Sometimes people come into your life and you know right away that they were meant to be there, they serve some sort of purpose, to teach you a lesson or help figure out who you are or who you want to become. You never know who these people may be - your roommate, neighbor, professor, long lost friend, lover or even a complete stranger who, when you lock eyes with them, you know that very moment that they will affect your life in some profound way.
And sometimes things happen to you and at the time they may seem horrible, painful and unfair, but in reflection you realize that without overcoming those obstacles, you would have never realized your potential, strength, will power or heart. Everything happens for a reason. Nothing happens by chance or by means of good or bad luck. Illness, injury, love, lost moments of true greatness and sheer stupidity - all occur to test the limits of your soul. Without these small tests, if they be events, illnesses or relationships, life would be like a smoothly paved, straight, flat road to nowhere. Safe and comfortable but dull and utterly pointless.
The people you meet who affect your life and the successes and downfalls you experience - they are the ones who create who you are. Even the bad experiences can be learned from. Those lessons are the hardest and probably the most important ones.
If someone hurts you, betrays you or breaks your heart, forgive them for they have helped you learn about trust and the importance of being cautious to whom you open your heart to. If someone loves you, love them back unconditionally, not only because they love you, but because they are teaching you to love and opening your heart and eyes to things you would have never seen or felt without them.
Make every day count. Appreciate every moment and take from it everything that you possibly can, for you may never be able to experience it again.
Talk to people you have never talked to before, and actually listen. Let yourself fall in love, break free and set your sights high. Hold your head up because you have every right to. Tell yourself you are a great individual and believe in yourself, for if you dont believe in yourself, no one else will believe in you either. You can make of your life anything you wish. Create your own life and then go out and live it.
"People are like tea bags - you have to put them in hot water before you know how strong they are."
Night after night, she came to tuck me in, even long after my childhood years. Following her longstanding custom, shed lean down and push my long hair out of the way, then kiss my forehead.
I dont remember when it first started annoying me —— her hands pushing my hair that way. But it did annoy me, for they felt work-worn and rough against my young skin. Finally, one night, I lashed out at her: "Dont do that anymore —— your hands are too rough!" She didnt say anything in reply. But never again did my mother close out my day with that familiar expression of her love. Lying awake long afterward, my words haunted me. But pride stifled my conscience, and I didnt tell her I was sorry.
Time after time, with the passing years, my thoughts returned to that night. By then I missed my mothers hands, missed her goodnight kiss upon my forehead. Sometimes the incident seemed very close, sometimes far away. But always it lurked, hauntingly, in the back of my mind.
Well, the years have passed, and Im not a little girl anymore. Mom is in her mid-seventies, and those hands I once thought to be so rough are still doing things for me and my family. Shes been our doctor, reaching into a medicine cabinet for the remedy to calm a young girls stomach or soothe a boys scraped knee. She cooks the best fried chicken in the world…… gets stains out of blue jeans like I never could……and still insists on dishing out ice cream at any hour of the day or night.
Through the years, my mothers hands have put in countless hours of toil, and most of hers were before automatic washers!
Now, my own children are grown and gone. Mom no longer has Dad, and on special occasions, I find myself drawn next door to spend the night with her. So it was that late on Thanksgiving Eve, as I drifted into sleep in the bedroom of my youth, a familiar hand hesitantly stole across my face to brush the hair from my forehead. Then a kiss, ever so gently, touched my brow.
In my memory, for the thousandth time, I recalled the night my surly young voice complained: "Dont do that anymore —— your hands are too rough!" Catching Moms hand in hand, I blurted out how sorry I was for that night. I thought shed remember, as I did. But Mom didnt know what I was talking about. She had forgotten —— and forgiven —— long ago.
That night, I fell asleep with a new appreciation for my gentle mother and her caring hands. And the guilt I had carried around for so long was nowhere to be found.
While taking my boat down the inland waterway to Florida a few weeks ago, I decided to tie up at Georgetown, South Carolina, for the night and visit with an old friend. As we approached the Esso dock, I saw him through my binoculars standing there awaiting us. Tall and straight as an arrow he stood, facing a cold, penetrating wind—truly a picture of a sturdy man, even though his next birthday will make him eighty-two. Yes, the man was our elder statesman, Bernard Baruch.
He loaded us into his station wagon and we were off to his famous Hobcaw Barony for dinner. We sat and talked in the great living room where many notables and statesmen, including Roosevelt and Churchill, have sat and taken their cues. In his eighty-second year, still a human dynamo, Mr. Baruch talks not of the past but of present problems and the future, deploring our ignorance of history, economics, and psychology. His only reference to the past was to tell me, with a wonderful sparkle in his eye, that he was only able to get eight quail out of the ten shots the day before. What is the secret of this great man’s value to the world at eighty-one? The answer is his insatiable desire to keep being productive.
