Ray's musings and humor


“There is no problem unless we choose to make it one, so think carefully before you act.”

David Marshall


I had breakfast yesterday with two of my favorite community leaders. Much of our conversation centered on the difficulty many seniors have making the transition from the world of work to an often unstructured existence. While we spent most of our time talking about what we could do to help folks that no longer had a job to go to everyday, a place where they had longtime friends and tasks that kept them occupied we also talked about how some get overwhelmed by opportunities offered by others. In truth the pendulum can swing so far from not having much to do to having more to do than you can happily handle.

As my friends talked we kicked around how guilty we sometimes feel when we don’t do more than we do. I personally think it is important that we do what we can, providing it is something we want to do, but also we need to make sure we keep balance in our life by also doing things for ourselves. I know I get as much pleasure from doing little things that allow me to make new friends, learn new things and relax as I do from high profile activities.

For me the big difficulty is saying no. I can’t do everything that is available for me to do but I sometimes feel guilty when I don’t and yet I know that if I did say yes I would not be as good as someone else and I would agonize over not doing better. For years I have been an advocate for using the positive no, in other words thanking folks for asking and letting them know I really like what they are doing and then honestly telling them why I can’t carry a bigger load.

When I read the following I felt that it had some merit that might help my friends who also have a hard time saying no.


How to respectfully say no.

  • Listen to the request respectfully. Do not interrupt the speaker.
  • Phrase your “no” as simply as possible. Don’t raise your voice or become upset, simply say that you cannot help this time. When you say no, say it in a confident, well modulated voice to sound more straightforward.
  • Transfer ownership of your refusal to something else. For instance, say “I can, but my schedule is booked now. How about some other time?” You don’t have to explain further. This deflects any resentment they might have towards your schedule.
  • Try to remain non-confrontational.
  • Don’t feel obligated to explain. You have your reasons and they may not be ones you wish to discuss. If this is the case, try saying something like, “I’m just not able to.” Leave it at that – if you must, change the subject, or say, “I’m sorry, but I need to go.”
  • Explain simply, and only if you wish to do so. If the case really is one that you feel okay explaining, make your explanation as simple as possible.
  • Stand firm. If the requestor does not want to accept your answer, tell him or her that your mind is made up and that you will not change it.
  • Keep in mind that it’s your time they’re are requesting for and you have the choice to accept or decline what they’re asking of you.


“Doing more things faster is no substitute for doing the right things.”

Stephen R. Covey


The teacher asked Johnnie, “Johnnie if I gave you two rabbits and then two more rabbits and then two more rabbits, how many would you have?”

Johnnie replied, “Seven rabbits, Teacher.”

The teacher asked again, “Listen Johnnie, If I gave you two rabbits, plus two more rabbits, plus two more rabbits…   How many rabbits would you have altogether?”

Johnnie smiled, “That’s easy, Teacher, I would have seven.”

“Ok Johnnie,” the teacher said. “Let’s try it a different way.  If I gave you two cans of pop, plus two more cans of  pop, plus two more cans of pop. How many cans of pop would you have?”

“Six cans.” Johnnie said.

“OK,” said the teacher. “Now think of that with this question.  “If I gave you two rabbits, then two more rabbits,  then two more rabbits how many would you have?”

“Seven, Teacher.” Johnnie said.

“Why seven?” the teacher asked, exasperated.

Johnnie replied, “Because I already have one rabbit at home!”


SHE SAID: Say you love me! Say you love me!

HE SAID : You love me…


A captain with a major airline monitors the flight attendants’ announcements while taxiing to the gate. Impatient passengers often stand up and attempt to dash forward before we arrive.  Once, instead of the usual terse voice reminding people to remain in their seats, he heard the attendant declare, “In the history of our airline, no passenger has ever beaten the aircraft to the gate.  So, Ladies and Gentlemen, please remain seated.”


I have found the best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want and then advise them to do it.



A preacher was completing a temperance sermon: with great expression he said, “If I had all the beer in the world, I’d take it and throw it into the river.” With even greater emphasis he said, “And if I had all the  wine in the world, I’d take it and throw it into the river.”

And then finally, he said, “And if I had all the whiskey in the world,  I’d take it and throw it into the river.”

He sat down. The song leader then stood very cautiously and announced  with a smile, “For our closing song, let us sing Hymn # 365: “Shall We  Gather at the River.”


You know you’re getting on in years when the girls at the office start confiding in you.


A university creative writing class was asked to write a short essay containing these four elements:

– religion

– royalty

– sex

– mystery

The prize-winning essay read: “My God,” said the Queen. “I’m pregnant. I wonder who did it?”


“Kindness is an inner desire that makes us want to do good things even if we do not get anything in return. It is the joy of our life to do them. When we do good things from this inner desire, there is kindness in everything we think, say, want and do.”

Emanuel Swedenborg


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 request to be added by e-mailing me at raykiwsp@gmail.com. Back issues are posted at https://raykiwsp.wordpress.com/ currently there are about 2000 readers from around the world.

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