What Is A Friend?

author unknown

1. In kindergarten your idea of a good friend was the person who let you have the red crayon when all that was left was the ugly black one.

2. In first grade your idea of a good friend was the person who went to the bathroom with you and held your hand as you walked through the scary halls.

3. In second grade your idea of a good friend was the person who helped you stand up to the class bully.

4. In third grade your idea of a good friend was the person who shared their lunch with you when you forgot yours on the bus.

5. In fourth grade your idea of a good friend was the person who was willing to switch square dancing partners in gym so you wouldn’t have to be stuck do-si-do-ing with Nasty Nicky or Smelly Susan.

6. In fifth grade your idea of a friend was the person who saved a seat on the back of the bus for you.

7. In sixth grade your idea of a friend was the person who went up to Nick or Susan, your new crush, and asked them to dance with you, so that if they said no you wouldn’t have to be embarrassed.

8. In seventh grade your idea of a friend was the person who let you copy the social studies homework from the night before that you had.

9. In eighth grade your idea of a good friend was the person who helped you pack up your stuffed animals and old baseball cards so that your room would be a "high schooler’s" room, but didn’t laugh at you when you finished and broke out into tears.

10. In ninth grade your idea of a good friend was the person who went to that "cool" party thrown by a senior so you wouldn’t wind up being the only freshman there.

11. In tenth grade your idea of a good friend was the person who changed their schedule so you would have someone to sit with at lunch.

12. In eleventh grade your idea of a good friend was the person who gave you rides in their new car, convinced your parents that you shouldn’t be grounded, consoled you when you broke up with Nick or Susan, and found you a date to the prom.

13. In twelfth grade your idea of a good friend was the person who helped you pick out a college, assured you that you would get into that college, helped you deal with your parents who were having a hard time adjusting to the idea of letting you go…

14. At graduation your idea of a good friend was the person who was crying on the inside but managed the biggest smile one could give as they congratulated you.

15. The summer after twelfth grade your idea of a good friend was the person who helped you clean up the bottles from that party, helped you sneak out of the house when you just couldn’t deal with your parents, assured you that now that you and Nick or you and Susan were back together, you could make it through anything, helped you pack up for college and just silently hugged you as you looked through blurry eyes at 18 years of memories you were leaving behind, and finally on those last days of childhood, went out of their way to give you reassurance that you would make it in college as well as you had these past 18 years, and most importantly sent you off to college knowing you were loved.

16. Now, your idea of a good friend is still the person who gives you the better of the two choices, hold your hand when you’re scared, helps you fight off those who try to take advantage of you, thinks of you at times when you are not there, reminds you of what you have forgotten, helps you put the past behind you but understands when you need to hold on to it a little longer, stays with you so that you have confidence, goes out of their way to make time for you, helps you clear up your mistakes, helps you deal with pressure from others, smiles for you when they are sad, helps you become a better person, and most importantly loves you!

Continue ReadingWhat Is A Friend?

Instructions For Life

author unknown

1. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.

2. Memorize your favorite poem.

3. Don’t believe all you hear, spend all you have, or sleep all you want.

4. When you say, "I love you," mean it.

5. When you say, "I’m sorry," look the person in the eye.

6. Be engaged at least six months before you get married.

7. Believe in love at first sight.

8. Never laugh at anyone’s dreams.

9. Love deeply and passionately. You might get hurt but it’s the only way to live life completely.

10. In disagreements, fight fairly. No name calling.

11. Don’t judge people by their relatives.

12. Talk slowly but think quickly.

13. When someone asks you a question you don’t want to answer, smile and ask,"Why do you want to know?"

14. Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risk.

15. Call your mom.

16. Say "bless you" when you hear someone sneeze.

17. When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.

18. Remember the three R’s: Respect for self; Respect for others; Responsibility for all your actions.

19. Don’t let a little dispute injure a great friendship.

20. When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.

21. Smile when picking up the phone. The caller will hear it in your voice.

22. Marry a man/woman you love to talk to. As you get older, their conversational skills will be as important as any other.

23. Spend some time alone.

24. Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.

25. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.

26. Read more books and watch less TV.

27. Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll get to enjoy it a second time.

28. Trust in God, but lock your car.

29. A loving atmosphere in your home is so important. Do all you can to create a tranquil harmonious home.

30. In disagreements with loved ones, deal with the current situation. Don’t bring up the past.

31. Read between the lines.

32. Share your knowledge. It’s a way to achieve immortality.

33. Be gentle with the earth.

34. Pray. There’s immeasurable power in it.

35. Never interrupt when you are being flattered.

36. Mind your own business.

37. Don’t trust a man/woman who doesn’t close his/her eyes when you kiss.

38. Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.

