that I haven't lost you forever, because I love you as much as I did the day we married."
Beth patted him on the arm, "You haven't lost me. You'd better drive. Our reservations are for seven thirty."
Bruce started the car and pulled out of the driveway. He reached out and took Beth's hand and squeezed it gently. She smiled at him and slid over and sat next to him and held his arm.
Bruce pulled into the restaurant parking lot and up to the front door. The valet ran to open the door for Beth and helped her out of the car. Brucewalked around the car and took her arm.
They were seated at their table almost immediately and when the server greeted them Bruce ordered a cup of coffee for him and Beth asked for the same. Bruce asked if they could have a few minutes to talk before the server took their order.
After they had their coffee in front of them and the server left, Bruce looked into her eyes, "Beth, I don't know why I just started to realize how bad I've been treating you the past few years. I haven't been able to get any work done today because I've been so ashamed of how much of a jerk that I've been. You should have kicked me in the balls and snapped me out of it."
Beth looked down into her coffee cup, "I've reached out to you so many times. You just seemed like you weren't really interested in me anymore.What made you pull away from me?"
Bruce looked away before he turned back. Beth saw he had tears in his eyes,"I've just felt that my life is not what I thought it would be. I feel like I'm trapped in a cage and my life will be the exactly the same ten years from now that it is today. Do you remember when I passed the bar? I was going to work for a few years until I got a little money and I could afford to open my own office. Now I spend my days trying to keep CEO's out of jail, trying to keep companies from being sued for unscrupulous business practices and trying to find legal or semi-legal ways that companies can get more money from their customers. I feel like I'm an accomplice to something unholy."
"Why don't you quit and open your own company in town here?" Beth asked,"You can do real estate title work, criminal law, anything you want."
Bruce looked at her, "I've thought about it. We're used to a life style that I doubt we would want to let go. The kids are planning on college and it would be a while before I started bringing in enough money to support us."
Beth started to smile, "You never did care to know about how we were doing financially. We have over eight hundred thousand in stocks, a healthy IRA, a substantial savings account and our house was paid off last year. You've never asked how my business was doing because you always considered yourself the bread winner in this family. I'm here to tell you that I'm doing very well. I can support this family until you get on your feet."
Beth saw that he was so shocked that he couldn't respond to her, "Now Mister Jamison, what I would suggest is that if you really feel that way, you go towork tomorrow and give them thirty days notice. That will give you time toc lean up any work that really needs your input and it will give the firm time to assign work that they won't need you for. I'll look for a building that will be big enough for your offices and mine and I'll do the interiors and have them ready for you to open your office as soon as you become self-employed. "
Bruce still hadn't said anything so Beth continued, "That is if you want to save this marriage and your family.
If you're worried about me having to support you, don't.
I look on it as an investment. I don't want to lose you."
Bruce reached over and took her hand and squeezed it, "You've got a deal. I'll be looking forward to moving into my new office in thirty days."
The server came to take their order and Bruce asked what the two best things on the menu were. The young man rattled off the attributes of two dishes that were the specials of the day and Bruce looked at Beth. She nodded and Bruce ordered both dishes.
"Do you want to do like we did when we first got married, share some of each dish?"
Beth nodded, "You'd better eat hearty. I'd also suggest that you call in sick tomorrow. You're not going to get much sleep tonight."
Saturday, September 12, 2009
I don't think it's really the number of friends you have, but how much of a friend YOU are to them.
Here's a poem for you to ponder.
An old man turned to me and asked,
"How many friends have you?"
"Why, ten or twenty friends have I,"
And I named off just a few.
He smiled a knowing smile at me
And sadly shook his head.
"How lucky you must be
To have so many friends," he said.
"But think of what you're saying.
There's so much that you don't know!
A friend is just not someone
To whom you say "Hello"!"
"A friend's a tender shoulder
On which to softly cry,
A well to pour your troubles down
And raise your spirits high.
A friend's a hand to pull you up
From darkness and despair,
When all your other so-called "friends"
Have helped to put you there!
A true friend is an ally
Who can't be moved or bought,
A voice to keep your name alive
When others have forgot.
But most of all a friend's a heart,
A strong and sturdy wall,
For from the hearts of friends there comes
The greatest love of all!
So think of what I've spoken,
For every word is true.
And answer once again, my child,
How many friends have you?"
And then he stood and faced me,
Awaiting my reply.
I smiled at him and answered,
"At least ONE friend have I!"
Thanks for being MY FRIEND!
The man nodded his head toward the young couple,
"I was just commenting on young love. They seem to be very much in love. I doubt if they know that anyone else is in the restaurant."
Beth looked over at the couple and gave the man a weak smile. She thought to herself that it would be great if their love could remain as bright in the future as it apparently was today. She wondered to herself if all love dimmed with time. She wondered if it ever became so dim that it wasn't worth trying to relight the spark.
"My daughter and her husband were once that much in love," the old man said snapping Beth back into the present.
Beth smiled and looked down at her glass. Her table-mate was beginning to go where Beth didn't want to go. There was a period of silence as the old man began to take a sip of his coffee.
"Do you and your wife live in the city?" Beth asked to turn the conversation to a place where she would feel more comfortable.
"No, my wife passed on several years ago. I'm afraid that she worried about our daughter so much that she neglected her own needs."
"I'm sorry," Beth said, "Is your daughter alright now... I mean are she and her husband okay now?"
As soon as the words were out of her mouth she wished that she hadn't said them. Beth wished that there had been other seats open. She didn't really want company today.
"No, they've gone their separate ways. They stayed together for years leading separate lives. They both gave up on the marriage years before they called it quits. It was just little things that began to eat on them and the little things would fester until they became large issues. They both retreated into themselves and they both used alcohol as a crutch."
Beth looked around the restaurant and saw that no one was looking their way. She tried to take another sip of her drink and found that it was empty. She put the glass down.
"Sometimes a marriage just can't be saved," Beth said.
"I'm afraid that they didn't really try to save it very hard," the old man continued,
"like so many other coupes they lost the will to communicate with each other. I guess they expected each other to instinctively know what the other was thinking or needed. The alcohol gave them an excuse to avoid talking out their problems."
Beth began to think of her own marriage. She and Bruce rarely had any conversation except to gripe about something one or the other had said or some imagined slight by one of them. It suddenly hit her that she and Bruce were each living their own lives while living in the same house.
Bruce hadn't talked about his work in several years.
She never talked to Bruce about her work.
"I've never been able to figure why couples stop talking to each other," the old man said, "it just seems so natural to talk to each other and find outhow your spouse's day went. Has our world gotten so fast that we haven't the time to talk to each other anymore? How can couples forget the qualities that brought them together in the first place?
We spend so much time worrying about the small things that we forget to live."
"Did your daughter ever remarry?" Beth asked.
"No. I'm afraid that my daughter has become a bitter woman. She looks for the faults in every man that she meets and she always seems to find some flaw in the man that she feels she could never put up with. She spends her evenings watching television with a drink in her hand. I don't know whatever happened to her ex-husband. The last time I saw him was at a sales conference in Dallas. He was so drunk that he didn't even recognize me. People were going out of their way to avoid him. I've never understood why some people feel that alcohol will numb the pain that they feel."
Beth didn't say anything for a while. She knew that if she gave the old man any clue to what her marriage was like she would start crying. The old man's words were hitting her right in the gut. She and Bruce were just a short way from hating each other. She began to wonder when her marriage would end; they just couldn't go on like this. She was very unhappy and she knew that Bruce was too.
She became aware that the old man was saying something to her, "I'm sorry.My mind was beginning to wander. What did you say?"
"I said that your husband is a very lucky man. You are obviously very intelligent, you carry yourself with confidence and you're very beautiful. He's a lucky man indeed."
Tears came to Beth's eyes, "I'm afraid that he doesn't feel that way. We're just two people that are living in the same house. I don't know why we even live together anymore."
"Did you love each other once?" the man asked.
Beth nodded her head. If she had tried to talk she would have started to sob. She still loved Bruce but she couldn't stand the way they had grown apart. She wanted him around but she was uncomfortable being around him.They never discussed anything anymore.
The old man put his hand over hers. "Do you talk to each other anymore?"
Beth shook her head.
"Please try to talk to him," the old man continued, "Some men try to keep all of their troubles hidden inside of them. They seem to have to prove to the woman that they can conquer anything. I guess that it's a macho thing. Men often forget that a woman needs to talk to her mate and feel a closeness to him. Promise me that you'll try to talk to him. See if there's still a spark of love that you get reignited. I can see in your eyes that you still love him but the pain that you have caused each other is causing you both to withdraw into yourselves."
Beth stood up with tears in her eyes, "Please excuse me. I'll be back."
She hurried to the ladies room before she started sobbing. In the ladies room she stood for a long time staring into the mirror at her reflection.When the tears stopped she fixed her makeup and went back into the restaurant.
As she neared her table she saw that the chair that the old man had been sitting in was empty. The chair was pushed in as if no one had been there.
The waitress came to the table, "Are you ready to order now?"
Beth looked up at the pleasant woman standing next to her, "What happened to the man that was sitting with me?"
The waitress put her hand on Beth's shoulder, "Are you driving today? ShouldI bring you a coffee? You've been sitting here alone since you came in. How about I get you a coffee."
The waitress left and soon came back with a coffee. Beth ordered a turkeyclub sandwich. While her food was being prepared she tried to think about the old man. He was real, she knew that. Maybe others couldn't see him, but Beth knew that she and the old man had talked.
