I agree…

John“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” – Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

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It’s better to be perfectly useful than uselessly perfect. ~Dr. Idel Dreimer,

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Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.

~Winston Churchill

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A man with one watch knows what time it is; a man with two watches is never quite sure. ~Lee Segall

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Only that in you which is me can hear what I’m saying. ~Baba Ram Dass

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Losing an illusion makes you wiser than finding a truth. ~Ludwig Börne

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No matter where you go or what you do, you live your entire life within the confines of your head. ~Terry Josephson

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Among creatures born into chaos, a majority will imagine an order, a minority will question the order, and the rest will be pronounced insane. ~Robert Brault

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“Well, in our country,” said Alice, still panting a little, “you’d generally get somewhere else—if you ran very fast for a long time, as we’ve been doing.” “A slow sort of country!” said the Queen. “Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place…” ~Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass, And What Alice Found There.

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The world always makes the assumption that the exposure of an error is identical with the discovery of truth — that the error and truth are simply opposite. They are nothing of the sort. What the world turns to, when it is cured on one error, is usually simply another error, and maybe one worse than the first one. ~H.L. Mencken

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We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. ~Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

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Nobody knows the age of the human race, but everybody agrees that it is old enough to know better. ~Author Unknown

Real Stories…

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I love the story of the little boy… walking with his Mother… who sees an old man sitting on his porch crying… the boy runs up to the porch and climbs up on the man’s lap… and sits there for a time… then he jumps down and runs back to his waiting Mother… When she asks him what he said to the man… the boy said… “Nothing Mom… I just helped him cry…

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He was a Taxi driver…. driving the night shift… When most late-night passengers climbed in… they sat behind him in total silence… or some talked about their lives… some made him laugh… and some were full of sadness… But none touched him more than a woman he picked up late one August night… It was 2:30 a.m when he arrived at the pickup address…. Sitting on the steps of a rundown apartment building was a frail, elderly woman… By her side… was a small battered suitcase… When she got in the cab… she gave him the address… then asked… “Could you drive through downtown?”… “It’s not the shortest way…” the driver answered… “Oh, I don’t mind,” she said. “I’m in no hurry… For the next two hours, they drove through the city… She showed him the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator… They drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds… They pulled up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom… where she had gone dancing as a girl…. Sometimes she’d ask him to slow in front of a particular building… or corner… and would sit staring into the darkness… saying nothing… At the first hint of morning, she suddenly said… “I’m tired. Let’s go now.” They drove in silence to the address she had given him…. When they arrived… she leaned forward… thanking him for his kindness. “Oh, you’re such a good boy,” she said…. He looked in the rearview mirror… Her eyes were glistening… “this is a hospice” she said… “I don’t have any family left… and my doctor says I don’t have much time left… “Tonight you gave an old woman a few moments of joy,” she said. “Thank you…” she asked how much she owed… but the driver said…”Nothing” as he turned off the meter… He helped her out of the cab… and gave her a hug… As he drove off he heard a door close… It was the sound of the closing of a life… He didn’t pick up any more passengers that shift… He drove aimlessly… lost in thought… realizing… how conditioned we are… to think that our lives revolve around great moments… But great moments… often catch us unaware… beautifully wrapped… in a late night drive… with a special passenger… on her way home…

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He had been sick for some months now… but every day she had managed to visit him in the hospital… now he laid in a coma… She had talked to him on each visit… and held his hand on each visit… she had poured out her heart to him… telling him how much she loved him… how much she would miss him… On each journey home… she had prayed that he would awaken… so they could say goodbye to each other… Now he was gone… and there had been no time to talk… she had so wanted to hear him say… just one more time… that he loved her… that she had been a good wife… but that was not to be… Months later she felt strong enough to go through his things… there in a drawer… under some shirts… she found a small box… labeled… “The Most Important Thing in My Life”… inside she found a picture of herself…

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I got up early that day… made my way to McDonald’s for a cup of coffee… at the counter just ahead of me an elderly couple put some crumpled dollar bills on the counter… to pay for the single Breakfast Platter with Pancakes they had ordered… The elderly man picked up the tray… carried it to a booth just across from where I sat with my coffee… I watched her… carefully divide up the contents of the platter between them… He got the pancakes and the sausage and the hash browns…she, the scrambled eggs and a biscuit… the man seemed tired… less alert than she was… she cut up his pancakes and handed him a napkin… he began to eat slowly… I thought of the thousands of meals… they must have shared over so many years… how they must have carefully managed their money like this… dividing a meal and sharing it… when I noticed he had stopped eating… she said…”you have to eat… keep up your strength…”… he said…”too dry…”… she rose slowly and went to the counter… returning with two packages of syrup… she opened and poured them on his pancakes… then returned to her breakfast… he started eating again… then stopped… reached across the table… and with the most beautiful, loving look in his eyes… took her hand… and said… “Thank you”… I knew he was thanking her for more than the extra syrup… he was thanking her for the years of caring… sharing… and love… that lived in their relationship… she smiled… pleased… and said… “now eat your pancakes…”

