Looking Ahead

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Preface
Today’s world is torn apart with problems of Terrorism, Racism, Poverty, Corruption, wars, and environment pollution. In addition we have the problems of our life ill health, financial crisis, disagreement, drugs, work pressure and the list goes on and on…! Circumstances and situations make us weak and we often differ from the purpose of life. Many a times we feel depressed and are often helpless under the burdens of life. We start focusing on the problems and the problems become larger than life.

Do we have an answer?
As natural HUMAN beings we have forgotten the human values. The values of Love, Compassion, Truth, Friendship, Character, Forgiveness, Generosity, Honesty, Integrity, Optimism, Patriotism, Patience, Prudence, Perseverance, Inner Strength ,Understanding etc. We know them to be correct but have forgotten them or neglected them or compromised with them. Little knowing the fact on doing so we multiplied our sufferings and that of our dear worlds. Ever time we face a situation anger clouds us, forgetfulness drive away the Human virtues and we have no option but to adopt the wrong path. I am also a victim……! What should I do?

The answer is simple we have to remember our HUMAN virtues and act with prudence
But in the toughest of times how do we remember and be sensible. It’s an age old practice in INDIA that morals are taught through simple stories that speak to the heart. Stories are easy to remember and to share for all the age groups. Their uniqueness is in their simplicity and ability to speak the truth in a lucid fashion.

“a story a day keeps the problems away”
I have a small compilation of stories some of which were mailed to me some found on the web. I shall be ever grateful to the true owners of the stories which have often helped in the deepest tribulations of day to day life. The purpose of this collection is to pass on to all who would like our WORLD to be a better place by making the most of themselves. The purpose is to create awareness on HUMAN values and virtues which are essential in brightening our life.

The collection has no commercial value

Try not to become a man of success but a man of value
Albert Einstein

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Answers

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1. You Are Wonderful
The following story captured our heart. It happened several years ago in the Paris opera house. A famous singer had been contracted to sing, and ticket sales were booming. In fact, the night of the concert found the house packed and every ticket sold. The feeling of anticipation and excitement was in the air as the house manager took the stage and said, Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for your enthusiastic support. I am afraid that due to illness, the man whom you've all come to hear will not be performing tonight. However, we have found a suitable substitute we hope will provide you with comparable entertainment. The crowd groaned in disappointment and failed to hear the announcer mention the stand-in's name. The environment turned from excitement to frustration. The stand-in performer gave the performance everything he had. When he had finished, there was nothing but an uncomfortable silence. No one applauded. Suddenly, from the balcony, a little boy stood up and shouted, Daddy, I think you are wonderful! The crowd broke into thunderous applause. We all need people in our Lives who are willing to stand up once in a while and say, I think you are wonderful. And at times others are expecting this from you. Are you telling them how wonderful you are . . .?????????? Say it now and make someone's day more pleasant.

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2. Where to tap
Ever heard the story of the giant ship engine that failed? The ship’s owners tried one expert after another, but none of them could figure but how to fix the engine. Then they brought in an old man who had been fixing ships since he was a youngster. He carried a large bag of tools with him, and when he arrived, he immediately went to work. He inspected the engine very carefully, top to bottom. Two of the ship's owners were there, watching this man, hoping he would know what to do. After looking things over, the old man reached into his bag and pulled out a small hammer. He gently tapped something. Instantly, the engine lurched into life. He carefully put his hammer away. The engine was fixed! A week later, the owners received a bill from the old man for ten thousand dollars. "What?!" the owners exclaimed. "He hardly did anything!" So they wrote the old man a note saying, "Please send us an itemized bill." The man sent a bill that read: Tapping with a hammer... Knowing where to ......... $ $ 2.00 9998.00

Effort is important, but knowing where to make an effort in your life makes all the difference.

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3. Two Angels
Two traveling angels stopped to spend the night in the home of a wealthy family. The family was rude and refused to let the angels stay in the mansion's guest room. Instead the angels were given a space in the cold basement. As they made their bed on the hard floor, the older angel saw a hole in the wall and repaired it. When the younger angel asked why, the older angel replied... "Things aren't always what they seem". The next night the pair came to rest at the house of a very poor, but very hospitable farmer and his wife. After sharing what little food they had the couple let the angels sleep in their bed where they could have a good night's rest. When the sun came up the next morning the angels found the farmer and his wife in tears. Their only cow, whose milk had been their sole income, lay dead in the field. The younger angel was infuriated and asked the older angel "how could you have let this happen!? The first man had everything, yet you helped him," she accused. "The second family had little but was willing to share everything, and you let their cow die." "Things aren't always what they seem," the older angel replied. "When we stayed in the basement of the mansion, I noticed there was gold stored in that hole in the wall. Since the owner was so obsessed with greed and unwilling to share his good fortune, I sealed the wall so he wouldn't find it. Then last night as we slept in the farmer’s bed, the angel of death came for his wife. I gave her the cow instead. Things aren't always what they seem."

Sometimes this is exactly what happens when things don't turn out the way they should. If you have faith, you just need to trust that every outcome is always to your advantage. You might not know it until some time later.

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4. The Wood Cutter
One day a woodcutter took his grandson into the forest for his first experience in selecting and cutting oak trees. These they would later sell to the boat builders. As they walked along, the woodcutter explained that the purpose of each tree is contained in its natural shape: some are straight for planks, some have the proper curves for the ribs of a boat, and some are tall for masts. The woodcutter told his grandson that by paying attention to the details of each tree, and with experience in recognizing these characteristics; someday he too might become the woodcutter of the forest. A little way into the forest, the grandson saw an old oak tree that had never been cut. The boy asked his grandfather if he could cut it down because it was useless for boat building - there were no straight limbs, the trunk was, short and gnarled, and the curves were going the wrong way. "We could cut it down for firewood," the grandson said. "At least then it will be of some use to us." The woodcutter replied that for now they should be about their work cutting the proper trees for the boat builders; maybe later they could return to the old oak tree. After a few hours of cutting the huge trees, the grandson grew tired and asked if they could stop for a rest in some cool shade. The woodcutter took his grandson over to the old oak tree, where they rested against its trunk in the cool shade beneath its twisted limbs. After they had rested a while, the woodcutter explained to his grandson the necessity of attentive awareness and recognition of everything in the forest and in the world. Some things are readily apparent, like the tall, straight trees; other things are less apparent, requiring closer attention, like recognition of the proper curves in the limbs. And some things might initially appear to have no purpose at all, like the gnarled old oak tree. The woodcutter stated, "You must learn to pay careful attention every day so you can recognize and discover the purpose God has for everything in creation. For it is this old oak tree, which you so quickly deemed useless except for firewood, that now allows us to rest against its trunk amidst the coolness of its shade.

“Remember, grandson, not everything is as it first appears. Be patient, pay attention, recognize, & discover."

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5. The Wise Songbird
Once upon a time there was a golden songbird that lived in a beautiful garden. It spent all its days singing the loveliest songs to the honour of its maker and the delight of all the people who heard it. But the keeper of the garden, who was a foolish and greedy man, coveted the little songster, and one day he made a cunning net in which he snared it. The little bird begged the man to release him and promised to tell him three great secrets if only he would let him go. Now the gardener really was a very greedy man and rubbing his hands together, he eagerly released the bird. Then the songbird told him it's three great secrets:  Never believe all that you hear;  Never regret what you have never lost, and  Never throw away that which you have in your keeping. The gardener was furious when he heard this and said he had known these so-called 'secrets' since he was a little child and shouted that the bird had tricked him. But the songbird quietly replied that if the man had really known these three secrets, or only the last of them, he would never have let him go. Then the bird added:” I have a most precious jewel weighing over three ounces hidden inside me and whoever possesses that marvelous stone will have every wish granted." On hearing this, the keeper roared like a lion and cursed himself for setting the songster free. But the little bird only added fuel to his rage by explaining that since he weighed no more than half an ounce at most, as anyone with eyes could plainly see, how was it possible that a gem weighing more than three ounces could be hidden within its tiny body? At that the man tore his hair and lunged at the bird in a towering rage, but the little songbird flew to a nearby branch and added sweetly:” Since you never had the jewel in your hands you are already regretting what you never lost, and believing what I told you, you threw it away by setting me free." Then the little songbird told the man to study well these three great secrets and so become as wise as the bird himself!

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6. The Wings of Burden
An old legend relates that long ago God had a great many burdens which He wished to have carried from one place to another on earth, so He asked the animals to lend a hand. But all of them began to make excuses for not helping: the elephant was too dignified; the lion, too proud; and so on. Finally the birds came to God and said, "If you will tie the burdens into small bundles, we'll be glad to carry them for you. We are small but we would like to help." So God fastened upon the back of each one a small bundle, and they all set out walking across the plain to their destination. They sang as they went, and did not seem to feel the weight of their burdens at all. Every day the burdens seemed lighter and lighter, until the loads seems to be lifting the birds, instead of the birds carrying the burdens. When they arrived at their destination, they discovered that when they removed their loads, there were wings in their place, wings which enabled them to fly to the sky and the tree tops. They had learned how to carry their burdens, and their loads had become wings to carry them nearer to God. Burdens we carry for others may become wings of the spirit, to lift us into happiness such as we have never known.

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7. The Touchstone
When the great library of Alexandria burned, the story goes, one book was saved. But it was not a valuable book; and so a poor man, who could read a little, bought it for a few coppers. The book wasn't very interesting, but between its pages there was something very interesting indeed. It was a thin strip of vellum on which was written the secret of the "Touchstone"! The touchstone was a small pebble that could turn any common metal into pure gold. The writing explained that it was lying among thousands and thousands of other pebbles that looked exactly like it. But the secret was this: The real stone would feel warm, while ordinary pebbles are cold. So the man sold his few belongings, bought some simple supplies, camped on the seashore, and began testing pebbles. He knew that if he picked up ordinary pebbles and threw them down again because they were cold, he might pick up the same pebble hundreds of times. So, when he felt one that was cold, he threw it into the sea. He spent a whole day doing this but none of them was the touchstone. Yet he went on and on this way. Pick up a pebble. Cold - throw it into the sea. Pick up another. Throw it into the sea. The days stretched into weeks and the weeks into months. One day, however, about midafternoon, he picked up a pebble and it was warm. He threw it into the sea before he realized what he had done. He had formed such a strong habit of throwing each pebble into the sea that when the one he wanted came along, he still threw it away.

So it is with opportunity. Unless we are vigilant, it's easy to fail to recognize an opportunity when it is in hand and it's just as easy to throw it away.

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8. The Tao of Forgiveness
One day, the sage gave the disciple an empty sack and a basket of potatoes. "Think of all the people who have done or said something against you in the recent past, especially those you cannot forgive. For each of them, inscribe the name on a potato and put it in the sack.” The disciple came up quite a few names, and soon his sack was heavy with potatoes. "Carry the sack with you wherever you go for a week," said the sage. "We'll talk after that." At first, the disciple thought nothing of it. Carrying the sack was not particularly difficult. But after a while, it became more of a burden. It sometimes got in the way, and it seemed to require more effort to carry as time went on, even though its weight remained the same. After a few days, the sack began to smell. The carved potatoes gave off a ripe odor. Not only were they increasingly inconvenient to carry around, they were also becoming rather unpleasant. Finally, the week was over. The sage summoned the disciple. "Any thoughts about all this?" "Yes, Master," the disciple replied. "When we are unable to forgive others, we carry negative feelings with us everywhere, much like these potatoes. That negativity becomes a burden to us and, after a while, it festers." "Yes, that is exactly what happens when one holds a grudge. So, how can we lighten the load?", "We must strive to forgive." "Forgiving someone is the equivalent of removing the corresponding potato from the sack. How many of your transgressors are you able to forgive?" "I've thought about it quite a bit, Master," the disciple said. "It required much effort, but I have decided to forgive all of them." "Very well, we can remove all the potatoes. Were there any more people who transgressed against you this last week?" The disciple thought for a while and admitted there were. Then he felt panic when he realized his empty sack was about to get filled up again. "Master," he asked, "if we continue like this, wouldn't there always be potatoes in the sack week after week?" "Yes, as long as people speak or act against you in some way, you will always have potatoes." "But Master, we can never control what others do. So what good is the Tao in this case?" "We're not at the realm of the Tao yet. Everything we have talked about so far is the conventional approach to forgiveness. It is the same thing that many philosophies and most religions preach - we must constantly strive to forgive, for it is an important virtue. This is not the Tao because there is no striving in the Tao." "Then what is the Tao, Master?" "You can figure it out. If the potatoes are negative feelings, then what is the sack?" "The sack is... that which allows me to hold on to the negativity. It is something within us that makes us dwell on feeling offended.... Ah, it is my inflated sense of self-importance. " "And what will happen if you let go of it?" "Then... the things that people do or say against me no longer seem like such a major issue." "In that case, you won't have any names to inscribe on potatoes. That means no more weight to carry around, and no more bad smells. The Tao of forgiveness is the conscious decision to not just to remove some potatoes... but to relinquish the entire sack." 12

9. The Spilt Milk
This is a story about a famous research scientist who had made several very important medical breakthroughs. He was being interviewed by a newspaper reporter who asked him why he thought he was able to be so much more creative than the average person. What set him so far apart from others? He responded that, in his opinion, it all came from an experience with his mother that occurred when he was about two years old. He had been trying to remove a bottle of milk from the refrigerator when he lost his grip on the slippery bottle and it fell, spilling its contents all over the kitchen floor—a veritable sea of milk! When his mother came into the kitchen, instead of yelling at him, giving him a lecture, or punishing him, she said, "Robert, what a great and wonderful mess you have made! I have rarely seen such a huge puddle of milk. Well, the damage has already been done. Would you like to get down and play in the milk for a few minutes before we clean it up?" Indeed, he did. After a few minutes, his mother said, "You know, Robert, whenever you make a mess like this, eventually you have to clean it up and restore everything to its proper order. So, how would you like to do that? We could use a sponge, a towel, or a mop. Which do you prefer?" He chose the sponge and together they cleaned up the spilled milk. His mother then said, "You know, what we have here is a failed experiment in how to effectively carry a big milk bottle with two tiny hands. Let's go out in the back yard and fill the bottle with water and see if you can discover a way to carry it without dropping it." The little boy learned that if he grasped the bottle at the top near the lip with both hands, he could carry it without dropping it. What a wonderful lesson! This renowned scientist then remarked that it was at that moment that he knew he didn't need to be afraid to make mistakes. Instead, he learned that mistakes were just opportunities for learning something new, which is, after all, what scientific experiments are all about. Even if the experiment "doesn't work," we usually learn something valuable from it.

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10. The Richest Man in the Valley
A rich landowner named Carl often rode around his vast estate so he could congratulate himself on his great wealth. One day while riding around his estate on his favorite horse, he saw Hans, an old tenant farmer. Hans was sitting under a tree when Carl rode by. Hans said, 'I was just thanking God for my food.' Carl protested, 'If that is all I had to eat, I wouldn't feel like giving thanks.' Hans replied, 'God has given me everything I need, and I am thankful for it.' The old farmer added, 'It is strange you should come by today because I had a dream last night. In my dream a voice told me, 'The richest man in the valley will die tonight.' I don't know what it means, but I thought I ought to tell you.' Carl snorted, 'Dreams are nonsense,' and galloped away, but he could not forget Hans' words: 'The richest man in the valley will die tonight.' He was obviously the richest man in the valley, so he invited his doctor to his house that evening. Carl told the doctor what Hans had said. After a thorough examination, the doctor told the wealthy landowner, 'Carl, you are as strong and healthy as a horse. There is no way you are going to die tonight.' Nevertheless, for assurance, the doctor stayed with Carl, and they played cards through the night. The doctor left the next morning and Carl apologized for becoming so upset over the old man's dream. At about nine o'clock, a messenger arrived at Carl's door. 'What is it?' Carl demanded. The messenger explained, 'It's about old Hans. He died last night in his sleep.'

Being rich has nothing to do with money or possessions. But it has everything to do with having a relationship with God.

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11. The Parable of the Spoons
A holy man was having a conversation with the Lord one day and said, “Lord, I would like to know what Heaven and Hell are like” The Lord led the holy man to two doors. He opened one of the doors and the holy man looked in. In the middle of the room was a large round table. In the middle of the table was a large pot of stew which smelled delicious and made the holy man's mouth water. The people sitting around the table were thin and sickly. They appeared to be famished. They were holding spoons with very long handles and each found it possible to reach into the pot of stew and take a spoonful, but because the handle was longer than their arms, they could not get the spoons back into their mouths. The holy man shuddered at the sight of their misery and suffering. The Lord said, "You have seen Hell." They went to the next room and opened the door. It was exactly the same as the first one. There was the large round table with the large pot of stew which made the holy man's mouth water. The people were equipped with the same long-handled spoons, but here the people were well nourished and plump, laughing and talking. The holy man said, "I don't understand." It is simple" said the Lord, "it requires but one skill. You see, they have learned to feed each other. While the greedy think only of themselves.

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12. The Monk and the Baby
Once there was a monk who lived in a village. One day a young village girl became pregnant and was unmarried. She did not want to expose her boyfriend. Out of fear when her parents asked her who is responsible, she pointed her finger to that monk. Her parents were infuriated. The next day, the whole village turned up to blame him. "How could you?" "You dirty old man!" "You are a disgrace!" "Get out of our village, you hypocrite!" Some villagers even threaten his life. After listening to all the accusations, what he said was "Is that so?" and went back to meditate. Months went by; the young girl gave birth to a baby. The parents of the young girl were forced to find a father for the child. The parents and the villagers went up to approach him saying "You are responsible for this baby; therefore you should bring up the baby!" Once again, he said "Is that so?" He took the young baby in his arms and went back. By this time the he has lost his reputation but it did not trouble him. He took very good care for this baby and he manages to obtain milk and everything the child needed from his neighbors. After a year, he young girl felt ashamed and guilty and wanted to see her baby. She finally told the real story to her parents. When all the villagers came to know the truth, they all felt ashamed of having wrong him. So all of them gathered and went to the monk asking for forgiveness. Once again, after listening to them said "Is that so?" He handed the baby back to the young girl. When you are right, one thousand angels swearing that you are wrong does not matter. But when you are wrong, ten thousand angels swearing that you are right will not make any difference.

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13. The Message in a Bottle
A man was strolling along the beach one day when he spotted a bottle washed up on the shore. He went over and picked it up, and noticed a message in the bottle. He popped the cork out and inside was a weathered treasure map indicating that there was buried treasure to be found in the shallow waters below. But the man thought it was a hoax, so he slipped the map back in and threw the bottle back into the ocean. A little later, another man was walking along the beach and the bottle had washed upon the shore. He too picked up the bottle, popped out the cork, and found the treasure map. This man, however, was curious enough to wade into the water and hoped it was buried shallow enough to find. But once the cold ocean waters reached up to his thighs, he decided to quit. "This is not worth it!" he thought to himself. So he scrambled back to shore and chucked the bottle back into the ocean. A third man was walking by the beach and noticed the bottle washed upon the shore. He went over, opened the bottle and found the map. The map looked authentic enough, and promised great treasure. So he got himself a small raft and set out into the ocean to claim the treasure he rowed out far enough into the ocean where the "X" on the map was and to his surprise, he saw the glint of something shining in the waters below he dove into the ocean and swam towards the shining object below. He could see that there was something that looked like a treasure chest, but he couldn't quite reach it and the deeper he went, the greater the cold and pressure on his body and his mind I am about to lose my breath, and the longer I take, my raft might be swept away he thought. So the man decided to give up the hunt so he would ensure his own life and safety. When he reached the shore once more, he took the bottle from the raft and tossed it back into the ocean Finally, one more man was walking along the beach. He noticed the bottle, went over, popped it open, and was excited to find a map promising great treasure. He noticed someone had left a raft by the water's edge, so he took it and paddled out. He too, got far enough to where the "X" marks the spot, and squinted into the waters and saw the shadow and glint of the treasure below. He took a deep breath and plunged into the waters. Like the man before him, the cold, darkness and pressure upon his senses increased as he got closer. He also realized that if he kept swimming, that he might lose his breath, the raft, and even his own life! But this treasure could be worth all the risk and he persisted. Just as he was about to give up, he grabbed the long chain that was binding the chest and pulled it up along with himself back to the surface. He broke the surface of the water gasping and exhausted but with the treasure chest safely in his grasp. He paddled back to the shore, opened up the treasure chest and found what the map had promised gold, precious diamonds and jewels that would make him secure for the rest of his life. A relationship with God is a similar treasure hunt. People hear the same message, but the way they receive it will determine the reward they might find. Eternal life is waiting for all those who are willing to take that risk to follow God all the way of life, where we find love, forgiveness and life everlasting.... for eternity.