When her sandwich came she just picked at it and thought about what the old man had said. Beth and Bruce had to talk. They had too many years invested in their marriage to just let it die. They had two fine children to raise and prepare for life.
A smile came to Beth's lips.
Prepare her children for their future;
Beth and Bruce weren't doing such a great job themselves.
Friday, September 11, 2009
As the bus slowed down at the crowded bus stop, the bus conductor leaned from the platform andcalled out "Six only!"
The bus stopped.
He counted out six passengers, rang the bell, and then, as the bus moved off, called to those left behind:
"So sorry, plenty of room in my heart -- but the bus is full."
He left behind a row of smiling faces.
It's not what you do; it's the way that you do it.
- Francis Gay
Here's Chapter 2, the first part.
Beth sat at the table in the restaurant looking at the lunch menu.
She would be eating alone today. Meg had called a couple of minutes ago and said that she had to get one of her kids from school. The school nurse had called and said that the child had been throwing up and was running a slight fever. Beth was glad that her children were older and had grown out of those mysterious childhood sicknesses that began quickly and ended just as quick.
She finished her Vodka and orange juice and motioned for the waitress that was passing her table to refresh her drink. This would be her last drink until after dinner. No sense tempting fate and getting a DUI.
After Bruce went into his study she often had a couple of drinks to relax her while she watched TV. She knew that Bruce was drinking as he worked; she could smell it when he came to bed even though he had a breath mint in his mouth when he entered the bedroom.
Her eyes began to wonder around the room. She watched a young couple sitting at a booth. They were obviously in love. They both sat on the same side ofthe booth and they held hands and smiled at each other constantly. They were oblivious to all of the other diners. Beth's breath caught in her throat when she remembered that she and Bruce used to be like that.
Beth stared at her drink.
What had happened to the two of them?
Bruce made very good money and Beth had her own business as an interior designer. They had always been inseparable. They used to go on vacations to exotic places, explored new places in New England and took pride in their home. Their house was always full of friends and the walls vibrated with laughter. She couldn't remember when their marriage had become such a chore. It had been a long time since any friends had stopped by. Beth couldn't remember when they held the last party at the house. Meg was her only friend and Meg took pains to avoid being in the house when Bruce was home. Meg said that she couldn't stand the constant bickering between Beth and Bruce.
She was concentrating on the liquid in the bottom of her glass and became aware that someone close to her was talking. She looked up to see an older man smiling at her. The man had said something that she hadn't heard; at least she didn't think she did.
"I'm sorry," Beth said, "I didn't hear what you said."
"It seems that there's a lunch-time rush today," the old man said softly,"There are no seats left. Would you mind terribly if I sat at your table? I'm only going to have a coffee. I've been shopping and my legs are protesting loudly."
Beth smiled and motioned for the man to sit down. She saw that his hair was a striking silver that reminded her of Donald Sutherland's hair. Not a hair was out of place. Beth acknowledged his thank you as the waitress came to the table. The man ordered his coffee and the waitress left; leaving them alone at the table.
"Please don't think that I am being forward but I must say that you are a very beautiful woman," the old man said pleasantly.
Beth thanked him and took another sip of her drink. Right now she didn't feel very beautiful. She had just come from a client's house. The job was complete and she was making a courtesy call to ensure that everything was to the client's satisfaction. Throughout the project there had been flirtations and innuendos between the two of them. Beth was tempted to follow through with the client's veiled suggestions but she got cold feet.
She had never been unfaithful to Bruce and she didn't know if she ever could be unfaithful to him. Her exit from the upscale residence had been tense and it made Beth uneasy that she had acted so unprofessionally with a client.
She heard the old man say something, "I'm sorry. My mind was wandering. Whatdid you say?"
Monday, September 07, 2009
Bruce heard words but he didn't really hear them until he realized the the man sitting next to him was talking to him, "Uh, I'm sorry. I didn't hear you."
The man smiled slightly and nodded toward the front of the train, "That woman, sitting at the front of the car reminds me of a woman that I knew many years ago. She was the wife of a friend of mine. That woman has the same inner beauty that my friend's wife had."
Bruce gave the man a weak smile and turned to look out of the window; hoping that the man wouldn't continue talking. He just didn't feel like talking to a stranger this morning.
Bruce had never talked to the woman that the old man had indicated but he had heard someone call her Jennifer once so he figured that was her name. He had heard someone talking to her about one of the fashion houses so he thought that she might be in the fashion industry.
"Are you married?" the man asked.
Bruce turned to look at the man, "Yes, two children."
He hoped that the additional information about his two children would give the man all of the information that the man wanted to hear about Bruce.Bruce wondered where the man got on the train. He had never seen the man before.
