Ray's musings and humor

Archive for September, 2008

Fact or Fiction?

“The truth is not for all men, but only for those who seek it.”

Ayn Rand

 

 

As I am sure most of you know, especially those of you who are on my Global Issues mailing list, I have become very concerned about how many of us have become intellectually lazy. Not you of course, it is those other guys, you know the ones, the people who leave their thinking to someone else and once they pick someone to listen to they just adopt the other persons thoughts and conclusions as their own and go merrily on their way. Thank goodness you devote the time to learn all you can from the facts and do not listen to only rumor and innuendo. Today as I started the daily I remembered I had written something four years ago that I believe applies today. Here is what I said at the time.

 

I know we have talked before about how things look different depending on where you stand. Lately it seems that many of us can look at the same thing and see something very different. As an example we both could be looking at a field and one of us sees wild flowers and the other sees weeds. There is nothing wrong with that, it is just the way things are. My problem is that many of us perceive what we see as an absolute representation, and anything else is false. If you are like I am you are getting all kinds of e-mail containing information that is represented to be the total and absolute truth, most of the time it is being sent to justify one position or the other. It also seems that once many of the authors decide that their perception is unquestionably the truth they spend the rest of their time defending their position with no consideration of another’s view. It is even worse when they close their mind and see no need to reexamine whatever it is to see what they might have missed.

I am beginning to believe that our perceptions are often a reflection of what we want to see or hear. I don’t know if our unwillingness to spend time learning what another perceives in order to get another point of view is due to laziness or prejudice. I just wish that we used some of the energy we put into defending a position into reexamination and revalidation of our beliefs. I suggest we would be well served if we stop once in awhile and ask ourselves if we knew more would we be willing to change our minds. I don’t know about you but in my experience the best and brightest often change or modify their beliefs as they seek to accurately see what is going on. The recognition of reality that results in changing our mind is a strength, the change is not a weakness. If nothing else we should at least respect the others view and not try to force ours on them.

Life is not a game where we win by making sure the other guy loses. It is a journey that we all take together, it is when we learn what we can from each other that we have the best chance to make progress.

~~~

No matter what you believe, it doesn’t change the facts.

Al Kersha

~~~

She said: My husband and I were at a restaurant with his boss, a rather stern older man. When my husband began a story, which I was sure he had told before, I gave him a kick under the table.

There was no response, so I gave him another poke. Still the story went on. Suddenly, he stopped, grinned and said, "Oh, but I’ve told you this one before, haven’t I?"

We all chuckled and changed the subject. Later, on the dance floor, I asked my husband why it had taken him so long to get my message.

"What do you mean?" he replied. "I cut the story off as soon as you kicked me."

"But I kicked you twice and it still took you awhile to stop!"

Suddenly, we realized what had happened. Sheepishly, we returned to our table. His boss smiled and said, "Don’t worry. After the second one, I figured it wasn’t for me, so I passed it along."

~~~

There are two ways to write error-free programs; only the third one works.

~~~

A drunken cowboy lay sprawled across three entire seats in the posh Amarillo Theater. When the usher came by and noticed this, he whispered to the cowboy, "Sorry, sir, but you’re only allowed one seat."

The cowboy groaned but didn’t budge. The usher became more impatient: "Sir, if you don’t get up from there I’m going to have to call the manager."

Once again, the cowboy just groaned. The usher marched briskly back up the aisle, and in a moment he returned with the manager. Together the two of them tried repeatedly to move the cowboy, but with no success.

Finally they summoned the police. The Texas Ranger surveyed the situation briefly then asked, "All right buddy what’s your name?"

"Fred," the cowboy moaned.

"Where ya from, Fred?" asked the Ranger.

With terrible pain in his voice, and without moving a muscle, Fred replied,

"…the balcony…"

~~~

It’s when you run away that you’re most liable to stumble.

Casey Robinson

~~~

A READER’S GUIDE

1. The Wall Street Journal is read by the people who run the country.

2. The Washington Post is read by people who think they run the country.

3. The New York Times is read by people who think they should run the country and who are very good at crossword puzzles.

4. USA Today is read by people who think they ought to run the country but don’t really understand The New York Times. They do, however, like their statistics shown in pie charts.

5. The Los Angeles Times is read by people who wouldn’t mind running the country – if they could find the time, and if they didn’t have to leave Southern California to do it.

6. The Boston Globe is read by people whose parents used to run the country and did a far superior job of it, thank you very much.

7. The New York Daily News is read by people who aren’t too sure who’s running the country and don’t really care as long as they can get a seat on the train.

8. The New York Post is read by people who don’t care who’s running the country as long as they do something really scandalous, preferably while intoxicated.

9. The Miami Herald is read by people who are running another country but need the baseball scores.

10. The San Francisco Chronicle is read by people who aren’t sure there is a country, or that anyone is running it; but if so, they oppose all that they stand for. There are occasional exceptions if the leaders are handicapped minority feminist atheist dwarfs who also happen to be illegal aliens from any other country or galaxy provided, of course, that they are not Republicans.

11. The National Enquirer is read by people trapped in line at the grocery store.

~~~

Live so that when your children think of fairness, caring and integrity, they think of you.

H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

~~~

A sales representative stops at a small manufacturing plant in the Midwest. He presents a box of cigars to the manager as a gift.

"No, thanks," says the manager. "I tried smoking a cigar once and I didn’t like it."

The sales rep shows his display case and then, hoping to clinch a sale, offers to take the manager out for martinis.

"No, thanks," the plant manager replies. "I tried alcohol once, but didn’t like it."

Then the salesman glances out the office window and sees a golf course. "I suppose you play golf," says the salesman. "I’d like to invite you to be a guest at my club."

"No, thanks," the manager says. "I played golf once, but I didn’t like it." Just then a young man enters the office. "Let me introduce my son, Bill," says the plant manager.

"Let me guess," the salesman replies. "An only child?"

~~~

Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.

John F. Kennedy

~~~

Stay well, do good work, and have fun.

 Ray Mitchell

Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies.

The editor is somewhat senile.

This daily is sent only to special people who want to start their day on an upbeat. If you have system overload because of our daily clutter, let me know and I will send you the information via mental telepathy. If you have not been getting our daily you can join at http://groups.google.com/group/Rays-Daily. Back issues are posted at http://360.yahoo.com/raykiwsp currently there are about 1000 readers from all over the world.
 

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Hang in there

“When you are grateful fear disappears and abundance appears”

Anthony Robbins

 

 

Gas is back to more than four dollars a gallon, the stock market has taken a huge hit as did my retirement fund, the weather has created problems for millions and local employment networking exchanges are overflowing including many folks who have seen their businesses permanently shut down. It truly is the worst of times for many and far from the best of times for even more. Fortunately most of the people I know are pretty resilient and will weather these difficult times. They are the folks who understand that friends, family, and the world around them still hold promise. They may not have nearly as much as they did but most have enough to sustain themselves and their families. My hope is that they can find a simpler lifestyle that may even allow them to enjoy their days a little more than they have recently.

 

Robert Holden suggests we can find hope in identifying those things in our lives for which we are grateful or at least should be. It seems to me it is times like this that makes the exercise even more valuable. Here is what he recommends.

For the next seven days, sit down each evening and write down ten things you are grateful for each day. Better still, do this with your partner or a friend. Before we practice gratitude, we are in the dark and there appears to be very little to be grateful for. Once we begin, a new light dawns, sometimes a brilliant light, a light as bright as heaven itself.

To whom are you grateful to in your life? Do these people know the full extent of your gratitude? Do you realize how grateful they will be when you tell them? Gratitude is more than an attitude; gratitude is a philosophy. The philosophy of gratitude begins as a hope, grows into a belief, and, finally, becomes an absolute knowing. It is a knowing that within any given situation – peaceful or painful, beautiful or ugly – there is always a gift waiting, wanting for you to see.

If it appears you have nothing to be grateful for, it is because you are not allowing yourself to receive. Just because you do not receive does not mean there is nothing to receive. On the contrary, there is always something to receive, and so there is always a reason to be grateful. Pray, "Dear God, teach me I am worthy to receive, teach me how to receive, teach me gratitude". Gratitude is good medicine. One single serving of gratitude is often enough to open the heart, energize the body, warm the bones, make your hair curl, put a spring in your step, start you humming, and make you smile like a baby!

~~~

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity…. It turns problems into gifts, failures into success, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.

Melodie Beattie

~~~

He said: I think I am going to make a great father someday, because I really have a way with kids. Take the other day for example.

I was in Taekwondo class standing next to a nine or ten-year-old kid. I was watching him out of the corner of my eye while we did punches in the air.

I saw him punching with his wrist bent. Instead of a straight line from his knuckles to his elbow, he was pointing his knuckles down at the end of every punch. This is a problem when you do finally hit a solid target, because you will break your wrist.

With the aim of helping him out and correcting his mistake, I grabbed him after class and led him over to one of the heavy bags.

"I noticed a mistake in your form," I told him, "and I want to show you how to correct it." "Here, take a fighting stance. Now, punch the bag as hard as you can!"

He threw a vicious over-handed punch and let out a scream as his wrist buckled and he collapsed to the floor cradling his forearm.

"Now," I continued, "let me show you what you did wrong!"

~~~

A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.

~~~

A father was shopping in a department store with his small daughter, when the little girl pulls on his coat sleeve and announces, "Daddy, I have to go!"

"In a few minutes, sweetie." says the dad.

"But, I’ve got to go NOW," the little girl insists in a loud voice.

A saleslady standing nearby can’t help but hear the conversation and says, "I’ll take her, sir. It’s no problem."

So, as the father watches, the two hurry off hand in hand. When they return the father asks his daughter, "Did you thank the nice lady for being so kind?"

"Why should I thank her?" asks the little girl in a loud voice. "She had to go, too!"

~~~

There is a guaranteed way to get what you want: want less.

