“Friends are the family we choose for ourselves.” – Edna Buchanan
“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” – Dale Carnegie
“It is too bad people can’t exchange problems with each other, for all of us claim we know how to solve the other fellow’s problem.”
Once there was a farmer and he and his family were living through a cold, snowy Midwestern winter. He was a kind, decent, good man – generous to his family and honest in his dealings with others, but he just didn’t believe all that “God becoming a man” business which the churches proclaim at Christmas time. It just didn’t make sense and he was too honest to pretend otherwise. He just couldn’t swallow the Jesus “born of a virgin” story.
“I’m truly sorry to distress you,” he told his wife, “I know it’s Christmas Eve, but I’m not going with you to church tonight.” He said he’d feel like a hypocrite and that he’d much rather just stay at home. So the farmer’s wife and family went to the Christmas Eve service at their church as the snow began to fall again.
The farmer had just sat down in his chair by the warm fireplace when he heard a loud ‘thump’ against a window. He looked out and saw a flock of birds obviously freezing in the subzero temperatures. Apparently, they had been caught in the weather and in a desperate search for shelter, had tried to fly through his window. They huddled together, shivering from the snowy cold.
He couldn’t just let the poor creatures lie there, suffer and freeze. He thought if he could get the birds into his barn, that would provide a warm shelter for them. He put on his coat and boots and headed outside.
The farmer opened the barn doors and waited for the birds to fly in. He waited and waited, but the birds either didn’t see the barn doors or they were too scared to or didn’t know they could enter the barn. They continued to shiver outside. The farmer wasn’t about to give up though.
Next, he grabbed some bird seed and made a trail to the barn. The birds ate some of the small seeds but they did not follow the seeds into the barn. Some of the seeds were soon covered by the snow and lost. Next, he came behind the birds and tried to shoo them into the barn, but they flew away in the opposite direction and then returned to gather into their shivering mass.
The farmer realized that they were afraid of him. To them, he reasoned, I am a threat. If only I could let them know that they can trust me – that I’m not trying to hurt them, but that I’m trying to help them. But how? Any move he made seemed to frighten and confuse them even more.
The farmer thought to himself, “If only I could communicate with them – be one of them. I could explain to them that the warm barn is a safe place and they wouldn’t be confused or scared anymore.” As the farmer was thinking about this, he heard the church bells ring for the Sunday evening service. Suddenly, the farmer understood the reason God sent Jesus.
“It is my heart-warm and world-embracing Christmas hope and aspiration that all of us, the high, the low, the rich, the poor, the admired, the despised, the loved, the hated, the civilized, the savage (every man and brother of us all throughout the whole earth), may eventually be gathered together in a heaven of everlasting rest and peace and bliss, except the inventor of the telephone.” – Mark Twain
“The only way things will be different in your life is for you to do things differently. Whatever got you to your current place is not enough to get you to the next level. Regardless of how much success or failure you’ve experienced thus far, to get to a better place, you must change your thinking, learn new skills, and develop new habits. It is impossible to just stay the same. You are either moving forward or sliding backward.” – Kevin Brown
“People often say that ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder,’ and I say that the most liberating thing about beauty is realizing that you are the beholder. This empowers us to find beauty in places where others have not dared to look, including inside ourselves.” – Salma Hayek
“Some people talk in their sleep. Lecturers talk while other people sleep.” – Albert Camus
When you are exhausted by interruptions, try to remember that their very frequency may indicate how valuable your life is.
Only the people who are full of help and strength are burdened by other people’s needs.
The interruptions which we so often complain about demonstrate how important we truly are.
The greatest condemnation that anybody could incur – and it is a danger to guard against – is to be so independent, so unhelpful, that nobody ever interrupts us and we are left comfortably alone.
“Cracked pots allow the treasure to shine forth.” – Jim Watkins