Life is Beautiful….

Archive for October 2011

There was a hunter who bought a bird dog, the only one of its kind in the world. That could walk on water. He couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw this miracle.

At the same time, he was very pleased that he could show off his new acquisition to his friends. He invited a friend to go duck hunting.

After some time, they shot a few ducks and the man ordered his dog to run and fetch the birds. All day-long, the dog ran on water and kept fetching the birds. The owner was expecting a comment or a compliment about his amazing dog, but never got one.

As they were returning home, he asked his friend if he had noticed anything unusual about his dog.

The friend replied, “Yes, in fact, I did notice something unusual. Your dog can’t swim.”

Some people always look at negative side.

One day, an expert in time management was speaking to a group of business students and, to drive home a point, used an illustration those students will never forget. As he stood in front of the group of high-powered overachievers he said, “Okay, time for a quiz?”, and he pulled out a one-gallon, wide-mouth Mason jar and set it on the table in front of him.

He also produced about a dozen fist-sized rocks and carefully placed them, one at a time, into the jar. When the jar was filled to the top and no more rocks would fit inside, he asked, “Is this jar full?”.

Everyone in the class yelled, Yes! The time management expert replied, “Really?”. He reached under the table and pulled out a bucket of gravel. He dumped some gravel in and shook the jar causing pieces of gravel to work themselves down into the spaces between the big rocks.

He then asked the group once more, “Is the jar full?” By this time the class was on to him. “Probably not”, one of them answered. Good! he replied. He reached under the table and brought out a bucket of sand. He started dumping the sand in the jar and it went into all of the spaces left between the rocks and the gravel.

Once more he asked the question, “Is this jar full?” “No!” the class shouted. Once again he said, Good! Then he grabbed a pitcher of water and began to pour it in until the jar was filled to the brim.

He looked at the class and asked, “What is the point of this illustration?” One eager student raised his hand and said, “The point is, no matter how full your schedule is, if you try really hard you can always fit some more things in it!”.

“No”, the speaker replied, that’s not the point. “The truth is, this illustration teaches us that if you don’t put the big rocks in first, you’ll never get them in at all.”

“What are the ‘big rocks’ in your life, time with your loved ones, your faith, your education, your dreams, a worthy cause, teaching or mentoring others. Remember to put these ‘big rocks’ in first or you’ll never get them in at all.”

So, tonight, or in the morning, when you are reflecting on this short story, ask yourself this question – What are the ‘big rocks’ in my life Then, put those in your jar first.

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” Whatever you do, someone will criticize you. You will be blamed if you act and even if you don’t act; if you speak, or don’t speak. You can’t keep pleasing everyone. If your focus is on finding shortcomings, either in yourself or in others, you cannot raise higher. Recognize that if someone gives a comment, reflect on it. If there is some truth, accept it. If not, then thank them and move on.”

While waiting to pick up a friend at the airport in Portland, Oregon, I had one of those life-changing experiences that you hear other people talk about — the kind that sneaks up on you unexpectedly. This one occurred a mere two feet away from me.

Straining to locate my friend among the passengers deplaning through the jet way, I noticed a man coming toward me carrying two light bags. He stopped right next to me to greet his family.

First he motioned to his youngest son (maybe six years old) as he laid down his bags. They gave each other a long, loving hug. As they separated enough to look in each other’s face, I heard the father say, “It’s so good to see you, son. I missed you so much!” His son smiled somewhat shyly, averted his eyes and replied softly, “Me, too, Dad!”

Then the man stood up, gazed in the eyes of his oldest son (maybe nine or ten) and while cupping his son’s face in his hands said, “You’re already quite the young man. I love you very much, Zach!” They too hugged a most loving, tender hug.

While this was happening, a baby girl (perhaps one or one-and-a-half) was squirming excitedly in her mother’s arms, never once taking her little eyes off the wonderful sight of her returning father. The man said, “Hi, baby girl!” as he gently took the child from her mother. He quickly kissed her face all over and then held her close to his chest while rocking her from side to side. The little girl instantly relaxed and simply laid her head on his shoulder, motionless in pure contentment.

After several moments, he handed his daughter to his oldest son and declared, “I’ve saved the best for last!” and proceeded to give his wife the longest, most passionate kiss I ever remember seeing. He gazed into her eyes for several seconds and then silently mouthed. “I love you so much!” They stared at each other’s eyes, beaming big smiles at one another, while holding both hands.

