Mein Hoon Na

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Location: Hong Kong, China

Hi! I like to call myself a work-in-progress. Not sure when the end-product will be ready. Hopefully NEVER! I love to be different. I believe in living every moment of my life fully and try not to waste time. Aim is to maximise the 24hrs granted to us every day of our life. Life is for the living, so live it! Every so often I have reality checks and actually think about what my existence is, but I get over that soon enough!! Before I die I want to have lived a life that experienced everything! I want people to remember me as someone who enjoyed life and lived it to the fullest. Happily married with 2 kids, my life revolves around my family and my job. Not too many friends but the few I have, I can fall back on anytime of the day or night. Since 1995, I started emailing famous quotes to my friends, instead of the jokes and porn which are more popular email topics. Even though, it started just as a pass-time, currently, when I don’t email for a few days, I am taken to task by some of the recipients of the ‘Food for Thought’ series. This Blog is a compilation of the various anecdotes, stories, quotes, etc. circulated during the last 10+ years. Hope you enjoy it!

Monday, July 31, 2006

The Barber

This is one of the best explanations of why God allows pain and suffering that I have seen :-

A man went to a barbershop to have his hair cut and his beard trimmed.

As the barber began to work, they began to have a good conversation.

They talked about so many things and various subjects. When they eventually touched on the subject of God, the barber said :-

"I don't believe that God exists."

Why do you say that?" asked the customer.

"Well, you just have to go out in the street to realize that God doesn't exist. Tell me, if God exists, would there be so many sick people? Would there be abandoned children? If God existed, there would be neither suffering nor pain. I can't imagine a loving God who would allow all of these things."

The customer thought for a moment, but didn't respond because he didn't want to start an argument.

The barber finished his job and the customer left the shop.

Just after he left the barbershop, he saw a man in the street with long, stringy, dirty hair and an untrimmed beard. He looked dirty and unkempt.

The customer turned back and entered the barber shop again and he said to the barber :-

"You know what? Barbers do not exist."

"How can you say that?" asked the surprised barber. "I am here, and I am a barber. And I just worked on you!"

"No!" the customer exclaimed. "Barbers don't exist because if they did, there would be no people with dirty long hair and untrimmed beards, like that man outside."

"Ah, but barbers DO exist! That's what happens when people do not come to me.""Exactly!" affirmed the customer. That's the point! God, too, DOES exist!

That's what happens when people do not go to Him and don't look to Him for help. That's why there's so much pain and suffering in the world."

Moments that take our breath away

I had a very special teacher in high school many years ago whose husband unexpectedly and suddenly died of a heart attack.

About a week after his death, she shared some of her insight with a classroom of students. As the late afternoon sunlight came streaming in through the classroom windows and the class was nearly over, 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 the powers that be 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 the 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.

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

The Dime

One day I visited a businessman's office, and while we talked, I noticed that he constantly twirled a small paperweight with a dime in it. Curious, I asked him about it.

He said, "When I was in college, my roommate and I were down to our last dime. He was on a scholarship, while I had earned my tuition by working in the cotton field and a grocery store.

We were the first two members of our families to ever attend college, and our parents were extremely proud of us. Each month they sent us a small allowance to buy food, but that month our checks hadn't arrived. It was a Sunday, the fifth of the month, and between us we had one dime left.

"We used the solitary dime to place a collect call to my home five hundred miles away. My mother answered. I could tell from her voice that something was wrong. She said that my father had been ill and out of work, so there was simply no way they could send any money that month. I asked if my roommate's check was in the mail. She said that she had talked with his mother. They also couldn't raise the extra money that month either. They were sorry, but it looked like we'd have to come home. They had put off telling us, hoping for some solution."

"Were you disappointed?" I asked.

"Devastated. We both were. We had one month remaining to finish the year, then we could work all summer to earn our expenses. My grades were excellent, so I had been guaranteed a scholarship for the next term."

"What did you do?"

"When I hung up the telephone, we heard a noise and dimes started pouring out of the pay phone. We were laughing and holding out our hands to catch the money. Students walking down the hall thought we were crazy. We discussed taking the money and using it. Nobody would know what happened. But then we realized we couldn't do that. It wouldn't be honest. You understand?"