"Ah yes, children," the man continued, "God's reward for putting up with the trials and troubles of life. Man's grasp on immortality. "
"My friend and his wife," the old man continued, "oh it was so many years ago, they were so much in love. It was like God made Tom and Sarah for each other and that no one else in the world would have suited either of them.I'm afraid that if they hadn't found each other that they both would have remained unmarried."
Bruce smiled politely and looked out of the window again.
He realized that the man was talking again, "They had two children. They were smart as they could be. Everyone knew that those two children would rule the world one day. They were two of the most pleasant children that ever walked the earth. Teachers used to cry when the children moved to the next grade. Circumstances kept them from reaching their full potential though."
Before Bruce realized that he was walking into the man's trap he asked,"What happened to them?"
"Heredity happened. You see, Tom's father was an alcoholic. The drinking and the weekend beatings drove Tom's mother off when he was eight. His father transferred the beatings to Tom after the mother was gone. Tom withdrew into himself and never told anyone about the drinking and beatings. He quickly found that it would be best if he avoided having friends over to his house. Soon he avoided making friends completely. Tom took every opportunity to stay out of the house and away from his father.
Tom was the type of person that didn't have to study. He got straight A's in every class. If ever anyone was meant to go to college it was Tom. It just wasn't to be though. Tom ran away from home at sixteen, lied about his age and joined the Army. He was sent to Korea and he won several medals. He was wounded and spent time in the hospital in Arizona."
Bruce had turned to listen to the man's story, "No, I meant what happened to the children you were talking about?"
The man continued as if Bruce had never spoken, "It was in Arizona that Tom met his future wife. Sarah had been raised by her father. Her mother had been killed in an automobile accident when Sarah was an infant. Sarah's father was a fine upstanding man until Sarah started to blossom out as a woman. He would only drink once or twice a year but on those few occasion she would abuse her shamefully. He was very repentant when he sobered up. He would cry for weeks after it happened and apologize to her over and over, but the damage had already been done to Sarah's soul. Sarah began to drink when she was in high school. She never got drunk and she never drank more than one or two at first. She got into casual sex, searching for the love that she never found at home. When she met Tom she felt that she had met the man of her dreams. He was quiet and didn't drink much and he loved her. Before too long she found out she was pregnant with Tom's child. Sarah's father signed the consent form allowing them to be married."
The man paused, "I'm sorry. I'm bending your ear. Please excuse the ramblings of an old man."
Bruce smiled and turned to the window. He could fill in the rest of the story for himself.
After a few minutes Bruce turned to the man, "What happened to Tom and Sarah's children?"
"Their first born was a boy. He was a handsome boy from the minute he was born. All you had to do was look at that boy and you knew he was destined for great things. They named him Adam. Tom got out of the Army and started to work to support his young family. Without a high school diploma all he could find was low paying jobs and they didn't usually last long. Soon a daughter was born and they named her Mary after Sarah's mother. As is often the case with people that have parents like he had, Tom felt that he had been cheated by not being able to lead a normal life and get the education that he had the brains for. He and Sarah began to drink more often and sometimes the children would go unattended for several days. Soon Tom started to drink until he got drunk and then he would vent his frustration on Sarah. Sarah put up with the beatings because she loved Tom and because he was her drinking partner.
The noise from the train rails became louder. Bruce's mind wandered to his own childhood and, in his mind's eye, he saw his father beating his mother in a drunken rage. Bruce would hide because he knew that if his father saw him, some of the beatings would be his.
The old man continued, "When Mary was about four, Sarah disappeared. Tom never looked for her. He convinced the county somehow that he couldn't work because he had to look after the children and he went on welfare. A lot ofthe welfare check went to buy alcohol for Tom and he supplemented his check by burglarizing homes in the more affluent sections of town. Three years after Sarah had disappeared she showed up at Tom's front door again. She wasn't the beautiful woman that she once was. She was hooked on heroin and alcohol. She had been working as a prostitute for two years. She came back to Tom because she had no where else to go. She had advanced ovarian cancer.Tom took her in and she lived with him for about a year before she died. Poor Tom went off the deep end. The children had to fend for themselves after that."
The old man began to look off into the distance and Bruce asked, "Did the kids make it?'
The old man continued, "Adam fell in with a gang. Alcohol became a big thing in his life too. When he was fifteen he tried to hold up a convenience store and killed the clerk. The clerk was reaching for the money and Adam thought that he was reaching for a gun. Adam shot the clerk twice in the head. The police picked Adam up after they viewed the surveillance tapes. He's sitting on death row right now."
"What about Mary? Did she turn out OK?"
The old man sighed, "Mary's nude body was found in a ravine. She had been working as a prostitute. She had been raped and shot. The animals had started to eat her dead body."
Bruce shuddered, "So many lives destroyed."
The old man nodded, "Children of alcoholics usually wind up as adults with many mental problems."
