Saturday, October 31, 2009


Walking down a path through some woods in Georgia, I saw a water puddle ahead on the path. I angled my direction to go around it on the part of the path that wasn't covered by water and mud. As I reached the puddle, I was suddenly attacked! Yet I did nothing for the attack was so unpredictable and from a source so totally unexpected. I was startled as well as unhurt, despite having been struck four or five times already. I backed up a foot and my attacker stopped attacking me. Instead of attacking more, he hovered in the air on graceful butterfly wings in front of me. Had I been hurt I wouldn't have found it amusing, but I was unhurt, it was funny, and I was laughing. After all, I was being attacked by a butterfly!

Having stopped laughing, I took a step forward. My attacker rushed me again. He rammed me in the chest with his head and body, striking me over and over again with all his might, still to no avail. For a second time, I retreated a step while my attacker relented in his attack. Yet again, I tried moving forward. My attacker charged me again. I was rammed in the chest over and over again. I wasn't sure what to do, other than to retreat a third time. After all, it's just not everyday that one is attacked by a butterfly. This time, though, I stepped back several paces to look the situation over. My attacker moved back as well to land on the ground. That's when I discovered why my attacker was charging me only moments earlier. He had a mate and she was dying. She was beside the puddle where he landed.

Sitting close beside her, he opened and closed his wings as if to fan her. I could only admire the love and courage of that butterfly in his concern for his mate. He had taken it upon himself to attack me for his mate's sake, even though she was clearly dying and I was so large. He did so just to give her those extra few precious moments of life, should I have been careless enough to step on her. Now I knew why and what he was fighting for. There was really only one option left for me. I carefully made my way around the puddle to the other side of the path, though it was only inches wide and extremely muddy. His courage in attacking something thousands of times larger and heavier than himself just for his mate's safety justified it. I couldn't do anything other than reward him by walking on the more difficult side of the puddle. He had truly earned those moments to be with her, undisturbed.

I left them in peace for those last few moments, cleaning the mud from my boots when I later reached my car.

Since then, I've always tried to remember the courage of that butterfly whenever I see huge obstacles facing me. I use that butterfly's courage as an inspiration and to remind myself that good things are worth fighting for.

written by David L. Kuzminski

Friday, October 30, 2009


Two young lovers, Walking on the sand,
Gazing at each other, Talking hand in hand,
The prints they leave behind them,
Marking memories of the past,
The long beach laid before them,
Hoping love will last,
The ocean captures the footprints,
And erases them from the shore,
Taking with it remembrances,
And leaving them with more,

Many years have passed,
Time flies when you're having fun,
And before you know it innocence fades,
And the teen years are done,
Now she's back on the beach,
Except she is alone,
Watching and waiting,
For the love that hadn't grown,
She walks along the ocean,
Two footprints, not four,
Wondering where the laughter went,
Why he didn't love her more,
Then she stops to sit,
And draws his name in the sand,
A celestial stranger comes along,
And reaches out a hand,
Hesitantly she takes it,
And he listens to her cries,
He's been there before,
He's heard many lies,
They decide to walk,
And she follows, not knowing why,

Love will always be reborn again,
Even if it may die,
She is more cautious than before,
And as she looks back at the footprints,
She smiles seeing not two, but four,
This time will be different,
Her heart trying to say,
Something magical happened,
She felt it the first day,
Something clicked when they touched,
A jolt from inside,
She knew he'd be there always,
If she had something to confide,

Now here it is twenty years later,
And his love for her,
Is now even greater,
He looks at her like the first time they met,
And despite all the years gone by,
They can never forget,
Those four special footprints,
That are never washed away,
They'll stay forever on her heart,
Until their dying day.

written by Lauren Posey

Thursday, October 29, 2009


My friend John always has something to tell me. He knows so much that young men have to have older and more worldly wise men to tell them. For instance who to trust, how to care for others, and how to live life to the fullest.

Recently, John lost his wife Janet. For eight years she fought against cancer, but in the end her sickness had the last word.

One day John took out a folded piece of paper from his wallet. He had found it, so he told me, when he tidied up some drawers at home. It was a small love letter Janet had written. The note could look like a school girl's scrawls about her dream guy. All that was missing was a drawing of a heart with the names John and Janet written in it. But the small letter was written by a woman who had had seven children; a woman who fought for her life and who probably only had a few months left to live.

It was also a beautiful recipe for how to keep a marriage together.

Janet's description of her husband begins thus: "Loved me. Took care of me. Worried about me."

Even though John always had a ready answer, he never joked about cancer apparently. Sometimes he came home in the evening to find Janet in the middle of one of those depressions cancer patients so often get. In no time he got her into the car and drove her to her favourite restaurant.

He showed consideration for her, and she knew it. You cannot hide something for someone who knows better.

"Helped me when I was ill," the next line reads. Perhaps Janet wrote this while the cancer was in one of the horrible and wonderful lulls. Where everything is -- almost -- as it used to be, before the sickness broke out, and where it doesn't hurt to hope that everything is over, maybe forever.

"Forgave me a lot."

"Stood by my side."

And a piece of good advice for everyone who looks on giving constructive criticism as a kind of sacred duty: "Always praising."

"Made sure I had everything I needed," she goes on to write.

After that she has turned over the paper and added: "Warmth. Humour. Kindness. Thougtfulness." And then she writes about the husband she has lived with and loved the most of her life: "Always there for me when I needed you."