"Yes, but it would have been tough to return it."

Well, we tried. I called the operator back and told her what had happened." He smiled, remembering. "She said that the money belonged to the telephone company, so to replace it in the machine. We did, over and over again, but the machine wouldn't accept the dimes.

"I finally told the operator that the dimes kept falling back out. She said that she didn't know what else to do, but she'd talk to her supervisor. When she returned she said that we'd have to keep the money, because the company wasn't going to send a man all the way out to the school just to collect a few dollars."

He looked over at me and chuckled, but there was emotion in his voice. "We laughed all the way back to our dorm room. After counting the money, we had $7.20. We decided to use the money to buy food from a nearby grocery store and we went job hunting after class."

"Did you find a job?"

"Yes, we told the manager of the grocery store what had happened as we paid for our purchases with our dimes. He offered us both jobs beginning next day. Our money bought enough supplies to last until our first paycheck."

"You were both able to finish college?"

"Yes, we worked for that man until we graduated. My friend went on to eventually become a lawyer." He looked around him and said, "I graduated in business, then went on to start this company which today is a multi-million-dollar corporation. My own children have attended college, as have my roommate's, but we were the first."

"Is that one of your original dimes?"

He shook his head. "No, we had to use those, but when I got my first paycheck I saved a dime, which I carried all the way through college. I've kept it to remind me where I came from. When I count my blessings, I remember that once in my life, a single thin dime stood between me and the poverty my parents faced every day of their lives."

"Did you ever meet the telephone operator or tell her how much that money meant to you?"

"No, but when we graduated, my roommate and I wrote a letter to the local telephone company and asked if they wanted their money back.

"The president of the company wrote us a letter of congratulations and told us that he'd never felt the company's money was better spent."

"Do you think this was a fluke or meant to be?"

"I've thought about it often over the years. I wondered if the operator might have heard the fear in my voice; perhaps she prevented the machine from accepting the coins. Or maybe . . . it was an act of God."

"You'll never know for sure, will you?"

He shook his head, touching the paperweight as if he drew strength from it. "No, but I'll always remember that moment and that dime. I have repaid that debt many times over the years. I hope that I have helped someone else as much as a dime helped me."

The Tea Cup

There was a couple who used to go England to shop in a beautiful antique store. This trip was to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. They both liked antiques and pottery, and especially tea-cups.

Spotting an exceptional cup, they asked "May we see that? We've never seen a cup quite so beautiful."

As the lady handed it to them suddenly the tea-cup spoke, "You don't understand." It said,
"I have not always been a tea-cup. There was a time when I was just a lump of red clay.

My master took me and rolled me pounded and patted me over and over and I yelled out,
'Don't do that. I don't like it! Let me alone', but he only smiled, and gently said; 'Not yet!!'

"Then. WHAM! I was placed on a spinning wheel and suddenly I was spun around and around and around.

'Stop it! I'm getting so dizzy! I'm going to be sick!', I screamed.

But the master only nodded and said, quietly; 'Not yet'

He spun me and poked and prodded and bent me out of shape to suit himself and then......

"Then he put me in the oven. I never felt such heat. I yelled and knocked and pounded at the door.

'Help! Get me out of here!' I could see him through the opening and I could read his lips as he shook his head from side to side, 'Not yet'.

"When I thought I couldn't bear it another minute, the door opened. He carefully took me out and put me on the shelf, and I began to cool. Oh, that felt so good! 'Ah, this is much better,' I thought.

"But, after I cooled he picked me up and he brushed and painted me all over. The fumes were horrible. I thought I would gag. 'Oh, please stop it, Stop it!!' I cried. He only shook his head and said. 'Not yet!'.

"Then suddenly he put me back in to the oven. Only it was not like the first one. This was twice as hot and I just knew I would suffocate. I begged. I pleaded. I screamed I cried. I was convinced I would never make it. was ready to give up. Just then the door opened and he took me out and again placed me on the shelf, where I cooled and waited ------- and waited, wondering what's he going to do to me next?