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14. The Master
When one Guru was dying, one of his disciples asked him "Guruji, who was your master?” He said, "I had thousands of masters. If I just relate their names it will take months, years and it is too late. But three masters I will certainly tell you about. One was a thief. Once I got lost in the desert, and when I reached a village it was very late, everything was closed. But at last I found one man who was trying to make a hole in the wall of a house. I asked him where I could stay and he said 'at this time of night it will be difficult, but you can say with me - if you can stay with a thief'. And the man was so beautiful. I stayed for one month! And each night he would say to me, 'Now I am going to my work. You rest, you pray.' When he came back I would ask 'Could you get anything?' He would say, 'Not tonight. But tomorrow I will try again, God willing.' He was never in a state of hopelessness, he was always happy. When I was meditating and meditating for years on end and nothing was happening, many times the moment came when I was so desperate, so hopeless, that I thought to stop all this nonsense. And suddenly I would remember the thief who would say every night, 'God willing, tomorrow it is going to happen.' And my second master was a dog. I was going to the river, thirsty and a dog came. He was also thirsty. He looked into the river, he saw another dog there -- his own image -- and became afraid. He would bard and run away, but his thirst was so much that he would come back. Finally, despite his fear, he just jumped into the water, and the image disappeared. And I knew that a message had come to me from God: one has to jump in spite of all fears. And the third master was a small child. I entered a town and a child was carrying a lit candle. He was going to the mosque to put the candle there. Just jokingly I asked the boy, 'Have you lit the candle yourself?' He said, 'Yes sir.' And I asked, 'There was a moment when the candle was unlit, then there was a moment when the candle was lit. Can you show me the source from which the light came?' And the boy laughed, blew out the candle, and said, 'Now you have seen the light going. Where has it gone? You will tell me!' My ego was shattered, my whole knowledge was shattered. And that moment I felt my own stupidity. Since then I dropped all my knowledge ability. It is true that I had no master. That does not mean that I was not a disciple I accepted the whole existence as my master. My Disciple hood was a greater involvement than yours is. I trusted the clouds, the trees. I trusted existence as such. I had no master because I had millions of masters I learned from every possible source. To be a disciple is a must on the path. What does it mean to be a disciple? It means to be able to learn. To be available to learn, to be vulnerable to existence. With a master you start learning to learn. The master is a swimming pool where you can learn how to swim. Once you have learned, all the oceans are yours."

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15. The Horse sense
Just up the road from my home is a field, with two horses in it. From a distance, each looks like every other horse. But if one stops the car, or is walking by, one will notice something quite amazing. Looking into the eyes of one horse will disclose that he is blind. His owner has chosen not to have him put down, but has made a good home for him. This alone is amazing. Listening, one will hear the sound of a bell. Looking around for the source of the sound, one will see that it comes from the smaller horse in the field. Attached to her bridle is a small bell. It lets her blind friend know where she is, so he can follow her. As one stands and watches these two friends, one sees how she is always checking on him, and that he will listen for her bell and then slowly walk to where she is, trusting that she will not lead him astray. Like the owners of these two horses, God does not throw us away just because we are not perfect or because we have problems or challenges. He watches over us and even brings others into our lives to help us when we are in need. Sometimes we are the blind horse being guided by God and those whom he places in our lives. Other times we are the guide horse, helping others see God.

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16. The Fork
There was a woman who had been diagnosed with a terminal illness and had been given three months to live. So as she was getting her things "in order", she contacted her pastor and had him come to her house to discuss certain aspects of her final wishes. She told him which songs she wanted sung at the service, what scriptures she would like read, and what outfit she wanted to be buried in. The woman also requested to be buried with her favorite Bible. Everything was in order and the pastor was preparing to leave when the woman suddenly remembered something very important to her. "There's one more thing," she said excitedly. "What's that?" came the pastor's reply. "This is very important," the woman continued. "I want to be buried with a fork in my right hand." The pastor didn't know what to say. "That surprises you, doesn't it?" the woman asked. "Well, to be honest, I'm puzzled by the request," said the pastor. The woman explained. "In all my years of attending church socials and potluck dinners, I always remember that when the dishes of the main course were being cleared, someone would inevitably lean over and say, 'Keep your fork'. It was my favorite part because I knew that something better was coming... like velvety chocolate cake or deep-dish apple pie something wonderful, and with substance. So, I just want people to see me there in that casket with a fork in my hand and I want them to wonder, 'What's with the fork?' Then I want you to tell them: "Keep your fork...the best is yet to come". The pastor's eyes welled up with tears of joy as he hugged the woman the last time he would see her before her death. But he also knew that the woman had a better grasp of heaven than he did. She KNEW that something better was coming. At the funeral people were walking by the woman's casket and they saw the pretty dress she was wearing, her favorite Bible and the fork placed in her right hand. Over and over, the pastor heard the question, "What's with the fork?" And over and over he smiled. During his message, the pastor told the people of the conversation he had with the woman about what it symbolized to her. The pastor told the people how he could not stop thinking about the fork and told them that they probably would not be able to stop thinking about it either. He was right. So the next time you reach down for your fork let it remind you, oh so gently, that the best is yet to come.

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17. The Duck and the Devil
There was a little boy visiting his grandparents on their farm. He was given a slingshot to play with out in the woods. He practiced in the woods, but he could never hit the target. Getting A little discouraged, he headed back for dinner. As he was walking back he saw Grandma's pet duck. Just out of impulse, he let the slingshot fly, hit the duck Square in the head, and killed it. He was shocked and grieved. In a panic, he hid the dead duck in the wood pile, only to see His sister watching! Sally had seen it all, but she said nothing. After lunch the next day Grandma said, "Sally, let's wash the Dishes." But Sally said, "Grandma, Johnny told me he wanted to help in the kitchen." Then she whispered to him, "Remember the duck?" So Johnny did the dishes. Later that day, Grandpa asked if the children wanted to go Fishing and Grandma said, "I'm sorry but I need Sally to help make Supper." Sally just smiled and said," Well that's all right because Johnny told me he wanted to help." She whispered again, "Remember the duck?" So Sally Went fishing and Johnny stayed to help. After several days of Johnny doing both his chores and Sally's, He finally couldn't stand it any longer. He came to Grandma and confessed that he had killed the duck. Grandma knelt down, gave him a hug, and said, "Sweetheart, I know. You see, I was standing at the window and I saw the whole thing, but because I love you, I forgave you. I was just wondering how long you would let Sally make a slave of you." Thought for the day and every day thereafter? Whatever is in your past, whatever you have done and the devil Keeps throwing it up in your face (lying, cheating, debt, fear, bad Habits, hatred, anger, bitterness, etc.) ....whatever it is....You need to know that God was standing at the window and He saw the whole thing..... He has seen your whole life. He wants you to know that He loves you and that you are forgiven. He's just wondering how long you will let the devil make a slave of you. The great thing about God is that when you ask for forgiveness, He Not only forgives you, but He forgets. It is by God's grace and Mercy that we are saved. Go ahead and make the difference in someone's life today. Share this with a friend and always remember: God is at the window.

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18. Dreams
The first day of school our professor introduced him and challenged us to get to know someone we didn't already know. I stood up to look around when a gentle hand touched my shoulder. I turned around to find a wrinkled, little old lady beaming up at me with a smile that that lit up her entire being. She said, "Hi, handsome. My name is Rose. I'm eighty-seven years old. Can I give you a hug?" I laughed and enthusiastically responded, "Of course you may!" and she gave me a giant squeeze. "Why are you in college at such a young, innocent age?" I asked. She jokingly replied, "I'm here to meet a rich husband, get married, have a couple of children, and then retire and travel." "No seriously," I asked. I was curious what may have motivated her to be taking on this challenge at her age. "I always dreamed of having a college education and now I'm getting one!" she told me. After class we walked to the student union building and share a chocolate milkshake. We became instant friends. Every day for the next three months we would leave class together and talk nonstop. I was always mesmerized listening to this "time machine" as she shared her wisdom and experience with me. Over the course of the year, Rose became a campus icon and she easily made friends wherever she went. She loved to dress up and she reveled in the attention bestowed upon her from the other students. She was living it up. At the end of the semester we invited Rose to speak at our football banquet. I'll never forget what she taught us. She was introduced and stepped up to the podium. As she began to deliver her prepared speech, she dropped her three by five cards on the floor. Frustrated and a little embarrassed she leaned into the microphone and simply said, "I'm sorry I'm so jittery. I gave up beer for Lent and this whiskey is killing me! I'll never get my speech back in order so let me just tell you what I know." As we laughed she cleared her throat and began: "We do not stop playing because we are old; we grow old because we stop playing. There are only few secrets to staying young, being happy, and achieving success. "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!" "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-seven years old and stay in bed for a year and never do anything I 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 the opportunity in change." "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." She concluded her speech by courageously singing The Rose. She challenged each of us to study the lyrics and live them out in our daily lives. At the years end Rose finished the college degree she had begun all those years ago. One week after graduation Rose died peacefully in her sleep.

Remember: Growing Older Is Mandatory, Growing Up Is Optional.

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19. The donkey
A village potter used to make pots and planters. He would go to a near by town to sell his wares. He had a donkey on whose back he would load the pots etc. Diwali was fast approaching, so the potter decided to make some statues of Lord Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi, to sell in town. He made some beautiful statues and painted them in bright colours. He then loaded them on to the back of his donkey and set off towards the city. On the way, he crossed many people. They would invariably fold their hands and bow to the statues of Ganesha and Lakshmi. By the time they reached the city, many people had bowed their heads before the deities. They reached the exhibition ground where the artisans could exhibit their things. Soon the potter was able to sell his statues for a good sum. He was pleased indeed! The potter took his donkey by the muzzle and set off on the road leading back to the village. Every time they would cross anyone, the donkey would stop and preen himself prettily as if he were a model. But what was the matter! No one seemed to as much as glance at him! Why were people not bowing their heads before him anymore? Desperate to catch their attention, the donkey started to bray louder & louder... He-haw, he-haw...... he went on. The passers-by started pelting stones at him in annoyance. The potter was bewildered too. The poor donkey had thought that everyone was bowing to him, little realizing that their reverence was directed to the idols of God tied to his back and not to him! Many of us make this mistake. A person occupying a seat of power, often finds people saluting him. If he thinks that the salutations are in his honour, he is living in a fool's paradise, like the donkey in the story! The respect is given to the chair and not to the person occupying it. As soon as he steps down from the position, the people around him vanish. Frogs croak only when it rains, as soon as the rain stops, they vanish.

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20. The Cricket
Super-human ears ? A man and his friend were in a city, walking through the street. It was during the noon lunch hour and the streets were filled with people. Cars were honking their horns, taxicabs were squealing around corners, sirens were wailing, and the sounds of the city were almost deafening. Suddenly, the man said to his friend, "I hear a cricket." His friend said, "What? You must be crazy. You couldn't possibly hear a cricket in all of this noise!" "No, I'm sure of it," the man said, "I heard a cricket." "That's crazy," said the friend. The man listened carefully for a moment, and then walked across the street to a big cement planter where some shrubs were growing. He looked into the bushes, beneath the branches, and sure enough, he located a small cricket. His friend was utterly amazed. "That's incredible," said his friend. "You must have super-human ears!" "No," said the man. "My ears are no different from yours. It all depends on what you're listening for." "But that can't be!" said the friend. "I could never hear a cricket in this noise." "Yes, it's true," came the reply. "It depends on what is really important to you. Here, let me show you." He reached into his pocket, pulled out a few coins, and discreetly dropped them on the sidewalk. And then, with the noise of the crowded street still blaring in their ears, they noticed every head within twenty feet turn and look to see if the money that tinkled on the pavement was theirs.

"See what I mean?" asked the man. "It all depends on what's important to you."

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21. The Cart Horse & the Donkey
Once upon a time there were two cart-horses. They worked together for many years, pulling the cart of a peasant. Over the years, they often argued with each other, complaining that the other was not keeping to its side, or was going just a little too quickly or just a little too slow. One day, one of the two horses suddenly died. The remaining horse was very upset about this. It realized that in all the time that they had worked together, it had not once told the other horse how much it valued its company and its faithful help in pulling the cart. Now the chance was gone forever. The horse also reflected on all the squabbles they had had. It suddenly understood that it need not have taken offence as easily as it had done, that it need not have borne as many grudges, that it could have been less arrogant, in short, it realized that it had wasted all the energy that had been available for friendship and kindness on unworthy and unnecessary thoughts and emotions. The horse was ashamed and resolved to lead a different life in future. Whoever its new partner was going to be, things were going to be different. But time passed, and the horse forgot. One day, it caught itself in exactly the same kind of behavior that it had sworn never to engage in again. The horse could not understand why it had returned to its old ways. That evening, in the stable, the horse decided to seek out the peasant's donkey, which had a reputation for wisdom among the animals. The donkey listened to the horse's story. Eventually, it replied. "It is good that you have noticed what has happened. If you truly want to change, this is possible; but it will, for a long time, cost you your peace of mind. Are you prepared to accept this?" The horse replied that it definitely did not want to return to its old ways. Anything was better than that. So the donkey continued, "There is one very simple, and at the same time very hard thing that you have to do. Remember every day that one day, perhaps today, perhaps many years from now, you will die. Remember every day that the horse next to you will die. Remember every day that every other creature you will see, will one day die. Remember that all animals alive today are part of a wave, which will soon break and be lost on the beach forever, to be followed by a new wave, and another, and another. No wave is permanent. The only thing that is permanent is the ocean. "There were tears in the horse's eyes. The donkey continued, "Only if you remember death will you become strong-willed and alert enough not to postpone love. This is my advice to you, and in following it, perhaps one day you may come to know that which is deathless."

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22. The Bamboo
Once upon a time, in the heart of the Western Kingdom, lay a beautiful garden. And there, in the cool of the day, the Master of the garden wanted to walk. Of all the denizens of the garden, the most beautiful and most beloved was gracious and noble bamboo. Year after year, bamboo grew yet more noble and gracious, conscious of his Master's love and watchful delight, but modest and gentle with all. And often when the wind came to revel in the garden, Bamboo would cast aside his grave stateliness, to dance and play right merrily, tossing and swaying and leaping and bowing in joyous abandon, leading the Great Dance of the garden, which most delighted the Master's heart. Now, once upon a day, the Master himself drew near to contemplate his Bamboo with eyes of curious expectancy. And Bamboo, in a passion of adoration, bowed his great head to the ground in loving greeting. The Master spoke: "Bamboo, Bamboo, I would use you." Bamboo flung his head to the sky in utter delight. The day of days had come, the day for which he had been made, the day to which he had been growing hour by hour, the day in which he would find his completion and his destiny. His voice came low: "Master, I'm ready. Use me as Thou wilt." "Bamboo," – The Master's voice was grave --- "I would have to take you and cut you down!" A trembling of great horror shook Bamboo…"Cut …me… down ? Me.. who thou, Master, has made the most beautiful in all thy Garden…cut me down! Ah, not that. Not that. Use me for the joy, use me for the glory, oh master, but cut me not down!" Beloved Bamboo,"—The Master's voice grew graver still—"If I cut you not down, I cannot use you." The garden grew still. Wind held his breath. Bamboo slowly bent his proud and glorious head. There was a whisper: "Master, if thou cannot use me other than to cut me down.. then do thy will and cut". "Bamboo, beloved Bamboo, I would cut your leaves and branches from you also". "Master, spare me. Cut me down and lay my beauty in the dust; but would thou also have to take from me, my leaves and branches too?" "Bamboo, if I cut them not away, I cannot use you." The Sun hid his face. A listening butterfly glided fearfully away. And Bamboo shivered in terrible expectancy, whispering low: "Master, cut away" "Bamboo, Bamboo, I would yet… split you in two and cut out your heart, for if I cut not so, I cannot use you." Then Bamboo bowed to the ground: "Master, Master… then cut and split." So did the Master of the garden took Bamboo…and cut him down…and hacked off his branches…and stripped off his leaves…and split him in two…and cut out his heart. And lifting him gently, carried him to where there was a spring of fresh sparkling water in the midst of his dry fields. Then putting one end of the broken Bamboo in the spring and the other end into the water channel in His field, the Master laid down gently his beloved Bamboo… And the spring sang welcome, and the clear sparkling waters raced joyously down the channel of bamboo's torn body into the waiting fields. Then the rice was planted, and the days went by, and the shoots grew and the harvest came. In that day Bamboo, once so glorious in his stately beauty, was yet more glorious in his brokenness and humility. For in his beauty he was life abundant, but in his brokenness he became a channel of abundant life to his Master's world. 26

23. The Story of Two Screws
Once upon a time there were two screws fastening a vital part of a gasoline engine. One of the screws was haughty and proud of its shining head. The second screw was quiet, intent only on doing its job to the best of its ability. One day a speck of rust appeared on the head of the second screw. Filled with vain pride of its own beauty, the first screw began to laugh at the second. "Your head is tarnished," the first said to the second. "Look at you. Your perfect luster is gone." The second screw said nothing. Instead, it concentrated on what it was doing. "How ugly you have become," the first screw chortled, "and how beautiful I have remained." Then it began to laugh so hard at the second screw that it failed to notice that it was working itself loose. Finally it dropped off the engine and plunged into a small pool of dirty oil below. With the first screw no longer holding up its end of the load, the second was faced with doing the work of two. Meanwhile the first screw, now covered with grimy oil, wailed and lamented. "Just look at me! I'm dirty and filthy and all my beauty is gone. By laughing at the blemish on my friend the second screw, I worked myself loose and fell into the muck. Now I'm doomed." Now, it just so happened that a short time later the owner of the engine started it up. He immediately noticed that something didn't sound right -- the engine was running rough. When he checked, he instantly saw that one of the two screws holding the vital part was missing. "Ah ha!" the owner said. "One of the screws must have worked itself loose and fell to the ground, but I don't see it. Maybe it fell into that puddle of old oil." The owner reached into the oil and found the missing screw. "Look at you," the owner said. "You're all covered with grime and oil. How ugly you are. But I will fix that right away." The owner reached for a nearby rag and wiped all the oil and grime off the first screw until it shone even brighter than before. Then he replaced it on the part. Before he turned away, he noticed a little speck of tarnish on the head of the second screw. With the second rag, he wiped the head clean and bright. Then the owner walked away. Finally the engine was started. The two screws, now equally beautiful, held the part tight. "Forgive me, my friend," the first screw said to the second. "In my vanity, I was so busy laughing at your blemish that I did not notice that I was working myself loose." "And what have you learned?" the second screw quietly asked. "I learned not to judge others because I have my own sins to deal with." "Then," the second screw said, "I forgive you." "Thank you, my friend. And rest assured, my vanity will remain forever at the bottom of that dirty puddle of oil."

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24. Someone Who Understands
A store owner was tacking a sign above his door that read: "Puppies for Sale". Signs like that have a way of attracting small children and sure enough, a little boy appeared under the store owner's sign. "How much are you going to sell the puppies for?" he asked. The store owner replied, "Anywhere from $30 to $50.”The little boy reached in his pocket and pulled out some change. "I have $2.37," he said. "Can I please look at them?" The store owner smiled and whistled and out of the kennel came Lady, who ran out in the aisle of his store followed by five teeny, tiny balls of fur. One puppy was lagging considerably behind. Immediately the little boy singled out the lagging, limping puppy and said, "What's wrong with that little dog?" The store owner explained that the veterinarian had examined the little puppy and had discovered it didn't have a hip socket. It would always be lame. The little boy became excited. "That is the puppy that I want to buy." The store owner said, "No, you don't want to buy that little dog. If you really want him, I'll just give him to you." The little boy got quite upset. He looked straight into the store owner's eyes, pointing his finger, and said, "I don't want you to give him to me. That little dog is worth every bit as much as all the other dogs and I'll pay full price. In fact, I'll give you $2.37 now, and 50 cents a month until I have him paid for." The store owner countered, "You really don't want to buy this little dog. He is never going to be able to run and jump and play with you like the other puppies." To his surprise, the little boy reached down and rolled up his pant leg to reveal a badly twisted, crippled left leg supported by a big metal brace. He looked up at the store owner and softly replied, "Well, I don't run so well myself, and the little puppy will need someone who understands." Don't we all need someone who understands?

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25. SAYING PRAYERS
Last week, I took my children to a restaurant. My six-year-old son asked if he could say grace. As we bowed our heads he said, "God is good, God is great. Thank you for the food, and I would even thank you more if Mom gets us ice cream for dessert. And Liberty and justice for all! Amen!" Along with the laughter from the other customers nearby, I heard a woman remark, "That's what's wrong with this country. Kids today don't even know how to pray. Asking God for ice cream! Why, I never!" Hearing this, my son burst into tears and asked me, "Did I do it wrong? Is God mad at me?" As I held him and assured him that he had done a terrific job, and God was certainly not mad at him, an elderly gentleman approached the table. He winked at my son and said, "I happen to know that God thought that was a great prayer." "Really?" my son asked. "Cross my heart," the man replied. Then, in a theatrical whisper, he added (indicating the woman whose remark had started this whole thing), "Too bad she never asks God for ice cream. A little ice cream is good for the soul sometimes." Naturally, I bought my kids ice cream at the end of the meal. My son stared at his for a moment, and then did something I will remember the rest of my life. He picked up his sundae and, without a word, walked over and placed it in front of the woman. With a big smile he told her, "Here, this is for you. Ice cream is good for the soul sometimes; and my soul is good already."

