I was catching a flight from Calcutta to Madras and had arrived at the airport rather early. Have always thought of airports as rather happy places- everyone at the beginning or the end of a journey- or both- such a sense of adventure in the air- and warmth- because people travel to see people and you know as you look around that that's someone's daughtersonhusbandwifefriendgrandmotheruncle cousinnephewhathaveyou and someone on the other end is going to be So Very Glad to see them. So until I saw the young couple sitting a few seats away from me, and noticed that the woman was crying-I'd never stopped to think that though airports are places of Adventurous Arrival they can also be about Difficult Departure. The young woman was crying, the young man was- not. He looked distinctly connected to her and decidedly uncomforting (and yes that is judgemental of me but so be ... Read Full Story >>
I just finished my Human Services practicum and as much as I loved the class and the instructor, I was dissapointed with my classmates. It was a small class - just 12 of us - and the other students took advantage of the instructor's kindness with late work, excuses for not completing assignments, etc. During the last 3 weeks of class, she was expressing her dissatisfaction and how she was going to have to re-think how she taught the class next semester. I really felt bad for her as she is a great inspiration to me and I could relate to her pain. In Chicken Soup for the Soul, there is a story about two guys walking down the beach covered with starfish. One guy is throwing the starfish back into the ocean as they walk. The other guy says "There are thousands of them you can't possibly make a difference." At that ... Read Full Story >>
[A Sufi Story]
Harun al-Rashid was once walking through a plantation when he saw a hunched man with a long, gray beard, putting in sapling date palms. He greeted him, saying, ‘Take it easy, father!’
‘Thank you, my son,’ the old man replied.
‘What are you doing, father?’ he asked the old man.
‘As you see, I am planting sapling date palms.’
‘How many years does it take a date palm to bear fruit?’
‘Ten, twenty, thirty years. Some take as long as a hundred years.’
‘Will you be able to eat the fruit of these palms you are planting?’
‘I may not live to see the day,’ said the old man, ‘but we eat from those our forebears planted. So let us plant, that those who follow us may eat in turn!'
One afternoon, he discovered that if he tossed stones over his neighbor’s fence, he could create a crashing sound, the sound of breaking glass. So he would heave a stone and wait for the crash. Heave, crash. It was great fun and felt a little dangerous. He might get caught, after all, but that, to a small boy, was part of the excitement. As it happened, he did get caught. The man who lived next door came to his house and told his parents about the boy and the stones. ‘I would like Juan to come to my home so I can show him a few things,’ the man said, in a tone Juan found rather ominous. His parents, ashamed of and disappointed by their son’s behavior, readily sent their son to the neighbor’s house. Juan sheepishly followed the man into his house, through the back door, and out into the yard. ... Read Full Story >>
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 round 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!" and she gave me a giant squeeze. "Why are you in college at such a young, innocent age?" I asked. She jokingly replied, "I'm here to meet a rich husband, get married, and have a couple of kids..." "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 ... Read Full Story >>
At an airport I overheard a father and daughter in their last moments together. They had announced her plane's departure and standing near the door, he said to his daughter, "I love you, I wish you enough." She said, "Daddy, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too, Daddy." They kissed good-bye and she left. He walked over toward the window where I was seated. Standing there I could see he wanted and needed to cry. I tried not to intrude on his privacy, but he welcomed me in by asking, "Did you ever say good-bye to someone knowing it would be forever?" "Yes, I have," I replied. Saying that brought back memories I had of expressing my love and appreciation for all my Dad had done for me. Recognizing that his days were limited, I took ... Read Full Story >>
Next fall, when you see Geese heading South for the Winter, flying along in V formation, you might consider what science has discovered as to why they fly that way: As each bird flaps its wings, it creates an uplift for the bird immediately following. By flying in V formation the whole flock adds at least 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own. People who share a common direction and a sense of community can get where they are going, more quickly and easily, because they are travelling on the thrust of one another. When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to go it alone ... and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird in front. If we have as much sense as a goose, we will stay ... Read Full Story >>
A well-known speaker started off his seminar by holding up a $20.00 bill. In the room of 200, he asked, "Who would like this $20 bill?" Hands started going up. He said, "I am going to give this $20 to one of you but first, let me do this. He proceeded to crumple up the $20 dollar bill. He then asked, "Who still wants it?" Still the hands were up in the air. Well, he replied, "What if I do this?" And he dropped it on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe. He picked it up, now crumpled and dirty. "Now, who still wants it?" Still the hands went into the air. "My friends, we have all learned a very valuable lesson. No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth $20." "Many times in our lives, we are ... Read Full Story >>
