The good life is a process, not a state of being. It is a direction not a destination.
My brother, the world traveler, visited with my family the last few days. We had representatives of four generations of gather to celebrate his visit. Our look back over our past that has spread across eight decades brought back old memories and more. It is always interesting to examine the past with the folks who lived it with us since they fill in the blanks forgotten or often missed at the time.
I could not help but reflect on not only on the past but also on where my wife and I go from here. To a large extent we live day to day letting our health and circumstances dictate what we do. But notwithstanding the limitations we face there still is plenty of opportunity to enjoy what we can do.
I can’t see too far ahead to predict what the future will bring and I feel extremely fortunate that our children and grandchildren are nearby helping to ease the burden of our modified life capabilities.
As I plan my days I like to review Edger Guest’s Creed
To live as gently as I can;
To be, no matter where, a man;
To take what comes of good or ill,
And cling to faith and honor still;
To do my best, and let that stand
The record of my brain and hand;
And then, should failure come to me,
Still work and hope for victory.
To have no secret place wherein
I stoop unseen to shame or sin;
To be the same when I’m alone
As when my every deed is known;
To live undaunted, unafraid
Of any step that I have made;
To be without pretense or sham
Exactly what men think I am.
To leave some simple work behind
To keep my having lived in mind;
If enmity to aught I show,
To be an honest, generous foe;
To play my little part, nor whine
That greater honors are not mine.
This I believe is all I need
For my philosophy and creed.
Edgar A. Guest
The secret of a good life is to have the right loyalties and hold them in the right scale of values.
The Priest meets his friend, the Rabbi, and says to him “You have taught me many things but there is one thing in particular I want to learn very much but you do not wish to teach it to me. I want you to teach me the Talmud.”
The Rabbi replied: “You are a Non-Jew and you have the brain of a Non-Jew. There is no chance that you will succeed in understanding the Talmud.”
But the Priest continued in his attempt to persuade the Rabbi to teach him the Talmud. Finally, the Rabbi agreed. The Rabbi then said to the Priest: “I agree to teach you the Talmud on condition that you answer one question.”
The Priest agreed and asked the Rabbi, “What is the question?”
The Rabbi then said to the Priest: “Two men fall down through the chimney; one comes out dirty and the other comes out clean. Who of those two goes to wash up?
Very Simple,” replied the Priest. “The one who is dirty goes to wash up but the one who is clean does not go to wash up.”
The Rabbi then said to the Priest: “I told you that you will not succeed in understanding the Talmud. The exact opposite happened. The clean one looks at the dirty one and thinks that he is also dirty, goes to wash up. The dirty one, on the other hand, looks at the clean one and thinks that he is also clean and, therefore, does not go to wash up.”
The Priest then says to the Rabbi: “This I did not think of. Ask me, please, another question.”
The Rabbi then says to the Priest: “Two men fall down through the chimney. One comes out dirty and the other comes out clean. Who of these two goes to wash up?”
The Priest then says to the Rabbi: “Very simple. The clean one looks at the dirty one and thinks he is also dirty and goes to wash up. The dirty one on the other hand, looks at the clean one and thinks that he is also clean and, therefore, does not go to wash up.”
The Rabbi then says to the Priest: “You are wrong again. I told you that you will not understand. The clean one looks into the mirror, sees that he is clean and, therefore, does not go to wash up. The dirty one looks into the mirror, sees that he is dirty and goes to wash up.”
The Priest complains to the Rabbi “But you did not tell me that there is a mirror there.”
The Rabbi then tells the Priest: “I told you. You are a Non-Jew; with your brain you will not succeed in understanding the Talmud. According to the Talmud, you have to think of all the possibilities.”
“Alright,” groaning, said the Priest to the Rabbi. “Let us try once more. Ask me one more question.”
For the last time, said the Rabbi to the Priest. “Two men fall through the chimney. One came out dirty and the other came out clean. Who of these two went to wash up?”
“That is very simple!” replied the Priest. “If there is no mirror there the clean one will look at the dirty one and will think that he is also dirty and will, therefore, go to wash up. The dirty one will look at the clean one and will think that he is also clean, and will, therefore, not go to wash up. If there is a mirror there, the clean one will look into the mirror and will, therefore, not go to wash up. The dirty one will look into the mirror and will see that he is dirty and will, therefore, go to wash up.
The Rabbi then says to the Priest: “I told you that you would not succeed in understanding. You are a Non-Jew; you have a Non-Jew brain. Tell me, how is it possible for two men to fall through a chimney and for one to come out dirty and the other to come out clean?”
Be careful what rut you choose. You may be in it the rest of your life.
One Sunday a pastor told the congregation that the church needed some extra money and asked the people to prayerfully consider giving a little extra in the offering plate. He said that whoever gave the most would be able to pick out three hymns.
After the offering plates were passed, the pastor glanced down and noticed that someone had placed a $1,000 bill in offering. He was so excited that he immediately shared his joy with his congregation and said he’d like to personally thank the person who placed the money in the plate. A very quiet, elderly and saintly lady all the way in the back shyly raised her hand. The pastor asked her to come to the front. Slowly she made her way to the pastor. He told her how wonderful it was that she gave so much and in thanksgiving asked her to pick out three hymns.
Her eyes brightened as she looked over the congregation, pointed to the three handsomest men in the building and said, “I’ll take him and him and him.”
“The cat could very well be man’s best friend but would never stoop to admitting it.”
I volunteered recently to perform a parachute jump for charity. On our first day of training, the instructor made an important point about preparing for landing at 300 feet. “How do you know when you’re at 300 feet?” asked one woman.
“A good question,” replied the instructor. “At 300 feet you can recognize the faces of people on the ground.”
The woman thought about this for a while before saying, “What happens if there’s no one there I know?”
Life comes from physical survival; but the good life comes from what we care about.
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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