I hope God sends you some Ice Cream today!
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26. Pearls
Jenny was a bright-eyed, pretty five-year-old girl. One day when she and her mother were checking out at the grocery store, Jenny saw a plastic pearl necklace priced at $2.50. How she wanted that necklace and when she asked her mother if she would buy it for her, her mother said, "Well, it is a pretty necklace, but it costs an awful lot of money. I'll tell you what. I'll buy you the necklace, and when we get home we can make up a list of chores that you can do to pay for the necklace. And don't forget that for your birthday Grandma just might give you a whole dollar bill, too. Okay?" Jenny agreed, and her mother bought the pearl necklace for her. Jenny worked on her chores very hard every day, and sure enough, her Grandma gave her a brand new dollar bill for her birthday. Soon Jenny had paid off the pearls. How Jenny loved those pearls. She wore them everywhere to kindergarten, bed, and when she went out with her mother to run errands. The only time she didn't wear them was in the shower - her mother had told her that they would turn her neck green. Now Jenny had a very loving daddy. When Jenny went to bed, he would get up from his favorite chair every night and read Jenny her favorite story. One night when he finished the story, he said, "Jenny, do you love me?" "Oh yes, Daddy, you know I love you," the little girl said. "Well, then, give me your pearls." "Oh! Daddy, not my pearls!" Jenny said. "But you can have Rosie, my favorite doll. Remember her? You gave her to me last year for my birthday. And you can have her tea party outfit, too. Okay?" "Oh no, darling, that's okay." Her father brushed her cheek with a kiss. "Good night, little one." A week later, her father once again asked Jenny after her story, "Do you love me?" "Oh yes, Daddy, you know I love you." "Well, then, give me your pearls." "Oh, Daddy, not my pearls! But you can have Ribbons, my toy horse. Do you remember her? She's my favorite. Her hair is so soft, and you can play with it and braid it and everything. You can have Ribbons if you want her, Daddy," the little girl said to her father. "No, that's okay," her father said and brushed her cheek again with a kiss. "God bless you, little one. Sweet dreams." Several days later, when Jenny's father came in to read her a story, Jenny was sitting on her bed and her lip was trembling. "Here, Daddy," she said, and held out her hand. She opened it and her beloved pearl necklace was inside. She let it slip into her father's hand. With one hand her father held the plastic pearls and with the other he pulled out of his pocket a blue velvet box. Inside of the box were real, genuine, beautiful pearls. He had them all along. He was waiting for Jenny to give up the cheap stuff so he could give her the real thing. So it is with our Heavenly Father. He is waiting for us to give up the cheap things in our lives so that he can give us beautiful treasure. Isn't God good? Are you holding onto things which God wants you to let go of? Are you holding onto harmful or unnecessary partners, relationships, habits and activities which you have become so attached to that it seems impossible to let go? Sometimes it is so hard to see what is in the other hand but do believe this one thing God will never take away something without giving you something better in its place. 30

27. Pause and ponder
A man came out of his home to admire his new truck. To his puzzlement, his three-year-old son was happily hammering dents into the shiny paint. The man ran to his son, knocked him away, and hammered the little boy's hands into a pulp as punishment. When the father calmed down, he rushed his son to the hospital. Although the doctor tried desperately to save the crushed bones, he finally had to amputate the fingers from both the boy's hands. When the boy woke up from the surgery & saw his bandaged stubs, he innocently said, "Daddy, I'm sorry about your truck." Then he asked, "But when are my fingers going to grow back?" The father went home and committed suicide. Think about the story the next time you see someone spill milk at a dinner table or hear a baby crying. Think first before you lose your patience with someone u love. Trucks can be repaired. Broken bones & hurt feelings often can't. Too often we fail to recognize the difference between the person and the performance. People make mistakes. We are allowed to make mistakes. But the actions we take while in a rage will haunt us forever.

Pause and ponder. Think before you act. Be patient. Understand and love.

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28. No God or Know God?
An atheist professor of philosophy speaks to his class on the problem Science has with God, The Almighty. He asks one of his new students to stand and..... Prof: So you believe in God? Student: Absolutely, sir. Prof: Is God good? Student: Sure. Prof: Is God all-powerful? Student: Yes. Prof: My brother died of cancer even though he prayed to God to heal him. Most of us would attempt to help others who are ill. But God didn't. How is this God good then? Hmm? (Student is silent.) Prof: You can't answer, can you? Let's start again, young fellow. Is God good? Student: Yes. Prof: Is Satan good? Student: No. Prof: Where does Satan come from? Student: From...God.. . Prof: That's right. Tell me son, is there evil in this world? Student: Yes. Prof: Evil is everywhere, isn't it? And God did make everything. Correct? Student: Yes. Prof: So who created evil? (Student does not answer.) Prof: Is there sickness? Immorality? Hatred? Ugliness? All these terrible things exist in the world, don't they? Student: Yes, sir. Prof: So, who created them? (Student has no answer.) Prof: Science says you have 5 senses you use to identify and observe the world around you. Tell me, son...Have you ever seen God? Student: No, sir.

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Prof: Tell us if you have ever heard your God? Student: No, sir. Prof: Have you ever felt your God, tasted your God, smelt your God? Have you ever had any sensory perception of God for that matter? Student: No, sir. I'm afraid I haven't. Prof: Yet you still believe in Him? Student: Yes. Prof: According to empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol, science says your GOD doesn't exist. What do you say to that, son? Student: Nothing. I only have my faith. Prof: Yes. Faith and that is the problem science has. Student: Professor, is there such a thing as heat? Prof: Yes. Student: And is there such a thing as cold? Prof: Yes. Student: No sir. There isn't. (The lecture theatre becomes very quiet with this turn of events.) Student: Sir, you can have lots of heat, even more heat, superheat, mega heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat. But we don't have anything called cold. We can hit 458 degrees below zero which is no heat, but we can't go any further after that. There is no such thing as cold. Cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of heat. We cannot measure cold. Heat is energy. Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it. (There is pin-drop silence in the lecture theatre.) Student: What about darkness, Professor? Is there such a thing as darkness? Prof: Yes. What is night if there isn't darkness? Student: You're wrong again, sir. Darkness is the absence of something. You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing light....But if you have no light constantly, you have nothing and its called darkness, isn't it? In reality, darkness isn't. If it were you would be able to make darkness darker, wouldn't you? Prof: So what is the point you are making, young man? Student: Sir, my point is your philosophical premise is flawed. Prof: Flawed? Can you explain how? Student: Sir, you are working on the premise of duality. You argue there is life and then there is death, a good God and a bad God. You are viewing the concept of God as something finite, something we can measure.

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Sir, science can't even explain a thought. It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood either one. To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing. Death is not the opposite of life: just the absence of it. Now tell me, Professor. Do you teach your students that they evolved from a monkey? Prof: If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, yes, of course, I do. Student: Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir? (The Professor shakes his head with a smile, beginning to realize where the argument is going.) Student: Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavor, are you not teaching your opinion, sir? Are you not a scientist but a preacher? (The class is in uproar.) Student: Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the Professor's brain? (The class breaks out into laughter.) Student: Is there anyone here who has ever heard the Professor's brain, felt it, touched or smelt it? No one appears to have done so. So, according to the established rules of empirical, stable, demonstrable protocol, science says that you have no brain, sir. With all due respect, sir, how do we then trust your lectures, sir? (The room is silent. The professor stares at the student, his face unfathomable) Prof: I guess you'll have to take them on faith, son. Student: That is it sir... The link between man & god is FAITH. That is all that keeps things moving & alive..................

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29. LOVE & LIFE
This story tells us something about LOVE & LIFE. My husband is S/W Engineer by profession, I love him for his steady nature and I love the warm feeling when I lean against his broad shoulders. Two years of courtship and now, five years into marriage, I would have to admit, that I am getting tired of it. The reasons of me loving him before, has now transformed into the cause of all my restlessness. I am a sentimental woman and extremely sensitive when it comes to a relationship and my feelings. I yearn for the romantic moments, like a little girl yearning for candy. My husband is my complete opposite; his lack of sensitivity, and the inability of bringing romantic moments into our marriage has disheartened me about LOVE. One day, I finally decided to tell him my decision, that I wanted a divorce. "Why?" he asked, shocked. "I am tired. There are no reasons for everything in the world!" I answered. He kept silent the whole night, seemingly in deep thought. My feeling of disappointment only increased. Here was a man who was not able to even express his predicament, so what else could I expect from him? And finally he asked me: "What can I do to change your mind?" Somebody said it right... It's hard to change a person's personality, and I guess, I have started losing faith in him. Looking deep into his eyes I slowly answered: "Here is the question. If you can answer and convince my heart, I will change my mind. Let's say, I want a flower located on the face of a mountain cliff, and we both are sure that picking the flower will cause your death. Will you do it for me?" He said: "I will give you your answer tomorrow...." My hopes just sank by listening to his response. I woke up the next morning to find him gone, and saw a piece of paper with his scratchy handwriting underneath a milk glass, on the dining table near the front door, that goes.... My dear, "I would not pick that flower for you, but....please allow me to explain the reasons further..... This first line was already breaking my heart. I continued reading. "When you use the computer you always mess up the Software programs, and you cry in front of the screen. I have to save my fingers so that I can help to restore the programs.

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You always leave the house keys behind, thus I have to save my legs to rush home to open the door for you. You love traveling but always lose your way in a new city. I have to save my eyes to show you the way. You always have the cramps whenever your "good friend" approaches every month. I have to save my palms so that I can calm the cramps in your tummy. You like to stay indoors, and I worry that you will be infected by infantile autism. I have to save my mouth to tell you jokes and stories to cure your boredom. You always stare at the computer, and that will do nothing good for your eyes. I have to save my eyes so that when we grow old, I can help to clip your nails and help to remove those annoying white hairs. So I can also hold your hand while strolling down the beach, as you enjoy the sunshine and the beautiful sand...and tell you the colour of flowers, just like the colour of the glow on your young face... Thus, my dear, unless I am sure that there is someone who loves you more than I do... I could not pick that flower yet, and die ... " My tears fell on the letter, and blurred the ink of his handwriting... and as I continue on reading... "Now, that you have finished reading my answer, and if you are satisfied, please open the front door for I am standing outside bringing your favorite bread and fresh milk... I rushed to pull open the door, and saw his anxious face, clutching tightly with his hands, the milk bottle and loaf of bread....Now I am very sure that no one will ever love me as much as he does, and I have decided to leave the flower alone... That's LIFE, and LOVE. When one is surrounded by love, the feeling of excitement fades away, and one tends to ignore the true love that lies in between the peace and dullness. Love shows up in all forms; even in very small and cheeky forms. It has never been a model. It could be the dullest and most boring form ... Flowers, and romantic moments are only used and appear on the surface of the relationship. Under all this, the pillar of true love stands... AND THAT'S LIFE

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30. LET ME LOVE YOU
Once upon a time, there was once a guy who was very much in love with this girl. This romantic guy folded 1,000 pieces of papercranes as a gift to his girl. Although, at that time he was just a small executive in his company, his future doesn't seemed too bright, they were very happy together. Until one day, his girl told him she was going to Paris and will never come back. She also told him that she cannot visualize any future for the both of them, so let's go their own ways there and then... heartbroken, the guy agreed. When he regained his confidence, he worked hard day and night, slogging his body and mind just to make something out of himself. Finally with all these hardwork and with the help of friends, this guy had set up his own company. "You never fail until you stop trying." he always told himself. "I must make it in life!" One rainy day, while this guy was driving, he saw an elderly couple sharing an umbrella in the rain walking to some destination. Even with the umbrella, they were still drenched. It didn't take him long to realize those were his ex-girlfriend's parents. With a heart in getting back at them, he drove slowly beside the couple, wanting them to spot him in his luxury sedan. He wanted them to know that he wasn't the same anymore; he had his own company, car, condo, etc. He had made it in life! Before the guy can realize, the couple was walking towards a cemetery, and he got out of his car and followed them...and he saw his ex-girlfriend, a photograph of her smiling sweetly as ever at him from her tombstone... and he saw his precious papercranes in a bottle placed beside her tomb. Her parents saw him. He walked over and asked them why this had happened. They explained, she did not leave for France at all. She was stricken ill with cancer. In her heart, she had believed that he will make it someday, but she did not want her illness to be his obstacle ... therefore she had chosen to leave him. She had wanted her parents to put his papercranes beside her, because, if the day comes when fate brings him to her again he can take some of those back with him. The guy just wept ...the worst way to miss someone is to be sitting right beside them but knowing you can't have them and will never see them again.

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31. THE MASTER'S LESSON ON GRATITUDE
According to legend, a young man while roaming the desert came across a spring of delicious crystal-clear water. The water was so sweet he filled his leather canteen so he could bring some back to a tribal elder who had been his teacher. After a four-day journey he presented the water to the old man who took a deep drink, smiled warmly and thanked his student lavishly for the sweet water. The young man returned to his village with a happy heart. Later, the teacher let another student taste the water. He spat it out, saying it was awful. It apparently had become stale because of the old leather container. The student challenged his teacher: "Master, the water was foul. Why did you pretend to like it?" The teacher replied, "You only tasted the water. I tasted the gift. The water was simply the container for an act of loving-kindness and nothing could be sweeter."!!! SPIRITUAL COMMENTARY We may understand this lesson best when we receive innocent gifts of love from young children. Whether it's a crushed paper painting or a clay figure, the natural and proper response is appreciation and expressed thankfulness because we love the idea within the gift. Gratitude doesn't always come naturally. Unfortunately, most children and many adults value only the thing given rather than the feeling embodied in it. We should remind ourselves and teach our children about the beauty and purity of feelings and expressions of gratitude. After all, gifts from the heart are really gifts of the heart!! Also, when we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest of appreciation is not to utter mere words, but to live by them. The essence of all beautiful art, all great art is gratitude! Gratitude is the sign of noble souls and the memory of it is stored in the heart and not the mind! The next time you receive any gifts from anyone, no matter however small it may be, remember the love behind and don’t judge the gift with its appearance! Have a deep sense of gratitude for whatever you receive in life in whatever form it may be!

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32. Lawyer story
THIS IS THE BEST LAWYER STORY OF THE YEAR, DECADE AND PROBABLY THE CENTURY. A Charlotte, NC lawyer purchased a box of very rare and expensive cigars, and then insured them against fire, among other things. Within a month, having smoked his entire stockpile of these great cigars and without yet having made even his first premium payment on the policy, the lawyer filed claim against the insurance company. In his claim, the lawyer stated the cigars were lost "in a series of small fires." The insurance company refused to pay, citing the obvious reason that the man had consumed the cigars in the normal fashion. The lawyer sued... and WON! In delivering the ruling, the judge agreed with the insurance company that the claim was frivolous. The judge stated nevertheless, that the lawyer "held a policy from the company in which it had warranted that the cigars were insurable and also guaranteed that it would insure them against fire, without defining what is considered to be unacceptable fire" and was obligated to pay the claim. Rather than endure lengthy and costly appeal process, the insurance company accepted the ruling and paid $15,000 to the lawyer for his loss of the rare cigars lost in the "fires." NOW FOR THE BEST PART... After the lawyer cashed the check, the insurance company had him arrested on 24 counts of ARSON!!! With his own insurance claim and testimony from the previous case being used against him, the lawyer was convicted of intentionally burning his insured property and was sentenced to 24 months in jail and a $24,000 fine. This is a true story and was the First Place winner in the recent Criminal Lawyers Award Contest.

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33. KINDNESS PAYS
One day, a poor boy who was selling goods from door to door to pay his way through school, found he had only one thin dime left, and he was hungry. He decided he would ask for a meal at the next house. However, he lost his nerve when a lovely young woman opened the door. Instead of a meal he asked for a drink of water. She thought he looked hungry so brought him a large glass of milk. He drank it slowly, and then asked, "How much do I owe you?" "You don't owe me anything," she replied "Mother has taught us never to accept payment for a kindness." He said... "Then I thank you from my heart." As Howard Kelly left that house, he not only felt; stronger physically, but his faith in God and man was strong also. He had been ready to give up and quit. Years later that young woman became critically ill. The local doctors were baffled. They finally sent her to the big city, where they called in specialists to study her rare disease. Dr. Howard Kelly was called in for the consultation. When he heard the name of the town she came from, a strange light filled his eyes. Immediately he rose and went down the hall of the hospital to her room. Dressed in his doctor's gown he went in to see her. He recognized her at once. He went back to the consultation room determined to do his best to save her life. From that day he gave special attention to the case. After a long struggle, the battle was won. Dr. Kelly requested the business office to pass the final bill to him for approval. He looked at it, and then wrote something on the edge and the bill was sent to her room. She feared to open it, for she was sure it would take the rest of her life to pay for it all. Finally, she looked, and something caught; her attention on the side as she read these words..... "Paid in full with one glass of milk" (Signed) Dr. Howard Kelly.

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34. It's Really True
Once, there was this guy, who was in love with a gal. She wasn't the most beautiful and gorgeous but for him, she was everything. He used to dream about her, about spending the rest of life with her. His friends told him, "why do you dream so much about her, when you don't even know if she loves you or not? First tell her your feelings, and get to know if she likes you or not".

He felt that was the right way. The girl knew from the beginning, that this guy loves her. One day when he proposed, she rejected him.

His friends thought he would take to alcohol; drugs etc. and ruin his life.

To their surprise, he was not depressed. When they asked him how was it that he is not sad, he replied, "why should I feel bad? I lost one who never loved me & she lost the one who really loved and cared for her."

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35. It all depends on our attitude
Robert De Vincenzo, the great Argentine golfer, once won a tournament and, after receiving the check and smiling for the cameras, he went to the clubhouse and prepared to leave. Some time later, he walked alone to his car in the parking lot and was approached by a young woman. She congratulated him on his victory and then told him that her child was seriously ill and near death. She did not know how she could pay the doctor's bills and hospital expenses. De Vincenzo was touched by her story, and he took out a pen and endorsed his winning check for payment to the woman. "Make some good days for the baby," he said as he pressed the check into her hand. The next week he was having lunch in a country club when a Professional Golf Association official came to his table. "Some of the boys in the parking lot last week told me you met a young woman there after you won that tournament." De Vincenzo nodded. "Well," said the official, "I have news for you. She's a phony. She has no sick baby. She's not even married. She fleeced you, my friend." "You mean there is no baby who is dying?" said De Vincenzo. "That's right," said the official. "That's the best good news I've heard all week." De Vincenzo said. Good news or bad news? It depends on how you see things. You can be bitter after cheated. Or you can choose to move on with your life.......

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36. Intelligent thinking
A jobless man applied for the position of "office boy" at Microsoft. The HR manager interviewed him then watched him cleaning the floor as a test. "You are employed." He said." Give me your e-mail address and I'll send you the application to fill in, as well as date when you may start." The man replied "But I don't have a computer, neither an email." I'm sorry", said the HR manager, "If you don't have an email, that means you do not exist. And who doesn't exist, cannot have the job." The man left with no hope at all. He didn't know what to do, with only $10 in his pocket. He then decided to go to the supermarket and buy a 10Kg tomato crate. He then sold the tomatoes in a door to door round. In less than two hours, he succeeded to double his capital. He repeated the Operation three times, and returned home with $60. The man realized that he can survive by this Way, and started to go everyday earlier, and return late Thus, his money doubled or tripled every day. Shortly, he bought a cart, then a truck, and then he had his own fleet of delivery vehicles. 5 years later, the man is one of the biggest food retailers in the US. He started to plan his family's future, and decided to have a life insurance. He called an insurance broker, and chose a protection plan. When the conversation was concluded, the broker asked him his email. The man replied, "I don't have an email". The broker answered curiously, "You don't have an email, and yet have succeeded to build an empire. Can you imagine what you could have been if you had an email?!!" The man thought for a while and replied, "Yes, I'd be an office boy at Microsoft!" Moral of the story: M1 - Internet is not the solution to your life. M2 - If you don't have internet, and work hard, you can be a millionaire.

Have a great day!!! Pleases Note: - Do not forward this email to me back, I'm closing all my email addresses & going to sell tomatoes!!! Smiling after reading is not mandatory!!! !

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37. I knew you would come
There were two childhood buddies who went through school and college and even joined the army together. War broke out and they were fighting in the same unit. One night they were ambushed. Bullets were flying all over and out of the darkness came a voice, "Harry, please come and help me." Harry immediately recognized the voice of his childhood buddy, Bill. He asked the captain if he could go. The captain said, "No, I can't let you go, I am already short-handed and I cannot afford to lose one more person. Besides, the way Bill sounds he is not going to make it." Harry kept quiet. Again the voice came, "Harry, please come and help me." Harry sat quietly because the captain had refused earlier. Again and again the voice came. Harry couldn't contain himself any longer and told the captain, "Captain, this is my childhood buddy. I have to go and help." The captain reluctantly let him go. Harry crawled through the darkness and dragged Bill back into the trench. They found that Bill was dead. Now the captain got angry and shouted at Harry, "Didn't I tell you he was not going to make it? He is dead, you could have been killed and I could have lost a hand. That was a mistake." Harry replied, "Captain, I did the right thing. When I reached Bill he was still alive and his last words were 'Harry, I knew you would come.” Many times in life, whether a thing is worth doing or not, really depends on how u look at it. Take up all your courage and do something your heart tells you to do so that you may not regret not doing it later in your life........