For an instant they reminded me of newlyweds, but I knew by the age of their kids that they couldn’t possibly be. I puzzled about it for a moment then realized how totally engrossed I was in the wonderful display of unconditional love not more than an arm’s length away from me. I suddenly felt uncomfortable, as if I was invading something sacred, but was amazed to hear my own voice nervously ask, “Wow! How long have you two been married?

“Been together fourteen years total, married twelve of those.” he replied, without breaking his gaze from his lovely wife’s face. “Well then, how long have you been away?” I asked. The man finally turned and looked at me, still beaming his joyous smile. “Two whole days!”

Two days? I was stunned. By the intensity of the greeting, I had assumed he’d been gone for at least several weeks – if not months. I know my expression betrayed me.

I said almost offhandedly, hoping to end my intrusion with some semblance of grace (and to get back to searching for my friend), “I hope my marriage is still that passionate after twelve years!”

The man suddenly stopped smiling.

He looked me straight in the eye, and with forcefulness that burned right into my soul, he told me something that left me a different person. He told me, “Don’t hope, friend… decide!” Then he flashed me his wonderful smile again, shook my hand and said, “God bless!”

Today before you think of saying an unkind word–
think of someone who can’t speak.

Before you complain about the taste of your food–
think of someone who has nothing to eat.

Before you complain about your husband or wife–
think of someone who is crying out to God for a companion.

Today before you complain about life–
think of someone who went too early to heaven.

Before you complain about your children–
think of someone who desires children but they’re barren.

Before you argue about your dirty house, someone didn’t clean or sweep–
think of the people who are living in the streets.

Before whining about the distance you drive–
think of someone who walks the same distance with their feet.

And when you are tired and complain about your job–
think of the unemployed, the disabled and those who wished they had your job.

But before you think of pointing the finger or condemning another–
remember that not one of us are without sin and we all answer to one maker.

And when depressing thoughts seem to get you down–
put a smile on your face and thank God you’re alive and still around.

One night a snake while it was looking for food, entered a carpenter’s workshop.

The carpenter, who was a rather untidy man, had left several of his tools lying on the floor. One of them was a saw.

As the snake went round and round the shop, he climbed over the saw, which gave him a little cut.

At once, thinking that the saw was attacking him, he turned around and bit it so hard that his mouth started to bleed.

This made him very angry. He attacked again and again until the saw was covered with blood and seemed to be dead.

Dying from his own wounds, the snake decided to give one last hard bite then turned away. The next morning the carpenter was surprised to find a dead snake on his doorstep.

Lesson to Learn: Sometimes in trying to hurt others, we only hurt ourselves.

This is a story of one 10-year-old boy who decided to study judo despite the fact that he had lost his left arm in a devastating car accident.

The boy began lessons with an old Japanese judo master. The boy was doing well, so he couldn’t understand why, after three months of training, the master had taught him only one move. “Sensei,” the boy finally said, “Shouldn’t I be learning more moves?”

“This is the only move you know, but this is the only move you’ll ever need to know,” the Sensei replied. Not quite understanding, but believing in his teacher, the boy kept training.

Several months later, the Sensei took the boy to his first tournament. Surprising himself, the boy easily won his first two matches. The third match proved to be more difficult, but after some time, his opponent became impatient and charged; the boy deftly used his one move to win the match. Still amazed by his success, the boy was now in the finals.

This time, his opponent was bigger, stronger, and more experienced. For a while, the boy appeared to be overmatched. Concerned that the boy might get hurt, the referee called a time-out. He was about to stop the match when the Sensei intervened. “No,” the Sensei insisted, “Let him continue.”

Soon after the match resumed, his opponent made a critical mistake: he dropped his guard. Instantly, the boy used his move to pin him. The boy had won the match and the tournament. He was the champion.

On the way home, the boy and Sensei reviewed every move in each and every match. Then the boy summoned the courage to ask what was really on his mind. “Sensei, how did I win the tournament with only one move?”

“You won for two reasons,” the Sensei answered. “First, you’ve almost mastered one of the most difficult throws in all of judo. And second, the only known defense for that move is for your opponent to grab your left arm.”

The boy’s greatest weakness had become his greatest strength.


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