Friday, June 29, 2007

I will carry you forever

When I got home that night as my wife served dinner, I held her hand and said, "I've got something to tell you..."

She sat down and ate quietly. Again I observed the hurt in her eyes. Suddenly I didn't know how to open my mouth.

But I had to let her know what I was thinking. "I want a divorce", I raised the topic calmly.

She didn't seem to be annoyed by my words, instead she asked me softly, "why?" I avoided her question. This made her angry. She threw away the chopsticks and shouted at me, "you are not a man."

That night, we didn't talk to each other. She was weeping. I knew she wanted to find out what had happened to our marriage. But I could hardly give her a satisfactory answer; I had lost my heart to a lovely girl called Dew. I didn’t love her anymore. I just pitied her!

With a deep sense of guilt, I drafted a divorce agreement which stated that she could own our house, 30% shares of my company and the car. She glanced at it and then tore it into pieces. The woman who had spent ten years of her life with me had become a stranger. I felt sorry for her wasted time, resources and energy but I could not take back what I had said for I loved Dew so dearly.

Finally she cried loudly in front of me, which was what I had expected to see. To me her cry was actually a kind of release. The idea of divorce which had obsessed me for several weeks seemed to be firmer and clearer now.

The next day, I came back home very late and found her writing something at the table. I didn’t have supper but went straight to sleep and fell asleep very fast because I was tired after an eventful day with Dew. When I woke up, she was still there at the table writing. I just did not care so I turned over and was asleep again.

In the morning she presented her divorce conditions: she didn't want anything from me, but needed a month's notice before the divorce. She requested that in that one month we both struggle to live as normal a life as possible. Her reasons were simple: our son had his exams in a months time and she didn’t want to disrupt him with our broken marriage.

This was agreeable to me. But she had something more, she asked me to recall how I had carried her into out bridal room on our wedding day. She requested that everyday for the month's duration I carry her out of our bedroom to the front door ever morning. I thought she was going crazy.

Just to make our last days together bearable I accepted her odd request.

I told Dew about my wife's divorce conditions. She laughed loudly and thought it was absurd. "No matter what tricks she applies, she has to face the divorce," she said scornfully. My wife and I hadn't had any body contact since my divorce intention was explicitly expressed. So when I carried her out on the first day, we both appeared clumsy. Our son clapped behind us, "daddy is holding mummy in his arms." His words brought me a sense of pain. From the bedroom to the sitting room, then to the door, I walked over ten meters with her in my arms. She closed her eyes and said softly "don't tell our son about the divorce." I nodded, feeling somewhat upset.

I put her down outside the door. She went to wait for the bus to work. I drove alone to the office.

On the second day, both of us acted much more easily. She leaned on my chest. I could smell the fragrance of her blouse. I realized that I hadn’t looked at this woman carefully for a long time. I realized she was not young any more. There were fine wrinkles on her face, her hair was graying! Our marriage had taken its toll on her. For a minute I wondered what I had done to her.

On the fourth day, when I lifted her up, I felt a sense of intimacy returning. This was the woman who had given ten years of her life to me. On the fifth and sixth day, I realized that our sense of intimacy was growing again. I didn't tell Dew about this. It became easier to carry her as the month slipped by. Perhaps the everyday workout made me stronger.

She was choosing what to wear one morning. She tried on quite a few dresses but could not find a suitable one. Then she sighed, all my dresses have grown bigger. I suddenly realized that she had grown so thin, that was the reason why I could carry her more easily. Suddenly it hit me; she had buried so much pain and bitterness in her heart.

Subconsciously I reached out and touched her head. Our son came in at the moment and said, "Dad, it's time to carry mum out." To him, seeing his father carrying his mother out had become an essential part of his life. My wife gestured to our son to come closer and hugged him tightly. I turned my face away because I was afraid I might change my mind at this last minute. I then held her in my arms, walking from the bedroom, through the sitting room, to the hallway. Her hand surrounded my neck softly and naturally. I held her body tightly; it was just like our wedding day.

But her much lighter weight made me sad. On the last day, when I held her in my arms I could hardly move a step. Our son had gone to school. I held her tightly and said, "I hadn't noticed that our life lacked intimacy." I drove to office, jumped out of the car swiftly without locking the door. I was afraid any delay would make me change my mind. I walked upstairs. Dew opened the door and I said to her, "Sorry, Dew, I do not want the divorce anymore."

She looked at me, astonished. Then touched my forehead. "Do you have a fever?" She said. I moved her hand off my head. "Sorry, Dew, I said, I won't divorce. My marriage life was boring probably because she and I didn't value the details of our lives, not because we didn't love each other any more. Now I realize that since I carried her into my home on our wedding day I am supposed to hold her until death does us apart."

Dew seemed to suddenly wake up. She gave me a loud slap and then slammed the door and burst into tears. I walked downstairs and drove away. At the floral shop on the way, I ordered a bouquet of flowers for my wife. The salesgirl asked me what to write on the card. I smiled and wrote:

“I'll carry you out every morning until death do us apart”

The small details of our lives are what really matter in a relationship. It is not the mansion, the car, the property, the bank balance that matters. These create an environment conducive for happiness but cannot give happiness in themselves. So find time to be your spouse's friend and do those little things for each other that build intimacy. Do have a real happy marriage!

Remember: Relationships are never meant to be exploited, never meant to be broken.


Spoons of hell & heaven

A holy man was having a conversation with the Lord one day & said "Lord, I would like to know what Heaven & Hell are like."