~~~

At the end of a job interview, a young Engineer fresh out of MIT was asked, "And what starting salary were you looking for?"

The Engineer replied, "In the neighborhood of $150,000 a year, depending on the benefits package."

The interviewer said, "Well, what would you say to a package of 6-weeks vacation, 21 paid holidays, full medical and dental, company matching retirement fund to 50% of salary, and a company car leased every 2 years – say, a Corvette?"

The Engineer sat up straight and said, "Wow! Are you kidding?"

And the interviewer replied, "Yeah, but you started it.

~~~

One half the world doesn’t understand the other half and it doesn’t matter which half you’re in.

~~~

A baby was just born. He had all his pieces and looked quite normal, except that he was laughing like crazy. I mean laughing real hard. All the doctors and nurses were examining the little thing, in front of the worried parents, but he kept on laughing, his tiny fists all closed and tears rolling from his eyes. One at a time, a pediatrician unfolded the tiny fingers to check if the hand was all right, and… guess what he found? The birth control pill!

~~~

It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.

Hans Selye

~~~

I just got back from a sailing holiday where I remembered this true tale you might be interested in. A friend was looking for a second hand boat (a Laser) to buy, when he hit on a great idea… At his sailing club (the Queen Mary in London) there was a large trailer park and a smaller yard where the management put trailers and boats if the owner didn’t pay their membership for 12 months. The Queen Mary club is very big and at the time there were three or four Lasers in this yard that judging from their condition hadn’t been sailed for at least a year.

My friend took down the numbers of these boats and asked the club secretary for the owners address so that he could make them an offer. The first chap he rang said he wasn’t interested in selling as he was going to sail it himself "one of these days".

He then rang the second owner who lived about 100 miles away. A woman answered the phone and confirmed that they did still own the Laser. My friend explained that he had seen it in the defaulters yard and that as it clearly hadn’t been sailed for a year – did she think her husband would be interested in selling?

"Oh no" she said "there must be some mistake – come rain or shine my husband spends one weekend a month in London sailing…"

I bet he had some explaining to do when he got home!

~~~

All of us get knocked down, but it’s resiliency that really matters. All of us do well when things are going well, but the thing that distinguishes athletes is the ability to do well in times of great stress, urgency and pressure.

Roger Staubach

~~~

Stay well, do good work, and have fun.

 Ray Mitchell

Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies.

The editor is somewhat senile.

This daily is sent only to special people who want to start their day on an upbeat. If you have system overload because of our daily clutter, let me know and I will send you the information via mental telepathy. If you have not been getting our daily you can join at http://groups.google.com/group/Rays-Daily. Back issues are posted at http://360.yahoo.com/raykiwsp currently there are about 1000 readers from all over the world.
 

Thanks Claudia

These, then, are my last words to you: Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create that fact.

William James:

 

 

My friend Claudia in Australia is kind enough to often send me things that are of value to her and that she thinks would be valuable to me. This weekend she sent me a piece that I thought was timely as political vitriol, natural disasters, significant jumps in living costs, people losing their jobs and homes is taking its toll and I needed some positive thinking.

I think Claudia’s sending what the Dahlia Lama suggests is the kind of back to basic’s quality of life behaviors that can help carry those who follow his suggestions through difficult times. Thanks Claudia.

Good Karma

Words from the Dalai Lama

INSTRUCTIONS FOR LIFE

1. Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.

2. When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.

3. Follow the three R’s

Respect for self.

Respect for other’s and

Responsibility for all your actions.

4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.

5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.

6. Don’t let a little dispute injure a great relationship.

7. When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.

8. Spend some time alone everyday.

9. Open arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.

10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.

11. Live a good honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll be able to enjoy it a second time.

12. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.

13. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don’t bring up the past.

14. Share your knowledge. It’s a way to achieve immortality.

15. Be gentle with the Earth.

16. Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.

17. Remember the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.

18. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.

~~~

I have found life an enjoyable, enchanting, active, and sometime terrifying experience, and I’ve enjoyed it completely. A lament in one ear, maybe, but always a song in the other.

Sean O’Casey

~~~

He said: Serving as a Marine recruiter in North Carolina, I found a young man who met all the requirements and was ready to enlist. I explained the importance of being truthful on the application, and he began filling out his paper work. But when he got to the question "Do you own any foreign property or have any foreign financial interests?" he looked up at me with a worried expression.

"Well," he confessed, "I do own a Toyota. Does that matter?"

~~~

Bernie says to his wife Sarah, "Let’s go out tonight, darling and have some fun."

Sarah replies, "OK, but if you get home before I do, please leave the light in the hall on."

~~~

"A Little Office Prayer"

 

Grant me the serenity

To accept the things I cannot change,

The courage to change things I cannot accept,

And the wisdom

To hide the bodies of those people

I had to kill today because they

Ticked me off.

 

And also,

Help me to be careful

Of the toes I step on today as they

May be connected to the butt

That I might have to kiss tomorrow.

~~~

"Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself."

