- Keep playing. We do not stop playing because we are old; we grow old because we stop playing.
- You have to laugh and find humor every day.
- You’ve got to have a dream. When you lose your dreams, you die. We have so many people walking around who are dead and don’t even know it!
- Be productive. There is a huge difference between growing older and growing up. If you are nineteen years old and lie in bed for one full year and don’t do one productive thing, you will turn twenty years old. If I am eighty-nine years old and stay in bed for a year and never do anything you will turn eighty-eight. Anybody can grow older. That doesn’t take any talent or ability. The idea is to grow up by always finding opportunity in change. REMEMBER, GROWING OLDER IS MANDATORY. GROWING UP IS OPTIONAL. Have no regrets.The elderly usually don’t have regrets for what we did, but rather for things we did not do. The only people who fear death are those with regrets.
- Give of yourself: your time and resources. We make a Living by what we get, We make a Life by what we give. And we have happiness and joy when we give.
- “STOP and smell the FLOWERS” along the way. Llve your life with a deeper appreciation of the world. Slow down and notice the little things that make life worthwhile. Despite a busy life, it is important to know how to be present in the moment; otherwise those moments will pass you by.
There was once a lady at the beach who had a little child with her. She was too close to the water, and a big wave came in. By the time the water went back into the sea, she realized her son was missing.
She looked all around for her little boy and cried out: “Melvin…Melvin…where are you, Melvin?” She realized he had been swept out to sea. So she prayed, “Oh, dear and merciful Father, please… please… take pity on me and return my beautiful child. I will promise eternal gratitude to you…I’ll never cheat on my income tax again. I’ll be kind to my mother-in-law. I’ll give up smoking.. .Anything.. .Anything… only please grant me this one favor and return my son.”
Just then the next wave washed in, and there he was, safe and sound. Then she looks up to God and said, “But he had a hat!” (Auma na gakobia. Haia. Kai utanacokia gakobia karia auma nako?)
Ingratitude comes easily to most of us: “As a rule, a man’s a fool; / When it’s hot, he wants it cool. / When it’s cool, he wants it hot— / Always wanting what is not.”
“Give a man everything he wants,” declared Immanuel Kant, “and at that moment, everything will not be everything.”
“Greed grabs, Gratitude receives.”
First give thanks for all you have been given. “Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough”. Oprah Winfrey”
“In that day you will say: “Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done, and proclaim that his name is exalted.” ~ Isaiah 12:4
There was a king who owned a very valuable diamond, one of the rarest and most perfect in the world. One day he dropped the diamond and a deep scratch marred its face.
The king summoned for the best jewel experts in the land to remove this blemish, but all agreed that the best way to remove the scratch was to cut away the part of the surface, reducing its weight and value.
Finally one expert appeared and assured the king he could repair the diamond and actually increase its value. His self confidence was convincing and the king authorized the artisan to go to work.
In a few days he returned the diamond. The king was amazed to find that the diamond now was etched with a tiny, lovely rose. On closer examination he discovered that the former scratch had become the stem of this exquisite flower.
Now No more beautiful diamond existed anywhere in the world.
Similarly, your flaws, weaknesses and even the tragedies in your life can be the pathway to great blessings.
“I am fallen, flawed and imperfect. Yet drenched in the grace and mercy that is found in Jesus Christ, there is strength” ~ Adam Young
Song of Solomon 4:7 “You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you”.
We all need to be reminded that outward progress doesn’t necessarily reflect or measure inward progress. Zig Ziglar tells the story of the Chinese Bamboo Tree.
“When this particular seed of the Chinese Bamboo tree is planted, watered and nurtured, for years it doesn’t outwardly grow as much as an inch.
Nothing happens for the first year. There’s no sign of growth. Not even a hint.
The same thing happens – or doesn’t happen – the second year. And then the third year.
The tree is carefully watered and fertilized each year, but nothing shows. No growth. No anything. So it goes as the sun rises and sets for four solid years. The farmer and his wife have nothing tangible to show for this labor or effort.
Then, along comes year five. After five years of fertilizing and watering have passed, with nothing to show for it – the bamboo tree suddenly sprouts and grows eighty feet in just SIX WEEKS!
Did the little tree lie dormant for four years only to grow exponentially in the fifth?
Or, was the little tree growing underground, developing a root system strong enough to support its potential for outward growth in the fifth year and beyond? The answer is, of course, obvious. Had the tree not developed a strong unseen foundation it could not have sustained its life as it grew.”