"As you wish", and the Lord led the holy man to two doors.

He opened one of the doors & the holy man looked in. In the middle of the room was a large round table. In the middle of the table was a large pot of stew, which smelled delicious & made the holy man's mouth water. The people sitting around the table were thin & sickly. They appeared to be famished.

They were holding spoons with very long handles that were strapped to their arms & each found it possible to reach into the pot of stew & take a spoonful. But because the handle was longer than their arms, they could not get the spoons back into their mouths.

The holy man shuddered at the sight of their misery & suffering.

The Lord said, "You have seen Hell. Not lets see the Heaven."

They went to the next room & opened the door. But it was exactly the same as the first one! There was the large round table with the large pot of stew which made the holy man's mouth water.

The people were equipped with the same long-handled spoons, but here the people were well nourished & plump, laughing & talking!

The man said, "I don't understand!"

"It is simple, son" said the Lord. "It requires but one skill. You see, they have learned to feed each other, while the greedy think only of themselves."

There's nothing like teamwork in action. Lets learn to be help others so that we can help ourselves better.


Thursday, June 28, 2007

Paid with a glass of milk

What you are going to read is a true story...

One day, a poor boy who was selling goods from door to door to pay his way through school, found he had only one thin dime left, and he was hungry. He decided he would ask for a meal at the next house. However, he lost his nerve when a lovely young woman opened the door. Instead of a meal he asked for a drink of water. She thought he looked hungry so brought him a large glass of milk. He drank it slowly, and then asked, "How much do I owe you?"

You don't owe me anything," she replied "Mother has taught us never to accept payment for a kindness."

He said, "Then I thank you from my heart." And as Howard Kelly left that house, he not only felt stronger physically, but his faith in God and man was strong also. He had been ready to give up and quit.

It so happened that years later that young woman became critically ill. The local doctors were baffled. They finally sent her to the big city, where they called in specialists to study her rare disease. Dr. Howard Kelly was called in for the consultation. When he heard the name of the town she came from, a strange light filled his eyes. Immediately he rose and went down the hall of the hospital to her room. Dressed in his doctor's gown he went in to see her. He recognized her at once. He went back to the consultation room determined to do his best to save her life. From that day he gave special attention to the case.

After a long struggle, the battle was won. Dr. Kelly requested the business office to pass the final bill to him for approval. He looked at it, then wrote something on the edge and the bill was sent to her room. She feared to open it, for she was sure it would take the rest of her life to pay for it all. Finally, she looked, and something caught; her attention on the side as she read these words...

"Paid in full with one glass of milk."
Dr. Howard Kelly.

Tears of joy flooded her eyes as her happy heart prayed: "Thank You, God, that your love has spread abroad through human hearts and hands!"


Paper cranes

There was once this guy very much in love with his girl. Once he folded 1000 pieces of paper cranes as a gift to his girl, which she really loved.

Although, at that time he was just a small fry in his company, his future didn't seem too bright, they were very happy together. Until one day, his girl told him she was going to Paris and will never come back. She also told him that she cannot visualize any future for the both of them, so they went their own ways there and then.

Heartbroken, the guy had agreed. But when he regained his confidence, he worked hard day and night, slogging his body and mind just to make something out of him.

You never fail until you stop trying. Finally with all the hard work and the help of friends, this guy had set up his own company. One rainy day, while this guy was driving, he saw an elderly couple sharing an umbrella in the rain walking to some destination. Even with the umbrella, they were still drenched. It didn't take him long to realize they were his girl's parents!

With a heart in getting back at them, he drove slowly beside the couple, wanting them to spot him in his luxury sedan. He wanted them to know that he wasn't the same any more; he had his own company, car, condo, etc. But what he saw next confused him, the couple was walking towards a cemetery, and so he got out of his car and followed... and he saw his girl, a photograph of her smiling sweetly as ever at him from her tombstone and he saw his paper cranes right beside her. Her parents recognized him.

He asked them why this had happened. They explained, "Son, actually she did not leave for France at all. She was ill with cancer. She had believed that he will make it someday, but she did not want to be his obstacle... therefore she had chosen to leave you. She had wanted us to put your paper cranes beside her, because, if the day comes when fate brings you to her again, you can take some of those back with you."

The guy cried miserably that day.

Find time to realize those who really care for you, for you might wake up one morning losing them who you mistakenly thought meant nothing to you.


Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The undying spirit

My friend Hans Zimmer had a serious motorcycle accident and lost the use of his left hand.

"Fortunately I'm right handed," he told me as he adroitly served me a cup of tea. "It's amazing what I can do with just one hand."

Despite the loss of his fingers, he learned to fly an airplane in less than a year. But one day, while flying over a mountainous region, his plane had engine problems and crashed. He survived, but was paralyzed from head to foot.

I visited him in the hospital. He smiled at me. "Nothing that happens is really of any importance," he said. "What matters is what I decide to do now!"

I was dumbfounded. I thought my friend was just pretending, and that as soon as I left he would start crying and regretting his situation. That might have been what he did on that day, but he wasn't finished yet. Life still had some fine surprises in store for him.

He met the woman of his life during a conference for handicapped people. He invented a system of digital writing that responded to voice commands. And he sold millions of copies of a book that he wrote about developing the new system. On the back cover he wrote this short note:

"Before becoming paralyzed, I could do a million different things. Now I can only do 990,000. But what sensible person would worry about the 10,000 things he can no longer do, while there are 990,000 things left?!"

