Monday, August 31, 2009


Of the many interactions I had with my mother those many years ago, one stands out with clarity. I remember the occasion when mother sent me to the main road, about twenty yards away from the homestead, to invite a passing group of seasonal work-seekers home for a meal. She instructed me to take a container along and collect dry cow dung for making a fire. I was then to prepare the meal for the group of work-seekers.

The thought of making an open fire outside at midday, cooking in a large three-legged pot in that intense heat, was sufficient to upset even an angel. I did not manage to conceal my feelings from my mother and, after serving the group, she called me to the veranda where she usually sat to attend to her sewing and knitting.

Looking straight into my eyes, she daid "Tsholofelo, why did you sulk when I requested you to prepare a meal for those poor destitute people?" Despite my attempt to deny her allegation, and using the heat of the fire and the sun as an excuse for my alleged behaviour, mother, giving me a firm look, said ""Lonao ga lo na nko" - "A foot has no nose". It means: you cannot detect what trouble may lie ahead of you.

Had I denied this group of people a meal, it may have happened that, in my travels some time in the future, I found myself at the mercy of those very individuals. As if that was not enough to shame me, mother continued: "Motho ke motho ka motho yo mongwe". The literal meaning: "A person is a person because of another person".

Source: "African Wisdom" by Ellen K. Kuzwayo

Sunday, August 30, 2009


A mouse looked through the crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife open a package. "What food might this contain?" the mouse wondered. He was devastated to discover it was a mousetrap.

Retreating to the farmyard, the mouse proclaimed the warning: "There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!"

The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said "Mr.Mouse, I can tell this is a grave concern to you, but it is of no consequence to me. I cannot be bothered by it."

The mouse turned to the pig and told him "There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!" The pig sympathized, but said "I am so very sorry, Mr.Mouse, but there is nothing I can do about it but pray. Be assured you are in my prayers."

The mouse turned to the cow and said "There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!" The cow said "Wow, Mr. Mouse. I'm sorry for you, but it's no skin off my nose."

So, the mouse returned to the house, head down and dejected, to face the farmer's mousetrap alone.

That very night a sound was heard throughout the house - like the sound of a mousetrap catching its prey. The farmer's wife rushed to see what was caught. In the darkness, she did not see it was a venomous snake whose tail the trap had caught. The snake bit the farmer's wife. The farmer rushed her to the hospital and she returned home with a fever.

Everyone knows you treat a fever with fresh chicken soup, so the farmer took his hatchet to the farmyard for the soup's main ingredient. But his wife's sickness continued, so friends and neighbors came to sit with her around the clock. To feed them, the farmer butchered the pig. The farmer's wife did not get well; she died. So many! people came for her funeral, the farmer had the cow slaughtered to provide enough meat for all of them.

The mouse looked upon it all from his crack in the wall with great sadness. So, the next time you hear someone is facing a problem and think it doesn't concern you, remember: when one of us is threatened, we are all at risk. We are all involved in this journey called life. We must keep an eye out for one another and make an extra effort to encourage one another. Each of us is a vital thread in another person's tapestry.

Saturday, August 29, 2009


In ancient Greece, Socrates was reputed to hold knowledge in high esteem. One day an acquaintance met the great philosopher and said, “Do you know what I just heard about your friend?”

“Hold on a minute,” Socrates replied. “Before telling me anything I’d like you to pass a little test. It’s called the Triple Filter Test.”

“Triple filter?”

“That’s right,” Socrates continued. “Before you talk to me about my friend, it might be a good idea to take a moment and filter what you’re going to say. That’s why I call it the triple filter test. The first filter is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?”

“No,” the man said, “Actually I just heard about it and ...”

“All right,” said Socrates. “So you don’t really know if it’s true or not. Now let’s try the second filter, the filter of Goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about my friend something good?”

“No, on the contrary…”

“So,” Socrates continued, “you want to tell me something bad about him, but you’re not certain it’s true. You may still pass the test though, because there’s one filter left: the filter of Usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about my friend going to be useful to me?”

“No, not really …”

“Well,” concluded Socrates, “if what you want to tell me is neither true nor good nor even useful, why tell it to me at all?”

Friday, August 28, 2009


A while back, there was a story about Reuben Gonzolas, who was in the final match of his first professional racquetball tournament. He was playing the perennial champion for his first shot at a victory on the pro circuit. At match point in the fifth and final game, Gonzolas made a super "kill shot" into the front corner to win the tournament. The referee called it good, and one of the linemen confirmed the shot was a winner.

But after a moment's hesitation, Gonzolas turned and declared that his shot had skipped into the wall, hitting the floor first. As a result, the serve went to his opponent, who went on to win the match.

Reuben Gonzolas walked off the court; everyone was stunned. The next issue of a leading racquetball magazine featured Gonzolas on its cover. The lead editorial searched and questioned for an explanation for the first ever occurrence on the professional racquetball circuit. Who could ever imagine it in any sport or endeavor? Here was a player with everything officially in his favor, with victory in his grasp, who disqualifies himself at match point and loses.

When asked why he did it, Gonzolas replied, "It was the only thing I could do to maintain my integrity."

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Jack tossed the papers on my desk -- his eyebrows knit into a straight line as he glared at me.

"What's wrong?" I asked.

He jabbed a finger at the proposal. "Next time you want to change anything, ask me first," he said, turning on his heels and leaving me stewing in anger.

How dare he treat me like that, I thought. I had changed one long sentence, and corrected grammar -- something I thought I was paid to do.

It's not that I hadn't been warned. The other women, who had served in my place before me, called him names I couldn't repeat. One co-worker took me aside the first day. "He's personally responsible for two different secretaries leaving the firm," she whispered.

As the weeks went by, I grew to despise Jack. It was against everything I believed in -- turn the other cheek and love your enemies. But Jack quickly slapped a verbal insult on any cheek turned his way. I prayed about it, but to be honest, I wanted to put him in his place, not love him.

One day, another of his episodes left me in tears. I stormed into his office, prepared to lose my job if needed, but not before I let the man know how I felt. I opened the door and Jack glanced up.

"What?" he said abruptly.

Suddenly I knew what I had to do. After all, he deserved it.

I sat across from him. "Jack, the way you've been treating me is wrong. I've never had anyone speak to me that way. As a professional, it's wrong, and it's wrong for me to allow it to continue," I said.

Jack snickered nervously and leaned back in his chair. I closed my eyes briefly. God help me, I prayed.

"I want to make you a promise. I will be a friend," I said. "I will treat you as you deserve to be treated, with respect and kindness. You deserve that," I said. "Everybody does." I slipped out of the chair and closed the door behind me.