39. If you make a lot of money, put it to use helping others while you are living. That is wealth’s greatest satisfaction.

40. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a stroke of luck.

41. Learn the rules then break some.

42. Remember that the best relationship is one where your love for each other is greater than your need for each other.

43. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.

44. Remember that your character is your destiny.

45. Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.

Continue ReadingInstructions For Life

Hindsight

by Guy Kawasaki

Palo Alto High School Baccalaureate Speech 6/11/95

Speaking to you today marks a milestone in my life. I am 40 years old. 22 years ago, when I was in your seat, I never, ever thought I would be 40 years old.

The implications of being your speaker frightens me. For one thing, when a 40 year old geezer spoke at my baccalaureate ceremony, he was about the last person I’d believe. I have no intention of giving you the boring speech that you are dreading. This speech will be short, sweet, and not boring.

I am going to talk about hindsights today. Hindsights that I’ve accumulated in the 20 years from where you are to where I am. Don’t blindly believe me. Don’t take what I say as "truth." Just listen. Perhaps my experience can help you out a tiny bit. I will present them ala David Letterman. Yes, 40-year old people can still stay up past 11.

#10: Live off your parents as long as possible.

When I spoke at this ceremony two years ago, this was the most popular hindsight-except from the point of view of the parents. Thus, I knew I was on the right track.

I was a diligent Oriental in high school and college. I took college-level classes and earned college-level credits. I rushed through college in 3 1/2 years. I never traveled or took time off because I thought it wouldn’t prepare me for work and it would delay my graduation. Frankly, I blew it.

You are going to work the rest of your lives, so don’t be in a rush to start. Stretch out your college education. Now is the time to suck life into your lungs-before you have a mortgage, kids, and car payments.

Take whole semesters off to travel overseas. Take jobs and internships that pay less money or no money. Investigate your passions on your parent’s nickel. Or dime. Or quarter. Or dollar. Your goal should be to extend college to at least six years.

Delay, as long as possible, the inevitable entry into the workplace and a lifetime of servitude to bozos who know less than you do, but who make more money. Also, you shouldn’t deprive your parents of the pleasure of supporting you.

#9 Pursue joy, not happiness.

This is probably the hardest lesson of all to learn. It probably seems to you that the goal in life is to be "happy." Oh, you maybe have to sacrifice and study and work hard, but, by and large, happiness should be predictable. Nice house. Nice car. Nice material things.

Take my word for it, happiness is temporary and fleeting. Joy, by contrast, is unpredictable. It comes from pursuing interests and passions that do not obviously result in happiness.

Pursuing joy, not happiness will translate into one thing over the next few years for you: Study what you love. This may also not be popular with parents. When I went to college, I was "marketing driven." It’s also an Oriental thing.

I looked at what fields had the greatest job opportunities and prepared myself for them. This was brain dead. There are so many ways to make a living in the world, it doesn’t matter that you’ve taken all the "right" courses. I don’t think one person on the original Macintosh team had a classic "computer science" degree.

You parents have a responsibility in this area. Don’t force your kids to follow in your footsteps or to live your dreams. My father was a senator in Hawaii. His dream was to be a lawyer, but he only had a high school education. He wanted me to be a lawyer.

For him, I went to law school. For me, I quit after two weeks. I view this a terrific validation of my inherent intelligence.

#8: Challenge the known and embrace the unknown.

One of the biggest mistakes you can make in life is to accept the known and resist the unknown. You should, in fact, do exactly the opposite: challenge the known and embrace the unknown.

Let me tell you a short story about ice. In the late 1800s there was a thriving ice industry in the Northeast. Companies would cut blocks of ice from frozen lakes and ponds and sell them around the world. The largest single shipment was 200 tons that was shipped to India. 100 tons got there unmelted, but this was enough to make a profit.

These ice harvesters, however, were put out of business by companies that invented mechanical ice makers. It was no longer necessary to cut and ship ice because companies could make it in any city during any season.

These ice makers, however, were put out of business by refrigerator companies. If it was convenient to make ice at a manufacturing plant, imagine how much better it was to make ice and create cold storage in everyone’s home.

You would think that the ice harvesters would see the advantages of ice making and adopt this technology. However, all they could think about was the known: better saws, better storage, better transportation.

Then you would think that the ice makers would see the advantages of refrigerators and adopt this technology. The truth is that the ice harvesters couldn’t embrace the unknown and jump their curve to the next curve.

Challenge the known and embrace the unknown, or you’ll be like the ice harvester and ice makers.

#7: Learn to speak a foreign language, play a musical instrument, and play non-contact sports.

