A mix collection of inspirational stories gathered from the internet and personal experiences.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving Day 2008

Happy Thanksgiving Day 2008
It's the most important day for happiness
by David Leonhardt
Thanksgiving is the most important holiday of the year.
Oh, sure, Christmas is grand, and I know it has many, many fans. I'm not knocking Christmas, but The Thanksgiving story is more important. And Easter has its fans, too. Rebirth is a wonderful thing, but I still say Thanksgiving is more important. Yes, kids jump for joy at the thought of Halloween. I am sure they enjoy the costumes almost as much as overdose on sugar and chocolate, but the Thanksgiving story is even more important.


Because the two most important words in the English language are "Thank You" - the ultimate in positive thinking. This is true for business success, for social pleasure, even for self-actualization.

For business success, a thank you tells a prospect or partner that you are appreciative of what she has just done and that you are happy with them. It shows you have a genuine interest in that person and the business relationship.

For social interaction, expressing gratitude is equally important to show how you value the other person and the social relationship you have with him. Thank you is a bonding phrase.

But giving thanks is most important on a personal level for our own pursuit of happiness. This is true for anybody who has ever lived, but it is even truer for us today.

A Happy Thanksgiving of Gratitude

Consider how much we have. More than any of our ancestors, we live in the Land of Plenty. We have more than anybody who has lived at any time before. And for those of us who live in the developed world, we have more than most people on our little planet have even today.

I'm not just talking about our abundance of "stuff". Oh sure, we have ten-foot tall digital color televisions with 594,798,345,691 channels and computers that send us around the world faster than the speed of a race car on growth hormones. And we have 31 flavors of ice cream waiting for us on every second street corner. And we throw out more "junk" than we ever could find a use for in the first place.

But we have so much more than just 'stuff'. Consider the following:

FREEDOM AND CHOICE: More of the world lives in a democracy than ever before, and democracy is becoming more open or "democratic" with every year (perhaps in part due to the Internet).

OPPORTUNITIES: With freedom and affluence comes opportunity. We have more opportunity to make money, to earn it the way we wish, to choose our careers, our location, even our lifestyle. Women have just about reached equality with men in most of the developed world, and more people are able to flee oppressive regimes for the Land of Milk and Honey. Actually, does that not sound like a continuation of the original Thanksgiving story?

KNOWLEDGE AND EDUCATION: Which came first, the chicken or the egg? With freedom, comes the ability to satisfy our curiosity: knowledge. And with knowledge comes a thirst for freedom. Let's face it; the idea of "the ignorant masses" has become an anachronism. Even the dumbest among us has more knowledge than most people who lived a couple centuries ago. (I said more "knowledge", not more "wisdom", but that's another topic.)

HEALTH: Just surviving past childhood used to be a major success. Now we expect to live comfortably into our 80s or 90s. And we expect - no, we demand - to have exceptional health care all along the way (even those who are afraid to go to the doctor!).

Make every day Thanksgiving Day in 2009

This list could keep growing, but these are the major benefits I am grateful for living in twenty-first century North America. What does that have to do with Thanksgiving Day and happiness?

Well, follow this train of thought. Whatever you have, you can either appreciate or not. If you appreciate it -- I mean really notice that you have it, that it is good, that you feel good about having it -- it will bring you happiness. However, if you get used to it, take it for granted, and focus on things you don't have, what you do have just won't bring you happiness.

Appreciation is the key to happiness. And daily appreciation is the key to daily happiness. Whatever you truly and proactively appreciate, whether "stuff" or education or a vacation, will bring you joy. But in this fast-paced, dog-eat-dog, over-stimulated society, how can we appreciate anything?

Sadly, many of us who have the most to be grateful for express gratitude the least and feel the least appreciation. It seems the more we have, the more we want. The more we want, the less we appreciate what we have. The less we appreciate, the less value there is to having anything, which may explain why we want more.

We who are drowning in luxuries and hold the world in our hands can't seem to find the time to appreciate what we have ... but we still make time to whine and complain. We still find things, however petty, to feed our negative thinking. How can we learn to appreciate our abundance and live a happy life?

The secret to feeling the appreciation we often overlook is in expressing our gratitude vocally or in writing. How can we possibly fail to appreciate something when we say "Thank you" for it and focus our attention on the appreciation?

I offer several ideas on how to express gratitude in the Get Happy Workbook and my self-help book Climb your Stairway to Heaven: the 9 habits of maximum happiness, including keeping a gratitude journal, saying grace, practicing "bolsterism", or just sending flowers, cards, or a thankful e-mail message - to name just a few ideas. Perhaps the most useful of all ideas is to make Thanksgiving Day every day - and really feel the gratitude.

Christmas is important. Easter is important. Halloween is important for the kids. But for our own personal happiness, there is nothing like a truly heartfelt Thanksgiving.

So have a Happy Thanksgiving today!


David Leonhardt is author of a self-help happiness book. He also runs a Liquid Vitamins Store and serves as a SEO/SEM website marketing consultant

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Thursday, November 27, 2008



A lecturer when explaining stress management to an audience,
Raised a glass of water and asked
"How heavy is this glass of water?"

Answers called out ranged from 20g to 500g.

The lecturer replied, "The absolute weight doesn't matter.
It depends on how long you try to hold it.

If I hold it for a minute, that's not a problem.

If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my right arm.

