Driving Nails Into The Fence

There once was a boy who had a temper.

His father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence.

The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence.

Over the next few weeks as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered gradually dwindled down.

He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive nails into the fence.

Finally the day came when he didn't lose his temper.

He told his father and his father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his anger.

The days passed and the boy told his father that all the nails were gone.

The father took the boy by the hand and led him to the fence.

He said look at the holes in the fence.

The fence will never be the same.

When you say things in anger, they leave scars just like the ones on the fence.

If you put a knife into a man and draw it out, it won't matter how many times you say you are sorry, the wound is still there and the man is badly hurt.

A verbal wound is as bad as a physical one.

Friends are very rare and they make you smile and encourage you to succeed.

They lend an ear, and always want to open their hearts to you.

Always Be Friendly.

Don't Get Angry.

The Retiring Carpenter Story

An elderly carpenter 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 wife enjoying his extended family. He would miss the paycheck, but he needed to retire. He would get by.

The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go and asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favor. The carpenter said yes, but in time it was easy to see that his heart was not in his work. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials. It was an unfortunate way to end a dedicated career.

When the carpenter finished his work, the employer came to inspect the house. He handed the front door key to the carpenter. "This is your house," he said, "my gift to you." The carpenter was shocked! What a shame! If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently.

So it is with us. We build our lives a day at a time, often putting less than our best into the building. Then, with a shock, we realize we have to live in the house we have built. If we could do it over, we'd do it much differently. But we cannot go back. You are the carpenter. Each day you hammer a nail, place a board, erect a wall. "Life is a do-it-yourself project," someone has said. Your attitude and the choices you make today build the "house" you live in tomorrow.

Build Wisely!

Our Attitudes And Choices Determine Our Future.

Lisa Beamer on Good Morning America

If you remember, she's the wife of Todd Beamer who said "Let's Roll!" and helped take down the plane that was heading for Washington, D.C. She said it's the little things that she misses most about Todd, such as hearing the garage door open as he came home, and her children running to meet him. She is now the mom of a beautiful little girl, Mary.

Lisa recalled this story:

I had a very special teacher in high school many years ago whose husband died suddently 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, "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 power's way of telling us that we must make the most out of every single day."

Her eyes beginning to water, she went on. "So, I would like you all to make me a promise. From now on, on your way to school or on your way home, find something beautiful to notice. It doesn't have to be something you see. It could be a scent, perhaps of freshly baked bread wafting out of someone's house, or it could be the sound of the breeze slightly rustling the leaves in the trees, or the way the morning light catches one autumn leaf as it falls gently to the ground. Please look for these things, and cherish them, for although it may sound trite to some, these things are the 'stuff' of life."

"The little things were put here on earth to enjoy, and these are the things we often take for granted. We must make it important to notice them, for at anytime it 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.

~Lisa Beamer, from an interview on Good Morning America

"Appreciate The Little Things In Life."

Apache Seasons

There was once a man who had four sons. He wanted his sons to learn not to judge things too quickly. So he sent them each on a quest, in turn, to go and look at a pear tree that was a great distance away.

The first son went in the winter, the second in the spring, the third in summer, and the youngest son in the fall. When they had all gone and come back, he called them together to describe what they had seen.

The first son said “the tree was ugly, bent, and twisted.” The second son said “no, it was covered with green buds and full of promise.” The third son disagreed; he said “it was laden with blossoms that smelled so sweet and looked so beautiful, it was the most graceful thing I have ever seen.” The last son disagreed with all of them; he said “it was ripe and drooping with fruit, full of life and fulfillment.”

The man then explained to his sons that they were all right, because they had each seen but only one season in the tree's life. He told them that you cannot judge a tree, or a person, by only one season, and that the essence of who they are and the pleasure, joy, and love that come from that life can only be measured at the end, when all the seasons are up. “If you give up when it's winter, you will miss the promise of your spring, the beauty of your summer, the fulfillment of your fall.”

Do Not Judge Others By Just One Event Or "Season" In Their Lives.

Two Wolves

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.

He said, "My son, the battle is between two "wolves" inside us all. One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf wins?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

We Choose Our Own Attitudes And Outlook On Life.


A small boy was walking along a beach at low tide, where countless starfish, having been washed up on the beach, were stranded and doomed to perish. A man watched as the boy picked up individual starfish and took them back into the water.

"I can see you're being very kind," said the watching man, "But there must be thousands of them; it can't possibly make any difference."

Returning from the water's edge, the boy said, "It will for that one."

Believe you can make a difference.

Gandhi and the Shoe

Gandhi was boarding a train one day with a number of companions and followers, when his shoe fell from his foot and disappeared in the gap between the train and platform. Unable to retrieve it, he took off his other shoe and threw it down by the first.

Responding to the puzzlement of his fellow travellers, Gandhi explained that a poor person who finds a single shoe is no better off - what's really helpful is finding a pair.

This Is An Example Of True Generosity And Thinking Of Others First.

The Two Mules

Two mules travelled regularly together with their loads, from their town to the city. The first mule, a humble beast, wore a tatty cloak, and carried sacks of oats for the miller. The second mule was an arrogant animal, who wore a fine coat with jingling bells. He carried gold and silver coins for the tax collector, and loved to brag about his responsibility and importance.

Running late one day, the second mule suggested taking a short-cut, off the main road, despite his companion's warnings about the risks of taking such a dangerous route. Sure enough, before too long, thieves attacked the second mule, stealing his valuable load, and leaving him injured by the roadside.

"But why me?" moaned the stricken animal, "I am attacked and robbed while the vagabonds leave you untouched?"

"I think even in this desperate place no thief would be interested in a poor miller's slave, or my humble load!" said the first mule, "But you ventured down this dangerous track and made a show of yourself - you have only yourself to blame."

Show-Offs Can Make Themselves A Target.

The Bath and the Bucket

A party of suppliers was being given a tour of a mental hospital. One of the visitors had made some very insulting remarks about the patients.

After the tour, the visitors were introduced to various members of staff in the canteen. The rude visitor chatted to one of the security staff, Bill, a kindly and wise ex-policeman. "Are they all raving loonies in here then?" said the rude man.

"Only the ones who fail the test," said Bill.

"What's the test?" said the man.

"Well, we show them a bath full of water, a bucket, a jug and an egg-cup, and we ask them what's the quickest way to empty the bath," said Bill.

"Oh I see, simple - the normal ones know it's the bucket, right?"

"No actually," said Bill, "The normal ones say pull out the plug. Should I check when there's a bed free for you?"

There Are Dangers In Judging Others.

Positive Reasoning

Allan applied for a new job, but as his self-esteem was low, and he considered himself as a failure and unworthy of success, he was sure that he was not going to get the job. He had a negative attitude towards himself, and believed that the other applicants were better and more qualified than him. Allan manifested this attitude, due to his negative past experiences with job interviews.

His mind was filled with negative thoughts and fears concerning the job for the whole week before the job interview. He was sure he would be rejected. On the day of the interview he got up late, and to his horror he discovered that the shirt he had planned to wear was dirty, and the other one needed ironing. As it was already too late, he went out wearing a shirt full of wrinkles.

During the interview he was tense, displayed a negative attitude, worried about his shirt, and felt hungry because he did not have enough time to eat breakfast. All this distracted his mind and made it difficult for him to focus on the interview. His overall behavior made a bad impression, and consequently he materialized his fear and did not get the job.

Jim applied for the same job too, but approached the matter in a different way. He was sure that he was going to get the job. During the week preceding the interview he often visualized himself making a good impression and getting the job.

In the evening before the interview he prepared the clothes he was going to wear, and went to sleep a little earlier. On the day of the interview he woke up earlier than usual, and had ample time to eat breakfast, and then to arrive to the interview before the scheduled time.

He got the job because he made a good impression. He had also of course, the proper qualifications for the job, but so had Allan.

When the attitude is positive we entertain pleasant feelings and constructive images, and see in our mind's eye what we really want to happen. This brings brightness to the eyes, more energy and happiness. The whole being broadcasts good will, happiness and success. Even the health is affected in a beneficial way. We walk tall and the voice is more powerful. Our body language shows the way we feel inside.