~~~

Boudreaux found Thibodeaux walking down the levee, looking really down in the dumps. Naturally, he asked Thibodeaux what the problem was.

Thibodeaux told Boudreaux, "Well, me and Clothile done had our first fight last night." Boudreaux says, "Aw, dat’s too bad. What y’all had a fight about?" Thibodeaux tells him, "Mais, I told her a joke about de Pope." Boudreaux says, "Mais, Thib, why did you do that? You knows dat Clothile is Catholic." Thibodeaux replies, "Yah, I knew dat, but I didn’t know de Pope was too."

~~~

Vote for the man who promises the least. He will be the least disappointing.

Bernard Baruch

~~~

A friend was thinking about buying a new house in the country and asked me to come out and look at it. We found the town, but we couldn’t locate the road. We drove over to city hall, where a community get-together was going on, and asked around, but no one had heard of the road. Even the policemen and fire personnel were stumped. We went to city hall and consulted a map, with no luck, until finally one young man came to our aid. He pointed to the map, showing us exactly how to get there.  I thanked the young man and asked if he was with the police or fire department.

"Neither," he replied.  "I deliver pizzas."

~~~

Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving.

W.T. Purkiser

~~~

My dad bought my mom a piano for her birthday.

A few weeks later, I asked how she was doing with it.

"Oh….that," said my dad, "I persuaded her to switch to a clarinet."

"Gee, how come?" I asked.

"Well…" he answered, "because with a clarinet, she can’t sing…."

~~~

Why explain? Your friends don’t need it and your enemies won’t believe it.

~~~

When a physician remarked on a new patient’s extraordinarily ruddy complexion, he said, "High blood pressure, Doc. It comes from my family."

"Your mother’s side or your father’s?" I asked.

"Neither," he replied. "It’s from my wife’s family."

"Oh, come now," I said. "How could your wife’s family give you high blood pressure?"

He sighed. "You oughta meet ’em sometime, Doc!"

~~~

Though no one can go back and make a brand new start,

anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.

Carl Bard

~~~

Stay well, do good work, and have fun.

 Ray Mitchell

Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies.

The editor is somewhat senile.

This daily is sent only to special people who want to start their day on an upbeat. If you have system overload because of our daily clutter, let me know and I will send you the information via mental telepathy. If you have not been getting our daily you can join at http://groups.google.com/group/Rays-Daily. Back issues are posted at http://360.yahoo.com/raykiwsp currently there are about 1000 readers from all over the world.
 

Got a few minutes?

The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.

Mark Twain

 

 

I had the good fortune yesterday to lunch with two special friends after which we visited a community event that included displays of various organizations that do good work in our city. As we walked and stopped and talked it again became obvious to me that there is something extraordinary about both my friends and the people we met, they all care for others. Of course my pals are always warm, outgoing and caring, I think it is their nature to understand that life can be happy. But now I also think they, like the people we met benefit by the spirit of giving and helping others.

We had eaten our lunch in warm sunshine outside a city market and enjoyed one of my favorite things, watching the world go by. The day was beautiful, the food good, the companionship outstanding but it got even better when we had walked the few blocks to visit the circle in the center of our city where so many were waiting to greet us and others. The smiles and enthusiasm of the people we met sharing with us the opportunities they were offering to people like you and me to do something of value made the day even brighter.

After being there I again understood just how doing something for others can add to our lives and we can even do it without a lot of time and effort. In fact here are some tips offered by author, philosopher, and former Sandra Day O’Conner’s Supreme Court clerk, Gretchen Rubin on doing something nice in only a few minutes

Six tips for good deeds that take less than five minutes.

“Do good, feel good” is one of the great truths of happiness — but you may be thinking, “Sure, good deeds would make me happy, but I barely have time to get through the essentials of my day. I don’t have time to do any good deeds!” Wrong. Here are some ways that you can help other people—and make yourself feel great, at the same time—in under five minutes.

1. Be friendly. I’ve decided that there are five degrees of social interactions with strangers: hostile, rude, neutral, polite, and friendly. I find it very difficult to be downright friendly to strangers, but I always find myself energized and cheered by a friendly interaction. It only takes an extra minute to exchange a few pleasant words, but it makes a real difference.

2. Say “yes.” If you can, and if you should, say “yes.”

3. Say “no.” My sister, who is a TV-writer in Hollywood, once told me, “’Yes’ comes right away; ‘no’ never comes.” Meaning, for example, that when she’s pitched an idea, if she doesn’t hear “yes” right away, it means they don’t like the idea. I’ve found this precept to be widely true. In many circumstances, we find it hard to say "no" — partly because it will hurt someone’s feelings, partly because it closes a possibility that could otherwise remain open. But waiting to hear "no" saps people’s energy by keeping them hoping for an answer they aren’t going to get. If someone is waiting for your “No,” put them out of their misery.