If I hold it for a day, you'll have to call an ambulance.

In each case, it's the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes."

He continued,

"And that's the way it is with stress management.

If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later,

As the burden becomes increasingly heavy,

We won't be able to carry on. "

"As with the glass of water,

You have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it again.

When we're refreshed, we can carry on with the burden."

"So, before you return home tonight, put the burden of work down.

Don't carry it home.

You can pick it up tomorrow.

Whatever burdens you're carrying now,

Let them down for a moment if you can."

So, my friend, Put down anything that may be a burden to you right now.

Don't pick it up again until after you've rested a while.

Here are some great ways of dealing with the burdens of life:

* Accept that some days you're the pigeon,
And some days you're the statue.

* Always keep your words soft and sweet,
Just in case you have to eat them.

* Always read stuff that will make you look good
If you die in the middle of it.

* Drive carefully. It's not only cars that can be
Recalled by their maker.

If you can't be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.

* If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again,
It was probably worth it.

* It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply be kind to others.

* Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time,
Because then you won't have a leg to stand on.

* Nobody cares if you can't dance well.
Just get up and dance.

* Since it's the early worm that gets eaten by the bird, sleep late.

* The second mouse gets the cheese.

* Birthdays are good for you.
The more you have, the longer you live.

* You may be only one person in the world,
But you may also be the world to one person.

* Some mistakes are too much fun to only make once.

* We could learn a lot from crayons... Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull. Some have weird names, and all are different colors, but they all have to live in the same box.

*A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.

Have an awesome day and know that someone has thought about you today...I did.

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Hyderadbad Mama
by Corinne Rodriques

My brothers and I had the unusual privilege of having two sisters as our maternal and paternal grandmothers (my parents are first cousins). When we were young we called them Secunderabad Mama (maternal grandmother who lived in Secunderabad, India) and Hyderabad Mama (paternal grandmother who lived in Hyderabad, India)!

Though so different in their manner and, to some extent, appearance, both these lovely women, who lived into their nineties, left their imprint on our lives.

Today is my Hyderabad Mama's birth anniversary. She passed away four years ago, in her 97th year. I was privileged to be with her during her last night at the hospital and consider myself a better person for the experience.

Through the night, labored breathing, and all, she kept inquiring about where the nurses, doctors, and all of us would be sleeping, telling us to go and rest. I spied a tear in the eye of the doctor when she asked him if he had had his dinner! What better example could she have set me - one of putting others first at all times?

I recall Mama telling us with great pride that my grandfather (Papa) never took off his own shoes - she did that for him - that is how much she loved him, she said. In response, one of us said, 'That wasn't love, that was slavery!' At the time, I agreed with the cousin who said that, but the passage of time brings wisdom.

As I look back on my memories of Papa and Mama - I cannot help but be amazed at her devotion to the man she fell in love with as a young girl. I can only imagine Papa's frustration when he lost his eyesight. It must have been terrible for a man to whom words meant so much to be deprived of his ability to read. But then Mama became his eyes. Who can forget the daily ritual of her reading aloud to Papa and stopping to check the dictionary or the encyclopedia ever so often, on his request? Who can forget his constant cries of "Lena, Lena"? And I never once heard her complain through all this. What better example could she have set me - one of love and devotion to the man she had 15 children with?

Mama, despite her great love for Papa, didn't spend her time moping around after he passed on. In fact, I am proud that she broke tradition by wearing a colored sari and her customary jewelry for his funeral. Then she spent the next few years traveling around the world - a jet setter in her 80s! What better example could she have set me - one of faith and hope?

As I look back over the last few years, I regret that I didn't spend enough of time with Mama. Not once did Mama say anything about this. One sometimes feels that the family home and Mama would always be there.

Yet, whenever my parents were out of town she would call everyday to check how I was doing. What better example could she have set me - one of unconditional love?

Today I celebrate the life of a lady from whom I learned that "faith, hope and love (and laughter) abide, and the greatest of these is love."

Happy Birthday, Mama!


Corinne Rodrigues nee Campos is based in Mumbai, India and submitted this inspirational story. A soft-skills trainer by profession, she has recently taken to blogging. You can read more of her writing at http://everydaygyaan.blogspot.com

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Sunday, November 23, 2008


              Of all the friends I've ever met,
         ;      You're the one I won't forget.
                And if I die
                Before you do
                I'll go to heaven    
                               And wait for you    

My friendship is true
I'm thankful to have
        Family and Friends like you! 
           AND  ALSO SEND IT 
         IF YOU GET IT BACK...
                         I AM AIMING FOR #10   
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Friday, November 21, 2008

The Meaning Of 11

By Michael T. Smith

Here in the USA it is known as Veteran's Day. In Canada, it is known as Remembrance Day and is a national Holiday.

The number 11 took on a new meaning after 9/11. Before then, it signified freedom.

I had no idea what it meant. To me it was just another holiday. It was just a day when stores were closed and more importantly, there was no school. I knew about the war, but I was free to play. I knew people died for our freedom, but I could sleep in. I knew my parents had little when they were growing up because of the war, but I had food on my plate and a day to watch TV. The real meaning of the day was distant to me.

Years later my daughter joined the Brownies. The first year she was a member, I set the alarm to wake us on the morning of 11/11. She had to participate in a parade. Every Brownie, Girl Guide, Cub Scout, and Scout had to participate in this parade in remembrance of those who died for our freedom.