Bruce turned his face to the window so that the old man couldn't see his tears. He began to examine his own life and he saw that he was continuing the cycle. He wondered what damage he had already done to his own children.His son was already withdrawn and didn't have many friends and his daughter stayed in her room most of the time with her door closed. Both of his children rarely spoke to him unless Bruce initiated the conversation.
Beth's face came before his eyes. Bruce and Beth argued constantly. Lately he was beginning to wonder what he ever saw in her. At times he suspected that she had a lover. They had become like two strangers living under thesame roof. He sobbed very softly; he still loved Beth. Was there any way to undo the mess that they had created?
Bruce turned to the old man. The seat next to him was empty. He turned and looked toward the back of the train but the old man was not in sight.
Bruce turned to the man sitting on the aisle seat opposite his seat, "What happened to the man that I was talking to?"
The man looked surprised for a second and then began to grin, "You must havebeen dreaming. There hasn't been anyone in that seat since you got on. Are you done with your paper?"
Bruce handed the man his paper. He turned to the window as the train pulled into the station. He saw the sign designating the town's name. He turned to get another look at the sign before it was out of sight. It was the second station on the way to New York City; the station after the one where Bruce started and ended his trip to the city every day... The station was only twelve miles from where he got on. The train had only been traveling a few minutes. That couldn't be! Bruce and the old man had been talking much longer than that!
Coming soon...........Chapter 2
Saturday, August 29, 2009
This is part 1 of Chapter 1. It's a story by Kathy/Tallorder64.
It's brilliant, absolutely brilliant to make you ponder why people kill themselves over seemingly nothing.
Bruce Jamison watched as the commuter train approached his station. He looked around and saw that all of the people waiting to board the train werestaring at the train as if mesmerized by the approach of the huge beast that took them into New York City at this time of the morning, Monday through Friday. Bruce had been riding this train for seven years now; ever since he and Beth had moved to Connecticut.
Bruce had met Beth at a friend's partyand they had hit it off right away. They had lived in New York City for the first five years of their marriage. For the first couple of years, after moving to Connecticut, Beth had driven him to the train station. He couldn't remember when or why she had stopped driving him to the station; she just didn't take him anymore. These days, he drove his car to the station and parked it there all day.
The bitter January wind gusted and several of the passengers turned away from the wind. Bruce pulled his knit cap down over his ears and inwardly cursed the sharp wind... It was still dark and the sun had not imparted any of it's warmth on the biting wind. Bruce's stomach seemed to twist inside his body and a bit of bile spilled into his throat. He pulled the breath mints out of his pocket and popped two of them in his mouth. The mints burned his tongue as they dissolved in his mouth. He took a sip from the throw-away cup that held his first cup of coffee of the morning; the hot liquid burned his tongue. The burning was magnified by the irritation of the breath mint. The breath mints were with him throughout his day to mask the smell of alcohol. Bruce never drank during the day but he was afraid that someone would smell alcohol on his breath from the night before.
At night, after he left the office and arrived at the station in the city, it was usually twenty or thirty minutes before his train arrived but lately that was enough time for three martinis. After he got home and ate dinner he would go into the study and work for a while on the cases that had been assigned to him and have another drink or two, sometimes more if the case was grinding on him. By no stretch of the imagination could anyone call him an alcoholic. He never let alcohol interfere with his work and he didn'ttake a drink during the day. Even at the power lunches he drank coffee oriced tea. Most of his fellow lawyers would swear that he didn't drink. Hehad promised long ago that he would never be like his father.
Brice Jamison had passed his bar exam on the first try. The law firm that had recruited him right out of law school had assisted him with tutors and time off to study for the exam. He repaid them, in spades, rapidly becoming one of the best corporate lawyers in the city. His reputation drew clients to the law firm like a magnet. Bruce quickly had his own staff working forhim. His salary grew along with his reputation. He had planned to work a few years to get his feet on the ground and then start his own practice but the money that he was making now was just too hard to turn away from. For some reason, partnership in the firm always seemed just a millimeter away. Right there but he couldn't touch it. Bruce told himself that it was because the firm was huge and the older partners were greedy.
The train slowed to a stop in front of the platform, pushing a bit of the frigid January air ahead of it. There was a rush to board the train and Bruce held back, knowing that there would be plenty of seats. Since this was one of the first stops, there were always plenty of seats. Bruce got on the train and began to walk toward his regular seat just as the train started to roll. He slid over to the window and looked out, into the half-light, at the Connecticut scenery slipping past the window. As it usually happened when hestarted his trip into the city, he got the feeling that something was wrong with his being on this train. He really didn't like New York City that much.
A movement in the aisle caused him to look up. A distinguished looking man,with a full head of striking silver hair, sat down next to him and nodded in greeting. Bruce smiled politely and opened his New York Times. The words printed on the paper didn't interest him and he drifted from one news article to another before folding the paper and putting it on his lap. He looked out of the window again and saw the eastern sky beginning to get a little lighter. The sun would almost be up when they pulled into New York.