4. Sign up on the national organ-donor registry. This takes no time at all, and the consequences could be HUGE! Tell your family that you signed up, too. Remember, the one minute that someone takes, right now, to sign up on the registry might save YOUR life six months from now. And vice versa.

5. Lead them not into temptation. It can feel generous, friendly, and fun-loving to urge people to take another piece of cake, to drink another glass of wine, or to make an extra purchase, or to urge them to give themselves a break by skipping the gym, skipping class, or quitting smoking next week instead of today. But when you see people truly trying to resist temptation, encourage them to stick to their resolutions.

6. Do someone else’s chore. Don’t you sometimes wish that someone would do one of your little jobs? If nothing else, to show an awareness of the fact that you faithfully do it, day after day? Emptying the diaper pail or starting the office coffee-pot, even though it’s not “your” job, helps people feel appreciated and cared for. One of my Twelve Commandments is to “Spend out,” which reminds me not to keep score, not to focus so much on everything coming out even – like chores.

Just think how much better our days would be if we all followed Gretchen’s advice be caring for ourselves by caring a little bit more for others.

~~~

The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance; the wise grows it under his feet.

James Openheim

~~~

JOB SEEKERS FROM THE PAST

Julius Caesar: My last job involved a lot of office politics and back stabbing. I’d like to get away from all that.

Jesse James: I can list among my experiences and skills: leadership, extensive travel, logistical organization, intimate understanding of firearms, and a knowledge of security measures at numerous banks.

Pandora: I can bring a lot to your company. I like discovering new things.

Lady Godiva: What do you mean this isn’t business casual?

~~~

"A cynic is not merely one who reads bitter lessons from the past, he is one who is prematurely disappointed in the future."

Sidney J. Harris

~~~

My sister had been ill, so I called to see how she was doing. My ten-year-old niece answered the phone.

"Hello," she whispered. "Hi, Honey. How’s your mother doing?" I asked.

"She’s sleeping," she answered, again in a whisper.

"Did she go to the doctor?" I asked.

"Yes. She got some medicine," my niece said softly.

"Well, don’t wake her. Just tell her I called. What are you doing, by the way?"

Again in a soft whisper, she answered, "Practicing my trumpet."

~~~

One is not rich by what one owns, but more by what one is able to do without with dignity.

Immanuel Kant

~~~

To make it possible for everyone to attend church on Sunday, we are proposing to have a special "No Excuse Sunday."

1. Cots will be placed in the foyer for those who say, "But, Sunday is my *only* day to sleep in."

2. They will have steel helmets for those who say, "The roof will cave in if I ever came to church."

3. Blankets will be furnished for those who say it is too cold and fans will be furnished for those who say it is too hot.

4.There will be hearing aids for those who say, "The pastor speaks too softly," and cotton for those who say, "He preaches too loudly."

5. Scorecards will be available for those who wish to list the hypocrites present.

6. Some relatives will be in attendance for those who like to go visiting on Sunday.

7. There will be TV dinners for those who can’t go to church and cook dinner too.

8. Golf clubs will be available for practice swings for those who like to golf on Sunday.

~~~

“What do we live for; if it is not to make life less difficult for each other?”

Mary Ann Evans

~~~

A doctor told Mrs. Stone to give her husband one pill a day and one drink of whiskey to improve his stamina. A month later when Mrs. Stone came in for another visit, the doctor asked, "How are we doing with the pill and the whiskey?"

Mrs. Stone answered, "Well, he’s a little behind with the pills, but he’s about six months ahead with the whiskey."

~~~

I long to accomplish a great and noble tasks, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble. The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker.

Helen Keller

~~~

Stay well, do good work, and have fun.

 Ray Mitchell

Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies.

The editor is somewhat senile.

This daily is sent only to special people who want to start their day on an upbeat. If you have system overload because of our daily clutter, let me know and I will send you the information via mental telepathy. If you have not been getting our daily you can join at http://groups.google.com/group/Rays-Daily. Back issues are posted at http://360.yahoo.com/raykiwsp currently there are about 1000 readers from all over the world.
 

it’s not too late

I will be leaving at 6:30 AM this morning for meetings, a United Way not for profit community event and a multi-hour stint in a dental chair. It is just as well as I find it difficult to find much humor on September 11th and haven’t for seven years. It has become a time for me to reflect not only on the loss of life that took place with the terrorist downing of New York’s Twin Towers but also all of those who needlessly perish each year due to war, terror and natural disaster. In that spirit I am resending last years daily.

 

WASHINGTON (AFP)  September 11, 2007

Six years after the September 11 attacks on the United States, most Americans view the plane hijackings that killed around 3,000 people as the most significant historical event of their lives, according to a poll released Monday.

 

 

September 11th is really hard for me, it is not just the pain I feel for the loss of so many lives in the Twin Towers on that fateful day six years ago, it is also the lives that have been lost since, both military and civilian. As I was thinking about writing something appropriate today I decided to look back at what I wrote years ago. I know the following will anger some of you and I am sure it did many when I first put it in the daily. I guess if I had to describe myself both then and now it would be that I am a Lugar Republican. I have always found Senator Dick Lugar to be the voice of reason. What follows is my heartfelt feelings of four years ago and I feel much the same way today, I just wish I had been wrong.