Your dreams, no matter how big, are not in vain. Just because you don’t see signs of progress now, do not grow weary in continuing to build, to give it everything you have heart and soul.
Even though overly critical friends remind you of how much easier it would be to give up, be more realistic, more practical, or find a new passion…choose to believe that growth is happening underground. A root system is being formed within your life, the kind of roots will outlast storms because of the hard work and commitment it’s taken to stand in faith for something it cannot easily prove or qualify.
l let us continue to nurture and develop our roots and foundations as every step or minute of effort makes a difference and every step you take makes an impact. You may not see the change right away, but growth is happening. With commitment and drive to attain our goals, and with God’s help we can surely reach our dreams.
“The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight. But they, while their companions slept, toiled ever upward through the night.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
“Growth Takes Patience and Perseverance”
Some people resemble desert grass in springtime they flourish overnight. Mozart
composed his first symphony when he was eight years old.
But others. you included perhaps, belongs to another group that require many years of preparation before they tap their potential
Do not lose hope. These people resemble Leonardo da Vinci who painted the Mona Lisa when he was 50 years old, or Clara Barton who founded the American Red Cross when she was59. George Bernard Shaw wrote his famous drama, Saint Joan, when he was 67. Cervantes completed Don Quixote when he was almost 70. Will Durant sold a series of television programs when he was in his 90.s. And who knows, maybe you’ll complete your greatest achievement when you.re 100!
A group of wise people gathered to discuss the work of God; they wanted to know why he had left it to the sixth day to create man.
“He thought about first organizing the Universe well, so that we could have all the marvels available to us,” said one of them.
“First of all He wanted to run some tests on animals, so that He would not make the same mistakes with us,” argued another.
One wise old lady showed up at the meeting. They told her the theme of the discussion: “in your opinion, why did God leave it to the last day to create man?”
“Very simple,” commented the wise lady. “So that when we were moved by pride, we would remember that even a simple mosquito enjoyed priority in the work of the Divine.”
I’m going to tell you a little story.
It’s about a man who wanted to know the secret of success, and decided to find out from a Guru.
Now this was a wise, old sage who knew every secret of Life. He lived in splendid isolation on a mountain-top. Our hero set out on his difficult journey to meet this wise man.
He was determined to reach the top, and so he got over many obstacles on his way. Fighting through thick forests, scaling huge boulders, escaping from wild beasts, at last he clambered to the peak and lay on the ground, gasping for breath.
A few minutes later, he sat up… and beheld the Guru seated in deep meditation.
Silently, he waited. Almost an hour later, the Guru opened his eyes and glanced at the man. He raised an inquiring eyebrow.
The man stammered, “Oh wise and all-knowing seer, I come to you in search of the secret of success.”
The Guru didn’t reply. He simply stood up and started walking down the hill.
The man followed. He found it difficult to keep pace with the old man, who seemed to skip from one rock to the other like a mountain-goat. They walked steadily for another hour, and he wondered if they were going back to the foothills.
Suddenly, they came upon a clearing. In the middle was a clear lake. The waters were still, glinting softly in the rays of a setting sun.
The Guru walked up to the edge of the lake and beckoned the man closer. With a gesture, he asked him to kneel down.
Unquestioningly, the man did as the Guru ordered.
Suddenly, he felt himself seized by a strong hand at the back of his neck. His head was forced down under the water, and held there firmly.
“This is some kind of test,” said the man to himself, as he sat still.
A minute passed, and he was growing breathless. The grip on his neck hadn’t weakened. Another minute crawled by, and now he was getting anxious. His heart beat heavily in his chest, his throat tightened, and his lungs screamed for air.
He struggled to arise, and the old man’s grip became even stronger, pressed him further down into the water.
Now, the man was in a panic. He thrashed around wildly, trying with all his energy to loosen the vise around his neck. Precious seconds passed, and he felt his strength slowly ebbing away.
He thought he was going to die!
Just as he was about to give up hope, rueing his folly in ever coming here, the hand on his collar let go.
Violently leaping onto the shore, the man drew in his breath in heaving gasps. Delicious oxygen flooded his lungs. His vision grew clearer, the hammering in his throat slowed down, his hands stopped trembling.
And he felt a deep anger welling up from within himself.