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38. How to kill your mother in law
A long time ago in China, a girl named Li-Li got married & went to live with her husband and mother-in-law. In a very short time, Li-Li found that she couldn't get along with her mother-in-law at all. Their personalities were very different, and Li-Li was angered by many of her mother-in-law's habits. In addition, she criticized Li-Li constantly. Days passed, and weeks passed. Li-Li and her mother-in-law never stopped arguing and fighting. But what made the situation even worse was that, according to ancient Chinese tradition, LiLi had to bow to her mother-in-law and obey her every wish. All the anger and unhappiness in the house was causing Li-Li's poor husband! great distress. Finally, Li-Li could not stand her mother-in-! law's bad temper and dictatorship any longer, and she decided to do something about it! Li-Li went to see her father's good friend, Mr. Huang, who sold herbs. She told him the situation and asked if he would give her some poison so that she could solve the problem once and for all. Mr. Huang thought for awhile, and finally said, "Li-Li, I will help you solve your problem, but you must listen to me and obey what I tell you.”Li-Li said, "Yes, Mr. Huang, I will do whatever you tell me to do.” Mr. Huang went into the back room, and returned in a few minutes with a package of herbs. He told Li-Li, "You can't use a quickacting poison to get rid of your mother-in-law, because that would cause people to become suspicious Therefore, I have given you a number of herbs that will slowly build up poison in her body. Every other day prepare some delicious meal and put a little of these herbs in her serving. Now, in order to make sure that nobody suspects you, when she dies, you must be very careful to act very friendly towards her. "Don't argue with her, obey her every wish, and treat her like a queen." Li-Li was so happy. She thanked Mr. Huang and hurried home to start her plot of murdering her mother-in-law. Weeks went by, and months went by, and every other day, Li-Li served the specially treated food to her mother-in-law. She remembered what Mr. Huang had said about avoiding suspicion, so she controlled her temper, obeyed her mother-in-law, and treated her like her own mother. After six months had passed, the whole household had changed. Li-Li had practiced controlling her temper so much that she found that she almost never got mad or upset. She hadn't had an argument with her mother-in-law in six months because she now seemed much kinder and easier to get along with. The mother-in-law's attitude toward Li-Li changed, and she began to love Li-Li like her own daughter. She kept telling friends and relatives that Li-Li was the best daughter-in-law one could ever find. Li-Li and her mother-in-law were now treating each other like a real mother and daughter. Li-Li's husband was very happy to see what was happening. One day, Li-Li came to see Mr. Huang and asked for his help again She said, "Dear Mr. Huang, please help me to keep the poison from killing my mother-in-law. She's changed into such a nice woman, and I love her like my own mother. I do not want her to die because of the poison I gave her." Mr. Huang smiled and nodded his head. "Li-Li, there's nothing to worry about. I never gave you any poison. The herbs I gave you were vitamins to improve her health. The only poison was in your mind and your attitude toward her, but that has been all washed away by the love which you gave to her. "HAVE YOU REALIZED that how you treat others is exactly how they will treat you? There is a wise Chinese saying: "The person who loves others will also be loved in return." God might be trying to work in another person's life through you. Send this to your friends and spread the POWER OF LOVE. 45

39. HONESTY IS STILL THE BEST POLICY
An emperor in the Far East was growing old and knew it was time to choose his successor. Instead of choosing one of his assistants or his children, he decided something different. He called young people in the kingdom together one day. He said, "It is time for me to step down and choose the next emperor. I have decided to choose one of you." The kids were shocked! But the emperor continued. "I am going to give each one of you a seed today. One very special seed. I want you to plant the seed, water it and come back here after one year from today with what you have grown from this one seed. I will then judge the plants that you bring, and the one I choose will be the next emperor!" One boy named Ling was there that day and he, like the others, received a seed. He went home and excitedly told his mother the story. She helped him get a pot and planting soil, and he planted the seed and watered it carefully. Every day he would water it and watch to see if it had grown. After about three weeks, some of the other youths began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow. Ling kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew. 3 weeks, 4 weeks, 5 weeks went by. Still nothing. By now, others were talking about their plants but Ling didn't have a plant, and he felt like a failure. Six months went by, still nothing in Ling's pot. He just knew he had killed his seed. Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing. Ling didn't say anything to his friends, however. He just kept waiting for his seed to grow. A year finally went by and all the youths of the kingdom brought their plants to the emperor for inspection. Ling told his mother that he wasn't going to take an empty pot. But honest about what happened, Ling felt sick to his stomach, but he knew his mother was right. He took his empty pot to the palace. When Ling arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by the other youths. They were beautiful in all shapes and sizes. Ling put his empty pot on the floor and many of the other kinds laughed at him. A few felt sorry for him and just said, "Hey nice try." When the emperor arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted the young people. Ling just tried to hide in the back. "What great plants, trees and flowers you have grown," said the emperor. "Today, one of you will be appointed the next emperor!" All of a sudden, the emperor spotted Ling at the back of the room with his empty pot. He ordered his guards to bring him to the front. Ling was terrified. "The emperor knows I'm a failure! Maybe he will have me killed!" When Ling got to the front, the Emperor asked his name. "My name is Ling," he replied. All the kids were laughing and making fun of him. The emperor asked everyone to quiet down. He looked at Ling, and then announced to the crowd, "Behold your new emperor! His name is Ling!" Ling couldn't believe it. Ling couldn't even grow his seed. How could he be the new emperor? Then the emperor said, "One year ago today, I gave everyone here a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds, 46

which would not grow. All of you, except Ling, have brought me trees and plants and flowers. When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you. Ling was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be the new emperor!" If you plant honesty, you will reap trust. If you plant goodness, you will reap friends. If you plant humility, you will reap greatness. If you plant perseverance, you will reap victory. If you plant consideration, you will reap harmony. If you plant hard work, you will reap success. If you plant forgiveness, you will reap reconciliation. If you plant openness, you will reap intimacy. If you plant patience, you will reap improvements. If you plant faith, you will reap miracles. But If you plant dishonesty, you will reap distrust. If you plant selfishness, you will reap loneliness. If you plant pride, you will reap destruction. If you plant envy, you will reap trouble. If you plant laziness, you will reap stagnation. If you plant bitterness, you will reap isolation. If you plant greed, you will reap loss. If you plant gossip, you will reap enemies. If you plant worries, you will reap wrinkles. If you plant sin, you will reap guilt. So be careful what you plant now, it will determine what you will reap tomorrow, the seeds you now scatter, Will make life worse or better, your life or the ones who will come after. Yes, someday, you will enjoy the fruits, or you will pay for the choices you plant today

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40. God created
God created the donkey and said to him. "You will be a donkey. You will work un-tiringly from sunrise to sunset carrying burdens on your back. You will eat grass, you will have no intelligence and you will live 50 years." The donkey answered: "I will be a donkey, but to live 50 years is much. Give me only 20 years" God granted his wish. God created the dog and said to him: "You will guard the house of man. You will be his best Friend. You will eat the scraps that he gives you and you will live 30 years. You will be a dog. " The dog answered: "Sir, to live 30 years is too much, give me only 15 years." God granted his wish. God created the monkey and said to him: "You will be a monkey. You will swing from branch to branch doing tricks. You will be amusing and you will live 20 years. " The monkey answered: "To live 20 years is too much, give me only 10 years." God granted his wish. Finally God created man ... and said to him: "You will be man, the only rational creature on the face of the earth. You will use your intelligence to become master over all the animals. You will dominate the world and you will live 20 years." Man responded: "Sir, I will be a man but to live only 20 years is very little, give me the 30 years that the donkey refused, the 15 years that the dog did not want and the 10 years the monkey refused." God granted man's wish And since then, man lives 20 years as a man , marries and spends 30 years like a donkey, working and carrying all the burdens on his back. Then when his children are grown, he lives 15 years like a dog taking care of the house and eating whatever is given to him, so that when he is old, he can retire and live 10 years like a monkey, going from house to house and from one son or daughter to another doing tricks to amuse his grandchildren.

That's Life. Isn’t it???????

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41. Don’t Judge too quickly
There was a man who had four sons. He wanted his sons to learn not to judge things too quickly. So he sent them each on a quest, in turn, to go and look at a pear tree that was a great distance away. The first son went in the winter, the second in the spring, the third in summer and the fourth son in the fall. When they had all gone and come back, he called them together to describe what they had seen. The first son said that the tree was ugly, bent and twisted. The second son said, no, that it was covered with green buds and full of promise. The third son disagreed; he said it was laden with blossoms that smelled so sweet and looked so beautiful. It was the most graceful thing he had ever seen. The last son disagreed with all of them. He said it was ripe and drooping with fruit - full of life and fulfillment. The man then explained to his sons that they were all right, because they had each seen but only one season in the tree's life. He told them that you cannot judge a tree, or a person by only one season, and that the essence of who they are and the pleasure, joy, and love that comes from that life can only be measured at the end, when all the seasons are up.

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42. Don’t Abandon your Dream
There were once 2 brothers who lived on the 80th level. On coming home one day, they realized to their dismay that the lifts were not working and that they have to climb the stairs home. After struggling to the 20th level, panting and tired, they decided to abandon their bags and come back for them the next day. They left their bags then and climbed on. When they have struggled to the 40th level, the younger brother started to grumble and both of them began to quarrel. They continued to climb the flights of steps, quarreling all the way to the 60th floor. They then realized that they have only 20 levels more to climb and decided to stop quarreling and continue climbing in peace. They silently climbed on and reached their home at long last. Each stood calmly before the door and waited for the other to open the door and they realized that the key was in their bags which were left on the 20th floor This story is reflecting on our life...many of us live under the expectations of our parents, teachers and friends when young. We seldom get to do the things that we really like and love and are under so much pressure and stress so that by the age of 20, we get tired and decided to dump this load. Being free of the stress and pressure, we work enthusiastically and dream ambitious wishes. But by the time we reach 40 years old, we start to lose our vision and dreams. We began to feel unsatisfied and start to complain and criticize. We live life as a misery as we are never satisfied. Reaching 60, we realize that we have little left for complaining anymore, and we began to walk the final episode in peace and calmness. We think that there is nothing left to disappoint us, only to realize that we could not rest in peace because we have an unfulfilled dream ...... a dream we abandoned 60 years ago. So what is your dream Follow your dreams, so that you will not live with regrets.

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43. Confidence & Self Esteem
Confidence and Self-Esteem were best friends. They went everywhere together. If Confidence bought a new dress, Self-Esteem bought one just like it. They were very close. One day a new kid came to their school. His name was Peer Pressure. He had a friend called Hateful Words. They decided to give Confidence a hard time. They constantly teased her. They forced her to do terrible things. It was so terrible that Confidence lost Self-Esteem. When Self-Esteem wanted to start some classes, Confidence said they wouldn't be any good. Then one day, Peer Pressure introduced Confidence to Doubt. He wanted to ruin Confidence, but Peer Pressure said he couldn't yet. Self Esteem couldn't understand what was wrong with Confidence. Confidence now hung around with Depression, Low Self-Esteem, & Overeating. These girls were friends of Peer Pressure. Self-Esteem no longer had any friends. She no longer felt good about herself. She went to see her Imaam. Imaam Good Words told her how to talk to Confidence. He introduced her to his daughter, Encouragement. Encouragement and Self-Esteem went to find Confidence. Self Esteem hoped she wasn't too late. The girls found Confidence in a stupor. She was no longer a vibrant, happy young girl. There were dark circles under her eyes. She had gained so much weight from eating that she couldn't move. Encouragement gasped and Self-Esteem cried. She begged Encouragement to do something. Encouragement began to hug Confidence. She kissed her and loved her. She told her that she was a beautiful young lady who had a lot going for her. Encouragement held Confidence so tightly that Self-Esteem thought she would smother her. Confidence began to cry. As she cried, she seemed to lose weight. Then a bright light suddenly glowed from Confidence and she began to smile. Peer Pressure and his friends didn't like what Encouragement was doing and tried to attack her. They hit at her and pulled at her, but they couldn't pull her away from Confidence. Then Confidence began to speak. "Get away from me, Peer Pressure. Take your friends and go. You no longer have any power over me." Confidence was now a glowing light. She and her friends made sure that Peer Pressure and his gang never bothered anyone in their town again. If you feel that Encouragement is not your friend, then try to find Encouragement in yourself. Self-Esteem and Confidence will follow.

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44. The Storm
Story told by a man which is most frightening yet thought-provoking experiences of his life. He had been on a long flight. The first warning of the approaching problems came when the sign on the airplane flashed on: "Fasten your seat belts." Then, after a while, a calm voice said, "We shall not be serving the beverages at this time as we are expecting a little turbulence. Please be sure your seat belt is fastened." As he looked around the aircraft, it became obvious that many of the passengers were becoming apprehensive. Later, the voice of the announcer said, "We are so sorry that we are unable to serve the meal at this time. The turbulence is still ahead of us." And then the storm broke. The ominous cracks of thunder could be heard even above the roar of the engines. Lightening lit up the darkening skies and within moments that great plane was like a cork tossed around on a celestial ocean. One moment the airplane was lifted on terrific currents of air; the next, it dropped as if it were about to crash. The man confessed that he shared the discomfort and fear of those around him. He said, "As I looked around the plane, I could see that nearly all the passengers were upset and alarmed. Some were praying. The future seemed ominous and many were wondering if they would make it through the storm. And then, I suddenly saw a girl to whom the storm meant nothing. She had tucked her feet beneath her as she sat on her seat and was reading a book. Everything within her small world was calm and orderly. Sometimes she closed her eyes, then she would read again; then she would straighten her legs, but worry and fear were not in her world. When the plane was being buffeted by the terrible storm, when it lurched this way and that, as it rose and fell with frightening severity, when all the adults were scared half to death, that marvelous child was completely composed and unafraid." The man could hardly believe his eyes. It was not surprising therefore, that when the plane finally reached its destination and all the passengers were hurrying to disembark, he lingered to speak to the girl whom he had watched for such a long time. Having commented about the storm and behavior of the plane, he asked why she had not been afraid. The sweet child replied, "Sir, my Dad is the pilot and he is taking me home." When you are sure of your self, your confident level is steady and you are never shaky you do the things calmly and successfully.

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45. Half a million dollars!
The business executive was deep in debt and could see no way out. Creditors were closing in on him. Suppliers were demanding payment. He sat on the park bench, head in hands, wondering if anything could save his company from bankruptcy. Suddenly an old man appeared before him. "I can see that something is troubling you," he said. After listening to the executive's woes, the old man said, "I believe I can help you." He asked the man his name, wrote out a check, and pushed it into his hand saying, "Take this money. Meet me here exactly one year from today, and you can pay me back at that time." Then he turned and disappeared as quickly as he had come. The business executive saw in his hand a check for $500,000, signed by John D. Rockefeller, then one of the richest men in the world! "I can erase my money worries in an instant!" he realized. But instead, the executive decided to put the un-cashed check in his safe. Just knowing it was there might give him the strength to work out a way to save his business, he thought. With renewed optimism, he negotiated better deals and extended terms of payment. He closed several big sales. Within a few months, he was out of debt and making money once again. Exactly one year later, he returned to the park with the un-cashed check. At the agreed-upon time, the old man appeared. But just as the executive was about to hand back the check and share his success story, a nurse came running up and grabbed the old man. "I'm so glad I caught him!" she cried. "I hope he hasn't been bothering you. He's always escaping from the rest home and telling people he's John D. Rockefeller." And she led the old man away by the arm. The astonished executive just stood there, stunned. All year long he'd been wheeling and dealing, buying and selling, convinced he had half a million dollars behind him. Suddenly, he realized that it wasn't the money, real or imagined, that had turned his life around. It was his newfound self-confidence that gave him the power to achieve anything he went after.

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46. Change your vision
There was a millionaire who was bothered by severe eye pain. He consulted so many physicians and was getting his treatment done. He did not stop consulting galaxy of medical experts; he consumed heavy loads of drugs and underwent hundreds of injections. But the ache persisted with great vigor than before. At last a monk who has supposed to be an expert in treating such patients was called for by the millionaire. The monk understood his problem and said that for sometime he should concentrate only on green colours and not to fall his eyes on any other colours. The millionaire got together a group of painters and purchased barrels of green color and directed that every object his eye was likely to fall to be painted in green colour just as the monk had directed. When the monk came to visit him after few days, the millionaire's servants ran with buckets of green paints and poured on him since he was in red dress, lest their master not see any other colour and his eye ache would come back. Hearing this monk laughed said "If only you had purchased a pair of green spectacles, worth just a few rupees, you could have saved these walls and trees and pots and all other articles and also could have saved a large share of his fortune. You cannot paint the world green." Let us change our vision and the world will appear accordingly. It is foolish to shape the world, let us shape ourselves first.

Let’s change our vision..!! Think simple, Live simple…

54

47. Bridge of love
Once upon a time two brothers who lived on adjoining farms fell into conflict. It was the first serious rift in 40 years of farming side by side, sharing machinery, and trading labor and goods as needed without a hitch. Then the long collaboration fell apart. It began with a small misunderstanding and it grew into a major difference, and finally it exploded into an exchange of bitter words followed by weeks of silence. One morning there was a knock on John's door. He opened it to find a man with a carpenter's toolbox. "I'm looking for a few days work" he said. "Perhaps you would have a few small jobs here and there I could help with? Could I help you? "Yes," said the older brother. "I do have a job for you. Look across the creek at that farm. That's my neighbor, in fact, it's my younger brother. Last week there was a meadow between us and he took his bulldozer to the river levee and now there is a creek between us. Well, he may have done this to spite me, but I'll go him one better. See that pile of lumber by the barn?I want you to build me a fence - - an 8-foot fence -- so I won't need to see his place or his face anymore." The carpenter said, "I think I understand the situation. Show me the nails and the post hole digger and I'll be able to do a job that pleases you." The older brother had to go to town, so he helped the carpenter get the materials ready and then he was off for the day. The carpenter worked hard all that day measuring, sawing, nailing, and hammering. About sunset when the farmer returned, the carpenter had just finished his job. The farmer's eyes opened wide, his jaw dropped. There was no fence there at all. It was a bridge -- a bridge stretching from one side of the creek to the other! A fine piece of work handrails and all -- and the neighbor, his younger brother, was coming across, his hand outstretched.” You are quite a fellow to build this bridge after all I've said and done." The two brothers stood at each end of the bridge, and then they met in the middle, taking each other's hand. They turned to see the carpenter hoist his toolbox on his shoulder. "No, wait! Stay a few days. I've a lot of other projects for you," said the older brother. "I'd love to stay on," the carpenter said, "but, I have many more love bridges to build."

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48. Black & White
In life, a lesson learned in your past that you will never forget completely. When I was in elementary school, I got into a major argument with a boy in my class. I have forgotten what the argument was about, but I have never forgotten the lesson learned that day. I was convinced that "I" was right and "he" was wrong - and he was just as convinced that "I" was wrong and "he" was right. The teacher decided to teach us a very important lesson. She brought us up to the front of the class and placed him on one side of her desk and me on the other. In the middle of her desk was a large, round object. I could clearly see that it was black. She asked the boy what color the object was. "White," he answered. I couldn't believe he said the object was white, when it was obviously black! Another argument started between my classmate and me, this time about the color of the object. The teacher told me to go stand where the boy was standing and told him to come stand where I had been. We changed places, and now she asked me what the color of the object was. I had to answer, "White." It was an object with two differently colored sides, and from his viewpoint it was white. Only from my side was it black. My teacher taught me a very important lesson learned that day: You must stand in the other person's shoes and look at the situation through their eyes in order to truly understand their perspective.

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49. Bhagawad Geeta
An old Farmer lived on a farm in the mountains with his young grandson. Each morning Grandpa was up early sitting at the kitchen table reading his Bhagavat Geeta. His grandson wanted to be just like him and tried to imitate him in every way he could. One day the grandson asked, "Grandpa! I try to read the Bhagavat Geeta just like you but I don't understand it, and what I do understand I forget as soon as I close the book. What good does reading the Bhagavat Geeta do?" The Grandfather quietly turned from putting coal in the stove and replied,” Take this coal basket down to the river and bring me back a basket of water." The boy did as he was told, but all the water leaked out before he got back to the house. The grandfather laughed and said, "You'll have to move a little faster next time," and sent him back to the river with the basket to try again. This time the boy ran faster, but again the basket was empty before he returned home. Out of breath, he told his grandfather that it was impossible to carry water in a basket, and he went to get a bucket instead. The old man said, "I don't want a bucket of water; I want a basket of water. You're just not trying hard enough," and he went out the door to watch the boy try again. At this point, the boy knew it was impossible, but he wanted to show his grandfather that even if he ran as fast as he could, the water would leak out before he got back to the house. The boy again dipped the basket into river and ran hard, but when he reached his grandfather the basket was again empty. Out of breath, he said, "See Grandpa, it's useless!" "So you think it is useless?" The old man said, "Look at the basket." The boy looked at the basket and for the first time realized that the basket was different. It had been transformed from a dirty old coal basket and was now clean, inside and out. "Son, that's what happens when you read the Bhagavat Geeta. You might not understand or remember everything, but when you read it, you will be changed, inside and out. That is the work of Krishna in our lives."

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50. ATTITUDE
A little boy went into a drug store, reached for a soda carton and asks him for a Phone Call. Shop-owner replied sweetly this is no a STD, but you can do one call. The store-owner observed and listened to the conversation: The boy asked, "Lady, Can you give me the job of cutting your lawn? The woman replied, "I already have someone to cut my lawn." "Lady, I will cut your lawn for half the price of the person who cuts your lawn now." replied boy. The woman responded that she was very satisfied with the person who was presently cutting her lawn. The little boy found more perseverance and offered, "Lady, I'll even sweep your curb and your sidewalk, so on Sunday you will have the prettiest lawn in all of North-Palm beach, Florida." Again the woman answered in the negative. With a smile on his face, the little boy replaced the receiver. The store-owner, who was listening to all this, walked over to the boy and said," Son... I like your attitude; I like that positive spirit and would like to offer you a job." The little boy replied, "No thanks, I was just checking my performance with the job I already have. I am the one who is working for that lady, I was talking to!"

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51. A Story
One fine day, an old couple around the age of 70, walks into a lawyer's office they are there to file a divorce. Lawyer was very puzzled, after having a chat with them, he got their story. The couple quarreled all their 40 over yrs of marriage nothing ever seemed to go right. They hang on because of their children, afraid that it might affect their up-bringing. Now, all their children have already grown up, have their own family, there's nothing else the old couple have to worry about, all they wanted is to lead their own life free from all these years of unhappiness from their marriage, so both agreed on a divorce. Lawyer was having a hard time trying to get the papers done, because he felt that after 40 yrs of marriage at the age of 70, he couldn’t understand why the old couple would still want a divorce. While they were signing the papers, the wife told the husband. "I really love u, but I really can’t carry on anymore, I'm sorry." "Its o.k., I understand...” said the husband. Looking at this, the lawyer suggested a dinner together, just 3 of them, wife thought, why not, since they are still goanna be friends. At the dining table, there was a silence of awkwardness. The first dish was roasted chicken, immediately, the old man took the drumstick for the old lady "take this, its your favorite" Looking at this, the lawyer thought maybe there is still a chance, but the wife was frowning when she answer "This is always the problem, you always think so highly of yourself, never thought about how I feel, don’t you know that I hate drumsticks?" Little did she know that, over the years, the husband have been trying all ways to please her, little did she know that drumsticks was the husband's favorite. Little did he know that she never thought he understand her at all, little did he know that she hates drumsticks even though all he wants is the best for her. That night, both of them couldn’t sleep, toss and turn, toss and turn...after hours, the old man couldn’t take it anymore, he knows that he still loves her, and he can’t carry on life without her, he wants her back, he wants to tell her, he is sorry, he wanted to tell her "I love you". He picks up the phone, starting dialing her number....ringing never stops. he never stop dialing....On the other side, she was sad, she couldn't understand how come after all these years, he still doesn’t understand her at all, she loves him a lot, but she just cant take it anymore....phone's ringing, she refuses to answer knowing that its him..."what’s the point of talking now that its over...I have ask for it and now I wanna keep it this way, if not I will lose face" she thought...still ringing...she have decided to pull out the cord... Little did she remember, he has heart problems. The next day, she received news that he had passed away she rushed down to his apartment, saw his body, lying on the couch still holding on to the phone he had a heart attack when he was still trying to get through her phone line. As sad as she could be...she will have to clear his belongings...when she was looking thru the drawers, she saw this insurance policy, dated from the day they got married, with the beneficiary being her... And together in those file, there was this note. "To my dearest wife, by the time you're reading this, I'm sure I'm no longer around, I bought this policy for you, though the amount is only $100k, I hope it will be able to help me continue my promise that I have made when we got married, I might not be around anymore, I want this amount of money to continue taking care of you, just like the way I will if I could have live longer. I want you to know I will always be around, by your side... I love you" Tears flowed like river. "When you love someone, let them know... You never know what will happen the next minute. Learn to build a life together. Learn to love each other for who they are not what they are..."