A 92-year-old, petite, well-poised and proud man, who is fully dressed each morning by eight o'clock, with his hair fashionably combed and face shaved perfectly, even though he is legally blind, moved to a nursing home today. His wife of 70 years recently passed away, making the move necessary. After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing home, he smiled sweetly when told his room was ready. As he maneuvered his walker to the elevator, I provided a visual description of his tiny room, including the eyelet sheets that had been hung on his window. "I love it," he stated with the enthusiasm of an eight-year-old having just been presented with a new puppy. "Mr. Jones, you haven't seen the room; just wait." "That doesn' t have anything to do with it," he replied. "Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time. Whether I like my room or not doesn't ... Read Full Story >>
I was just in France to visit my grand-mother who is very dear to me. I don’t get to cross the Atlantic very often, and she’s now 96 year old, so every time I go visit, the two of us are very aware that it might be the last time we see each other. Last time I visited her in December of 2004, I did a series of short video interviews about her life. I asked her what it was like to grow up with her father in the 1910s (her mother died during labor), to live through the German occupation alone with two young children with a husband away in a prisoners' camp in Germany. I asked her about her greatest memories and life learnings so far, her favorite books, foods, stories. I also asked her about her spirituality and her thoughts about death. I learned a lot of amazing ... Read Full Story >>
At the local Automated Teller Machine (ATM) in my city center, one thing's for sure -- I will find a young anxious teen fundraising. It's the hub for school teams and local organizations. At anytime day or night, you can find children of all ages, selling processed nuts, candy, cookies or popcorn. It's not so easy to sell those to ATM clients, and I feel their uneasiness as they look at you with big pleading eyes. Everyone dodges eye contact with the kids and that only makes it worse. Today was no exception. My heart began to skip a beat or two, as I approached the ATM. It was getting dark and the young boy had a box half filled with chocolate covered raisins. I asked him, "How much for each box of raisinettes?" He said, "Two dollars". I said, “I'll tell you what. I will buy the rest of the box, ... Read Full Story >>
I was 16 years old and living with my parents at the institute my grandfather had founded 18 miles outside of Durban, South Africa, in the middle of the sugar plantations. We were deep in the country and had no neighbors, so my two sisters and I would always look forward to going to town to visit friends or go to the movies. One day, my father asked me to drive him to town for an all-day conference, and I jumped at the chance. Since I was going to town, my mother gave me a list of groceries she needed and, since I had all day in town, my father ask me to take care of several pending chores, such as getting the car serviced. When I dropped my father off that morning, he said, 'I will meet you here at 5:00 p.m., and we will go home together.' After hurriedly completing ... Read Full Story >>
A highly skilled carpenter who had grown old was ready to retire. He told his employer-contractor of his plans to leave the house building business and live a more leisurely life with his family. He would miss the paycheck, but he needed to retire. The employer was sorry to see his good worker go and asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favor. The carpenter agreed to this proposal but made sure that this will be his last project. Being in a mood to retire, the carpenter was not paying much attention to building this house. His heart was not in his work. He resorted to poor workmanship and used inferior materials. It was an unfortunate way to end his career. When the job was done, the carpenter called his employer and showed him the house. The employer handed over some papers and the front door key ... Read Full Story >>
[Mother Teresa handpicked him to be her personal surgeon. Today, Dr. Devi Shetty is perhaps the most compassionate, committed and charistmatic thing that has happened to cardiac surgery in the last century. He runs the world's second most productive heart hospital where children under 12 are treated for free and other patients pay whatever they can. After completing his 4000th pediatric heart surgery, he wrote this.] My Dear Children: I have been planning to write this letter for quite some time. May be I just waited for you all to grow up to understand what I am trying to convey. The story goes back many years. When God sent you to this world it was perhaps the best thing that had happened to your parents. Every little nudges and kicks in your mother’s womb opened up a new world of happiness and expectations. Then one day, a miracle happened. You were to ... Read Full Story >>
Smiling is contagious
You can catch it like the flu
When someone smiled at me today
I started smiling too.
I pasted around the corner
And someone saw my grin
And when he smiled I realised
That I'd passed it on to him
I thought about that smile
Then I realised it's worth
A single smile just like mine
It could travel round the earth
So if you feel a smile begin
Don't leave it undetected
Lets start an epidemic QUICK
And get the world infected.