Standing up, he faced the Guru and screamed: “Are you CRAZY? You could have killed me!”
The Guru simply stared at him for a long moment.
Then he spoke for the first time.
“You wanted to know the secret of success. Here it is. Do you remember, just a few minutes ago, how badly you wanted to take that next breath of air? When you want success that badly, you will have it. That’s the secret of success.”
Without saying another word, he turned around and walked back to his hilltop abode.
How Badly Do YOU Want Success?
Ask any entrepreneurs if they want to succeed, and you’ll get a firm ‘Yes’. But ask them what they’re willing to give up, sacrifice, suffer, accept, tolerate and forego for that success – and you’ll get a wide range of responses.
A few expect success to be automatic, instant, effortless. We usually call these folks ‘dreamers’.
Some are willing to invest a little time and effort to get results, but won’t go beyond that, being satisfied with whatever they can achieve, or grumbling that this isn’t going to work anyway.
And a very small minority are able and willing to give it their all. They don’t know or accept any limits. They don’t settle for less than their ambitious goals. They are ready to do whatever it takes to reach them – because they want success so badly.
It’s good that they are so determined – because often, the most worthwhile accomplishments require a certain level of commitment to attain. After all, if a target were so easy and simple that anyone could hit it, would everyone really want to?
There once was a scientist who was obsessed with immortality. Ever since he heard of the Fountain of Youth as a boy he knew that his life quest would be to extend human life for as long as possible — forever if he could.
So dedicated was he to this goal that he devoted his every waking moment to the study of medicine, genetics, astronautics and all manner of science. Eventually as he drew close to his ultimate goal he was granted a research position on a space station orbiting Earth where zero gravity made new experiments possible.
The scientist had been orbiting the Earth for some time when his experiments hit a snag. He tried everything he could to make them work, but they could go no further until the space station was resupplied from Earth. When he learned that resupply would not happen for weeks, the scientist conducted thought experiments instead. But delay after delay held up the resupply. The space station had plenty of food and water so he was in no danger, but his experiments had reached a frustrating dead end.
Finally in desperation the scientist resorted to new and untried tactic. He prayed for help. “Please help me to finish my work so I can invent a way to live forever,” he prayed.
Much to his surprise his prayer was answered and an angel appeared to him on the space station. “I have heard your prayer,” said the angel, “and I’ll grant you what you seek.”
The scientist just stared. He didn’t know what to say.
“If you want to live forever, all you need to do is climb into your spacesuit. I’ll permanently seal you in and you’ll be immortal,” explained the angel.
“All this time I’ve been working on experiments and you’re telling me that all I need to do is wear my spacesuit?” said the scientist.
“That’s correct,” replied the angel. “But once I seal you in. You’ll be locked into it forever. There will be no going back, no taking it off.”
“I can’t ever take it off?”
“Not even when you return to Earth. It’s the price of immortality,” said the angel.
“How will I eat or drink or go to the bathroom?”
“You won’t need to. You’ll be immortal.”
“I had not considered that,” said the scientist. “It’s not what I thought.”
“I’ll let you think about it,” said the angel. “Give me your answer when I return tomorrow.” With that the angel disappeared.
Once the shock of talking to the angel wore off, the scientist began to ponder the angel’s offer. Here was the answer to his prayers. Here was what he had been seeking all these years. No more sickness, or pain, or fear of death. Here was the answer to humanity’s quest for immortality. Yet it wasn’t what he expected. How was he supposed to function trapped inside the space suit? The scientist pondered his choice for hours as the blue and white sphere of the Earth rotated amidst a sea of stars outside his window.
As promised, the angel returned the next day. “Have you made your choice?” asked the angel.
“It’s a more difficult choice than I thought,” said the scientist. “It’s what I’ve sought all my life. In fact, in a way it’s better because if I wear the suit I can wander around in outer space too. But the suit is bulky and awkward, and if I put it on I’d be cut off from so much. No more eating or drinking. No more smelling things. No more touching people. I’d be cut off from so much in life. Life would be right in front of me but I’d be limited in how I could interact with it. It would be a remarkable loss of immediacy and intimacy. That’s a higher price than I thought it would be.”
“That’s right,” replied the angel.
“Somehow I thought it would be different,” said the scientist. “I thought I’d be inventing a pill that people could swallow.”
“Actually, it is a pill,” replied the angel, magically producing one in his hand.
The scientist was shocked. “Then why did you tell me I’d be wearing the space suit?”
“Because I wanted you to recognize the truth of what your physical body actually is. You needed to make an informed choice,” said the angel. “When you are born you put on a space suit called the physical body,” said the angel. “It lets you operate in three-dimensional space and time. Your body makes possible a wide variety of experiences you could otherwise not have. Yet in your physical form you are also cut off from much your greater spiritual nature. “Death is a way for you to take off your body suit when you no longer need it. Death allows you to return to your true form and to interact with All-That-Is on a more intimate level,” said the angel. “The immortality that you seek would make that impossible.”
“I’d never thought of it that way,” said the scientist.
“Many people fear death,” said the angel. “Few work as hard as you to keep it at bay. Your quest for immortality has been important to you, but now it is time for you let go and release your fear of death and remember that you are already immortal. “Life is not the opposite of death” the angel continued. “It’s a transition between states in a much larger scheme than you’ve previously imagined. Enjoy life in every moment. Prolong your rendezvous with death if you wish. But don’t fear dropping your three dimensional space suit and returning home when you are done.”
The angel placed the pill in the scientist’s hand.
“It’s yours if you’d like to swallow it,” said the angel. “I just wanted you to make an informed choice.”
The scientist stared at the pill. It represented the fulfillment of his quest. But was it the boon to humanity he had supposed? Now he was not so sure.
“Is that the body suit you want to wear in immortality?” asked the angel.
The scientist looked up at the angel and back down at the pill. Then he was silent for some time. “I don’t know,” he finally said. “Forever is a very long time.”
The angel smiled. “Immortality is a lot longer than that”.
“LIFE IS THE CHILDHOOD OF OUR IMMORTALITY”. ~ GOETHE
“OH HOW WRONG WE WERE TO THINK IMMORTALITY MEANT NEVER DYING” ~ GERARD WAY
“SO WILL IT BE WITH THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD. THE BODY THAT IS SOWN IS PERISHABLE, IT IS RAISED IMPERISHABLE; IT IS SOWN IN DISHONOR, IT IS RAISED IN GLORY; IT IS SOWN IN WEAKNESS, IT IS RAISED IN POWER; IT IS SOWN A NATURAL BODY, IT IS RAISED A SPIRITUAL BODY… THEN THE SAYING THAT IS WRITTEN WILL COME TRUE: “DEATH HAS BEEN SWALLOWED UP IN VICTORY.” ~1 COR. 15:42-54)
“Diogenes lived naked, and he was a strong man. Four people who were hijacking people and selling them as slaves in the market thought, “This is a great catch, and this man can bring us a lot of money. We have sold many slaves, but none of them were so strong, so beautiful, and so young. We can get as high a price as we demand; and there is going to be a great competition in the marketplace when we put this man on the pedestal for sale. But,” they thought, “Four are not enough to catch him. He alone could kill us all.”
Diogenes heard what they were saying about him. He was sitting by the side of the river, just enjoying the cool breeze of the evening, underneath a tree; and behind the tree those four were planning what to do. He said, “Don’t be worried. Come here! You need not worry that I will kill you, I never kill anything. And you need not worry that I will fight, resist you — no. I don’t fight anybody, I don’t resist anything. You want to sell me as a slave?”
Embarrassed, afraid, those four people said, “That’s what we were thinking. We are poor… if you are willing.”
He said, “Of course I am. If I can help you in your poverty in some way, it is beautiful.”
So they brought out chains. He said, “Throw them in the river; you need not chain me. I will walk ahead of you. I don’t believe in escaping from anything. In fact, I am getting excited about the idea of being sold, standing on a high pedestal, and hundreds of people trying to get me. I am excited about this auction — I am coming!”
These four people became a little more afraid: this man is not only strong and beautiful, he seems to be mad also; he could be dangerous. But now there was no way for them to escape. Diogenes said, “If you try to escape, you will be risking your own life. Just follow me, all four of you. Put me on the pedestal in the market.”
Unwillingly, they followed him. They wanted to take him, but he went ahead of them! He told those people, “Don’t be afraid, and don’t try to escape. You have given me a great idea, I am grateful to you. This is my responsibility; I am going to the marketplace. You put me up for auction.
“What type of man was this?” they wondered. But there was no way to back out now, so they followed him. And when he was put on a high pedestal so that everybody could see, there was almost silence, pin-drop silence. People had never seen such a proportionate body, so beautiful — as if made of steel, so strong.