I salute the never-say-die spirit of such angels of inspiration.

If you have been paralyzed by your loved ones, or job, or money, or anything else in this life, always remember there is still so much more to do than worry about what you cannot do because of this misfortune. Do what you still can, and do it the best.


Mechanic and Doctor

Don't try to judge someone else before you have walked in their shoes!

A mechanic was removing the cylinder heads from the motor of a car when he spotted the famous heart surgeon in his shop, who was standing off to the side, waiting for the service manager to come to take a look at his car.

The mechanic shouted across the garage,"Hello Doctor! Please come over here for a minute."

The famous surgeon, a bit surprised, walked over to the mechanic.

The mechanic straightened up, wiped his hands on a rag and asked argumentatively, "So doctor, look at this. I also open hearts, take valves out, grind 'em, put in new parts, and when I finish this will work as a new one. So how come you get the big money, when you and me is doing basically the same work? "

The doctor leaned over and whispered to the mechanic "Now try to do it when the engine is running."


Flower and Butterfly

Once there was a man who asked God for a flower, and a butterfly.

But instead God gave him a cactus, and a caterpillar!

The man was sad, he didn’t understand why his request was mistaken. Then he thought to himself "Oh well, God has too many people to care for. Nevermind", and decided not to question.

After some time, the man went to check up on his request that he had left forgotten. To his surprise, from the thorny & ugly cactus a beautiful flower had grown. And the unsightly carterpillar had been transformed into the most beautiful butterfly!

God always does things right. His way is always the best way. Even if to us it seems all wrong.

If you asked God for one thing & received another, trust. You can be sure that He will always give you what you need at the appropriate time. What you want is not always what you need. God never fails to grant our petitions, so keep on going for Him without doubting or murmuring. God gives the very best to those who leave the choices up to Him.

Remember: today’s thorn is tomorrow’s flower!


Monday, June 25, 2007

You are the luckiest person alive!

There's a report about Earth statistics in year 2007 that says if the population of the Earth was reduced to that of a small town with 100 people, it would look something like this:
  • 80% would have bad living condition
  • 70% would be uneducated
  • 50% underfed
  • 1 would die
  • 2 would be born
  • 1 would have a computer
  • 1 (only one) will have higher education
When you look at the world from this point of view, you can see there is a real need for solidarity, understanding, patience and education. Also think about the following:
  • This morning, if you woke up healthy, then you are happier than the 1 million people that will not survive next week.
  • If you never suffered a war, the loneliness of the jail cell, the agony of torture, or hunger, you are happier than 500 million people in the world.
  • If you can live life without fear of jail or death, you are happier then 3 million people in the world.
  • If there is a food in your fridge, you have shoes and clothes, you have bed and a roof, you are richer then 75% of the people in the world.
  • If you have bank account, money in your wallet and some coins in the money-box, you belong to the 8% of the people on the world, who are well-to-do.
If you read this you are three times happier than before, because:
  • somebody wants you to read this.
  • you don't belong to the 200 million people that cannot read.
  • and... you have a computer!
As somebody once said:
  • Work, as if you don't need money,
  • Love, as if you've never been hurt,
  • Dance, as if nobody can see you
  • Sing, as if no one can hear,
  • Live, as if the Earth was a heaven.


Words of optimism

Here's an excerpt from a poem on Optimism:

Fate used me meanly; but I looked at her and laughed,
That none might know how bitter was the cup I quaffed.
Along came Joy, and paused beside me where I sat,
Saying, ‘I came to see what you were laughing at.’

Don't sulk in your fate. Rather, smile on your miseries. Make a joke of your troubles. And laugh aloud my friend, laugh aloud so hard that happiness wonders why the hell did it leave you in the first place!


Best Poem of 2005

This was awarded the Best Poem of 2005. It was written by an African kid. Just feel the words..

When I born, I Black,
when I grow up, I Black,
When I go in Sun, I Black,
when I scared, I Black,
When I sick, I Black,
and when I die, I still black...

And you White fellow,
When you born, you pink,
when you grow up, you White,
When you go in Sun, you Red,
When you cold, you blue,
When you scared, you yellow,
when you sick, you Green,
And when you die, you Gray...
And you call me colored?


Friday, June 22, 2007

The 80th floor

There were once 2 brothers who lived on the 80th floor of a tall building. On coming home one day, they realized to their dismay that the lifts were not working and that they have to climb the stairs home. After struggling to the 20th level, panting and tired, they decided to abandon their bags and come back for them the next day. They left their bags then and climbed on.

When they have struggled to the 40th level by this time they had gone sufficiently mad and irritated. The younger brother started to grumble and both of them began to quarrel. They continued to climb the flights of steps, quarreling all the way to the 60th floor.

They then realized that they have only 20 levels more to climb and decided to stop quarreling and continue climbing in peace. They silently climbed on and reached their home at long last. Each stood calmly before the door and waited for the! other to open the door. And they realized that the key was in their bags which were left on the 20th floor!

This story is actually a reflection of our lives and times.

All of us climb the tall building called life. Some climb till all the 80 floors and some less. Many of us climb under the expectations of our companion.

Time to time these are our friends and parents till the 20th floor, then our spouse and our dear ones till the next level of the building. We seldom get to do the things that we really like and love and are under so much pressure and stress so that by the age of 20, we get tired and decided to dump this load. Being free of the stress and pressure, we work enthusiastically and dream ambitious wishes.