An eight-year-old boy approached an old man in front of a wishing well, looked up into his eyes, and asked: "I understand you're a very wise man. I'd like to know the secret of life."
The old man looked down at the youngster and replied: "I've thought a lot in my lifetime, and the secret can be summed up in four words.
The first is think.
Think about the values you wish to live your life by.
The second is believe.
Believe in yourself based on the thinking you've done about the values you're going to live your life by.
The third is dream.
Dream about the things that can be, based on your belief in yourself and the values you're going to live by.
The last is dare.
Dare to make your dreams become reality, based on your belief in yourself and your values."
And with that, Walter E. Disney said to the little boy, "Think, Believe, Dream, and Dare."
1. A site called ‘Who Represents‘ where you can find the name of the agent that represents a celebrity. Their domain name… wait for it… is www.whorepresents.com
2. Experts Exchange, a knowledge base where programmers can exchange advice and views at www.expertsexchange.com
3. Looking for a pen? Look no further than Pen Island at www.penisland.net
4. Need a therapist? Try Therapist Finder at www.therapistfinder.com
5. Then of course, there’s the Italian Power Generator company…www.powergenitalia.com
6. And now, we have the Mole Station Native Nursery, based in New South Wales: www.molestationnursery.com
7. Welcome to the First Cumming Methodist Church. Their website is www.cummingfirst.com
8. Then, of course, there’s these brainless art designers, and their whacky website: www.speedofart.com
9. Want to holiday in Lake Tahoe? Try their brochure website at www.gotahoe.com
Can I prove my point?
Take this quiz:
* Name the ten wealthiest people in the world.
* Name the last year's Nobel Prize winners.
* Name the last ten winners of the Miss Universe contest.
* Name eight people who have won the Pulitzer prize.
* How about the last ten Academy Award winners for best picture...
* or the last football World Cup winners.
How did you do?
I didn't do well either.
With the exception of you trivia hounds.
Surprising how quickly we forget, isn't it?
And what I've mentioned above are no second-rate achievements.
They are the best in their fields.
But the applause dies.
Achievements are forgotten.
Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.
Here's another quiz.
See how you do on this one:
* Think of three people you enjoy spending time with.
* Name ten people who have taught you something worthwhile.
* Name five friends who have helped you in a difficult time.
* List a few teachers who have aided your journey through school.
* Name half a dozen heroes whose stories have inspired you.
The people who make a difference are not the ones with the credentials, but the ones with the concern.
The least you can do is to ensure you end up on someone's quiz.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
When you love someone, you do not love them all the time, in exactly the same way, from moment to moment.
It is an impossibility.
It is even a lie to pretend to.
And yet this is exactly what most of us demand.
- Anne Morrow Lindbergh
All I want to do is share this story about the power of the human touch.
Yesterday I paused outside the deli in my office building to let pass a rather harried looking
mother pushing a stroller loaded with a variety of shoulder bags and a small little girl.
My mind was elsewhere and I never actually saw what caused it, but halfway through this
narrow doorway a wheel of the stroller caught on the threshold and tipped the entire load
forward. Caught off balance and a little pre-occupied herself, this young lady lost her grip
and the stroller pitched forward, spilling the contents of several bags and one very
frightened brown haired child.
Instinct took over and as any father would do, my first reaction was to lift this baby to my
shoulder, pat her on the back and console her.
I couldn't get over how light she was or how strange it was that she didn't look around for
her mother. She just cried and stared directly at the wall and never turned her head in any
Despite her small stature, Angelica, as I would later learn her name was, nearly choked me with
her grip, as she frantically held onto my shirt and neck. Never responding to my voice as my daughter had, Angelica pressed her face into my hands as I stroked her hair and wiped the tears from her wide green eyes.
It only took a second or two for her mother to free the stroller from the doorway and race to my side, but Angelica would not let go of my shoulder and hand so I told her mother to go ahead and get her things together while I held the baby.
I had resumed my attempt at calming the baby when her mother turned and said, "She can only hear you if you put her ear to your chest, she's also deaf."
I turned my head to stare into this beautiful little girls eyes, and saw... nothing... no response...
no reaction. This frail, frightened child was blind and deaf, her only window to the world was
I stroked her cheek and was given a hopeful smile through her tears, I tickled her under the
chin, she giggled and placed her head on my shoulder and sighed. My heart was broken as
could only think of my own two and a-half-year old daughter, Christina. I thought of how often
she fell asleep to my wife and I singing to her or how often I catch her looking out of the corner
of her eye at me and laughing when I wink or make a face. Would she ever know the joy and
love in her home if she couldn't see or hear it?
Could I show her how much she means in my life just by touch alone?
How often had I said "I love you, Good night" without a hug or a kiss?