My wife and I left our daughter with the Guide leader and proceeded to the Canadian Legion where we waited for her. The kids paraded a mile along the coastal roads of Nova Scotia, carrying their flags high and proud. As we waited for her, the veterans arrived - old men, long past their prime. They'd fought in the trenches and watched their comrades die. Many came in wheelchairs. Some limped. A few still stood strong.

They joined the kids and walked as proudly as they could to the legion where a band waited. The band played, speeches were made, and on the 11th month, the 11th day, the 11th hour, the 11th minute, and the 11th second there began two minutes of silence.

I looked at the veterans. Their sacrifices allowed us to stand there that day. They gave us our freedom. The cold seeped through my jacket. I reached out and held my wife. A tear trickled down my cheek.

For years, I slept as these brave men still marched in the cold November air in remembrance of their comrades who died in battle beside them. It took my daughter to make me realize the importance of the day.

I've never missed another Remembrance Day.

Years later, because of work, I was separated from my family. I was in another city, but on Remembrance Day, I heard there was going to be a service in the city square. I was in Saint John, New Brunswick. I put on my jacket and a tie, walked the mile to the service, stood in the damp cold with a poppy proudly displayed on my lapel.

I watched those brave men once again march for our freedom. I don't know if it was because I was away from my family or the sight of those old men still walking proudly, but the memory of that service never fades from my memory.

They marched, wheeled, and limped to the city square. The mayor gave a speech. The two minutes of silence came. A bagpipe began to play "Amazing Grace." After the first chorus, a second one joined in, along with a small band. On the third chorus, more bagpipes joined and a brass band began to play. The building of sound, the magic of the moment is something I will never forget.

Tears filled my eyes that day, as the blood must have filled the trenches in battle. The moment is burned in my mind forever.

On November 11th, please take a moment to remember those who fought for our freedom and those that continue to fight for it.

May God bless them all.

Michael lives in Fort Lee, New Jersey, with his lovely wife Ginny and his son. Ginny is the light of his life and the inspiration for many of his stories. Michael writes for a hobby. You may recognize him as one of our MDI contributing authors. If you would like to email Michael, he can be reached at mtsmith@qwestonline.com

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


By Adelaide Aldi

Gratitude always gives back, I had been down in the dumps this week, and thinking things are just not kicking into gear. I don't know how many times I switched on to different tools to switch my mood and lift my spirits and still, things didn't seem to take shape. The 'Secret' says, find a song or memory that keeps you happy. I even tried listening to various chapters of the secret to get that focus but to no avail.

This morning I came to work, Friday should be an exciting day, it's the start of the weekend, and I still felt like I'm not making head or tail. I was up early because I felt like there was just not going to be enough time in the day for all the things I had to do; I was feeling anxious. I had a presentation to make, radio errands to run, a tender paper to write and it just seemed like my day was doomed from the start.

But as I got to work, a cousin called me with some semi good news that reflected that our relationships as kin were going to change for the better. That put a smile on my face. And soon, after that, I learned I didn't have to go for the presentation after all. So that put an even bigger smile on my face. Then I found a CD that I had been fretting about because I couldn't find it. So my day just kept getting better.

I was saying thank you silently for all these coincidental blessings. This is the process of gratitude I suspect. It's said that no matter how things can be going wrong on the outside, as long as you have a sense of gratitude flowing in you, things can turn out for the better.

I started thinking back to how I woke up this morning and didn't give thanks that I had woken up early, or that my colleague gave me a ride to work, or that the presentation could work out even if I am there or not.

The little things that we have and do in our lives, all deserve, gratitude. Gratitude begets blessings your way. I know it's not easy to stay positive all the time, and I suffer from that, many a time, but I am slowly learning that whatever, you do, always do your best, and give gratitude for the little things and experiences. Gratitude will always reciprocate with bigger blessings.

One of our MDI subscribers, Adelaide Vuyelwa Alidi submitted this personal story. She lives in Botswana and writes short stories in her diary about the way she feels about events or daily occurrences in her life, inspire her to share with others who may be in the same place of feeling 'stuck'. You can contact her atbabyalidi@gmail.com

Monday, November 17, 2008


When Catherine Lawes' husband, Lewis, became the warden on Sing Sing
prison in 1921, she was a young mother of three daughters. Everybody
warned her never to step foot inside the walls. But she didn't listen
to them. When the first prison basketball game was held, in she went,
three girls in tow, and took a seat in the bleachers with the inmates.

When she heard that one convicted murderer was blind, she taught him
Braille so he could read. Upon learning of inmates who were hearing
impaired, she studied sign language so they could communicate. For
sixteen years Catherine Lawes softened the hard hearts of the men of
Sing Sing.

The prisoners knew something was wrong when Lewis Lawes didn't report
to work. Quickly the word spread that Catherine had been killed in a
car accident. The following day as the acting warden took his early
morning walk, he noticed a large gathering at the main gate. Every
prisoner pressed against the fence. Eyes awash with tears. Faces
solemn. No one spoke or moved.

The warden made a remarkable decision. “All right, men, you can go.
Just be sure to check in tonight.” These were America's hardest
criminals. But the warden unlocked the gate for them, and they walked
without escort or guard to the home of Catherine Lawes to pay their
last respects. And to a man, each one returned.

Real love changes people.

