among the minds powers is one that comes of itself to many children and artists. it need not be lost, to the end of his days, by any one who has ever had it. this is the power of taking delight in a thing, or rather in anything, everything, not as a means to some other end, but just because it is what it is, as the lover dotes on whatever may be the traits of the beloved object. a child in the full health of his mind wifi put his hand flat on the summer turf, feel it, and give a little shiver of private glee at the elastic firmness of the globe. he is not thinking how well it will do for some game or to feed sheep upon. that would be the way of the wooer whose mind runs on his mistresss money. the childs is sheer affection, the true ecstatic sense of the things inherent characteristics. no matter what the things may be, no matter what they are good or no good for, there they are, each with a thrilling unique look and feel of its own, like a face; the iron astringently coop under its paint, the painted wood familiarly warmer, the clod crumbling enchantingly down in the hands, with its little dry smell of the sun and of hot nettles ; each common thing a personality marked by delicious differences.
the joy of an adam new to the garden and just looking round is brought by the normal child to the things that he does as well as those that he sees. to be suffered to do some plain work with the real spade used by mankind can give him a mystical exaltation : to come home with his legs, as the french say, reentering his body from the fatigue of helping the gardener to weed beds sends him to sleep in the glow of a beatitude that is an end in itself…
The hardworking blacksmith Jones used to work all day in his shop and so hard working was he that at times he would make the sparks fly from his hammer.
The son of Mr. Smith, a rich neighbor, used to come to see the blacksmith everyday and for hours and hours he would enjoy himself watching how the tradesman worked.
"Young man, why dont you try your hand to learn to make shoe tacks, even if it is only to pass the time?" said the blacksmith. "Who knows, one day, it may be of use to you."
The lazy boy began to see what he could do. But after a little practice he found that he was becoming very skilled and soon he was making some of the finest tacks.
Old Mr. Smith died and the son on account of the war lost all his goods. He had to leave home and was forced to take up residence in another country. It so happened that in this village there were numerous shoemakers who were spending a lot of money to buy tacks for their shoes and even at times when they paid high prices they were not always able to get what they wanted, because in that part of the country there was a high demand for soldiers shoes.
Our young Mr. Smith, who was finding it difficult to earn his daily bread, remembered that once upon a time he had
learned the art of making tacks and had the sudden idea of making a bargain with the shoemakers. He told them that he would make the tacks if they would help to get him settled in his workshop. The shoemakers were only too glad of the offer. And after a while, Mr. Smith found that he was soon making the finest tacks in the village.
"How funny it seems," he used to say, "even making tacks can bring a fortune. My trade is more useful to me than were all my former riches."
The park bench was deserted as I sat down to read Beneath the long, straggly branches of an old willow tree. Disillusioned by life with good reason to frown, For the world was intent on dragging me down.
And if that werent enough to ruin my day, A young boy out of breath approached me, all tired from play. He stood right before me with his head tilted down And said with great excitement, "Look what I found!"
In his hand was a flower, and what a pitiful sight, With its petals all worn - not enough rain, or too little light. Wanting him to take his dead flower and go off to play, I faked a small smile and then shifted away.
But instead of retreating he sat next to my side and placed the flower to his nose and declared with surprise, "It sure smells pretty and its beautiful, too. Thats why I picked it; here, its for you."
The weed before me was dying or dead. Not vibrant of colors, orange, yellow or red. But I knew I must take it, or he might never leave. So I reached for the flower, and replied, "Just what I need."
But instead of him placing the flower in my hand, He held it mid-air without reason or plan. It was then that I noticed for the very first time, that weed-toting boy could not see: he was blind.
I heard my voice quiver, tears shone like the sun. As I thanked him for picking the very best one. "Youre welcome," he smiled, and then ran off to play, Unaware of the impact hed had on my day.
I sat there and wondered how he managed to see a self-pitying woman beneath an old willow tree. How did he know of my self-indulged plight? Perhaps from his heart, hed been blessed with true sight.
Through the eyes of a blind child, at last I could see, the problem was not with the world; the problem was me. And for all of those times I myself had been blind, I vowed to see beauty,Then I held that wilted flower up to my nose and breathed in the fragrance of a beautiful rose And smiled as that young boy, another weed in his hand About to change the life of an unsuspecting old man.
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 didnt 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 wont matter how many times you say Im sorry, the wound is still there."
He was 11 years old and went fishing every chance he got from the dock at his family’s cabin on an island in the middle of a New Hampshire lake.
On the day before the bass season opened, he and his father were fishing early in the evening, catching sunfish and perch with worms. Then he tied on a small silver lure and practiced casting. The lure struck the water and caused coloredripples in the sunset, then silver ripples as the moon rose over the lake.