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52. Red Roses
A man stopped at a flower shop to order some flowers to be wired to his mother who lived two hundred miles away.

As he got out of his car he noticed a young girl sitting on the curb sobbing. He asked her what was wrong and she replied, "I wanted to buy a red rose for my mother. But I only have seventy-five cents, and a rose costs two dollars."

The man smiled and said, "Come on in with me. I'll buy you a rose." He bought the little girl her rose and ordered his own mother's flowers.

As they were leaving he offered the girl a ride home. She said, "Yes, please! You can take me to my mother." She directed him to a cemetery, where she placed the rose on a freshly dug grave.

The man returned to the flower shop, canceled the wire order, picked up a bouquet and drove the two hundred miles to his mother's house.

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53. A Pillow & A Blanket
A long time ago, a young, wealthy girl was getting ready for bed. She was saying her prayers when she heard a muffled crying coming through her window. A little frightened, she went over to the window and leaned out. Another girl, who seemed to be about her age and homeless was standing in the alley by the rich girls house. Her heart went out to the homeless girl, for it was the dead of winter, and the girl had no blanket, only old newspapers someone had thrown out. The rich girl was suddenly struck with a brilliant idea. She called to the other girl and said, "You there, come to my front door, please." The homeless girl was so startled she could only manage to nod. As quick as her legs could take her, the young girl ran down the hall to her mother’s closet, and picked out an old quilt and a beat up pillow. She had to walk slower down to the front door as to not trip over the quilt which was hanging down, but she made it eventually. Dropping both the articles, she opened the door. Standing there was the homeless girl, looking quite scared. The rich girl smiled warmly and handed both articles to the other girl. Her smile grew wider as she watched the true amazement and happiness alight upon the other girl's face. She went to bed incredibly satisfied. In mid-morning the next day a knock came to the door. The rich girl flew to the door hoping that it was the other little girl there. She opened the large door and looked outside. It was the other little girl. Her face looked happy, and she smiled. "I suppose you want these back." The rich little girl opened her mouth to say that she could keep them when another idea popped into her head. "No, I want them back." The homeless girl's face fell. This was obviously not the answer she had hoped for. She reluctantly laid down the beat up things, and turned to leave when the rich girl yelled, "Wait! Stay right there." She turned in time to see the rich girl running up the stairs and down a long corridor. Deciding whatever the rich little girl was doing wasn't worth waiting for she started to turn around and walk away. As her foot hit the first step, she felt someone tap her on the shoulder, turning she saw the rich little girl, thrusting a new blanket and pillow at her. "Have these." she said quietly. These were her own personal belonging made of silk and down feathers. As the two grew older they didn't see each other much, but they were never far from each other's minds. One day, the Rich girl, who was now a Rich woman, got a telephone call from someone. A lawyer, saying that she was requested to see him. When she arrived at the office, he told her what had happened. Forty years ago, when she was nine years old, she had helped a little girl in need. That grew into a middle-class woman with a husband and two children. She had recently died and left something for her in her will. "Though," the lawyer said, "it's the most peculiar thing. She left you a pillow and a blanket."

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54. A Million Frogs
A farmer came into town and asked the owner of a restaurant if he could use a million frog legs. The restaurant owner was shocked and asked the man where he could get so many frog legs! The farmer replied, "There is a pond near my house that is full of frogs--millions of them. They croak all during the night and are about to drive me crazy!" So the restaurant owner and the farmer made an agreement that the farmer would deliver frogs to the restaurant five hundred at a time for the next several weeks.

The first week, the farmer returned to the restaurant looking rather sheepish, with two scrawny little frogs. The restaurant owner said, "Well...where are all the frogs?" The farmer said, "I was mistaken. There were only these two frogs in the pond. But they sure were making a lot of noise!"

Next time you hear somebody criticizing or making fun of you, remember it's probably just a couple of noisy frogs. Also--remember that problems always seem bigger in the dark.

Have you ever lain in your bed at might worrying about things which seem almost overwhelming--like a million frogs croaking? Chances are pretty good that when the morning comes, and you take a closer look, you'll wonder what all the fuss was about.

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55. A Fascinating Story
A lady in a faded gingham dress and her husband, dressed in a homespun threadbare suit, stepped off the train in Boston, and walked timidly without an appointment into the president of Harvard's outer office. The secretary could tell in a moment that such backwoods, country hicks had no business at Harvard and probably didn't even deserve to be in Cambridge. She frowned. "We want to see the president," the man said softly. "He'll be busy all day," the secretary snapped. "We'll wait," the lady replied. For hours, the secretary ignored them, hoping that the couple would finally become discouraged and go away. They didn't. And the secretary grew frustrated and finally decided to disturb the president, even though it was a chore she always regretted to do. "Maybe if they just see you for a few minutes, they'll leave," she told him. And he sighed in exasperation and nodded. Someone of his importance obviously didn't have the time to spend with them, but he detested gingham dresses and homespun suits cluttering up his outer office. The president, stern-faced with dignity, strutted toward the couple. The lady told him, "We had a son that attended Harvard for one year. He loved Harvard. He was happy here. But about a year ago, he was accidentally killed. And my husband and I would like to erect a memorial to him, somewhere on campus." The president wasn't touched, he was shocked. "Madam," he said gruffly. "We can't put up a statue for every person who attended Harvard and died. If we did, this place would look like a cemetery". "Oh, no," the lady explained quickly. "We don't want to erect a statue. We thought we would like to give a building to Harvard." The president rolled his eyes. He glanced at the gingham dress and homespun suit, and then exclaimed, "A building! Do you have any earthly idea how much a building costs? We have over seven and a half million dollars in the physical plant at Harvard." For a moment the lady was silent. The president was pleased. He could get rid of them now. And the lady turned to her husband and said quietly, "Is that all it costs to start a University? Why don't we just start our own?" Her husband nodded. The president's face wilted in confusion and bewilderment. And Mr. and Mrs. Leland Stanford walked away, traveling to Palo Alto, California where they established the University that bears their name, a memorial to a son that Harvard no longer cared about.

"You can easily judge the character of others by how they treat those who can do nothing for them or to them." - Malcolm Forbes

63

56. A date!
After 21 years of marriage, my wife wanted me to take another woman out to dinner and a movie. She said I love you but I know this other woman loves you and would love to spend some time with you. The other woman that my wife wanted me to visit was my MOTHER, who has been a widow for 19 years, but the demands of my work and my three children had made it possible to visit her only occasionally. That night I called to invite her to go out for dinner and a movie. "What's wrong, are you well," she asked? My mother is the type of woman who suspects that a late night call or a surprise invitation is a sign of bad news. "I thought that it would be pleasant to be with you," I responded. "Just the two of us." She thought about it for a moment, and then said, "I would like that very much." That Friday after work, as I drove over to pick her up I was a bit nervous. When I arrived at her house, I noticed t hat she, too, seemed to be nervous about our date. She waited in the door with her coat on. She had curled her hair and was wearing the dress that she had worn to celebrate her last wedding anniversary. She smiled from a face that was as radiant as an angel's. "I told my friends that I was going to go out with my son, and they were impressed, "she said, as she got into the car.” They can't wait to hear about our meeting". We went to a restaurant that, although not elegant, was very nice and cozy. My mother took my arm as if she were the First Lady. After we sat down, I had to read the menu. Large print. Half way through the entries, I lifted my eyes and saw Mom sitting there staring at me. A nostalgic smile was on her lips. "It was I who used to have to read the menu when you were small," she said. "Then it's time that you relax and let me return the favor," I responded. During the dinner, we had an agreeable conversation - nothing extraordinary, but catching up on recent events of each other's life. We talked so much that we missed the movie. As we arrived at her house later, she said, "I'll go out with you again, but only if you let me invite you." I agreed. "How was your dinner date?" asked my wife when I got home. "Very nice. Much more so than I could have imagined," I answered. A few days later, my mother died of a massive heart attack. It happened so suddenly that I did to do anything for her. Some time later, I received an envelope with a copy of a restaurant receipt from the same place mother and I had dined. An attached note said: "I paid this bill in advance. I wasn't sure that I could be there; but nevertheless, I paid for two plates - one for you and the other for your wife. You will never know what that night meant for me. I love you, son." At that moment, I understood the importance of saying in time: "I LOVE YOU!" and to give our loved ones the time that they deserve. Nothing in life is more important than God and your family. Give them the time they deserve, because these things cannot be put off till some other time."

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57. A BOY'S LOVE
On the last day before Christmas, I hurried to go to the store to buy the remaining gifts I didn’t manage to buy earlier. When I saw all the people there, I started to complain to myself. It is going to take forever here and I still have so many other places to go... Christmas really is getting more and more annoying every year. How I wish I could just lie down, go to sleep and only wake up after it... Nonetheless, I made my way to the toy section, and there I started to curse the prices, wondering if all kids really play with such expensive toys. While looking in the toy section, I noticed a small boy of about 5 years old, pressing a doll against his chest. He kept on touching the hair of the doll and looked so sad. I wondered who this doll was for. Then the little boy turned to the old woman next to him and said: Granny, are you sure I don’t have enough money? The old lady replied: You know that you don’t have enough money to buy this doll, my dear. Then she asked him to stay here for 5 minutes while she went to look around. She left quickly. The little boy was still holding the doll in his hand. Finally, I started to walk toward him and I asked him who he wanted to give this doll to. It is the doll that my sister loved most and wanted so much for this Christmas. She was so sure that Santa Claus would bring it to her. I replied to him that maybe Santa Claus will bring it to her, after all, and not to worry. But he replied to me sadly. No, Santa Claus cannot bring it to her where she is now. I have to give the doll to my mother so that she can give it to her when she goes there. His eyes were so sad while saying this. My sister has gone to be with God. Daddy said that Mommy will also go to see God very soon, so I thought that she could bring the doll with her to give it to my sister. My heart nearly stopped. The little boy looked up at me and said: I told daddy to tell mommy not to go yet. I asked him to wait until I come back from the store. Then he showed me a very nice photo of him where he was laughing. He then told me: I also want mommy to take this photo with her so that she will not forget me. I love my mommy and I wish she didn’t have to leave me but daddy says that she has to go to be with my little sister. Then he looked again at the doll with sad eyes, very quietly. I quickly reached for my wallet and took a few dollars out and said to the boy. What if we checked again, just in case, to see if you have enough money? OK he said. I hope that I have enough. I added some of my money to his without him seeing and we started to count it. There was enough for the doll, and even some spare money. The little boy said: Thank you God for giving me enough money.

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Then he looked at me and added: I asked yesterday before I slept for God to make sure I have enough money to buy this doll so that mommy can give it to my sister. He heard me. I also wanted to have enough money to buy a white rose for my mommy, but I didn’t dare to ask God for too much but He gave me enough to buy the doll and the white rose. You know, my mommy loves white roses. A few minutes later, the old lady came again and I left. I finished my shopping in a totally different state from when I started. I couldn’t get the little boy out of my mind. Then I remembered a local newspaper article 2 days ago, which mentioned of a drunk man in a truck who hit a car where there was one young lady and a little girl. The little girl died right away, and the mother was left in a critical state. The family had to decide whether to pull the plug on the life-assisting machine, because the young lady would not be able to get out of the coma. Was this the family of the little boy? Two days after this encounter with the little boy, I read in the newspaper that the young lady had passed away. I couldn’t stop myself and went to buy a bunch of white roses and I went to the mortuary where the body of the young woman was exposed for people to see before burial. She was there, in her coffin, holding a beautiful white rose in her hand with the photo of the little boy and the doll placed over her chest. I left the place crying, feeling that my life had been changed forever. The love that this little boy had for his mother and his sister is still, to this day, hard to imagine. And in a fraction of a second, a drunken man had taken all this away from him.

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58. Mad in Love
A long time ago, before the world was created and humans set foot on it, God had put all the human "qualities" in a separate room. Since all the qualities were bored they decided to play hide & seek. "Madness" was one of the qualities and he shouted: "I want to count, I want to count!" And since nobody was crazy enough to want to seek "Madness", all the other qualities agreed. So "Madness" leaned against a tree and started to count: One, two, three..." As "Madness" counted, the qualities went hiding. "Treason" hid in a pile of garbage. "Lie” said that it would hide under a stone, but hid at the bottom of the lake. And Madness continued to count "... seventy nine, eighty, eighty one..." By this time, all the qualities were already hidden-except "Love ". For stupid as "Love” is, he could not decide where to hide and this should not surprise us, because we all know how difficult it is to hide "Love" “Madness": "...ninety five, ninety six, ninety seven..." Just when "Madness" got to one hundred..... ...."Love" jumped into a rose bush where he hid. And Madness turned around and shouted: "I'm coming, I'm coming!" As Madness turned around, "Laziness" was the first to be found, because "Laziness" was too lazy to hide. "Madness" searched madly and found "Lie" at the bottom of the lake. One by one, Madness found them all - except Love. Madness was getting desperate, unable to find Love. Envious of Love, "Envy" whispered to "Madness ": "You only need to find Love, and Love is hiding in the rose bush." "Madness" Jumped on the rose bush and he heard loud cry. The thorns in the bush had pierced "Loves" eyes. Hearing the commotion God came into the room and saw what had happened. He got very angry and cursed "Madness" and said since "Love" has become blind because of u.....u shall always be with him" And so it came about that from that day on,

Love is blind and is always accompanied by Madness!

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59. Nineteen Horses
One rich man owned 19 horses when he died. In his last will and testament he had written that upon his death, half the horses he owned should go to his only son; one fourth to the village temple and one fifth to the faithful servant. The village elders could not stop scratching their heads. How can they give half of the 19 horses to the son? You cannot cut up a horse. They puzzled over this dilemma for more than two weeks and then decided to send for a wise man who was living in a neighboring village. The wise man came riding on his horse and asked the villagers if he can be of any help to them. The village elders told him about the rich man's last will and testament which stated that half of the (19) horses must be given to his only son, one fourth must go to the temple and one fifth to the faithful servant. The wise man said he will immediately solve their problem without any delay whatsoever. He had the 19 horses placed in a row standing next to one another. Then he added his own horse as the 20th horse. Now he went about giving half of the 20 horses – that is ten horses to the son. One fourth of 20- that is 5 horses were given to the temple committee. One fifth of twenty- that is 4 horses were given to the faithful servant. Ten plus five plus four made 19 horses. The remaining 20th horse was his own which he promptly mounted, spoke a few inspiring words, and rode back home. The villagers were simply dumfounded, full of disbelief and filled with admiration. And the parting words of the wise man were inscribed in their hearts and minds which they greatly cherished and passed on to their succeeding generations till today. The wise man said: In our daily lives, in our daily affairs, simply add God's name and then go about facing the day's happenings. Ever come across problems in life that are seemingly insurmountable? (Like the villagers, do we feel that such problems cannot be solved?). The wise man continued: Add the God Principle in our daily lives and the problems will become lighter and eventually will disappear. In the manner of the ice which, with the addition of the heat principle will turn into water and that will eventually evaporate as steam and disappear. And how do we add God's name in our daily lives? Through prayers filled with true love, devotion, with sincerity of purpose and dedication that only total faith can be brought about. Meditation is a powerful means of directing the mind Godward. But without true love and devotion entering into it, it remains like a boat without water. It is not difficult to push a boat that is floating in water, but extremely hard to drag the same boat on dry land. In the same way, if our life's boat floats on the waters of true love and devotion, we can sail easily in it. The principle of love of God and devotion with total faith, (like water) makes easy the voyage of our lives. When the mind is pure and the heart full of simplicity and holiness, such a devotee becomes an instrument in the service of the Lord.

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60. Salty Coffee
He met her on a party. She was so outstanding, many guys chasing after her, while he was so normal, nobody paid attention to him. At the end of the party, he invited her to have coffee with him, she was surprised, but due to being polite, she promised. They sat in a nice coffee shop, he was too nervous to say anything, she felt uncomfortable, she thought, please, let me go home.. Suddenly he asked the waiter: "Would you please give me some salt? I'd like to put it in my coffee." Everybody stared at him, so strange! His face turned red, but, still, he put the salt in his coffee and drank it. She asked him curiously: why you have this hobby? He replied: "when I was a little boy, I was living near the sea, I liked playing in the sea, I could feel the taste of the sea, just like the taste of the salty coffee. Now every time I have the salty coffee, I always think of my childhood, think of my hometown, I miss my hometown so much, I miss my parents who are still living there". While saying that tears filled his eyes. She was deeply touched. That's his true feeling, from the bottom of his heart. A man who can tell out his homesickness, he must be a man who loves home, cares about home, has responsibility of home. Then she also started to speak, spoke about her faraway hometown, her childhood, her family. That was a really nice talk, also a beautiful beginning of their story. They continued to date. She found that actually he was a man who meets all her demands; he had tolerance, was kind hearted, warm, careful. He was such a good person but she almost missed him! Thanks to his salty coffee! Then the story was just like every beautiful love story, the princess married to the prince, then they were living the happy life... And, every time she made coffee for him, she put some salt in the coffee, as she knew that's the way he liked it. After 40 years, he passed away, left her a letter which said: "My dearest, please forgive me, forgive my whole life lie. This was the only lie I said to you---the salty coffee. Remember the first time we dated? I was so nervous at that time, actually I wanted some sugar, but I said salt it was hard for me to change so I just went ahead. I never thought that could be the start of our communication! I tried to tell you the truth many times in my life, but I was too afraid to do that, as I have promised not to lie to you for anything... Now I'm dying, I afraid of nothing so I tell you the truth: I don't like the salty coffee, what a strange bad taste.. But I have had the salty coffee for my whole life! Since I knew you, I never feel sorry for anything I do for you. Having you with me is my biggest happiness for my whole life. If I can live for the second time, still want to know you and have you for my whole life, even though I have to drink the salty coffee again". Her tears made the letter totally wet. Someday, someone asked her: what's the taste of salty coffee? It's sweet. She replied. Love is not 2 forget but 2 forgive: Not 2 c but 2 understand: Not 2 hear but 2 listen Not 2 let go but HOLD ON!!!!

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61. The Starfish
Once upon a time there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work. One day he was walking along the shore. As he looked down the beach, he saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself to think of someone who would dance to the day. So he began to walk faster to catch up. As he got closer, he saw that it was a young man and the young man wasn't dancing, but instead he was reaching down to the shore, picking up something and very gently throwing it into the ocean. As he got closer he called out, "Good morning! What are you doing?" The young man paused, looked up and replied, "Throwing starfish in the ocean." "I guess I should have asked, why are you throwing starfish in the ocean?" "The sun is up, and the tide is going out, and if I don't throw them in they'll die." "But, young man, don't you realize that there are miles and miles of beach, and starfish all along it. You can't possibly make a difference!" The young man listened politely. Then bent down, picked up another starfish and threw it into the sea, past the breaking waves and said, "It made a difference for that one." There is something very special in each and every one of us. We have all been gifted with the ability to make a difference, and if we can become aware of that gift, we gain through the strength of our visions the power to shape the future. We must each find our starfish. And if we throw our stars wisely and well, the world will be blessed.

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62. Unconditional love
Some time ago, a friend of mine punished his 4 year old daughter for wasting a roll of gold wrapping paper. Money was tight and he became infuriated when the small child tried to decorate a box to put under the tree. Nevertheless the little girl brought the gift to her father the next morning and said "This is for you Daddy." He was embarrassed by his earlier over reaction... He opened the box and his anger flared again when he found the box was empty. Then he yelled at her: DON'T YOU KNOW when you give someone a present there's supposed to be something inside of it??? The little girl looked up at him with tears in her eyes and said, Oh Daddy it's not empty, I blew kisses into the box, all for you Daddy. The father was crushed. He put his arms around his little girl, and he begged her for forgiveness. My friend told me that he kept that gold box near his bed for years. Whenever he was discouraged he would take out an imaginary kiss and remember the love of the child who had put it there. In a very real sense each of us has been given a gold container filled with unconditional love and kisses. There is no more precious possession anyone could hold.