Two of the hardest things to accomplish in this world are to acquire wealth by honest effort and, having gained it, to learn how to use it properly. Recently I walked into the locker room of a rather well-known golf club after finishing a round. It was in the late afternoon and most of the members had left for their homes. But a half-dozen or so men past middle age were still seated at tables talking aimlessly and drinking more than was good for them. These same men can be found there day after day and, strangely enough, each one of these men had been a man of affairs and wealth, successful in business and respected in the community. If material
prosperity were the chief requisite for happiness, then each one should have been happy. Yet, it seemed to me, something very important was missing, else there would not have been the constant effort to escape the realities of life through Scotch and soda. They knew, each one of them, that their productivity had ceased. When a fruit tree ceases to bear its fruit, it is dying. And it is even so with man.
What is the answer to a long and happy existence in this world of ours? I think I found it long ago in a passage from the book, Genesis, which caught my eyes while I was thumbing through my Bible. The words were few, but they became indelibly impressed on my mind: “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat thy bread.”
To me, that has been a challenge from my earliest recollections. In fact, the battle of life, of existence, is a challenge to everyone. The immortal words of St. Paul, too, have been and always will be a great inspiration to me. At the end of the road I want to be able to feel that I have fought a good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith.
What is the secret ingredient of tough people that enanble them to succeed?Why do they survive the tough times when others are overcome by them?why do they win when others lose,why do they soar when others sink? The answer is very simple.It is all in how they perceive their problems.Yes,every living person has problems.A problem-free life is an illsion-a mirage in the desert.Accept that fact. Every mountain has a peak.Every valley has its low point.Life has its ups and downs,its peaks and its valleys.No one is up all the time,nor are they down all the time.Problems do end,they are all resolved in time. You may not be able to control the times,but you can compose your response.You can turn your pain into provanity or into poetry.The choice is up to you.You may not have chosen your tough time,but you can choose how you will react to it.For instance,what is the positive reaction to a terrible financial setback?Would it be a positive reaction to cop out or run away?Escape through alcohol?No!Such negative reactions only produce greater problems by promising a temporary"solution"to the pressing problem.The positve solution to a problem may require courage to initiate it.When you control your reaction to the seemingly uncontrolable problem of life,then in fact you do control the problems effect on you.Your reaction to the problem is the last word!That is bottom line.What will you let this problem do to you?It can make you tender or tough.It can make you better or bitter.It all depends on you. In the final analysis,tough people who survive the tough times do so because they have chosen to react positvely to their predicament.Tough times never last,but tough people do.Tough people stick it out.History teach us that each problem has a lifespan.No problem is permanent.Storms always give way to the sun.Winters always thaws into springtime.Your storm will pass.Your winter will thaw.Your problem would be solved.
It is perfectly possible to organize the life of our colleges in such a way that students and teachers alike will take part in it; in such a way that a perfectly natural daily intercourse will be established between them; and it is only by such an organization that they can be given real vitality as places of serious training, be made communities in which youngsters will come fully to realize how interesting intellectual work is, how vital, how important, how closely associated with all modern achievement-only by such an organization that study can be made to seem part of life itself. Lectures often seem very formal and empty things; recitations generally proved very dull and unrewarding. It is in conversation and natural intercourse with scholars chiefly that you find how lively knowledge is, how it ties into everything that is interesting . .
and important, how intimate a part it is of every thing that is interesting and important, how intimate a part it is of everything that is "practical" and connected with the world. Men are not always made thoughtful by books; but they are generally made thoughtful by association with men who think. (195 words) By Woodrow Wilson
Read not to contradict and confute; nor to believe and take for granted; nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider. Some books are to be tasted; others to swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested; that is, some books are to be read only in parts; others to be read, but not curiously; and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention. Some books also may be read by deputy, and extracts made of them by others; but . .
that would be only in the less important arguments, and the meaner sort of books; else distilled books are like common distilled waters, flashy things. Reading maketh a full man; conference a ready man; and writing an exact man. And therefore, if a man write little, he had need have a great memory; if he confer little, he had need have a present wit; an if he read little, he had need have much cunning, to seem to know that he doth not. (170 words)
Radio and television are very popular in the world today. Millions of people watch TV. Perhaps more people listen to the radio. The TV is more useful than the radio. On TV we can see and hear what is happening in the world. However, radio isn’t lost. It is still with us. And listeners are becoming more. That’sbecause a transistor radio isn’t lost. It is still with us. It is very easy to carry. You can put one in your pocket and listen to it on the bus or your bike when you go to work.
If we look at the sky on a perfectly fine summer‘s day we shall find that the blue colour is the most pure and intense overhead, and when looking high up in a direction opposite to the sun. Near the horizon it is always less bright, while in the region immediately around the sun it is more or less yellow.