The Travelers and the Monk

One day a traveller was walking along a road on his journey from one village to another. As he walked he noticed a monk tending the ground in the fields beside the road. The monk said "Good day" to the traveller, and the traveller nodded to the monk. The traveller then turned to the monk and said "Excuse me, do you mind if I ask you a question?"

"Not at all," replied the monk.

"I am travelling from the village in the mountains to the village in the valley and I was wondering if you knew what it is like in the village in the valley?"

"Tell me," said the monk, "What was your experience of the village in the mountains?"

"Dreadful," replied the traveller, "to be honest I am glad to be away from there. I found the people most unwelcoming. When I first arrived, I was greeted coldly. I was never made to feel part of the village no matter how hard I tried. The villagers keep very much to themselves, they don't take kindly to strangers. So tell me, what can I expect in the village in the valley?"

"I am sorry to tell you," said the monk, "but I think your experience will be much the same there".

The traveller hung his head despondently and walked on.

A while later another traveller was journeying down the same road and he also came upon the monk.

"I'm going to the village in the valley," said the second traveller, "Do you know what it is like?"

"I do," replied the monk "But first tell me - where have you come from?"

"I've come from the village in the mountains."

"And how was that?"

"It was a wonderful experience. I would have stayed if I could but I am committed to travelling on. I felt as though I was a member of the family in the village. The elders gave me much advice, the children laughed and joked with me and people were generally kind and generous. I am sad to have left there. It will always hold special memories for me. And what of the village in the valley?" he asked again.

"I think you will find it much the same" replied the monk, "Good day to you".

"Good day and thank you," the traveller replied, smiled, and journeyed on.

Your Outlook On Life Can Have Great Impacts On Your Experiences In Life.

Chalres Plumb's Parachutes

Charles Plumb was a navy jet pilot. On his seventy-sixth combat mission, he was shot down and parachuted into enemy territory. He was captured and spent six years in prison. He survived and now lectures on the lessons he learned from his experiences.

One day, a man approached Plumb and his wife in a restaurant, and said, "Are you Plumb the navy pilot?"

"Yes, how did you know?" asked Plumb.

"I packed your parachute," the man replied.

Plumb was amazed - and grateful : "If the chute you packed hadn't worked I wouldn't be here today..."

Plumb refers to this in his lectures : his realisation that the anonymous sailors who packed the parachutes held the pilots' lives in their hands, and yet the pilots never gave these sailors a second thought; never even said hello, let alone said thanks.

Now Plumb asks his audiences, "Who packs your parachutes?..... Who helps you through your life?.... Physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually?....... Think about who helps you; recognise them and say thanks."

If You Are Successful, Don't Forget To Thank Those Who Helped You Get There.

Face Stroke

Juanjo is a cheerful person. People love him because he makes them feel good about themselves, and he shows real interest in them. He deals with people kindly and brings the best out of them. The words "having a positive attitude" could define Juanjo.

A few years ago, a relative of Juanjo was very ill in hospital. Juanjo and his family were quite worried, but Juanjo tried not to show his worry through that difficult time.

One day, Juanjo and his family were awaiting the latest news about his relative at the hospital. Juanjo tried to make his family relax by talking lightheartedly about other things.

At some point, Juanjo narrated a funny story that made all his family and Juanjo himself laugh. Suddenly, they all stopped laughing and looked at Juanjo with horror. One side of Juanjo's face was laughing. The other side was not moving at all.

They panicked, and Juanjo felt fear for the sudden lack of movement in half of his face. The doctors told him that the stress he had been under had caused half of his face's muscles to paralyze. They said that it could be treated, however they couldn't tell whether he would recover completely.

Juanjo took a few days to think about the situation. He realized there was a possibility that his face didn't move normally ever again. He thought that, if that was ever to be the case, it was completely pointless to worry.

Juanjo did feel bad. It took him a long time to look at himself in the mirror again. When he did, he actually didn't care that much about himself. He was more concerned about his mother, who felt so much sadness for him.

Since Juanjo had decided not to worry about his face not moving as it should, he thought he might as well try to make those who did worry for him feel better. He started to make jokes about his face. He would smile and blink his eye and say, "I can now show a happy face and a serious face at the same time".

He showed lightheartedness towards what was happening to him and decided to keep on having a positive attitude. That took him courage, but he did it.

Then, some sort of miracle happened...

One day Juanjo got up. It was about a month after the "face stroke" had happened. He finished a few routine tasks at home and went out to meet some friends. When he arrived, his friends looked at him in amazement. Juanjo was smiling... with both sides of his face!

The doctors could barely believe how he had recovered fully in so little time. They thought that his positive attitude had a lot to do with it.

Positive Attitude Can Go A Long Long Way.

Surviving The Loss Of A Child

The loss of a child is often considered one of the worst and most painful losses a person can experience. Parents are meant to take care of their children and they are commonly expected to pass on before them. For many parents, the loss is so overwhelming that they have difficulty moving forward with their own lives. Some get so overwhelmed with the loss that they get stuck in the grief process.

On the other hand, there are parents who process through their grief and are able to find meaning and acceptance. It takes effort and time to move through the grieving process. Grief is definitely a process; it unfolds over time. For most parents the sadness never goes completely away; however, they do find the strength to move forward and lead happy, healthy lives. The keys to coping with such a devastating loss are in understanding the grieving process and applying coping strategies.

While everyone's grieving process is unique, Elizabeth Kubler-Ross (a famous psychiatrist) identified five common stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. These stages are not necessarily linear; some people move back and forth between stages and experience some stages several times. Even after moving through the stages and reaching the fifth stage, there can be something that triggers anger or depression again. It is a fluid process and as long as you keep dealing with the emotions that surface and actively working toward acceptance, you are working the grieving process.

Denial is often the first stage, when the parent simply can't believe she has really lost their child. The denial can show up as avoidance or as outright denial that anything has happened. Many grieving parents feel angry about the death of their child, that the loss is unfair. Anger is a natural part of the process and needs to be addressed. For parents who have lost a child, the bargaining stage may look more like guilt. If only we had done something sooner, listened more, gone for a second opinion, etc. Feelings of guilt can complicate the grieving process for parents. The depression stage involves sadness, crying and withdrawal. It can be mild depression, or it can require treatment.

Acceptance is considered the last stage. Some people are never able to reach this stage. Others find their way to acceptance after cycling through the other stages (sometimes more than once). Acceptance means that the parent has incorporated the loss into their lives in a meaningful way. They still experience sadness, but are able to live a full life of their own despite their grief.

As you move through the stages, remember that you may go back and forth between some stages several times. You might skip a stage. Healing is an individual process and each person's timing is different. The grieving process cannot be rushed or ignored. Each person must trust his or her own timing and process. It is important for friends and supporters to understand this also. The grieving parent cannot simply put it behind them or move on when others believe that it is time to do so. If someone is stuck in severe depression, then it is important to suggest they seek extra support from a therapist. Otherwise, understand that anger, crying and/or sadness may last longer for some people.

Dealing with the death of a loved one is always painful. The loss of a child can be particularly devastating. The grieving process for parents is often complicated by guilt that they somehow failed to protect their child. While the loss of a child may feel completely overwhelming and utterly devastating at first, with time and effort the healing will begin. You need to use healthy coping strategies to help move through the grieving process, and be aware that there is no set timetable for healing; it will unfold in the right time for you.

When facing the loss of a child, time can help heal your wounds. But there are also coping strategies you can use to help you through the grieving process.

Express your feelings
Grieving is a natural process and involves many different emotions. You need to honor each emotion and give it voice either through journaling or talking with a friend or therapist. Keeping your feelings bottled up inside will only compound the grief and likely lead to an emotional blowup or severe depression. You will need to express your emotions frequently and honestly. A journal is handy because you can use it anytime - especially when you don't have someone around to talk with.

The emptiness parents feel after the death of a child can be enormous. They miss being able to hold their child and talk to him. They miss seeing him, smelling him, hearing his voice. Find ways to stay connected to your child through photographs, memories and a few special items. You could make a scrapbook with your favorite photos and other memorabilia. While preserving a child's entire room for a prolonged time is likely a sign that a parent is stuck in the grief process, keeping photos and a few personal items is valuable.

