To laugh often and much: To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children, to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you lived. This is to have succeeded.
"There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action and because there is only one of you for all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is, nor how valuable it is nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. No artist is pleased. There is no satisfaction whatever, at any time. There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others."
"The things that will destroy us are: politics without principle; pleasure without conscience; wealth without work; knowledge without character; business without morality; science without humanity; and worship without sacrifice."
Instructions For Life
1. Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
2. When you lose, donít lose the lesson.
3. Follow the three R's. Respect for self. Respect for others. Responsibility for all your actions.
4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
6. Donít let a little dispute injure a great relationship.
7. When you realize youíve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
8. Spend some time alone every day.
9. Open arms to change, but donít let go of your values.
10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer
11. Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you will be able to enjoy it a second time.
12. A loving atmosphere is your home is the foundation for your life.
13. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Donít bring up the past.
14. Share your knowledge. Itís a way to achieve immortality.
15. Be gentle with the earth.
16. Once a year, go some place you have never visited.
17. Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.
18. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.
19. Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.
I would rather see a sermon than hear one any day. I would rather one walk with me than merely tell me the way. The eye is a better student and more willing than the ear; fine counsel can be confusing, but example is always clear. I can soon learn how to do it, if I only see it done; I can watch your life in action, while your serious or having fun. The greatest of all my friends are the ones who live their creeds; for to see the good in action, is what everybody needs.
Furthermore and in particular, I ask people near and far not to praise me. I know they will do so because they have done so in my lifetime in the most unseemly ways. But if they want to study my writings, let them look carefully at those passages in them in which I know the power of God spoke through me and make use of them for their own lives. There have been times when I felt I was becoming the bearer of God's will. I have often been so impure, so full of personal passions that the light of this truth has been obscured but nevertheless sometimes this truth has passed through me and these have been the happiest moments of my life. God grant that these truths should not have been defiled in passing through me and that people might feed on them despite the superficial and impure form which I have given them.
When we plant a rose seed in the earth, we notice that it is small, but we do not criticize it as "rootless and stem less." We treat it as a seed, giving it the water and nourishment required of a seed.
When it first shoots up out of the earth, we do not condemn it as immature and underdeveloped; nor do we criticize the buds for not being open when they appear. We stand in wonder at the process taking place, and give the plant the care it needs at each stage of its development.
The rose is a rose from the time it is born until the time it dies. Within it, at all times, is contained its whole potential. It seems to be constantly in the process of change; yet at each stage, at each moment, it is perfectly all right as it is.
John Quincy Adams is well. But the house in which he lives at the present time is becoming dilapidated. It's tottering on its foundations. Time and the seasons have nearly destroyed it. Its roof is pretty well worn out. Its walls are much shattered and they tremble with every wind. I think John Quincy Adams will have to move out of it soon. But he, himself, is quite well."
Galileo was still publishing his writings at the age of 74. Michelangelo was 71 when he was appointed as the Supervising architect of St. Peter's church. Grandma Moses did not start painting until she was 76. 25% of her 1,500 paintings were done after she was 100. Susan B. Anthony was head of the Suffragettes at the age of 80. George Bernard Shaw fractured his leg at 96. He fell out of a tree he was pruning. Duke Ellington was passed over by the Pulitzer Prize Advisory Committee at the age of 66. When he heard what they had done he said, "God does not want me to become too famous too early." Goethe wrote Faust when he was 80. Mary Baker Eddie founded the Christian Science Monitor when she was in her mid 80s.
When you assemble a number of men to have the advantage of their joint wisdom, you inevitably assemble with those men all their prejudices, their passions, their errors of opinion, their local interests and their selfish views.
Until one is committed, there is hesitancy; the chance to draw back is always present. This always produces ineffectiveness.
Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans:
The moment one definitely commits oneself, then God moves as well. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues forth from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance, which no one could have dreamed would have come his or her way.
Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it! Boldness has genius, power and magic to it. Begin it now!
The grandson thought about this struggle for quite some time. Then he broke his silence and asked, 'Which wolf will win, grandfather?' The Cherokee chief answered, 'the one you feed, my grandson. The one you feed.'"
Henry Nouwen is a Roman Catholic priest and a professor at Boston University School of Theology. He has written a book entitled, Letters to Marc About Jesus. This is what he says:
Truly the yoke of Christ would be sweet if petty human institutions added nothing more to what he himself imposed. He commanded us nothing save love for one another.