 

You do not have to respond. Each of us deals with 9/11 in our own way, I just wish we would have stuck to chasing the terrorists instead of getting bogged down in Iraq. Anyway here is what I wrote in the 9/11, 2003 Daily.

 

We will never be the same as a result of the tragic events of two years ago. I am saddened that it now appears that the legacy of those who lost their lives is one of continued tragic events. We have seen the erosion of our traditional liberties, a concern recognized by both conservatives and liberals alike. We see the continued effect of an airline industry struggling for survival due in part to so many people being afraid to fly. We have entered into a war that now appears can only be won by buying victory with our citizen’s tax dollars. It now appears that Iraq will be the breeding ground for a much larger threat to our future, a whole new army of terrorists. I am afraid we have been the victims of leadership that overstated our problems and grossly underestimated the price of their policies, and there is no way to turn back. I wish the events of 9-11 had not been used to rationalize what has been done in haste.

 

I wish the legacy of those who died was our turning to each other during these difficult times as we redirect our energy to the building of a better world for future generations. Just imagine what could have been done for education, healthcare, infrastructure repair, and more if we did not have to spend even more than we have already to stabilize Iraq. We might have seen a world where we built allies through a demonstration of our values, and not one where we have gone so far backwards that we now have to buy our friends.

 

It is not too late. Each of us can contribute to a living memorial to the 9/11 victims by helping to build the society in which they would have liked to have lived. Each of us, conservative, liberal, Christian, non-Christian, all of us, can in our small way build our personal memorial to the great loss we have experienced. If we do the victims of 9/11 will not have died in vain.

~~~

Think not forever of yourselves, O Chiefs, nor of your own generation. Think of continuing generations of our families, think of our grandchildren and of those yet unborn, whose faces are coming from beneath the ground.

T. S. Eliot

~~~

Stay well, do good work, and have fun.

 Ray Mitchell

Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies.

The editor is somewhat senile.

This daily is sent only to special people who want to start their day on an upbeat. If you have system overload because of our daily clutter, let me know and I will send you the information via mental telepathy. If you have not been getting our daily you can join at http://groups.google.com/group/Rays-Daily. Back issues are posted at http://360.yahoo.com/raykiwsp currently there are about 1000 readers from all over the world.
 

There are folks waiting to meet you

Pleasure is the flower that passes; remembrance, the lasting perfume.

Jean de Boufflers

 

 

I have noticed lately when I open my memory album in one of my dreams that some of the people’s pictures have started to fade and others have turned to no more than grey silhouettes. As I believe I mentioned in the past I have been fortunate to have had a life filled with wonderful heroes, friends and acquaintances. They all are preserved in memory each standing still in time at the age we last met. Their images bring up remembrances of shared experiences, good times, and overcame adversity.

Lately I have noticed that those from the distant past don’t stand out as vividly as they once did. Many are no longer with us, more passing each year while others have moved on and we have lost touch. Yet in spite of this my memory album continues to be filled with bright new additions. I now realize that one of the reasons that my life gets better each year is that I am always meeting new people, many who have become friends while others are acquaintances but all enrich my life. And I really appreciate how many of you have added luster through the friendships you have offered.

As I have mentioned in the past much of my time is spent with people who have decided to move to a new phase in their lives that will give them the opportunity to have full and happy time during the years they have left. They often ask me why I am willing to spend so much time with them when there is nothing in it for me. I do the best I can to let them know there is plenty in it for me; I have a new bright memory to add to my scrapbook, one more person has a better shot at life and often they will include helping others through volunteerism in their new life plan.

It seems to me we all have a choice as we age, we can live in the past revisiting the memories we have saved or we can take advantage of every opportunity to add to them. In my experience lonesomeness is more a personal choice than forced isolation.

Here is something Ralph Marston wrote that can make all our lives even better.

Today will soon be over. Yet the value you create while it is still here will be with you for a long time to come.

Today, there are hurts that you can heal. Today, there are disagreements that you can transform into understanding.

Today, there are challenges and problems that can, through your efforts, become positive achievements. Today, there are weaknesses that can, through your attention and persistence, become strengths.

Today, there are visions that can be forged into reality. Today, there are small moments that can become treasured memories.

Today, there are joys that can be brought to life. Today, there is love that can grow ever stronger.

Today is a day that is filled with possibilities. See how many of the best of them you can bring to life.

~~~

To live in hearts we leave behind

Is not to die.

Thomas Campbell

~~~

A grandma and grandpa were busy telling their little granddaughter what their own childhood was like: "I used to ice skate outside on a pond during the winter," Grandpa said.

"I had a swing made from a tire," Grandma added. "It hung from a tree in our front yard."

"I rode our pony bareback," Grandpa said.