"An hour later he handed me a mirror and said 'Look at yourself.' And I did.

"I said, 'That's not me; that couldn't be me. It's beautiful. I'm beautiful!"'

"Quietly he spoke: I want you to remember, then,' he said, 'I know it hurt to be rolled and pounded and patted, but had I just left you alone, you'd have dried up. I know it made you dizzy to spin around on the wheel, but if I had stopped, you would have crumbled'. I know it hurt and it was hot and disagreeable in the oven, but if I hadn't put you there, you would have cracked.

'I know the fumes were bad when I brushed and painted you all over, but if I hadn't done that, you never would have hardened. You would not have had any color in your life. If I hadn't put you back in that second oven, you wouldn't have survived for long because the hardness would not have held. Now you are a finished product. Now you are what I had in
mind when I first began with you.'

The moral of this story is this:

God knows what He's doing [for each of us]. He is the potter, and we are His clay.

He will mold us and make us, and expose us to just enough pressures of just the right kinds that we may be made into a flawless piece of work to fulfill His good, pleasing and perfect will.

So when life seems hard, and you are being pounded
and patted and pushed almost beyond endurance;
when your world seems to be spinning out of control;
when you feel like you are in a fiery furnace of trials;
when life seems to "stink", try this......

Brew a cup of your favorite tea in your prettiest tea cup, sit down and think on this story and then, have a little talk with the Potter.

My Dream

Father to Son

I’m counting on you
To bring that sweet gentleness to your world
And all that you do

My generation is losing its way
We don’t know
What we’re leaving for you

So may there be millions to feel like you do
Oh, my love

There is so much to know
There is so far to go
But you are not alone
When this is your world…

And I’m counting on you

Saturday, July 29, 2006

The Paradox of Our Age

We have taller buildings, but shorter tempers; wider freeways but narrower viewpoints; we spend more, but have less; we buy more, but enjoy it less.

We have bigger houses and smaller families; more conveniences, but less time; we have more degrees, but less sense; more knowledge, but less judgment; more experts, but more problems; more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry too quickly, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too seldom, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and lie too often. We've learned how to make a living, but not a life; we've added years to life, not life to years. We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbor.

We've conquered outer space, but not inner space; we've done larger things, but not better things; we've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul; we've split the atom, but not our prejudice; we write more, but learn less; plan more, but accomplish less; we've learned to rush, but not to wait; we have higher incomes, but lower morals; more food, but less appeasement; more acquaintances, but fewer friends; more effort, but less success.

We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but have less communication; we've become long on quantity, but short on quality.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion; tall men and short character; steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the times of world peace, but domestic warfare; more leisure and less fun; more kinds of food, but less nutrition.

These are the days of two incomes, but more divorce; of fancier houses, but broken homes.

These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one- night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer to quiet to kill. It is a time where there is much in the show window and nothing in the stockroom.

Indeed it's all true.


Following are some excerpts from 'The Monk who sold his Ferrari’ by Robin S. Sharma. If you like it, you may pick-up the book. If you are too busy to do so, the following quotes will in a way give an insight to what the book is about. Hope you enjoy it.

1) Life is no brief candle for me. It is a sort of splendid torch, which I have got hold for the moment, and I want to make it burn as bright as possible before handing it on to future generations. – George Bernard Shaw

2) Sure I am that, this day we are masters of our fate that the task, which has been set before us, is not above our strength; that it’s pangs and tools are not beyond my endurance. As long as we have faith in our own cause and an unconquerable will to win, victory will not be denied us. – Sir Winston Churchill

3) Real generosity towards the future consists in giving all to what is present. – Albert Camus

4) I have learnt that, everything happens for a reason. Every event has a purpose & every setback it’s lessons. I have realised that failure, whether of the personal, professional or even spiritual kind, is essential to personal expansion. It brings inner growth and a whole host of psychic rewards. Never regret your past. Rather, embrace it as the teacher that it is. – Yogi Krishnan in the book ‘The Monk who sold his Ferrari’ by Robin S. Sharma

5) Ultimately, life is all about choices. One’s destiny unfolds according to the choices one makes. – The main character Julian Mantle in the book ‘The Monk who sold his Ferrari’ by Robin S. Sharma

6) There is a huge difference between well-being and being well-off.