The last words she wrote sum up all the others. I can see her for me whe she adds thoughtfully: "Good friend."

I stand beside John now, and cannot even pretend to know how it feels to lose someone who is as close to me as Janet was to him. I need to hear what he has to say much more than he needs to talk.

"John," I ask. "How do you stick together with someone through 38 years -- not to mention the sickness? How do I know if I can bear to stand by my wife's side if she becomes sick one day?"

"You can," he says quietly. "If you love her enough, you can."

written by Bill Walls

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Do you have unresolved issues with one who is no longer in your life? Perhaps that person has passed on? I know from personal experience that this can be a haunting thing. One young woman I know had a fight with her mother just before her mother committed suicide. She feels that this one and only fight with her mother, in which she told her mother (as a young teen daughter) that she hated her mother was a large contributor to her mother's decision to give it all up.

Perhaps you've had a similar situation in your life. Maybe you even blame God bitterly for taking this person while things were unresolved with your loved one. It is not God's decision and He wants only to love you now. When you realize this you can let go. If you blame God, you are turning away your best source for comfort, love and peace. You will know very little joy.

Let me share with you what I told this young woman, and something I KNOW to be true. I told her that she needed to forgive herself for what she did and that I KNOW her mother understood her and forgave her. Most importantly, her mother loves her dearly and watches over her now. I didn't just say this as a cart blanche sort of statement, but rather knew it was true in this instance particularly, because I felt it. I knew it was true, confirmed by that chill from God saying "Yes."

Her mother had many personal problems and she made the ultimate decision, as do we all. I suggested that she face the fact that she was perhaps a contributor and put that to rest forgiving herself, making a personal vow to herself to always try to let others know of her love for them. To strive to know the truth of her feelings and speak of them through love and not from fear. Then I told her the thing I know is true for all lives.

There is no such thing as an "end" to anything. When we die, no matter how we've lived our lives individually, we all continue to exist and live as the individuals we are - and much more. I know this without a doubt. Furthermore, we can still communicate with whoever we wish after they die. In many instances in a more concise manner than if they were here with us today, though at first it may never feel like it's enough, not being able to hold that person and see them again in the ways we could before.

I say we can communicate sometimes more clearly after their death, because a deceased person has total clarity and no ego getting in the way. The path to understanding and communication through feeling and experiences is paved on their side. Is yours? That is up to you.

We must forgive that person because we harm ourselves and the potential connection of love that can bring peace to any situation. Hate and anger are felt only for those for whom we care deeply. They are fear based feelings. Let them go.

Think of the things that separate you and that person in your heart. Live it all again, and allow the pain and tears to heal you. Forgive and let go of it all. Then you will forget it very soon. Talk to that person as if they can hear you, and they will.

After I told this young woman of this, I could tell it struck her as I watched a bolt of energy chill her body letting her know the truth of it. She put faith in what I told her. She thought about it during that very painful time in her life. Resolution is often a painful process, because it requires open honesty.

A few days later, her mother came to her in a dream. Her mother was lovelier and more peaceful than ever, as the daughter had never known her mother. Still, the apparition in the dream was distinctly her mother. Her mother told her that she forgot about their argument long ago and that she knew her daughter loved her very deeply. That her realizing that she could still communicate with her allowed her to come to bring her peace at that time.

She further told her that her decision for suicide was because she just had to start over again. She couldn't bear to go on and needed the peace that her mind and body didn't afford her. She said that the life she was living was just too much for her. She said she regretted her decision because it hurt others, but that it was the best she could do at the time. She just knew of no other way.

She said, "My dear child, I'm so sorry I hurt you and that it was so hard on you to not be able to tell me of your love before I died, but I knew. I didn't mean to hurt you. Most of all, know that it had nothing to do with our argument. You, darling, are such a vital part of me. Please forgive yourself as I have myself. Please know it's good between us. I love you, my precious child. I always will."

She hugged her, held her, and stroked her hair. They had love and peace between them once again - more than ever. The dream ended.

written by Jeff Nickerson

Sunday, October 25, 2009


If you can look at the sunset and smile,
then you still have hope.

If you can find beauty in the colors of a small flower,
then you still have hope.

If you can find pleasure in the movement of a butterfly,
then you still have hope.

If the smile of a child can still warm your heart,
then you still have hope.

If you can see the good in other people,
then you still have hope.

If the rain breaking on a roof top can still lull you to sleep,
then you still have hope.

If the sight of a rainbow still makes you stop and stare in wonder,
then you still have hope.

If the soft fur of a favored pet still feels pleasant under your fingertips,
then you still have hope.

If you meet new people with a trace of excitement and optimism,
then you still have hope.

If you give people the benefit of a doubt,
then you still have hope.

If you still offer your hand in friendship to others that have touched your life,
then you still have hope.

If receiving an unexpected card
or letter still brings a pleasant surprise,
then you still have hope.

If the suffering of others still fills your with pain and frustration,
then you still have hope.

If you refuse to let a friendship die,
or accept that it must end,
then you still have hope.

If you look forward to a time or place of quiet and reflection,
then you still have hope.

If you still buy the ornaments,
put up the Christmas tree or cook the supper,
then you still have hope.

If you can look to the past and smile,
then you still have hope.

If, when faced with the bad,
when told everything is futile,
you can still look up and end the conversation with the phrase..."yeah...BUT.,"
then you still have hope.