Jack avoided me the rest of the week. Proposals, specs, and letters appeared on my desk while I was at lunch, and the corrected versions were not seen again. I brought cookies to the office one day and left a batch on Jack's desk. Another day I left a note. "Hope your day is going great," it read.

Over the next few weeks, Jack reappeared. He was reserved, but there were no other episodes. Co-workers cornered me in the break room.

"Guess you got to Jack," they said. "You must have told him off good." I shook my head.

"Jack and I are becoming friends," I said in faith. I refused to talk about him. Every time I saw Jack in the hall, I smiled at him.

After all, that's what friends do.

One year after our "talk", I discovered I had breast cancer. I was 32, the mother of three beautiful young children, and scared. The cancer had metastasized to my lymph nodes and the statistics were not great for long-term survival. After surgery, I visited with friends and loved ones who tried to find the right words to say. No one knew what to say. Many said the wrong things . Others wept, and I tried to encourage them. I clung to hope.

The last day of my hospital stay, the door darkened and Jack stood awkwardly on the threshold. I waved him in with a smile and he walked over to my bed and, without a word, placed a bundle beside me. Inside lay several bulbs.

"Tulips," he said.

I smiled, not understanding.

He cleared his throat. "If you plant them when you get home, they'll come up next spring." He shuffled his feet. "I just wanted you to know that I think you'll be there to see them when they come up."

Tears clouded my eyes and I reached out my hand.

"Thank you," I whispered.

Jack grasped my hand and gruffly replied, "You're welcome. You can't see it now, but next spring you'll see the colors I picked out for you." He turned and left without a word.

I have seen those red and white striped tulips push through the soil every spring for over ten years now. In fact, this September the doctor will declare me cured. I've seen my children graduate from high school and enter college.

In a moment when I prayed for just the right word, a man with very few words said all the right things.

After all, that's what friends do.

by T. Suzanne Eller

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


She came into my life when I was eight years old. My dad found her at work. She was a stray and starving. He took one look at her, and said "Seems like you could use a good home." He opened up the door to his pickup and she jumped in. Her tailed wagged all the way.

I was still at school, when dad arrived home with the puppy. Mom and dad fed her and gave her a bath. This would be my first pet.

I had always wanted a dog. My parents told me when I was old enough and responsible, I could have one. Well I guess they figured the time was right.

I hopped off the bus, not knowing what awaited inside for me. I walked through the door, and to my surprise a white and black puppy with a red bow stuck to her head, greeted me with many many puppy kisses. A very special friendship was born that day.

Now she needed a name. My older brother laughed at her and said her tail was deformed. It doesn't wag its tail back and forth, it goes in a circle. He motions his finger around his ear, and says "She's squirrely" Thus my puppy, Squirrely got her name.

She was a smart dog. I taught her to play hide and seek. We would play for hours, spending our days learning and growing together.

Eleven years we were together, best of friends. Arthritis and old age set in on her. My parents knew what had to be done, but they stood back and let me find and make the decision myself.

She was suffering so much and the medicine didn't seem to help anymore. She could barely walk. I looked into those deep brown eyes and realized it was time to let he go.

I carried her into the vet's office, placed her on the table. Squirrely leaned her head forward, gave a lick to my hand. As if to say she understood, and stay strong. Her tail was wagging in that circle as it always did.

The vet gave her a sedative first, for the final shot was given on her front paw, and that was painful. She first went to sleep, but her tail still wagged. Then the vet asked before giving the final shot, "Are you sure?" With a heavy heart and tear filled eye's, I nodded yes.

The final shot was given. My eye's fixed upon her wagging tail. A matter of seconds and it stopped. The vet listened for a heart beat, and said "It's over" I wrapped her up in her favorite blanket, and carried her out.

I took her home and buried her in the pasture, where she loved playing, and chasing rabbits. It was the hardest thing I have ever done.

I didn't go back to her grave for many years, but recently I went. Growing on her grave was a single wild flower. I sat and watched it swaying in the wind, and realized that it was swaying in a circle, just like Squirrely. I know now that, that special friend will be with me always.

by Melissa Knapp

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


One day, many years ago, when I was working as a psychologist at a children's institution in England, an adolescent boy showed up in the waiting room. I went out there where he was walking up and down restlessly.

I showed him into my office and pointed to the chair on the other side of my desk. It was in late autumn, and the lilac bush outside the window had shed all its leaves. "Please sit down," I said.

David wore a black rain coat that was buttoned all the way up to his neck. His face was pale, and he stared at his feet while wringing his hands nervously. He had lost his father as an infant, and had lived together with his mother and grandfather since. But the year before David turned 13, his grandfather died and his mother was killed in a car accident. Now he was 14 and in family care.

His head teacher had referred him to me. "This boy," he wrote, "is understandably very sad and depressed. He refuses to talk to others and I'm very worried about him. Can you help?"

I looked at David. How could I help him? There are human tragedies psychology doesn't have the answer to, and which no words can describe. Sometimes the best thing one can do is to listen openly and sympathetically.

The first two times we met, David didn't say a word. He sat hunched up in the chair and only looked up to look at the children's drawings on the wall behind me. As he was about to leave after the second visit, I put my hand on his shoulder. He didn't shrink back, but he didn't look at me either.

"Come back next week, if you like," I said. I hesitated a bit. Then I said, "I know it hurts."

He came, and I suggested we play a game of chess. He nodded. After that we played chess every Wednesday afternoon - in complete silence and without making any eye contact. It's not easy to cheat in chess, but I admit that I made sure David won once or twice.

Usually, he arrived earlier than agreed, took the chessboard and pieces from the shelf and began setting them up before I even got a chance to sit down. It seemed as if he enjoyed my company. But why did he never look at me?

"Perhaps he simply needs someone to share his pain with," I thought. "Perhaps he senses that I respect his suffering." One afternoon in late winter, David took off his rain coat and put it on the back of the chair. While he was setting up the chess pieces, his face seemed more alive and his motions more lively.

Some months later, when the lilacs blossomed outside, I sat starring at David's head, while he was bent over the chessboard. I thought about how little we know about therapy - about the mysterious process associated with healing. Suddenly, he looked up at me.

"It's your turn," he said.

After that day, David started talking. He got friends in school and joined a bicycle club. He wrote to me a few times ("I'm biking with some friends and I feel great"); letters about how he would try to get into university. After some time, the letters stopped. Now he had really started to live his own life.