7) I am an artist at living – my work of art is my life. – Suzuki

8) Investing in yourselves is the best investment you will ever make. It will not only improve your life, it will improve the lives of all those around you.

9) Never overlook the power of simplicity. Yogi Krishnan in the book ‘The Monk who sold his Ferrari’ by Robin S. Sharma

10) Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakens – Carl Jung

11) Most people live, - whether physically, intellectually or morally – in a very restricted circle of their potential being. We all have reservoirs of life to draw upon of which we do not dream. - William James

12) Worry drains the mind of much of its powers and sooner or later, it injures the soul.

13) Mind management is the essence of life management.

14) Most of us have the same raw material from the moments we take our first breath of air; what separates those people who achieve more than others or those that are happier than others is the way that they use and refine these raw materials.

15) Your I Can is more important that your I.Q. - Malika Chand in the book ‘The Monk who sold his Ferrari’ by Robin S. Sharma

16) There are no mistakes in life, only lessons.

17) Instead of becoming a prisoner of the past, become the architect of your future.

18) First of all, begin to live out the glory of your imagination, not your memory.

19) Dare to dream that you are more than the sum of your current circumstances.

20) I have had dreams, and I have had nightmares. I overcome the nightmares because of my dreams. – Jonas Salk

21) When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all of your thoughts breaks their bonds. Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction and you find yourselves in a new, grand and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive and you discover yourselves to be a greater person than you ever dreamed yourselves to be. – Patanjali

22) The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master. If you have become a negative thinker, this is because you have not cared for your mind and taken the time to train it to focus on the good.

23) The price of greatness is responsibility over each of your thoughts. – Sir Winston Churchill

24) Mind is truly like any other muscle in your body. Use it or lose it.

25) The boundaries of your life are merely creations of the self. – Sages of Sivana in the book ‘The Monk who sold his Ferrari’ by Robin S. Sharma

26) The less you focus on the end results, the quicker it will come. With one eye fixed at the destination, there is only one left to guide you along the journey.

27) Luck is nothing more than the marriage of preparation with opportunity.
28) Secret of happiness – find out what you truly love to do and then direct all your energy towards doing it.

29) Those who rise with the sun all have one thing in common. They have a purpose that fans the flames of their inner potential. They are driven by their priorities, but not in any unhealthy obsessive way.

30) Saying that you don’t have time to improve your thoughts and your life is like saying you don’t have time to stop for gas because you are too busy driving.

31) One must not allow the clock and the calendar to blind him to the fact that, each moment of life is a miracle – and a mystery.

32) Self-knowledge is the stepping-stone to self-mastery.

33) There is nothing noble about being superior to some other person. True nobility lies is being superior to your former self.

34) Never get into the petty habit of measuring your self-worth against other people’s net-worth.

35) Every second you spend thinking about someone else’s dreams, you take time away from your own. - Yogi Krishnan in the book ‘The Monk who sold his Ferrari’ by Robin S. Sharma

36) Only those who seek, shall find.

37) People who study others are wise but, those who study themselves are enlightened.

38) The purpose of life is a life of purpose.

39) The secret of success is constancy of purpose. – Benjamin Disraeli

40) No man is free who is not a master of himself. – Epictetus

41) The only limits on your life are those you set yourselves. - Yogi Krishnan in the book ‘The Monk who sold his Ferrari’ by Robin S. Sharma

42) Fear is nothing more than a mental monster you have created, a negative stream of consciousness.

43) Some books are meant to be tasted, some books are meant to be chewed and finally some books are meant to be swallowed whole.

44) To truly get the best out of a great book, you must study it, not just read it.

45) It is not what you will get out of the books that is so enriching – it is what the books get out of you that will ultimately change your life.

46) The only way to improve tomorrow is to know what you did wrong today.