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THE WATCH

It was only a toy watch… a toy that didn’t really keep time… but when 5 yr. old Jimmy got it for his birthday… he loved it… and wore it all the time… Jimmy also loved his father… and one day when his father asked him if he loved him… Jimmy said…”Yes, I do Daddy… I love you more than anything…” then his father said… “Would you give me your watch?”… Jimmy said quickly… “oh please Daddy, not my watch…”… his father smiled and said… “that’s okay… I still love you…” Every once in a while… Jimmy’s father would repeat the request for Jimmy’s watch… but the answer was always the same… then one day when his father asked him again… Jimmy took his watch off… and with tears in his eyes… gave it to his father and said… “I really do love you, Daddy… so you can have my watch…” his father fighting back his own tears… reached into a drawer… where it had been all this time… and gave Jimmy a real watch… He had only been waiting for Jimmy… to give up something fake… so that he could give him something real… just like our Father in heaven… waits for us to give up what is false… so He can give us what is true…

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Once a very successful man… sought out a great thinker and said… ”I have earned a dozen degrees… conquered the world of business… risen to a high place in my community… and now I want to learn what wisdom is…” Each time The Master began to speak… the man interrupted and said he had already heard that suggestion… or tried that idea and it didn’t help him… After a while… The Master sat him down and offered his visitor some tea… He poured his visitor’s cup full… but kept on pouring… The powerful man watched the overflow until he could no longer restrain himself… “Stop,” he said… ”Can’t you see the cup is full and overflowing. No more will go in!”… The Master then looked up at him and said… “Like this cup… you are full of your own successes… opinions… and ideas… How can I show you wisdom when there is no room left in your cup?…”

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A wise Grandfather… told his grandchild, “In every human… there is a terrible fight going on… between two wolves… One is evil: he is fear, anger, envy, greed, arrogance, self-pity and deceit…The other is good: joy, serenity, humility, compassion, generosity, truth, gentleness, and love ….” The child asked, “Grandfather, which wolf will win?” The elder said… “The one you feed.”

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Some time ago… I read a story about a man who owned a blind horse… He didn’t put the horse down though… he simply tied a small bell to another horse… Each morning when the guide horse moved out into the pasture… the blind horse would follow the sound of the bell… At the end of the day… the guide horse would head back to the stable… with the blind horse following close behind… Like the owner of those two horses… God doesn’t throw us away… because we are not perfect… Seeing our problems and challenges… He not only watches over us… but He will at times… bring someone into our lives… to help show us the way… but unlike the two horses… sometimes we are the blind horse… trusting someone else… to lead us ahead… and sometimes… we are called to be the guide horse… showing someone who is lost… how to find their way…. In either role… you will be following God’s plan…

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Holding on to anger or disappointment only prolongs the hurt…

Once there were two monks who belonged to an order that forbid them to interact with strangers… One day the monks were traveling to visit another monastery… when they came to a river and saw an old man sitting on the bank… the old man asked if they would help him across… he was afraid the current was too strong for him to do it alone… against the advice of his fellow monk… the younger monk picked up the old man and carried him across the river… the older monk was outraged and refused to speak to the offending monk for three days as they traveled… Finally, the young monk asked..” Why are you so angry with me?” The angry monk said…”because you disobeyed our rules… you interacted with that old man and carried him across the river…” to which the young monk replied…”That’s true … but I put him down on the other side…. And you are still carrying him…

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The woman pushed her cart up to the checkout… and began to unload it… some cereal… a quart of milk… a package of cheese… and a Birthday cake… the cashier gave her a look when she came to the cake… “You are on food stamps aren’t you?… can you buy a cake on food stamps?”… the woman, embarrassed… nodded Yes… “ someone behind her… mumbled… “you should be buying more nutritious food for your kids…” “not wasting your stamps on cake…” the woman was silent… She just gathered up her purchases… leaving the grumbling behind her as she left the store… At home… she set up the cake and lit the candles before calling out to her 3 yr. old daughter to come and see a surprise… the 3 yr. old daughter who was dying of cancer… and was about to blow out the candles… on her very last birthday cake…