Maybe I gave David something. At least I learned a lot from him. I learned how time makes it possible to overcome what seems to be an insuperable pain. I learned to be there for people who need me. And David showed me how one - without any words - can reach out to another person. All it takes is a hug, a shoulder to cry on, a friendly touch, a sympathetic nature - and an ear that listens.

by Tom Crabtree

Monday, August 24, 2009


I can't give solutions to all of life's problems,
doubts, or fears.
But I can listen to you, and together we can seek

I can't change your past with all it's heartache and
pain, nor the future with it's 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

Your joys, triumphs, successes, and happinesses are
not mine;
Yet I can share in your laughter and joy.

Your decisions in life are not mine to make, nor to
I can only support you, encourage you, and help you
when you ask.

I can't give you boundaries which I have determined
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 and be your friend.


Sunday, August 23, 2009


I can still remember the first day when I met my best friend. She had just moved into the neighborhood and her grandmother who also lived in the neighborhood brought her down to meet me. I hid behind my mother and she hid behind her grandmother, scared to look at each other. Soon, we lost the shyness and started playing with each other, bike riding to each other's house and having sleepovers. In 7th grade, I first lost touch with her. She was going through family problems and I deserted her to be with the "cooler people". None of my new friends liked her as much as I did because they knew she had "problems". However every summer we would always sit at each other's house and watch soap operas, eat Doritos (or whatever junk food her mom had bought) and talk about all the boys we liked.

It was last year when I noticed the problem. I guess I was just to catch up in high school to realize she needed someone there for her. Well, she made a new "best friend" and so did I. Then I didn't know why, but she started cutting herself!

She was diagnosed with clinical depression, and had to go to a hospital during the day. I was very upset at first but with the late nite calls, and meeting each other halfway up the street at midnight. We still stayed in touch. I wanted to be there for her since her new best friend basically deserted her since people were calling her crazy, and I knew I still cared about her like a sister.

Yesterday she came to me and said this: "I never knew what a best friend was until you were the only person that would stop me from cutting; the only person that ever made me feel better about myself and my problems. You don't know this but I was trying to kill myself this one nite you called me and I was crying. I owe you so much, and you didn't even know you were helping me."

We both cried. And I guess a kind of lesson from my life so far is to never give up on your friends. Even if they aren't as cool as others, or people think they are crazy, they need someone there. If you desert them, you will only be miserable yourself. So if a friend needs you, and you care for them, you can never desert them.

Written by Chelle B.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


When I was in seventh grade, I was a candy striper at a local hospital in my town. I volunteered about thirty to forty hours a week during the summer. Most of the time I spent there was with Mr. Gillespie. He never had any visitors, and nobody seemed to care about his condition.

I spent many days there holding his hand and talking to him, helping with anything that needed to be done. He became a close friend of mine, even though he responded with only an occasional squeeze of my hand. Mr. Gillespie was in a coma.

I left for a week to vacation with my parents, and when I came back, Mr. Gillespie was gone. I didn't have the nerve to ask any of the nurses where he was, for fear they might tell me he had died. So with many questions unanswered, I continued to volunteer there through my eighth-grade year.

Several years later, when I was a junior in high school, I was at the gas station when I noticed a familiar face. When I realized who it was, my eyes filled with tears. He was alive! I got up the nerve to ask him if his name was Mr. Gillespie, and if he had been in a coma about five years ago. With an uncertain look on his face, he replied yes. I explained how I knew him, and that I had spent many hours talking with him in the hospital. His eyes welled up with tears, and he gave me the warmest hug I had ever received.

He began to tell me how, as he lay there comatose, he could hear me talking to him and could feel me holding his hand the whole time. He thought it was an angel, not a person, who was there with him. Mr. Gillespie firmly believed that it was my voice and touch that had kept him alive.

Then he told me about his life and what happened to him to put him in the coma. We both cried for a while and exchanged a hug, said our good-byes and went our separate ways.

Although I haven't seen him since, he fills my heart with joy every day. I know that I made a difference between his life and his death. More important, he has made a tremendous difference in my life. I will never forget him and what he did for me: he made me an angel.

written by Angela Sturgill

Friday, August 21, 2009


Last night was the last game for my eight-year-old son's soccer team. It was the final quarter. The score was two to one, my son's team in the lead. Parents encircled the field, offering encouragement.

With less than ten seconds remaining, the ball rolled in front of my son's teammate, one Mikey O'Donnel. With shouts of "Kick it!" echoing across the field, Mikey reared back and gave it everything he had. All round me the crowd erupted. O'Donnel had scored!

Then there was silence. Mikey had scored all right, but in the wrong goal, ending the game in a tie. For a moment there was total hush. You see, Mikey has Down's syndrome and for him there is no such thing as a wrong goal. All goals were celebrated by a joyous hug from Mikey. He had even been known to hug the opposing players when they scored.

The silence was finally broken when Mikey, his face filled with joy, grabbed my son, hugged him and yelled, "I scored! I scored. Everybody won! Everybody won!" For a moment I held my breath, not sure how my son would react. I need not have worried. I watched, through tears, as my son threw up his hand in the classic high-five salute and started chanting, "Way to go Mikey! Way to go Mikey!" Within moments both teams surrounded Mikey, joining in the chant and congratulating him on his goal.

Later that night, when my daughter asked who had won, I smiled as I replied, "It was a tie. Everybody won."

written by Kim Kane

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Once upon a time there was a little boy who was raised in a orphanage.

The little boy had always wished that he could fly like a bird. It was very difficult for him to understand why he could not fly. There were birds at the zoo that were much bigger than he, and they could fly.

"Why can't I?" he thought. "Is there something wrong with me?" he wondered.

There was another little boy who was crippled. He had always wished that he could walk and run like other little boys and girls.

"Why can't I be like them?" he thought.

One day the little orphan boy who had wanted to fly like a bird ran away from the orphanage. He came upon a park where he saw the little boy who could not walk or run playing in the sandbox.

He ran over to the little boy and asked him if he had ever wanted to fly like a bird.

"No," said the little boy who could not walk or run. "But I have wondered what it would be like to walk and run like other boys and girls."

"That is very sad." said the little boy who wanted to fly. "Do you think we could be friends?" he said to the little boy in the sandbox.

"Sure." said the little boy.

The two little boys played for hours. They made sand castles and made really funny sounds with their mouths. Sounds which made them laugh real hard. Then the little boy's father came with a wheelchair to pick up his son. The little boy who had always wanted to fly ran over to the boy's father and whispered something into his ear.

"That would be OK," said the man.

The little boy who had always wanted to fly like a bird ran over to his new friend and said, "You are my only friend and I wish that there was something that I could do to make you walk and run like other little boys and girls. But I can't. But there is something that I can do for you."