Didn't God's love change you? Weren't you, like the prisoner, blind?
You couldn't see beyond the grave. You couldn't see your purpose in
life until he showed you. And you couldn't hear either. You'd never
heard of such love and kindness, and you never would have heard of
it, but God spoke in your language. And, most of all, he set you
free. You are free! Free to run away. Free to harden your heart. But
you don't. Or if you do, you come back. Why?

Because you've never been loved like this before.
From A Love Worth Giving
Copyright 2002, Max Lucado

Saturday, November 15, 2008

3900 Saturdays

- Author Unknown

The older I get, the more I enjoy Saturday mornings. Perhaps it's the quiet solitude that comes with being the first to rise, or maybe it's the unbounded joy of not having to be at work. Either way, the first few hours of a Saturday morning are most enjoyable.

A few weeks ago, I was shuffling toward the garage with a steaming cup of coffee in one hand and the morning paper in the other. What began as a typical Saturday morning turned into one of those lessons that life seems to hand you from time to time.

Let me tell you about it.

I turned the dial up into the phone portion of the band on my ham radio in order to listen to a Saturday morning swap net. Along the way,I came across an older sounding chap, with a tremendous signal and a golden voice. You know the kind; he sounded like he should be in the broadcasting business He was telling whomever he was talking with something about 'a thousand marbles.' I was intrigued and stopped to listen to what he had to say.

'Well, Tom, it sure sounds like you're busy with your job. I'm sure they pay you well but it's a shame you have to be away from home and your family so much. Hard to believe a young fellow should have to work sixty or seventy hours a week to make ends meet. It's too bad you missed your daughter's dance recital' he continued. 'Let me tell you something that has helped me keep my own priorities.' And that's when he began to explain his theory of a 'thousand marbles.'

'You see, I sat down one day and did a little arithmetic. The average person lives about seventy-five years. I know, some live more and some live less, but on average, folks live about seventy-five years.'

'Now then, I multiplied 75 times 52 and I came up with 3900, which is the number of Saturdays that the average person has in their entire lifetime. Now, stick with me, Tom, I'm getting to the important part. It took me until I was fifty-five years old to think about all this in any detail', he went on, 'and by that time I had lived through over twenty-eight hundred Saturdays. I got to thinking that if I lived to be seventy-five, I only had about a thousand of them left to enjoy. So I went to a toy store and bought every single marble they had. I ended up having to visit three toy stores to round up 1000 marbles. I took them home and put them inside a large, clear plastic container right h ere in the shack next to my gear.'

'Every Saturday since then, I have taken one marble out and thrown it away. I found that by watching the marbles diminish, I focused more on the really important things in life.'

'There is nothing like watching your time here on this earth run out to help get your priorities straight.'

'Now let me tell you one last thing before I sign-off with you and take my lovely wife out for breakfast. This morning, I took the very last marbl e out of the container. I figure that if I make it until next Saturday then I have been given a little extra time. And the one thing we can all use is a little more time.'

'It was nice to meet you Tom, I hope you spend more time with your family, and I hope to meet you again here on the band. This is a 75 Year old Man, K9NZQ, clear and going QRT, good morning!'

You could have heard a pin drop on the band when this fellow signed off. I guess he gave us all a lot to think about. I had planned to work on the antenna that morning, and then I was going to meet up with a few hams to work on the next club newsletter.

Instead, I went upstairs and woke my wife up with a kiss. 'C'mon honey, I'm taking you and the kids to breakfast.' 'What brought this on' she asked with a smile.' 'Oh, nothing special, it's just been a long time since we spent a Saturday together with the kids. And hey, can we stop at a toy store while we're out? I need to buy some marbles.'

A friend sent this to me, so I to you, my friend.

And so, as one smart bear once said...'If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day, so I never have to live without you.' - Winnie the Pooh.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Photograph

By Linda Hastings

That black and white photograph had been displayed on the walls of all my homes over the last 30 years. It was a photo of tow young men in uniform, the uniform of the United States Navy. On the right, a handsome young man with around face named Kenneth Lord, and on the left, a boyish face with an unforgettable smile, the smile of my Dad. Dad was only 17 when he joined the Navy. Like many young men during WWII, he wanted to serve his country and follow in the footsteps of his older brother, Bud. Begging my grandmother to let him enlist, she would finally give in and sign for him to join.

In 1946, when the USS Harris arrived from California and docked at Boston Harbor, a plethora of homesick sailors disembarked from the home they had known aboard ship and headed for town. Walking briskly down the crowded, narrow streets with their hands tucked inside the pockets of their pea coats and their heads down to block the piercing wind that blew from the north, the sailors made their way past corner stores and shops. For the merchants and street vendors, a ship in port was the saving grace that put food on their tables and paid the rent. Eager to attract business, they would stand in the doorways and wave the young soldiers and sailors in to buy their wares or dine in the quaint little restaurants just off the ship's landing dock.

Kenneth Lord and my Dad were not only shipmates, but friends. As they walked down the street together, a photographer pulled at their coat sleeves, insisting they come in and have their picture taken. At first they resisted, laughing and pushing the persistent photographer away. Desperate not to let them get away, the man reminded the two of a mother's pride as she displayed the picture of her handsome son in his Navy blues. They finally gave in. Posing together in the tiny studio, the two sailors smiled broadly for the camera. Then, taking turns, individual pictures were made. It would be the only photo of my Dad ever taken in that uniform, and one of my dearest treasures.

