Ray's musings and humor

“Students now arrive at the university ignorant and cynical about our political heritage, lacking the wherewithal to be either inspired by it or seriously critical of it”

Allan Bloom



If you have been reading the Daily for awhile you know that I have been concerned about the lack of the liberal arts in today’s education system. Because of funding limits and the emphasis on science our children often get little taste of art, philosophy and the humanities. I wonder sometimes as technology takes more and more control of our lives if we have lost our ability to resolve conflict both at home and in the world. Is it because we have become so materialistic and focused on acquisition and power that we no longer place as much value on the common good? I don’t know the answer but I do appreciate the problem.

A respected friend told me yesterday that he was dismayed by the lack of civility in society today. Have we lost respect for each other and no longer have an interest in creating thoughtful solutions to our problems? Over the centuries it has been the inspired thinkers who have led us to the best that was in us. I worry that we don’t have as many who see and appreciate the danger of our problems and who are inspired to lead us to solutions and that makes me wonder if our educational plant has stifled the minds that might provide us the help we need.

I don’t know who sent me the following nor do I know who wrote it, but I do hope that it will trigger our readers to embrace the value of investing in their own inspiration.


In the 4th century B.C., Socrates said, "I decided that it was not wisdom that enabled [poets] to write their poetry, but a kind of instinct or inspiration, such as you find in seers and prophets who deliver all their sublime messages without knowing in the least what they mean."

For millennia we have recognized the mystery that lies in our ability to create. Ancient cultures such as the Norse and Greeks viewed artistic inspiration as a gift from the gods, and even today the idea retains a quality of the inexplicable and sublime. We speak about being “struck” by inspiration, as if it were a lightning bolt from above.

A look at the history of the word gives a glimpse, however, of humbler roots. The word comes from the Latin spirare, meaning "to breathe." Inspiration, then, is a process of drawing from the world around oneself in order to create, just as our bodies draw from the air around us to take in oxygen and sustain life. This creativity can produce a work of art – or it can affect our interactions with others, the decisions we make, or the way we live our lives.

Inspiration doesn’t always come rare and intense like a lightning bolt. There are steps we can take to meet it halfway. The great cubist painter Pablo Picasso said, "Inspiration exists, but it has to find us working." American wilderness writer Jack London put it in less delicate terms: “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.”

Sought or unsought, inspiration can happen even when our surroundings are less than ideal. Winston Churchill said, "We shall draw from the heart of suffering itself the means of inspiration and survival." Just as the body shows amazing ability to survive in bad conditions, we can use the adversity or suffering we have experienced to inspire us, as well as our joys and epiphanies. Inspiration belongs to painters, composers, novelists, sculptors and dancers, but also to anyone who desires to live creatively and fully.


“When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds: Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great, and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and your discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.”



A man walks into an insurance office and asks for a job.

"We don’t need anyone" they replied.

"You can’t afford not to hire me. I can sell anyone anytime anything."

"We have two prospects that no one has been able to sell.  If you can sell just one, you have a job."

He was gone about two hours and returned and handed them two checks, one for $25,000.00 and another for $50,000.00.

"How in the world did you do that" they asked.

"I told you I’m the worlds best salesman, I can sell anyone anywhere anytime."

"Did you get a urine sample?" they asked him.

"What’s that?" he asked.

"Well, if you sell a policy over $20,000.00 the company requires a urine sample. Take these two bottles and go back and get urine samples."

He was gone about 8 hours and they were fixing to close when in he walks in with two five gallon buckets, one in each hand. He sets the buckets down and reaches in his shirt pocket and produces two bottles of urine and sets them on the desk and says "Heres Mr.Brown’s and this one is Mr.Smith’s."

"That’s good" they said, "but what’s in those two buckets?"

"Well, I passed by the school house and they were having a state teachers convention, so I stopped and sold them a group policy!"


“My wife has a slight impediment in her speech. Every now and then she stops to breathe.”

Jimmy Durante.


Signs that your getting on in years (I may be repeating myself):

You buy a compass for the dash of your car.

If a young girl looks at you, you check to make sure you remembered to put on your pants.

You keep repeating yourself.

You discover bifocals are stylish!

When you do the "Hokey Pokey" you put your left hip out…and it stays out.

You enjoy hearing about other people’s operations.

Most women you know under 40 put you in the "Friend of my Father" class.

You get into a heated argument about pension plans.

The end of your tie doesn’t come anywhere near the top of your pants.

You have more hair in your ears and nose than on your head.

You quit trying to hold your stomach in, no matter who walks into the room.

Relatives smile benignly rather than interrupt you as you retell the same story for the zillionth time.

You run out of breath walking DOWN a flight of stairs.

Neighbors borrow your tools.

You’re on a TV game show and you decide to risk it all and go for the rocker.

You are proud of your lawn mower.

Lawn care has become a big highlight of your life.

Your arms are almost too short to read the newspaper.

Your classmates at your reunion think you’re one of their former teachers.

Conversations with people your own age often turn into "dueling ailments."

You keep repeating yourself.

Your relatives longingly refer to your things as your "estate".

People don’t harass you any more when you take an afternoon nap.


Take heart, the only person who always got his work done by Friday was Robinson Crusoe.


They were married, but since the argument they had a few days earlier, they hadn’t been talking to each other.

Instead, they were giving each other written notes.

One evening he gave her a paper where it said:

"Wake me up tomorrow morning at 6 am."

The next morning he woke up and saw that it was 9 o’clock.

Naturally he got very angry, but as he turned around he found a note on his pillow saying:

"Wake up, it’s 6 o’clock!"


One thing life has taught me: if you are interested, you never have to look for new interests. They come to you. When you are genuinely interested in one thing, it will always lead to something else.

Eleanor Roosevelt


Stay well, do good work, and have fun.


Ray Mitchell

 Indianapolis, Indiana

 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://raykiwsp.multiply.com/journal currently there are about 1500 readers from all over the world.

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