The little orphan boy turned around and told his new friend to slide up onto his back. He then began to run across the grass. Faster and faster he ran, carrying the little crippled boy on his back. Faster and harder he ran across the park. Harder and harder he made his legs travel. Soon the wind just whistled across the two little boys' faces.

The little boy's father began to cry as he watched his beautiful little crippled son flapping his arms up and down in the wind, all the while yelling at the top of his voice,


written by Roger Dean Kiser, Sr.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


We were a very motley crowd of people who took the bus every day that summer 33 years ago. During the early morning ride from the suburb, we sat drowsily with our collars up to our ears, a cheerless and taciturn bunch.

One of the passengers was a small grey man who took the bus to the centre for senior citizens every morning. He walked with a stoop and a sad look on his face when he, with some difficulty, boarded the bus and sat down alone behind the driver. No one ever paid very much attention to him.

Then one July morning he said good morning to the driver and smiled short-sightedly down through the bus before he sat down. The driver nodded guardedly. The rest of us were silent.

The next day, the old man boarded the bus energetically, smiled and said in a loud voice: "And a very good morning to you all!" Some of us looked up, amazed, and murmured "Good morning," in reply.

The following weeks we were more alert. Our friend was now dressed in a nice old suit and a wide out-of-date tie. The thin hair had been carefully combed. He said good morning to us every day and we gradually began to nod and talk to each other.

One morning he had a bunch of wild flowers in his hand. They were already dangling a little because of the heat. The driver turned around smilingly and asked: "Have you got yourself a girlfriend, Charlie?" We never got to know if his name really was "Charlie", but he nodded shyly and said yes.

The other passengers whistled and clapped at him. Charlie bowed and waved the flowers before he sat down on his seat.

Every morning after that Charlie always brought a flower. Some of the regular passengers began bringing him flowers for his bouquet, gently nudged him and said shyly: "Here." Everyone smiled. The men started to jest about it, talk to each other, and share the newspaper.

The summer went by, and autumn was closing in, when one morning Charlie wasn't waiting at his usual stop. When he wasn't there the next day and the day after that, we started wondering if he was sick or -- hopefully -- on holiday somewhere.

When we came nearer to the centre for senior citizens, one of the passengers asked the driver to wait. We all held our breaths when she went to the door.

Yes, the staff said, they knew who we were talking about. The elderly gentleman was fine, but he hadn't been coming to the centre that week. One of his very close friends had died at the weekend. They expected him back on Monday. How silent we were the rest of the way to work.

The next Monday Charlie was waiting at the stop, stooping a bit more, a little bit more grey, and without a tie. He seemed to have shrinked again. Inside the bus was a silence akin to that in a church. Even though no one had talked about it, all those of us, who he had made such an impression on that summer, sat with our eyes filled with tears and a bunch of wild flowers in our hands.

by: Jean Hendrichson

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


written by Chuck Pool
Into a box of friendship
To insure that it is strong
First a layer of respect
On the bottom does belong
Then to the sides attach
In the corners where they meet
Several anchors full of trust
Devoid of all deceit
The height of friendship can be measured
By the sides of four
So make them all a larger cut
And the box will hold much more
Now fill it up with courtesy
Honor and esteem
Understanding, sympathy
And passion for a dream
Add to that your honesty
Emotions joy and love
And since they're so important
Place them up above
But leave the box wide open
So all can see inside
To learn what makes a friendship work
From the box you built with pride

Monday, August 17, 2009


In ancient times, lessons were taught via stories told around the campfires at the end of the day. The wise elders would tell and retell fables that turned into modern stories such as "The Hare and the Tortoise" where the moral of "slow and steady wins the race" is taught to children (and adults) through animal characters.

When my kids were little, these kinds of stories were in books. Today, I hear of parents who use iPods with stories on them to "read" to their kids. (And I thought the audio cassette with Chicken Little was cool?!)

Is it fair to say that the stories of future will be passed on through the internet through things like YouTube? I saw this video this week and it made me ponder, Why Did the Dog Cross the Road?

When you watch this video, you see a dog; I will call him Barley, stepping out into a busy multilane freeway in Chile. Why did the dog cross the road? It was rush hour and cars and trucks were zooming by at high speeds. Why in the world would this dog attempt to cross the road?

If you were able to see the video, you know that Barley is hit by a car. His still body lies lifeless on the dotted line separating two of the lanes as cars and trucks race by avoiding hitting him again. Why?

Why did Barley cross the road that day? Was he just being stupid? Did his mommy dog not teach him about the dangers of this world? Did he see too many movies of dangerous stunts and was Barley just trying to defy the odds and gain a moment of fame in the process?

Or, was Barley trying to get to his kids and was not going to let anything stop him, no matter the danger involved? We all know that as parents, we would do ANYTHING for our kids, especially if they were in some kind of trouble.

Or, was Barley giving up that day. Did the economic times leave Barley feeling like there was not hope, that life was just too hard and the world would be better off without him? Was he cold and tired and just giving up as he stepped onto that crowded busy freeway?

But wait; out of the corner of the screen, you see something moving. Out of nowhere you see another dog, who I will call Chip, running into the road as well. He is dogging cars, but he is moving with sheer determination to the spot where Barley is laying lifeless.

Chip wraps his paws around Barley. Do these dogs know each other? Why would Chip put his life in danger like this?

Chip then begins to drag the injured Barley slowly, inch by inch to the center island area of the road. It seems the traffic in that lane is surprisingly sparse for just a minute as Chips drags Barley, slowly across the pavement which could, at any moment, be filled with a speeding Semi truck. Any cars that do approach them, however, see something and although they are not sure what they are witnessing exactly, they notice them and steer around them.

Just as Chip has Barley to the concrete barrier in the center of this freeway, two construction workers see the dogs and come running to their aid, diverting traffic out of the far lane.

Barley lives. He gets the medical attention he needs and although still recovering and is not conscious yet, he will survive. But where is Chip? We don't know. Chip took off after seeing Barley to safety.

Why did Chip cross the road? Did he know Barley? Was he trying to save his friend? If that is the case, why didn't he stick around? If he did not know Barley, why would he put himself in danger? Why did the dog cross the road?

Like Chip, we see others who have gotten themselves into a tough situation. Maybe they were being stupid, yes. Maybe they did not heed warnings and found themselves in a rough patch, maybe even a life threatening situation. Sometimes it can be dangerous to help others. But sometimes, like Chip, we just see someone in trouble and know we need to do the right thing.

Now, I am not telling you to go out and get yourself killed. If we are not somewhat careful, we will never be any help to anyone. But are you willing to step out and help someone who really needs it, even if it is dangerous? How many times do we not help others because just because we are afraid it will make us look stupid? Do you think Chip was thinking about how stupid he looked?