When his peapole doubled over, he knew something huge was on the other end. His father watched with admiration as the boy skillfully worked the fish alongside the dock.
Finally, he very gingerly lifted the exhausted fish from the water. It was the largest one he had ever seen, but it was a bass.
The boy and his father looked at the handsome fish, gills playing back and forth in the moonlight. The father lit a match and looked at his watch. It was 10 P.M.-- two hours before the season opened. He looked at the fish, then at the boy.
“You’ll have to put it back, son,” he said. “Dad!” cried the boy.
“There will be other fish,” said his father. “Not as big as this one,” cried the boy.
He looked around the lake. No other fishermen or boats were anywhere around in the moonlight. He looked again at his father. Even though no one had seen them, nor could anyone ever know what time he caught the fish, the boy could tell by the clarity of his father’s voice that the decision was not negotiable. He slowly worked the hook out of the lip of the huge bass and lowered it into the black water.
The creature swished its powerful body and disappeared. The boy suspected that he would never again see such a great fish.
That was 34 years ago. Today, the boy is a successful architect in New York City. His father’s cabin is still there on the island in the middle of the lake. He takes his own son and daughters fishing from the same dock.
And he was right. He has never again caught such a magnificent fish as the one he landed that night long ago. But he does see that same fish-again and again-every time he comes up against a question of ethics.
For, as his father taught him, ethics are simple matters of right and wrong. It is only the practice of ethics that is difficult. Do we do right when no one is looking? Do we refuse to 14)cut corners to get the design in on time? Or refuse to trade stocks based on information that we know we aren’t supposed to have?
We would if we were taught to put the fish back when we were young. For we would have learned the truth.The decision to do right lives fresh and fragrant in our memory.
A farmer had some puppies he needed to sell. He painted a sign advertising the pups and set about nailing it to a post on the edge of his yard. As he was driving the last nail into the post, he felt a tug on his overalls. He looked down into the eyes of a little boy.
"Mister," he said, "I want to buy one of your puppies."
"Well," said the farmer, as he rubbed the sweat off the back of his neck, "these puppies come from fine parents and cost a good deal of money."
The boy dropped his head for a moment. Then reaching deep into his pocket, he pulled out a handful of change and held it up to the farmer. "Ive got thirty-nine cents. Is that enough to take a look?"
"Sure," said the farmer.
And with that he let out a whistle, "Here, Dolly!" he called.
Out from the doghouse and down the ramp ran Dolly followed by four little balls of fur. The little boy pressed his face against the chain link fence. His eyes danced with delight.
As the dogs made their way to the fence, the little boy noticed something else stirring inside the doghouse. Slowly another little ball appeared; this One noticeably smaller. Down the ramp it slid. Then in a somewhat awkward manner the little pup began hobbling toward the others, doing its best to catch up.
"I want that one," the little boy said, pointing to the runt.
The farmer knelt down at the boys side and said, "Son, you dont want that puppy. He will never be able to run and play with you like these other dogs would."
With that the little boy stepped back from the fence, reached down, and began rolling up one leg of his trousers. In doing so he revealed a steel brace running down both sides of his leg attaching itself to a specially made shoe. Looking back up at the farmer, he said, "You see sir, I dont run too well myself, and he will need someone who understands."
The world is full of people who need someone who understands.
A couple,John and Mary,had two lovely children.John had just been asked to go on a business trip and would be gone for several days.Mary would go along too.They hired a reliable woman to care for children and made the trip,returning home a little earlier than they had planned.
As they drove into their home town feeling glad to be back,they noticed smoke,and they went off their usual route to see what it was.They found a home in flames.Mary said,”Oh,well, it isn’t our fire,let’s go home.”
But John drove closer and exclaimed, “That home belongs to Fred Jones who works at the plant.He wouldn’t be off work yet,maybe there is something we could do. ” “It has nothing to do with us, ”protested Mary.
But John drove up and stopped and they were both horror stricken to see the whole house in flames.A woman on the lawn was in hysterics screaming, “The children!Get the children! ”John grabbed her by the shoulder saying, “Get a hold of yourself and tell us where the children are! ”“In the basement, ”sobbed the woman,”down the hall and to the left. ”
In spite of Mary’s protests John bolted for the basement which was full of smoke and scorching hot.He found the door and two children.As he left he could hear some more whimpering.He delivered the two badly frightened and nearly suffocated children into waiting arms and started back asking how many more children were down there.They told him two more and Mary grabbed his arm and screamed, “John!Don’t go back!It’ssuicide!That house will cave in any second. ”
But he ran into the smoke filed hallway and into the room.At last he found both children.As he stumbled up the endless steps,the thought went through his mind that there was something strangely familiar about the little bodies clinging to him,and at last when they came out into the sunlight and fresh air,he found that he had just rescued his own children.
