Showing posts with label Inspirational. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Inspirational. Show all posts

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Ugly the Tomcat


Everyone in the apartment complex I lived in knew who Ugly was. Ugly was the resident tomcat. Ugly loved three things in this world: fighting, eating garbage, and, shall we say, love.

The combination of these things combined with a life spent outside had their effect on Ugly. To start with, he had only one eye, and where the other should have been, there was a hole. He was also missing his ear on the same side. His left foot appeared to have been badly broken at one time and had healed at an unnatural angle, making him look like he was always turning the corner.

Ugly would have been a dark gray tabby, striped type, except for the sores covering his head, neck, and even his shoulders. Every time someone saw Ugly there was the same reaction. "That's one UGLY cat!!!"

All the children were warned not to touch him, the adults threw rocks at him, hosed him down, squirted him when he tried to come in their homes, or shut his paws in the door when he would not leave. Ugly always had the same reaction.

If you turned the hose on him, he would stand there, getting soaked until you gave up and quit. If you threw things at him, he would curl his lanky body around your feet in forgiveness.

Whenever he spied children, he would come running, meowing frantically and bump his head against their hands, begging for their love. If you ever picked him up he would immediately begin suckling on your shirt, earrings, whatever he could find.

One day Ugly shared his love with the neighbor's dogs. They did not respond kindly, and Ugly was badly mauled. I tried to rush to his aid. By the time I got to where he was laying, it was apparent Ugly's sad life was almost at an end.

As I picked him up and tried to carry him home, I could hear him wheezing and gasping, and could feel him struggling. It must be hurting him terribly, I thought. Then I felt a familiar tugging, sucking sensation on my ear. Ugly, in so much pain, suffering and obviously dying, was trying to suckle my ear. I pulled him closer to me, and he bumped the palm of my hand with his head, then he turned his one golden eye towards me, and I could hear the distinct sound of purring.

Even in the greatest pain, that ugly battled scarred cat was asking only for a little affection, perhaps some compassion. At that moment I thought Ugly was the most beautiful, loving creature I had ever seen. Never once did he try to bite or scratch me, try to get away from me, or struggle in any way. