Oh, my dear friends,–you who are letting miserable misunderstandings run on from year to year, meaning to clear them up some day,–if you only could know and see and feel that the time is short, how it would break the spell! How you would go instantly and do the thing which you might never have another chance to do!
I was listening to the radio yesterday morning early when I heard an Israeli and a Palestinian talk about their lives in the Middle East. Each had lost an innocent child at the hands of the other side during the ongoing conflict over Palestine. They were traveling together in my country advocating peace. Neither had excused the other side for their role in the loss of their loved one and yet they had found in their common loss that they could be friends and that they needed to help search for a better answer.
At one point they said they did not need any more pro-Israelis or pro-Palestinians, they said what they needed were more pro-reconcilers. What they had to say hit home, we will never solve anything by loading more power on each side as we add to the horror, never finding solutions.
It was then that I realized that there are occasions when two answers can be right even though they are 180 degrees apart. In my case I live well, I am not rich but have more than enough, I have good neighbors, a safe environment, and all the amenities of a good life, even my family is nearby. For me Indianapolis is truly a great place to live. Someone else lives in a rundown crime ridden neighborhood, having to work two minimum wage jobs just to keep food on the table, their children have lost a friend due to a drive by shooting, to them Indianapolis is a truly awful place to live. So who’s right about Indianapolis? We both are.
We each see the world from where we stand and it becomes too easy to believe that what we see is all there is. And sadly it is too easy to ignore what others are forced to live with. In the case of the Middle East it appears that the only hope rests with the mediators, those who know things cannot continue to escalate until a major catastrophe results. And in my case maybe we need mitigators to help people bootstrap out of their situation before their plight becomes an epidemic that effects us all.
Like the people I heard on the radio we can take responsibility to try to make our world a better place or we can sit back blaming everyone else. We may not have created the problems, we may not even understand the problems, but that does not mean we cannot do something about the problems. And like the quote said in the daily the other day, doing nothing is doing something, when we all do nothing we are helping to make sure things don’t get better.
"You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist."
An Australian travel writer, touring Canada, was checking-out of the Hilton. As he paid his bill, he asked the manager, "By the way, what’s with the Indian chief sitting in the lobby? He’s been there ever since I arrived."
"Oh! That’s ‘Big Chief Forget-me Not’," said the manager. "The hotel is built on an Indian reservation and part of the agreement is to allow the chief free use of the premises for the rest of his life. He’s known as ‘Big Chief Forget-me Not’ because of his phenomenal memory. He is 92 and can remember even the slightest detail of his life."
The travel writer took this in and as he was waiting for his cab decided to put the chief’s memory to the test. "G’day mate!" said the Aussie, receiving only a slight nod in return. "What did you have for breakfast on your 21st birthday?"
"Eggs," was the chief’s instant reply, without even looking up and indeed the Aussie was impressed. He went off on his travel writing itinerary, right across to the east coast and back, telling others of ‘Big Chief Forget-me Not’s’ great memory.
On his return to the Hilton six months later, he was surprised to see ‘Big Chief Forget-me Not’ still sitting in the lobby, fully occupied with whittling away on a stick.
Remembering that one local had informed him that ‘How’ was a more appropriate greeting for an Indian chief rather than ‘G’day’, the Aussie greets him with, "How?"
"Scrambled," replied the Chief.
If you want the last word in an argument, say, "You’re right."
A little old Jewish lady is flying out of New York City on her way to Miami Beach. She looks at the businessman sitting next to her and asks him, "Excuse me sir, but are you Jewish?"
The man responds politely, "No, ma’am, I’m not Jewish."
After a little while she again queries him, "You’re really Jewish, aren’t you?"
Again he responds, "No ma’am, I am not Jewish."
Barely 10 minutes later, the little old lady asks him once more, "Are you sure you’re not Jewish?"
To which in exasperation, and in a final effort to shut her up, he replies, "Okay. Yes, ma’am, I am Jewish."
"Funny," she says, looking puzzled, "you don’t look Jewish!"
Power is the ability to do good things for others.
Heather meets up with her [blonde] sister Karen as she is picking her car up from the mechanic. Heather asks,
"Everything ok with your car now, Karen?"
"Yeah, thank goodness! I was worried that my mechanic might try to rip me off, so I was relieved when he told me all I needed was blinker fluid."
"The secret of longevity is to keep breathing."
The boss was very exasperated with his new secretary. She ignored the telephone when it rang.
"You must answer the telephone," he told her irritably.
"All right," she replied, "but it seems so silly. It’s always for you."
Children need models rather than critics.
A Norwegian took a trip to Fargo, North Dakota. While in a bar, an Indian on the next stool spoke to the Norwegian in a friendly manner. "Look," he said, "let’s play a little game. I’ll ask you a riddle. If you can answer it, I’ll buy YOU a drink. If you can’t, then you buy ME one. Okay?"
"Ja, dat sounds purty good," said the Norwegian.
The Indian said, "My father and mother had one child. It wasn’t my brother. It wasn’t my sister. Who was it?"
The Norwegian scratched his head and finally said, "I give up. Who vas it?"
"It was ME," chortled the Indian. So the Norwegian paid for the drinks.
Back in Sioux Falls the Norwegian went into a bar and spotted one of his cronies, "Sven," he said, "I got a game. If you can answer a qvestion, I buy you a drink. If you can’t, YOU have to buy ME vun. Fair enough?"
"Fair enough," said Sven. Okay, my fadder and mudder had vun child. It vasn’t my brudder. It vasn’t my sister. Who vas it?"
"Search me," said Sven. "I give up. Who vas it?"
"It vas some Indian up in Fargo, ND."
“If you wish to experience peace, provide peace for another.”
The 14th Dalai Lama
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies.
The editor is somewhat senile.