Learn a foreign language. I studied Latin in high school because I thought it would help me increase my vocabulary. It did, but trust me when I tell you it’s very difficult to have a conversation in Latin today other than at the Vatican. And despite all my efforts, the Pope has yet to call for my advice.

Learn to play a musical instrument. My only connection to music today is that I was named after Guy Lombardo. Trust me: it’s better than being named after Guy’s brother, Carmen. Playing a musical instrument could be with me now and stay with me forever. Instead, I have to buy CDs at Tower.

I played football. I loved football. Football is macho. I was a middle linebacker–arguably, one of the most macho position in a macho game. But you should also learn to play a non-contact sport like basketball or tennis. That is, a sport you can play when you’re over the hill.

It will be as difficult when you’re 40 to get twenty-two guys together in a stadium to play football as it is to have a conversation in Latin, but all the people who wore cute, white tennis outfits can still play tennis. And all the macho football players are sitting around watching television and drinking beer.

#6: Continue to learn.

Learning is a process not an event. I thought learning would be over when I got my degree. It’s not true. You should never stop learning. Indeed, it gets easier to learn once you’re out of school because it’s easier to see the relevance of why you need to learn.

You’re learning in a structured, dedicated environment right now. On your parents’ nickel. But don’t confuse school and learning. You can go to school and not learn a thing. You can also learn a tremendous amount without school.

#5: Learn to like yourself or change yourself until you can like yourself.

I know a forty year old woman who was a drug addict. She is a mother of three. She traced the start of her drug addiction to smoking dope in high school.

I’m not going to lecture you about not taking drugs. Hey, I smoked dope in high school. Unlike Bill Clinton, I inhaled. Also unlike Bill Clinton, I exhaled.

This woman told me that she started taking drugs because she hated herself when she was sober. She did not like drugs so much as much as she hated herself. Drugs were not the cause though she thought they were the solution.

She turned her life around only after she realized that she was in a downward spiral. Fix your problem. Fix your life. Then you won’t need to take drugs. Drugs are neither the solution nor the problem.

Frankly, smoking, drugs, alcohol–and using an IBM PC–are signs of stupidity. End of discussion.

#4: Don’t get married too soon.

I got married when I was 32. That’s about the right age. Until you’re about that age, you may not know who you are. You also may not know who you’re marrying.

I don’t know one person who got married too late. I know many people who got married too young. If you do decide to get married, just keep in mind that you need to accept the person for what he or she is right now.

#3: Play to win and win to play.

Playing to win is one of the finest things you can do. It enables you to fulfill your potential. It enables you to improve the world and, conveniently, develop high expectations for everyone else too.

And what if you lose? Just make sure you lose while trying something grand. Avinash Dixit, an economics professor at Princeton, and Barry Nalebuff, an economics and management professor at the Yale School of Organization and Management, say it this way:

"If you are going to fail, you might as well fail at a difficult task. Failure causes others to downgrade their expectations of you in the future. The seriousness of this problem depends on what you attempt."

In its purest form, winning becomes a means, not an end, to improve yourself and your competition.

Winning is also a means to play again. The unexamined life may not be worth living, but the unlived life is not worth examining. The rewards of winning–money, power, satisfaction, and self-confidence–should not be squandered.

Thus, in addition to playing to win, you have a second, more important obligation: To compete again to the depth and breadth and height that your soul can reach. Ultimately, your greatest competition is yourself.

#2: Obey the absolutes.

Playing to win, however, does not mean playing dirty. As you grow older and older, you will find that things change from absolute to relative. When you were very young, it was absolutely wrong to lie, cheat, or steal. As you get older, and particularly when you enter the workforce, you will be tempted by the "system" to think in relative terms. "I made more money." "I have a nicer car." "I went on a better vacation."

Worse, "I didn’t cheat as much on my taxes as my partner." "I just have a few drinks. I don’t take cocaine." "I don’t pad my expense reports as much as others."

This is completely wrong. Preserve and obey the absolutes as much as you can. If you never lie, cheat, or steal, you will never have to remember who you lied to, how you cheated, and what you stole. There absolutely are absolute rights and wrongs.

#1: Enjoy your family and friends before they are gone.

This is the most important hindsight. It doesn’t need much explanation. I’ll just repeat it: Enjoy your family and friends before they are gone. Nothing-not money, power, or fame-can replace your family and friends or bring them back once they are gone. Our greatest joy has been our baby, and I predict that children will bring you the greatest joy in your lives–especially if they graduate from college in four years.

And now, I’m going to give you one extra hindsight because I’ve probably cost your parents thousands of dollars today. It’s something that I hate to admit too.