We all know how important touching can be, we all know the peace that settles into your heart
after a warm hug, but could any of us convey complex emotions like sadness, joy, sympathy
or love through touch alone?
Did this little girl know that I was a stranger, someone she had never been near before?
Did she even have a concept of different people at all?
Could she tell her mother apart from any other woman?
And then all these questions where answered in one quick second. Her mother took her from me and nuzzled her neck and hugged her.
The look on that child's face answered all and then some.
Of course she could.
I took my seat and tried my best not to cry in the hallway of my office. I pray that this mother can somehow get through to her little girl over the only bridge available, and I pray that I will never have to try.
I do know one thing though -- I'm going home tonight and practice...
Saturday, August 15, 2009
"DIE for something, or you'll live for NOTHING".
What I take it to mean is that you have to have something to live for. At least one thing that drives you. Otherwise, you're living a life which is nothing more than an empty shell, waiting for things to happen rather than working towards something happening FOR YOU.
With that, I leave you with the Quote of the Day.
You have to stand for something, or you'll fall for anything.
If you don't know what your position is, if you don't know where you draw the line between right and wrong, you'll never see yourself as you truly are.
You'll never feel good about yourself.
So that's become my credo.
Stand for something.
And do you know what?
I don't fall for much.
- Star Jones
(On the occasion of Kuok Group's 60th Anniversary 10 April 2009)
(1) My brothers and I owe our upbringing completely to Mother.She was steeped in Ru-Jiao – the teachings of Confucius, Mencius, Laozi and other Chinese sages.
Ru-Jiao teaches the correct behaviour for a human being on his life on earth.
Mother gently, and sometimes strongly, drummed into the minds of her three boys the values of honesty, of never cheating, lying, stealing or envying other people their material wealth or physical attributes.
(2) Father died on 25 December 1948 night without leaving a will.
Following the Japanese surrender, he had re-registered the firm as a sole proprietorship. We went to court to get an appointment as managers, permitting us to continue to manage Tong Seng & Co.
The judge said that, as there were two widows, the firm and the estate should be wound up.
(3) We decide to establish Kuok Brothers Limited.
In mid-January 1949, five of us met at a small roundtable in our home in Johore Bahru. Present were my MOTHER, cousin number five HOCK CHIN, cousin number twelve HOCK SENG, my brother HOCK KHEE nicknamed Philip (a..k.a. cousin number seventeen), and myself (a.k.a. cousin number twenty).
We sat down and Mother said, "Nien, would you like to start?"
I said, "Fine, yes I will start."
To cut the long story short, we got started, and commenced business from a little shop house in Johore Bharu on 1 April 1949.
(4) As a young man, I thought there was no substitute for hard work and thinking up good, honest business plans and, without respite, pushing them along.
There will always be business on earth.
Be humble; be straight; don't be crooked; don't take advantage of people.
To be a successful businessman, I think you really need to brush all your senses every morning, just as you brush your teeth.
I coined the phrase "honing your senses" in business: your vision, hearing, sense of smell, touch and taste.
All these senses come in very useful.
(5) Mother was the captain of our ship.
She saw and sensed everything, but being a wise person she didn't interfere.
Yet she was the background influence, the glue that bound the Group together.
She taught my cousins and my brothers and me never to be greedy, and that in making money one could practise high morality.
She stressed that whenever the firm does well it should make donations to the charities operating in our societies.
She always kept us focused on the big picture in business.
For example: avoid businesses that bring harm, destruction or grief to people. This includes trades like gambling, drugs, arms sales, loan-sharking and prostitution.
(6) We started as little fish swimming in a bathtub.
From there we went to a lake and now we are in the open seas.
Today our businesses cover many industries and our operations are worldwide but this would not have been possible without the vision of the founding members, the dedicated contributions and loyalty of our colleagues and employees, and very importantly the strong moral principles espoused by my mother.
(7) When I hire staff, I look for honest, hardworking, intelligent people.
When I look candidates in the eye, they must appear very honest to me.
I do not look for MBAs or exceptional students.
You may hire a brilliant man, summa cum laude, first-class honours, but if his mind is not a fair one or if he has a warped attitude in life, does brilliance really matter?
(8) Among the first employees were Lau Teo Chin (Ee Wor), Kwok Chin Luang (Ee Luang), Othman Samad (Kadir) and an Indian accountant called Joachim who was a devout Roman Catholic and who travelled in every day from Singapore where he lived.
(9) I would like on this special occasion to pay tribute to them and in particular to those who were with us in the early days;many of whom are no longer here.
I have already mentioned Lau Teo Chin (Ee Wor) and Kwok Chin Luang (Ee Luang) and Othman Samad (Kadir), there are others like Lean Chye Huat, who is not here today due to failing eyesight, and Yusuf Sharif who passed away in his home country India about one and a half years ago and the late Lee Siew Wah, and others who all gave solid and unstinting support and devotion to the Company.