Hope is such a marvelous thing.
It bends, it twists, it sometimes hides,
but rarely does it break.
It sustains us when nothing else can.
It gives us reason to continue and courage to move ahead,
when we tell ourselves we'd rather give in.

Hope puts a smile on our face
when the heart cannot manage.

Hope puts our feet on the path
when our eyes cannot see it.

Hope moves us to act
when our souls are confused of the direction.

Hope is a wonderful thing,
something to be cherished and nurtured,
and something that will refresh us in return.
And it can be found in each of us,
and it can bring light into the darkest of places.

-Author Unknown-

Saturday, October 24, 2009


George Pickett, who had known Lincoln in Illinois, years before, joined the Southern army, and by his conspicuous bravery and ability had become one of the great generals of the Confederacy. Toward the close of the war, when a large part of Virginia had fallen into the possession of the Union army, the President called at General Pickett's Virginia home.

The general's wife, with her baby on her arm, met him at the door. She herself has told the story for us.

" 'Is this George Pickett's home?' he asked.

"With all the courage and dignity I could muster, I replied: 'Yes, and I am his wife, and this is his baby.'

" 'I am Abraham Lincoln.'

" 'The President!' I gasped. I had never seen him, but I knew the intense love and reverence with which my soldier always spoke of him.

"The stranger shook his head and replied: 'No; Abraham Lincoln, George's old friend.'

"The baby pushed away from me and reached out his hands to Mr. Lincoln, who took him in his arms. As he did so an expression of rapt, almost divine tenderness and love lighted up the sad face. It was a look that I have never seen on any other face. The baby opened his mouth wide and insisted upon giving his father's friend a dewy kiss.

"As Mr. Lincoln gave the little one back to me he said: 'Tell your father, the rascal, that I forgive him for the sake of your bright eyes.' "

written by Charles Moore

Friday, October 23, 2009


During the devastating earthquakes in Kobe, Japan, an American newscaster did a short piece on a Japanese woman who set up a makeshift store out of boxes selling flashlights and batteries. When the commentor asked why she wasn't selling these essential items for more than the regular price, the woman answered, "Why would I want to profit from someone else's suffering?"

Thursday, October 22, 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.

written by Brian Cavanaugh

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.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Once, while riding through the country with some other lawyers, Abraham Lincoln was missed from the party, and was seen loitering near a thicket of wild plum trees where the men had stopped a short time before to water their horses.

"Where is Lincoln?" asked one of the lawyers.

"When I saw him last," answered another, "he had caught two young birds that the wind had blown out of their nest, and was hunting for the nest to put them back again."

As Lincoln joined them, the lawyers rallied him on his tender-heartedness, and he said: --

"I could not have slept unless I had restored those little birds to their mother."


Tuesday, October 20, 2009


There was a boy who found a terrapin, more commonly known as a turtle.

He started to examine it but the turtle pulled in its head and closed its shell like a vice. The boy was upset and he picked up a stick to try to pry it open.

The boy's uncle saw all this and remarked, "No, that's not the way! In fact, you may kill the turtle but you'll not get it to open up with a stick."

The uncle took the terrapin into the house and set it near the fireplace. It wasn't but a few minutes until it began to get warm. Then the turtle pushed out its head, then stretched out its legs and began to crawl. "Turtles are like that," said the uncle, "and people, too. You can't force them into anything.

But if you first warm them up with some real kindness, more than likely, they will do what you want them to do."

Monday, October 19, 2009


A couple years ago, I came to a lady's house to buy some vitamins. Upon entering the house,I noticed that there was an electronic keyboard on the stand, leaning against the wall. Being a piano music lover and player, I asked if the woman played. She said "Yes" and added that she had been taking lessons--at age 54! I told her that that was very impressive for her to pursue her passion to play the piano.

Then she reciprocated the question.

"I have been playing for 8 years now." I answered.

"Then you must play a song for me before you leave." she requested.

I thought she was kidding and I simply smiled. By the end of purchase of the vitamins, she reminded me of our musical "deal." She then showed me to an old upright piano in the living room and asked me to play a song for her. I thought for a moment and decided to play David Lanz's "Return to the Heart", since she had much passion for music, and it's one of my soul-searching songs.

I played the song with my best ability, with much emotions pouring into it as possible. She loved it. As I was about to step out of the door, I heard a weak voice calling out. "Young man!"

I turned around. And there was an old lady taking one little step at a time with the help of another woman. "I wanted to come out to thank you for the beautiful song that you played. I have been very sick, and it's very hard for me to get off my bed, but I really wanted to thank you for the song. It made me feel good...", she said. With that, she turned around and walked slowly back to her room.

I was deeply touched by her appreciation and felt a deeper understanding for the song. It served its purpose beautifully, returning to one's heart for peace and joy.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Once upon a time, there was an exhausted mother. Mother spent each and every day providing for the needs of her family. Many nights she would go to bed so tired that she didn't even remember falling asleep. One unusual night mother sensed a strange and different feeling in the air. While she and her family slept, an Angel of Greatness granted her deepest desires. Not a person in her family was aware of the Angel?s activities until strange things began to happen.

The alarm clock went off at seven o'clock, not a moment too early, not a moment too late. When Mother entered the bathroom, steam fogged the mirror from the hot, strawberry scented bath that had been run for her. Rose petals were floating in her bath like lillipads for ladies. After her heavenly bath, she dried off with a cotton towel that was especially made for her by the Prince of Egypt.

