Knowing is not enough; we must apply.
Willing is not enough; we must do.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
I had coffee the other day with a friend who is co-authoring a book describing the accomplishments of special women. She and her partner are researching what it is that motivates and inspires some women to do extraordinary things. These are not necessarily the renowned, more often than not they are those who do something special for others without recognition. In fact my friends writing partner used the women who deliver the babies of female AIDS victims in primitive settings in Africa as examples.
The magic and inspiration that comes from the good works of others, men or women, offer us all some of the brightest lights in what is often a dark world. It is not that they need or even desire recognition it is that we need them to show us what we can do.
I was talking to Carol Bellamy, the then head of the United Nations Children’s Fund, years ago and told her I was proud of my fellow Kiwanis members who stood ready to offer their hearts, their minds and their hands in the service of children. That comment came back to mind as I reflected on what my author friend was doing. For most of us have good hearts and active minds and yet often fail to offer our hands in service to others. I find it way too easy to find reasons not to do things I might do and when I hold back I miss the opportunity to reap the reward that comes from touching the lives of those less fortunate.
When I think about it, it really does not require super intelligence or even a caring heart, what it does require is action, putting our hands out to others. The great news is that as has been demonstrated on the streets of Calcutta, in small villages in Africa and in homeless shelters here at home those that give nurture their hearts and their souls. I am excited about the stories my friend will share with her readers, not as reports on the works of others but rather as a source of inspiration for all.
I know that many of you give of yourself and for that I am grateful, for it will be people like you, doing even the smallest good deed that in the aggregate will provide us what we will need if we are to have any chance of a better tomorrow. I’ll do what I can and hopefully maybe even a little more and while I am doing whatever it is I know that many of you will be doing so as well and that together we will make a difference.
PS: When my friend publish her book I’ll let you know so you too can acquire it and be warmed by the stories of those who deserve our respect and gratitude.
I am only one,
But still I am one.
I cannot do everything,
But still I can do something;
And because I cannot do everything
I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.
Edward Everett Hale
A plane hit a patch of severe turbulence and the passengers were holding on tight as it rocked and reeled through the night. A little old lady turned to a minister who was sitting behind her and said, "You’re a man of God. Can’t you do something about this?"
He replied, "Sorry, I can’t. I’m in sales, not management."
"How many are there working at your office?"
"About one third."
Arthur grabbed a large thermos and hurried to a nearby coffee shop. He held up the thermos, and the barista quickly came over to take his order.
"Is this big enough to hold six cups of coffee?" Arthur asked.
The coffee shop worker looked at the thermos, hesitated a few seconds, then finally replied, "Yeah. It looks like about six cups to me."
"Oh, good!" Arthur sighed in relief, "Then give me two regular, two black, and two decaf."
The human race is divided into two classes–those who go ahead and do something, and those who sit still and inquire, “Why wasn’t it done the other way?”
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
A man was celebrating his 80th birthday and his 50th wedding anniversary.
A reported asked, "Sir, how do you account for looking so fit?"
"Well," the old-timer told him, "when we got married, my wife and I made an agreement that any time we saw an argument coming on, I would grab my hat and walk three times around the block. You’d be surprised what 50 years of outdoor exercise will do for your health!"
You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do.
Bill has the typical observant wife. One evening after dinner, she handed him a bottle of ‘Rogaine’ hair restorer.
Bill told her while he was indeed starting to thin out some, he didn’t really think he needed hair restorer yet.
She said, "Oh. It’s not for you, it’s for your secretary, she seems to be losing quite a bit of her hair on your jacket."
An acre of performance is worth a whole world of promise.
William Dean Howells
During a recent publicity outing, Jennifer sneaked off to visit a fortune teller of some local repute. In a dark and hazy room, peering into a crystal ball, the mystic delivered grave news. "There’s no easy way to say this, so I’ll just be blunt: Prepare yourself to be a widow. Your husband will die a violent and horrible death this year."
Visibly shaken, Jennifer stared at the woman’s lined face, then at the single flickering candle, then down at her hands. She took a few deep breaths to compose herself. She simply had to know. She met the fortune teller’s gaze, steadied her voice, and asked her question: "Will I be acquitted?"
If you don’t have a sense of humor, you probably don’t have any sense at all.
Here is the Washington Post’s Mensa Invitational from a few years ago which once again asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition. Here are the winners:
1. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period of time.
2. Ignoranus : A person who’s both stupid and an ass.
3. Intaxication : Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.
4. Reintarnation : Coming back to life as a hillbilly.
5. Bozone ( n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.
6. Foreploy : Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting sex.
7. Giraffiti : Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.
8. Sarchasm : The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the Person who doesn’t get it.
9. Inoculatte : To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.
10. Osteopornosis : A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)
11. Karmageddon : It’s like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earthexplodes and it’s like, a serious bummer.
12. Decafalon (n.): The gruelling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.
13. Glibido : All talk and no action.
14. Dopeler Effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.
15. Arachnoleptic Fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you’ve accidentally walked through a spider web.
16. Beelzebug (n.) : Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.
17. Caterpallor ( n.): The color you turn after finding half a worm in the fruit you’re eating.
Each day is a new canvas to paint upon. Make sure your picture is full of life and happiness, and at the end of the day you don’t look at it and wish you had painted something different.
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
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The editor is somewhat senile.
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