People often say that this or that person has not yet found himself. But the self is not something one finds, it is something one creates.
I was listening to a radio interview of actor Hal Holbrook the other day and heard him say that as he looked back on his life he wished he had done something’s differently. He talked about his half century of playing Mark Twain thousands of times and the many plays, TV programs and movies he made over his 60 years in show business. He reported that he stayed so busy that he spent little time with his wife and children resulting in a divorce and separation from those he cared about. In other words he was too busy to live other than on the stage, in a way he was like a lot of us, so busy playing the part that we have little time for much else.
As I thought about what he said I realized that I would have also benefited if I had stopped and imagined myself being sometime in the future looking back on my life. In effect I imagined I had the ability to have an Ebenezer Scrooge moment seeing what my life would be like ahead as the result of the choices I had made or not made. Even right now I find my life looks different than it seems when I look back on it from an imagined point in the future, like Scrooge when I look in on my life from the outside I see more of the world around me, the people I know, the people who depend on me and the people I care about, and I see places where I can improve. Something’s would be better left undone and other things would make a positive difference if I got them done.
I appreciated Holbrook’s getting me to not wait until the end to see where I have been by providing me the motivation to see where I am now. You know we can’t change history but we do write it a new page every day which gives us the opportunity to make sure it is worth reading.
All men should strive to learn before they die
what they are running from, and to, and why.
There’s this old priest who got sick of all the people in his parish who kept confessing to adultery. One Sunday, in the pulpit, he said, “If I hear one more person confess to adultery, I’ll quit!”
Well, everyone liked him, so they came up with a code word. Someone who had committed adultery would say they had “fallen.”
This seemed to satisfy the old priest and things went well, until the priest died at a ripe old age. About a week after the new priest arrived, he visited the mayor of the town and seemed very concerned. The priest said, “You have to do something about the sidewalks in town. When people come into the confessional, they keep talking about having fallen.”
The mayor started to laugh, realizing that no one had told the new priest about the code word. Before the mayor could explain, the priest shook an accusing finger at the mayor and said, “I don’t know what you’re laughing about, your wife fell three times this week.”
“Universal peace sounds ridiculous to the head of an average family.”
One of those physical fitness club franchises was preparing to enter the international market. They placed ads in newspapers all over the county for people who could represent them on a tour. The ad said:
We’re looking for five men in peak physical condition. Must be able to speak Spanish, French, Chinese, or Japanese. Must be knowledgeable about weights, aerobics, and at least two major sports. The day after the ad appeared, a heavy man of about 70 appeared in the offices of the fitness club. “I’m here about the ad,” he said.
The bronzed Adonis behind the desk looked surprised, but decided to be polite. “Do you speak Spanish or French?” he asked.
“Nope,” the old man said.
“No, both times.”
“Know anything about weights or aerobic exercises?”
“Only that I wouldn’t be caught dead with either one.”
“How about sports?”
“I’ve never played anything more taxing than checkers.”
“I see,” the young man said. “Tell me something. Why did you come here?”
“To tell you to count me out.”
An eternity is very, very long, especially towards the end.
A nervous taxpayer watches with growing unhappiness as an IRS tax auditor goes over his records, making notations on a legal pad. Finally, the auditor finishes his work. He turns to the taxpayer and says, “We feel it is a great privilege to be allowed to live and work in the United States. As a citizen, you have an obligation to pay taxes, and we expect you to eagerly pay them with a smile.”
“Thank goodness,” the man says, a grin spreading from ear to ear. “I thought you were going to want me to pay with cash!”
Natives who beat drums to drive off evil spirits are objects of scorn to smart Americans who blow horns to break up traffic jams.
A couples happy married life almost went on the rocks because of the presence in the household of old Aunt Emma. For seventeen long years she lived with them, always crotchety, always demanding. Finally, the old girl died.On the way back from the cemetery, the husband confessed to his wife, “Darling, if I didn’t love you so much, I don’t think I would have put up with having your Aunt Emma in the house all those years.”
His wife looked at him aghast. “My Aunt Emma!” she cried. “I thought she was ‘your’ Aunt Emma!”
“I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.”
An older couple went on a cruise for their anniversary. Their conversation with the other couples they met tended towards political and international events.
At one point, the husband asked, “Honey, what do you think about the Middle East position?”
She replied, “Oh, I don’t know, dear, you know I’m not into any of that kinky stuff.”
It is only when we silent the blaring sounds of our daily existence that we can finally hear the whispers of truth that life reveals to us, as it stands knocking on the doorsteps of our hearts.
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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