It saddens me that in those early difficult years these pioneers did not enjoy significant and substantial rewards but such is the order of things and a most unfortunate aspect of capitalism.
However through our Group and employee Foundations, today we are able to help their descendants whenever there is a need to.
(10) I have learnt that the success of a company must depend on the unity of all its employees.
We are all in the same boat rowing against the current and tide and every able person must pull the oars to move the boat forward.
Also, we must relentlessly endeavour to maintain and practise the values of integrity and honesty, and eschew and reject greed and arrogance.
(11) A few words of caution to all businessmen and women.
I recall the Chinese saying: shibai nai chenggong zhi mu (failure is the mother of success).
But in the last thirty years of my business life, I have come to the conclusion that the reverse phrase is even truer of today's world: chenggong nai shibai zhi mu. Success often breeds failure, because it makes you arrogant, complacent and, therefore, lower your guard.
(12) The way forward for this world is through capitalism.
Even China has come to realise it.
But it's equally true that capitalism, if allowed to snowball along unchecked, can in many ways become destructive.
Capitalism needs to be inspected under a magnifying glass once a day, a super-magnifying glass once a week, and put through the cleaning machine once a month.
In capitalism, man needs elements of ambition and greed to drive him.
But where does ambition end and greed take over?
That's why I say that capitalism, if left to its own devices, will snowball along, roll down the hill and cause a lot of damage.
So a sound capitalist system requires very strongly led, enlightened, wise governments. That means politician-statesmen willing to sacrifice their lives for the sake of their people.
I don't mean politicians who are there for fame, glory and to line their pockets.
(13) To my mind the two great challenges facing the world are the restoration of education in morals and the establishment of a rule of law.
You must begin from the root up, imbuing and infusing moral lessons and morality into youth, both at home and from kindergartenand primary school upward through university. Every person needs to accept the principle of rule of law; then you have to train upright judges and lawyers to uphold the legal system.
(14) Wealth should be used for two main purposes.
One: for the generation of greater wealth; in other words, you continue to invest, creating prosperity and jobs in the country.
Two: part of your wealth should be applied to the betterment of mankind, either by acts of pure philanthropy or by investment in research and development along the frontiers of science, space, health care and so forth.
Live life like you have only one.
(Actually, you really ONLY have ONE)
Work to fully understand how the principles of life, and death, work.
If being a vegetarian is healthier than being a meat eater, then make a decision.
If religion is ridiculous, stop being ridiculous.
Resolve to be a slave to truth.
Resolve to oppose any corrupt group, particularly those in government who USE OUR MONEY like it's theirs.
Realize that the most "reputable" organizations are the worst.
Realize that mass media spreads mass propaganda.
And realize that we haven't even begun to do the right thing for our children.
Work to make your thoughts master of your feelings and not vice-a-versa.
Learn exactly how this present system of control works, then resolve to educate others about it.
If all of us know the problem, all of us become the solution.
Realize that the most unstoppable power in the world is giving.
It is untaxable, has a multiplier effect greater than any other, and will make you feel better than any selfish act you can think of.
- Floyd Maxwell (1957-)
Saturday, July 25, 2009
You never know who these people may be: your neighbor, child, long lost friend, lover, or even a complete stranger who, when you lock eyes with them, you know at that very moment that they will affect your life in some profound way.
And sometimes things happen to you and at the time they seem painful and unfair, but in reflection you realize that without overcoming those obstacles you would have never realized your potential strength, will power, or heart.
Everything happens for a reason. Nothing happens by chance or by means of good or bad luck. Illness, injury, love, lost moments of true greatness and sheer stupidity all occur to test the limits of your soul.
Without these small tests, whether they be events, illnesses or relationships, life would be like a smoothly paved straight flat road to nowhere, safe and comfortable, but dull and utterly pointless.
The people you meet who affect your life and the successes and downfalls you experience create who you are, and even the bad experiences can be learned from.
In fact, they are probably the poignant and important ones.
If someone hurts you, betrays you or breaks your heart, forgive them, for they have helped you learn about trust and the importance of being cautious to whom you open your heart.
If someone loves you, love them back unconditionally, not only because they love you, but because they are teaching you to love and opening your heart and eyes to things you would have never seen or felt without them.
Make every day count.
Appreciate every moment and take from it everything that you possibly can, for you may never be able to experience it again.
Talk to people you have never talked to before, and actually listen, let yourself fall in love, break free and set your sights high.
Hold your head up because you have every right to.
Tell yourself you are a great individual and believe in yourself... for if you don't believe in yourself, no one else will believe in you either.
You can make of your life anything you wish.
Create your own life and then go out and live in it!
"Live Each Day As If It Were Your Last...Tomorrow is Never Promised"