Sunday, June 05, 2011
A THOUSAND REASONS TO SMILE
A blind boy sat on the steps of a building with a hat by his feet. He held up a sign which said: "I am blind, please help." There were only a few coins in the hat.
A man was walking by. He took a few coins from his pocket and dropped them into the hat. He then took the sign, turned it around, and wrote some words. He put the sign back so that everyone who walked by would see the new words.
Soon the hat began to fill up. A lot more people were giving money to the blind boy. That afternoon the man who had changed the sign came to see how things were. The boy recognized his footsteps and asked, "Were you the one who changed my sign this morning? What did you write?"
The man said, "I only wrote the truth. I said what you said but in a different way." I wrote: "Today is a beautiful day but I cannot see it."
Both signs told people that the boy was blind. But the first sign simply said the boy was blind. The second sign told people that they were so lucky that they were not blind. Should we be surprised that the second sign was more effective?
"Life has to be an incessant process of repair and reconstruction, of discarding evil and developing goodness. Paddy grains have to be de-husked in order to become edible as rice. Cotton has to be converted as yarn to become wearable cloth. Gold nuggets have to be heated in the crucible to remove the impurities. Man too, must purify his impulses, emotions and desires and cultivate good thoughts, words and deeds so that he can progress spiritually." ~ Prasanthi Nilayam
MORAL OF THE STORY:
Invite others towards good with wisdom. Live life with no excuse and love with no regrets. When life gives you a 100 reasons to cry, show life that you have 1000 reasons to smile. Face your past without regret. Handle your present with confidence. Prepare for the future without fear. Keep the faith and drop the fear.
Sunday, May 29, 2011
REALIZING YOUR DREAM
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 Abigail. 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 a coke. For 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, Abigail became a campus icon and 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 Abigail to speak at our football banquet and 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:
Some say love, it is a river that drowns the tender reed.
Some say love, it is a razor that leaves your soul to bleed.
Some say love, it is a hunger, an endless aching need.
I say love, it is a flower, and you its only seed.
It's the heart afraid of breaking that never learns to dance.
It's the dream afraid of waking that never takes the chance.
It's the one who won't be taken, who cannot seem to give,
And the soul afraid of dyin' that never learns to live.
When the night has been too lonely and the road has been too long,
And you think that love is only for the lucky and the strong,
Just remember in the winter far beneath the bitter snows
Lies the seed that with the sun's love in the spring becomes the rose.
At the year's end Abigail 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. These words have been passed along in loving memory of Abigail. REMEMBER, GROWING OLDER IS MANDATORY. GROWING UP IS OPTIONAL. We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.
Sunday, May 22, 2011
THE SPLASHES OF LIFE ...
A Sioux Indian story...
My grandfather took me to the fishing pond
when I was about seven, and he told me
to throw a stone into the water.
He told me to watch the circles created by the stone.
Then he asked me to think of myself as that stone person.
"You may create lots of splashes in your life,
but the waves that come from those splashes will disturb the peace
of all your fellow creatures," he said.
"Remember that you are responsible for what you put in your circle
and that circle will also touch many other circles."
"You will need to live in a way that allows the good that comes
from your circle to send the peace of that goodness to others."
"The splash that comes from anger or jealousy will send
those feelings to other circles. You are responsible for both."
That was the first time I realized each person creates the
inner peace or discord that flows out into the world.
We cannot create world peace if we are riddled with
inner conflict, hatred, doubt, or anger.
We radiate the feelings and thoughts that we hold inside,
whether we speak them or not.
Whatever is splashing around inside of us
is spilling out into the world, creating beauty or discord
with all other circles of life.
Remember the eternal wisdom:
WHATEVER YOU FOCUS ON EXPANDS...
Sunday, May 15, 2011
ALWAYS A SUNRISE
Look out, look in. Every day has a sunrise.
Wherever you are, like a magic circle, the world is all around you.
Everything has a purpose. Every action a reaction.
All around you there are happenings.
People, places and ideas, all offering you opportunities.
Some to be touched and changed by the very nature of your uniqueness.
Others to be left alone for they are not worthy of you.
Life is a love affair. Love the people around you, love what you do.
Every day dawns with a sunrise. Always, high days and low days.
Blue skies of pleasure, there to enjoy. Celebrate.
Dark clouds of storming hurt, however black, they always pass.
Today was yesterday’s tomorrow; yesterday is gone. History.
And the wonder of yesterday is whatever we didn’t like is behind us.
Make a change. Unlimited you. Greatness from within.
There is no such thing as failure, only learning experiences.
Some things are easy to learn, others hard.
What is easy for one may be hard for another.
Lessons to be learned, not burdens to be carried.
Everyone is different. Everyone is special.
We are all creative. We are all tool makers.
Greatness and humility. Both are you.
Leader and follower. Warrior and water carrier.
Teacher and student. Champion and cheerleader. Who is to say?
One day you are one, the next day you are the other.
Pace setters tread the untrodden path.
Never given away your sunrise day of action to an excuse.
'When the time is right.' 'When I feel like it.' 'When I've enough money.'
Sometimes it’s too easy to justify not taking action.
Sometimes you have to say 'no' to your inner voice ...
when it tries to keep you too comfortably where you're at.
Always a new light. Always a new day. Each day a gift of opportunity.
There is always a sunrise even when it is far from our view.
There is always a door. We simply have to seek.
There is always a key. We simply have to persist.
And, sometimes, we just have to wait a while. Patience does have virtue.
There is always a future. The future is hope and the magic is faith.
It begins with you today. Today a new day. Always.
Today our decision to be the person we really want to be.
Today our choice of courage to accept what we cannot change.
Today our choice to rise to the challenge of changing what we must.
These are the choices of happiness.
Always an answer. You simply have to believe.
The dawn. The magic of a new day given to us.
A love affair. A love affair with today.
Today, a gift of opportunity; to laugh; to learn; to achieve;
to make someone happy, to be happy.
Always a sunrise.
~ By Rex Barker
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