Things that remind you of your child can help you feel connected to him: songs, a favorite bird or animal, a place they enjoyed, and so on. I feel connected with my grandmother when I see turkey vultures, because she talked about them frequently. When I see one, I feel like she is watching over me. It warms my heart and fills me with fond memories. Be open to these special little reminders and/or messages from your child.

Get involved in activities
Some depression is common after the death of a child. When you are depressed you don't want to engage in activities or connect with other people. This, however, will make your depression worse. It is important to stay active. Choose activities that ignite your passion and can help you focused on the positives in life. Take a class or join a book club. Start a weekly gathering with some friends. Do something that will get you out of the house and give you a break from your grief.

Stay involved with your other children
Make sure they know that they are still loved and important to you. Schedule some family activities so you can all be together and support one another. It is important to have time to support each other in the grieving process, too, but here I'm suggesting fun activities to reconnect with life and happy times.

Maintain your social support
Reach out to your friends and let them know how you're feeling and what you need. Remember that they likely want to help, but don't know what to do, so tell them! You may also find it helpful to join a support group for bereaved parents. Many people find these support groups comforting. In general, the connection with others can help you defeat isolation and depression.

If you know a friend or family member who has lost a child, pick up the phone and call. Check to see if they need anything. Give them the opportunity to talk, share and cry. Don't worry about finding the right thing to say. Simply listening and being there is what is most important.

Meditation is a great way to connect with calm and peaceful feelings. Start slow (a few minutes a day) if you have never meditated before, and work your way to an amount of time that is comfortable for you. It often helps if you choose the same time to meditate every day. Make meditation a priority. Meditation has been shown to reduce stress, anxiety and depression. It can also improve immune function, lower blood pressure and reduce heart rate. Meditating can be a time when you connect with your essential spirit and your higher power. Let the peace and calmness help wash away your despair and sadness.

Another type of meditation will allow you to feel connected with your child. Hold something that reminds you of your child while you meditate. Feel yourself connect with her energy. Imagine your child being there next to you so you can talk. If you feel you have unfinished business or things you didn't get to say before her death, this is a good time to say what you need to. Enjoy some time in your mind's eye connecting with each other.

Find meaning
One of the most difficult and most powerful coping strategies is to find meaning in your life and your loss. Some parents feel like their lives stopped the moment their child died. In order to honor the memory of the child you lost, as well as the rest of your family and yourself, you need to continue living a full life.

Many people are able to find meaning through their spiritual beliefs. The idea that everything happens for a reason (even when that reason is unknown) brings great comfort to some parents. Others believe that their child had accomplished their purpose here on earth and then moved on to the spiritual realm. Another way that parents find meaning after the loss of a child is to get involved or start an organization that relates to their child. For example, you could join an organization working to cure the illness your child suffered from.

Operation Inner Peace and Fear

It's a common reaction when facing a medical procedure. Some people are psychologically scarred by a past experience. Others fixate on the pain they might suffer.

If you're a stressed-out patient, there's hope. You can take steps to face down your fears. The following strategies may made a dramatic difference :

Don't deny your fear
It's helpful to recognize your anxiety and get your feelings out in the open. Stay connected with your friends and family. Patients with a large support network feel less anxiety and pain prior to operations and have a quicker, smoother recovery.

Ask questions
Talk to your physician and to other patients. Pepper your doctor with questions. His answers will give you a better idea of what to expect. Your doctor may also put you in touch with patients who'd undergone the same operation. Talking to them will make you feel like you weren't alone. They survived—so could you.

Meet your anesthesiologist
Do this well ahead of an operation. Be honest with the specialist about you fear, because it can affect your response to anesthesia. We tend to become hypertensive when we are fearful, which can make recovery more complicated.

Practice daily relaxation in the weeks leading up to surgery
Do daily relaxation exercises such as deep breathing, meditation and guided imagery (picturing positive images in your mind, like a tranquil scene on a lake or the face of a person who makes you happy). Once you get the hang of these techniques, you can use them in the hospital to bring inner peace.

Have a loved one keep you company before the operation
What's the best thing friends and family can do? Just stay there with them, hold their hand, have them take deep breaths. They might need to cry a little or talk about their fears.

Listen to music during pre-operation
Research shows music reduces anxiety and blood pressure in hospital patients. It helps people focus on something other than their worries and the hospital noises around them. Some even play music during their operation. It brings them calmness and makes the heart rate slower, which is a good thing because it means less sedation may be needed. Ritual music, such as Tibetan chants, is particularly effective, but the important thing is to choose whatever makes you feel relaxed and uplifted.

Bring a little piece of home to the hospital
Taking along photos and other belongings that help you feel comforted, relaxed and secure.

All these efforts could do great to combat your fear about surgery on the day of the operation.

Pencil Story

The Pencil Maker took the pencil aside, just before putting him into the box.

"There are 5 things you need to know," he told the pencil, "Before I send you out into the world. Always remember them and never forget, and you will become the best pencil you can be."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And Five: On every surface you walk through, you must leave your mark. No matter what the situation, you must continue to do your duties.

Allow this parable on the pencil to encourage you to know that you are a special person and only you can fulfill the purpose to which you were born to accomplish.

Never allow yourself to get discouraged and think that your life is insignificant and cannot make a change.

You're special created in your role to God and to all mankind.

Smoke Signal

The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island.

He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him, and everyday he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming. Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect himself from the elements, and to store his few possessions.

But then one day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, the smoke rolling up to the sky. The worst had happened - everything was lost. He was stunned with grief and anger."God, how could you do this to me?" he cried.

Early the next day, however, he was awakened by the sound of a ship that was approaching the island. It had come to rescue him.

"How did you know I was here?" asked the weary man of his rescuers.

"We saw your smoke signal," they replied.

Don't Be Too Quick To Pass Judgment

It Could Be A Coincidence

At a certain time of my life I worked for an important organization. This organization received external visitors daily, for whom there was catering.

There were always food leftovers. One day, about midday, I got a banana out of the leftovers and I kept it to eat it later.

The day went on and I didn't eat the banana. Rather than let it go to waste, I left it on my table before leaving with a note: "Help yourself".

Just five minutes later and when I was already leaving, a work colleague, Maria, came to tell me how the whole day she had been wanting a banana, and then... there it was, the banana on my table, like a gift from the universe to her.

She couldn't be more surprised and pleased as this "coincidence" had brightened her day.

Think Positive;
You May Yet Help Another Friend.

Be Optimistic

John was busy preparing his thesis for a higher degree, and worked as a customer service agent to pay the bills. His end goal was to obtain a post at the university he was doing the research for.

One day he got fired from his job. He couldn't really understand why, as he thought he had always done a good job, so he asked his manager. His boss explained that John was definitely a very good customer service agent, but due to company regulations they had to fire a number of people. It really hadn't anything to do with him.

John felt quite let down by the company and "the system", and questioned whether it was worth to keep on writing his thesis. He lost his motivation for a while.

At that time he was also reading some positive thinking books, and chose to change his point of view about the whole event. He decided that it was not so bad that he was fired. He had gained good experience in the field of customer service and could look for a better job with something to show in his CV.

Furthermore, he realized that until he got another job he would have more time for his thesis, which would push him closer to what he really wanted. John actually decided to see the event of being fired as a very good thing, and kept on even more motivated to reach his goal.

The best thing was that within three weeks he was called from the same job for a permanent position. He decided to see that in a positive way, too.

Positive thinking gives rise to positive attitude.

The Hare and The Tortoise

A Hare having ridiculed the slow movements of a Tortoise, was challenged by the latter to run a race, a Fox to go to the goal and be the judge. They got off well together, the hare at the top of her speed, the Tortoise, who had no other intention than making his antagonist exert herself, going very leisurely. After sauntering along for some time he discovered the Hare by the wayside, apparently asleep, and seeing a chance to win pushed on as fast as he could, arriving at the goal hours afterward, suffering from extreme fatigue and claiming the victory.

"Not so," said the Fox; "the Hare was here long ago, and went back to cheer you on your way."

— Sometimes you just need an extra little push to succeed.

Confucius Quotes 2

Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.

What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others.

Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Don't complain about the snow on your neighbor's roof when your own doorstep is unclean.

Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance.

Ignorance is the night of the mind, but a night without moon and star.

It is not the failure of others to appreciate your abilities that should trouble you, but rather your failure to appreciate theirs.

Virtue should be as common in the laborer as in the king.

The wise are free from perplexity, the virtuous are free from anxiety, the bold are free from fear.

Heaven means to be one with God.

If you look into your own heart, and you find nothing wrong there, what is there to worry about? What is there to fear?

Look at the means which a man employs, consider his motives, observe his pleasures. A man simply cannot conceal himself!

Speak the truth, do not yield to anger; give, if thou art asked for little; by these three steps thou wilt go near the gods.

The faults of a superior person are like the sun and moon. They have their faults, and everyone sees them; they change and everyone looks up to them.

The superior man acts before he speaks, and afterwards speaks according to his action.

The superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions.

The superior man, when resting in safety, does not forget that danger may come. When in a state of security he does not forget the possibility of ruin. When all is orderly, he does not forget that disorder may come. Thus his person is not endangered, and his States and all their clans are preserved.

He who exercises government by means of his virtue may be compared to the north polar star, which keeps its place and all the stars turn towards it.

When we see men of worth, we should think of equaling them; when we see men of a contrary character, we should turn inwards and examine ourselves.

To be wronged is nothing unless you continue to remember it.

Wisdom, compassion, and courage are the three universally recognized moral qualities of men.

Confucius Quotes 1

Ask yourself constantly, "What is the right thing to do?"

Behave toward everyone as if receiving a great guest.

The more man meditates upon good thoughts, the better will be his world and the world at large.

It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop.

The more man meditates upon good thoughts, the better will be his world and the world at large.

Silence is the true friend that never betrays.

Behave toward everyone as if receiving a great guest.

Everything has its beauty but not everyone sees it.

Respect yourself and others will respect you.

To see what is right and not to do it is want of courage.

When anger rises, think of the consequences.

By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.

Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.

Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.

Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure.

When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don't adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.

Those who are firm, enduring, simple and unpretentious are the nearest to virtue.

Forget injuries, never forget kindnesses.

The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trial.

The perfecting of one's self is the fundamental base of all progress and all moral development.

If one learns from others, but does not think, one will be bewildered. If, on the other hand, one thinks but does not learn from others, one will be in peril.

Learning without thought is labor lost. Thought without learning is perilous.

Do not impose on others what you yourself do not desire.

Review the old and deducing the new makes a teacher.

Do not be desirous of having things done quickly. Do not look at small advantages. Desire to have things done quickly prevents their being done thoroughly. Looking at small advantages prevents great affairs from being accomplished.

To put the world right in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must first cultivate our personal life; we must first set our hearts right.

The Swamis and the Mysterious Light

A long time ago, there were two swamis who lived in two neighboring caves. They spent most of their time in deep meditation, except the time they ate or were visited by devotees. The people who came to visit them revered the two swamis, and enjoyed listening to them and being in their proximity. They sought their company, since they always felt more peaceful and happy when near them, and also for a long time after they went away.

One cave was dark, as caves usually are, but in the other one there was sometimes a peculiar golden light illuminating the cave. It was not strong, but enough to be noticed and to mildly illuminate the cave. The phenomenon of the light bewildered the visitors, but they could not come to an agreement about the causes of the light. Both swamis were rather silent most of the time, and did not want to discuss the phenomenon of the light.

The company of the swamis aroused calmness and peace in the visitors. Their minds slowed their incessant chatter, and they experienced a pleasant inner peace and inner happiness. The visitors admired both swamis, but believed that the one living in the illuminated cave possessed supernatural powers and was more advanced. He certainly appeared to them as a mysterious person.

One day a great sage was passing by a near village, and being recognized by the villagers, one of them approached him and said: "Great master, we have a question to ask. There is a mystery which you might solve for us."

"I will be glad to help you, if I can", answered the sage.

"There are two swamis living here on the hill...", the villager started to recount.

"Yes, I know", answered the sage, "and you inquire about the light in the cave."

"Yes, great master, that is true. It is something that has been a riddle for us. Can you please tell us also, if the swami in the lighted cave is more advanced, and if he really possess supernatural powers?"

"Pay attention to your inner self and not to outer phenomena. The outside world always changes, but inner self is constant. When in the presence of a teacher, listen to what he says and be aware of the influence of his words on you. Watch yourself, and see whether under his influence you become calmer and more peaceful, and your thoughts, at least for a while, slow down their mad race."

"Yes most revered master", said one of the devotees, "but please enlightens us on the mysterious light."

The sage sat down, and started to explain: "Sometimes, when one works intensively on the spiritual path, and concentrates and meditates a lot, various phenomena may occur around him, such as lights, sounds or visions. This is not supernatural. The mind has a creative power, and when concentrated, can produce various phenomena even unintentionally."

"It does not mean that one is more advanced than the other. Not all minds produce these things. Some do, and some don't."

"Some of the people who produce these lights may be aware of the light, and some may not. It depends on their psychic sensitivity. So it is also with the people who watch them. Not all see this light. In any case, it has nothing to do with whether one swami is more advanced or less advanced than the other one."

"Thank you great master, you have solved for us this great mystery", exclaimed the devotees of the swamis, who were standing by, deeply relieved and happy to understand the mystery that has been troubling them for a long time.

Pay More Attention To Inner Virtues

The Power of Thoughts

One day, a yogi and his disciple arrived to the big city. They had no money with them, but they needed food and a place to stay. The disciple was sure that they were going to beg for their food, and sleep in the park at night.

"There is a big park not far from here. We can sleep there at night", said the disciple.

"In the open air?" Asked the yogi.

"Yes", responded the student.

The yogi smiled and said: "No, tonight we are going to sleep in a hotel and eat there too".

The student was amazed. "How?"

"Come and sit down", said the yogi.

They both sat down on the ground and the yogi said: "When you focus your mind intently on any subject, it comes to pass."

The yogi closed his eyes and started to meditate with full concentration. After about ten minutes he got up and started to walk, with his disciple following him. They walked through several streets and alleys, until they arrived to a hotel.

"Come, let's enter inside", the yogi said to his disciple.

They just set foot in the entrance, when a well-dressed man approached them.

"I am the manager of this hotel. You look like traveling swamis and I believe you have no money. Would you like to work in the kitchen, and in return I'll give you food and a place to stay?"

"Fine", responded the yogi.

The disciple was perplexed and asked the yogi: "Did you use any magic? How did you do that?"
The yogi smiled and said, "I wanted to show you how the power of thoughts works. When you think with full and strong concentration about something that you want to happen, and your mind does not resist the subject of your thought, your thought materializes."

"The secret is concentrating, visualizing, seeing details, having faith and projecting mental and emotional energy into the mental scene. These are the general prerequisites. When your mind is empty from thoughts, and only one single thought is allowed to enter, it gains a very great power. One should be very careful with what he thinks. A concentrated thought is powerful, and exerts a very strong influence."

The disciple looked at his teacher and said: "I see that I have to sharpen my concentration in order to be able to use this power."

"Yes, this is the first step", responded the yogi.

The Power Of Concentrated Thought Has A Special Application.

The Villager and the Happy Man

In a small village in the valley, there lived a man who was always happy, kind, and well disposed to everyone he met. He always smiled and had a kind and encouraging word to say whenever necessary. Everyone who met him left feeling better, happier and elated. People knew they could count on him, and regarded him as a great friend.

One of the village dwellers was curious to know what his secret was, how could he be always so kind and helpful? How is it that he held no grudge towards anyone and was always happy?

Once, upon meeting him in the street he asked him: "Most people are selfish and unsatisfied. They do not smile as often as you do; neither are they as helpful or kind as you are. How do you explain it?"

"When you make peace with yourself, then you can be in peace with the rest of the world. If you can recognize the spirit in yourself, you can recognize the spirit in everyone, and then you find it natural to be kind and well disposed to all. If your thoughts are under your control you become strong and firm. The outer mask of the personality is like a robot programmed to do certain tasks. Your habits and thoughts are the programs. Be free from these programming and then the inner good that resides in you will be revealed."