Do you think Chip cared about how "busy" he was at the time? Do you think he even wondered if he really had the time to help this other dog? Probably not.

Sometimes we don't help others because we think there are others who are more qualified to help. What if Chip left Barley to others who were more qualified to move him out of the busy freeway? Do you think he would have made it that long?

The moral of this story: Sometimes, no matter how busy we think we are or how unqualified we think we are or how dangerous we think something might be, sometimes, we just need to do the right thing.


Cheri Alguire is an author, speaker and coach. Find out more about her at

Author's Bio
Business and Life Coach Cheri Alguire has partnered with hundreds of Real Estate Professionals and Small Business Owners to help them become more successful in business and in life. Coach Cheri specializes in Coaching and Training for Small Business Owners, Working Mothers, Real Estate Agents and Managers. Learn more at

Sunday, August 16, 2009


During one of our seminars, a woman asked a common question. She said, 'How do I know if I married the right person?'

I noticed that there was a large man sitting next to her so I said, 'It depends. Is that your husband?'

In all seriousness, she answered 'How do you know?'

Let me answer this question because the chances are good that it's weighing on your mind. Here's the answer.

EVERY relationship has a cycle. In the beginning, you fell in love with your spouse/partner. You anticipated their call, wanted their touch, and liked their idiosyncrasies (unconventional behavior/habit).

Falling in love with your spouse wasn't hard. In fact, it was a completely natural and spontaneous experience. You didn't have to DO anything. That's why it's called 'falling' in love...Because it's happening TO YOU.

People in love sometimes say, 'I was swept off my feet.' Think about the imagery of that expression. It implies that you were just standing there; doing nothing, and then something came along and happened TO YOU.

Falling in love is easy. It's a passive and spontaneous experience. But after a few years of marriage,the euphoria(excitement) of love fades. It's the natural cycle of EVERY relationship.

Slowly but surely, phone calls become a bother (if they come at all), touch is not always welcome (when it happens), and your spouse's idiosyncrasies, instead of being cute, drive you nuts.

The symptoms of this stage vary with every relationship, but if you think about your marriage, you will notice a dramatic difference between the initial stage when you were in love and a much duller or even angry subsequent stage.

At this point, you and/or your spouse might start asking, 'Did I marry the right person?' And as you and your spouse reflect on the euphoria of the love you once had, you may begin to desire that experience with someone else. This is when marriages breakdown. People blame their spouse for their unhappiness and look outside their marriage for fulfillment.

Extramarital fulfillment comes in all shapes and sizes. Infidelity is the most obvious. But sometimes people turn to work, a hobby, a friendship, excessive TV, or abusive substances.

But the answer to this dilemma does NOT lie outside your marriage. It lies within it. I'm not saying that you couldn't fall in love with someone else. You could.

And TEMPORARILY you'd feel better. But you'd be in the same situation a few years later. Because (listen carefully to this):


SUSTAINING love is not a passiveor spontaneous experience. It'll NEVERjust happen to you. You can't 'find' LASTING love. You have to 'make' it day in and day out. That's why we have the __expression 'the labor of love.'

Because it takes time, effort, and energy. And most importantly, it takes W IS DOM. You have to know WHAT TO DO to make your marriage work.

Make no mistake about it. Love is NOT a mystery. There are specific things you can do (with or without your spouse) to succeed with your marriage.

Just as there are physical laws of the universe (such as gravity), there are also laws for relationships. Just as the right diet and exercise program makes you physically stronger, certain habits in your relationship WILL make your marriage stronger. It's a direct cause and effect. If you know and apply the laws, the results are predictable... you can 'make' love.

Love in marriage is indeed a 'decision'... Not just a feeling.

Remember this always:

'God determines who walks into your life. It is up to you to decide who you let walk away, who you let stay, and who you refuse to let go.'

-Author Unknown-

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Saturday, August 15, 2009


“Spare some change for a cuppa tea, mate?”

How often had he heard such pleas? Hundreds. And how often had he done as he was asked? Never. So why was he hesitating now?

Robert (never Bob) Trevelyan had been striding down the pedestrianised St Martin's Court near Leicester Square tube station in central London. He had just come out of the one bookshop in the court, “Unworths”, where he had at last managed to buy a suitable birthday gift for his sister: an antiquarian work on the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.

He would never normally have given a second glance to the homeless vagrant sheltering in a fire exit doorway of Wyndhams Theatre. It might have been the narrowness and intimacy of the court itself; it was hard to avoid the man. It might have been the lack of urgency in his personal timetable; today he was not in his usual urban rush. It might have been the recent dramatic change in his professional circumstances; losing one's job and being unemployed made one more aware of the fragility of life.

Robert Trevelyan had enjoyed a comfortable middle-class upbringing: public school, good university, some international travel, career in banking, fair bit of sex, some drugs, but no wife and certainly no children. He had chosen the finance sector for his profession because he believed that making a difference could come later; for now he wanted to make some money, some serious money.

Somehow he had migrated to the exotic and esoteric world of derivatives. He was at a dinner party once when this rather attractive young thing asked him what he did and her face had simply crumpled when he had attempted to explain forwards, futures, options and swaps. Never again. But what he had loved about derivatives as a financial instrument was how they focused on aspects of risk. He had always been something of a risk taker.

Moving to the American-based Lehman Brothers early in 2008 had been a risk, but he had never expected the economic recession of that year to hit so fast and so hard. In mid September the firm filed for Chapter 11 protection in the largest bankruptcy in US history. Like hundreds of others, Robert had lost his job in the City of London in a matter of days and walked from the brilliant glass building holding a cardboard box that seemed to contain his whole life.

Of course, it was far from his whole life. He had made a lot of money in his decade in the City and he had saved enough of it to cushion him against the worst of the recession before inevitably the good days rolled once more. A life in a container was what the man at his feet possessed.

"Well, what about it? The price of a cuppa?"

Robert hesitated. Why did he never respond to such urgent requests for some spare change? It was partly embarrassment; it was simply so much easier to look away and keep walking, rather than engage with someone, if only for seconds, from a such a different and frankly rather disgusting world. It was partly doubt that this pathetic-looking object was worthy of his generosity; what was he doing here and why did he not get off his arse and find a job? It was partly uncertainty about the genuineness of the request; did this man really intend to buy a cup of tea or was he accumulating odd coins to blow on cheap alcohol or not so cheap drugs?