By and large, the older you get, the more you’re going to realize that your parents were right. More and more-until finally, you become your parents. I know you’re all saying, "Yeah, right." Mark my words.

Remember these ten things: if just one of them helps you helps just one of you, this speech will have been a success:

#10: Live off your parents as long as possible.
#9 Pursue joy, not happiness.
#8: Challenge the known and embrace the unknown.
#7: Learn to speak a foreign language, play a musical instrument, and play non-contact sports.
#6: Continue to learn.
#5: Learn to like yourself or change yourself until you can like yourself.
#4: Don’t get married too soon.
#3: Play to win and win to play.
#2: Obey the absolutes.
#1: Enjoy your family and friends before they are gone.

Continue ReadingHindsight

Twenty Keys to a Happy Life

author unknown

1. Compliment three people every day.

2. Watch a sunrise.

3. Be the first to say "Hello."

4. Live beneath your means.

5. Treat everyone as you want to be treated.

6. Never give up on anybody; miracles happen.

7. Forget the Jones’s.

8. Remember someone’s name.

9. Pray not for things, but for wisdom and courage.

10. Be tough-minded, but tender-hearted.

11. Be kinder than you need to be.

12. Don’t forget that a person’s greatest emotional need is to feel appreciated.

13. Keep your promises.

14. Learn to show cheerfulness even when you don’t feel it.

15. Remember that overnight success usually takes 15 years.

16. Leave everything better than you found it.

17. Remember that winners do what losers do not want to do.

18. When you arrive at work in the morning, let the first thing you say brighten everyone’s day.

19. Don’t rain on the parades of others.

20. Don’t waste an opportunity to tell someone you love them.

Continue ReadingTwenty Keys to a Happy Life

Reading More and Dusting Less

Author Unknown

I’m reading more and dusting less.

I’m sitting in the yard and admiring the view without fussing about the weeds in the garden.

I’m spending more time with my family and friends and less time at work whenever possible. Life should be a pattern of experiences to savor, not endure.

I’m trying to recognize these moments now and cherish them.

I’m not "saving" anything; I use my good china and crystal for every special event such as losing a pound, getting the sink unstopped, or the first Amaryllis bloom.

"Someday" and "one of these days" are losing their grip on my vocabulary. If it’s worth seeing or hearing or doing, I want to see and hear and do it now.

It’s those little things left undone that would make me angry if I knew my hours were limited. Angry because I hadn’t written certain letters that I intended to write one of these days. Angry and sorry that I didn’t tell my wife/husband/significant other/parents often enough how much I truly love them.

I’m trying very hard not to put off, hold back or save anything that would add laughter and luster to my life.

And every morning when I open my eyes, I tell myself that every day, every minute, every breath, is special.

If you received this, it’s because someone cares for you. If you’re too busy to take the few minutes that it takes right now to forward this, would it be the first time you didn’t do the little thing that would make a difference in your relationships? I can tell you it certainly won’t be the last.

Take a few minutes to send this to a few people you care about, just to let them know you’re thinking of them.

Continue ReadingReading More and Dusting Less

The Window

by Alan Seager

More about the origins of this story and the number of times it has been re-written and reprinted appears on Snopes.com.

Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour a day to drain the fluids from his lungs. His bed was next to the room’s only window. The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back.

The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation. And every afternoon when the man in the bed next to the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window.

The man in the other bed would live for those one-hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the outside world. The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake, the man had said. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Lovers walked arm in arm amid flowers of every color of the rainbow. Grand old trees graced the landscape, and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance. As the man by the window described all this in exquisite detail, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene.

One warm afternoon, the man by the window described a parade passing by. Although the other man could not hear the band, he could see it in his mind’s eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words. Unexpectedly, an alien thought entered his head: "Why should he have all the pleasure of seeing everything while I never get to see anything?" It didn’t seem fair. As the thought fermented, the man felt ashamed at first. But as the days passed and he missed seeing more sights, his envy eroded into resentment and soon turned him sour. He began to brood and found himself unable to sleep. He should be by that window–and that thought now controlled his life.

Late one night, as he lay staring at the ceiling, the man by the window began to cough. He was choking on the fluid in his lungs. The other man watched in the dimly lit room as the struggling man by the window groped for the button to call for help. Listening from across the room, he never moved, never pushed his own button which would have brought the nurse running. In less than five minutes, the coughing and choking stopped, along with the sound of breathing. Now, there was only silence–deathly silence.

The following morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths. When she found the lifeless body of the man by the window, she was saddened and called the hospital attendant to take it away–no words, no fuss. As soon as it seemed appropriate, the man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone. Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look. Finally, he would have the joy of seeing it all himself. He strained to slowly turn to look out the window beside the bed…. It faced a blank wall.