"But a lot of work is necessary. Good habits have to be developed. The ability to concentrate and to control the thoughts has to be strengthened. The work is difficult and endless. There are many walls that need to be to climbed. It is not an easy task." Lamented the villager.

"Do not think about the difficulties, otherwise that are what you will see and experience. Just quieten your feelings and thoughts and try to stay in this peace. All the abilities and powers awaken spontaneously. You do not work on them directly. They are by-products of your peace of mind. Just try to be calm and do not let yourself be carried away by your thoughts."

"Is that all?" Asked the villager.
"Try to watch your thoughts and see how they come and go. Stay in the quietness that arises. The moments of peace will be brief at first, but in time they will get longer. This peace is also strength, power, kindness, and love. When you realize that you are one with the Universal Power, you begin to act from a different dimension, not from the selfish, small, and limited ego."

"I will try to remember your words," said the villager and continued, "there is another thing that I am curious about. You do not seem to be influenced by the environment. You have a kind word to everyone and are helpful. Yet people do not exploit your goodness, and they treat you well."

"Goodness and being kind do not necessarily point to weakness. When you are good you can also be strong. People sense your strength and do not impose on you. When you are strong and calm inside, you help people because you can and you want to. You then act from strength and not from weakness. Goodness can also go with power and strength, it is not a sign of weakness as some people erroneously think."

"Thank you very much for your advice", said the villager and went away happy and satisfied.

Inner Calm Gives You Complete Control Over Your Emotions

The Tiger

A teacher and his student were walking from one village to another, when they suddenly heard a roar behind them. Turning their gaze in the direction of the roar they saw a big tiger following them. The first thing the student wanted to do was to run away, but as he has been studying and practicing self-discipline, he was able to halt himself, waiting to see what his teacher was going to do.

"What shall we do, Master?" Asked the student.

The teacher looked at the student and answered in a calm voice, "There are several options. We can fill our minds with paralyzing fear so that we cannot move, and let the tiger do with us whatever pleases it. We can faint. We can run away, but then it will run after us. We can fight with it, but physically it is stronger than us."

"We can pray to god to save us. We can choose to influence the tiger with the power of our mind, if our concentration is strong enough. We can send it love. We can also concentrate and meditate on our inner power, and on the fact that we are one with the entire universe, including the tiger, and in this way influence its soul."

"Which option do you choose?"
"You are the Master. You tell me what to do. We haven't much time", responded the student.

The master turned his gaze fearlessly towards the tiger, emptied his mind from all thoughts, and entered samadhi (a kind of trance). In his consciousness he embraced everything in the universe including the tiger. In this deep meditation the consciousness of the teacher became one with consciousness of the tiger.

Meanwhile the student started to shiver with fear, as the tiger was already quite close, ready to make a leap at them. He was amazed at how his teacher could stay so calm and detached in the face of danger.

Meanwhile the teacher continued to meditate without fear. After a little while, the tiger gradually lowered its head and tail and went away.

The student asked his teacher in astonishment, "What did you do?"

"Nothing. I just cleared all thoughts from my mind and united myself in spirit with the tiger. We became united in peace on the spiritual level. The tiger sensed the inner calmness, peace, and unity and felt no threat or need to express violence, and so walked away."

"When the mind is silent and calm, its peace is automatically transmitted to everything and everyone around, influencing them deeply", concluded the teacher.

The Overruling Power Of Your Inner Calm.

Values Quotes

We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.
~John Adams

Advertising is about norms and values, aspirations and prejudices. It is about culture.
~Anil Ambani

Expedients are for the hour, but principles are for the ages.
~Henry Ward Beecher

You tell the people the stories the best you know. If there is something you don't know, you be up front and make that clear. You always give the aggrieved party the chance to respond before you publish or go to air. That's just my kind of old-fashioned news values.
~Wolf Blitzer

Morality, when formal, devours.
~Albert Camus

Art, like morality, consists of drawing the line somewhere.
~G.K. Chesterton

No man can purchase his virtue too dear, for it is the only thing whose value must ever increase with the price it has cost us. Our integrity is never worth so much as when we have parted with our all to keep it.
~Charles Caleb Colton

A lot of compelling stories in the world aren't being told, and the fact that people don't know about them compounds the suffering. To me, there is value in bearing witness to what is happening to people who are living their lives with great dignity in the face of horror.
~Anderson Cooper

You cannot choose your battlefield, God does that for you; But you can plant a standard where a standard never flew.
~Nathalia Crane

A moral being is one who is capable of comparing his past and future actions or motives, and of approving or disapproving of them.
~Charles Darwin

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
~Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776

But you were always a good man of business, Jacob," faltered Scrooge, who now began to apply this to himself. "Business!" cried the Ghost, wringing its hands again. "Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!
~Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

It has become dramatically clear that the foundation of corporate integrity is personal integrity.
~Sam DiPiazza

It's not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.
~Roy Disney

Some of the best business and nonprofit CEOs I've worked with over a sixty-five-year consulting career were not stereotypical leaders. They were all over the map in terms of their personalities, attitudes, values, strengths, and weaknesses.
~Peter Drucker

It is high time that the ideal of success should be replaced by the ideal of service.
~Albert Einstein

Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.
~Albert Einstein

Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character.
~Albert Einstein

When the nazis came to power, I looked to the universities that prided themselves upon their intellectual freedom, and they failed me. I looked to the German press, which prided itself on the freedom of the press, and it failed me. Until at last the churches stood alone, and that for which I once had little regard earned my respect.
~Albert Einstein

A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both.
~Dwight D. Eisenhower

That which is beautiful is moral. That is all, nothing more.
~Gustave Flaubert

A corporation is a living organism; it has to continue to shed its skin. Methods have to change. Focus has to change. Values have to change. The sum total of those changes is transformation.
~Andrew Grove

I think that the major message of my life and what I hope to be remembered for is someone who managed to change the social sexual values of his time absolutely.
~Hugh Hefner

One of the things I've tried to do with my life is redefine the boundaries that I think are very limiting. I'm not suggesting that everybody should have three girlfriends, or necessarily have girlfriends living with them. I think there are many, many options to living your life.
~Hugh Hefner

Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!
~Patrick Henry

Money was invented so we could know exactly how much we owe.
~Cullen Hightower

Whatever else may be shaken, there are some facts established beyond warring: virtue is better than vice, truth is better than falsehood, kindness than brutality.
~Quintin Hogg

The foundation of morality is to have done, once and for all, with lying.
~Thomas Henry Huxley

My family gave me values that have sustained me through situations that would challenge any person. My personal relationship with the Lord inspires me in all I do.
~Kathy Ireland

The great use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.
~Williams James

A departure from principle in one instance becomes a precedent for a second; that second for a third; and so on, till the bulk of the society is reduced to be mere automatons of misery, to have no sensibilities left but for sin and suffering.
~Thomas Jefferson

The sentiments of men are known not only by what they receive, but what they reject also.
~Thomas Jefferson

Seven deadly sins: politics without principle; wealth without work; pleasure without conscience; knowledge without character; business without morality; science without humanity; and worship without sacrifice.
~E. Stanley Jones

There's a hole in the moral ozone and it's getting bigger.
~Michael Josephson

In law a man is guilty when he violates the rights of others. In ethics he is guilty if he only thinks of doing so.
~Immanuel Kant

Two things fill my mind with ever-increasing wonder and awe: the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me.
~Immanuel Kant

No one in the world can change truth. What we can do and should do is to seek truth and to serve it when we have found it. The real conflict is the inner conflict. Beyond armies of occupation and the hecatombs [e.g. the sacrifice of many victims] of extermination camps, there are two irreconcilable enemies in the depth of every soul: good and evil, sin and love. And what use are the victories on the battlefield if we ourselves are defeated in our innermost personal selves?
~Fr. Maximilian Kolbe

If you don't have integrity, you have nothing. You can't buy it. You can have all the money in the world, but if you are not a moral and ethical person, you really have nothing.
~Henry Kravis

We talk on principle but we act on interest.
~William Savage Landor

I threw my whole life and lived my life in a certain way to make sure that I would never violate any law.. certainly never any criminal laws.. and always maintained that most important to me was my integrity, was my character, were my values.
~Kenneth Lay