Often, when Dad came to my home, he would pause and look at that old photo of him and Kenneth. Sometimes he would retell the story, always laughing and remembering that cold March day in Boston, just off the ship; just a couple of regular Joes looking for a good time.

It was there; in Boston that he would meet my mother, Josephine Anna Tranchina. Mother was the oldest of five children born to an Italian immigrant who came to the United States in his twenties and Ida Scola, A Boston-born Italian who grew up in Boston's North End. It was there, in Boston, that he would discharge from the Navy, take a bride and bring her home to his Mama in Texas.

Over the next 24 years, Mother and Dad would carve out a life in the suburbs of Dallas, raise four kids, suffer the trials and tribulations of middle class life and ultimately go their separate ways.

In 1970, when Dad married Dorothy Farmer Hallmark, it was quite an adjustment for all of us. She was soft spoken, even tempered and kind. With four nearly grown kids of her own, we were suddenly like the Brady Bunch.

Dorothy took care of my Dad like a mother hen watches over her chicks, always making sure he had whatever he needed, and I loved her for the devotion she gave him.

Without a doubt, Dorothy knew Dad's Navy stories as well as, if not better than he did. After all, she had heard them over and over. When they started taking an interest in attending the reunions his shipmates hosted, I was trilled for the two of them. From Mississippi to California, they would travel every two years to catch up with old friends and hear the stories that bound these men to heir Navy history on the USS Harris.

The wives would form a union of their own and become such good friends it would be hard to distinguish the roots of those friendships if you were a stranger to the group; but like the memories those young boys savored in their golden years, soon the events of those reunions would become the new memories made among the wives.

Dad was like a little boy anticipating Christmas the years they held those reunions. He looked forward to them and to seeing his friends, to telling things the way he remembered them and to hearing the tales of others. But each reunion brought bittersweet sorrow, a new shipmate coming on board (to the reunion scene that is) and the loss of yet another to bad health or misfortune.

It was 1993 and the city chosen for that year's reunion was Minneapolis. As in the past, a large reception welcomed the now 60-year old sailors, and across hall, looking a little lost, stood the white-headed man and his wife. Dad pulled Dorothy by the hand toward the couple. Although he had not seen the man at any of the previous reunions, Dad knew exactly who he was.

As they approached, Dad asked, "Hey, do you remember me?" With a puzzled look, the man closely studied his face, but couldn't recall. "Sam Mangum!" Dad boasted. Again the man shook his head to indicate he did not.

Breaking the silence, his wife spoke up, "This is our first reunion; our son saw it posted in a magazine and encouraged us to come." Then she reached into her bag and pulled out one of many photographs she had brought with her. "We are looking for the guy in this picture with my husband. He doesn't remember his name. Do you know him?"

Dad turned and looked at Dorothy with the same boyish smile that 50 years had not erased. "Why yes, "came Dorothy's reply, "you're looking at him!"

Not long after that, the reunions that followed became an annual event. Kenneth Lord, until he lost his battle with cancer in December 2001 and his wife Harriett continued attending reunions with the same enthusiasm of my father. And I am sure the story behind the photo was always among the stories told and the memories shared - the photo of two young sailors who were just out to have a good time and paused for a moment in front of the camera.

Authors Note: In 2005 I proudly attended my first USS Harris reunion with my Dad and stepmother. Although many of the sailors were now departed, it was still a great turnout. Like me, the children of these great friends and WWII hero's came to hear their tales and honor our dads, many of which had long since passed. Customarily at the close of the banquet, an announcement would be made telling what shipmate and city would host the next reunion but we all knew this was to be the last. The now 80 year olds could no longer take on this enormous task. So, at the closing of the banquet, along with all the other 40 and 50 year old children in attendance that evening, we gathered on stage and gleefully announced our desire to carry forth with their reunions as our way of honoring them and would faithfully do so for as long as they would come. This year's host was none other than Dwayne Lord, the proud son and owner of the other Photograph!

Linda has been writing for a number of years now and writes about true experiences that are near and dear to her heart. Many of her stories are tributes to family members. In addition to writing, Linda is a full time Executive Assistant with two grown daughters and a loving husband that enjoys spending leisure time with her on the lake or on their Harley Davidson. Linda's love for writing stories began when her children were small; she would create tales to entertain them using their names and their friends as the characters. Linda's stories have been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul, the book and the weekly newspaper syndicate, Fort Worth Business Press and you may recognize her name from other stories she has shared on MyDailyInsights as well. She can be reached at lghastings@embarqmail.com

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

My Resignation

Author Unknown

I am hereby officially tendering my resignation as an adult. I have decided I would like to accept the responsibilities of an eight-year-old again.

I want to go to McDonald's and think that it's a four-star restaurant.

I want to sail sticks across a fresh mud puddle and make a sidewalk with rocks.

I want to think M&Ms are better than money because you can eat them.

I want to run a lemonade stand with my friends on a hot summer's day.

I want to return to a time when life was simple, when all you knew were colors, multiplication tables and nursery rhymes, but that didn't bother you because you didn't know what you didn't know and you didn't care.

All you knew was to be happy, because you were blissfully unaware of all the things that should make you worried or upset.

I want to think the world is fair. That everyone is honest and good.

I want to believe that anything is possible. I want to be oblivious to the complexities of life and be overly excited by the little things again.