47) Happiness comes through good judgment, good judgment comes through experience, and experience comes through bad judgment. But, there is something very wrong with making the same mistakes over and over again, day in & day out. This shows a complete lack of self-awareness, the very quality that separates humans from animals.

48) Pain is often the precursor to personal growth.

49) We don’t laugh because we are happy, we are happy because we laugh.

50) Sow a thought, you reap an action; Reap an action, you sow a habit; Sow a habit, you reap a character; Sow a character, you reap your destiny.

51) The truly enlightened people never seek to be like others. Rather, they seek to be superior to their former selves. Don’t race against others. Race against yourselves.

52) Bringing self-control and discipline in your life will also bring you a tremendous sense of freedom.

53) Most people have liberty. But too many people are also slaves to their impulses. They have grown reactive rather than proactive. Such people have liberty but, they lack freedom. Building will-power will offer one, more freedom. It gives control to live the life you have imagined rather than accepting the life that you have.

54) When you master your mind, you master your life.

55) Positive always overcomes negative.

56) When you control your thought, you control your mind. When you control your mind, you control your life. And once you reach the stage of being in total control of your life, you become the master of your destiny.

57) Complacency Kills.

58) I saw myself first as a 50 year old & then as a 60 year old man. Would I be stuck in the same job with the same people, facing the same struggles at that point of my life?

59) Wisdom without proper tools for its application is no wisdom at all.

60) I am more than I appear to be. All the world’s strength and powers rest inside me.

61) You have the power to be more than your environment.

62) Decide to do the things you know you should be doing rather than walking the path of least resistance.

63) By the time people figure out what they really want out of life and how to go about attaining it, it’s usually too late.

64) Failing to plan is planning to fail.

65) Eighty percent of the results you achieve in your life come from only twenty percent of the activities that occupy your time.

66) Enlightened people are priority driven.

67) The most productive people in this world have cultivated the habit of doing the things that less productive people don’t like doing, even though they too might not like doing them.

68) Too many people are dreaming of some magical rose garden on the horizon rather than enjoying the one growing in our back yard.

69) Act as if failure is impossible and your success is assured.

70) Life doesn’t always give you what you ask for, but it always gives you what you need.

71) All it takes are small steps in the direction of our dreams.

72) Do not be denied your destiny.

The End

The Most Beautiful Flower
The park bench was deserted as I sat down to read
Beneath the long, straggly branches of an old willow tree.
Disillusioned by life with good reason to frown,
For the world was intent on dragging me down.
And if that weren't enough to ruin my day,
A young boy out of breath approached me, all tired from play.
He stood right before me with his head tilted down
And said with great excitement, "Look what I found!"
In his hand was a flower, and what a pitiful sight,
With it's petals all worn - not enough rain or too little light.
Wanting him to take his dead flower and go off to play,
I faked a small smile and then shifted away.
But instead of retreating he sat next to my side
And placed the flower to his nose and declared with overacted surprise,
"It sure smells pretty and it's beautiful, too.
That's why I picked it; here, it's for you."
The weed before me was dying or dead.
Not vibrant of colors, orange, yellow, or red.
But I knew I must take it, or he might never leave.
So I reached for the flower and replied, "Just what I need."
But instead of him placing the flower in my hand,
He held it in midair without reason or plan.
It was then that I noticed for the very first time
That weed-toting boy could not see: he was blind.
I heard my voice quiver, tears shone like the sun
As I thanked him for picking the very best one.
"You're welcome," he smiled, and then ran off to play,
Unaware of the impact he'd had on my day.
I sat there and wondered how he managed to see
A self-pitying woman beneath an old willow tree.
How did he know of my self-indulged plight?
Perhaps from his heart, he'd been blessed with true sight.
Through the eyes of a blind child, at last I could see
The problem was not with the world, the problem was me.
And for all of those times I myself had been blind,
I vowed to see the beauty in life, and appreciate every second that's mine.
And then I held that wilted flower up to my nose
And breathed in the fragrance of a beautiful rose
And smiled as I watched that young boy, another weed in his hand
About to change the life of an unsuspecting old man.
By Cheryl L. Costello-Forshey