Moments later, she followed angelic voices to the kitchen. The voices were proclaiming, "Oh, Worthy Mother, eat in peace." Before her was a breakfast that was prepared for a king and his heirs. The most colorful food was placed on the finest china dishes. The breakfast feast was compliments of the children, who not only cooked with perfection, but also cleaned with even more efforts.

Amazed by her surroundings, Mother's eyes filled with tears as she watched her children get themselves ready for school. While the children proceeded to make their own lunch, husband came in with a vase of wild flowers and handed them to Mother. Along with the rainbow of flowers, husband handed Mother a plane ticket to London. He kissed her gently on the forehead and spoke with the greatest authority, "My lovely wife, your great work does not go unnoticed! I acknowledge all that you do. I insist you spend the afternoon in London and treat yourself to all the blessings that you deserve. My companion, my friend, it is I who is blessed."

All of London stood still as she exited the plane. Parades were marching up and down the narrow roads in Mother's honor. She ate the finest entrees, and danced with the director of Catz. People come from all over the world just to tell her how much they envied her greatness.

The plane trip home was wonderful. Mother was serenaded by Elton John while being massaged by Fabio. Mother watched the movie -- As Good As It Gets -- only shown to first class passengers, of course.

The plane landed and Mother was greeted by her faithful Husband and precious children. One child said, "Mother, I know you must be dreadfully tired. Please let me do the honor of carrying your bags." Husband took Mother by the hand and pledged his undying love for her. He assured her that the time they spent apart while she was in London was to him like being thrown into a den of vipers.

When they returned home, all the family took Mother to bed. They made sure she was comfortable and happy in her clean, freshly washed linen. The whole family was there to tuck Mother in and kiss her good night.

Meanwhile, the Angel of Greatness winked down on Mother. The Angel was confident that for one day Mother knew she was appreciated.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


My teeth screamed. I couldn't neglect them any longer. I finally ignored my fear of dentists and decided to get them fixed. But how? I was a college sophomore and barely supported myself with part-time jobs.

Maybe I could fix the worst one. I flipped open the Yellow Pages and called the first dentist within walking distance. The receptionist told me to come right over. As I hurried across the campus, I forgot the pain in worrying about how I would pay the bill.

In a few minutes I was in a chair being examined by a dentist who said, "Hmm!" as he surveyed the wreckage of my mouth. "Your teeth are in bad shape."

"I already know that," I snapped, in a smart-aleck way to hide my fear.

"But don't worry, I'm going to fix them."

"No, you're not. I can't afford to pay you." I started climbing out of the chair.

"What are you doing?"

"I told you, I have no money."

"You're a student at the university, aren't you?"

What difference did that make? "Yes..."

"You're going to graduate in a few years, aren't you?"

"I hope so."

"And then you expect to get a job, don't you?"

"That's my plan."

"Well, then you'll pay me. Meantime, you concentrate on your classes and leave the dentistry to me."

I stared at him. He really meant it. He calmly picked up his tools and fixed the aching cavity.

From that day on, I saw him every week until my teeth were in good shape. And he kept them that way with regular checkups. After graduation, I got a job and settled his bill in a few months.

In the 40 years following, I've learned to call this man a "woodwork angel." These are strangers who appear out of nowhere - out of the woodwork - when I need help. They've lent and given me money, materials or equipment; they've taught me skills and helped me organize groups; sometimes they've rescued me from danger or making a big mistake. So, dentist dear, wherever you are, bless you and thank you again!

by: Varda One, A 4th Course of Chicken Soup for the Soul

Thursday, October 15, 2009



A woman, renewing her driver's license at the County Clerk 's office,
was asked by the woman recorder to state her occupation.

She hesitated, uncertain how to classify herself.

'What I mean is, ' explained the recorder,
'do you have a job or are you just a ?'

'Of course I have a job,' snapped the woman.

'I'm a Mom.'

'We don't list 'Mom' as an occupation,

'housewife' covers it,'
Said the recorder emphatically.

I forgot all about her story until one day I found myself

in the same situation, this time at our own Town Hall.
The Clerk was obviously a career woman, poised,
efficient, and possessed of a high sounding title like,
'Official Interrogator' or 'Town Registrar.'

'What is your occupation?' she probed.

What made me say it? I do not know.
The words simply popped out.
'I'm a Research Associate in the field of
Child Development and Human Relations.'

The clerk paused, ball-point pen frozen in midair and
looked up as though she had not! heard r ight.

I repeated the title slowly emphasizing the most significant words.
Then I stared with wonder as my pronouncement was written,
in bold, black ink on the official questionnaire.

'Might I ask,' said the clerk with new interest,
'just what you do in your field?'

Coolly, without any trace of fluster in my voice,
I heard myself reply,
'I have a continuing program of research,
(which mother doesn't)
In the laboratory and in the field,
(normally I would have said indoors and out).
I'm working for my Masters, (first the Lord and then the whole family)
and already have four credits (all daughters).
Of course, the job is one of the most demanding in the humanities,
(any mother care to disagree?)
and I often work 14 hours a day, (24 is more like it).
But the job is more challenging than most run-of-the-mill careers

and the rewards are more of a satisfaction rather than just money.'

There was an increasing note of respect in the clerk's voice as she
completed the form, stood up, and personally ushered me to the door.

As I drove into our driveway, buoyed up by my glamorous new career,
I was greeted by my lab assistants -- ages 13, 7, and 3.
Upstairs I could hear our new experimental model,
(a 6 month old baby) in the child development program,
testing out a new vocal pattern.
I felt I had scored a beat on bureaucracy!
And I had gone on the official records as someone more

distinguished and indispensable to mankind than 'just another Mom.'