By the time we reach 40 years old, we start to lose our vision and dreams. We begin to feel unsatisfied and start to complain and criticize. We live life as a misery as we are never satisfied.

Reaching 60, we realize that we have little left for complaining anymore, and we began to walk the final episode in peace and calmness. We think that there is nothing left to disappoint us, only to realize that we could not rest in peace because we have an unfulfilled dream. A dream we abandoned 60 years ago.

So what's your dream? Know your dreams and follow it so that you will not live with regrets. Inside each one of us are powers so strong, treasures so rich, possibilities so endless, that to command them all into action would change the history of the world.


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

One dollar and eleven cents

Tess was a precocious eight-year-old when she heard her Mom and Dad talking about her little brother, Andrew. All she knew was that he was very sick and they were completely out of money. They were moving to an apartment complex next month because Daddy didn’t have the money for the doctor’s bills and our house.

Only a very costly surgery could save him now and it was looking like there was no one to loan them the money. She heard Daddy say to her tearful Mother with whispered desperation, “Only a miracle can save him now.”

Tess went to her bedroom and pulled a glass jelly jar from its hiding place in the closet. She poured all the change out on the floor and counted it carefully. Three times, even. The total had to be exactly perfect. No chance here for mistakes. Carefully placing the coins back in the jar and twisting on the cap, she slipped out the back door and made her way 6 blocks to Rexall’s Drug Store with the big red Indian Chief sign above the door.

She waited patiently for the pharmacist to give her some attention but he was too busy at this moment. Tess twisted her feet to make a scuffing noise.


She cleared her throat with the most disgusting sound she could muster. No good.

Finally she took a quarter from her jar and banged it on the glass counter.

That did it! “And what do you want” the pharmacist asked in an annoyed tone of voice.

“I’m talking to my brother from Chicago whom I haven’t seen in ages”, he said without waiting for a reply to his question.

“Well, I want to talk to you about my brother,” Tess answered back in the same annoyed tone.

“He’s really, really sick… and I want to buy a miracle.”

“I beg your pardon” said the pharmacist.

“His name is Andrew and he has something bad growing inside his head and my Daddy says only a miracle can save him now. So how much does a miracle cost”

“We don’t sell miracles here, little girl. I’m sorry but I can’t help you,” the pharmacist said, softening a little.

“Listen, I have the money to pay for it. If it isn’t enough, I will get the rest. Just tell me how much it costs.”

The pharmacist’s brother was a well dressed man. He stooped down and asked the little girl, “What kind of a miracle does your brother need”

“I don’t know,” Tess replied with her eyes welling up. “I just know he’s really sick and Mommy says he needs an operation. But my Daddy can’t pay for it, so I want to use my money”.

“How much do you have” asked the man from Chicago.

“One dollar and eleven cents,” Tess answered barely audibly. “And it’s all the money I have, but I can get some more if I need to."

“Well, what a coincidence,” smiled the man. “A dollar and eleven cents is the exact price of a miracle for little brothers.”

He took her money in one hand and with the other hand he grasped her mitten and said “Take me to where you live. I want to see your brother and meet your parents. Let’s see if I have the kind of miracle you need.”

That well dressed man was Dr. Carlton Armstrong, a surgeon, specializing in neuro-surgery. The operation was completed without charge and it wasn’t long until Andrew was home again and doing well. Mom and Dad were happily talking about the chain of events that had led them to this place.

“That surgery,” her Mom whispered, “was a real miracle. I wonder how much it would have cost”

Tess smiled. She knew exactly how much a miracle cost: one dollar and eleven cents... plus the faith of a little child.

And this post marks the 100th scented candle glowing on this blog--its time for anniversary celebrations! (Thank you, everyone out there who has made a contribution, knowingly or not, to help me in this effort. Thanks :-)


Monday, June 18, 2007

The contact lens

This is a true story, friends.

Brenda was almost halfway to the top of the tremendous granite cliff. She was standing on a ledge where she was taking a breather during this, her first rock climb. As she rested there, the safety rope snapped against her eye and knocked out her contact lens. "Great", she thought. "Here I am on a rock ledge, hundreds of feet from the bottom and hundreds of feet to the top of this cliff, and now my sight is blurry."

She looked and looked, hoping that somehow it had landed on the ledge. But it just wasn't there.

She felt the panic rising in her, so she began praying. She prayed for calm, and she prayed that she may find her contact lens.

But somehow she got to the top. A there a friend examined her eye and her clothing for the lens, but it was still not to be found. Although she was calm now that she was at the top, she was saddened because she could not clearly see across the range of mountains. She thought of the bible verse "The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth."

She prayed, "Lord, You can see all these mountains. You know every stone and leaf, and You know exactly where my contact lens is. Please help me."

Later, when they had hiked down the trail to the bottom of the cliff they met another party of climbers just starting up the face of the cliff. One of them shouted out, "Hey, you guys! Anybody lose a contact lens?"

Well, that would be startling enough, but you know why the climber saw it? An ant was moving slowly across a twig on the face of the rock, carrying it!

The story doesn't end there. Brenda's father is a cartoonist. When she told him the incredible story of the ant, the prayer, and the contact lens, he drew a cartoon of an ant lugging that contact lens with the caption, "Lord, I don't know why You want me to carry this thing. I can't eat it, and it's awfully heavy. But if this is what You want me to do, I'll carry it for You."