(George Weiss / Bob Thiele)

I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom for me and you

And I think to myself, what a wonderful world

I see skies of blue and clouds of white
The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night

And I think to myself, what a wonderful world

The colours of the rainbow, so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces of people going by

I see friends shakin' hands, sayin' "How do you do?"
They're really saying "I love you"

I hear babies cryin', I watch them grow
They'll learn much more than I'll ever know

And I think to myself, what a wonderful world

Yes, I think to myself, what a wonderful world

Oh yeah

Singer - Louis Armstrong

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Rose

On the first day of school, our professor introduced himself and challenged us to get to know someone we didn't already know.

I stood up to look around when a gentle hand touched my shoulder. I turned around to find a wrinkled, little old lady beaming up at me with a smile that lit up her entire being.

She said, "Hi, handsome. My name is Rose. I'm eighty-seven years old. Can I give you a hug?"

I laughed and enthusiastically responded, "Of course you may!"

She gave me a giant squeeze. "Why are you in college at such a young, innocent age?" I asked.

She jokingly replied, "I'm here to meet a rich husband, get married, have a couple of children, and then retire and travel."

"No, seriously," I asked. I was curious what may have motivated her to be taking on this challenge at her age.

"I always dreamed of having a college education, and now I'm getting one!" she told me.

After class we walked to the student union building and shared a chocolate milk-shake. We became instant friends. Every day for the next three months, we would leave class together and talk non-stop.

I was always mesmerized listening to this "time machine" as she shared her wisdom and experience with me. Over the course of the year, Rose became a campus icon. She easily made friends wherever she went. She loved to dress up, and she reveled in the attention bestowed upon her from the other students. She was living it up.

At the end of the semester, we invited Rose to speak at our football banquet. I'll never forget what she taught us.

She was introduced and stepped up to the podium. As she began to deliver her prepared speech, she dropped her 3 x 5 cards on the floor. Frustrated and a little embarrassed, she leaned into the microphone and simply said, "I'm sorry I'm so jittery. I gave up beer for Lent, and this whiskey is killing me! I'll never get my speech back in order, so let me just tell you what I know."

As we laughed, she cleared her throat and began, "We do not stop playing because we are old; we grow old because we stop playing. There are only four secrets to staying young, being happy, and achieving success: You have to laugh and find humor every day. You've got to have a dream. When you lose your dreams, you die. We have so many people walking around who are dead and don't even know it!

There is a huge difference between growing older and growing up.

If you are nineteen years old and lie in bed for one full year and don't do one productive thing, you will turn twenty years old. If I am eighty-seven years old and stay in bed for a year and never do anything, I will turn eighty-eight. Anybody can grow older. That doesn't take any talent or ability.

The idea is to grow up by always finding the opportunity in change. Have no regrets. The elderly usually don't have regrets for what we did, but rather for things we did not do.

The only people who fear death are those with regrets.

"She concluded her speech by courageously singing -

"The Rose"

Some say love it is a river
That drowns the tender reed.
Some say love it is a razor
That leaves your soul to bleed.

Some say love it is a hunger
An endless, aching need
I say love it is a flower,
And you it's only seed.

It's the heart afraid of breaking
That never learns to dance
It's the dream afraid of waking
That never takes the chance

It's the one who won't be taken,
Who cannot seem to give
And the soul afraid of dying
That never learns to live.

And the night has been too lonely
And the road has been too long.
And you think that love is only
For the lucky and the strong.

Just remember in the winter
Far beneath the bitter snow
Lies the seed that with the sun's love,
In the spring, becomes a rose.

She challenged each of us to study the lyrics and live them out in our daily lives.

At the years end, Rose finished the college degree she had begun all those years ago. One week after graduation, Rose died peacefully in her sleep.

Over two thousand college students attended her funeral in tribute to the wonderful woman who taught by example that it's never too late to follow your dreams.

Remember ......Growing older is mandatory. Growing up is optional.

Monday, July 24, 2006

The Seed

An emperor in the Far East was growing old and knew it was time to choose his successor.