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63. The Teacup
There was a couple who used to go to shop in the beautiful stores. They both liked antiques and pottery and especially teacups. One day in this beautiful shop they saw a beautiful teacup. They said, "May we see that? We've never seen one quite so beautiful." As the lady handed it to them, suddenly the teacup spoke. "You don't understand," it said. "I haven't always been a teacup. There was a time when I was red and I was clay." My master took me and rolled me and patted me over and over and I yelled out, "let me alone", but he only smiled, "Not yet." "Then I was placed on a spinning wheel," the teacup said, "and suddenly I was spun around and around and around. Stop it! I'm getting dizzy!" I screamed. But the master only nodded and said, 'Not yet." Then he put me in the oven. I never felt such heat. I wondered why he wanted to burn me, and I yelled and knocked at the door. I could see him through the opening and I could read his lips as He shook his head, "Not yet." Finally the door opened, he put me on the shelf, and I began to cool. "There, that's better," I said. And he brushed and painted me all over. The fumes were horrible. I thought I would gag. "Stop it, stop it!" I cried. He only nodded, "Not yet." Then suddenly he put me back into the oven, not like the first one. This was twice as hot and I knew I would suffocate. I begged. I pleaded. I screamed. I cried. All the time I could see him through the opening nodding his head saying, "Not yet." Then I knew there wasn't any hope. I would never make it. I was ready to give up. But the door opened and he took me out and placed me on the shelf. One hour later he handed me a mirror and said, "Look at yourself." And I did. I said, "That's not me; that couldn't be me. It's beautiful. I'm beautiful." "I want you to remember," then, he said, "I know it hurts to be rolled and patted, but if I had left you alone, you'd have dried up. I know it made you dizzy to spin around on the wheel, but if I had stopped, you would have crumbled. I knew it hurt and was hot and disagreeable in the oven, but if I hadn't put you there, you would have cracked. I know the fumes were bad when I brushed and painted you all over, but if I hadn't done that, you never would have hardened; you would not have had any color in your life. And if I hadn't put you back in that second oven, you wouldn't survive for very long because the hardness would not have held. Now you are a finished product. You are what I had in mind when I first began with you." God knows what He's doing (for all of us).He is the Potter, and we are His clay. He will mold us and make us, So that we may be made into a flawless piece of work to fulfill His good, pleasing, and perfect will.

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64. The Result of Initiative
Some years ago, three brothers left the farm to work in the city. They were all hired by the same company at the same pay. Three years later, Jim was being paid $500 a month, Frank was receiving $1,000, but George was now making $1,500. Their father decided to visit the employer. He listened to the confused father and said, "I will let the boys explain for themselves." Jim was summoned to the supervisor's office and was told, "Jim, I understand the Far East Importers has just brought in a large transport plane loaded with Japanese import goods. Will you please go over to the airport and get a cargo inventory?" Three minutes later, Jim returned to the office. "The cargo was one thousand bolts of Japanese silk," Jim reported. "I got the information over the telephone from a member of the crew." When Jim left, Frank, the $1,000 a month brother, was called. "Frank," said the supervisor, "I wish you'd go out to the airport and get an inventory of the cargo plane which was just brought in by Far East Importers." An hour later, Frank was back in the office with a list showing that the plane carried 1,000 bolts of Japanese silk, 500 transistor radios, and 1,000 hand painted bamboo trays. George, the $1,500 a month brother, was given identical instructions. Working hours were over when he finally returned. "The transport plane carried one thousand bolts of Japanese silk," he began. "It was on sale at sixty dollars a bolt, so I took a two-day option on the whole lot. I have wired a designer in New York offering the silk at seventy-five dollars a bolt. I expect to have the order tomorrow. I also found five hundred transistor radios, which I sold over the telephone at a profit of $2.30 each. There were a thousand bamboo trays, but they were of poor quality, so I didn't try to do anything with them." When George left the office, the employer smiled. "You probably noticed," he said, "that Jim doesn't do what he's told, Frank does only what he'd told, but George does without being told." The future is full of promise for one who shows initiative.

"Don't wait for your ship to come in; swim out to it." “Initiative is doing the right things without being told”

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65. THE MAN WHO WILLED HIMSELF TO DIE
There was a man who worked for the railroad. One day as he went into the freezer compartment to do his routine work, the door accidentally closed and he found himself trapped in the compartment. He shouted for help but no one heard him since it was past midnight. He tried to break down the door but he could not. As he lay in the freezer compartment, he began to feel colder, and colder. Then he began to feel weaker, and weaker, and he wrote on the wall of the compartment, “I am feeling colder, and colder; and I am getting weaker, and weaker. I am dying, and this may be my last words”. In the morning when the other workers opened up the compartment they found him dead. The sad twist to the above story is that the freezing apparatus in the compartment had broken down a few days earlier. The poor worker did not know about the damaged freezing apparatus and in his mind the freezing apparatus was working perfectly. He felt cold, got weaker and literally willed himself to die. SUCCESS PRINCIPLES Our sub-conscious mind can be cheated. The sub-conscious mind can only accept and act on information passed to it by the conscious mind. It has no capacity to reject or decline any instructions or information passed to it by the conscious mind. In the case of the poor worker, he consciously thought that he was getting colder, weaker and dying and the sub-conscious mind accepted the above instructions and affected his physical body. That was how he willed himself to die. MOTIVATIONAL QUOTE "Every now and then go away, have a little relaxation, for when you come back to your work your judgment will be surer. Go some distance away because then the work appears smaller and more of it can be taken in at a glance and a lack of harmony and proportion is more readily seen."

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66. The Cow & The Pig
There was once a man who was very rich and very miserly at the same time. The villagers disliked him intensely. One day he said to them, "Either you're jealous of me or you don't understand my love of money-God alone knows. But you dislike me; that much I know. When I die, I won't take anything with me. I will leave it all for others. I will make a will, and I will give everything to charity. Then everyone will be happy." Even then people mocked and laughed at him. The rich man said to them, "What is the matter with you? Can't you wait a few years to see my money go to charity?" The villagers didn't believe him. He said, "Do you think I'm immortal? I'll die like everyone else, and then my money will go to charities." He couldn't understand why they didn't believe him. One day he went for a walk. All of a sudden it started raining heavily, so he took shelter under a tree. Under this tree he saw a pig and a cow. The pig and the cow entered into conversation, and the man overheard what they were saying. The pig said to the cow, "How is it that everybody appreciates you and nobody appreciates me? When I die, I provide people with bacon, ham and sausage. People can also use my bristles. I give three or four things, whereas you give only one thing: milk. Why do people appreciate you all the time and not me?" The cow said to the pig, "Look, I give them milk while I'm alive. They see that I am generous with what I have. But you don't give them anything while you're alive. Only after you're dead do you give ham, bacon and so forth. People don't believe in the future; they believe in the present. If you give while you are alive, people will appreciate you. It is quite simple." From that moment on, the rich man gave all he had to the poor.

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67. NAIL IN THE FENCE
There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His Father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence. The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence. Finally the day came when the boy didn't lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper. The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone. The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He said, "You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. It won't matter how many times you say I'm sorry, the wound is still there." A verbal wound is as bad as a physical one. Friends are very rare jewels, indeed. They make you smile and encourage you to succeed. They lend an ear, they share words of praise and they always want to open their hearts to us." Please forgive me if I have ever left a hole in your heart :)

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68. Devil's most 'used' instrument
It was advertised that the devil was going to put his tools up for sale. On the date of the sale, the tools were placed for public inspection; each tool being marked with its sale price. They were a treacherous lot of implements... Hatred, Envy, Jealousy, Deceit, Lying, Pride, and so on…Laid apart from the rest was a harmless looking tool, that appeared to have been heavily used, and was priced very high. "What is the name of this tool?" asked one of the purchasers, pointing to it. "That is Discouragement," replied the devil. "Why have you priced it so high?" "Because it is more useful to me than all the others. I can pry open and get inside people's hearts with that when I cannot get near them with my other tools. Once I get inside, I can make them do what I choose. It is badly worn because I use it on almost everyone, since very few people know that it belongs to me."

Never get discouraged! Keep your head up keep the faith!

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69. About Love
I once had a friend who grew to be very close to me. Once when we were sitting at the edge of a swimming pool, she filled the palm of her hand with some water and held it before me, and said this: "You see this water carefully contained on my hand? It symbolizes Love." This was how I saw it: As long as you keep your hand caringly open and allow it to remain there, it will always be there. However, if you attempt to close your fingers round it and try to posses it, it will spill through the first cracks it finds. This is the greatest mistake that people do when they meet love...they try to posses it, they demand, they expect... and just like the water spilling out of your hand, love will retrieve from you . For love is meant to be free, you cannot change its nature. If there are people you love, allow them to be free beings.

Give and don't expect. Advise, but don't order. Ask, but never demand.
It might sound simple, but it is a lesson that may take a lifetime to truly practice. It is the secret to true love. To truly practice it, you must sincerely feel no expectations from those who you love, and yet an unconditional caring." Passing thought... Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take; but by the moments that take our breath away.....

Life is beautiful!!! Live it!!! By Swami Vivekananda

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70. The King's lesson on charity
Tale to Understand the Importance of Absence of Niggardliness in One's Life! A person was advised by a holy man to gift a vegetable a day and told that he would attain great merit by doing so. The poor man strictly followed the advice. After death, he was reborn in a royal family and grew up to become a king. He was able to recall what he had done in his past birth. So, he continued to gift a vegetable a day. Surprisingly, after death, he was reborn as a beggar. The man was unable to comprehend the reason and so sought the advice of the holy man who had earlier blessed him. From the sage, he learnt that prior to becoming a king he had been very poor and so a gift of a vegetable a day was sufficient to give him a lot of virtue. On the other hand, as a king he was endowed with affluence. So, thereafter, the gift of just a vegetable a day was quite insufficient to earn him merit of any consequence. The person realized that the extent of charity needed to earn a certain degree of merit depends upon one's financial status!! SPIRITUAL COMMENTARY Maharishi Gautam has spoken of eight 'Atma Gunas' or personal qualities that every individual should cultivate. They help a man to enjoy mental peace and happiness. They also give rise to virtue and so their benefits are not confined to the present life. Further, if people strive to cultivate these, the world will become a happier place. The seventh ordained quality is 'Absence of niggardliness'. The tendency to hoard and not part with anything in charity is the result of greed. Lord Krishna in Bhagavad Gita has spoken of desire, anger and greed as the triple gates of hell. Hoarding will never benefit us and when we die, we cannot take our wealth with us. Neelakanta Deekshitar has humorously advised, "If you are keen that even after death you should not be parted with your wealth and that you should carry it with you in a bundle on your head then give it to the deserving". Currency notes cannot be taken to the next world. On the other hand, if a miser converts them into virtue by performing charity, he need not fear that he will lose them after death. After all, virtue will accompany him to the next world. The scriptures prescribe the giving of gifts to the deserving as an antidote for greed. So, charity, apart from bringing about happiness in others, greatly conduces to the spiritual well being of the donor. A person who loses some money feels unhappy. But he feels happy, not sad, when he 79

voluntarily gives the same amount to a poor student who is not in a position to pay his examination fees. Charity can thus make not only the donee happy but also the donor! Thus absence of Niggardliness is a supreme quality one must try to practice for his own evolution and also to keep others around him happy as other's blessings that come from a true heart is a true blessing for us to have a fulfilled and contented life at every stage!! "If you can't feed a hundred people, then just feed one." - Mother Teresa. "You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give." - Kalil Gibran "The value of a man resides in what he gives and not in what he is capable of receiving." Albert Einstein "Do not stand on a high pedestal and take 5 cents in your hand and say, "here, my poor man", but be grateful that the poor man is there, so by making a gift to him you are able to help yourself. It is not the receiver that is blessed, but it is the giver. Be thankful that you are allowed to exercise your power of benevolence and mercy in the world, and thus become pure and perfect." – Swami Vivekananda. "Giving is most blessed and most acceptable when the donor remains completely anonymous" - Anonymous.

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71. God doesn't exist.
A man went to a barbershop to have his hair cut and his beard trimmed. As the barber began to work, they began to have a good conversation. They talked about so many things and various subjects. When they eventually touched on the subject of God, the barber said: "I don't believe that God exists." "Why do you say that?” asked the customer. "Well, you just have to go out in the street to realize that God doesn't exist. Tell me, if God exists, would there be so many sick people? Would there be abandoned children? If God existed, there would be neither suffering nor pain. I can't imagine loving a God who would allow all of these things." The customer thought for a moment, but didn't respond because he didn't want to start an argument. The barber finished his job and the customer left the shop. Just after he left the barbershop, he saw a man in the street with long, stringy, dirty hair and an untrimmed beard. He looked dirty and un-kept. The customer turned back and entered the barber shop again and he said to the barber: "You know what? Barbers do not exist." "How can you say that?" asked the surprised barber. "I am here, and I am a barber. And I just worked on you!" "No!" the customer exclaimed. "Barbers don't exist because if they did, there would be no people with dirty long hair and untrimmed beards, like that man outside." "Ah, but barbers DO exist! What happens is people do not come to me." "Exactly !" affirmed the customer. "That's the point! God, too, DOES exist! What happens, is, people don't go to Him and do not look for Him. That's why there's so much pain and suffering in the world."

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72. True love
This is what True Love is all about: It was a busy morning, approximately 8:30 a.m., when an elderly gentleman in his 80's, arrived to have stitches removed from his thumb. He stated that he was in a hurry as he had an appointment at 9:00 am. I took his vital signs and had him take a seat, knowing it would be over an hour before someone would to able to see him. I saw him look at his watch and decided, since I was not busy with another patient, I would evaluate his wound. On exam, it was well healed, so I talked to one of the doctors, got the needed supplies to remove his sutures and redress his wound. While taking care of his wound, we began to engage in conversation. I asked him if he had another doctor's appointment this morning, as he was in such a hurry. The gentleman told me no, that he needed to go to the nursing home to eat breakfast with his wife. I then inquired as to her health. He told me that she had been there for a while and that she was a victim of Alzheimer' s Disease. As we talked, I asked if she would be upset if he was a bit late. He replied that she no longer knew who he was, that she had not recognized him in five years now. I was surprised, and asked him, "And you still go every morning, even though she doesn't know who you are?" He smiled as he patted my hand and said, "She doesn't know me, but I still know who she is." I had to hold back tears as he left, I had goose bumps on my arm, and thought, "That is the kind of love I want in my life." True love is neither physical, nor romantic. True love is an acceptance of all that is, has been, will be, and will not be.

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73. Teddy
As she stood in front of her 5th grade class on the very first day of school, she told the children an untruth. Like most teachers, she looked at her students and said that she loved them all the same. However, that was impossible, because there in the front row, slumped in his seat, was a little boy named Teddy Stoddard. Mrs. Thompson had watched Teddy the year before and noticed that he did not play well with the other children, that his clothes were messy and that he constantly needed a bath. In addition, Teddy could be unpleasant. It got to the point where Mrs. Thompson would actually take delight in marking his papers with a broad red pen, making bold X's and then putting a big "F" at the top of his papers. At the school where Mrs. Thompson taught, she was required to review each child's past records and she put Teddy's off until last. However, when she reviewed his file, she was in for a surprise. Teddy's first grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is a bright child with a ready laugh. He does his work neatly and has good manners... he is a joy to be around." His second grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is an excellent student, well liked by his classmates, but he is troubled because his mother has a terminal illness and life at home must be a struggle." His third grade teacher wrote, "His mother's death has been hard on him. He tries to do his best, but his father doesn't show much interest, and his home life will soon affect him if some steps aren't taken." Teddy's fourth grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is withdrawn and doesn't show much interest in school. He doesn't have many friends and he sometimes sleeps in class." By now, Mrs. Thompson realized the problem and she was ashamed of herself. She felt even worse when her students brought her Christmas presents, wrapped in beautiful ribbons and bright paper, except for Teddy's. His present was clumsily wrapped in the heavy, brown paper that he got from a grocery bag. Mrs. Thompson took pains to open it in the middle of the other presents. Some of the children started to laugh when she found a rhinestone bracelet with some of the stones missing, and a bottle that was one-quarter full of perfume. But she stifled the children's laughter when she exclaimed how pretty the bracelet was, putting it on, and dabbing some of the perfume on her wrist. Teddy Stoddard stayed after school that day just long enough to say, "Mrs. Thompson, today you smelled just like my Mom used to." After the children left, she cried for at least an hour. On that very day, she quit teaching reading, writing and arithmetic. Instead, she began to teach children. Mrs. Thompson paid particular attention to Teddy. As she worked with him, his mind seemed to come alive. The more she encouraged him, the faster he responded. By the end of the year, Teddy had become one of the smartest children in the class and, despite her lie that she would love all the children the same, Teddy became one of her "teacher's pets…" A year later, she found a note under her door, from Teddy, telling her that she was the best teacher he ever had in his whole life. Six years went by before she got another note from 83

Teddy. He then wrote that he had finished high school, third in his class, and she was still the best teacher he ever had in life. Four years after that, she got another letter, saying that while things had been tough at times, he'd stayed in school, had stuck with it, and would soon graduate from college with the highest of honors. He assured Mrs. Thompson that she was still the best and favorite teacher he had ever had in his whole life. Then four more years passed and yet another letter came. This time he explained that after he got his bachelor's degree, he decided to go a little further. The letter explained that she was still the best and favorite teacher he ever had. But now his name was a little longer.... The letter was signed, Theodore F. Stoddard, MD. The story does not end there. You see, there was yet another letter that spring. Teddy said he had met this girl and was going to be married. He explained that his father had died a couple of years ago and he was wondering if Mrs. Thompson might agree to sit at the wedding in the place that was usually reserved for the mother of the groom. Of course, Mrs. Thompson did. And guess what? She wore that bracelet, the one with several rhinestones missing. Moreover, she made sure she was wearing the perfume that Teddy remembered his mother wearing on their last Christmas together. They hugged each other, and Dr. Stoddard whispered in Mrs. Thompson's ear, "Thank you Mrs. Thompson for believing in me. Thank you so much for making me feel important and showing me that I could make a difference." Mrs. Thompson, with tears in her eyes, whispered back. She said, "Teddy, you have it all wrong. You were the one who taught me that I could make a difference. I didn't know how to teach until I met you." (For you that don't know, Teddy Stoddard is the Dr. at Iowa Methodist in DesMoines that has the Stoddard Cancer Wing.) Warm someone's heart today... pass this along. I love this story so very much, I cry every time I read it. Just try to make a difference in someone's life today? Tomorrow? Just "do it". Random acts of kindness, I think they call it!

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74. House of 1000 mirrors
Long ago in a small, far away village, there was place known as the House of 1000 Mirrors. A small, happy little dog learned of this place and decided to visit. When he arrived, he bounced happily up the stairs to the doorway of the house. He looked through the doorway with his ears lifted high and his tail wagging as fast as it could. To his great surprise, he found himself staring at 1000 other happy little dogs with their tails wagging just as fast as his. He smiled a great smile, and was answered with 1000 great smiles just as warm and friendly. As he left the House, he thought to himself, "This is a wonderful place. I will come back and visit it often." In this same village, another little dog, who was not quite as happy as the first one, decided to visit the house. He slowly climbed the stairs and hung his head low as he looked into the door. When he saw the 1000 unfriendly looking dogs staring back at him, he growled at them and was horrified to see 1000 little dogs growling back at him. As he left, he thought to himself, "That is a horrible place, and I will never go back there again." All the faces in the world are mirrors. What kind of reflections do you see in the faces of the people you meet?

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75. Overconfidence!!!
It was the end of the school year, and a kindergarten teacher was receiving gifts from her pupils. The florist's son handed her a gift. She shook it, held it overhead, and said, "I bet I know what it is. Flowers" "That's right!" the boy said, "But, how did you know?" "Oh, just a wild guess," she said. The next pupil was the sweet shop owner's daughter. The teacher held her gift overhead, shook it, and said, "I bet I can guess what it is. A box of sweets" "That's right, but how did you know?" asked the girl. "Oh, just a wild guess," said the teacher. The next gift was from the daughter of the liquor storeowner. The teacher held the package overhead, but it was leaking. She touched a drop off the leakage with her finger and put it to her tongue. "Is it wine?" she asked. "No," the girl replied, with some excitement. The teacher repeated the process, tasting a larger drop of the leakage. "Is it champagne?" she asked. "No," the girl replied, with more excitement. The teacher took one more big taste before declaring, "I give up, what it is?" With great glee, the boy replied, "It's a puppy!"

Confidence can work wonders but excess of it will make a fool out of you.

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76. The Fern and the Bamboo
One day I decided to quit.... I quit my job, my relationship, my spirituality...I wanted to quit my life. I went to the woods to have one last talk with God. "God", I said. "Can you give me one good reason not to quit?" His answer surprised me... "Look around", He said. "Do you see the fern and the bamboo?" "Yes", I replied. "When I planted the fern and the bamboo seeds, I took very good care of them. I gave them light. I gave them water. The fern quickly grew from the earth. Its brilliant green covered the floor. Yet nothing came from the bamboo seed. But I did not quit on the bamboo. In the second year the Fern grew more vibrant and plentiful. And again, nothing came from the bamboo seed. But I did not quit on the bamboo". He said. "In the third year, there was still nothing from the bamboo seed. But I would not quit. In the fourth year, again, there was nothing from the bamboo seed. I would not quit." He said. "Then in the fifth year a tiny sprout emerged from the earth. Compared to the fern it was seemingly small and insignificant. But just 6 months later the bamboo rose to over 100 Feet tall. It had spent the five years growing roots. Those roots made it strong and gave it what it needed to survive. I would not give any of my creations a challenge it could not handle." He said to me. "Did you know, my child, that all this time you have been struggling, you have actually been growing roots. I would not quit on the bamboo. I will never quit on you. Don't compare yourself to others." He said. "The bamboo had a different purpose than the Fern, yet, they both make the forest beautiful." "Your time will come, "God said to me." You will rise high!" "How high should I rise?" I asked. "How high will the bamboo rise?" He asked in return. "As high as it can?" I questioned. "Yes." He said, "Give me glory by rising as high as you can." I left the forest and brought back this story. I hope these words can help you see that God will never give up on you........