I think it would do all of us some good to say, "God, I don't know why You want me to carry this load. I can see no good in it and it's awfully heavy. But, if You want me to carry it, I will."

God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called.


The potato garden

An old man lived alone in Minnesota. He wanted to spade his potato garden, but it was very hard work. His only son, who would have helped him, was in prison.

To share his feelings, the old man wrote a letter to his son and mentioned his situation..

"Dear Son, I am feeling pretty bad because it looks like I won't be able to plant my potato garden this year. I hate to miss doing the garden, because your mother always loved planting time. I'm just getting too old to be digging up a garden plot. If you were here, all my troubles would be over. I know you would dig the plot for me, if you weren't in prison.
-Love, Dad"

Shortly, the old man received this telegram: "For Heaven's sake, Dad, don't dig up the garden! That's where I buried the GUNS!"

At 4 a.m, the next morning, a dozen FBI agents and local police officers showed up and dug up the entire garden without finding any guns.

Confused, the old man wrote another note to his son telling him what happened, and asked him what to do next. His son's reply was: "Go ahead and plant your potatoes, Dad. It's the best I could do for you from here."

Moral Of the Story: No matter where you are in the world, if you have decided to do something from your heart--you can do it.


Friday, June 15, 2007

The 99 Club

Once upon a time, there lived a King who, despite his luxurious lifestyle, was neither happy nor content.

One day, the King came upon a servant who was singing happily while he worked. This fascinated the King; why was he, the Supreme Ruler of the Land, unhappy and gloomy, while a lowly servant had so much?

The King asked the servant, Why are you so happy?"

The man replied, "Your Majesty, I am nothing but a servant, but my family and I don't need too much - just a roof over our heads and warm food to fill our tummies."

The king was not satisfied with that reply.

Later in the day, he sought the advice of his most trusted advisor. After hearing the King's woes and the servant's story, the advisor said, "Your Majesty, I believe that the servant has not been made part of The 99 Club."

"The 99 Club? And what exactly is that?" The King inquired.

The advisor replied, "Your Majesty, to truly know what The 99 Club is, place 99 gold coins in a bag and leave it at this servant's doorstep." The King got this done.

When the servant saw the bag, he took it into his house. When he opened the bag, he let out a great shout of joy... so many gold coins! He began to count them.

After several counts, he was at last convinced that there were 99 coins. He wondered, "What could've happened to that last gold coin? Surely, no one would leave 99 coins!" He looked everywhere he could, but that final coin was elusive. Finally, exhausted, he decided that he was going to have to work harder than ever to earn that gold coin and complete his collection.

From that day, the servant's life was changed. He was overworked, horribly grumpy, and castigated his family for not helping him make that 100th gold coin. He stopped singing while he worked.

Witnessing this drastic transformation, the King was amazed! The advisor clarified by stating "Your Majesty, the servant has now officially joined The 99 Club." He continued, "The 99 Club is a name given to those people who have enough to be happy but are never contented, because they're always yearning and striving for that extra 1 telling to themselves: "Let me get that one final thing and then I will be happy for life."

We can be happy, even with very little in our lives, but the minute we're given something bigger and better, we want even more! We lose our sleep, our happiness, we hurt the people around us; all these as a price for our growing needs and desires. That's what joining the 99 Club is all about. Wanna join it?

You better not!


Don't paint the world green!

There was a millionaire who was bothered by severe eye pain. He consulted a galaxy of medical experts; he consumed heavy loads of drugs and underwent hundreds of injections. But the ache persisted with greater vigor than before.

At last a monk who has supposed to be an expert in treating such patients was called for by the millionaire. The monk understood his problem and said that for sometime he should concentrate only on green colors and not allow his eyes to fall on any other colors. The millionaire got together a group of painters and purchased barrels of green color and directed that every object his eye was likely to fall on was to be painted in green color just as the monk had directed.

When the monk came to visit him after a few days, the millionaire's servants ran to him with buckets of green paint and poured it on him since he was wearing red. They were eager to prevent their master from seeing any other color lest his eye ache came back.

Hearing this the monk laughed and said 'If only you had purchased a pair of green spectacles, worth just a few rupees, you could have saved these walls and trees and pots and all other articles and also could have saved a large share of his fortune. You cannot paint the world green.'

Let us change our vision and the world will appear accordingly. Instead of trying to shape the world, let us shape ourselves first!


Thursday, June 14, 2007

The old man's room

A man of 92 years, short, very well-presented, who takes great care in his appearance, is moving into an old people’s home today.

After waiting several hours in the retirement home lobby, he gently smiles as he is told that his room is ready.

His wife of 70 has recently died, and he is obliged to leave his home.

As he slowly walks to the elevator, using his cane, I describe his small room to him, including the sheet hung at the window which serves as a curtain.

"I like it very much", he says, with the enthusiasm of an 8 year old boy who has just been given a new puppy.

"Sir, you haven’t even seen the room yet! Hang on a moment, we are almost there," I quickly intervened.

"Look my daughter, that has nothing to do with it ", he corrected "It is already decided in my mind that I like my room. It is a decision I take every morning when I wake up."

"Happiness is something I choose in advance. Whether or not I like the room does not depend on the furniture, or the decor – rather it depends on how I decide to see it. I can choose. I can spend my day in bed enumerating all the difficulties that I have with the parts of my body that no longer work very well, or I can get up and give thanks to heaven for those parts that are still in working order. "

He touched my nerve with his words as he said "Every day is a gift, and as long as I can open my eyes, I will focus on the new day, and all the happy memories that I have built up during my life."