Instead of choosing one of his assistants or his children, he decided to do something different.

He called young people in the kingdom together one day.

He said, "It is time for me to step down and choose the next emperor. I have decided to choose one of you.

"The children were shocked, but the emperor continued. "I am going to give each one of you a seed today - one very special seed. I want you to plant the seed, water it, and come back here one year from today with what you have grown from this one seed. I will then judge the plants that you bring, and the one I choose will be the next emperor.

"One boy, named Ling, was there that day and he, like the others, received a seed. He went home and excitedly, told his mother the story. She helped him get a pot and planting soil, and he planted the seed and watered it, carefully. Everyday, he would water it and watch to see if it had grown.

After about three weeks, some of the other youths began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow. Ling kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew.

Three weeks, four weeks, five weeks went by. Still nothing. By now, others were talking about their plants, but Ling didn't have a plant and he felt like a failure.

Six months went by--still nothing in Ling's pot. He just knew he had killed his seed. Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing. Ling didn't say anything to his friends, however.

He just kept waiting for his seed to grow. A year finally went by and all the youths of the kingdom brought their plants to the emperor for inspection. Ling told his mother that he wasn't going to take an empty pot. But his mother asked him to be honest about what happened. Ling felt sick at his stomach, but he knew his mother was right. He took his empty pot to the palace.

When Ling arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by the other youths. They
were beautiful--in all shapes and sizes. Ling put his empty pot on the floor and many of the other children laughed at him. A few felt sorry for him and just said, "Hey, nice try."

When the emperor arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted the young people. Ling just tried to hide in the back. "My, what great plants, trees, and flowers you have grown," said the emperor. "Today one of you will be appointed the next emperor."

All of a sudden, the emperor spotted Ling at the back of the room with his empty pot. He ordered his guards to bring him to the front. Ling was terrified.

He thought, "The emperor knows I'm a failure! Maybe he will have me killed!

"When Ling got to the front, the Emperor asked his name. " My nameis Ling," he replied. All the kids were laughing and making fun of him. The emperor asked everyone to quiet down.

He looked at Ling, and then announced to the crowd, "Behold your new emperor! His name is Ling!" Ling couldn't believe it. Ling couldn't even grow his seed. How could he be the new emperor?

Then the emperor said, "One year ago today, I gave everyone here a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds that would not grow. All of you, except Ling, have brought me trees and plants and flowers. When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you. Ling was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it.

Therefore, he is the one who will be the new emperor!"

If you plant honesty, you will reap trust.
If you plant goodness, you will reap friends.
If you plant humility, you will reap greatness.
If you plant perseverance, you will reap victory.
If you plant consideration, you will reap harmony.
If you plant hard work, you will reap success.
If you plant forgiveness, you will reap reconciliation.
If you plant faith, you will reap miracles.

So let us be careful about what we plant now; it will determine what we will reap tomorrow. The seeds we now scatter will make life worse or better for us or for the ones who will come after us. Someday we will enjoy the fruits or will pay for the choices we make.

The Power of Three

Three things in life that, once gone, never come back -Time, Words & Opportunity.

Three things in life that may never be lost -Peace, Hope & Honesty.

Three things in life that are most valuable -Love, Self-confidence & Friends.

Three things in life that are never certain -Dreams, Success & Fortune.

Three things that make a man -Hard work, Sincerity & Commitment.

Three things in life that can destroy a man -Wine, Pride & Anger.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

The Island

Once upon a time there was an island where all the feelings lived, Happiness, Sadness, Knowledge and all the others, including Love.

One day it was announced to all of the feelings that the island was going to sink to the bottom of the ocean. So, all the feelings prepared their boats to leave.

Love was the only one that stayed. She wanted to preserve the island paradise until the very last possible moment.

When the island was almost totally under water, Love decided it was time to leave. She began looking for someone to ask for help.

Just then Richness was passing by in a grand boat. Love asked, "Richness, can I come with you on your boat?"

Richness answered, "I am sorry, but there is a lot of silver and gold on my boat and there would be no room for you anywhere."

