I guarantee you will
remember the tale of the Wooden Bowl tomorrow, a
week from now, a month from now, a year from now.
A frail old man went to live with his son, daughter-in-law, and
four-year old grandson. The old man's hands trembled, his eyesight was
blurred, and his step faltered.
The family ate together at the table. But the elderly grandfather's
shaky hands and failing sight made eating difficult. Peas rolled off
his spoon and onto the floor. When he grasped the glass milk spilled on
the tablecloth. The son and daughter-in-law became irritated with the
mess. "We must do something about Grandfather", said the son. "I've had
enough of his spilled milk, noisy eating, and food on the floor." So
the husband and wife set a small table in the corner. There,
Grandfather ate alone while the rest of the family enjoyed
Since Grandfather had broken a dish or two, his food was served in a
wooden bowl. When the family glanced in Grandfather's direction,
sometimes he had a tear in his eye as he sat alone. Still, the only
words the couple had for him were sharp admonitions when he had dropped
a fork or spilled food. The four-year-old watched it all in silence.
One evening before supper, the father noticed his son playing
scraps on the floor He asked the child curiously, "What are you
making?" Sweetly, the boy responded, "Oh, I am making a little bowl for
you and Mama to eat your food in when I grow up." The four-year-old
smiled and went back to work
The words so struck the parents that they were speechless. Then tears
started to stream down their cheeks. Though no word was spoken, both
knew what must be done. That evening, the husband took
Grandfather's hand and gently led him back to the family
table. For the remainder of his days he ate every meal with
the family. And for some reason, neither husband nor wife seemed to
care any longer when a fork was dropped, when milk was spilled, or when
the tablecloth was soiled.
On a positive note, I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second
chance. I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open
heart, I usually make the right decision. I've learned that
every day, you should reach out and touch someone. People
love that human touch -- holding hands, a warm hug, or just a
friendly pat on the back. I've learned that no matter what happens or
how bad it seems today, life goes on, and it will be better tomorrow.
I've learned that, regardless of
your relationship with your parents, you will miss them when
they are gone from your life.
I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she
handles three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and a late friend.
I've learned that making a living is not the same thing as making a
I've learned that if you pursue happiness, it will elude you. But, if
you focus on your family, your friends, the needs of others,
your work, and doing the very best you can, happiness will
find you. I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a
catcher's mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw something
back. I've learned that I still have a lot to learn. I've learned that
you should pass this on to everyone you care about. I just did
The 10 Biggest Lies that Stop People from Getting What
by Cynthia Kersey
They say that
"everybody's a critic," and that never seems truer than when you're
pursuing a dream. There will always be well-meaning people who want to
"protect" you from your "unrealistic fantasies." Critics
tried to discourage the people profiled in Unstoppable.
Everyone ignored the negative input and achieved their goals.
Follow their lead and you, too, will be UNSTOPPABLE!
1. The timing is all wrong
. In 1987, prior to accepting
Paramount's offer to host a late-night talk show, Arsenio Hall was told
by everyone: "It's too hard to crack into the late-night ratings.
Television isn't ready for a black talk show host. This is America, and
you can forget it."
2. Why don't you get a
Not understanding his desire to become Mr.
Universe, Arnold Schwarzenegger's family pleaded with him, saying: "How
long will you go on training all day in a gymnasium and living in a
3. It'll never work, you'll
. Weeks before she opened her first store,
cosmetic tycoon Mary Kay Ash's attorney said: "Liquidate the business
right now and recoup whatever cash you can. If you don't, you'll end up
4. Don't rock the boat
. In response to Muriel Siebertís application to be the
first woman to buy a seat on the New York Stock Exchange, officials
responded: "The language on the floor is too rough and there's no
ladies' room." She bought a seat anyway and remained the only
woman there for nine years
5. It's never
been done before
. Upon applying for a job after graduation
from Columbia University, announcers for NBC Radio responded to Sally
Jessy Raphael: "You have the perfect voice for broadcasting, but you
should get a job as a secretary. We're not using women."
6. You don't have enough talent
. Responding to his
desire to become a recording artist, Ray Charles' teachers said: "You
can't play the piano, and God knows you can't sing. You'd better learn
how to weave chairs so you can support yourself."
7. Don't even try, you'll just be disappointed
auditioning for a part in a high school musical, a teacher rejected
Diana Ross saying: "You have a nice voice, but it's nothing special."
8. You don't fit the mold OR you're not the right "type."
Trying to convince her she didn't have the right look, fashion
photographer Richard Avedon told Cher: "You will never make the cover
of Vogue because you don't have blond hair or blue eyes."
When she did make the cover, Vogue sold more copies than it
had ever sold before.
9. Don't give up
your day job
. Commenting on the first manuscript of an
unpublished author, a New York publisher told James Michener: "You're a
good editor with a promising future in the business. Why would you want
to throw it all away to try to be a writer? I read your book. Frankly,
it's not really that good." Michener's first book, Tales of the South
Pacific, later won a Pulitzer Prize and was adapted for stage and
screen as South Pacific.
10. There's no
market for it
. When hearing his plans to launch Perrier in
the United States, several consulting firms advised Gustave Leven:
"You're foolish to try to sell sparkling water in the land of Coca-Cola
The only opinion about your
dream that really counts is yours
. The negative comments of
others merely reflect their limitations --- not yours. There is nothing
unrealistic about a dream that aligns with your purpose, ignites your
passion, and inspires you to plan and persevere until you attain it. On
the contrary, it's unrealistic to expect a person with such drive and
commitment not to succeed.
Choose to be unstoppable
Article by Bronnie Ware from her book titled "The
Top Five Regrets of the Dying".