Honor is better than honors.
~Abraham Lincoln

To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men.
~Abraham Lincoln

A man who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back on the crowd.
~Max Lucado

The essence of morality is the subjugation of nature in obedience of social needs.
~John Morley

Morality is the best of all devices for leading mankind by the nose.
~Friedrich Nietzsche

When you undervalue who you are, the world will undervalue what you do and vice versa.
~Suze Orman

In our way of working, we attach a great deal of importance to humility and honesty; With respect for human values, we promise to serve our customers with integrity.
~Azim Premji

Values are like fingerprints. Nobody's are the same, but you leave 'em all over everything you do.
~Elvis Presley

When things go wrong don't go with them.
~Elvis Presley

A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.
~Proverbs 22:1

Ethics is a code of values which guide our choices and actions and determine the purpose and course of our lives.
~Ayn Rand

To educate a person in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society.
~Theodore Roosevelt

Without civic morality communities perish; without personal morality their survival has no value.
~Bertrand Russell

Morality is stronger than tyrants.
~Louis-Antoine-Leon de Saint-Just

Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy.
~General H.Norman Schwarzkopf

The first step in the evolution of ethics is a sense of solidarity with other human beings.
~Albert Schweitzer

Only when we have something to value, will we have something to evaluate.. and we cannot value something that we cannot share, exchange and examine.
~Lee Shulman

On a personal level, everyone must answer the following question: What is my highest aspiration? The answer might be wealth, fame, knowledge, popularity, or integrity. But if integrity is secondary to any of the alternatives, it will be sacrificed in situations in which a choice must be made. Such situations will inevitably occur in every person's life.
~Murphy Smith

I wanted to win to feed the hungry people of my community. I didn't want to win to buy a diamond.. I didn't have no diamonds then. I didn't want to win to buy a car, I didn't want to win to bring a couple of chicks downtown to a hotel. I wanted to win to feed the poor people of the community.
~Mr. T

I'm not perfect, I'm not an angel, but I try to live a certain way because it brings honour and respect to my mother. I tell people that when they look at me, they're looking at nothing but a big, overgrown, tough mama's boy. That's who I am.
~Mr. T

If we want to produce people who share the values of a democratic culture, they must be taught those values and not be left to acquire them by chance.
~Cal Thomas

Every man, at the bottom of his heart, wants to do right. But only he can do right who knows right; only he knows right who thinks right; only he thinks right who believes right.

Our health always seems much more valuable after we lose it.
~author unknown

Strive for integrity - that means knowing your values in life and behaving in a way that is consistent with these values.
~author unknown

The basic building block of good communications is the feeling that every human being is unique and of value.
~author unknown

Each Wal-Mart store should reflect the values of its customers and support the vision they hold for their community.
~Sam Walton

Associate with men of good quality, if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company.
~George Washington

Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports . . . . In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens . . . . [R]eason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.
~George Washington

The propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained.
~George Washington

Morality is simply the attitude we adopt toward people whom we personally dislike.
~Oscar Wilde

Get in the Wheelbarrow

Upon completing a highly dangerous tightrope walk over Niagara Falls in appalling wind and rain, 'The Great Zumbrati' was met by an enthusiastic supporter, who urged him to make a return trip, this time pushing a wheelbarrow, which the spectator had thoughtfully brought along.

The Great Zumbrati was reluctant, given the terrible conditions, but the supporter pressed him, "You can do it - I know you can," he urged.

"You really believe I can do it?" asked Zumbrati.

"Yes - definitely - you can do it." the supporter gushed.

"Okay," said Zumbrati, "Get in the wheelbarrow..."

— Let your actions show you have faith.

The Dog and the Bone

A dog held a juicy bone in his jaws as he crossed a bridge over a brook. When he looked down into the water he saw a another dog below with what appeared to be a bigger juicier bone. He jumped into the brook to snatch the bigger bone, letting go his own bone, He quickly learned of course that the bigger bone was just a reflection, and so he ended up with nothing.

— A great lesson about how greed can harm us.

Aunt Karen

A teacher told her young class to ask their parents for a family story with a moral at the end of it, and to return the next day to tell their stories.

In the classroom the next day, Joe gave his example first: "My dad is a farmer and we have chickens. One day we were taking lots of eggs to market in a basket on the front seat of the truck when we hit a big bump in the road; the basket fell off the seat and all the eggs broke. The moral of the story is not to put all your eggs in one basket.."

"Very good," said the teacher.

Next, Mary said, "We are farmers, too. We had twenty eggs waiting to hatch, but when they did we only got ten chicks. The moral of this story is not to count your chickens before they're hatched.."

"Very good," said the teacher again, very pleased with the response so far.

Next it was Barney's turn to tell his story: "My dad told me this story about my Aunt Karen.... Aunt Karen was a flight engineer in the war and her plane got hit. She had to bail out over enemy territory and all she had was a bottle of whisky, a machine gun and a machete."

"Go on," said the teacher, intrigued.

"Aunt Karen drank the whisky on the way down to prepare herself; then she landed right in the middle of a hundred enemy soldiers. She killed seventy of them with the machine gun until she ran out of bullets. Then she killed twenty more with the machete till the blade broke. And then she killed the last ten with her bare hands."

"Good heavens," said the horrified teacher. "What did your father say was the moral of that frightening story?"

"Stay away from Aunt Karen when she's been drinking."

— This is an amusing example of children learning lessons from stories.

Jesse James

The notorious American Wild West bank robber Jesse James (1847-82) was hunted and demonised by the authorities, but was held in high regard by many ordinary folk. Here's an example of why:

The story goes that Jesse James and his gang had taken refuge for a few days in ramshackle farmhouse after one of their raids. The old widow who lived there fed the men, and apologised for her modest offerings and the poor state of the accommodation. While the gang laid low, they learned from the widow that she faced eviction from her landlord and was expecting a visit from his debt collector any day. Taking pity on the old lady, as they left, the gang gave her some of the spoils of their robbery to settle her debt - several hundred dollars, which was a small fortune in those days. The gang moved on, but only to a nearby copse, where for a couple more days they watched and waited for the arrival - and departure - of the debt collector, whom they promptly held up and robbed.

Of course robbing anyone is bad, but if you've got to rob someone...

— Was Jesse James and his gang good or bad? It depends on your perspective.

Appreciate What You Have

One day . . . a wealthy family man took his son on a trip to the country, so he could have his son see how poor country people live.

They stayed one day and one night in the home of a very humble farmer. At the end of the trip, and when they were back home, the father asked his son, "What did you think of the trip?"

The son replied, "Very nice dad."

Then the father asked his son, "Did you notice how poor they were?"

The son replied, "Yes."

The father continued asking, "What did you learn?"

The son responded, "I learned that we have one dog in our house, and they have four.

Also, we have a fountain in our garden, but they have a stream that has no end.

And we have imported lamps in our garden . . . where they have the stars!

And our garden goes to the edge of our property. But they have the entire horizon as their back yard!"

At the end of the son's reply the father was speechless.

His son then said, "Thank you dad for showing me how poor we really are."

Isn't it true that all depends on the lens you use to see life?

One can ask himself what would happen if we give thanks for what we have instead of always asking for more.

Learn to appreciate what you have. Wealth is all in one's point of view.

— Wealth is all in one's point of view.

Hold or Roll

Rocks hold firm while water's might
Sends pebbles rolling left and right.
Call pebbles rock? Set firm their goal?
First flash flood, still pebbles roll.
Not name, nor goal divide the two.
It's how they act. It's what they do.
Size dictates to stone, but you're in control.
Are you rock or pebble? Will you hold or roll?

~Poem found in a book entitled Gung Ho! Turn on the People in any Organization by Ken Blanchard & Sheldon Bowles, p. 47.

---Do you have a firm foundation?

Two Wolves

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.

He said, "My son, the battle is between two "wolves" inside us all. One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf wins?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

&#8212 We choose our own attitudes and values.

The Lion and the Rat

One day a small rat surfaced from his nest to find himself between the paws of a huge sleeping lion, which immediately awoke and seized the rat. The rat pleaded with the fierce beast to be set free, and the lion, being very noble and wise, and in no need of such small prey, agreed to let the relieved rat go on his way.