Then Love decided to ask Vanity, who was passing in a beautiful vessel, for help. Love cried out "Vanity, help me please!"

"I can't help you," Vanity said, "You are all wet and will damage my beautiful boat.

"Next Love saw Sadness passing by. Love said, "Sadness please let me go with you."

Sadness answered, "Love, I'm sorry, but, I just need to be alone now.

"Then, Love saw Happiness and cried out, "Happiness, please take me with you.

"But Happiness was so overjoyed that he didn't hear Love calling him.

Love began to cry, then, she heard a voice say, "Come Love I will take you with me." It was an elder. Love felt so blessed and overjoyed that she forgot to ask the elder his name.

When they arrived on land the elder went on his way. Love realized how much she owed the elder and when she met Knowledge she asked who it was that had helped her.

"It was Time", Knowledge answered. "But why did Time help me when no one else would?", Love asked.

Knowledge smiled and with deep wisdom and sincerity, answered, "Because only Time is capable of understanding how great Love is."

Saturday, July 22, 2006

The Trouble Tree

I hired a plumber to help me restore an old farmhouse, and after he had just finished a rough first day on the job, a flat tire made him lose an hour of work & his electric drill quit, his ancient one ton truck refused to start.

As I drove him home, he sat in stony silence. On arriving he invited me in to meet his family. As we walked toward the front door, he paused briefly at a small tree, touching the tips of the branches with both hands. Upon opening the door he had undergone an amazing transformation.

His tanned face was wreathed in smiles and he hugged his two small children and gave his wife a kiss. Afterward he walked me to the car. We passed the tree and my curiosity got the better of me.

I asked him about what I had seen him do at the little tree.

" Oh, that's my trouble tree," he replied. " I know I can't help having troubles on the job, but one thing's for sure, those troubles don't belong in the house with my wife and the children. So I just hang them up on the tree every night when I come home and ask God to take care of them.

Then in the morning I pick them up again ."" Funny thing is," he smiled, " when I come out in the morning to pick them up, there aren't nearly as many as I remember hanging up the night before ."

Man in the MIRROR

When you get what you want in your struggle for self and the world makes you king for a day,
Just go to a mirror and look at yourself and see what THAT man has to say.

For it is not your father or mother or wife or boss whose judgment upon you must pass.
The fellow whose verdict counts most in your life is the one staring back from the mirror.

Some people may think you a straight shooting chum and call you a wonderful guy.
But the man in the mirror says you are only a bum, if you can't look him straight in the eye.

He is the fellow to please, never mind all the rest, for he is with you clear up to the end.
And you have passed your most dangerous, difficult test if the man in the mirror is your friend.

You may fool the whole world down the pathway of life and get pats on your back as you pass.
But the final reward will be heartaches and tears, if you have cheated the man in the mirror.

- Dale Wimbrow

Friday, July 21, 2006

I Feared

I feared being alone
Until I learned to like Myself.

I feared failure
Until I realized that I only Fail when I don't try.

I feared success
Until I realized That I had to try In order to be happy With myself.

I feared people's opinions
Until I learned that People would have opinions About me anyway.

I feared rejection
Until I learned to Have faith in myself.

I feared pain
Until I learned that it's necessary For growth.

I feared the truth
Until I saw the Ugliness in lies.

I feared life
Until I experienced Its beauty.

I feared death
Until I realized that it's Not an end, but a beginning.

I feared my destiny,
Until I realized that I had the power to change My life.

I feared hate
Until I saw that it Was nothing more than Ignorance.

I feared love
Until it touched my heart, Making the darkness fade Into endless sunny days.

I feared ridicule
Until I learned how To laugh at myself.

I feared growing old
Until I realized that I gained wisdom every day.

I feared the future
Until I realized that Life just kept getting Better.

I feared the past
Until I realized that It could no longer hurt me.

I feared the dark
Until I saw the beauty Of the starlight.

I feared the light
Until I learned that the Truth would give me Strength.

I feared change,
Until I saw that Even the most beautiful butterfly
Had to undergo a metamorphosis Before it could fly.