Ray's musings and humor

No buts please

Ray’s Daily

March 22, 2019



“You are today where your thoughts have brought you; you will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you.”

James Allen


Rather than write a new Daily I want to revisit one I wrote nine years ago.

Those of you who have been reading the Daily for a while know that I am not comfortable with people who are constant complainers. These are the folks who wake up in the morning sure they are going to have a bad day and then spend the rest of day proving that they were right. I think of them as “but” folks, you know those who always say yes, but. It seems like they go out of their way to find fault or a flaw in almost everything they encounter.

As an example, Jack just got back from a cruise and I ask “Jack, how was your cruise?” and Jack replies, “It was fine but it rained most days, the food was very good but the dining room was noisy, my cabin was very nice but the bathroom was small, all in all I liked the cruise but it wore me out.” Since most of us hear the exceptions while taking for granted the good things in our day to day lives we tend to focus in on what is said after the but. In Jacks case what he said to the right of the but was that it rained most days during the cruise, the dining room was noisy, the bathroom too small and it wore him out. If he just would have stayed to the left of the but I would have heard that the cruise was fine, the food was very good, that he had a nice cabin and that he liked the cruise. If he needed to add anything he could have done so in a way that did not distract from what he reported, for example he could have said “I really liked the cruise, we had so much fun that I did not get enough sleep and it took me a day to rest back up.”

The sad part is that there are those who are compulsive “buters,” people that just need to find fault. Pretty soon all they say is what is on the right side of the but and they become chronic complainers. I really feel sorry for them as they miss the good life that those of us who try to stop before the but live every day. If you think about it the great majority of our time is pretty good and while we may stub our toe once in awhile that is the exception not the norm. So my friends let us make a pact — whenever we are about to say but we’ll stop ourselves and stay focused on what we really feel and what we are trying to say.


“If you don’t like something change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain.”

Maya Angelou


In 1986, Peter Davies was on holiday in Kenya after graduating from Northwestern University. On a hike through the bush, he came across a young bull elephant standing with one leg raised in the air. The elephant seemed distressed, so Peter approached it very carefully.

He got down on one knee and inspected the elephant’s foot and found a large piece of wood deeply embedded in it. As carefully and as gently as he could, Peter worked the wood out with his hunting knife, after which the elephant gingerly put down its foot. The elephant turned to face the man, and with a rather curious look on its face, stared at him for several tense moments. Peter stood frozen, thinking of nothing else but being trampled. Eventually the elephant trumpeted loudly, turned, and walked away. Peter never forgot that elephant or the events of that day.

Twenty years later, Peter was walking through the Chicago Zoo with his teen-aged son. As they approached the elephant enclosure, one of the creatures turned and walked over to near where Peter and his son Cameron were standing. The large bull elephant stared at Peter, lifted its front foot off the ground, and then put it down. The elephant did that several times then trumpeted loudly, all the while staring at the man.

Remembering the encounter in 1986, Peter couldn’t help wondering if this was the same elephant. Peter summoned up his courage; climbed over the railing and made his way into the enclosure. He walked right up to the elephant and stared back in wonder. The elephant trumpeted again, wrapped its trunk around one of Peter legs and slammed him against the railing, killing him instantly.

Probably wasn’t the same elephant.


I have never had premonitions, but one day I think I will.

Lawrence Brotherton


Jolene had wanted new kitchen cabinets for a long time, but her husband insisted they were an extravagance. Then she went to visit her mother for two weeks and when she returned, she was overjoyed to find that her husband had surprised her by installing beautiful new cabinets.

A few days later, a neighbor came over to visit and after admiring the new cabinets, the neighbor added, “All of us were so glad the fire your husband had while you were gone was confined to the kitchen.”


She said: God Made Us Sisters; Prozac Made Us Friends


My parents had not been out together in quite some time. One Saturday, as Mom was finishing the dinner dishes, my father stepped up behind her. “Would you like to go out, girl?” he asked.

Not even turning around, my mother quickly replied, “Oh, yes, I’d love to!”

They had a wonderful evening and it wasn’t until much later that Dad finally confessed that his question had actually been directed to the family dog, laying near Mom’s feet on the kitchen floor.


You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.


A guy moved to Arizona at the urging of his doctor. After settling in, he met a neighbor who was also an older man. “My doctor recommended I move here for my health. Is this really a good place to live?”

“It sure is! When I first arrived here, I couldn’t say one word. I had hardly any hair on my head and I didn’t have the strength to walk across a room. I had to be lifted out of bed.”

“That’s wonderful! How long have you been here?”

“I was born here.”


If you’re not using your smile, you’re like a man with a million dollars in the bank and no checkbook.

Les Giblin


Jennifer’s wedding day was fast approaching. Nothing could dampen her excitement, not even her parents’ nasty divorce. Her mother had found the perfect dress to wear and would be the best-dressed mother-of-the-bride ever! A week later, Jennifer was horrified to learn that her father’s new young wife had bought the exact same dress as her mother. Jennifer asked the new wife to exchange it, but she refused.

“Absolutely not. I look like a million bucks in this dress and I’m wearing it,” she replied.

Jennifer told her mother who graciously said, “Never mind sweetheart. I’ll get another dress. After all, it’s your special day.”

A few days later, they went shopping and found another gorgeous dress. When they stopped for lunch, Jennifer asked her mother, “Aren’t you going to return the other dress?” “You really don’t have another occasion where you could wear it.”

Her mother just smiled and replied, “Of course I do, dear. I’m wearing it to the rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding!”


If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant. If we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.

Charlotte Bronte


Ray Mitchell

Indianapolis, Indiana

Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies. The editor is somewhat senile.

Ray’s Daily has been sent for more than fifteen years to 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 http://rays-daily,com/ currently there are more than 2000 readers from around the world.



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