Some days later in the same part of the forest, a hunter had laid a trap for the lion, and it duly caught him, so that the lion was trussed up in a strong net, helpless, with nothing to do than wait for the hunter to return.

But it was the rat who came along next, and seeing the lion in need of help, promptly set about biting and gnawing through the net, which soon began to unravel, setting the great lion free.

The moral of the story is of course to make the world your debtor - even the humblest of folk may one day be of use.

— Doing good for others can come back to you when you need it.

Shot at Dawn

By December 1916 more than 17,000 British troops were officially diagnosed as suffering from nervous or mental disability (we'd say shell-shock or post-traumatic stress disorder these days), despite which the British military authorities continued to charge and convict sufferers with 'cowardice' and 'desertion', and to sentence to death by firing squad many of those found 'guilty'.

On 16 August 2006 the British government announced that it would pardon 308 British soldiers who were shot by firing squad for 'cowardice' and 'desertion' during the First World War of 1914-18. The decision was ratified by Parliament on 7 November 2006, and represented a remarkable u-turn by this and previous governments who had always firmly refuted any evidence and justification for pardoning the victims.

This reversal followed and was largely due to decades of persistent lobbying and campaigning by organisations and individuals, many being families and descendents of the victims. It is not easy to imagine their suffering, especially of the widows and parents long since gone, for whom this decision came a lifetime too late.

The story emphasises two things: first, that people in authority have a responsibility to behave with integrity. Second, that where people in authority fail to act with integrity, the persistence and determination of ordinary people will eventually force them to do so.

Here is more background about the Shot At Dawn campaign, and the history of this particularly shameful example of British institutional behaviour.

It provides lessons to us all about doing the right thing, and calling to account those who do not.

— A story about eventually doing the right thing.


A small boy was walking along a beach at low tide, where countless starfish, having been washed up on the beach, were stranded and doomed to perish. A man watched as the boy picked up individual starfish and took them back into the water.

"I can see you're being very kind," said the watching man, "But there must be thousands of them; it can't possibly make any difference."

Returning from the water's edge, the boy said, "It will for that one."

— Believe you can make a difference.

Gandhi and the Shoe

Gandhi was boarding a train one day with a number of companions and followers, when his shoe fell from his foot and disappeared in the gap between the train and platform. Unable to retrieve it, he took off his other shoe and threw it down by the first.

Responding to the puzzlement of his fellow travellers, Gandhi explained that a poor person who finds a single shoe is no better off - what's really helpful is finding a pair.

— This is an example of true generosity and thinking of others first.

A Man and His Dog

A man and his dog were walking along a road. The man was enjoying the scenery, when it suddenly occurred to him that he was dead. He remembered dying, and that his faithful dog had been dead for many years. He wondered where the road was leading them. After a while, they came to a high, white stone wall along one side of the road. It looked like fine marble. As he reached the wall, he saw a magnificent gate in the arch, and the street that led to the gate made from pure gold. He and the dog walked toward the gate, and as he got closer, he saw a man at a desk to one side.

When he was close enough, he called out, "Excuse me, where are we?"

"This is heaven, sir," the man answered.

"Wow! Would you happen to have some water? We have traveled far," the man said.

"Of course, sir. Come right in, and I'll have some ice water brought right up."

The man gestured, and the gate began to open.

"Can my friend," gesturing toward his dog, "come in, too?" the traveler asked.

"I'm sorry, sir, but we don't accept pets."

The man thought a moment, remembering all the years this dog remained loyal to him and then turned back toward the road and continued the way he had been going. After another long walk he came to a plain dirt road, which led through a farm gate that looked as if it had never been closed. There was no fence. As he approached the gate, he saw a man inside, leaning against a tree and reading a book.

"Excuse me!" he called to the reader. "Do you have any water? We have traveled far."

"Yes, sure, there's a faucet over there." The man pointed to a place that couldn't be seen from outside the gate. "Come on in and help yourself."

"How about my friend here?" the traveler gestured to his dog.

"There should be a bowl by the faucet; he is welcome to share."

They went through the gate, and sure enough, there was an old-fashioned faucet with a bowl beside it. The traveler filled the bowl and took a long drink himself, then he gave some to the dog. When they were full, he and the dog walked back toward the man who was standing by the tree waiting for them.

"What do you call this place?" the traveler asked.

"This is heaven," was the answer.

"Well, that's confusing," the traveler said. "The man down the road said that was heaven, too."

"Oh, you mean the place with the gold street and pearly gates? Nope. That's hell."

"Doesn't it make you mad for them to use your name like that?"

"No. We're just happy that they screen out the folks who'd leave their best friends behind in exchange for material things."

— Friends should be a higher priority than material things.

The Mail Campaign

Some years ago a client engaged a consultant to help with a small postal mailing to the purchasing departments of blue chip corporations. The consultant sourced the list (which was provided on MSExcel) and drafted the letter. Thereafter the client was keen to take control of the project, ie., to run the mail-merge and the fulfilment (basically printing, envelope-stuffing and mailing).

The consultant discovered some weeks later that a junior member of the client's marketing department had sorted the list (changed the order of the listed organisations in the spreadsheet), but had sorted the company name column only, instead of all columns, with the result that every letter (about 500) was addressed and sent to a blue chip corporation at another entirely different corporation's address.

Interestingly the mailing produced a particularly high response, which when investigated seemed to stem from the fact that an unusually high percentage of letters were opened and read, due apparently to the irresistible temptation of reading another corporation's mail.

— A marketing snafu unveiled questionable values.

Do It Anyway

People are unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered.

If you do good, people accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.

If you are successful, you win false and true enemies.

The good you do will be forgotten tomorrow.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.

What you spent years building may be destroyed overnight.

People really need help but may attack you if you help them.

Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.

~From a sign in Mother Teresa's children's home of Shushu Bhavan, Calcutta, India

&#8212 Do the right things no matter what challenges you face.

The Animal School

Once upon a time, the animals decided they must do something heroic to meet the problems of "A New World." So they organized a school. They adopted an activity curriculum consisting of running, climbing, swimming and flying. To make it easier to administer the curriculum, all the animals took all the subjects.

The duck was excellent in swimming, in fact better than his instructor, but he made only passing grades in flying and was very poor in running. Since he was slow in running, he had to stay after school and also drop swimming in order to practice running. This was kept up until his webbed feet were badly worn and he was only average in swimming. But average was acceptable in school, so nobody worried about that except the duck.

The rabbit started at the top of the class in running, but had a nervous breakdown because of so much make-up work in swimming.

The squirrel was excellent in climbing until he developed frustration in the flying class where his teacher made him start from the ground up instead of from the treetop down. He also developed a "charlie horse" from overexertion and then got a C in climbing and a D in running.

The eagle was a problem child and was disciplined severely. In the climbing class he beat all the others to the top of the tree, but insisted on using his own way to get there.

At the end of the year, an abnormal eel that could swim exceedingly well, and also run, climb and fly a little, had the highest average and was valedictorian.

The prairie dogs stayed out of school and fought the tax levy because the administration would not add digging and burrowing to the curriculum. They apprenticed their children to a badger and later joined the groundhogs and gophers to start a successful private school.

~George H. Reavis

— Treating children / people all the same when developing a curriculum can be dangerous.

Problem Solving Quotes

For every failure, there's an alternative course of action. You just have to find it. When you come to a roadblock, take a detour.
~Mary Kay Ash

Learn to adjust yourself to the conditions you have to endure, but make a point of trying to alter or correct conditions so that they are most favorable to you.
~William Frederick Book

Leaders are problem solvers by talent and temperament, and by choice.
~Harlan Cleveland

A man who has committed a mistake and doesn't correct it is committing another mistake.