Maybe I am kind of old-fashioned
Best if we know how to use it,
In looking back down the trail of the years
And, too, I can see where the "bitter pills"
Friends that you thought you would die without
Think back now and see if the hardest days
That whatever is, is best.
We need to approach every religion with a deep humility, by which we remember that God has not left Himself without a witness in any nation at any time. When we approach people of another faith, it should be in a spirit of expectancy. We need to listen for how God has been speaking to them and what new understanding of God's grace and love we may discover from them. Our first task in approaching others, another culture or another religion, is to take off our shoes, for the place we are standing is holy ground. If we do not, we may find ourselves treading on people's dreams. More serious still, we may neglect remembering that God was here before our arrival.
Do not believe what you have heard. Do not believe in tradition because it has been handed down for many generations. Do not believe in anything that has been spoken of many times. Do not believe because the written statements come from some old sage. Do not believe in conjecture. Do not believe in authority or teachers or elders. Believe nothing, no matter where you read it or who has said it, not even if I have said it, UNLESS it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. After careful observation and analysis, when it agrees with reason and it will benefit one and all, then accept it and live by it."
Prince Siddhartha Gautama 563-483 B.C.
Once there lived a village of creatures along the bottom of a great crystal river. The current of the river swept silently over them all - - the young and old, rich and poor, good and evil, the current going its own way, knowing only its own crystal self.
Each creature in its own manner clung tightly to the twigs and rocks of the river bottom, for clinging was their way of life, and resisting the current is what each had learned from birth. But one creature said at last, "I am tired of clinging. Though I cannot see it with my eyes, I trust that the current knows where it is going. I want to let go, and let it take me where it will. Clinging, I will die of boredom."
The other creatures laughed and said, "You are a fool! Let go, and that current will throw you tumbled and smashed across the rocks, and you will die quicker than from boredom!" But the one heeded them not, and taking a deep breath did let go, and at once was tumbled and smashed by the current against the rocks.
Yet in time, as the creature refused to cling again, the current lifted him free from the bottom, and he was bruised and hurt no more. And the creatures downstream, to whom he was a stranger cried, "See a miracle! A creature like ourselves, yet he flies! See a Messiah who has come to save us all."
And the one carried in the current said, "I am no more a Messiah than any of you. The river delights to lift us free, if only we dare let go. Our true work is this voyage, this adventure." But they cried the more, "Savior!" all the while clinging to the rocks, and when they looked again, he was gone. And they were left alone making legends of a Savior.
Chief Seattle (excerpt from Joseph Campbellís
The Power of Myth)
The President in Washington sends word that he wishes to buy our land but how can you buy or sell the sky, the land; the idea is strange to us. Every part of this earth is sacred to my people. Every shining pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every meadow, all are holy in the memory and experience of my people. Weíre part of the Earth and it is part of us.
The perfume flowers are our sisters. The bear, the deer, the great eagle, these are our brothers. Each ghostly reflection in the clear water of the lakes tells of events and memories and the life of my people. The waterís murmur is the voice of my fatherís father. The rivers are our brothers. They carry our canoes and feed our children.
If we send you our land, remember that the air is precious to us. That the air shares its spirit along with the life it supports. The wind that gave our grandfather his first breath also receives his last sigh. This we know, the Earth does not belong to man. Man belongs to the Earth. All things are connected like the blood that unites us all. Man did not weave the web of life. He is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web he does to himself. Your destiny is a mystery to us.
What will happen when the buffalo are all slaughtered? What will happen when the secret corners of the forest are heavy with the scent of many men and the view of the ripe hills is blotted by the talking wires? The end of living and the beginning of survival. When the last red man has vanished with his wilderness, and his memory is only the shadow of a cloud moving across the prairie; will these shores and forests still be here? Will there be any spirit of my people left? We love this earth as a newborn loves his motherís heart beat. So if we sell you our land, love it as we have loved it. Care for it as we have cared for it. Hold in your mind the memory of the land as it is when you receive it. Preserve the land for all children and love it as God loves us all. One thing we know, there is only one God, no man be he red man or white man can be a part. We are brothers after all.
SLOW DANCE Have you ever watched kids
Have you ever watched kids