Before the auctioneer said anything, Diogenes declared, “Listen people! Here is a master to be sold to any slave, because these four poor people need money. So start the auction, but remember, you are purchasing a master.”
A king purchased him. Of course, he could do it — more and more money he offered at the auction. Many people were interested but finally a sum, larger than any that had ever been heard of before, was given to those four people. Diogenes said to them, “Are you happy now? You can leave now, and I will go with this slave.”
On the way to the palace as they were riding in the chariot, the king said to Diogenes, “Are you crazy or something? You think yourself a master? I am a king, and you think me a slave?”
Diogenes said, “Yes, and I am not crazy, but you are crazy. I can prove it right now.” At the back of the chariot was the queen. Diogenes said, “Your queen is already interested in me, she is finished with you. It is dangerous to purchase a master.”
The king was shocked. Of course, he was nothing in comparison to Diogenes. The king took out his sword and asked his queen, “What he is saying, is it true? If you say the truth, your life will be saved — that is my promise. But if you say an untruth, and I find it out later on, I will behead you.”
Fearful, afraid, still the queen said, “It is true. Before him, you are nothing. I am enchanted, allured; the man has some magic. You are just a poor guy compared to him. This is the truth.”
Of course, the king stopped the chariot and told Diogenes, “Get out of the chariot. I set you free; I don’t want to take such risks in my palace.”
Diogenes said, “Thank you. I am a man who cannot be made a slave, for the simple reason that every responsibility I take on myself. I have not left those four people feeling guilty — they did not bring me there, I came of my own accord. They must be feeling obliged. And it is your chariot, if you want me to get out, that is perfectly good. I am not accustomed to chariots at all, my legs are strong enough. I am a naked man; a golden chariot does not fit with me.”
Most parents labor in obscurity because invisibility of effort is simply an unrewarding condition of parental life. In fact, because they are frequently ignored, discounted, tolerated, criticized, resented, and resisted especially by their adolescents, parents often feel treated as people to put up with, not care-givers who are sacrificing self-interest on a daily basis to help their son or daughter grow.
Teachers and other caregivers are similarly unappreciated.
One struggling mother tired of her daughter asking whether she could not be dressed more fashionably, told her the parable of the Stone and the Flower.
THE STONE AND THE FLOWER
“You have hardened”, said the flower, bending her petals downward toward the half stone at her roots. “These rains should have softened you, made you more fertile and receptive to the seeds of the fields; but no. You have accumulated minerals and have become more silent and full of calcium. Why do you stay here? Why do you resist the brook that gives us water?”
The stone said nothing.
A number of clouds passed by, the sun set and the night arrived with an immense bronze-colored freckled moon with acne scars upon her worn face and in this manner reflected down upon the silent stone which still had not fallen asleep. The flower, by now, had tucked-in her petals and slept profoundly, and at this time the stone began to answer:
“I stay here because your roots have made me yours. I stay here because it is no longer about my feeling the earth rather because I have become part of that which functions as a support of your stem which resists the wind and the rain. Everything changes, my sweet flower”, said the stone, “but I stay here because love is that microscopic space between your feet and my salted skin. You would only be able to feel it if destiny were ever to separate the two of us.”
The moon followed the fade of the stars. Dawn gave a yawn as the sun began to burn its horizon on the lower lip of the mouth of a new day. The flower awoke and extended her beautiful petals. “Good morning”, she said, “I dreamt that you were singing to me. How foolish of me, don’t you think?”
As for you, remember to appreciate your parents, teachers and all your caregivers and tell them:
“THANKS FOR ALL THE ACTS OF CARE, GREAT AND MOSTLY SMALL, THAT YOU MADE TO HELP ME GROW.”
As a boy, Peter overheard a conversation between his father and a wise man.
“Careful with your work”, said the wise man. “Think of what future generations will say about you.”
“So what?” replied his father, “When I die, everything shall end, and it will not matter what they say.”
Peter never forgot that conversation. His whole life, he made an effort to do good, to help people and go about his work with enthusiasm. He became well-known for his concern for others. When he died, he left behind a great number of things which improved the quality of life in his town.
On his tombstone, he had the following epitaph engraved:
“A LIFE WHICH ENDS WITH DEATH, IS A LIFE NOT WELL SPENT.”