It is a memoir of her own life and how it was transformed by the
regrets of dying people.
For many years I worked in palliative care. My
patients were those who had gone home to die. Some incredibly special
times were shared. I was with them for the last three to twelve weeks
of their lives.
People grow a lot when they are faced with their own
mortality. I learnt never to underestimate someone's capacity for
growth. Some changes were phenomenal. Each experienced a variety of
emotions, as expected, denial, fear, anger, remorse, more denial and
eventually acceptance. Every single patient found their peace before
they departed though, every one of them.
When questioned about any regrets they had or
anything they would do differently, common themes surfaced again and
again. Here are the most common five:
1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true
to myself, not the life others expected of me.
This was the most common regret of all. When people
realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it
is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had
not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it
was due to choices they had made, or not made.
It is very important to try and honour at least some
of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your
health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until
they no longer have it.
2. I wish I didn't work so hard.
This came from every male patient that I nursed.
They missed their children's youth and their partner's companionship.
Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older
generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All
of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on
the treadmill of a work existence.
By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious
choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you
think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become
happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your
3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my
Many people suppressed their feelings in order to
keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre
existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming.
Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they
carried as a result.
We cannot control the reactions of others. However,
although people may initially react when you change the way you are by
speaking honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new
and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy
relationship from your life. Either way, you win.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
Often they would not truly realise the full benefits
of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible
to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives
that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were
many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that
they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.
It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let
friendships slip. But when you are faced with your approaching death,
the physical details of life fall away. People do want to get their
financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status
that holds the true importance for them. They want to get things in
order more for the benefit of those they love. Usually though, they are
too ill and weary to ever manage this task. It is all comes down to
love and relationships in the end. That is all that remains in the
final weeks, love and relationships.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not
realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck
in old patterns and habits. The so-called 'comfort' of familiarity
overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear
of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they
were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have
silliness in their life again.
When you are on your deathbed, what others think of
you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go
and smile again, long before you are dying.
Life is a choice. It is YOUR life.
Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness.
IN SANTA CLAUS
remember my first Christmas adventure with Grandma. I was just a kid. I
remember tearing across town on my bike to visit her on the day my big
sister dropped the bomb: "There is no SantaClaus," she jeered. "Even
dummies know that!"
My Grandma was not the gushy
had been. I fled to her that day because I knew she would be straight
with me. I knew Grandma always told the truth, and I knew that the
truth always went down a whole lot easier when swallowed with one of
her "world-famous" cinnamon buns. I knew they were world-famous,
because Grandma said so. It had to be true.
and the buns were still warm. Between bites, I told her everything. She
was ready for me. "No Santa Claus?" she snorted...."Ridiculous! Don't
believe it. That rumor has been going around for years, and it makes me
mad, plain mad!! Now, put on your coat, and let's go."
where, Grandma?" I asked. I hadn't even finished my second world-famous
cinnamon bun. "Where" turned out to be Kerby's General Store, the one
store in town that had a little bit of just about everything.
we walked through its doors, Grandma handed me ten dollars. That was a
bundle in those days. "Take this money," she said, "and buy something
for someone who needs it. I'll wait for you in the car." Then she
turned and walked out of Kerby's.
I was only eight
I'd often gone shopping with my mother, but never had I shopped for
anything all by myself. The store seemed big and crowded, full of
people scrambling to finish their Christmas shopping. For a few moments
I just stood there, confused, clutching that ten-dollar bill,
wondering what to buy, and who on earth to buy it for.
thought of everybody I knew: my family, my friends, my neighbors, the
kids at school, the people who went to my church. I was just about
thought out, when I suddenly thought of Bobby Decker. He was a kid with
bad breath and messy hair, and he sat right behind me in Mrs. Pollock's
Bobby Decker didn't have a coat.
I knew that
because he never went out to recess during the winter. His
always wrote a note, telling the teacher that he had a cough, but all
we kids knew that Bobby Decker didn't have a cough; he didn't have a
good coat. I fingered the ten-dollar bill with growing excitement. I
would buy Bobby Decker a coat! I settled on a red corduroy one that had
a hood to it. It looked real warm, and he would like that.
this a Christmas present for someone?" the lady behind the counter
asked kindly, as I laid my ten dollars down. "Yes, ma'am," I replied
shyly. "It's for Bobby."
The nice lady smiled at
me, as I told
her about how Bobby really needed a good winter coat. I didn't get any
change, but she put the coat in a bag, smiled again, and wished me a
That evening, Grandma helped me
wrap the coat
(a little tag fell out of the coat, and Grandma tucked it in her Bible)
in Christmas paper and ribbons and wrote, "To Bobby, From Santa Claus"
Grandma said that Santa always insisted on
she drove me over to Bobby Decker's house, explaining as we went that I
was now and forever officially, one of Santa's helpers.
parked down the street from Bobby's house, and she and I crept
noiselessly and hid in the bushes by his front walk. Then Grandma gave
me a nudge. "All right, Santa Claus," she whispered, "get going."
took a deep breath, dashed for his front door, threw the present down
on his step, pounded his door and flew back to the safety of the bushes
Together we waited breathlessly in
the darkness for the front door to open. Finally it did, and there
years haven't dimmed the thrill of those moments spent shivering,
beside my Grandma, in Bobby Decker's bushes. That night, I realized
that those awful rumors about Santa Claus were just what Grandma said
they were -- ridiculous. Santa was alive and well, and we were on his
still have the Bible, with the coat tag tucked inside: $19.95.
May you always have LOVE to share, HEALTH to spare and
FRIENDS that care...
And may you always believe in
the magic of Santa Claus!
Life may not be the party
we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance.