Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Alexander Fleming

His name was Fleming, and he was a poor Scottish farmer. One day, while trying to eke out a living for his family, he heard a cry for help coming from a nearby bog. He dropped his tools and ran to the bog. There, mired to his waist in black muck, was a terrified boy, screaming and struggling to free himself. Farmer Fleming saved the lad from what could have been a slow
and terrifying death.
The next day, a fancy carriage pulled up to the Scotsman's sparse surroundings. An elegantly dressed nobleman stepped out and introduced himself as the father of the boy Farmer Fleming had saved.
"I want to repay you," said the nobleman. "You saved my son's life."
"No, I can't accept payment for what I did," the Scottish farmer replied, waving off the offer. At that moment, the farmer's own son came to the door of the family hovel.
"Is that your son?" the nobleman asked. "Yes," the farmer replied proudly.
"I'll make you a deal. Let me take him and give him a good education.
If the lad is anything like his father, he'll grow to a man you can be proud of."
And that he did. In time, Farmer Fleming's son graduated from St. Mary's Hospital Medical School in London, and went on to become known throughout the world as the noted Sir Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of Penicillin.
Years afterward, the nobleman's son was stricken with pneumonia.
What saved him? Penicillin.
The name of the nobleman? Lord Randolph Churchill.
His son's name? Sir Winston Churchill.

Love and Time

Once upon a time, there was an island where all the feelings lived: Happiness, Sadness, Knowledge, and all of the others, including Love. One day it was announced to the feelings that the island would sink, so all constructed boats and left. Except for Love.

Love was the only one who stayed. Love wanted to hold out until the last possible moment.

When the island had almost sunk, Love decided to ask for help.

Richness was passing by Love in a grand boat. Love said,
"Richness, can you take me with you?"
Richness answered, "No, I can't. There is a lot of gold and silver in my boat. There is no place here for you."

Love decided to ask Vanity who was also passing by in a beautiful vessel. "Vanity, please help me!"
"I can't help you, Love. You are all wet and might damage my boat," Vanity answered.

Sadness was close by so Love asked, "Sadness, let me go with you."
"Oh . . . Love, I am so sad that I need to be by myself!"

Happiness passed by Love, too, but she was so happy that she did not even hear when Love called her.

Suddenly, there was a voice, "Come, Love, I will take you." It was an elder. So blessed and overjoyed, Love even forgot to ask the elder where they were going. When they arrived at dry land, the elder went her own way. Realizing how much was owed the elder,

Love asked Knowledge, another elder, "Who Helped me?"
"It was Time," Knowledge answered.
"Time?" asked Love. "But why did Time help me?"
Knowledge smiled with deep wisdom and answered, "Because only Time is capable of understanding how valuable Love is."

Monday, February 4, 2008

Two frogs

A group of frogs were traveling through the woods, and two of them
fell into a deep pit. When the other frogs saw how deep the pit
was, they told the two frogs that they were as good as dead. The
two frogs ignored the comments and tried to jump up out of the pit
with all their might. The other frogs kept telling them to stop,
that they were as good as dead. Finally, one of the frogs took
heed to what the other frogs were saying and gave up. He fell down
and died.

The other frog continued to jump as hard as he could. Once again,
the crowd of frogs yelled at him to stop the pain and just die. He
jumped even harder and finally made it out. When he got out, the
other frogs said, "Did you not hear us?" The frog explained to
them that he was deaf. He thought they were encouraging him the
entire time.

This story teaches two lessons:

1. There is power of life and death in the tongue. An encouraging
word to someone who is down can lift them up and help them make it
through the day.

2. A destructive word to someone who is down can be what it takes
to kill them.

Be careful of what you say. Speak life to those who cross your
path. The power of words... it is sometimes hard to understand
that an encouraging word can go such a long way. Anyone can speak
words that tend to rob another of the spirit to continue in
difficult times. Special is the individual who will take the time
to encourage another.