He who asks a question may be a fool for five minutes, but he who never asks a question remains a fool forever.
~Tom Connelly

Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood.
~Marie Curie

A problem well stated is a problem half solved.
~John Dewey

Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.
~Thomas Edison

It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer.
~Albert Einstein

The important thing is not to stop questioning.
~Albert Einstein

The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.
~Albert Einstein

You can never solve a problem on the level on which it was created.
~Albert Einstein

A problem is a chance for you to do your best.
~Duke Ellington

Don't find fault. Find a remedy.
~Henry Ford

Most people spend more time and energy going around problems than in trying to solve them.
~Henry Ford

There are no big problems, there are just a lot of little problems.
~Henry Ford

Hot heads and cold hearts never solved anything.
~Billy Graham

Nobody is bored when he is trying to make something that is beautiful, or to discover something that is true.
~William Inge

The greatest and most important problems in life are all in a certain sense insoluble. They can never be solved, but only outgrown.
~Carl Jung

Our problems are man-made, therefore they may be solved by man. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings.
~John F. Kennedy

All who have accomplished great things have had a great aim, have fixed their gaze on a goal which was high, one which sometimes seemed impossible.
~Orison Swett Marden

When the only tool you own is a hammer, every problem begins to resemble a nail.
~Abraham Maslow

A man must be big enough to admit his mistakes, smart enough to profit from them, and strong enough to correct them.
~John C. Maxwell

Focus on remedies, not faults.
~Jack Nicklaus

Believe it is possible to solve your problem. Tremendous things happen to the believer. So believe the answer will come. It will.
~Norman Vincent Peale

How you think about a problem is more important than the problem itself - so always think positively.
~Norman Vincent Peale

Problems are to the mind what exercise is to the muscles, they toughen and make strong.
~Norman Vincent Peale

The "how" thinker gets problems solved effectively because he wastes no time with futile "ifs" but goes right to work on the creative "how".
~Norman Vincent Peale

When a problem comes along, study it until you are completely knowledgeable. Then find that weak spot, break the problem apart, and the rest will be easy.
~Norman Vincent Peale

When I dig another out of trouble, the hole from which I lift him is the place where I bury my own.
~Norman Vincent Peale

Problems do not go away. They must be worked through or else they remain, forever a barrier to the growth and development of the spirit.
~Scott Peck

Have you got a problem? Do what you can where you are with what you've got.
~Theodore Roosevelt

Happiness does not come from doing easy work but from the afterglow of satisfaction that comes after the achievement of a difficult task that demanded our best.
~Theodore Rubin

The problem is not that there are problems. The problem is expecting otherwise and thinking that having problems is a problem.
~Theodore Rubin

Do not think of your faults; still less of others' faults. Look for what is good and strong and try to imitate it. Your faults will drop off like dead leaves when their time comes.
~John Ruskin

I cannot give you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure, which is: try to please everybody.
~Herbert Bayard Swope

It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers.
~James Thurber

"I must do something" always solves more problems than "Something must be done."
~author unknown

Worry is like a rocking chair - it gives you something to do but won't get you anywhere.
~author unknown

No problem can stand the assault of sustained thinking.

Don't dwell on what went wrong. Instead, focus on what to do next. Spend your energies on moving forward toward finding the answer.
~Denis Waitley

The Chihuahua and the Leopard

A lady takes her pet chihuahua with her on a safari holiday. Wandering too far one day the chihuahua gets lost in the bush, and soon encounters a very hungry looking leopard. The chihuahua realises he's in trouble, but, noticing some fresh bones on the ground, he settles down to chew on them, with his back to the big cat. As the leopard is about to leap, the chihuahua smacks his lips and exclaims loudly, "Boy, that was one delicious leopard. I wonder if there are any more around here."

The leopard stops mid-stride, and slinks away into the trees.

"Phew," says the leopard, "that was close - that evil little dog nearly had me."

A monkey nearby sees everything and thinks he'll win a favour by putting the stupid leopard straight. The chihuahua sees the monkey go after the leopard, and guesses he might be up to no good.

When the leopard hears the monkey's story he feels angry at being made a fool, and offers the monkey a ride back to see him exact his revenge.

The little dog sees them approaching and fears the worse.

Thinking quickly, the little dog turns his back, pretends not to notice them, and when the pair are within earshot says aloud, "Now where's that monkey got to? I sent him ages ago to bring me another leopard..."

Quick Thinking Gets A Dog Out Of Trouble...Twice.

The Brewery's Policy

A very old traditional brewery decided to install a new canning line, so as to enable its beer products to be marketed through the supermarket sector. This represented a major change for the little company, and local dignitaries and past employees were invited to witness the first running of the new canning line, which was followed by an buffet and drinks.

After the new line had been switched on successfully, and the formalities completed, the guests relaxed in small groups to chat and enjoy the buffet. In a quiet corner stood three men discussing trucks and transport and distribution, since one was the present distribution manager, and the other two were past holders of the post, having retired many years ago. The three men represented three generations of company distribution management, spanning over sixty years.

The present distribution manager confessed that his job was becoming more stressful because company policy required long deliveries be made on Monday and Tuesday, short deliveries on Fridays, and all other deliveries mid-week.

"It's so difficult to schedule things efficiently - heaven knows what we'll do with these new cans and the tight demands of the supermarkets..."

The other two men nodded in agreement.

"It was the same in my day," sympathised the present manager's predecessor, "It always seemed strange to me that trucks returning early on Mondays and Tuesdays couldn't be used for little local runs, because the local deliveries had to be left until Friday.."

The third man nodded, and was thinking hard, struggling to recall the policy's roots many years ago when he'd have been a junior in the despatch department. After a pause, the third man smiled and then ventured a suggestion.

"I think I remember now," he said, "It was the horses..... During the Second World War fuel rationing was introduced. So we mothballed the trucks and went back to using the horses. On Mondays the horses were well-rested after the weekend - hence the long deliveries. By Friday the horses so tired they could only handle the short local drops..."

Soon after the opening of the new canning line the company changed its delivery policy.

Sharing Information Can Help Solve Problems.

The Three Engineers

A mechanical engineer, a systems engineer, and a software engineer are in a car driving down a steep mountain road when the brakes fail. The driver desperately pumps the brake pedal, trying to control the speeding vehicle around cliff-edge bends, while the passengers do their best not to panic. As the car hurtles towards an impossible corner the driver spots an escape route into a hedge and a haystack beyond, where the car eventually grinds to a surprisingly safe stop. The three engineers all get out, shaken, relieved, and take turns to assess the situation.

'Hmm,' says the mechanical engineer, "It looks like a brake line was leaking. Let's repair the split, bleed the brakes, and we should be able to get on our way."

The systems engineer thinks for a while and says, "Maybe we need to contact the manufacturer and the dealer to confirm exactly what the problem is."

The software engineer slowly climbs into the driver's seat and, gesturing for the others to join him, says, "How about we get back on the road and see if it happens again?"

This is a humorous example of different problem solving styles.

The Consultant and the Fisherman

A management consultant, on holiday in a African fishing village, watched a little fishing boat dock at the quayside. Noting the quality of the fish, the consultant asked the fisherman how long it had taken to catch them.

"Not very long." answered the fisherman.

"Then, why didn't you stay out longer and catch more?" asked the consultant.

The fisherman explained that his small catch was sufficient to meet his needs and those of his family.

The consultant asked, "But what do you do with the rest of your time?"

"I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, have an afternoon's rest under a coconut tree. In the evenings, I go into the community hall to see my friends, have a few beers, play the drums, and sing a few songs..... I have a full and happy life." replied the fisherman.

The consultant ventured, "I have an MBA from Harvard and I can help you...... You should start by fishing longer every day. You can then sell the extra fish you catch. With the extra revenue, you can buy a bigger boat. With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second one and a third one and so on until you have a large fleet. Instead of selling your fish to a middleman, you can negotiate directly with the processing plants and maybe even open your own plant. You can then leave this little village and move to a city here or maybe even in the United Kingdom, from where you can direct your huge enterprise."

"How long would that take?" asked the fisherman.

"Oh, ten, maybe twenty years." replied the consultant.

"And after that?" asked the fisherman.

"After that? That's when it gets really interesting," answered the consultant, laughing, "When your business gets really big, you can start selling shares in your company and make millions!"

"Millions? Really? And after that?" pressed the fisherman.

"After that you'll be able to retire, move out to a small village by the sea, sleep in late every day, spend time with your family, go fishing, take afternoon naps under a coconut tree, and spend relaxing evenings havings drinks with friends..."

Think Before You Speak. Sometimes A Solution Isn't Really Needed.