What a glorious career!
Especially when there's a title on the door.

Does this make grandmothers
'Senior R esearch associates in the field of Child Development and Human Relations'
And great grandmothers
'Executive Senior Research Associates?'
I think so!!!
I also think it makes Aunts

' Associate Research Assistants.'

Please send this to another Mom,

And other friends you know.

May your troubles be less,

Your blessing be more,

And nothing but happiness come through your door!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Some one started the whole day wrong--
Was it you?
Some one robbed the day of its song--
Was it you?

Early this morning some one frowned;
Some one sulked until others scowled;
And soon harsh words were passed around--
Was it you?

Some one started the day aright--
Was it you?
Some one made it happy and bright--
Was it you?

Early this morning, we are told,
Some one smiled and all through the day--
This smile encouraged young and old--
Was it you?

-Author Unknown-

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Take a potato and write on it a name of a person who has fallen from grace with you. Do this for everyone who has raised your ire and never received your forgiveness. When you've finished, gather all your potatoes together and place them in a sack.

Keep this sack next to you at all times: Take it to work. Take it to lunch. Take it everywhere you go. And always have it with you at home.

How long would it take for you to grow tired of carrying this burden around? How long would it take your potatoes to sprout into other things, fester and smell? Wouldn't it be nice to be free from the weight, stench, and constant reminder of hurt, disappointment, heartache, and anger?

By hanging on to things that are unpleasant, we create more anguish for ourselves. When you forgive someone, you free yourself from an oppressive load of negativity. Forgiveness allows you to create peace in your life.

-Author Unknown-

Monday, October 12, 2009


The Pencil Maker took the pencil aside, just before putting him into the box. There are 5 things you need to know, he told the pencil, before I send you out into the world. Always remember them and never forget, and you will become the best pencil you can be.

ONE: You will be able to do many great things, but only if you allow yourself to be held in Someone's hand.

TWO: You will experience a painful sharpening from time to time, but you'll need it to become a better pencil.

THREE: You will be able to correct any mistakes you might make.

FOUR: The most important part of you will always be what's inside.

AND FIVE: On every surface you are used on, you must leave your mark. No matter what the condition, you must continue to write.

The pencil understood and promised to remember, and went into the box with purpose in its heart.

Now replacing the place of the pencil with you; always remember them and never forget, and you will become the best person you can be.

ONE: You will be able to do many great things, but only if you allow yourself to be held in God's hand. And allow other human beings to access you for the many gifts you possess.

TWO: You will experience a painful sharpening from time to time, by going through various problems, but you'll need it to become a stronger person.

THREE: You will be able to correct any mistakes you might make.

FOUR: The most important part of you will always be what's on the inside.

AND FIVE: On every surface you walk through, you must leave your mark. No matter what the situation, you must continue to do your duties. By understanding and remembering, let us proceed with our life on this earth having a meaningful purpose in our heart.

We are just like the pencil, who can make a difference in our lives and in the lives of the people around us. Don't ever underestimate what you have the power to do!

Sunday, October 11, 2009


How it feels like turning 48.

It's my 48th birthday today. I'm proud to say that I've become stronger, happier and wiser with age. I no longer react foolishly to situations and people that used to cause me anxiety. Colleagues, close friends and family members used to identify me as a moody, hot tempered, erratic and an impatient person. I don't hear those labels anymore.

My personal growth and change did not happen overnight. It took many hours of reflections and years of making mistakes and facing disappointments. When I began to acknowledge that I have control over many things within my life, I move towards making progress. Even now, there are still areas that I can work on to improve and a few bad habits that I can discard.

A few friends asked if I ever wished that my past experiences were different or if I had ever imagined that I could relive and change them. Answer was and still is a "No."

I've made a decision sometime ago not to have regrets for those things that I did or didn't do or had or never had.

If not for those experiences and getting knocked down so many times, my growth would have taken a longer time. I see people around me at my age or older who struggle with drinking and relationship problems and are broke. My dad was one of them who died frustrated and unhappy.

Turning 48 makes me want to move faster to reach the many goals that I have set to accomplish. I tell myself that my years on this planet get shorter so I have to make the best use of each waking hours. At the same time, I stay open and optimistic about being able to live for another 20 - 30 years.

I used to do drugs and have quit. I almost became an alcoholic and stopped cold turkey. I had a self-inflicted habit of getting overdosed on drugs. I used sexual gratification as a means to feel worthy of love.

Many people have gone through worst than I had. But I looked at my accomplishments from what I was to what I have and can become.

So turning 48 makes me grateful and proud of myself. I have been there, done that, worn the T shirt and survived.

Here are some of the books that have inspired and helped me become a better human being.

Atlas Shrugged

Man's Search for Meaning

Unlimited Power.

7 Strategies for Wealth & Happiness.

Using Your Brain for a Change.

Awaken the Giant Within.

*Taken from this link

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


To believe is to know that every
day is a new beginning.
It is to trust that miracles happen,
and dreams really do come true.

To believe is to see angels
dancing among the clouds
To know the wonder of a stardust sky
and the wisdom of the man in the moon.

To believe is to know the value
of a nurturing heart,
The innocence of a child's eyes and the
beauty of an aging hand,
for it is through their teachings we learn to love.

To believe is to find the strength and
courage that lies within us.
When it is time to pick up
the pieces and begin again.