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77. The Monkey with the Wooden Apples
There once was a happy monkey wandering the jungle, eating delicious fruit when hungry, and resting when tired. One day he came upon a house, where he saw a bowl of the most beautiful apples. He took one in each hand and ran back into the forest. He sniffed the apples and smelled nothing. He tried to eat them, but hurt his teeth. They were made of wood, but they were beautiful, and when the other monkeys saw them, he held onto them even tighter. He admired his new possessions proudly as he wandered the jungle. They glistened red in the sun, and seemed perfect to him. He became so attached to them, that he didn't even notice his hunger at first. A fruit tree reminded him, but he felt the apples in his hands. He couldn't bear to set them down to reach for the fruit. In fact, he couldn't relax, either, if he was to defend his apples. A proud, but less happy monkey continued to walk along the forest trails. The apples became heavier, and the poor little monkey thought about leaving them behind. He was tired, hungry, and he couldn't climb trees or collect fruit with his hands full. What if he just let go? Letting go of such valuable things seemed crazy, but what else could he do? He was so tired. Seeing the next fruit tree, and smelling it's fruit was enough. He dropped the wooden apples and reached up for his meal. He was happy again. Like that little monkey, we sometimes carry things that seem too valuable to let go. A man carries an image of himself as "productive" - carries it like a shiny wooden apple. But in reality, his busyness leaves him tired, and hungry for a better life. Still, letting go seems crazy. Even his worries are sacred apples - they prove he's "doing everything he can." He holds onto them compulsively.

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78. The Gossip
A woman repeated a bit of gossip about a neighbor. Within a few days the whole community knew the story. The person it concerned was deeply hurt and offended. Later the woman responsible for spreading the rumor learned that it was completely untrue. She was very sorry and went to a wise old sage to find out what she could do to repair the damage. "Go to the marketplace," he said, "and purchase a chicken, and have it killed. Then on your way home, pluck its feathers and drop them one by one along the road." Although surprised by this advice, the woman did what she was told. The next day the wise man said, "Now go and collect all those feathers you dropped yesterday and bring them back to me." The woman followed the same road, but to her dismay, the wind had blown the feathers all away. After searching for hours, she returned with only three in her hand. "You see," said the old sage, "it's easy to drop them, but it's impossible to get them back. So it is with gossip. It doesn't take much to spread a rumor, but once you do, you can never completely undo the wrong."

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79. THE CLUB 99............
Some time ago, there lived a King. This king should have been contented with his life, given all the riches and luxuries he had. However, this was not the case! The King always found himself wondering why he just never seemed content with his life. Sure, he had the attention of everyone wherever he went, attended fancy dinners and parties, but somehow, he still felt something was lacking and he couldn't put his finger on it. One day, the King had woken up earlier than usual to stroll around his palace. He entered his huge living room and came to a stop when he heard someone happily singing away... following this singing... he saw that one of the servants was singing and had a very contented look on his face. This fascinated the King and he summoned this man to his chambers. The man entered the King's chambers as ordered. The King asked why he was so happy. To this the man replied: "Your Majesty, I am nothing but a servant, but I make enough of a living to keep my wife and children happy. We don't need too much, a roof over our heads and warm food to fill our tummy. My wife and children are my inspiration; they are content with whatever little I bring home. I am happy because my family is happy." Hearing this, the King dismissed the servant and summoned his Personal Assistant to his chambers. The King related his personal anguish about his feelings and then related the story of the servant to his Personal Assistant, hoping that somehow, he will be able to come up with some reasoning that here was a King who could have anything he wished for at a snap of his fingers and yet was not contented, whereas, his servant, having so little was extremely contented. The Personal Assistant listened attentively and came to a conclusion. He said, "Your Majesty, I believe that the servant has not been made part of The 99 Club." "The 99 Club ? And what exactly is that?" the King inquired. To which the Assistant replied, "Your Majesty, to truly know what The 99 Club is, you will have to do the following... place 99 Gold coins in a bag and leave it at this servant's doorstep, you will then understand what The 99 Club is." That very same evening, the King arranged for 99 Gold coins to be placed in a bag at the servant's doorstep. Although he was slightly hesitant and he thought he should have put 100 Gold coins into the bag, but since his assistant had advised him to put 99 that is what he did. The servant was just stepping out of his house when he saw a bag at his doorstep. Wondering about its contents, he took it into his house and opened the bag. When he opened the bag, he let out a great big shout of joy...Gold Coins... so many of them. He could hardly believe it. He called his wife to show her the coins.

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He then took the bag to a table and emptied it out and began to count the coins. Doing so, he realized that there were 99 coins and he thought it was an odd number so he counted again, and again and again only to come to the same conclusion.. . 99 Gold Coins. He began to wonder, what could have happened to that last 1 coin? For no one would leave 99 coins. He began to search his entire house, looked around his backyard for hours, not wanting to lose out on that one coin. Finally, exhausted, he decided that he was going to have to work harder than ever to make up for that 1 Gold coin to make his entire collection an even 100 Gold Coins. He got up the next morning, in an extremely horrible mood, shouting at the children and his wife for his delay, not realizing that he had spent most of the night conjuring ways of working hard so that he had enough money to buy himself that gold coin. He went to work as usual - but not in his usual best mood, singing happily - as he grumpily did his daily errands. Seeing the man's attitude change so drastically, the King was puzzled. He promptly summoned his assistant to his chambers. The King related his thoughts about the servant and once again, his assistant listened. The King could not believe that the servant who until yesterday had been singing away and was happy and content with his life had taken a sudden change of attitude, even though he should have been happier after receiving the gold coins. To this the assistant replied "Ah! But your Majesty, the servant has now officially joined The 99 Club." He explained: "The 99 Club is just a name given to those people who have everything but yet are never contented, therefore they are always working hard and striving for that extra 1 to round it out to 100! We have so much to be thankful for and we can live with very little in our lives, but the minute we are given something bigger and better, we want even more! Narrated by Hazrat Abu Huraira r.a. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him said: "The heart of an old man remains young in two respects i.e. his love for the world and his perpetual hopes" Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith No. 1069 Book 81, Chapter 5

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80. The donkey did it…….!
One day a farmer's donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway; it just wasn't worth it to retrieve the donkey. He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone's amazement he quieted down. A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well. He was astonished at what he saw. With each shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up. As the farmer's neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off! MORAL: Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a steppingstone. We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping, never giving up! Shake it off and take a step up. Remember the five simple rules to be happy: 1. Free your heart from hatred - Forgive. 2. Free your mind from worries - Most never happen. 3. Live simply and appreciate what you have. 4. Give more. 5. Expect less

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81. The miracle hand of Friendship
One day, when I was a freshman in high school, I saw a kid from my class was walking home from school. His name was Kyle. It looked like he was carrying all of his books. I thought to myself, "Why would anyone bring home all his books on a Friday? He must really be a nerd." I had quite a weekend planned (parties and a football game with my friends’ tomorrow afternoon), so I shrugged my shoulders and went on. As I was walking, I saw a bunch of kids running toward him. They ran at him, knocking all his books out of his arms and tripping him so he landed in the dirt. His glasses went flying, and I saw them land in the grass about ten feet from him. He looked up and I saw this terrible sadness in his eyes My heart went out to him. So, I jogged over to him and as he crawled around looking for his glasses, and I saw a tear in his eye as I handed him his glasses, I said, "Those guys are jerks. They really should get lives. “He looked at me and said, "Hey thanks!" There was a big smile on his face. It was one of those smiles that showed real gratitude. I helped him pick up his books, and asked him where he lived. As it turned out, he lived near me, so I asked him why I had never seen him before. He said he had gone to private school before now. I would have never hung out with a private school kid before. We talked all the way home, and I carried some of his books. He turned out to be a pretty cool kid. I asked him if he wanted to play a little football with my friends He said yes. We hung out all weekend and the more I got to know Kyle, the more I liked him, and my friends thought the same of him. Monday morning came, and there was Kyle with the huge stack of books again. I stopped him and said, "Boy, you are gonna really build some serious muscles with this pile of books everyday! He just laughed and handed me half the books. Over the next four years, ! Kyle and I became best friends. When we were seniors, we began to think about college. Kyle decided on Georgetown, and I was going to Duke. I knew that we would always be friends, that the miles would never be a problem. He was going to be a doctor, and I was going for business on a football scholarship. Kyle was valedictorian of our class. I teased him all the time about being a nerd. He had to prepare a speech for graduation. I was so glad it wasn't me having to get up there and speak

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Graduation day, I saw Kyle. He looked great. He was one of those guys that really found him during high school. He filled out and actually looked good in glasses. He had more dates than I had and all the girls loved him. Boy, sometimes I was jealous. Today was one of those days. I could see that he was nervous about his speech. So, I smacked him on the back and said, "Hey, big guy, you'll be great!" He looked at me with one of those looks (the really grateful one) and smiled. Thanks," he said. As he started his speech, he cleared his throat, and began Graduation is a time to thank those who helped you make it through those tough years. Your parents, your teachers, your siblings, maybe a coach...but mostly your friends... I am here to tell all of you that being a friend to someone is the best gift you can give them. I am going to tell you a story I just looked at my friend with disbelief as he told the story of the first day we met. He had planned to kill himself over the weekend. He talked of how he had cleaned out his locker so his Mom wouldn't have to do it later and was carrying his stuff home. He looked hard at me and gave me a little smile. "Thankfully, I was saved. My friend saved me from doing the unspeakable." I heard the gasp go through the crowd as this handsome, popular boy told us all about his weakest moment. I saw his Mom and dad looking at me and smiling that same grateful smile. Not until that moment did I realize its depth. Never underestimate the power of your actions. With one small gesture you can change a person's life. For better or for worse God puts us all in each other's lives to impact one another in some way. Look for God in others. "Friends are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly."

There is no beginning or end. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is mystery. Today is a gift that is why it is called
PRESENT

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82. More then a Legend a Human Being
Scientists at the Rocket launching station in Thumba were in the habit of working for nearly 12 to 18 hours a day. There were about seventy such scientists working on a project. All the scientists were really frustrated due to the pressure of work and the demands of their boss but everyone was loyal to him and did not think of quitting the job. One day, one scientist came to his boss and told him - Sir, I have promised to my children that I will take them to the exhibition going on in our township. So I want to leave the office at 5 30 pm. His boss replied - O K, You are permitted to leave the office early today. The Scientist started working. He continued his work after lunch. As usual he got involved to such an extent that he looked at his watch when he felt he was close to completion. The time was 8.30 p.m suddenly he remembered of the promise he had given to his children. He looked for his boss, He was not there. Having told him in the morning itself, he closed everything and left for home. Deep within himself, he was feeling guilty for having disappointed his children. He reached home. Children were not there. His wife alone was sitting in the hall and reading magazines. The situation was explosive; any talk would boomerang on him. His wife asked him - Would you like to have coffee or shall I straight away serve dinner if you are hungry. The man replied - If you would like to have coffee, I too will have but what about Children??? Wife replied- You don't know - Your manager came at 5:15 P.M and has taken the children to the exhibition. What had really happened was The boss who granted him permission was observing him working seriously at 5.00 p.m. He thought to himself, this person will not leave the work, but if he has promised his children they should enjoy the visit to exhibition. So he took the lead in taking them to exhibition the boss does not have to do it every time. But once it is done, loyalty is established. That is why all the scientists at Thumba continued to work under their boss even though the stress was tremendous. By the way, can you guess as to who the boss was none other than Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam.

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83. Cracked Pot
A water bearer had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water. At the end of the long walk from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water to his house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do. After 2 yrs of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you. I have been able to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don't get full value from your efforts," the pot said. The bearer said to the pot, "Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of the path, but not on the other pot's side? That's because I have always known about your flaw, and I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you've watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house." Moral: Each of us has our own unique flaws. We're all cracked pots. But it's the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding. You've just got to take each person for what they are, and look for the good in them. Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape. Remember to appreciate all the different people in your life! BE BLESSED & BE A BLESSING TO OTHERS!!! THANK YOU, ALL MY CRACKPOT FRIENDS :-)

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84. A Mouse Fable
A mouse looked through the crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife open a package... "What food might this contain?" The mouse wondered - he was devastated to discover it was a mousetrap. Retreating to the farmyard, the mouse proclaimed the warning. "There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!" The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said, "Mr. Mouse, I can tell this is a grave concern to you but it is of no consequence to me. I cannot be bothered by it." The mouse turned to the pig and told him, "There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!" The pig sympathized, but said, "I am so very sorry, Mr. Mouse, but there is nothing I can do about it" The mouse turned to the cow and said, "There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!" The cow said, "Wow, Mr. Mouse. I'm sorry for you, but it's no skin off my nose. But wish you well; be assured you are in my prayers "So, the mouse returned to the house, head down and dejected, to face the farmer's mousetrap-- alone. That very night a sound was heard throughout the house -- like the sound of a mousetrap catching its prey. The farmer's wife rushed to see what was caught. In the darkness, she did not see it was a venomous snake whose tail the trap had caught. The snake bit the farmer's wife. The farmer rushed her to the hospital and she returned home with a fever. Everyone knows you treat a fever with fresh chicken soup, so the farmer took his hatchet to the farmyard for the soup's main ingredient. But his wife's sickness continued, so friends and neighbors came to sit with her around the clock. To feed them, the farmer butchered the pig. The farmer's wife did not get well; she died. So many people came for her funeral; the farmer had the cow slaughtered to provide enough meat for all of them. The mouse looked upon it all from his crack in the wall with great sadness. So, the next time you hear someone is facing a problem and think it doesn't concern you, Remember -- when one of us is threatened, we are all at risk. We are all involved in this journey called life. We must keep an eye out for one another and make an extra effort to encourage one another. EACH OF US IS A VITAL THREAD IN ANOTHER PERSON'S TAPESTRY; OUR LIVES ARE WOVEN TOGETHER FOR A REASON.

One of the best things to hold onto in this world is a friend.
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85. Foot prints in the sand
One night a man had a dream. He dreamed He was walking along the beach with the Lord. Across the sky flashed scenes from his life. For each scene he noticed two sets of Footprints in the sand: one belonging to him, and the other to the Lord. When the last scene of his life flashed before him, He looked back at the footprints in the sand. He noticed that many times along the path of His life there was only one set of footprints. He also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times in his life. This really bothered him and he questioned the Lord about it: "Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you, you'd walk with me all the way. But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life, there is only one set of footprints. I don't understand why when I needed you most you would leave me." The Lord replied: "My son, my precious child, I love you and I would never leave you. During your times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints, It was then that I carried you."

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86. Perception
One day a father of a very wealthy family took his son on a trip to the country with the firm purpose of showing his son how poor people live. They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of what would be considered a very poor family. On their return from the trip, the father asked his son, "How was the trip?" "It was great, Dad". "Did you see how poor people live?" the father asked. "Oh yes", said the son. "So, tell me, what you have learned from the trip?" asked the father. The son answered, "I saw that we have one dog and they had four. We have a pool that reaches to the middle of the garden and they have a creek that has no end. We have imported lanterns in our garden and they have the stars at night. Our patio reaches to the front yard and they have the whole horizon. We have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond our sight. We have servants to serve us, but they serve others. We buy our food, but they grow theirs. We have walls around our property to protect us, they have friends to protect them." The boy's father was speechless. Then his son added, "Thanks, Dad for showing me how poor we are." Isn't perspective a wonderful thing? Makes you wonder what would happen if we all gave thanks for everything we have, instead of worrying about what we don't have. Appreciate every single thing you have.

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87. The House
All the rooms in the house were being decorated for Diwali. Everything had to be sparkling clean and bright. The living room said: "Hey look at me, I'm so huge. I'm the one decorated with beautiful things. I'm the most sparkling room of the house. I'm the best." The bedroom could not resist this challenge, he retorted and said: "OK! You may be the biggest but I am the most important room in the house because everybody longs to take rest here when they are tired. The energy of everybody gets revitalized when they come to me." The kitchen scoffed and said: "Can you rest with an empty stomach! If it were not for me what could anybody eat? Where could the food be cooked? Where would the energy come from without food? So you see, I am the most important." The little bathroom was feeling neglected. He dare not speak too loud among these luminous dignitaries. He said meekly: "What about me, everybody needs to use me too, even if I'm smelly sometimes." Now who could decide which was most valuable room of the house? Could these rooms do without each other? No, no... They could all be the best places in the room. But still there was something more in there which never spoke, nor could be seen, but was always there. In fact it was in & out of all the walls of the house, all the rooms were rooted in it! It is the SPACE! The space was not confined to a single room but instead it was present everywhere... It was because of the space that all the rooms were existing! Every room thought: "This is my space! The space was not in the rooms but the truth is that the rooms were in the space. The space existed silently, all pervasively, selflessly, and so could hold within itself all their vanities and yet it is not bound by them. Similarly people belonging to different religions, like Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Sikh, Jain or Buddhist etc., keep trying to prove their superiority. Each individual draws energy from the blissful roots of the soul. The soul which is omnipresent & is the basis of existence of all, never utters a single word. That which is the most supreme need not prove itself...

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88. Old carpenter
An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer- contractor of his plans to leave the house- building business and live a more leisurely life with his wife enjoying his extended family. He would miss the paycheck, but he needed to retire. They could get by. The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go and asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favor. The carpenter said yes, but in time it was easy to see that his heart was not in his work. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials. It was an unfortunate way to end a dedicated career. When the carpenter finished his work the employer came to inspect the house. He handed the front-door key to the carpenter. This is your house, he said, my gift to you. The carpenter was shocked! What a shame! If he had only known he was building his own, he would have done it all so differently. We do the most of the things having such thoughts in our mind. But we only realize when it comes back to us. So it is with us. We build our lives, a day at a time, often putting less than our best into the building. Then with a shock we realize we have to live in the house that we have built. If we could do it over, we'd do it much differently. But we cannot go back. You are the carpenter. Each day you hammer a nail, place a board, or erect a wall. Life is a do-it-yourself project, someone has said. Your attitudes and the choices you make today, build the house you live in tomorrow. Build wisely!

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89. The Pancake
Six year old Brandon decided one Saturday morning to fix his parents pancakes. He found a big bowl and spoon, pulled a chair to the counter, opened the cupboard and pulled out the heavy flour canister, spilling it on the floor. He scooped some of the flour into the bowl with his hands, mixed in most of a cup of milk and added some sugar, leaving a floury trail on the floor which by now had a few tracks left by his kitten. Brandon was covered with flour and getting frustrated. He wanted this to be something very good for Mom and Dad, but it was getting very bad. He didn't know what to do next, whether to put it all into the oven or on the stove, (and he didn't know how the stove worked!). Suddenly he saw his kitten licking from the bowl of mix and reached to push her away, knocking the egg carton to the floor. Frantically he tried to clean up this monumental mess but slipped on the eggs, getting his pajamas white and sticky. And just then he saw Dad standing at the door. Big crocodile tears welled up in Brandon's eyes. All he'd wanted to do was something good, but he'd made a terrible mess. He was sure a scolding was coming, maybe even a spanking. But his father just watched him. Then, walking through the mess, he picked up his crying son, hugged him and loved him, getting his own pajamas white and sticky in the process. That's how God deals with us. We try to do something good in life, but it turns into a mess. Our marriage gets all sticky or we insult a friend or we can't stand our job or our health goes sour. Sometimes we just stand there in tears because we can't think of anything else to do. That's when God picks us up and loves us and forgives us, even though some of our mess gets all over Him. But just because we might mess up, we can't stop trying to "make pancakes," for God or for others. Sooner or later we'll get it right, and then they'll be glad we tried...