This time stopped. He stared into the beggar's rheumy eyes. He thought about what he could offer this flotsam of life.
“Do you really want a cup of tea?” he asked.
“Of course – and anything else you can manage, mate” came the hopeful reply.
“OK”, replied Robert. “I'll tell what I'll do. I won't given you any money – but I'll take you somewhere for whatever you want to eat and drink. Fair enough?”
“Suits me”.

They had no distance at all to go. Robert knew a place literally around the corner: “Gaby's” was a deli-come-diner on Charing Cross Road that served Mediterranean and Middle Eastern food and he would often stop there for a cappuccino and something light before or after attending the cinema in the Leicester Square area. It was low style but high taste. Before any of the staff had an opportunity to object to such dubious custom, they swept inside and hid in a corner at the back. For Robert, the immediate sense was one of smell from across the small Formica table: stinking breath, stale sweat, pungent body odour, and urine. For a moment, he thought this was a terrible mistake: he should just apologise and leave. But that would be cowardly – and bad manners.

His unexpected and unorthodox companion seemed to be having trouble reading the menu and it was not clear whether this was a case of illiteracy or unfamiliar foods: falafel with salad, bagel with smoked salmon, pastrami on rye, meatballs with pilau rice, hummous and pitta bread. Fortunately, however, there was a plastic-laminated version of the menu with photographs of the main dishes and his guest soon stabbed a filthy forefinger at the chosen course. He went for juicy kebabs: chunks of chicken and pork interleaved with onion and peppers.

As one man ate ravenously and the other man observed curiously, a story emerged. At first, bits spilled out like an overflowing bowl but soon the whole thing flooded like a bursting dam. To Robert, somehow the story seemed all the more poignant for being delivered in a pronounced, working-class Northern accent.

Bill (never William) Walker had clearly not done much walking for a while. He was seriously overweight and it was not surprising to learn that he had been a long-distance lorry driver based in the north-west of the country. His life seemed to be unexceptional, even mundane, until one fateful, wet winter night when he had smashed into the back of a broken-down car that had not been able to make the hard shoulder of the motorway and whose occupants had not managed to signal any warning because of electrical failure. It was an Indian family and the parents had survived the collision with some broken bones, but the two children in the back – girls of eight and ten – had been killed outright.

The police had investigated the accident but there was no question of a prosecution – it was a genuine, if appalling, accident. It was clear that Bill had been deeply traumatised by the incident because, as he explained, he suffered serious depression which eventually resulted in his being laid off. Spending all his time at home, he had soon discovered that, while he had been on the road, his wife had been on the pull and, when they argued about the situation, he frequently hit her and on occasions the police had been called. His relationship with his son and daughter was not much better. He had spent so much time away from home that he found that he hardly knew them and, in his self-loathing, he had little wish to do so.

When another driver at his old firm offered him a couch for a few nights, he walked out and had never spoken to his family since. He had hitched to London thinking he could find work in the capital but he had few skills and less confidence while the city had plenty of immigrant labour and a deep recession. He had been sleeping rough for months now and it showed. A combination of begging and shoplifting had so far ensured his survival, but he was crap at both – not enough practice, not enough will power.

Robert listened to Bill's story patiently but with a degree of incomprehension and discomfort. He didn't have a wife – but he could not imagine striking her. He didn't have children – but he could not contemplate the notion of walking out on them. The only night he had slept outdoors was when he did the Duke of Edinburgh's Award as a teenager and he had decided that this was an experience never to be repeated.

Bill had finished eating and he was aware of Robert observing him with a mixture of pity and contempt. He quickly decided he had said enough – more than enough – about his miserable life and changed the subject totally.
“What kind of a place is this?” he asked as he looked around at the food on other tables and some of the pictures on the wall.
Robert explained: “I know the food's different – but it's quite a popular spot. They even have actors coming in from the local theatres”.
“What sort of actors?”
“Well, Matt Damon was here once – you can see his picture on the wall”.
“And who's Matt Damon?”
“He's a Hollywood actor. He played Jason Bourne in those three films”.

Robert caught himself and stopped. What on earth was he doing here having a conversation with someone about Jason sodding Bourne? Time to move on.
“Do you want anything else?” he asked.
“What is there?”.
“Well, I love the baklava here – I reckon it's the best in London. If you like sweet things, you'll love it”.
“Never heard of it, but OK – I'll try it”.
Robert ordered pieces for them both. When Bill had licked the last of the sticky syrup from his chapped lips and the final bits of flakey pastry had fallen from his unshaven face, Robert inquired: “So, what did you think of the baklava?”
“Bloody brilliant. Thanks, mate”.

Robert paid and led Bill back onto the street. This had been one of the strangest encounters in his life and he had no idea how to end it. He was genuinely moved by Bill's story but he did not know how he was supposed to respond. Throughout his career, he had been more at home with pounds than people, more comfortable with figures on a screen than figures in his life. He slipped a £20 into Bill's hand and muttered “Take care – mate”.


Three weeks, later, Robert was on his way from Leicester Square to the tube station, having just viewed the latest Russell Crowe movie. It was good – but nothing was going to beat “Gladiator”. He had barely thought about Bill in the interim. Now, though, he could see “Gaby's” across the road and he could not help wondering what had happened to the guy. Had he blown that £20 on drink or drugs? Was he still harboured in that corner of the theatre? Had he managed to find a job? Or had he gone back to his family up north? And had a meal and a bit of money from a stranger meant anything at all or made any difference whatsoever? Conversely had the strange encounter made any difference to Robert himself?

He crossed the road and strolled into St Martin's Court. There was no sign of Bill. He was strangely disappointed. He was about to make for the tube station when he decided to check out “Gaby's”. He asked the Middle Eastern manager: “Do you remember that guy I brought here a few weeks ago? I'd found him begging round the corner but he's not there any more. Has he been here again since? Do you know what happened to him?”

The words were as sallow as the complexion: “He only came back once – about a week ago. I'm sorry but, as he was crossing the road after he left here, he was hit by a fire engine”.

Robert's mind spun. He knew that there was a fire station near by. It was opposite the Curzon Soho cinema in Shaftesbury Avenue that he attended from time to time. He had seen fire engines storming out and racing down the street to attend an emergency. But an accident?

Quietly he asked the cafe manger: “Is he OK?”
“Afraid not. He was killed. A terrible accident.”
For Robert, it was like being punched in the stomach. He had only known Bill for perhaps thirty minutes but, almost against his will, there had been some sort of connection. And the manner of his death seemed so wasteful, so ironic. The fire service was supposed to save life, not take it. He edged slowly to the door.
A Lithuanian waitress sidled up to him and whispered: “Whenever I see him begging for money, he look so sad. The day he come here, he seem close to tears. Maybe he mean to step into the road.”