To believe is to know we are not alone,
That life is a gift and this is our
time to cherish it.

To believe is to know that wonderful
surprises are just waiting to happen,
And all our hopes and dreams
are within reach.

If only we believe.

-Author Unknown-

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


In 1962, four nervous young musicians played their first record audition for the executives of the Decca Recording company. The executives were not impressed. While turning down this group of musicians, one executive said, "We don't like their sound. Groups of guitars are on the way out." The group was called The Beatles.

In 1944, Emmeline Snively, director of the Blue Book Modeling Agency, told modeling hopeful Norma Jean Baker, "You'd better learn secretarial work or else get married." She went on and became Marilyn Monroe.

In 1954, Jimmy Denny, manager of the Grand Ole Opry fired a singer after one performance. He told him, "You ain't goin' nowhere son. You ought to go back to drivin' a truck." He went on to become the most popular singer in America, named Elvis Presley.

When Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone in 1876, it did not ring off the hook with calls from potential backers. After making a demonstration call, President Rutherford Hayes said, "That's an amazing invention, but who would ever want to use one of them?"

When Thomas Edison invented the light bulb, he tried over 2000 experiments before he got it to work. A young reporter asked him how it felt to fail so many times. He said, "I never failed once. I invented the light bulb. It just happened to be a 2000-step process."

In the 1940's, another young inventor named Chester Carlson took his idea to 20 corporations, including some of the biggest in the country. They all turned him down. In 1947 - after seven long years of rejections! He finally got a tiny company in Rochester, New York, the Haloid Company, to purchase the rights to his invention, an electrostatic paper-copying process. Haloid became Xerox Corporation we know today.

Wilma Rudolph was the 20th of 22 children. She was born prematurely and her survival was doubtful. When she was 4 years old, she contacted double pneumonia and scarlet fever, which left her with a paralyzed left leg. At age 9, she removed the metal leg brace she had been dependent on and began to walk without it. By 13 she had developed rhythmic walk, which doctors said was a miracle. That same year she decided to become a runner. She entered a race and came in last. For the next few years every race she entered, she came in last. Everyone told her to quit, but she kept on running. One day she actually won a race. And then another. From then on she won every race she entered. Eventually this little girl, who was told she would never walk again, went on to win three Olympic gold medals.

The moral of the above Stories: Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved. You gain strength, experience and confidence by every experience where you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing you cannot do. And remember, the finest steel gets sent through the hottest furnace. A winner is not one who never fails, but one who NEVER QUITS! In LIFE, remember that you pass this way only once! Let's live life to the fullest and give it our best.

Monday, October 5, 2009


I couldn't believe what I had just heard!

Hands cupped around his mouth so his words wouldn't travel to the ears of eavesdroppers, and flipping his head from shoulder to shoulder to ensure no one would be privy to his divulgence, David repeated his whispered announcement: "I have $500 saved."

This wouldn't be such a shock if it weren't for the fact that David is a mentally challenged adult. Where on earth did he get that kind of money?

He pulled me aside and answered my unspoken question -- so excited that his words tumbled pell mell off his lips, faster and faster until I could barely keep up with his stream of consciousness. Eventually, I got the gist of his monologue.

When he was a little boy, he had made weekly trips with his mother to a local department store. He was mesmerized by the window displays and eagerly stood with his nose pressed against the glass until his breath clouded his view.

Then came the display which would change his and many other lives 30 years later. It was an antique Victor Five Victrola -- the kind that needed to be wound by hand before placing the needle on the record. It was the machine that bore the symbol of a black and white dog, ear cocked to its side.

Not missing a beat, he expounded on a history lesson about Columbia Records and their music machines, information gleaned from his trips to the library. There was nothing he didn't know about that golden age of music.

His mother died, and he eventually was able to live independently, supervised by an agency. It was through the agency that he obtained work, cleaning toilets of public facilities five nights a week. Every week he squirreled away his paycheck, never forgetting the Victrola. He was on a mission to find and buy a phonograph like the one he had once admired through plate glass.

Visibly exhausted from revealing his secret, David paused long enough to pull out a tattered Polaroid photo from his back pocket. He lovingly waved it in front of my eyes and proclaimed, "There it is! Victor Five!"

He had found the object of his desire exhibited at a museum and had been faithfully visiting it every chance he could get. The colored piece of paper was a constant reminder of his goal.

I tucked away his confession into the back of my mind, only to dust it off when I wandered into one of my favorite antique shops a few months later.

In the back of the shop, tacked in the corner of a bulletin board over the owner's desk, was a Polaroid picture just like the one David had shown me. I hastily inquired as to why it was there and unknowingly opened the door to a personal witnessing of the triumph of the human spirit.

David had gone to every antique shop in the city and had left a picture of his beloved Victrola with each of the shopkeepers. If any one of them was to come across a Victor Five, he wanted to buy it. Rain or shine, the owner at Century Antiques counted on David to stop at his Waterbury store at least twice a month to check on the success of his quest. He hadn't put any effort into looking because he honestly didn't think David had the money for such an expensive piece. After all, David
was, well, not "like us."

Didn't he know that it was next to impossible to find that particular antique? But, being a kindhearted soul, the dealer had taken a liking to David and posted his Polaroid.

I commanded him to take the mission seriously. If David was short the required amount for the purchase, I knew it wouldn't be impossible to find enough people to chip in to make up the difference. There was a core group of people in our church who were fond of him and would dig into their pockets to help him reach his goal.

