The Art of Gratitude
Gracious acceptance is an art - an art which most never bother to cultivate.We think that we have to learn how to give, but we forget about accepting things, which can be much harder than giving...Accepting another person's gift is allowing him to express his feelings for you (Alexander McCall Smith)
A 1660 mathematician, Blaise Pascal was also famous for his philosophical observations including "Pascal's Wager" which was his argument that you might as well believe in God, because believing carries no risk and potentially plenty of reward.
The power of being irrational
The American Journalist Murray Kempton once wrote that the rise of the Ayatollah Khomeini "demonstrated the iron rule that in international relations the drunk driver has the right of way."
Diogenes: "He who never offended anyone never did anyone any good"
I never met a good listener I didn't like
Happiness doesn't depend upon what we have, but rather on how we feel towards what we have
"People who don't read a newspaper are uninformed and people who do read the newspaper are misinformed."
Zane Grey wisdom
"Recipe for greatness - To bear up under loss; to fight the bitterness of defeat and the weakness of grief; to be a victor over anger; to smile when tears are close; to resist evil men and base instincts; to hate hate and to love love; to go on when it would seem good to die; to seek ever after the glory and the dream; to look up with unquenchable faith in something ever more about to be; that i what any man can do and so be great."
Wisdom from Diogenes
"He who never offended anyone never did anyone any good"
"Everything you can imagine is real"
The power of being irrational
American Journalist Murray Kempton once wrote that the rise of the Ayatollah Khomeini demonstrated the iron rule that "in international relations, the drunk driver has the right of way"
Blessed Padre Pio
"Pray, hope and don't worry"
Michael J. Fox (actor)
"My happiness grows in proportion to my acceptance and in inverse proportion to my expectations"
Charles MacKay "No Enemies?"
You have no enemies, you say?
Alas, my friend, the boast is poor;
He who has mingled in the fray
Of duty, that the brave endure,
Must have made foes! If you have none,
Small is the work that you have done.
You’ve hit no traitor on the hip,
You’ve dashed no cup from perjured lip,
You’ve never turned the wrong to right,
You’ve been a coward in the fight.”
A big man is one who makes us feel bigger when we are with him
Coach Bear Bryant
You never know how a horse will pull until you hook him to a heavy load
Hearing what you want to hear
"So,they're in an echo chamber listening to people who agree with them"
St Catherine of Siena:
"Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire"
William Barclay, Scottish professor, has observed it is a curious paradox of learning that the more one learns about any subject the more one realizes there is still much to learn. In the Academy at Athens there was a three year course. In the first year students were called "The wise men." In the second year they were called "Those who loved wisdom" But in the third year they were called simply "The learners."
Henry David Thoreau
"Most men live lives of quiet desperation and die with their song inside."
How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world. - Shakespeare
Ralph Waldo Emerson
"The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons."
Famous Jesuit adage:
"When arguing, never deny, seldom affirm, always distinguish."
From Robert Service The Cremation of Sam McGee
"A promise made is a debt unpaid"
Never be intimidated:
"Always remember .....Goliath was a 40 point favorite over David." Shug Jordan / football coach Auburn
View from age 76 years:
William Holden's character says in the movie Network "It's all suddenly closer to the end than to the begining and death is suddenly a perceptible thing to me with definable features "
"Everything is funny as long as it happens to somebody else"
Coach Paull "Bear" Bryant carried this prayer in his wallet
This is the beginnig of a new day.
God has given me this day to use as I will.
I can waste or use it for good.
What I do today is important
because I am exchanging a day of my life for it.
When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever,
Leaving something in its place I have traded for it.
I want it to be a gain not a loss - good, not evil.
I shall not forget the price I paid for it.
Your Purpose in Life
It has been said that every person is a "dream of God" who has been sent into the world to do some special task
Advice from Dr. Seuss
"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind"
Beaten but not defeated
"Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise..." Micah 7:8
John Dryden’s poem: Johnnie Armstrong Last Goodnight:
Fight on, my merry men all,
I’m a little wounded, but I am not slain;
I will lay me down for to bleed a while,
Then I’ll rise and fight with you again.
Invictus William Ernest Henley
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
The search for meaning
"The human heart has a hole only God can fill" Unknown Augustine: " "God, you have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless till they find their rest in you"
He once said that after an angry outburst his mother quoted Proverbs 16:32 to him: "He who is slow to anger is better then the mighty and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city." Seneca once said: "he is most powerful who has power over himself." Good advice for all of us
John Mortimer, the creator of "Rumpole" died in January at age 85. He wrote about the indignities of dying: "Dying is a matter of slap-stick and pratfalls. The aging process is not gradual or gentle. It rushes up, pushes you over and runs off laughing. No one should grow old who isn't ready to appear ridiculous."
James 2:8 talks about the "royal law." He says: "If you really keep the royal law found in scripture, "love your neigbor as yourself," you are doing right."
Life Travels in Circles
This weekend the Seattle paper had an article about a local Indian tribe and it's new casino. A 76 year old member of the tribal council who was complaining about an issue was quoted as saying "Life travels in circles. It will come back to them." I think she is both wise and right.