Wait for the brick

A young and successful executive was traveling down a neighborhood street, going a bit too fast in his new Jaguar. He was watching for kids darting out from between parked cars and slowed down when he thought he saw something. As his car passed, no children appeared. Instead, a brick smashed into the Jag's side door! He slammed on the brakes and drove the Jag back to the spot where the brick had been thrown. The angry driver then jumped out of the car, grabbed the nearest kid and pushed him up against a parked car, shouting, "What was that all about and who are you?
Just what the heck are you doing?
That's a new car and that brick you threw is going to cost a lot of money.
Why did you do it?"
The young boy was apologetic. "Please mister ... please, I'm sorry... I didn't know what else to do," he pleaded.
"I threw the brick because no one else would stop..."
With tears dripping down his face and off his chin, the youth pointed to a spot just around a parked car.
"It's my brother," he said.
"He rolled off the curb and fell out of his wheelchair and I can't lift him up."

Now sobbing, the boy asked the stunned executive, "Would you please help me get him back into his wheelchair? He's hurt and he's too heavy for me."
Moved beyond words, the driver tried to swallow the rapidly swelling lump in his throat. He hurriedly lifted the handicapped boy back into the wheelchair, then took out his fancy handkerchief and dabbed at the fresh scrapes and cuts. A quick look told him everything was going to be okay.

"Thank you and may God bless you," the grateful child told the stranger.
Too shook up for words, the man simply watched the little boy push his wheelchair-bound brother down the sidewalk toward their home. It was a long, slow walk back to the Jaguar. The damage was very noticeable, but the driver never bothered to repair the dented side door. He kept the dent there to remind him of this message: Don't go through life so fast that someone has to throw a brick at you to get your attention!

God whispers in our souls and speaks to our hearts. Sometimes when we don't have time to listen, He has to throw a brick at us.

It's our choice: Listen to the whisper ... or wait for the brick!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Potatoes to carry!

Once a sage gave an empty sack and a basket of potatoes to one of his disciples and said
"Think of all the people who have done or said something against you in the recent past, especially those you cannot forgive.

For each of them, plz inscribe their names on a potato and put it in the sack."

The disciple came up with quite a few names, and soon his sack was heavy
with potatoes.

"Carry the sack with you wherever you go for a week," said the sage. "We'll talk after that."

Carrying heavy sack was not so difficult in the begining. But after a while, it felt like a burden. By and by it required more of effort to carry even though weight remained the same.

After a few days period, the sack started smelling. The carved potatoes gave off a ripe odor. Disciple felt inconvenient and unpleasant.

The sage summoned the disciple and enquired the experience of later.

"Yes, Master," the disciple replied. "When we are unable to forgive others, we carry negative feelings with us everywhere, much like these potatoes. That negativity becomes a burden to us and, after a while, it festers."

That is exactly what happens when one holds a grudge. So, how can we lighten the load?"

"We must strive to forgive

"Forgiving is like removing corresponding load of potato from the sack. How many of your transgressors are you able to forgive?"

I've thought about it a bit, Master," the disciple said. "It required much effort, but have decided to forgive all of them."

"Very well, we can remove all the potatoes. Were there any more people who transgressed against you this last week?"

The disciple thought for a while and admitted there were. Then he felt panic when he realized his empty sack was about to get filled up again.

"Master," he asked, "
if we continue like this, wouldn't there always be potatoes in the sack week after week?"

"Yes, as long as people speak or act against you in some way, you will always have potatoes."

"But Master, we can never control what others do. So what good is the Tao in this case?"

"We're not at the realm of the Tao as yet.
Everything we have talked about so far is the conventional approach to forgiveness.
It is the same thing that many philosophies and most religions preach - we
must constantly strive to forgive, for it is an important virtue. This is not the Tao because there is no striving in the Tao."
"Then what is the Tao, Master?"

"You can figure it out. If the potatoes are negative feelings, then what is the sack?"

The sack is... that which allows me to hold on to the negativity. It is something within us that makes us dwell on feeling offended.... Ah, it is my inflated sense of self-importance."

"And what will happen if you let go of it?" "Then... the things that people do or say against me no longer seem like such a major issue."

"In that case, you won't have any names to inscribe on potatoes. That means no more weight to carry around, and no more bad smells.
The Tao of forgiveness is the conscious decision to not just to remove some potatoes... but to relinquish the entire sack.