Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.
I was talking to an acquaintance the other day that has been out of work for more than a year. He shared with me how challenging it has been to modify his family’s lifestyle in order to live more simply. He did share with me however that he was grateful for the fact that the experience has allowed him to see and do things he never would of in the past. He has found, as we all should that there is a lot to offer in a simpler life, one that allows us to see and appreciate the things we so often overlook.
As I thought about my friend I was again reminded that we do not need the biggest and showiest car to get us from place to place, nor do we have to eat at the fanciest restaurant to enjoy a meal. I think far too many of us have been conditioned to believe that the fanciest is best when in reality most of the time the dazzle is only cosmetic.
I have found lately that it has become easier for me to ask myself if I really need the latest, the most fashionable or something that has substantially more bells and whistles than I will ever use. I also am finding that living more frugally makes a lot of sense.
I thought I would share the following story with you as I think it goes to the heart of the issue of deciding what we really need and what we don’t. I don’t know who wrote it but I am glad they did.
A group of alumni, highly established in their careers, got together to visit their old university professor. The conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and in life. Offering his guests coffee, the professor went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups – porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite – telling them to help themselves to the coffee. When all the students had a cup of coffee in hand, the professor said:
“If you noticed, all the nice looking expensive cups were taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress.
“What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you consciously went for the best cups and were eyeing each other’s cups.
Now consider this: Life is the coffee and the jobs, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain Life, and do not change the quality of Life. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee God has provided. So, don’t let the cups drive you … enjoy the coffee instead.”
Frugality is one of the most beautiful and joyful words in the English language, and yet one that we are culturally cut off from understanding and enjoying. The consumption society has made us feel that happiness lies in having things, and has failed to teach us the happiness of not having things.
A fisherman from the city was out fishing on a lake in a small boat. He noticed another man in a small boat open his tackle box and take out a mirror. Being curious the man rowed over and asked, “What is the mirror for?”
“That’s my secret way to catch fish,” said the other man.
“Shine the mirror on the top of the water. The fish notice the spot of sun on the water above and they swim to the surface. Then I just reach down and net them and pull them into the boat.”
“Wow! Does that really work?”
“You bet it does.”
“Would you be interested in selling that mirror? I’ll give you $30 for it.”
After the money was transferred, the city fisherman asked, “By the way, how many fish have you caught this week?”
“You’re the sixth,” he said.
Any child who is anxious to mow the lawn is too young to do so.
Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat will stop my fellow mail carriers and me from delivering junk mail. One day, I delivered an envelope full of coupons to a home. It was addressed to “The Smart Shopper at 729 Main Street.”
The next day the envelope was returned with this note scrawled on it: “Not at this address.”
The person who agrees with everything you say either isn’t listening to you or plans to sell you something.
Some Jewish Curses
May your bones be broken as often as the Ten Commandments.
May God answer all your prayers – and then may He mistake your worst enemy for you.
May your husband’s father marry three times so you’ll have three mothers-in-law.
May all your teeth fall out –except one, so you can have a toothache.
May the heartburn after one of your meals be strong enought to heat your home.
May you grow like an onion – with your head in the ground.
and Last but not least
I wish you everything you wish me, and everything you’ll regret not having wished me after I’ve wished you everything I wish you.
“A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.”
George Bernard Shaw
The afternoon was drawing to a close, and the guests were getting ready to leave.
“Mrs. Goldberg,” said one of the ladies, “I just wanted to tell you that your cookies were so delicious I ate four of them.”
“You ate five,” replied the hostess, “But who’s counting?”
“Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.”
A gal bought a brand new Car and decided to drive down from some place far off, to meet this friend. She reached there in a few hours. After spending a few days there, she decided to return, and called up her mother to expect her in the evening. But she didn’t reach home in the evening and not the next day either. When she finally reached home on the third day, her distraught mother ran and asked her “What Happened?”
She got out, obviously very tired from a long journey, and said, “Oy, these car designers, these people are crazy! They have four gears for going forward, but only one for going back!”
You have succeeded in life when all you really want is only what you really need.
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies. The editor is somewhat senile.
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