Ray's musings and humor

The greatest use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.

William James


Yesterday I learned that one of our cities leading citizens passed away. Her passing is a great loss and especially significant to me as it was her mother who started our cities major leadership development program more than 35 years ago and I was fortunate to be selected to participate in its first class. Much that has been good in my life has been the result of my participation in that first program.

Fortunately the family of the founder of the leadership series continued the tradition for all the years since the passing of the family matriarch and now the daughter who contributed so much to hundreds of our cities finest citizens has left us. Thankfully the legacy left by her and her mother will continue well into the future led by the next generation.

Our city owes a lot to the vision of these fine women and their presence will endure through the contribution of the many leaders who got their start because someone cared enough to recognize their potential. Indianapolis is great place to live and it is so not only because of its institutions and monuments but also because of the gift it has been given by Edna Lacy (a dear friend) and her daughter Margot Lacy Eccles and the Lacy Family.


So goodbye Margot and thank you for all you have given to all of us, you did well.


What makes greatness is starting something that lives after you.

Ralph Sockman


As you know I have been publishing the daily for more than eleven years now and I wonder if I would have even started if I had not been changed by the Lacy leadership program. With your permission I am going reprint something I offered seven years ago since it is consistent with the value of my returning once in a while to reaffirm my “Lacy Leadership” principles. Here is what I wrote


I attended a lecture today that helped me again realize that I miss more than I need to and what I miss is often vital to my understanding what I am seeing. I am concerned that my curiosity may have waned over the years. It seems like I often stop looking too soon and miss the nuance of what I am seeing.

I wonder if it is laziness or pride that drives me to draw conclusions at the first recognition of what I am seeing. I hope not, as being first with an answer is not how score should be kept, it is kept on the accuracy of what we see. Too often the visual assumption that I may have made has been based on how what I am seeing is similar to what I have seen before. What I report may be good enough most of the time but often it is less than it might be as I have missed the details. And like they say “The Devil Is in the Details,” and the details may change the picture dramatically and with a completely different perception than what I had when I quit looking too soon.

 I know this probably sounds convoluted but look at it this way, when we look at something there is a surface image in the foreground that often dominates when seen it is seen only as a surface dimension, but often there is background that takes us to a deeper depth of understanding. Even without background there is often more to see by seeing all of the picture elements and not just the primary subject. Do things change if we see a pretty girl alongside a table with a cigarette burning in an ashtray and than see the same girl with only a perfect rose on that very same table.

Einstein said intellectual growth should continue throughout life. I wonder if that is possible if we let our curiosity whither, sacrificed because of our impatience and intellectual laziness. This does not apply to you of course, just to me and a few others.


The cure for boredom is curiosity.

There is no cure for curiosity.

Dorothy Parker


A housewife with three young children was getting dinner ready when the phone rang. The six-year-old picked it up and said, “Hi, Daddy!” and she began telling him about her day. She then passed the phone to her brother and sister as was the custom whenever Daddy called from work.

When it was finally the wife’s turn to talk she took the receiver and said, “Hi, hon.”

“Thank God, lady,” the voice on the other end replied. “I just called to tell you that the wallpaper you ordered is here!”


“The person who would like to make his dreams come true must stay awake.”

Richard Wheeler


Jack Benny and George Burns became friends when both were young performers working their way up through the vaudeville circuit and they remained friends until Benny died. One day, they were lunching at a Hollywood restaurant, and Benny was wrestling with the problem of whether or not to butter his bread. “I like butter on my bread,” he said. “But my diet strictly forbids butter. Maybe I should call Mary and ask her what to do.”

“Jack,” Burns said, “don’t be ridiculous. You’re a grown man. You should be able to decide, without your wife’s help, whether or not to butter your own bread.”

“You’re right,” Benny said. “I’ll just have the butter, that’s all.”

When the waiter arrived with the check, Burns pointed to Benny and said, “He’s paying.”

“What?” Benny said. “Why should I have to pay the whole bill?”

“Because if you don’t,” Burns said, “I’ll tell Mary about the butter.”


I want it said of me by those who knew me best, that I always plucked a thistle and planted a flower where I thought a flower would grow.

Abraham Lincoln


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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