“If we love God, we will undoubtedly love our neighbor also; they are as cause and effect” – Catherine McAuley
As an old man walked down a beach at dawn, he saw a young man running across the sand,bending down to pick up a stranded starfish and throw it far into the sea. The old man gazed in wonder as the young soul again and again threw the small starfish from the sand into the water.
The old man approached him and asked why he spent so much energy doing what seemed a waste of time. The young man explained that the stranded starfish would die if left exposed on the beach until the morning sun arose.
“But there are thousands of miles of beach, and miles and miles of starfish. How can your efforts make any difference?” The young man looked down at the small starfish in his hand, and as he threw it to safety in the sea, he said, “Made a difference to that one!”
Three sons left home, went out on their own and prospered. Getting back together, they discussed the gifts they were able to give their elderly mother.
The first said, “I built a big house for our mother.” The second said, “I sent her a Mercedes with a driver.” The third smiled and said, “I’ve got you both beat. You remember how mom enjoyed reading the Bible? And you know she can’t see very well. So I sent her a remarkable parrot that recites the entire Bible. It took elders in the church 12 years to teach him. He’s one of a kind. Mama just has to name the chapter and verse, and the parrot recites it.”
Soon thereafter, mom sent out her letters of thanks: “Milton,” she wrote one son, “The house you built is so huge. I live in only one room, but I have to clean the whole house.” “Gerald,” she wrote to another, “I am too old to travel. I stay most of the time at home, so I rarely use the Mercedes. And the driver is so rude!” “Dearest Donald,” she wrote to her third son, “You have the good sense to know what your mother likes. The chicken was delicious.”
A man was in his usual place in the morning, sitting at the table, reading the paper after breakfast. He came across an article about a beautiful actress who was about to marry a football player. The player was known primarily for his lack of IQ, common sense, and good looks. He turned to his wife: “You know, I’ll never understand why the biggest, ugliest jerks always get the most attractive wives.” His wife replied, “Why thank you, dear!”
“People rarely succeed unless they are having fun in what they are doing.” – Dale Carnegie
“A river cuts through rock, not because of its power, but because of its persistence.” – Jim Watkins
- There’s one sport in which neither the spectators nor the participants know the score or the leader until the contest ends. What is it?
- What famous North American landmark is constantly moving backward?
- Of all vegetables, only two can live to produce on their own for several growing seasons. All other vegetables must be replanted every year. What are the only two perennial vegetables?
- At noon and midnight the hour and minute hands are exactly coincident with each other. How many other times between noon and midnight do the hour and minute hands cross?
- What is the only sport in which the ball is always in the possession of the team on defense, and the offensive team can score without touching the ball?
- What fruit has its seeds on the outside?
- In many liquor stores, you can buy pear brandy, with a real pear inside the bottle. The pear is whole and ripe, and the bottle is genuine; it hasn’t been cut in any way. How did the pear get inside the bottle?
- Only three words in standard English begin with the letters “dw.” They are all common. Name two of them.
- There are fourteen punctuation marks in English grammar. Can you name half of them?
- Where are the lakes that are referred to in the “Los Angeles Lakers?”
- There are seven ways a baseball player can legally reach first base without getting a hit. Taking a base on balls — a walk — is one way. Name the other six.
- It’s the only vegetable or fruit that is never sold frozen, canned, processed, cooked, or in any other form but fresh. What is it?
- How is it possible for a pitcher to make four or more strikeouts in one inning?
- Name six or more things that you can wear on your feet, that begin with the letter “s.”
** ANSWERS TO QUIZ **
- Niagara Falls. The rim is worn down about 2 and a half feet each year because of the millions of gallons of water that rush over it every minute.
- Asparagus and rhubarb.
- Ten times (not eleven, as most people seem to think, if you do not believe it, try it with your watch, it is only 10 times).
- The pear grew inside the bottle. The bottles are placed over pear buds when they are small, and are wired in place on the tree. The bottle is left in place for the whole growing season. When the pears are ripe, they are snipped off at the stems.