Robert struggled to take in the news and the possible implications. In something of a daze, he stepped out onto the pavement and looked at the space in the road where it must have happened. He turned towards the tube station and then halted. He swivelled round slowly and retraced his steps.

He spoke again to the owner: “Why did he come here again? Did he want a meal?”
“No, he didn't come for a meal. I don't think he could afford a meal. He seemed to be down to his last few coins. He only had one thing.”
“And what was that?”
“A piece of baklava.”

Written by Roger Darlington and published on 24 July 2009 at THIS LINK.

Do leave a comment if you wish. Thanks! Have a grat weekend.

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Friday, August 14, 2009


Having graduated college and determined to become a criminal defense lawyer, a young man had his heart set on working for a particular foundation located in a ghetto that provided legal defense and other social services for its community. This was to be his training ground and leg up to get into the law school of his choice. With no experience, the foundation would not hire him. Nonetheless, he showed up week after week, insisting they accept him as a volunteer intern for one year. Finally, they relented.

For one year, he learned legal research, interviewed witnesses, did absolutely anything ask of him and learned everything he could. Near the end of that year, he received a rejection letter from the only law school he wanted to attend. Having given his all, working long hours and devoting himself to the foundation, the community and the work, he was devastated. Upon learning the news and unbeknownst to him, three young attorneys from the foundation had secretly and immediately set a meeting that very afternoon with the dean of the law school. Putting their reputation and that of the foundation on the line, they surrounded the dean, insisting she grant a wild card admission on the spot. Champagne in hand, they returned to deliver the surprise news.

I was that young man. And I was amazed to the point of being speechless. These three attorneys canceled their court calendars for an entire afternoon to do everything in their power to deliver my dream. This was their way of expressing their appreciation for my persistence and dedication, for the value I contributed to make their work and the foundation’s mission a bit more successful, for being a positive and consistent presence, and for volunteering my best.

Have you ever been amazed by people going out of their way to do something extraordinary for you? Have you ever wondered what inspires people to take such action and be so generous of spirit? Can you conjure up the feelings of wonder, appreciation and joy that flow from being on the giving or receiving end of such bold and generous moments?

I’ve always been fascinated by people’s willingness to go above and beyond, to make choices and take actions that might well be considered ‘extraordinary’.

That moment was a powerful reminder of something so central to a successful life. Much hinges on the quality of relationships we create for ourselves, and how fully and authentically we invest ourselves in these primary human relationships. As Aristotle said: “In the arena of human life, the… rewards fall to those who show their good qualities in action.”

Author's Bio
Gary Goldstein is author, speaker and Hollywood movie producer. The skills Gary brought to bear in climbing the ladder from newcomer to up-and-comer to mega-success in his business can be used to empower any business or career path.

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Figure it out for yourself my lad. You've got all that the great have had. Two arms, two legs, two hands, two eyes, and a brain to use if you'd be wise. With this equipment they all began, so start for the top and say "I Can."

Look them over the wise and the great. They take their food from a common plate. With similar knives and forks they use, with similar laces they tie their shoes. The world consider them brave and smart, but you know - you've got all they had, when they made their start.

You can triumph and come to skill you can be great if you only will. You're well equipped for the fight you choose, you have arms and legs and brains to use. And people who have risen, great deeds to do started their lives with no more than you.

You are the handicap you must face. You are the one who must choose your place. You must say where you want to go. How much you'll study the truth to know. God has equipped you for life, but he lets you decide what you want to be.

The courage must come from the soul within, you must furnish the will to win. So figure it out for yourself my lad, you were born with all the great have had. With your equipment they all began, so start for the top and say "I Can."

Monday, August 10, 2009


A samurai, a very proud warrior, came to see a Zen Master one day. The samurai was very famous, but looking at the beauty of the Master and the Grace of the moment, he suddenly felt inferior.

He said to the Master, "Why am I feeling inferior? Just a moment ago everything was okay. As I entered your court suddenly I felt inferior. I have never felt like that before. I have faced death many times, and I have never felt any fear -- why am I now feeling frightened?"

The Master said, "Wait. When everyone else has gone, I will answer. "

People continued the whole day to come and see the Master, and the samurai was getting more and more tired waiting. By evening the room was empty, and the samurai said, "Now, can you answer me?"

The Master said, "Come outside."

It was a full moon night, the moon was just rising on the horizen. And he said, "Look at these trees. This tree is high in the sky and this small one beside it. They both have existed beside my window for years, and there has never been any problem. The smaller tree has never said to the big tree, 'Why do I feel inferior before you?' This tree is small, and that tree is big -- why have I never heard a whisper of it?"

The samurai said, "Because they can't compare."

The Master replied, "Then you need not ask me. You know the answer."

Sunday, August 9, 2009


There is an old Chinese tale about a woman whose only son died. In her grief, she went to the holy man and said, "What prayers, what magical incantations do you have to bring my son back to life?"

Instead of sending her away or reasoning with her, he said to her, "Fetch me a mustard seed from a home that has never known sorrow. We will use it to drive the sorrow out of your life." The woman went off at once in search of that magical mustard seed.

She came first to a splendid mansion, knocked at the door, and said, "I am looking for a home that has never known sorrow. Is this such a place? It is very important to me."

They told her, "You've certainly come to the wrong place," and began to describe all the tragic things that recently had befallen them.

The woman said to herself, "Who is better able to help these poor, unfortunate people that I, who have had misfortune of my my own?" Shestayed to comfort them, then went on in search of a home that had never known sorrow. But wherever she turned, in hovels and in other places, she found one tale after another of sadness and misfortune. She became so involved in ministering to other people's grief that ultimately she forgot about her quest for the magical mustard seed, never realizing that it had, in fact, driven the sorrow out of her life.

by: Brian Cavanaugh

Saturday, August 8, 2009


Nasrudin was walking along a lonely road one moonlit night when he heard a snore seemingly directly beneath his feet. Suddenly he experienced fear and was about to flee when he tripped over a dervish lying in a pit which he had dug for himself, partly underground.

"Who are you?" the Mulla stammered.

"I am a dervish, and this is my contemplation place."

Nasrudin replied, "You will have to let me share it. Your snoring frightened me out of my wits, and I cannot continue any further this night."

"Take the other end of this blanket, then," said the dervish without much enthusiasm, "and lie down here. Please be quiet, because I am keeping a vigil. It is a part of a complicated series of exercises. Tomorrow I must change the pattern, and I cannot stand any interruption."

Nasrudin fell asleep for a while. Then he woke up, very thirsty.

"I am thirsty," he told the dervish.

