“Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.”
I had the good fortune today to have lunch with one of those heroes that you never hear about. My friend has devoted most of his life to others through the work he has chosen to do. He is a recognized expert on conflict resolution and peacemaking. What people don’t know is that he is also much more than that.
While so many of us agonize about the situation in Iraq and the middle East hoping that someone will find answers that lead to peace and an end to the suffering of the innocent, my friend and a handful of others have decided that if everyone waits nothing will happen. He knows that he does not have the power to change the world for everyone. The difference between him and others is that he knows he can make the world better for someone. He and about a dozen of his friends are going to Syria and Jordan to do what they can for some of the Iraqi refugees who are stuck without jobs and adequate food after being driven out of their homes by the death and destruction that exists in their home country.
My friend’s team will build a Habitat for Humanity home and will bring as much medicine and supplies as they can but most of all they will show the people that someone really cares. Just think what could be done if there were thousands like him leaving the U.S. everyday to show what people helping people can do. Shame on us if we let my friend’s demonstration of faith and humanity end with his trip.
At lunch we talked about the differences between people and our propensity to feel that the people we meet are our friends or not. The truth is that we are most often acquaintances who have yet to understand each other. Our only hope in our shrinking world is that we get to get know those we meet and that we find our common ground. We really don’t have to limit our contact to the people of the world to meetings between leaders or even worse to battlefield encounters, we can meet each other over coffee, the work we do together and just spending time together.
A child who is hungry whether it is my child or someone else’s is not hungry by choice, they are not combatants, political opponents, religious fanatics, they are but babies and young people that need some one to care and provide a little nurturing. My friend cares and through his efforts others will know he cares. If we become friends it will be awfully hard for us to become enemies.
So thanks Charlie! I wish I could be with you. But please know this, my heart and my mind will be with you and I am glad that we are friends. God speed, bring back news of your trip and how others may also get involved for you have the ability to inspire.
“If each man or woman could understand that every other human life is as full of sorrows, or joys, or base temptations, of heartaches and of remorse as his own . . . how much kinder, how much gentler he would be.”
William Allen White
There was this man who, many years ago, worked for a large business. That was his lifetime employment, but he wasn’t happy there. He wanted to go into business for himself. He saved his money and finally had enough so that he could quit and start his own business.
About two years later, I was on vacation and was going through the town where his business was located, so I stopped by for a visit.
"Hey, John! I heard that the first year is the hardest for a new business."
"Yeah, the first year was pretty rough, but we are doing pretty good now. In fact, I’m getting to where I only have to work half a day."
"Wow, that’s pretty nice. Maybe I should think about going into business for myself."
"Yeah, and the nicest part of it is that it doesn’t matter which twelve hours you work!"
There are two schools of thought on the leather jacket…one of them from the cow.
When it comes to tunes, my local music shop prefers the sound of silence.
A sign prominently displayed on a grand piano reads, "The management is not responsible for the actions of its employees if your child plays "Heart and Soul" or "Chopsticks" on this instrument.
Half the secret of getting along with people is consideration of their views; the other half is tolerance in one’s own views.
My English professor was stopped for speeding. When asked why she was driving so fast, she quoted Robert Frost: "I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep."
"But Miss," replied the officer, obviously familiar with the poet. "Frost chose the road less traveled and unfortunately for you, this wasn’t it!"
Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine.
A visitor to a college campus paused to admire the new Hemingway Hall.
"It’s a pleasure to see a building named for Ernest Hemingway."
"Actually," said the guide, "it’s named for Joshua Hemingway. No relation."
"Oh? Was Joshua Hemingway a writer also?"
"Yes, indeed. He wrote a check."
A synonym is a word you use in place of one you can’t spell
An investment banker was on the pier of a small coastal village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. His boat was full of beautiful yellow tuna. The banker complimented the fisherman on his catch, asking how long it took to catch. The fisherman replied "only a short time." The banker asked why not stay out and catch more. The fisherman replied, "I’ve enough fish to feed my family."
The banker then asked what did the fisherman do with the rest of his time, and he replied, "I will sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take a siesta with my wife, stroll into the village each evening, sip wine with my friends, play my guitar, … I have a full and busy life."
The banker was not impressed. "I have a Harvard MBA and could help you.
You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds buy a bigger boat and from those increased proceeds you could buy several boats and soon have a fleet. Instead of selling your fish to a middleman, you could control production, processing and distribution by building your own cannery. You could leave this small coastal village and move to the city then to New York where you could run your expanding enterprise."
The fisherman asked, "How long will this take?"
The banker said, "Ten to 20 years. Then you would announce an IPO and sell your stock to the public, making millions and millions."
"But what then?"
"Ah, now you get to the best part", said the banker smiling. "You could retire to a small coastal village where you could sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take a siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings, sip wine and play your guitar with your friends".
The work an unknown good man has done is like a vein of water flowing hidden underground, secretly making the ground green.
A woman, her husband and their three rambunctious young sons were in their car waiting at a traffic light. The woman glanced over at the car next to them and noticed a blissfully happy mother with her baby daughter.
Looking at her husband, she said, "As soon as I lose my weight from the last baby, I want to try for a daughter."
The husband reached up to the dash, grabbed an open box of snacks and said, "Here. Have another cookie."
“No kind action ever stops with itself. One kind action leads to another. Good example is followed. A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees.”
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.