February 26, 2019
Aim for the sky, but move slowly, enjoying every step along the way. It is all those little steps that make the journey complete.
I was saddened to learn that a fellow resident that I sometimes ate with passed away this weekend. She was somewhat bitter and not easy to like. Happiness seemed to elude her. I overlooked her complaints and we seemed to get along OK.
I have found that the happiest of my fellow residents are those who have adjusted to our community. Many of us are challenged by the realities of aging and those of us who have learned to tolerate our differences seem to enjoy what we have.
Marc Chernoff wrote an article that offered his thoughts that I think are appropriate for those of us adjusting to a new environment. Here in part is what he wrote.
Things You Should Know for Sure
Just a few things you should know. Because when you know better, you do better.
The beginning is always the hardest. – Remember, being completely terrible at something is the first step to being pretty darn good at it. It just takes time and practice. In the end, it is the courage to continue that matters most.
What’s right for you may be wrong for others, and vice versa. – It’s unreasonable to expect others to accept or consider your perspective if you’re not willing to do the same for them. So think for yourself, and allow others the privilege of doing so too. The truth is that the world isn’t really as it is, but as WE see it. And we all see it differently.
When you try to change people, they usually remain the same. – But when you don’t try to change people – when you allow them the space to be as they are – they gradually change in the most beautiful way. Because what really changes is the way you see them.
You have to decide for yourself. – Most of the time something is only awkward because of society’s preconceived idea that it is; don’t mindlessly follow that shallow perception of awkward. Make up your own mind. When it comes to choices and change, always do a gut check. What do YOU want to do? What would make YOU feel joy, passion, healthy, or on the right path? Do that. No other opinions are needed.
Most good things don’t come easy. – Easy is to think about improving. Difficult is to put these thoughts into action. Easy is to stumble and fall. Difficult is to get back up. Easy is to judge the mistakes of others. Difficult is to recognize your own mistakes. Easy is to receive. Difficult is to give. Easy is to promise something. Difficult is to fulfill that promise. Easy is to say “I love you.” Difficult is to show it every day. As you can see, most of the things we need in life are simple, but not easy. The difficult, however, is often an indication that it’s worthwhile.
Friendship isn’t about being there when it’s convenient, it’s about being there when it’s not. – Even if you cannot seem to walk that mile in your friend’s shoes, you are still capable of standing beside them to be a supporter until the day they learn to smile again.
Help and not fight. Assimilation and not destruction. Harmony and Peace and not dissension.
A kind-hearted motorist saw a man struggling to change a tire alongside the highway, and pulled over to see whether he could help.
The man had a very red face, and a dark smear across it where he’d wiped off sweat with dirty hands. His tie was undone and his shirt collar askew, and it was clear he had also wiped his hands on his once-white shirt.
Close to him stood an immaculately neat woman who was speaking in quick, agitated tones.
“Hello, there,” said the motorist. “Say, I’ve changed a lot of tires ….. maybe I can help here.”
“You sure can,” the man with the flat tire replied wearily. “My wife is an expert, too. If you will just do all the arguing with her about how this tire ought to be changed, I will concentrate on the dirty work and get the job done.”
“I think the one lesson I have learned is that there is no substitute for paying attention.”
GOD’S THOUGHTS ON LAWNS
GOD: Frank, you know all about gardens and nature. What in the world is going on down there on that planet Earth? What happened to the dandelions, violets, thistle and stuff I started eons ago? I had a perfect, no-maintenance garden plan. Those plants grow in any type of soil, withstand drought and multiply with abandon. The nectar from the long lasting blossoms attracts butterflies, honey bees and flocks of songbirds. I expected to see a vast garden of colors by now. But all I see are these green rectangles.
- FRANCIS: It’s the tribes that settled there, LORD. The Suburbanites. They started calling your flowers “weeds” and went to great lengths to kill them and replace them with grass.
GOD: Grass? But it’s so boring. It’s not colorful. It doesn’t attract butterflies, birds and bees, only grubs and sod worms. It’s sensitive to temperatures. Do these Suburbanites really want all that grass growing there?
- FRANCIS: Apparently so, LORD. They go to great pains to grow it and keep it green. They begin each spring by fertilizing grass and poisoning any other plant that crops up in the lawn.
GOD: The spring rains and warm weather probably make grass grow really fast. That must make the Suburbanites happy.
- FRANCIS: Apparently not, LORD. As soon as it grows a little, they cut it — sometimes twice a week.
GOD: They cut it? Do they then bail it like hay?
- FRANCIS: Not exactly, LORD. Most of them rake it up and put it in bags.
GOD: They bag it? Why? Is it a cash crop? Do they sell it?
- FRANCIS: No, Sir. Just the opposite. They pay to throw it away.
GOD: Now let me get this straight. They fertilize grass so it will grow. And when it does grow, they cut it off and pay to throw it away?
- FRANCIS: Yes, Sir.
GOD: These Suburbanites must be relieved in the summer when we cut back on the rain and turn up the heat. That surely slows the growth and saves them a lot of work.
- FRANCIS: You aren’t going to believe this LORD. When the grass stops growing so fast, they drag out hoses and pay more money to water it so they can continue to mow it and pay to get rid of it.
GOD: What nonsense. At least they kept some of the trees. That was a sheer stroke of genius, if I do say so myself. The trees grow leaves in the spring to provide beauty and shade in the summer. In the autumn they fall to the ground and form a natural blanket to keep moisture in the soil and protect the trees and bushes. Plus, as they rot, the leaves form compost to enhance the soil. It’s a natural circle of life.
- FRANCIS: You better sit down, LORD. The Suburbanites have drawn a new circle. As soon as the leaves fall, they rake them into great piles and pay to have them hauled away.
GOD: No. What do they do to protect the shrub and tree roots in the winter and to keep the soil moist and loose?
- FRANCIS: After throwing away the leaves, they go out and buy something which they call mulch. They haul it home and spread it around in place of the leaves.
GOD: And where do they get this mulch?
- FRANCIS: They cut down trees and grind them up to make the mulch.
GOD: Enough. I don’t want to think about this anymore. St. Catherine, you’re in charge of the arts. What movie have you scheduled for us tonight?
- CATHERINE: ‘Dumb and Dumber,’ Lord. It’s a real stupid movie about….
GOD: Never mind, I think I just heard the whole story from St Francis.
It is terrible to grow old alone – my wife has not had a birthday in ten years.
She also said: I was on vacation in Las Vegas, playing the slot machines.
It was my first time in a casino, and I wasn’t sure how any of the machines operated.
“Excuse me.” I said to a casino employee. “How does this work?”
The worker showed me how to insert a bill, hit the spin button, and operate the release handle.
“And where does the money come out?” I asked.
He smiled and motioned to a far wall before saying, “Usually at the ATM.”
Intellectual life requires for its expansion and manifestation the influences and assimilation of the interests and affections of others.
Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies. The editor is somewhat senile.
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