It took some time, but the antique shop came through with flying colors. For months, the owner's son, Chip, had made phone call after phone call in the tri-state area and eventually struck it rich. A Victor Five had been found! He personally drove to the source, brought the machine back to his shop, and called me with the news.

"I can't believe it. It's a miracle that I found one in such beautiful shape, or that I found one at all!"

The cost to David? Not a nickel more than what it had cost the dealer.

The profit for the dealer? The pure joy of seeing David when he flung open the door to the shop, stopping speechless in front of the phonograph, clapping his hands together in prayer, and looking up to heaven and saying, "Thank you, thank you for my Victor Five."

So, if you drive down the street past David's apartment, you will most probably hear music. David will be playing his Victrola, and the world will be a little nicer.

written by
Irene Budzynski

Sunday, October 4, 2009


If you're not living your dream, the following story about turnips, turnip greens and pigs might help you understand why. I suppose you could say this story begins when my wife was just a little girl and I was a little boy. We were raised in totally different cultures. However, we did have one thing in common, she spent part of her summer holidays on the farm and so did I.

An American, Linda grew up in the deep south, in Alabama and I was raised in northern Ontario, Canada. You could say that fate brought us together. Shortly after we were married, we were wandering through a Super Market when Linda asked me what I would like to have for dinner. I told her I would like to have some turnip. As I picked one up and put it in our basket, she said, "What are you going to do with that?"

I replied, "I'm going to eat it."

She said, "Well, I'm not going to eat that."

I asked "Why not? I thought you liked turnip?"

"I do, but I wouldn't eat that. It's the root of the turnip... we feed that to the pigs." You know, as strange as this may seem, I had never heard it referred to as the root of the turnip! It was always just a turnip to me.

I must have looked at her rather strange when I said, "Well, what do you eat?"

"We eat the green of the turnip."

I said, "Isn't that strange, we feed the greens to the pigs."

To my knowledge, I have never eaten turnip greens. I reluctantly put the turnip back where I got it and we went on our way. But I began wondering how far back I would have to go in our family tree to find out who made the decision that we would eat the root of a turnip and feed the green to the pigs or how far back I would have to go in Linda's family to discover
who made the decision to eat the greens.

Neither Linda nor I have changed our eating habits with respect to turnip, as a result, we just don't eat turnip anymore! But every time I hear the word turnip or see one in the grocery store, I smile and it causes me to think of all the ideas that are controlling our lives that we inherited at birth.

You see, I never woke up one morning and decided which part of the turnip I would eat - I just ate what I was served. And I'm darned sure that my mother didn't wake up one morning and decide which part she would eat either. She just ate what she was served.

How much of your life is being controlled by a decision you inherited that was made by some ancient ancestor? The turnip story is true. Laugh at it if you choose, but the idea it represents is huge.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


We found out that Jenny was hearing impaired, when she was four and a half years old. Several surgeries and speech classes later, when she was seven, we found out that Jenny had Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis.

She could not put pressure on the heels of her feet, so she walked on tiptoe, and when the pain became unbearable, I carried her. Jenny was fortunate, though, because she did not suffer the deformities, often associated with JRV.

All through grade school, and on into high school, Jenny suffered, yet never complained. She took her medicine, and I would often wrap her feet in steaming towels, and hold her until the pain eased. But, as soon as she could withstand the pain, Jenny, immediately, carried on, as though she were pain free.

She wore a smile on her face, a song on her lips, and a love and acceptance of others, that was, simply, amazing. I don't remember her ever voicing self-pity. She ran, when she could run. She played when she could play, and she danced when she could dance. And, when she could do none of these things, she took her medicine, and she waited until she could.

Jenny, a beautiful blonde, with warm brown eyes, was never a cheerleader. She never competed in a sport. She could not even take part in a Gym Class, though she took the same health class four years in a row, just so she could pass with a substitute credit each year. She joined the band.

She won a place in the Governor's School for the Arts; yet, no one in the Charleston, South Carolina School System knew what to do with Jenny. The perimeters were, simply, not in place to deal with a student, who was both active and handicapped.

Jenny continued to have one surgery after another on her ears, all through school. Her hearing improved to 60%, and she taught herself to read lips. She carried a pillow to school, all through high school, and once, when she suddenly experienced crippling pain, her friends scooped her up, and carried her from class to class.

She was totally mainstreamed, popular, and funny, attending every football game, cheering the team on, carrying her pillow everywhere she went, so that she could cushion the pain, when she sat down. Then came her senior year. She would be considered for scholarships; however school activities, especially sports, could often mean the difference between receiving an award or losing out.

So Jenny came to a decision; and in her quirky, unorthodox manner, she began to bombard the high school football coach. She begged. She pleaded. She promised. She got her best friend to sign up with her. Finally the coach gave in, with the admonition,

"If you miss ONE game, you're out!"

So, Jenny became Manager of the Garrett High School Football Team. She carried big buckets of water to her teammates. She bandaged knees and ankles before every game. She massaged necks and backs. She gave pep talks. She was continually at their beck and call.

It turned out to be one of the best years for Garrett High School Football Team in its twenty-five year history. Often Jenny could be seen carrying a bucket of water in each hand, nearly dragging them, along with her pillow tucked under her arm.