"Then go back down the road, where there is a stream."

"No,I am still afraid." replied Nasrudin.

"I shall go for you then," said the dervish. "After all, to provide water is a sacred obligation in the East."

"No, please don't go for I am still afraid to be alone!"

"Take this knife, to defend yourself then," said the dervish.

While he was away Nasrudin frightened himself still more, working himself up into a frenzy, which he tried to counter by imagining how he would attack any demon who threatened him.

Presently the dervish returned.

"Keep your distance, or "I'll kill you!" said Nasrudin.

"But I am the dervish," said the dervish.

"I don't care who you are-your maybe a demon in disguise. Besides, you have your head and eyebrows shaved!" The dervishes of that order shave their head and eyebrows.

"But I have come to bring you water! Don't you remember-you are thirsty!"

"Don't try and ingratiate yourself with me, Demon!"

"But that is my hole you are occupying!" said the dervish.

"That's hard luck for you, isn't it? You'll just have to find another one." replied Nasrudin.

"I suppose so," said the dervish, "but I am sure I don't know what to make of all this."

"I can tell you one thing," said Nasrudin, "and that is that fear is multidirectional."

"It certainly seems stronger than thirst, or sanity, or other peoples property," said the dervish.

"AND you don't have to have it yourself in order to suffer from it!" said Nasrudin.

- Author Unknown-

Friday, August 7, 2009


Once there was a beautiful bird, more beautiful than any other. It was powerful and free, and possessed great courage.

This bird was fearless, going wherever it wanted. It also was very proud of its spectacular plumage of vibrant colors.

One day the bird decided to pluck its own feathers, one by one, to make a beautiful nest in which it could rest with comfort and security. Now the bird can no longer fly.

by: Brian Cavanaugh

Thursday, August 6, 2009


Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. Is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be. You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

As we're liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

by: Marianne Williamson

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


While watching the Olympics the other night, I came across an incredible sight. It was not a gold medal, or a world record broken, but a show of sheer determination and guts.

The event was swimming and started with only three men on the blocks. For one reason or another, two of them false started, so they were disqualified. That left only one to compete. That would have been difficult enough, not having anyone to race against, even though the time on the clock is what's important.

I watched the man dive off the blocks and knew right away that something was wrong. Now I'm not an expert swimmer but I do know a good dive from a poor one, and this was not exactly medal quality. When he resurfaced, it was evident that the man was not out for gold -- his arms were flailing in an attempt at freestyle. The crowd started to titter. Clearly this man was not a medal contender.

I listened to the crowd begin to laugh at this poor man that was clearly having a hard time. Finally he made his turn to start back. It was pitiful. He made a few desperate strokes and you could tell he was exhausted.

But in those few awkward strokes, the crowd had changed.

by: Andi Puntoriero
No longer were they laughing, but beginning to cheer. Some even began to stand and yell things like, "Come on, you can do it!" and, "Go for it!" He did.

A clear minute past the average swimmer, this young man finally finished his race. The crowd went wild. You would have thought that he had won the gold, and he should have. Even though he recorded one of the slowest times in Olympic history, this man gave more heart than any of the other competitors.

Just a short year ago, he had never even swam, let alone raced. His country had been asked to Sydney as a courtesy.

In a competion where athletes remove their silver medals feeling they have somehow been cheated out of gold, or when they act so arrogantly in front of their rivals, it is nice to watch an underdog.

A man that gave his all -- knowing that he had no chance, but competed because of the spirit of the games.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Let tell you about a man who died and met Saint Peter at the pearly gates. Realizing Saint Peter was a wise and knowledgeable person, he said, "Saint Peter, I have been interested in military history for many years. Tell me who was the greatest general of all times?"

Saint Peter quickly responded, "Oh, that's a simple question. It is that man right over there," as he pointed nearby.

The man said, "You must be mistaken, Saint Peter. I knew that man on earth. He was just a common laborer."

"That's right, my friend," replied Saint Peter. "But he would have been the greatest general of all time -- if he had been a general."

You were created with natural abilities and an internal compass that guides you toward a particular focus for your life. That's only the starting point; the next step is yours. You have an obligation to expand that potential to its ultimate destiny.

Michelangelo said, "It is only well with me when I have a chisel in my hand."

Discover what you are supposed to do and do it!

by: Neil Eskelin

Monday, August 3, 2009


Author Elbert Hubbard told the story of an incident during the Spanish-American War. It was imperative that the president get a message to the leader of the insurgents. His name was Garcia and he was known to fighting somewhere in the mountains of Cuba, but no mail or telegraph could reach him. Someone said, "There's a fellow by the name of Rowan who will find Garcia for you if anybody can."

Rowan took the letter without hesitation. He sealed it in a leather pouch strapped over his heart. He landed in the dark of night off the coast of Cuba and make his way to the mountains, and after much difficulty, found Garcia. He handed him the letter, turned around and headed home. Hubbard tells this story in "A Letter to Garcia." Rowan didn't ask, "Exactly where is he?" or "I doubt if I can do it." There was a job to be done and he did it.

Instead of making a dozen excuses why you can't complete the task, think about Rowan. Deliver the goods!

by: Neil Eskelin, Source Unknown

Sunday, August 2, 2009


As I ate breakfast one morning, I overheard two oncologists conversing. One complained bitterly, "You know, Bob, I just don't understand it. We used the same drugs, the same dosage, the same schedule and the same entry criteria. Yet I got a 22 percent response rate and you got a 74 percent. That's unheard of for metastatic cancer. How do you do it?"

His colleague replied, "We're both using Etoposide, Platinum, Oncovin and Hydroxyurea. You call yours EPOH. I tell my patients I'm giving them HOPE. As dismal as the statistics are, I emphasize that we have a chance."

by: William M. Buchholz, M.D., Chicken Soup for the Surviving Soul

Saturday, August 1, 2009


Once upon a time a very strong woodcutter ask for a job in a timber merchant, and he got it. The paid was really good and so were the work conditions. For that reason, the woodcutter was determined to do his best.

His boss gave him an axe and showed him the area where he was supposed to work.

The first day, the woodcutter brought 18 trees

"Congratulations," the boss said. "Go on that way!"

Very motivated for the boss’ words, the woodcutter try harder the next day, but he only could bring 15 trees. The third day he try even harder, but he only could bring 10 trees.Day after day he was bringing less and less trees.

"I must be losing my strength", the woodcutter thought. He went to the boss and apologized, saying that he could not understand what was going on.

"When was the last time you sharpened your axe?" the boss asked.

"Sharpen? I had no time to sharpen my axe. I have been very busy trying to cut trees..."

by Steven Covey