Think of it this way: Old age is like a bank account, you withdraw in later life what you have deposited along the way. So, my advice to you is to deposit all the happiness you can in your bank account of memories.


$20 note

Sometimes we just need to be reminded. And here's is one such reminder:

A well-known speaker started off his seminar by holding up a $20 bill. In the room of 200, he asked, "Who would like this $20 bill?"

Hands started going up. He said, "I am going to give this $20 to one of you but first, let me do this."

He proceeded to crumple up the $20 dollar bill. He then asked, "Who still wants it?" Still the hands we were up in the air.

Well, he replied, "What if I do this?" And he dropped it on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe. He picked it up, now crumpled and dirty.

"Now, who still wants it?" Still the hands went into the air.

"My friends" he continued, "we have all learned a very valuable lesson. No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth $20. Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way. We feel as though we are worthless. But no matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value. Dirty or clean, crumpled or finely creased, you are still priceless to those who do love you."

The worth of our lives comes not in what we do or who we know, but by who we are, and whose we are. You are special--don't ever forget it.


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Marble statue

There was this museum laid with beautiful marble tiles, with a huge marble statue displayed in the middle of the lobby. Many people came from all over the world just to admire this statue. One night, the marble tiles started talking to the marble statue.

Marble Tiles: Hey statue, it's just not fair. Why does everybody from all over the world come all the way here just to step on me while admiring you?

Marble Statue: My dear friend, marble tile, do u still remember that we were actually from the same cave?

Marble Tiles: Yes! that's why I feel it is even more unfair. We were born from the same cave and yet we receive different treatment now. Not fair!

Marble Statue: Then, do you still remember the day when the designer tried to work on you but you resisted the tools?

Marble Tiles : Yes, I hate that guy, how could he use those tools on me?

Marble Statue : Well, he couldn't work on you, when he decided to give up on you and start working on me instead. I knew at once that I would be something different after his efforts. I bore all the painful tools he used on me!

Marble Statue continued: My friend, there is a price to everything in life, since you decided to give up half way, you can't blame anybody who steps on you now!

Moral of the story is that the harder the knocks you go through in life, the more you learn and put them to use in the future! Do not be discouraged by setbacks and failures. Don't resist change, embrace it. Who knows, these setbacks & failures and the fears that come with change may the tools for your success tomorrow.


The cheque of self-confidence

Once upon a time, a business executive was deep in debt and could see no way out.

Creditors were closing in on him. Suppliers were demanding payment. He sat on the park bench, head in hands, wondering if anything could save his company from bankruptcy.

Suddenly an old man appeared before him.

"I can see that something is troubling you," he said.

After listening to the executive's woes, the old man said, "I believe I can help you."

He asked the man his name, wrote out a check, and pushed it into his hand saying, "Take this money. Meet me here exactly one year from today, and you can pay me back at that time."

Then he turned and disappeared as quickly as he had come.

The business executive saw in his hand a check for $500,000, signed by John D. Rockefeller, then one of the richest men in the world!

"I can erase my money worries in an instant!" he realized. But instead, the executive decided to put the uncashed check in his safe. Just knowing it was there might give him the strength to work out a way to save his business, he thought.

With renewed optimism, he negotiated better deals and extended terms of payment. He closed several big sales. Within a few months, he was out of debt and making money once again.

Exactly one year later, he returned to the park with the uncashed check. At the agreed-upon time, the old man appeared. But just as the executive was about to hand back the check and share his success story, a nurse came running up and grabbed the old man.

"I'm so glad I caught him!" she cried. "I hope he hasn't been bothering you. He's always escaping from the rest home and telling people he's John D. Rockefeller."

And she led the old man away by the arm.

The astonished executive just stood there, stunned. All year long he'd been wheeling and dealing, buying and selling, c onvinced he had half a million dollars behind him.

Suddenly, he realized that it wasn't the money, real or imagined, that had turned his life around. It was his newfound self-confidence that gave him the power to achieve anything he went after.


The kicking cow

Very wise farmer was passing by a neighbor's farm when he saw a group of farm hands standing around a cow. He was flagged down and asked what they could do about this uncooperative cow. They were unable to milk the cow because it was giving a kick the moment anybody approached it. They could not get near the cow.

He told the farm hands, "I will find a way to stopping this kicking."

He took a long stick and, sitting a short distance from the cow, gently touched the cow's leg with that stick; it gave a kick immediately. After a few seconds he again touched it; it gave another kick. He sat there for the whole day, doing only one thing, gently touching the leg of the cow with the stick.

How long would the cow continue to kick? To the surprise of all who were witnessing this phenomenon, this touching and kicking went on for a full twelve hours. The cow, finally got fed up, tired, and stopped kicking.

The wise farmer then told them to milk the cow; it never kicked again.

This parable can be applied to people who are resistant (and kick) whenever any kindness is shown toward them. But if kindness only is consistently offered, at some point the resistance gives way to receptivity. From then on, the milk of human kindness can be free flowing without fear of pain or rejection.

Why do some people often react negatively to the efforts of others? The reasons vary, but it usually involves pain inflicted at the hands of one who was expected to provide protection, relief, and safety. While it is not our role to investigate the cause and history of another person's pain, it is our responsibility to be diligent in our efforts to show kindness and understanding.