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90. The Man and his Finger
A man once went to see a doctor complaining of aches and pains all over his body. "Doctor my whole body hurts me," he moaned. The doctor asked him to show exactly where the pain was. The man explained, "When I touch my shoulder, it hurts. When I touch my back it hurts. When I touch my legs, they hurt." The doctor did a thorough examination and told the man"Sir, there is nothing wrong with your body. Your finger is broken. That is why it hurts wherever you touch. Get your finger plastered, rest it for a couple of weeks and all of your pains will disappear."!! SPIRITUAL COMMENTARY: In life so frequently it is our own perspective that causes us pain or pleasure. As we go through life "feeling" the world with our fingers, if our finger is broken naturally we will experience pain everywhere. But, we make the mistake of blaming the external world for our ailments: "My job is over-taxing, my husband is too demanding, my wife nags, my children are disobedient, my in-laws don't understand me, etc… " But if you look throughout the world you will be able to find someone who has the same type of job, but is calm, or someone who has the same type of spouse but is happy, or someone who has the same type of children but is patient, or someone who has the same type of inlaws but is grateful. What is it that allows 2 people to experience the same external situation but respond in 2 different ways? Our own perception, the key, then, is not to try to change every situation in our life, but rather to change the glasses through which we see the world. Sure, if we have a fixable situation at the office or at home, we should definitely do our best to improve it. But, what we have observed is that if someone has the nature to be dissatisfied, or the nature to be stressed, or the nature to be pained, that person's nature is not going to change simply by changing the external situation. A massage for the back or shoulder or legs would not help the man in our earlier example because it is his finger which is broken. He could spend hundreds of dollars to ease the pain in his body, but unless he puts his broken finger in a splint, he will continue to experience pain every time that finger touches the various parts of his body. Similarly, we run around through life trying to "fix" our jobs or marriages or family life, but frequently the reality is in our own perspective. If we spend the same amount of energy "fixing" our perspective as we spend trying to "fix" our spouse or children, everything would be fine. This is not to say that pains and troubles don't really exist in our day to day life. Of course they do. The man in our example may also have a stiff back or sore shoulders. But the excruciating pain he experienced was due not to the minor aches and pains in his body, but 103

due to the severely broken finger with which he was touching them. Similarly, our jobs and our families are taxing. They demand a lot of us. But the unbearable pain many of us experience is due not to the demands and commands from without, but due to the demands and commands from within ourselves. In the Gita it is said that we are our best friend and also our own worst enemy, depending upon how we live our lives. In this New Year, let us all take some time to examine what our own personal "broken finger" is. What is it within ourselves that causes us to experience pain in the world? What irrational fear, what un-fulfillable desire, what selfish motive, what ego-driven need has broken the finger with which we feel the world or has colored the glasses with which we see? We spend so much time examining others, but very little time examining our own selves. The Source of all joy and peace lies within us. We are blocked from that Source by a host of desires, fears and ignorance. The key to finding and tapping into that Source must come from within. Let us find the key within ourselves and unleash the Ocean of Divine Bliss in our lives!! Law, not confusion is the dominating principle in the universe; justice and not injustice, is the soul and substance of life. Righteousness, not corruption, is the molding and the moving force in the spiritual government of the world. This being so, man has but to right himself to find that the universe is right. And during the process of putting himself right, he will find that as he alters his thoughts towards things and other people, things and other people will alter towards him. -- James Allen

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91. Lord Rama and Ayodhya
[Tale to Understand the Importance of Having a sense of Patriotism for One's Own Country at all times!] In Ramayana, after the death of Ravana, Vibhisbana fell at the feet of Rama and said, "Swami, I never aspired to be the King of Lanka. I only wanted my brother to give up his bad qualities. I pray to you to take over the Kingdom of Lanka." All the rakshasas also came and prayed to Rama that he should become King of Lanka. Lakshmana also supported them saying, "O brother, Bharatha is already ruling over Ayodhya. Even if you return to Ayodhya, you may not be crowned as the King. So, I request you to take over this kingdom and transform all the rakshasas. Lanka is full of golden mansions. Where else can you find such a beautiful place? I will be very happy if you rule over this Kingdom." Rama lovingly took Lakshmana close to him and said, "Lakshmana, how could you get such a silly desire? Just because one's mother is ugly, can he call any other beautiful woman as his mother? Even though my country is poor compared to Lanka, I still consider it as my mother. Lanka may be full of gold, but I don't want it"!! SPIRITUAL COMMENTARY What a tremendous patriotism Lord Rama had for his own kingdom Ayodhya! He respected and adored his kingdom like his own "mother" as, any country we belong to becomes our "motherland" since we have been nurtured and brought up in that country, like how a mother nurtures her child. We should develop this kind of love and faith towards our country. Parents and teachers should inculcate such spirit of patriotism in their children and students. We should declare wholeheartedly with a sense of pride that this is my country, this is my mother tongue. A man's country is not a certain area of land, of mountains, rivers, and woods, but it is a principle and patriotism is loyalty to that principle. Unless our conception of patriotism is progressive, it cannot hope to embody the real affection and the real interest of the nation. We should love and serve our homeland; at the same time not hate or hurt the homeland of others. We should not indulge in criticizing other countries or people belonging to other nations. Having trust and faith in our own country, we won't try to put down any other country. We should never bring grief or sorrow to our country. To have pride in our own motherland is important. There are millions of educated men and women all over the world, but how many really benefit or contribute to the society's progress? We are utilising our education for our own selfishness and self-interest alone. We have to eschew selfishness and self-interest and make our education useful by resolving to serve the society and our country, for its progress and 105

development. That way we should make the best use of our education we have received. Let us respect and revere our elders and our country and set an ideal to humanity. Let our conduct befit the degrees we have acquired. Education is meant to broaden the mind. Education and discrimination should go hand in hand. The prosperity of the nation depends on the progress we make in the field of education. The future of the nation rests on the students and the dynamic youths a nation produces and nurtures. Every Nation has stocked plenty of wealth for us. What is this wealth? It is the spirit of sacrifice, which can be acquired through service to society. "Karmanu bandheeni Manushyaloke", human society is bound by action. "Sareeramadhyam Khalu Dharma Sadhanam", the body is gifted in order to undertake righteous actions, not to eat, drink and make merry. We must render service to others till our last breath. The essence of 18 Puranas can be summed up in one phrase: "Paropakarah Punyaya Papaya Parapeedanam." HELP EVER; HURT NEVER. Set an ideal, which is helpful and delightful to one and all!! "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country." - John. F. Kennedy.

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92. Wet Pants
Come with me to a third grade classroom...There is a nine-year-old kid sitting at his desk and all of a sudden, there is a puddle between his feet and the front of his pants is wet. He thinks his heart is going to stop because he cannot possibly imagine how this has happened. It's never happened before, and he knows that when the boys find out he will never hear the end of it... When the girls find out, they'll never speak to him again as long as he lives. The boy believes his heart is going to stop; he puts his head down and prays this prayer, "Dear God, this is an emergency! I need help now! Five minutes from now I'm dead meat." He looks up from his prayer and here comes the teacher with a look in her eyes that says he has been discovered. As the teacher is walking toward him, a classmate named Susie is carrying a goldfish bowl that is filled with water. Susie trips in front of the teacher and inexplicably dumps the bowl of water in the boy's lap. The boy pretends to be angry, but all the while is saying to himself, "Thank you, Lord! Thank you, Lord!" Now all of a sudden, instead of being the object of ridicule, the boy is the object of sympathy. The teacher rushes him downstairs and gives him gym shorts to put on while his pants dry out. All the other children are on their hands and knees cleaning up around his desk. The sympathy is wonderful. But as life would have it, the ridicule that should have been his has been transferred to someone else - Susie. She tries to help, but they tell her to get out. "You've done enough, you klutz!” Finally, at the end of the day, as they are waiting for the bus, the boy walks over to Susie and whispers, "You did that on purpose, didn't you?" Susie whispers back, "I wet my pants once too." May God help us see the opportunities that are always around us to do good. Each and everyone one of us is going through tough times right now, but God is getting ready to bless you in a way that only He can. Keep the faith.

"When God Answers your Prayer He is increasing your Faith, When He delays, He is increasing your Patience, When He Don't Give U Anything, He has something BETTER"
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93. Inspiring
My mother used to ask me: "What is the most important part of the body?" Through the years I would take a guess at what I thought was the correct answer. When I was younger, I thought sound was very important to us as humans, so I said, "My ears, Mommy." Mother said, "No Many people are deaf. But you keep thinking about it and I will ask you again soon." Several years passed before she asked me again. Since making my first attempt, I had contemplated the correct answer. So this time I told her, "Mommy, sight is very important to everybody, so it must be our eyes." Mother looked at me and told me, "You are learning fast, but the answer is not correct because there are many people who are blind." Stumped again, I continued my quest for knowledge. Over the years, Mother asked me a couple more times and always her answer was, "No, but you are getting smarter every year, my child." Then last year, my grandpa died. Everybody was hurt. Everybody was crying. Even my father cried. I remember that especially because it was only the second time I saw him cry. My Mom looked at me when it was our turn to say our final good-bye to Grandpa. Mother asked me, "Do you know the most important body part yet, my dear?" I was shocked when she asked me this now. I always thought this was a game between her and me. Mother saw the confusion on my face and told me, "This question is very important. It shows that you have really lived in your life. For every body part you gave me in the past, I have told you were wrong and I have given you an example why. But today is the day you need to learn this important lesson." Mother looked down at me as only a mother can. I saw her eyes well up with tears. Mother said, "My dear, the most important body part is your shoulder." I asked, "Is it because it holds up my head?" Mother replied, "No, it is because it can hold the head of a friend or a loved one when they cry. Everybody needs a shoulder to cry on sometime in life, my dear. I only hope that you have enough love and friends that you will always have a shoulder to cry on when you need it." Then and there I knew the most important body part is not a selfish one. It is sympathetic to the pain of others. People will forget what you said... People will forget what you did.... But people will NEVER forget how you made them feel. True or not, the story makes you stop and think. Be blessed. Be a blessing. Get your shoulder ready.

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94. The bowl
A man and his dog were walking along a road. The man was enjoying the scenery, when it suddenly occurred to him that he was dead. He remembered dying, and that the dog walking beside him had been dead for years. He wondered where the road was leading them. After a while, they came to a high, white stone wall along one side of the road. It looked like fine marble. At the top of a long hill, it was broken by a tall arch that glowed in the sunlight. When he was standing before it he saw a magnificent gate in the arch that looked like mother-of-pearl, and the street that led to the gate looked like pure gold. He and the dog walked toward the gate, and as he got closer, he saw a man at a desk to one side. When he was close enough, he called out, "Excuse me, where are we?"? "This is Heaven, sir," the man answered. "Wow! Would you happen to have some water?" the man asked. "Of course, sir. Come right in, and I'll have some ice water brought right up." The man gestured, and the gate began to open. "Can my friend," gesturing toward his dog, "come in, too?" the traveler asked? I'm sorry; sir, but we don't accept pets." The man thought a moment and then turned back toward the road and continued the way he had been going with his dog. After another long walk, and at the top of another long hill, he came to a dirt road leading through a farm gate that looked as if it had never been closed. There was no fence. As he approached the gate, he saw a man inside, leaning against a tree and reading a book. "Excuse me!" he called to the man. "Do you have any water?"? "Yeah, sure, there's a pump over there, come on in." "How about my friend here?" the traveler gestured to the dog? "There should be a bowl by the pump." They went through the gate, and sure enough, there was an old-fashioned hand pump with a bowl beside it. The traveler filled the water bowl and took a long drink himself, and then he gave some to the dog. When they were full, he and the dog walked back toward the man who was standing by the tree? "What do you call this place?" the traveler asked. "This is Heaven," he answered. "Well, that's confusing," the traveler said. "The man down the road said that was Heaven, too." "Oh, you mean the place with the Gold Street and pearly gates? Nope. That's hell." "Doesn't it make you mad for them to use your name like that?" "No, we're just happy that they screen out the folks who would leave their best friends behind."

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95. Parents
An 80 year old man was sitting on the sofa in his house along with his 45 year’s old highly educated son. Suddenly a crow perched on their window. The Father asked his Son, "What is this?" The Son replied "It is a crow". After a few minutes, the Father asked his Son the 2nd time, "What is this?" The Son said "Father, I have just now told you "It's a crow". After a little while, the old Father again asked his Son the 3rd time, What is this?" At this time some expression of irritation was felt in the Son's tone when he said to his Father with a rebuff. "It's a crow, a crow". A little after, the Father again asked his Son t he 4th time, "What is this?" This time the Son shouted at his Father, "Why do you keep asking me the same question again and again, although I have told you so many times 'IT IS A CROW'. Are you not able to understand this?" A little later the Father went to his room and came back with an old tattered diary, which he had maintained since his Son was born. On opening a page, he asked his Son to read that page. When the son read it, the following words were written in the diary:"Today my little son aged three was sitting with me on the sofa, when a crow was sitting on the window. My Son asked me 23 times what it was, and I replied to him all 23 times that it was a Crow. I hugged him lovingly each time he asked me the same question again and again for 23 times. I did not at all feel irritated I rather felt affection for my innocent child". While the little child asked him 23 times "What is this", the Father had felt no irritation in replying to the same question all 23 times and when today the Father asked his Son the same question just 4 times, the Son felt irritated and annoyed. So... If your parents attain old age, do not repulse them or look at them as a burden, but speak to them a gracious word; be cool, obedient, humble and kind to them. Be considerate to your parents. From today say this aloud, "I want to see my parents happy forever. They have cared for me ever since I was a little child. They have always showered their selfless love on me. They crossed all mountains and valleys without seeing the storm and heat to make me a person presentable in the society today". Say a prayer to God, "I will serve my old parents in the BEST way. I will say all good and kind words to my dear parents, no matter how they behave.

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96. Signed with Love
She jumped up as soon as she saw the surgeon come out of the operating room. She said: "How is my little boy? Is he going to be all right? When can I see him?" The surgeon said, "I'm sorry. We did all we could, but your boy didn't make it." Sally said, "Why do little children get cancer? Doesn't God care any more? Where were you, God, when my son needed you?" The surgeon asked, "Would you like some time alone with your son? One of the nurses will be out in a few minutes, before he's transported to the university." Sally asked the nurse to stay with her while she said good bye to son. She ran her fingers lovingly through his thick red curly hair. "Would you like a lock of his hair?" the nurse asked. Sally nodded yes. The nurse cut a lock of the boy's hair, put it in a plastic bag and handed it to Sally. The mother said, "It was Jimmy's idea to donate his body to the University for Study. He said it might help somebody else. "I said no at first, but Jimmy said, 'Mom, I won't be using it after I die. Maybe it will help some other little boy spend one more day with his Mom." She went on, "My Jimmy had a heart of gold. Always thinking of someone else. Always wanting to help others if he could." Sally walked out of Children's Mercy Hospital for the last time, after spending most of the last six months there. She put the bag with Jimmy's belongings on the seat beside her in the car. The drive home was difficult. It was even harder to enter the empty house. She carried Jimmy's belongings, and the plastic bag with the lock of his hair to her son's room. She started placing the model cars and other personal things back in his room exactly where he had always kept them. She laid down across his bed and, hugging his pillow, cried herself to sleep. It was around midnight when Sally awoke. Lying beside her on the bed was a folded letter. The letter said: "Dear Mom, I know you're going to miss me; but don't think that I will ever forget you, or stop loving you, just 'cause I'm not around to say "I Love You”. I will always love you, Mom, even more with each day. Someday we will see each other again. Until then, if you want to adopt a little boy so you won't be so lonely, that's okay with me. He can have my room and old stuff to play with. But, if you decide to get a girl instead, she probably wouldn't like the same things us boys do. You'll have to buy her dolls and stuff girls like, you know. Don't be sad thinking about me. This really is a neat place. Grandma and Grandpa met me as soon as I got here and showed me around some, but it will take a long time to see everything.

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The angels are so cool. I love to watch them fly. And, you know what? Jesus doesn't look like any of his pictures. Yet, when I saw Him, I knew it was Him. Jesus himself took me to see GOD! And guess what, Mom? I got to sit on God's knee and talk to Him, like I was somebody important. That's when I told Him that I wanted to write you a letter, to tell you good bye and everything. But I already knew that wasn't allowed. Well, you know what Mom? God handed me some paper and His own personal pen to write you this letter. I think Gabriel is the name of the angel who is going to drop this letter off to you. God said for me to give you the answer to one of the questions you asked Him 'Where was He when I needed him?' "God said He was in the same place with me, as when His son Jesus was on the cross. He was right there, as He always is with all His children. Oh, by the way, Mom, no one else can see what I've written except you. To everyone else this is just a blank piece of paper. Isn't that cool? I have to give God His pen back now. He needs it to write some more names in the Book of Life. Tonight I get to sit at the table with Jesus for supper. I'm sure the food will be great. Oh, I almost forgot to tell you. I don't hurt anymore. The cancer is all gone. I'm glad because I couldn't stand that pain anymore and God couldn't stand to see me hurt so much, either. That's when He sent The Angel of Mercy to come get me. The Angel said I was a Special Delivery! How about that?

Signed with Love from God, Jesus & Me

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97. It’s a dog’s life after all
A butcher watching over his shop is really surprised when he saw a dog coming inside the shop. He shoos him away. But later, the dog is back again. So, he goes over to the dog and notices he has a note in his mouth. He takes the note and it reads "Can I have 12 sausages and a leg of lamb, please. The dog has money in his mouth, as well". The butcher looks inside and, behold, a ten dollar note. So he takes the money and puts the sausages and lamb in a bag, placing it in the dog's mouth. The butcher is so impressed, and since it's about closing time, he decides to shut up shop and follow the dog. So off he goes. The dog is walking down the street when he comes to a level crossing. The dog puts down the bag, jumps up and presses the button. Then he waits patiently, bag in mouth, for the lights to turn. They do, and he walks across the road, with the butcher following him all the way. The dog then comes to a bus stop, and starts looking at the timetable. The butcher is in awe at this stage. The dog checks out the times, and then sits on one of the seats provided. Along comes a bus. The dog walks around to the front, looks at the number, and goes back to his seat. Another bus comes. Again the dog goes and looks at the number, notices it's the right bus, and climbs on. The butcher, by now, open-mouthed, follows him onto the bus. The bus travels through the town and out into the suburbs, the dog looking at the scenery. Eventually he gets up, and moves to the front of the bus. He stands on 2 back paws and pushes the button to stop the bus. Then he gets off, his groceries still in his mouth. Well, dog and butcher are walking along the road, and then the dog turns into a house. He walks up the path, and drops the groceries on the step. Then he walks back down the path, takes a big run, and throws himself against the door. He goes back down the path, runs up to the door and again, it throws himself against it. There's no answer at the house, so the dog goes back down the path, jumps up on a narrow wall, and walks along the perimeter of the garden. He gets to the window, and beats his head against it several times, walks back, jumps off, and waits at the door. The butcher watches as a big guy opens the door, and starts abusing the dog, kicking him and punching him, and swearing at him. The butcher runs up, and stops the guy. "What in heaven's name are you doing? The dog is a genius. He could be on TV, for the life of me!" to which the guy responds: "You call this clever? This is the second time this week that this stupid dog's forgotten his key." Moral of the story You may continue to exceed onlookers' expectations but shall always fall short of the boss's expectations!! It's dog's life after all...

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98. The Fish and the Turtle
Once upon a time there was a fish. And just because it was a fish, it had lived all its life in the water and knew nothing whatever about anything else but water. And one day as it swam about in the lake where all its days had been spent, it happened to meet a turtle of its acquaintance who had just come back from a little excursion on the land. "Good day, Mr. Turtle!" said the fish. "I have not seen you for a long time. Where have you been?" "Oh", said the turtle, "I have just been for a trip on dry land." "On dry land!" exclaimed the fish. "What do you mean by on dry land? There is no dry land. I had never seen such a thing. Dry land is nothing." "Well," said the turtle good-naturedly. "If you want to think so, of course you may; there is no one who can hinder you. But that's where I've been, all the same." "Oh, come," said the fish. "Try to talk sense. Just tell me now what is this land of yours like? Is it all wet?" "No, it is not wet," said the turtle. "Is it nice and fresh and cool?" asked the fish. "No, it is not nice and fresh and cool," the turtle replied. "Is it clear so that light can come through it?" "No, it is not clear. Light cannot come through it." "Is it soft and yielding, so that I can move my fins about in it and push my nose through it?" "No, it is not soft and yielding. You could not swim in it." "Does it move or flow in streams?" "No, it neither moves nor flows in streams." "Does it ever rise up into waves then, with white foams in them?" asked the fish, impatient at this string of Noes. "No!" replied the turtle, truthfully. "It never rises up into waves that I have seen." "There now," exclaimed the fish triumphantly. "Didn't I tell you that this land of yours was just nothing? I have just asked, and you have answered me that it is neither wet nor cool, not clear nor soft and that it does not flow in streams nor rise up into waves. And if it isn't a single one of these things what else is it but nothing? Don't tell me." "Well, well", said the turtle, "If you are determined to think that dry land is nothing, I suppose you must just go on thinking so. But any one who knows what is water and what is land would say you were just a silly fish, for you think that anything you have never known is nothing just because you have never known it." And with that the turtle turned away and, leaving the fish behind in its little pond of water, set out on another excursion over the dry land that was nothing

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99. A Silent Love
From the very Beginning, the girl's family objected strongly on her dating this guy: Saying that it has got to do with family background & that the girl will have to suffer for the rest of her life if she were to be with him. Due to family's pressure, the couple quarrel very often. Though the girl love the guy deeply, but she always ask him: "How deep is your love for me?" As the guy is not good with his words, this often causes the girl to be very upset. With that & the family's pressure, the girl often vents her anger on him. As for him, he only endures it in silence. After a couple of years, the guy finally graduated & decided to further his studies in overseas. Before leaving, he proposed to the girl: "I'm not very good with words. But all I know is that I love you. If you allow me, I will take care of you for the rest of my life. As for your family, I'll try my best to talk them round. Will you marry me?" The girl agreed, & with the guy's determination, the family finally gave in & agreed to let them get married. So before he left, they got engaged. The girl went out to the working society, whereas the guy was overseas, continuing his studies. They sent their love through emails & phone calls. Though it's hard, but both never thought of giving up. One day, while the girl was on her way to work, she was knocked down by a car that lost control. When she woke up, she saw her parents beside her bed. She realised that she was badly injured. Seeing her mum crying, she wanted to comfort her. But she realized that all that could come out of her mouth was just a sigh. She has lost her voice...... The doctors say that the impact on her brain has caused her to lose her voice. Listening to her parents' comfort, but with nothing coming out from her, she broke down. During the stay in hospital, besides silence cry ...it’s still just silence cry that companied her. Upon reaching home, everything seems to be the same. Except for the ringing tone of the phone. Which pierced into her heart every time it rang. She does not wish to let the guy know. & not wanting to be a burden to him, she wrote a letter to him saying that she does not wish to wait any longer. With that, she sent the ring back to him. In return, the guy sent millions & millions of reply, and countless of phone calls,. all the girl could do, besides crying, is still crying.... The parents decided to move away, hoping that she could eventually forget everything & be happy. With a new environment, the girl learns sign language & started a new life. Telling herself everyday that she must forget the guy. One day, her friend came & told her that he's back. She asked her friend not to let him know what happened to her. Since then, there wasn't anymore news of him. A year has passed & her friend came with an envelope, containing an invitation card for the guy's wedding. The girl was shattered. When she open the letter, she saw her name in it instead. When she was about to ask her friend what's going on, she saw the guy standing in front of her. He used sign language telling her "I've spent a year's time to learn sign language. Just to let you know that I've not forgotten our promise. Let me have the chance to be your voice. I Love You. With that, he slipped the ring back into her finger. The girl finally smiled.

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are u looking for Story No: 100 Welcome to the Club 99…!
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Epilogue

I hope that there stories would have added value to your life. The compilation is free to pass and has no commercial value. I look forward to hear from you. You can reach me at rajesh_1912@yahoo.com

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