The reason of this is that near the horizon we look through a very great thickness of the lower atmosphere, which is full of the larger dust particles reflecting white light, and this diluter the pure blue of the higher atmosphere seen beyond,And in the vicinity of the sun a good deal of the blue light is reflected back into space by the finer dust, thus giving a yellowish tinge to that which reaches us reflected chiefly from the coarse dust of the lower atmosphere.
At sunset and sunrise, however, this last effect is greatly intensified, owing to the great thickness of the strata of air through which the light reaches us. The enormous amount of this dust is well shown by the fact that then only we can look full at the sun, even when the whole sky is free from clouds and there is no apparent mist. But the sun’s rays then reach us after having passed, first, through an enormous thickness of the higher strata of the air, the minute dust of which reflects most of the higher strata of the air, the minute dust of which reflects most of the blue rays away from us, leaving the complementary yellow light to pass on,Then, the somewhat coarser dust reflects the green rays, leaving a more orange-coloured light to pass on; and finally some of the yellow is reflected, leaving almost pure red. But owing to the constant presence of air currents, arranging both the dust and vapour in strata of varying extent and density ,and of high or low clouds which both absorb and reflect the light in varying degrees, we see produced all those wondrous combinations of tints and those gorgeous ever-changing colours which are a constant source of admiration and delight to all who have the advantage of an uninterrupted view to the west and who are accustomed to watch for those not infrequent exhibitions of nature’s kaleidoscopic colour painting.
With every change in the altitude of the sun the display changes its character; and most of all when it has sunk below the horizon, and owing to the more favourable angles a larger quantity of the coloured light is reflected toward us, Especially when there is a certain amount of cloud is this the case. These, so long as the sun was above the horizon, intercepted much of the light and colour, but when the great luminary has passed away from our direct vision, his light shines more directly on the under sides of all the clouds and air strata of different densities; a new and more brilliant light flushes the western sky, and a display of gorgeous ever-changing tints occurs which are at once the delight of the beholder and the despair of the artist.
And all this unsurpassable glory we owe to--dust!
I was up the next morning before the October sunrise, and away through the wild and the woodland. The rising of the sun was noble in the cold and warmth of it; peeping down the spread of light, he raised his shoulder heavily over the edge of gray mountain and wavering length of upland. Beneath his gaze the dew-fogs dipped and crept to the hollow places, then stole away in line and column, holding skirts and cling subtly at the sheltering corners where rock hung over grass-land, while the brave lines of the hills came forth, one beyond other gliding.
The woods arose in folds, like drapery of awakened mountains, stately with a depth of awe, and memory of the tempests. Autumns mellow hand was upon them, as they owned already, touched with gold and red and olive, and their joy towards the sun was less to a bridegroom than a father. (152 words)
Passing through the Atlanta airport one morning, I caught one of those trains that take travelers from the main terminal to their boarding gates. Free, sterile and impersonal, the trains run back and forth all day long. Not many people consider them fun, but on this Saturday I heard laughter.
At the front of the first car – looking out the window at the track that lay ahead – were a man and his son.
We had just stopped to let off passengers, and the doors wee closing again. “Here we go! Hold on to me tight!” the father said. The boy, about five years old, made sounds of sheer delight.
I know we’re supposed to avoid making racial distinctions these days, so I hope no one will mind if I mention that most people on the train were white, dressed for business trips or vacations – and that the father and son were black, dressed in clothes that were just about as inexpensive as you can buy.
“Look out there!” the father said to his son. “See that pilot? I bet he’s walking to his plane.” The son craned his neck to look.
As I got off, I remembered some thing I’d wanted to buy in the terminal. I was early for my flight, so I decided to go back.
I did – and just as I was about to reboard the train for my gate, I saw that the man and his son had returned too. I realized then that they hadn’t been heading for a flight, but had just been riding the shuttle.
“I want to ride some more!”
“More?” the father said, mock-exasperated but clearly pleased. “You’re not tired?”
“This is fun!” his son said.
“All right,” the father replied, and when a door opened we all got on.
There are parents who can afford to send their children to Europe or Disneyland, and the children turn out rotten. There are parents who live in million-dollar houses and give their children cars and swimming pools, yet something goes wrong. Rich and poor, black and white, so much goes wrong so often.
“Where are all these people going, Daddy?” the son asked.
“All over the world,” came the reply. The other people in the air port wee leaving for distant destinations or arriving at the ends of their journeys. The father and son, though, were just riding this shuttle together, making it exciting, sharing each other’s company.
So many troubles in this country – crime, the murderous soullessness that seems to be taking over the lives of many young people, the lowering of educational standards, the increase in vile obscenities in public, the disappearance of simple civility. So many questions about what to do. Here was a father who cared about spending the day with his son and who had come up with this plan on a Saturday morning.
The answer is so simple: parents who care enough to spend time, and to pay attention and to try their best. It doesn’t cost a cent, yet it is the most valuable thing in the world.
The train picked up speed, and the father pointed something out, and the boy laughed again.