Thursday, June 7, 2007

Making marriage work

When I was a little girl, my mom liked to make breakfast food for dinner every now and then. And I remember one night in particular when she had made breakfast after a long, hard day at work.

On that evening so long ago, my mom placed a plate of eggs, sausage, and extremely burned toast in front of my dad. I remember waiting to see if anyone noticed! Yet, all my dad did was reached for his toast, smiled at my mom, and asked me how my day was at school.

I don't remember what I told him that night, but I do remember watching him smear butter and jelly on that toast and eat every bite! When I got up from the table that evening, I remember hearing my mom apologize to my dad for burning the toast. And I'll never forget what he said:
"Baby, I love burned toast."

Later that night, I went to kiss Daddy good night and I asked him if he really liked his toast burned. He wrapped me in his arms and said, "Debbie, your mommy put in a hard day at work today and she's real tired. And besides, a little burnt toast never hurt anyone!"

In bed that night, I thought about that scene at dinner...and the kindness my daddy showed my mom. To this day, it's a cherished memory from my childhood that I'll never forget. And it's one that came to mind just recently when Jack and I sat down to eat dinner.

I had arrived home usual...and decided we would have breakfast food for dinner. Some things never change, I suppose!

To my amazement, I found the ingredients I needed, and quickly began to cook eggs, turkey sausage, and buttered toast. Thinking I had things under control, I glanced through the mail for the day. It was only a few minutes later that I remembered that I had forgotten to take the toast out of the oven!

Now, had it been any other day -- and had we had more than two pieces of bread in the entire house -- I would have started all over. But it had been one of those days and I had just used up the last two pieces of bread. So burnt toast it was!

As I set the plate down in front of Jack, I waited for a comment about the toast. But all I got was a "Thank you!" I watched as he ate bite by bite, all the time waiting for some comment about the toast. But instead, all Jack said was, "Babe, this is great. Thanks for cooking tonight. I know you had a hard day."

As I took a bite of my charred toast that night, I thought about my mom and burnt toast hadn't been a deal-breaker for them. And I quietly thanked God for giving me a marriage where burnt toast wasn't a deal-breaker either!

You know, life is full of imperfect things...and imperfect people. I'm not the best housekeeper or cook. And you might be surprised to find out that Jack isn't the perfect husband! He likes to play his music too loud, he will always find a way to avoid yard work, and he watches far too many sports. Believe it or not, watching " Golf Academy " is not my idea of a great night at home!

But somehow in the past 37 years Jack and I have learned to accept the imperfections in each other. Over time, we have stopped trying to make each other in our own mold and have learned to celebrate our differences. You might say that we've learned to love each other for who we really are!

For example, I like to take my time, I'm a perfectionist, and I'm even-tempered. I tend to work too much and sleep too little. Jack, on the other hand, is disciplined, studious, an early riser, and is a marketer's dream consumer. I count pennies and Jack could care less! Where he is strong, I am weak, and vice versa.

And while you might say that Jack and I are opposites, we're also very much alike. I can look at him and tell you what he's thinking. I can predict his actions before he finalizes his plans. On the other hand, he knows whether I'm troubled or not the moment I enter a room.

We share the same goals. We love the same things. And we are still best friends. We've traveled through many valleys and enjoyed many mountaintops. And yet, at the same time, Jack and I must work every minute of every day to make this thing called "marriage" work!

What I've learned over the years is that learning to accept each other's faults - and choosing to celebrate each other's differences - is the one of the most important keys to creating a healthy, growing, and lasting marriage relationship.

And that's my prayer for you today. That you will learn to take the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of your married life and lay them at the feet of God. Because in the end, He's the only one who will be able to give you a marriage where burnt toast isn't a deal-breaker!


Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Two choices

Jerry is the manager of a restaurant. He is always in a good mood.

When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would always reply, "If I were any better, I would be twins!" Many of the waiters at his restaurant quit their jobs when he changed jobs, so they could follow him around from restaurant to restaurant.

Why? Because Jerry was a natural motivator.

If an employee was having a bad day, Jerry was always there, telling the employee how to look on the positive side of the situation. Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up to Jerry and asked him: "I don't get it! No one can be a positive person all of the time. How do you do it?"

Jerry replied, "Each morning I wake up and say to myself, I have two choices today. I can choose to be in a good mood or I can choose to be in a bad mood. I always choose to be in a good mood. Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be victim or I can choose to learn from it. I always choose to learn from it. Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or I can point out the positive side of life. I always choose the positive side of life."

"But it's not always that easy", I protested.

"Yes it is," Jerry said. "Life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk every situation is a choice. You choose how you react to situations. You choose how people will affect your mood. You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood. It's your choice how you live your life."

Several years later, I heard that Jerry accidentally did something you are never supposed to do in the restaurant business. He left the back door of his restaurant open

And then?

In the morning, he was robbed by three armed men.

Their want? While Jerry trying to open the safe box, his hand, shaking from nervousness, slipped off the combination. The robbers panicked and shot him.

Luckily, Jerry was found quickly and rushed to the hospital. After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, Jerry was released from the hospital with fragments of the bullets still in his body.

I saw Jerry about six months after the accident. When I asked him how he was, he replied, "If I were any better, I'd be twins. Want to see my scars?" I declined to see his wounds, but did ask him what had gone through his mind as the robbery took place.

"The first thing that went through my mind was that I should have locked the back door," Jerry replied. "Then, after they shot me, as I lay on the floor, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live or could choose to die. I chose to live."