The baby-sitter had left them at this home while she did some shopping…
A young and successful executive was traveling down a neighborhood street, going a bit too fast in his new Jaguar. He was watching for kids darting out from between parked cars and slowed down when he thought he saw something.
As his car passed, one child appeared, and a brick smashed into the Jags side door. He slammed on the brakes and spun the Jag back to the spot from where the brick had been thrown.
He jumped out of the car, grabbed some kid and pushed him up against a parked car, shouting, "What was that all about and who are you? Just what the heck are you doing?" Building up a head of steam, he went on"Thats a new car and that brick you threw is gonna cost a lot of money. Why did you do it?"
"Please,mister, please,Im sorry. I didnt know what else to do!"pleaded the youngster.
"Its my brother," he said. "He rolled off the curb and fell out of his wheelchair and I cant lift him up.
Sobbing, the boy asked the executive, "Would you please help me get him back into his wheelchair? Hes hurt and hes too heavy for me."
Moved beyond words, the driver tried to swallow the rapidly swelling lump in his throat. He lifted the young man back into the wheelchair and took out his handkerchief and wiped the scrapes and cuts, checking to see that everything was going to be okay.
"Thank you, sir. And God bless you," the grateful child said to him. The man then watched the little boy push his brother to the sidewalk toward their home.
It was a long walk backs to his Jaguar... a long, slow walk. He never did repair the side door. He kept the dent to remind him not to go through life so fast that someone has to throw a brick at you to get your attention.
Life whispers in your soul and speaks to your heart. Sometimes, when you dont have the time to listen... Life throws a brick at your head. Its your choice: Listen to the whispers of your soul or wait for the brick!
Do you sometimes ignore loved ones because your life is too fast and busy leaving them to wonder whether you really love them?
Each summer in the late 1960s, my two sisters and I would ride the Greyhound bus from Arizona to Arkansas to stay with our father.
A World War II veteran, Dad had many medical problems, any one of which could cause many people to lose more than their sense of humor, but not him.
I have vivid memories of Dad waking us up in the morning. Before hed put on his legs for the day (he had lost his legs after his discharge), his wheelchair was his mobility. Holding his cane, which was his extended arm, he would roll through the house yelling, "Up, up, up! Get up and face the day! Its a beautiful day! Rise and Shine!" If we didnt get up right away, he would repeat his song in rhythm with his cane hitting the end of our beds. This was no performance put on for our benefit; every day was truly a beautiful day to him.
Back in the sixties, there was no handicapped parking or wheelchair-accessible ramps like there are now, so even a trip to the grocery store was a difficult task. Dad wanted no assistance from anyone. He would climb stairs slowly but surely, whistling all the way. As a teenager, I found this embarrassing, but if Dad noticed, he didnt let me help.
Those summers always ended too soon. He would drive us back to Arizona every year, stopping at the checkpoint for fruit and vegetables at the New Mexico-Arizona border. When asked if he had any fruits or vegetables, he would reply, "Just three sweet peas."
Our father has been gone for a long time now, but not the lesson that he taught us: You are only as handicapped as you let yourself be.
The first day of school our professor introduced himself to our chemistry class and challenged us to get to know someone we didnt 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 lit up her entire being.
She said, "Hi, handsome. My name is Rose. Im 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(挤，紧握) .
"Why are you in college at such a young, innocent age?" I asked.
She jokingly replied, "Im 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 Im getting one !" she told me.
After class we walked to the student union building and shared a chocolate milkshake(奶昔) . 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 school year, Rose became a campus icon and easily made friends wherever she went. She loved to dress up and she reveled in the attention bestowed(使用，授予) 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 and Ill 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 bit embarrassed she leaned into the microphone and simply said, "Im sorry Im so jittery(神经过敏的) . I gave up beer for Lent and this whiskey is killing me! Ill never get my speech back in order to 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 four secrets to staying young, being happy and achieving success.
"You have to laugh and find humor each and every day.
"Youve got to have a dream. When you lose your dreams, you die. We have so many people walking around who are dead and they dont even know it!
"There is a giant difference between growing older and growing up. If you are nineteen years old and lie in bed for one full year and dont 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 doesnt take any talent or ability. The idea is to grow up by always finding the opportunity in change.
"Have no regrets. The elderly usually dont 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 years end, Rose finished the college degree she had begun all those years ago. One week after graduation Rose died peacefully in her sleep. Over two thousand college students attended her funeral in tribute to the wonderful woman who taught by example that its never too late to be all you can possibly be.