- Dwarf, dwell, and dwindle.
- Period, comma, colon, semicolon, dash, hyphen, apostrophe, question mark, exclamation point, quotation marks, brackets, parenthesis, braces, and ellipses.
- In Minnesota. The team was originally known as the Minneapolis Lakers, and kept the name when they moved west.
- Batter hit by a pitch; passed ball; catcher interference; catcher drops third strike; fielder’s choice; and being designated as a pinch runner.
- If the catcher drops a called third strike, and doesn’t throw the batter out at first base, the runner is safe.
- Shoes, socks, sandals, sneakers, slippers, skis, snowshoes, stockings, and so on.
Two old friends met one day after many years. One attended college, and now was very successful. The other had not attended college and never had much ambition.
The unsuccessful one said, “How has everything been going with you?”
“Well, one day I opened the Bible at random, and dropped my finger on a word and it was oil. So, I invested in oil, and boy, did the oil wells gush.
Then another day I dropped my finger on another word and it was gold. So, I invested in gold and those mines really produced. Now, I’m as rich as Rockefeller.”
The unsuccessful friend was so impressed that he rushed to his hotel, grabbed a Gideon Bible, flipped it open, and dropped his finger on a page.
He opened his eyes and his finger rested on the words, “Chapter Eleven.”
“Your very silence shows you agree.” – Euripides
Jerry was the kind of guy you love to hate. He was always in a good mood and always had something positive to say. When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would reply, “If I were any better, I would be twins!”
He was a unique manager because he had several waiters who had followed him around from restaurant to restaurant. The reason the waiters followed Jerry was because of his attitude. He was a natural motivator. If an employee was having a bad day, Jerry was there telling the employee how to look on the positive side of the situation.
Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up to Jerry and asked him, “I don’t get it! You can’t be a positive person all of the time. How do you do it?” Jerry replied, “Each morning I wake up and say to myself, Jerry, you have two choices today. You can choose to be in a good mood or you can choose to be in a bad mood.’ I choose to be in a good mood.
Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or I can choose to learn from it. I choose to learn from it. Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or I can point out the positive side of life. I choose the positive side of life.”
“Yeah, right, it’s not that easy,” I protested.
“Yes it is,” Jerry said. “Life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice. You choose how you react to situations. You choose how people will affect your mood. You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood. The bottom line: It’s your choice how you live life.” I reflected on what Jerry said. Soon thereafter, I left the restaurant industry to start my own business. We lost touch, but often thought about him when I made a choice about life instead of reacting to it.
Several years later, I heard that Jerry did something you are never supposed to do in a restaurant business: he left the back door open one morning and was held up at gunpoint by three armed robbers. While trying to open the safe, his hand, shaking from nervousness, slipped off the combination. The robbers panicked and shot him. Luckily, Jerry was found relatively quickly and rushed to the local trauma center.
After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, Jerry was released from the hospital with fragments of the bullets still in his body. I saw Jerry about six months after the accident. When I asked him how he was, he replied, “If I were any better, I’d be twins. Wanna see my scars?”
I declined to see his wounds, but did ask him what had gone through his mind as the robbery took place. “The first thing that went through my mind was that I should have locked the back door,” Jerry replied. “Then, as I lay on the floor, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live, or I could choose to die. I chose to live.
“Weren’t you scared? Did you lose consciousness?” I asked. Jerry continued, “The paramedics were great. They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the emergency room and I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes, I read, ‘He’s a dead man.’ I knew I needed to take action.”
“What did you do?” I asked.
“Well, there was a big, burly nurse shouting questions at me,” said Jerry. “She asked if I was allergic to anything. ‘Yes,’ I replied. The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply. I took a deep breath and yelled, ‘Bullets!’ Over their laughter, I told them, ‘I am choosing to live. Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead.'”
Jerry lived thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude. I learned from him that every day we have the choice to live fully. Attitude, after all, is everything.