"Weren't you scared" I asked?

Jerry continued, "The paramedics were great. They kept telling me I was going to be fine.

But when they wheeled me into the emergency room and I saw the expression on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared.

In their eyes, I read 'He's a dead man.'

I knew I needed to take action."

"What did you do?" I asked.

"Well, there was a big nurse shouting questions at me," said Jerry. "She asked if I was allergic to anything."

'Yes,' I replied.

The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply. I took a deep breath and yelled, 'Bullets!'

Over their laughter, I told them, 'I am choosing to live. Please operate on me as if I am alive, not dead'.

Jerry lived thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude. I learned from him that every day you have the choice to either enjoy your life or to hate it.

The only thing that is truly yours -- that no one can control or take from you--is your attitude, so if you can take care of that, everything else in life becomes much easier.


Monday, June 4, 2007

Outside the window

Two men, seriously ill, occupied a same hospital room.

One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room's only window. The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back.

The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation. Every afternoon when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window!

In fact the bed-ridden guy began to live for those one-hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the world outside! His partner used to tell him that the window overlooked a park with a lovely lake. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance. And as the man by the window described all this in exquisite detail, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene. One warm afternoon the man by the window described a parade passing by. Although the other man couldn't hear the band - he could see it. In his mind's eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words!

Days and weeks passed.

One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep.

This was a sad moment for him to see hospital attendants taking his partner's body away. But as soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. He so wanted to see the world that his roommate had painted for him every day! And as soon as the nurse made the switch, the man, excitedly yet painfully, propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the real world outside. And what he saw shocked him..

..the window faced a blank wall!

Words choking in his mouth, the puzzled man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this window? The nurse further disclosed that the man was blind and could not even see the wall.

"Perhaps he wanted to keep you happy", was all she said as she walked out of the room.

There is tremendous happiness in making others happy, despite our own situations.


Friday, June 1, 2007

The world is mine

Today, upon a bus, I saw
a girl with golden hair
I looked at her and sighed
and wished I was as fair.

When suddenly she rose to leave,
I saw her hobble down the aisle.
She had one leg and used a crutch
But as she passed, she passed a smile.

Oh, God, forgive me when I whine
I have 2 legs, the world is mine.


I stopped to buy some candy
The lad who sold it had such charm
I talked with him a while, he seemed so very glad

If I were late, it'd do no harm.
And as I left, he said to me,
"I thank you, you've been so kind.
It's nice to talk with folks like you.
You see," he said, "I'm blind."

Oh, God, forgive me when I whine.
I have 2 eyes, the world is mine.


Later while walking down the street,
I saw a child with eyes of blue

He stood and watched the others play
He did not know what to do.
I stopped a moment and then I said,
"Why don't you join the others, dear?"

He looked ahead without a word.
And then I knew, he couldn't hear.
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine.
I have 2 ears, the world is mine.


With feet to take me where I'd go.
With eyes to see the sunset's glow.
With ears to hear what I would know.
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine.
I've been blessed indeed, The world is mine.

Author unknown


The corn farmer

Once upon a time there was a farmer who grew award-winning corn. Each year he entered his corn in the state fair where it won a blue ribbon.

One year a newspaper reporter interviewed him and learned something interesting about how he grew it. The reporter discovered that the farmer shared his seed corn with his neighbors!

"How can you afford to share your best seed corn with your neighbors when they are entering corn in competition with yours each year?" the reporter asked.

"Why sir," said the farmer, "didn't you know? The wind picks up pollen from the ripening corn and swirls it from field to field. If my neighbors grow inferior corn, cross-pollination will steadily degrade the quality of my corn. If I am to grow good corn, I must help my neighbors grow good corn."

So it is with our lives. Those who choose to live in peace must help their neighbors to live in peace. Those who choose to live well must help others to live well, for the welfare of each is bound up with the welfare of all.

If we are to grow good corn, we must help our neighbors grow good corn.


Pray while its calm

Captain Russel was a strange old man on the ship.

On one trip, on a ship to full of young people to Shetland islands, people laughed at his strange act of saying a prayer before sailing out because the day was already fine, and the sea so calm!

However they weren't long at sea when a storm suddenly blew up, and the boat began to pitch violently. The terrified passengers rushed to the captain and asked him to join them in prayer now.

The Captain now smiled at them, and replied, "I say my prayers when it's calm. When it's rough I attend to my ship."

What a lesson!

Learn to seek God and trust his power in quiet moments, and you'll surely find him when the going gets rough.


Sunset in a cup

A teacher conducted a creative writing weeklong camp for kids during the summer vacations. To the older students she gave one line of an Emily Dickinson poem and told them to write their own poem using that line as a base. The line was: "Bring me the sunset in a cup."

But just look what this 12 year old child Nabeela Shaikh came up with!

Bring me the sunset in a cup
The moonlight in a dish
To achieve the impossible
Is my only wish

A ray of dawn
A drop of dusk
My dream to soar
Will never rust

And when I sit by the river quiet
Wishing that I had more might
All at once I suddenly see
How big I am depends on me

And so I bring you
My well learnt advice
You can be however big you wish
Mighty as giants, tiny as mice

I've brought the sunset in a cup
And the moonlight in a dish
I've achieved the impossible
And fulfilled my only wish

“The sun illuminates only the eye of the man, but shines into the eye and the heart of the child”: Ralph Waldo Emerson