November 18, 2019
“Look for a way to lift someone up. And if that’s all you do, that’s enough.”
I have worried lately that we seem to be a society who has lost its compassion. We don’t pay our teachers enough because we say we can’t afford it, yet we are the richest nation in the world. We don’t fix our failing infrastructure, leaving most of our citizens with unsafe bridges, unsafe roads and more, all be cause we can’t agree on a solution.
The income gap is the widest it has ever been, with one percent of the population controlling about fifty percent of our nation’s wealth, yet we refuse to pay for what we aquire, creating billions of dollars of debt that will burden and possibly bankrupt the country that will house our grandchildren.
What gives me hope is not what our failed leaders do to solve our problems, but the actions of folks like the Espinoza’s whose story is below.
Not long after Rose Espinoza and her husband, Eliasar, moved into their first home in Brea, California in 1991, they started wondering if they’d made a huge mistake. “Boys with baseball bats hung out on the corners and they weren’t looking for a pick-up game,” recalls the 65-year-old electromechanical designer. “After a drive-by shooting on our street, we started to really worry about the safety of our eight-year-old son, Chris. I thought, ‘What had we gotten our family into?’”
The Espinozas initiated a neighborhood watch group, but the morning after the first meeting a clear message was spray-painted on their truck, ‘Don’t finger us, keep your mouth shut.” Rose knew she had to take a different approach to the problem, so she went directly to the root. In September 1991, she transformed her two-car garage into a free after-school K-12 tutoring program, Rosie’s Garage, complete with computers, books, and banners for kids who made the honor roll.
“We started by offering homework help and free lemonade, and 16 kids showed up the very first day,” recalls Espinoza, who recruited high school students with solid grades as tutors. “This was the first tutoring program in the neighborhood, and it was clear that these kids really dd want to learn.”
Rosie’s Garage literally transformed the Espinoza’s neighborhood; within two years, academic scores went up and the crime rate went down. And it’s such a great idea that it’s spreading: there are now four sites one in Brea and three in the neighboring towns of Santa Ana and La Habra that have served about 200 children at any given time.
“Compassion is the keen awareness of the interdependence of all things.”
A young and foolish pilot wanted to sound cool and show who was boss on the aviation frequencies. It was his first time approaching a field during the night time. Instead of making any official requests to the tower, he said: “Guess who?”
The controller switched the field lights off and replied: “Guess where!”
Sound travels slowly. Sometimes the things you say when your kids are teenagers don’t reach them till they’re in their 40s.
Bumping into a woman on the sidewalk, the Tom Cruise look-alike apologized, “Pardon me!”
“That’s quite all right,” the woman replied. “You look just like my fifth husband.”
“Wow!” he said. “How many times have you been married?”
“Four,” she answered.
“What is popular isn’t always right, and what is right isn’t always popular.”
It was a sunny Saturday morning, and Pete was beginning his preshot routine. As he was visualizing his upcoming shot, a voice came over the loudspeaker, “Would the gentleman on the ladies tee please back up to the men’s tee, please!”
Pete was still deep in his routine, seemingly impervious to the interruption. Again the announcement, “Would the man on the women’s tee kindly back up to the men’s tee!”
Pete had had enough.
He yelled, “Would the announcer in the clubhouse kindly shut up and let me play my second shot!”
I was going to buy a copy of The Power of Positive Thinking, and then I thought: What good would that do?
The new Ensign was assigned to subs, where he’d dreamed of working since a young boy. He was trying to impress the Master Chief with his expertise learned in Sub School.
The Master Chief cut him off quickly and said, “Listen, ‘sir’, it’s real simple. Add the number of times we dive to the number of times we surface. Divide that number by two. If the result doesn’t come out even, don’t open the hatch.”
What we see depends mainly on what we look for.
1) If it rings, put it on hold.
2) If it clanks, call the repairman.
3) If it whistles, ignore it.
4) If it’s a friend, take a break.
5) If it’s the boss, look busy.
6) If it talks, take notes.
7) If it’s handwritten, type it.
8) If it’s typed, copy it.
9) If it’s copied, file it.
10) If it’s Friday, forget it!
“Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof.”
John Kenneth Galbraith
Jack, a lawyer, lies dying with his partner of 40 years by his bedside. “Mike, I’ve got to confess. I’ve been sleeping with your wife for 30 years and I’m the father of your daughter. On top of that, I’ve been stealing from the firm for a decade.”
“Relax,” says Mike, “and don’t think another thing about it. I’m the one who put the poison in your martini.”
If Jimmy cracks corn and no one cares, why is there a song about him?
The Judge admonished the witness, “Do you understand that you have sworn to tell the truth?”
“Do you understand what will happen if you are not truthful?”
“Sure,” said the witness. “My side will win.”
“Where there is no human connection, there is no compassion. Without compassion, then community, commitment, loving-kindness, human understanding, and peace all shrivel. Individuals become isolated, the isolated turn cruel, and the tragic hovers in the forms of domestic and civil violence. Art and literature are antidotes to that.”
Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies. The editor is somewhat senile.
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