Anyone who proposes to do good must not expect people to roll stones out of his way,
but must accept his lot calmly if they even roll a few more upon it.
I recently met with a friend that I had not seen for over a year and I expressed my concern that it had taken so long to again meet. To my surprise I discovered that I had made my friend uncomfortable through my interest and concern for her wellbeing. As many of you know I have spent years working with others as they plan their life strategies and the steps that will take them where they want to go. I refuse any compensation for my time in the process, even to the point of turning down a cup of coffee on occasion.
I should not have been too surprised at my friend’s reaction as for many years I have run into folks that have been suspicious of my motivation. I remember thirty or so years ago when I was on the mayors employment and training board working to find ways to improve the future for our young unemployed. After serving a couple of years a community leader told me that it had taken him and others that long to become confident that I had no ulterior motive other than helping others.
It seems that way too many people have had so many bad experiences that they have become so suspicious and cynical that they resist human interaction. I think it is tragic that so many believe that people only do things when there is some kind of payoff. There is a big payoff, they just don’t see that it comes from helping someone be happier and building new friendships.
I am glad that I am still naive enough to believe that the people I meet are good people and that they have to prove otherwise before I’ll walk away. And you know what? In my three quarters of a century of life almost everyone I have met were people I still like, just in some cases they needed to decide that they could be happier if they just quit being so grouchy.
My only recent regret was that I did not clear the air of any of my friends concerns months ago for the time cannot be recaptured. Fortunately others have kept me more than busy and of course I did drop out on a number of occasions to either recreate or rehabilitate.
Here is something Ralph Marston wrote ten years ago, all our lives would better if we followed his advice and lowered our shields more often.
Thoughts of self
Imagine how it would be to go through this entire day without ever thinking of yourself. Think of all the concerns that would suddenly drop away. You’d be free to speak and act without worrying about what others would think. Your courage would soar because you’d be completely immune to fear and rejection. There would be no time wasted in being angry or taking offense or worrying. The limitations you’ve placed on yourself would completely disappear.
Just think of how much you could accomplish. Just think of the possibilities you could fulfill. Just think of the clear and refreshing sense of freedom it would bring.
The fact is, you can do it today. You can indeed be free of your own limitations, free from useless anger, worry, and despair. Decide to expand your focus beyond those familiar old self concerns which hold you down. Lose yourself in your own positive possibilities, and see what great things you can make happen today.
Life has no other discipline to impose, if we would but realize it, than to accept life unquestioningly. Everything we shut our eyes to, everything we run away from, everything we deny, denigrate or despise, serves to defeat us in the end. What seems nasty, painful, evil, can become a source of beauty, joy and strength, if faced with an open mind. Every moment is a golden one for him who has the vision to recognize it as such.
My friend’s husband is always telling her that housekeeping would be a snap if only she would organize her time better. Recently, he had a chance to put his theory into practice while his wife was away. When I popped in one evening to see how he was managing, he crowed, "I made a cake, frosted it, washed the kitchen windows, cleaned all the cupboards, scrubbed the kitchen floor, walls and ceiling and even had a bath."
I was about to concede that perhaps he was a better manager than his wife, when he added sheepishly, "When I was making the chocolate frosting, I forgot to turn off the mixer before taking the beaters out of the bowl, so I had to do all the rest."
A person without a sense of humor is like a wagon without springs –jolted by every pebble in the road.
Henry Ward Beecher
A dog walks into a bar and says, "Hey, guess what! I’m a talking dog. Ever seen a talking dog before? I doubt it! So, how about a free drink for the talking dog?"
The bartender answers, "Sure, why not? The toilet’s right around the corner."
A cynic is not merely one who reads bitter lessons from the past; he is the one who is prematurely disappointed in the future.
Sydney J. Harris
My teenage niece was nervous as she took the wheel for her first driving lesson. As she was pulling out of the parking lot, the instructor said, "Turn left here and don’t forget to let the people behind you know what you’re doing."
She turned to the students sitting in the back seat and announced, "I’m going left!"
What do you do when you see an endangered animal eating an endangered plant?
SOUTHERN SECURITY SYSTEM !!
1. Go to a second-hand store and buy a pair of men’s used size 14-16 work boots.
2. Place them on your front porch, along with a copy of Guns & Ammo Magazine.
3. Put a few giant dog dishes next to the boots and magazines.
4. Leave a note on your door that reads:
Hey Bubba, Big Jim, Duke and Slim,
I went for more ammunition. Back in an hour. Don’t mess with the pit bulls-they attacked the mailman this morning and messed him up real bad. I don’t think Killer took part in it but it was hard to tell from all the blood. Anyway, I locked all four of ’em in the house. Better wait outside.
One nice thing about egotists: They don’t talk about other people.
One evening, a wife drew her husband’s attention to the couple next door and said, "Do you see that couple and how devoted they are? He kisses her every time they meet. Why don’t you do that?"
"I don’t know her well enough."
“I always prefer to believe the best of everybody-it saves so much trouble.”
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
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The editor is somewhat senile.
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