When asked why he thought that the team was winning all their games, even in the face of injury, one linebacker explained, in his soft, Charleston drawl,

"Well, when you've been knocked down, and you can't seem to move, you look up and see Jenny Lewis, limping across the field, dragging her buckets and carrying her pillow. It makes anything the rest of us may suffer seem pretty insignificant."

At the Senior Awards ceremony, Jenny received a number of scholarships to College of Charleston. Her favorite scholarship, however, was a small one from the Charleston Women's Club. The President of the Women's Club listed Jenny's accomplishments, starting with her grades, and ending with an excited:

"...and the first girl to letter in football in Garrett High School history!!"

Written by Jaye Lewis

Friday, October 2, 2009


Jehdi and Hassan were two merchants who were very close friends. Jehdi was a cheerful person, almost frivolous, whereas Hassan was very serious, perhaps too cautious and careful. But an unbreakable bond of friendship tied them together and this made their journey for business happy, for they never had any

One time they started together toward the city of Touria.

They arrived at the outskirts of a forest where the big trees, moist rocks and cool shade invited them to take a well-deserved rest. Within a minute Jehdi fell asleep.

Hassan looked at his friend with a sigh and told himself, "He sleeps peacefully in nature, as if he were in his own house. I am afraid of someone robbing me. Even though the thief might get very little, I am too apprehensive and I prefer to be cautious. After all, one never knows what might happen".

Hassan was ruminating over his anxiety when suddenly he saw a wasp coming out of Jehdi's left nostril. Its enigmatic dance surprised him. It flew toward a single pine tree standing on a rock, circled the tree 3 times, and then returned to the sleeping Jehdi and disappeared into his right nostril.

Just at that moment Jehdi woke up, sat up laughing and said, "Hassan, you will never believe me. I just had a marvelous dream. Just imagine that there is big pine tree standing on a high rock, exactly like the one you see there. A wasp droned around the trunk and its wings buzzed as if to say, "You must dig in this place, you must dig in this place!" I started digging and I found a big pot full of gold coins. I have never in my life seen so much money...!"

"Yes, truly it is a strange dream," replied Hassan. "If I were in your place, I would have dug around the pine tree there."

"My poor friend, how na?ve you are. I would never take a dream seriously. It is so hot here, to dig would be torture! Please, let us continue our journey.."

But Hassan insisted, "Jehdi, a dream like this surely has a meaning. If you do not want to dig, I will try instead. Do you know what I propose to you? Sell your dream to me."

Jehdi began laughing loudly. "This is a good piece of business for me! How much will you pay?"

"You have said that there is a big pile of gold coins. I am your friend and I do not want to wrong you. You tell me how much you estimate to be the price of your dream."

After a brief discussion, they agreed to the sum of 300 coins.

"Never have I made such a business deal. So much money for a simple dream of no value. How gullible you are, Hassan!"

The 2 friends then went under the pine tree which the wasp had shown in the dream. Jehdi was amused to see Hassan perspiring profusely and breaking his back with the shovel. He continued on until the shovel made a dull sound as if it had struck something hard.

What a surprise for the 2 merchants when they uncovered an earthen pot full of gold coins! Before breaking it, Hassan noted an inscription near the handle: "the first of seven."

"The first of 7. That means there should be 6 more pots buried," Jehdi understood, starting to regret the deal he had concluded too quickly.

This time both of them dug with energy and, sure enough, they found the 6 pots, one after another, each one filled to the brim with gold coins.

Hassan built a huge inn in the city and named it The Bulging Pot. He lived as a rich and satisfied man until his death.

Jehdi often came to visit him and greeted his friend with the words, "Well, Hassan, how are you? I have come to see what has happened to my dream." And the 2 comrades patted each other on the back laughing. But every time Jehdi returned home sadder, for he knew that he could never buy back his dream.

Source Unknown

Thursday, October 1, 2009


I had a very special teacher in high school many years ago whose husband died suddenly of a heart attack. About a week after his death, she shared some of her insights with a classroom of students. The class was nearly over, and as the late afternoon sunlight came streaming in through the classroom windows, she moved a few things aside on the edge of her desk and sat down there. With a gentle look of reflection on her face, she paused and said, "Before class is over, I would like to share with all of you a thought that is unrelated to class, but which I feel is very important."

"Each of us is put here on earth to learn, share, love, appreciate and give of ourselves. None of us knows when this fantastic experience will end. It can be taken away at any moment. Perhaps this is God's way of telling us that we must make the most out of every single day." Her eyes beginning to water, she went on, "So I would like you all to make me a promise. From now on, on your way to school, or on your way home, find something beautiful to notice. It doesn't have to be something you see - it could be a scent - perhaps of freshly baked bread wafting out of someone's house, or it could be the sound of the breeze slightly rustling the leaves in the trees, or the way the morning light catches one autumn leaf as it falls gently to the ground."

"Please look for these things, and cherish them. For, although it may sound trite to some, these things are the 'stuff' of life. The little things we are put here on earth to enjoy. The things we often take for granted. We must make it important to notice them, for at any can all be taken away."

The class was completely quiet. We all picked up our books and filed out of the room silently. That afternoon, I noticed more things on my way home from school than I had that whole semester. Every once in a while, I think of that teacher and remember what an impression she made on all of us, and I try to appreciate all of those things that sometimes we all overlook.

Take notice of something special you see on your lunch hour today. Go barefoot. Or walk on the beach at sunset. Stop off on the way home tonight to get a double-dip ice cream cone. For as we get older, it is not the things we did that we often regret, but the things we didn't do.

Source Unknown