St Teresa of Avila
Outspoken and courageous Catholic religious of the 1500's who believed intelligent women were more easily directed spiritually: "God preserve us from stupid nuns!"
Churchill once wrote his wife Clementine: "Thank you for being rash enough to marry me. Foolish enough to stay with me and for loving me in a way I thought I would never be loved." On another occassion he was asked about would he would like to be in a second life. He said: "If I could not be who I am, I would most like to be Mrs. Churchill's second husband." The late Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield of Montana said about his wife Maureen "What we did, we did together. In short, I am what I am because of her." When the legislature erected a statue of him he agreed only if she was cast along side him and her name go first.
In his book "Let's Face It" Kirk Douglas talks about the pain of having a son commit suicide. He says the doctors told them to apply the "three C's" test: They didn't cause it, they couldn't cure it and they couldn't control it. Excellent advice
Henny Youngman used to say: "I've got two wonderful children" and then he would pause and add: "two out of five ain't bad."
"Our doubts are traitors,
And make us lose the good we oft might win
By fearing to attempt."
"Man works from Sun to sun, but a woman's work is never done
National Catholic Reporter:
"When someone tells you to ask yourself, 'What would Jesus do?' remember that one valid answer is 'Freak out and knock over tables'
"A family advisor once said the two most expensive things a Rockefeller can do are run for public office and get divorced. Nelson, did both."
someone once said "Jesus wears the disguise of common, ordinary humanity." Flannery O'Connor once said of riding the subways of New York: "You see few people you wish you knew and thousands you are glad you don't know." The title of David Craig's song "You don't miss your water til the well runs dry" is a profound observation.
Homer Hickam in "The Coalwood Way" says:
"Words are as much an art as definition"and, in referring to his mother's use of "inspired vexations so I could rise above my petty ones..."
Friends & enemies:
When Warren Harding discovered the friends he had appointed had been guilty of government theft and fraud he said to a friend “My God, this is a hell of a job.. I have no trouble with my enemies. But, my damn friends...They’re the ones that keep me walking the floor at nights”
War vs Peace
France's Clemenceau once observed: "Ii is much easier to make war than peace."
Never stop learning new things:
It was said of Thomas Jefferson that "he grew old learning new things."
Biblical Wisdom about acceptance:
“But by the grace of God, I am what I am...” 1 Corinthians 15:10
"Keep calm and don't be afraid. Do not lose heart" Isaiah 7:4
"Never think that war, no matter how necessary, nor how justified, is not a crime. Ask the infantry and ask the dead" Ernest Hemingway
Short Course in Public Relations:
The six most important words are: "I admit that I was wrong." The five most important words are: "You did a great job!" The four most important words are: "What do you think?" The three most important words are: "Could you please..." The two most important words are "Thank you." The least important word is: "I"
"We have met the enemy and it is us" Walt Kelly comic strip Pogo Earth Day 1971
Woody Allen says that the brain is his second favorite organ.
Our Daily Bread:
RBC Ministries publishes a paper back daily mediation book with some inspiring thoughts. In one mediation, it makes reference to the movie Gladiator and quotes from the movie General Maximus Mewriduius talk to inspire his men before a battle in which he tells them "What we do in life echoes in eternity" There is great truth in that statement
Retirement: When the fire goes out -
John Davidson, the poet, once said "The fires are out and I must hammer the cold iron." His days of greatness were gone. And Fielden Hughes in his book Down the Corridors, talks about the time for school teachers to retire. He says when they lose their own sense of wonder and cease to be excited all they have left is a dreary stock in trade to offer. The time to retire he says is "When the fire goes out."
The role of thePlaintiff Trial Lawyer:
Republicans have sought to cast presidential candidate, John Edwards, as a money-chasing trial lawyer. Edwards response is an excellent summary of the role of a plaintiff trial lawyer:
"I spent most of my adult life representing kids and families against very powerful opponents, usually big insurance companies,And my job was to give them a fair shake, to give them a fair chance."
Wisdom of a Capuchin monk:
Padre Pio (1887 - 1968) was a Capuchin Franciscan monk, stigmatist and mystic. The Church beatified him in 1999 in recognizing his holiness and spiritual wisdom. In 1914 he wrote a letter in which he said "the instinctive movement of our hearts is a movement towards God, which is nothing more then loving one's own true good...The idea is not a product of my own mind, but is found in holy scripture where we read: 'He who abides in love abides in God and God abides in him."
"If I arrive at the pearly gates and St. Peter said what have I done to deserve entry, I'd ask, 'Did you see my Lena Horne story?'" The late Ed Bradley, Emmy awarfd winning "60 minutes" reporter who died November 9th
The Civil Jury System:
"Whenever our civilization wants a library to be catalogued, or a solar system to be discovered, or any other trifle of this kind, it uses its specialists. But when it wishes anything done which is really serious, it collects tweleve ordinary men standing around. Jesus did exactly this." G.K. Chesterton
"My candle burns at both ends; it will not last the night; But, ah, my foes, and, oh, my friends - It gives a lovely light" (Edna St. Vincent Millay)
When bad things do happen to us, it’s our attitude about what happened that determines how we react. Dr. Bernie’s Segal’s mother used to say to him every time he complained that something bad had happened : “God has redirected your life. Good things will come from this”