Moral of the story:

The pursuit of happiness is a matter of choice…it is a positive attitude we consciously choose to express. It is not a gift that gets delivered to our doorstep each morning, nor does it come through the window. And I am certain that our circumstances are just a small part of what makes us joyful. If we wait for them to get just right, we will never find lasting joy.

The pursuit of happiness is an inward journey. Our minds are like programs, awaiting the code that will determine behaviors; like bank vaults awaiting our deposits. If we regularly deposit positive, encouraging and uplifting thoughts, if we continue to bite our lips just before we begin to grumble and complain, if we shoot down that seemingly harmless negative thought as it germinates, we will find that there is much to rejoice about.

If by the mere fact, you are healthy, and can read this message, consider yourself one of the lucky ones. Smile… be positive… make others smile… and pass on your good fortune. This world is for those who are confident and possess a positive energy. So remember, it is when you see your cup half full instead of half empty that the world and those in it come along and fill your cup to the brim for you! Remember this!

Continue ReadingThe Window

The Invitation

May 1994, Oriah Mountain Dreamer

From the Book The Invitation

The Invitation - Oriah Mountain Dreamer
The Invitation – Oriah Mountain Dreamer

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living.

I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are.

I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dreams, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon

I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, If you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain!

I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with JOY, mine or your own: if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic, or to remember the limitations of being a human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you’re telling me is true.

I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul, I want to know if YOU can be FAITHFUL and therefore be trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see beauty even when it is not pretty every day, and if you can source your life from ITS presence. I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still Stand on the edge of a lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, "YES!"

It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have.

I want to know if you can get up after a night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done for the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you are, how you came to be here.

I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied.

I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away. I want to know if can be alone with yourself, and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.

Continue ReadingThe Invitation

The Famous "Wear Sunscreen" Commencement Address

Ladies and gentlemen of the class of ’97:

Wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they’ve faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don’t worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.

Sing.

Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts. Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.

Floss.

Don’t waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long and, in the end, it’s only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.

Stretch.

Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don’t.

Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You’ll miss them when they’re gone.

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll divorce at 40 (get attorneys for hire from here) , maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else’s. To solve divorce cases, people can check out family law lawyers serving in Bedford

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.

Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents. You never know when they’ll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They’re your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. Travel.

Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you’ll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble, and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you’ll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.

Don’t mess too much with your hair or by the time you’re 40 it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.

Continue ReadingThe Famous "Wear Sunscreen" Commencement Address

It’s a Small World

This written piece isn’t quite accurate: see more about real statistics on Snopes.com.

If we could shrink the earth’s population to a village of precisely 100 people, with all the existing human ratios remaining the same, there would be:

  • 57 Asians
  • 21 Europeans
  • 14 from the Western Hemisphere, both north and south
  • 8 Africans
  • 52 would be female
  • 48 would be male
  • 70 would be non-white
  • 30 would be white
  • 70 would be non-Christian
  • 30 would be Christian
  • 89 would be heterosexual
  • 11 would be homosexual
  • 6 people would possess 59% of the entire world’s wealth and all 6 would be from the United States.
  • 80 would live in substandard housing
  • 70 would be unable to read
  • 50 would suffer from malnutrition
  • 1 would be near death; 1 would be near birth
  • 1 (yes, only 1) would have a college education
  • 1 would own a computer

When one considers our world from such a compressed perspective, the need for both acceptance, understanding and education becomes glaringly apparent.

Continue ReadingIt’s a Small World

The Tree

Tree

Author Unknown

The carpenter I hired to help me restore an old farmhouse had just finished a rough first day on the job. A flat tire made him lose an hour of work, his electric saw quit, and now his ancient pickup truck refused to start.

While I drove him home, he sat in stony silence. On arriving, he invited me in to meet his family. As we walked toward the front door, he paused briefly at a small tree, touching tips of the branches with both hands. When opening the door, he underwent an amazing transformation. His tanned face was wreathed in smiles and he hugged his two small children and gave his wife a kiss.

Afterward he walked me to the car. We passed the tree and my curiosity got the better of me. I asked him about what I had seen him do earlier. Oh, that’s my trouble tree," he replied. "I know I can’t help having troubles on the job, but one thing’s for sure, troubles don’t belong in the house with my wife and the children. So I just hang them up on the tree every night when I come home. Then in the morning I pick them up again."

"Funny thing is," he smiled, "when I come out in the morning to pick ’em up, there ain’t nearly as many as I remember hanging up the night before."

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