I want to live simply again. I don't want my day to consist of computer crashes, mountains of paperwork, depressing news, how to survive when there are more days in the month than there is money in the bank, doctor bills, gossip, illness and loss of loved ones.

I want to believe in the power of smiles, hugs, a kind word, truth, justice, peace, dreams, mankind and making angels in the snow.

I want to play with my pets and my days of imagination to last forever

So here are my checkbook and my car keys, my credit card bills and my 401(k) statements. I am officially resigning from adulthood.

And if you want to discuss this further, you'll have to catch me first because, "Tag! You're it!"

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Your Next Goal in Five Minutes a Day

by Andreas Ohrt

Would you like to learn an effective method for reaching your next goal in only five minutes a day? Here is the simple technique which always works for me...

Step One: The Magic of Thinking Small
First, pick a goal that is *just* beyond your comfort level.

Many motivational teachers urge you to think incredibly big. This may work for people already confident in their power to manifest. But for the person new to using mind power, thinking outrageously big is a disaster. For example, if you haven't had a date in three years you don't want to visualize yourself scoring with bunnies at the Playboy mansion. In theory all goals are definitely achievable -- but if you don't believe it's possible, it won't happen. Instead, pick a goal which is reasonable and can be accomplished within a few months. You might want to have just one date in the next three months. Not nearly as thrilling, but a step toward a better life. Want more money in your life? Instead of visualizing suddenly earning $250,000 a year, start with a goal of increasing your wage or your sales by 10 per cent. Start small and build on your success, instead of going for the home run and missing every time.

Step Two: Create a Declaration of Intent
Every morning write down your goal. A good format is a short sentence which begins with "I am now attracting...", "I am now creating...", "I will now..." or "I now intend..."

For example:
"I am now attracting a more loving relationship into my life."
"I will now sell 10% more products each month."
"I am now creating higher self-esteem and confidence."

Create your own wording. The important thing is that when you say it, your emotional state agrees with the statement. An affirmation such as, "I am now exercising every day" doesn't work if you are not exercising every day, because you immediately feel the lie.

A statement which begins "I am now attracting..." or "I now intend..." is true (at least while you are saying it), and holds no contradiction in your emotions.

Step Three: Celebrate your Success
After writing your goal, mentally place yourself in the future to a day when your goal has been accomplished. *Feel* the happiness and excitement you will be feeling knowing you have accomplished your goal. Feel the happiness, feel the success, feel the proud accomplishment of knowing that you can use your own inner power to change your life.

Step Four: Ask for Help From your Future Self
While you are enjoying that feeling, look back to today from that future moment and ask yourself what single action you can take today, to bring your goal to you faster. The future you which has accomplished your goal knows what steps need to be taken. From this vantage point, you can ask yourself what is the next most practical action you can take.

When you get the answer: Write it down, and take that action at some point during the day. Taking action, no matter how small, is the fastest and surest way to convince your subconscious mind that you are serious. This will do wonders for the quick manifestation of your goals.

Step Five: Choose the Same Thing Every Day
Work on only one goal at a time, and don't change goals unless you decide you no longer want the one you started working on. If you no longer want the goal, choose a new one and start again. But if you do want your original, don't stop until you have it.

Warning: lack of persistence is the number one reason why people do not reach their goals. If you give up before you reach your goal, you obviously don't want it very much, do you? Pick a goal that you cannot live without, and start again. This technique only takes about 5 or 10 minutes with your morning coffee and works flawlessly. *If* you do it.

About the author: Andreas Ohrt is the editor of "Mind Power News," a weekly e-zine dedicated to news headlines, scientific research, and the most powerful resources available to help you unleash the power of your mind. Get your free subscription here.

Friday, November 7, 2008

25,550 Days

by Andres Ponciano

So I guess there's a point in life or perhaps a couple that make you stop and ponder things. It seems the older you get, the more you start to notice and fully comprehend that once you are born you also begin to die. Whether it is a morbid thought or not it is true. Whether we like it or not, it is still true, and unlike math two true's don't make a false, or is that backwards?

Doesn't matter. Math doesn't make sense. The point is its reflection time. Here's food for thought: Did you know how many days there are in the average lifespan? 70 years= 25,550 days. 75 years = 27,375 days. 80 = 29,200 days. 90 = 32,850 days. I read that in an article some time ago and it really jumped out at me. I thought to myself, damn that isn't very much. Especially considering I've lived 8700 of those already. So that is about a third of an average life span.

So the question is what now? How will you use your time? Time is the only thing that doesn't offer you a second chance in life. Once it is gone, it is gone. Definitely puts things into perspective. It seems life is really short as they say. Although I've never agreed with that statement I can understand it.

Are you living life to the fullest? Are you taking advantage of all the opportunities that come your way? Are you aware that most opportunities usually disguise themselves as hard work? Have you realized that most things worth fighting for are always difficult? Have you done what you planned to do? Have you gotten what you wanted? Have you left something for the next generations? Have you left your mark? Have you met all the people and visited all the places?

There is the story of the boy who said "I've got places to go and people to meet". That is what he did. So my friends, without much subtlety I say "don't let time pass you by without getting the most out of it." Take care of your health; take care of your relationships, whether with family, friends, strangers, God, loved ones and kids.

