Pray, don't find fault with the man that limps
Or stumbles along the road.
Unless you have worn the shoes he wears
Or struggled beneath his load.
There may be tacks in his shoes that hurt
Though hidden away from view.
Or the burden he bears placed on your back
Might cause you to stumble too.
Dont sneer at the man who's down today
Unless you have felt the blow
That caused his fall or felt the shame
That only the fallen know.
You may be strong but still the blows
That was his if dealt to you
In the selfsame way, at the selfsame time
Might cause you to stagger too.
Don't be too harsh with the man that sins
Or pelt him with word or stone
Unless you are sure - yea, doubly sure -
That you have no sins of your own.
For you know, perhaps,
If the tempter's voice should whisper as soft to you
As it did to him when he went astray
It might cause you to falter too.
~ Author Unknown ~
Changing The World
When I was a young man, I wanted to change the world. I found it was difficult to change the world, so I tried to change my nation.
When I found I couldn't change the nation, I began to focus on my town. I couldn't change the town and as an older man, I tried to change my family. Now, as an old man, I realize the only thing I can change is myself, and suddenly I realize that if long ago I had changed myself, I could have made an impact on my family.
My family and I could have made an impact on our town. Their impact could have changed the nation and I could indeed have changed the world.
~ Unknown Monk (Written in 1100AD) ~
In 1982 Steven Callahan was crossing the Atlantic alone in his sailboat when it struck something and sank. He was out of the shipping lanes and floating in a life raft, alone. His supplies were few. His chances were small. Yet when three fishermen found him seventy-six days later (the longest anyone has survived a shipwreck on a life raft alone), he was alive -- much skinnier than he was when he started, but alive.
His account of how he survived is fascinating. His ingenuity -- how he managed to catch fish, how he fixed his solar still (evaporates sea water to make fresh) -- is very interesting.
But the thing that caught my eye was how he managed to keep himself going when all hope seemed lost, when there seemed no point in continuing the struggle, when he was suffering greatly, when his life raft was punctured and after more than a week struggling with his weak body to fix it, it was still leaking air and wearing him out to keep pumping it up. He was starved. He was desperately dehydrated. He was thoroughly exhausted. Giving up would have seemed the only sane option.
When people survive these kinds of circumstances, they do something with their minds that gives them the courage to keep going. Many people in similarly desperate circumstances give in or go mad. Something the survivors do with their thoughts helps them find the guts to carry on in spite of overwhelming odds.
"I tell myself I can handle it," wrote Callahan in his narrative. "Compared to what others have been through, I'm fortunate. I tell myself these things over and over, building up fortitude...."
I wrote that down after I read it. It struck me as something important. And I've told myself the same thing when my own goals seemed far off or when my problems seemed too overwhelming. And every time I've said it, I have always come back to my senses.
The truth is, our circumstances are only bad compared to something better. But others have been through much worse. I've read enough history to know you and I are lucky to be where we are, when we are, no matter how bad it seems to us compared to our fantasies. It's a sane thought and worth thinking.
So here, coming to us from the extreme edge of survival, are words that can give us strength. Whatever you're going through, tell yourself you can handle it. Compared to what others have been through, you're fortunate. Tell this to yourself over and over, and it will help you get through the rough spots with a little more fortitude.
Tell yourself you can handle it.
The Precious Present
This is the precious present, regardless of what yesterday was like, regardless of what tomorrow may bring. When your inner eyes open, you can find immense beauty hidden within the inconsequential details of daily life. When your inner ears open, you can hear the subtle, lovely music of the universe everywhere you go. When the heart of your heart opens, you can take deep pleasure in the company of the people around you --family, friends, acquaintances, or strangers--including those whose characters are less than perfect, just as your character is less than perfect. When you are open to the beauty, mystery, and grandeur of ordinary existence, you "get it" that it always has been beautiful, mysterious, and grand and always will be. This is the precious present.
~ Timothy Ray Miller ~
You have forgotten how it feels to laugh simply to laugh. How it feels to know for certain the depths and source of your feelings.
You've forgotten how it feels to reach out, knowing with certainty that you will touch what you reach for.
You've forgotten the tingle of your body when what you reach for, reaches back to you……and touches you.
You've forgotten what it's like to live in the innocence and purity of love. And since perhaps you've forgotten, I have to once again remind you. For I have not forgotten…….and I still believe.
You ask me what it is that I believe in, and my answer to you is simple. I believe in…….. the possibilities.
~ Richard Howard ~
Everything Happens For a Reason
Sometimes people come into your life and you know right away that they were meant to be there, they serve some sort of purpose, teach you a lesson or help figure out who you are or who you want to become.
You never know who these people may be; your roommate, your neighbor, professor, long lost friend, lover or even a complete stranger who, when you lock eyes with them, you know that very moment that they will affect your life in some profound way.
And sometimes things happen to you and at the time they seem horrible, painful and unfair, but in reflection you realize that without overcoming those obstacles you would never have realized your potential, strength, will power of heart.
Everything happens for a reason. Nothing happens by chance or by means of good or bad luck. Illness, injury, love, lost moments or true greatness and sheer stupidity all occur to test the limits of the soul.
Without these small tests, if they be events, illnesses or relationships, life would be like a smooth paved, straight, flat road to nowhere. Safe and comfortable but dull and utterly pointless.
The people you meet who affect your life and successes and downfalls you experience, they are the ones who create who you are. Even the bad experience can be learned from... Those lessons are the hardest and probably the most important ones.
If someone hurts you, betrays you, or breaks your heart... forgive them, for they have helped you learn about trust and the importance of being cautious to whom you open your heart.
If someone loves you, love them back unconditionally, not only because they love you, but because they are teaching you to love and opening your heart and eyes to things you would have never seen or felt without them.
Make every day count. Appreciate every moment and take from it everything that you possibly can, for you may never be able to experience it again. Talk to people you have never talked to before, and actually listen, let yourself fall in love, break free and set your sights high. You can make of your life anything you wish. Create your own life and then go out and live it.
I wish you all the best in your endeavors as well as struggles in life. Have a fighting spirit and never hesitate to get back in the struggle!
~ Author Unknown ~