A group of graduates, well established in their careers, were talking at a reunion and decided to go visit their old university professor, now retired. During their visit, the conversation turned to complaints about stress in their work and lives. Offering his guests hot chocolate, the professor went into the kitchen and returned with a large pot of hot chocolate and an assortment of cups - porcelain, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite - telling them to help themselves to the hot chocolate. When they all had a cup of hot chocolate in hand, the professor said: "Notice that all the nice looking, expensive cups were taken, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress. The cup that you're drinking from adds nothing to the quality of ... Read Full Story >>
Once upon a time there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work. One day he was walking along the shore. As he looked down the beach, he saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself to think of someone who would dance to the day. So he began to walk faster to catch up. As he got closer, he saw that it was a young man and the young man wasn't dancing, but instead he was reaching down to the shore, picking up something and very gently throwing it into the ocean. As he got closer he called out, "Good morning! What are you doing?" The young man paused, looked up and replied, "Throwing starfish in the ocean." "I guess I should have asked, ... Read Full Story >>
January: Adopt your new coworker, take her to lunch and make yourself available for any little question she has. If someone says flattering things about your friends, don't hesitate to let them know they have fans. February: On Valentine's Day, call your single friends just to say, "Hello." If a waiter or a manicurist or plumber does an especially good job, let them know. Even better, let their boss know. March: Honk your horn only to prevent a car accident. Resist the temptation to lash out when you're in a bad mood. April: Get back in touch with someone who once meant something to you, if only to tell her she made an impact. Offer to share your cab from the train station on a rainy evening. May: If you come across a funny childhood picture of you and your brother, send him a framed copy. If you're out of gift ideas for a friend's birthday, making her favorite dessert will always trump a ... Read Full Story >>
As the little girl and her father were crossing a bridge, the father was a bit scared. So he turns to his little daughter and says, "Sweetheart, please hold my hand so that you don't fall into the river."
To which the little girl replied, "No, Dad. You hold my hand."
"What's the difference?" asked the puzzled father.
"There's a big difference," said the little girl. "If I hold your hand and something happens to me, chances are that I may let your hand go. But if you hold my hand, I know for sure that no matter what happens, you will never let my hand go."
In any relationship, the essence of trust is not in its bind, but in its bond. So hold the hand of the person who loves you rather than expecting them to hold yours.
I lost my wallet today. It's just one of things that can drive you upside down, but instead of being mad, I am gonna count my blessings with you. 1. The wallet that I left in my car I was glad I wasn't sleeping in my car Thank you God for putting a roof over my head. 2. The violation I felt over stolen property At least my life wasn't stolen from me Thank you God for life and security 3. My credit card that was gone At least I have enough money to lose Thank you God for giving me more than enough to survive 4. My favorite Macy's card I lost I enjoyed that card for years Thank you God for luxuries in life. Also thank you for a sense of fashion 5. My driver's license I lost I am still able to drive Thank you God for providing me with a stable transportation 6. My Barnes & Noble's gift ... Read Full Story >>
It was a very hot, late August day when I took my 8 year old grand daughter out to lunch at a beautiful, fancy restaurant, because she enjoyed feeling like a princess.
As we sat out on the lovely deck with many other diners around us, she reached out to point to the flowers on the table and accidentally tipped my ice water glass into my lap.
She gasped, her eyes grew large, the people at the next table peered to see my reaction. I simply smiled and said, "Oh, that is so refreshing."
We can make a split second decision to have a different-than-expected reaction to happenings that, in their smallness, make the world a better place and teach our children at the same time.