Take care of your work and invest time in becoming better and better and if possible even better, develop your talents, whether they are in art, music, sports, or any other aspect of life. And most of all instill a sense of love and gratitude for everything in your life. For in due time, unfortunately most things whither and die, but there are few that do remain. Those are entirely up to you!

Besides being on of our subscribers, Andres is a professional musician who has grown up all over the world. Life has many roads and he is trying to go through as many as he can. An adventurer, a writer, a musician, an old soul, a philanthropist, and everything in between. You can reach Andres at luzia@hotmail.com

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


On July 22nd I was in route to Washington, DC for a business trip. It was all so very ordinary, until we landed in Denver for a plane change. As I collected my belongings from the overhead bin, an announcement was made for Mr. Lloyd Glenn to see the United Customer Service Representative immediately. I thought nothing of it until I reached the door to leave the plane and I heard a gentleman asking every male if he were Mr. Glenn. At this point I knew something was wrong and my heart sunk.

When I got off the plane a solemn-faced young man came toward me and said, "Mr. Glenn, there is an emergency at your home. I do not know what the emergency is, or who is involved, but I will take you to the phone so you can call the hospital." My heart was now pounding, but the will to be calm took over. Woodenly, I followed this stranger to the distant telephone where I called the number he gave me for the Mission Hospital. My call was put through to the trauma center where I learned that my three-year-old son had been trapped underneath the automatic garage door for several minutes, and that when my wife had found him he was dead. CPR had been performed by a neighbor, who is a doctor, and the paramedics had continued the treatment as Brian was transported to the hospital.

By the time of my call, Brian was revived and they believed he would live, but they did not know how much damage had been done to his brain, nor to his heart. They explained that the door had completely closed on his little sternum right over his heart. He had been severely crushed. After speaking with the medical staff, my wife sounded worried but not hysterical, and I took comfort in her calmness.

The return flight seemed to last forever, but finally I arrived at the hospital six hours after the garage door had come down. When I w alked into the intensive care unit, nothing could have prepared me to see my little son laying so still on a great big bed with tubes and monitors everywhere. He was on a respirator. I glanced at my wife who stood and tried to give me a reassuring smile. It all seemed like a terrible dream. I was filled-in with the details and given a guarded prognosis. Brian was going to live, and the preliminary tests indicated that his heart was OK, two miracles in and of themselves. But only time would tell if his brain received any damage.

Throughout the seemingly endless hours, my wife was calm. She felt that Brian would eventually be all right.. I hung on to her words and faith like a lifeline. All that night and the next day Brian remained unconscious. It seemed like forever since I had left for my business trip the day before.

Finally at two o'clock that afternoon, our son regained consciousness and sat up uttering the most beautiful words I have ever heard spoken. He said, "Daddy hold me" and he reached for me with his little arms.

[TEAR BREAK...smile]

By the next day he was pronounced as having no neurological or physical deficits, and the story of his miraculous survival spread throughout the hospital. You cannot imagine, we took Brian home, we felt a unique reverence for the life and love of our Heavenly Father that comes to those who brush death so closely.

In the days that followed there was a special spirit about our home. Our two older children were much closer to their little brother. My wife and I were much closer to each other, and all of us were very close as a whole family. Life took on a less stressful pace. Perspective seemed to be more focused, and balance much easier to gain and maintain. We felt deeply blessed. Our
gratitude was truly profound.

The story is not over (smile)!

Almost a month later to the day of the accident, Brian awoke from his afternoon nap and said, "Sit down Mommy.. I have something to tell you." At this time in his life, Brian usually spoke in small phrases, so to say a large sentence surprised my wife. She sat down with him on his bed, and he began his sacred and remarkable story.

"Do you remember when I got stuck under the garage door? Well, it was so heavy and it hurt really bad. I called t o you, but you couldn't hear me.. I started to cry, but then it hurt too bad. And then the 'birdies' came."

"The birdies?" my wife asked puzzled.

"Yes," he replied. "The birdies made a whooshing sound and flew into the garage. They took care of me."

"They did?"

"Yes," he said. "One of the birdies came and got you. She came to tell you "I got stuck under the door." A sweet reverent feeling filled the room. The spirit was so strong and yet lighter than air. My wife realized that a three-year-old had no concept of death and spirits, so he was referring to the beings who came to him from beyond as "birdies" because they were up in the air like birds that fly.. "What did the birdies look like?" she asked.

Brian answered, "They were so beautiful. They were dressed in white, all white. Some of them had green and white. But some of them had on just white."

"Did they say anything?"

"Yes," he answered. "The y told me the baby would be all right."

"The baby?" my wife asked confused.

Brian answered. "The baby laying on the garage floor." He went on, "You came out and opened the garage door and ran to the baby. You told the baby to stay and not leave."

My wife nearly collapsed upon hearing this, for she had indeed gone and knelt beside Brian's body and seeing his crushed chest whispered, "Don't leave us Brian, please stay if you can." As she listened to Brian telling her the words she had spoken, she realized that the spirit had left His body and was looking down from above on this little lifeless form.. "Then what happened?" she asked.

"We went on a trip," he said, "far, far away." He grew agitated trying to say the things he didn't seem to have the words for. My wife tried to calm and comfort him, and let him know it would be okay. He struggled with wanting to tell something that obviously was very important to him, but finding the word s was difficult.

"We flew so fast up in the air. They're so pretty Mommy," he added.