"My brothers and sisters and I used to pick wild raspberries in in the woods," Grandma said.  "We would eat them right off the bush, staining our mouth and fingers in the process."

The little granddaughter was wide-eyed, taking all this in.  At last she said, "Wow…..I sure wish I’d gotten to know you two sooner!"

~~~

"A healthy attitude is contagious but don’t wait to catch it from others. Be a carrier."

~~~

Memory of an accident in a Uniontown, Pennsylvania cemetery:

            Here lies the body

            of Jonathan Blake

            Stepped on the gas

            Instead of the brake.

~~~

You Know Your In Trouble When

A black cat crosses your path and drops dead.

The bride’s family throws rocks instead of rice.

The candles on your cake set off your smoke alarm.

You take an assertiveness training course and you’re afraid to tell your wife.

You’re so lonely that you invite the peeping Tom in… and he says no.

Your children’s school calls to surrender.

Your mother approves of the person you’re dating.

Your plants do better when you don’t talk to them.

~~~

Your secrets are safe with me and all my friends.

~~~

Little Johnny and Little Mary were talking one day. Little Mary asked "what is the highest number you have ever counted up?" "I counted up to 1,279 once" Johnny answered. "WoW!

Really? Why did you stop at 1,279?"

Mary asked. "Because church was over."

~~~

Skier: Someone who pays an arm and a leg to break them.

~~~

A devoutly Christian couple felt it important to own an equally Christian pet. So, after careful inquiry, they went shopping at a kennel specializing in Christian dogs.  They found a dog they liked quite a lot.  When they asked the dog to fetch the Bible, he did it in a flash.  When they instructed him to look up Psalm 23, he complied eagerly, using his paws with dexterity. They were impressed; they immediately purchased the animal, and went home (piously  of course).

That night they had friends over. They were so proud of their new Christian dog and his religious skills, they called the dog and began showing him off.  The friends were impressed, and asked whether the dog was able to do any of the usual dog tricks, as well. This stopped the couple cold, as they hadn’t thought about "normal" tricks.

"Well," they said, "let’s find out."   Once more they called the dog, and they clearly pronounced the command, "Heel!"  Quick as a wink, the dog jumped up, put his paw on the guest’s forehead, closed his eyes, and began to pray.

~~~

Our policy is to always blame the computer.

~~~

An expectant mother was being rushed to the hospital, but didn’t quite make it.  She gave birth to her baby on the hospital lawn.

Later, the father received a bill, listing "Delivery Room Fee: $500."

He wrote the hospital and reminded them the baby was born on the front lawn. A week passed, and a corrected bill arrived: "Greens Fee:  $200."

~~~

Clock: A small mechanical device to wake up people without children.

~~~

On the first day of college, the Dean addressed the students, pointing out some of the rules:

"The female dormitory will be out-of-bounds for all male students, and the male dormitory to the female students.

Anybody caught breaking this rule will be fined $20 the first time."

He continued,  "Anybody caught breaking this rule a second time will be fined $60.  Being caught a third time will cost you a fine of $180.  Are there any questions?"

At this point, a male student in the crowd inquired, "How   much for a season pass?"

~~~

"Be forever a student. He and he alone is an old man who feels that he has learnt enough and has need for no more knowledge."

Sivananda

~~~

Stay well, do good work, and have fun.

 Ray Mitchell

Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies.

The editor is somewhat senile.

This daily is sent only to special people who want to start their day on an upbeat. If you have system overload because of our daily clutter, let me know and I will send you the information via mental telepathy. If you have not been getting our daily you can join at http://groups.google.com/group/Rays-Daily. Back issues are posted at http://360.yahoo.com/raykiwsp currently there are about 1000 readers from all over the world.
 

Be Yourself

It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.

e.e. cummings

 

 

Hi all, it is another one of those days. First a visit with one of my ‘ists, this time my urologist, then off to register for some upcoming classes and soon of for a “State of the City” briefing from our Mayor. So rather than write something of little value I am sending something of probably little value that I rote some time ago. See you tomorrow after I spend three hours in a dental chair.

Ray

~~~

Written on September 9, 2004

Almost a century ago William James said, “I have often thought that the best way to define a man’s character would be to seek out the particular mental or moral attitude in which, when it came upon him, he felt himself most deeply and intensely active and alive. At such moments there is a voice inside which speaks and says: “This is the real me!””

I wonder how many of us are free enough to have such moments. It sometimes seems that too many of us live our lives as actors who must not deviate from an externally imposed script. Unfortunately I run into less and less free spirits, people who have enough self confidence to say “convention be damned, I am going to do what I believe is right.” Are we ready to recognize “the particular mental or moral attitude in which, when it came upon him?” or would we be afraid to use it as the trigger to become “most deeply and intensely alive?” I really think it is worthwhile to once in awhile to say to yourself “this is what I am and people are just going to have to take it or leave it, it is up to them.” I honestly believe that our trying to conform to what others think we should be, is the source of much unhappiness; not only that, if you are like I am you always like the real people and dislike the phonies.  So how about it, are you ready to run through the daisies or are you just going to sit there and let another day go by?

~~~

The idea that men are created free and equal is both true and misleading: men are created different; they lose their social freedom and their individual autonomy in seeking to become like each other.

David Riesman

~~~

A note from Bob:

Dear Friends,

It is important for men to remember that as women grow older it becomes harder for them to maintain the same quality of housekeeping as they did when they were younger.  When men notice this, they should try not to yell. Let me relate how I handle the situation.