It was five in the morning. The room smelt weird. I saw him, next to me, deep in slumber. I went up to the bathroom and got my answer to the stench. He had had a few extra drinks last night, must have puked all over the wash basin. The basin was clogged and the stench inside was unbearable. A little angry I came back in the room with half a mind to wake him up and ask him to clean up. I could hear his soft snores and knew that he needs that sleep to be normal the next morning. This happened when we were vacationing in Dubai during Diwali holidays. I called up the reception and in an embarrassed tone explained my problem. It was a five star property and the receptionist promised to send someone over within a minute. Before hanging up, I requested him to send ... Read Full Story >>
A prayer wheel, or mani wheel, is a wheel filled with innumerable mantras and inscriptions wrapped clockwise around a central axis. Some prayer wheels are tiny, like tops; others are huge, filling an entire room, and one turns the wheel by holding its handles and walking clockwise around it. Others are attached to running streams or waterfalls so that they can harness the natural energy and spread benedictions throughout the land. The faithful believe that spinning these prayer wheels or hanging prayer flags in the wind actualizes the inscribed prayers. The Tibetan province of Kham is akin to America’s Wild West. The people of Kham are great equestrians, and like all who ride regularly, they love their horses. Until about a century ago, Kham was carved into dozens of smaller kingdoms, each of which had its own army, raised by forcible conscription. There was once an old man in far eastern Kham ... Read Full Story >>
This is one of the happiest songs I have ever heard -- Bobby McFerrin's Don't Worry, Be Happy. Every time I'm down, I listen to this and I wanna share my happiness with you all. Here's the video and below it are the lyrics to the song: Don't Worry, Be Happy Performed by Bobby McFerrin Here is a little song I wrote You might want to sing it note for note Don't worry be happy In every life we have some trouble When you worry you make it double Don't worry, be happy...... Ain't got no place to lay your head Somebody came and took your bed Don't worry, be happy The land lord say your rent is late He may have to litigate Don't worry, be happy Lood at me I am happy Don't worry, be happy Here I give you my phone number When you worry call me I make ... Read Full Story >>
[ Original story, by David J. Pollay ] Sixteen years ago I learned an important life lesson, in the back of a New York City taxi cab. I hopped in a taxi, and we took off for Grand Central Station. We were driving in the right lane when, all of a sudden, a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us. My taxi driver slammed on his brakes, skidded, and missed the other car by mere inches! The driver of the other car, the guy who almost caused a big accident, whipped his head around and started yelling bad words at us. My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. And I mean, he was actually friendly! So, I asked him, "Why did you just do that? This guy almost ruined your car and could've sent us to the hospital!" And this is when my taxi driver told me ... Read Full Story >>
A group of alumni, highly established in their careers, got together to visit their old university professor. Conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and life. Offering his guests coffee, the professor went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups - porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite -- telling them to help themselves to the coffee. When all the students had a cup of coffee in hand, the professor said: "If you noticed, all the nice looking expensive cups were taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is but normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress. The cup itself doesn't add to the quality to the coffee and in some cases even hides what we drink and yet you consciously ... Read Full Story >>
Ten years ago, I was dissatisfied with my job working as a Vice President at a bank. Often, due to my standing as Vice President, I'd watch someone greet me respectfully but then turn around and respond dismissively to a fellow employee. In reaction to this obvious inequity, I made it a point to be even more respectful of individuals who were below me on the corporate ladder. One of these individuals was a security guard who oversaw the parking lot of the building where my office was located. This man was consistently gracious to everyone and it was easy to think of him as a friend. During this time, I had 2 dogs, one of which was very old, blind, deaf, and had a bad heart. I couldn't leave him at home alone so I began sneaking him and my other dog into my office every day. The security guard, ... Read Full Story >>
Like many people in this world, I was down, way down. Questioning everything. The light at the end of my tunnel was dim. I was financially, emotionally and mentally strapped. Hope was fading for relief. It seemed no matter how many steps I took forward, I was going twice as many backwards. Tension and strain filled my home. In the midst of all the hardships I was enduring, I worked harder then ever on my faith. Yet, even with my children and husband, I felt alone and hopeless. Because of my disability, I rarely leave my home. With the help of a very small disability check once a month and the Internet, I ran the house. Banking, bill paying, all household business was done on my computer. Money started to get tighter, bills started to pile. Once you get behind, it is almost impossible to catch up. The electric, water, ... Read Full Story >>
Once upon a time, there lived a King who, despite his luxurious lifestyle, was neither happy nor content. One day, the King came upon a servant who was singing happily while he worked. This fascinated the King; why was he, the Supreme Ruler of the Land, unhappy and gloomy, while a lowly servant had so much joy. The King asked the servant, "Why are you so happy?" The man replied, "Your Majesty, I am nothing but a servant, but my family and I don't need too much - just a roof over our heads and warm food to fill our tummies." The king was not satisfied with that reply. Later in the day, he sought the advice of his most trusted advisor. After hearing the King's woes and the servant's story, the advisor said, "Your Majesty, I believe that the servant has not been made part of The 99 Club." "The 99 Club? And ... Read Full Story >>
Several times my daughter had telephoned to say, 'Mother, you must come to see the daffodils before they are over.' I wanted to go, but it was a two-hour drive from Laguna to Lake Arrowhead 'I will come next Tuesday', I promised a little reluctantly on her third call. Next Tuesday dawned cold and rainy. Still, I had promised, and reluctantly I drove there. When I finally walked into Carolyn's house I was welcomed by the joyful sounds of happy children. I delightedly hugged and greeted my grandchildren. 'Forget the daffodils, Carolyn! The road is invisible in these clouds and fog, and there is nothing in the world except you and these children that I want to see badly enough to drive another inch!' My daughter smiled calmly and said, 'We drive in this all the time, Mother.' 'Well, you won't get me back on the road until it clears, ... Read Full Story >>