"And there are lots and lots of birdies." My wife was stunned.. Into her mind the sweet comforting spirit enveloped her more soundly, but with an urgency she had never before known. Brian went on to tell her that the "birdies" had told him that he had to come back and tell everyone about the "birdies." He said they brought him back to the house and that a big fire truck, and an ambulance were there. A man was bringing the baby out on a white bed and he tried to tell the man that the baby would be okay. The story went on for an hour.

He taught us that "birdies" were always with us, but we don't see them because we look with our eyes and we don't hear them because we listen with our ears. But they are always there, you can only see them in here (he put his hand over his heart). They whisper the things to help us to do what is right because they love us so much. Brian continued, stating, "I have a plan, Mommy. You have a plan.. Daddy has a plan. Everyone has a plan. We must all live our plan and keep our promises. The birdies help us to do that cause they love us so much."

In the weeks that followed, he often came to us and told all, or part of it, again and again. Always the story remained the same. The details were never changed or out of order. A few times he added further bits of information and clarified the message he had already delivered. It never ceased to amaze us how he could tell such detail and sp eak beyond his ability when he talked about his birdies.

Everywhere he went, he told strangers about the "birdies." Surprisingly, no one ever looked at him strangely when he did this. Rather, they always got a softened look on their face and smiled. Needless to say, we have not been the same ever since that day, and I pray we never will be.

You have just been sent an Angel to watch over you. Some people come into our lives and quickly go...Some people become friends and stay a while...leaving beautiful footprints on our hearts ... and we are never quite the same because we have made a good friend!!

Yesterday is history. Tomorrow a mystery. Today is a gift. That's why it's called the present! Live and savor every moment...this is not a dress rehearsal! THIS IS A SPECIAL GUARDIAN ANGEL...

Monday, November 3, 2008


By Amy Sandlin

As I slowly pulled myself into work this morning, I was overwhelmed with exhaustion; with full speed stress headed my way. Anticipating the "mind over matter" feeling I needed, my eyes not wanting to open my "inbox" to start the day, I remembered the crosswalk.

I was on my way to work a couple weeks ago, frustrated at how late traffic was making me, annoyed at my bad hair day. It was already scorching hot, humid and NO wind. I just wanted to stay in bed and sleep. While being frustrated and annoyed and just plain angry at the day, I was held at a stop light for what seemed like forever.

I glanced over to my left and saw a woman probably in her mid twenties, waiting for the crosswalk sign to allow her to cross. She was dressed in bright colors, gorgeous shoes, with a purse at her side and a glowing smile! Along with these striking things, she also had her dog along for the stroll.

A joyful golden retriever, hopping along on the leash, excited for the day and to be outside with his owner. He just couldn't sit still with how much energy he had. So the woman petted him with her hand, and was talking to him with so much expression, and love - they were so happy! It made me smile underneath my gloomy bad mood.

One detail not mentioned; the woman dressed in bright colors, gorgeous shoes, purse and a glowing smile, with her pal at her side was handicap, in an electric wheel chair, which she could only operate with her right hand. As the crosswalk sign changed, and she pushed the black knob forward to operate her wheelchair across the street, her dog followed happily beside her as the leash was tied to the arm of her chair.

A tear filled my eye, and I smiled! Someone else's situation can kick your mind into gear and remind us what to be thankful for! I have no doubt this woman and her dog were put there for a reason, so I would wake up, and enjoy my day no matter what my hair looked like, no matter what traffic I was stuck in, and no matter what my day had in store for me!

I greatly appreciate this woman and her golden retriever, for teaching me a wonderful lesson! Pay attention to the smallest moments, they will teach the most!

Amy Sandlin writes for fun and to share her thoughts. As a MyDailyInsights subscriber she looks forward to her MDI message everyday. She can be reached at sandlin18@yahoo.com

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Two Nuns

There were two nuns..

One of them was known as Sister Mathematical (SM),

and the other one was known as Sister Logical (SL)

It is getting dark and they are still far away from the convent.

SM: Have you noticed that a man has been following us for the past thirty-eight and a half minutes? I wonder what he wants.

SL:It's logical. He wants to rape us.

SM: Oh, No! At this rate he will reach us in 15 minutes at the most! What can we do?

SL: The only logical thing to do of course is to walk faster.

SM: It's not working.

SL: Of course it's not working. The man did the only logical thing. He started
to walk faster, too.

SM: So, what shall we do? At this rate he will reach us in one minute.

SL:The only logical thing we can do is split. You go that way and I'll go this way.
He cannot follow us both.

So the man decided to follow Sister Logical.

Sister Mathematical arrives at the convent and is worried about what has happened to
Sister Logical.

Then Sister Logical arrives.

SM:Sister Logical! Thank God you are here! Tell me what happened!

SL: The only logical thing happened. The man couldn't follow us both, so he followed me

SM: Yes, yes! But what happened then?

SL: The only logical thing happened. I started to run as fast as I could and he started to run as fast as he could.

SM: And?

SL: The only logical thing happened. He reached me.

SM: Oh, dear! What did you do?

SL: The only logical thing to do. I lifted my dress up.

SM: Oh, Sister! What did the man do?

SL: The only logical thing to do. He pulled down his pants.

SM: Oh, no! What happened then?

SL : Isn't it logical, Sister? A nun with her dress up can run faster than a man
with his pants down.

And for those of you who thought it would be dirty,

Say two Hail Marys!