When I got laid off from my consulting job and took "early retirement" in January, it became necessary for Nancy to get a full-time job, both for extra income and for health benefits that we need. She was a trained medical transcriptionist when we met twenty-eight ears ago and was fortunate to land a job at a local transcription house. It was shortly after she started working at this job that I noticed that she was beginning to show her age.

I usually get home from fishing or hunting about the same time she gets home from work. Although she knows how hungry I am, she almost always says that she has to rest for half an hour or so before she starts supper. I try not to yell at her when this happens. Instead, I tell her to take her time. I understand that she is not as young as she used to be. I just tell her to wake me when she finally does get supper on the table.

She used to wash and dry the dishes as soon as we finished eating. It is now not unusual for them to sit on the table for several hours after supper. I do what I can by reminding her several times each evening that they aren’t cleaning themselves. I know she appreciates this, as it does seem to help her get them done before she goes to bed.

Our washer and dryer are in the basement. When she was younger, Nancy used to be able to go up and down the stairs all day and not get tired. Now that she is older she seems to get tired so much more quickly. Sometimes she says she just can’t make another trip down those steps. I don’t make a big issue of this. As long as she finishes up the laundry the next evening I am willing to overlook it.

Not only that, but unless I need something ironed to wear to the Monday lodge meeting or to Wednesday’s or Saturday’s poker club or to Tuesday’s or Thursday’s bowling or something like that, I will tell her to wait until the next evening to do the ironing. This gives her a little more time to do some of those odds and ends things like shampooing the dog, vacuuming or dusting. Also, if I have had a really good day fishing, this allows her to gut and scale the fish at a more leisurely pace.

Nancy is starting to complain a little occasionally. Not often, mind you, but just enough for me to notice. For example, she will say that it is difficult for her to find time to pay the monthly bills during her lunch hour. In spite of her complaining, I continue to try to offer encouragement. I tell her to stretch it out over two or even three days. That way she won’t have to rush so much. I also remind her that missing lunch completely now and then wouldn’t hurt her any, if you know what I mean.

When doing simple jobs she seems to think she needs more rest periods than she used to have to take. A couple of weeks ago she said she had to take a break when she was only half finished mowing the yard. I over look comments like these because I realize it’s just age talking. In fact, I try not to embarrass her when she needs these little extra rest breaks. I tell her to fix herself a nice, big, cold glass of freshly squeezed lemonade and just sit for a while. I tell her that as long as she is making one for herself, she may as well make one for me and take her break by the hammock so she can talk with me until I fall asleep.

I could go on and on, but I think you know where I’m coming from. I know that I probably look like a saint in the way I support Nancy on a daily basis. I’m not saying that the ability to show this much consideration is easy.

Many men will find it difficult. Some will find it impossible. No one knows better than I do how frustrating women can become as they get older. My purpose in writing this is simply to suggest that you make the effort. I realize that achieving the exemplary level of showing consideration I have attained is out of reach for the average man.

However, guys, even if you just yell at your wife a little less often because of this article, I will consider that writing it was worthwhile.

Bob

P.S.   Bob’s funeral was on Saturday, June 15th. Nancy was acquitted Monday, June 17th.

~~~

There aren’t any rules around here! We’re trying to accomplish something!

Thomas Edison

~~~

A couple of hunters are out in the woods in the deep south when one of them falls to the ground. He doesn’t seem to be breathing, and his eyes are rolled back in his head.

The other guy whips out his cell phone and calls 911. He gasps to the operator, "My friend is dead! What can I do?"

The operator, in a calm and soothing voice, says, "Alright, take it easy. I can help. First, let’s make sure he’s dead."

There is silence, and then a gun shot is heard.

The hunter comes back on the line. "OK. Now what??"

~~~

You can only hold your stomach in for so many years.

~~~

Like a lot of husbands throughout history, Webster would sit down and try to talk to his wife.  But as soon as he would start to say something, his wife would say, ". . .And what’s that supposed to mean?"

Thus, Webster’s Dictionary was born.

~~~

A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.

William Shedd

~~~

Stay well, do good work, and have fun.

 Ray Mitchell

Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies.

The editor is somewhat senile.

This daily is sent only to special people who want to start their day on an upbeat. If you have system overload because of our daily clutter, let me know and I will send you the information via mental telepathy. If you have not been getting our daily you can join at http://groups.google.com/group/Rays-Daily. Back issues are posted at http://360.yahoo.com/raykiwsp currently there are about 1000 readers from all over the world.
 

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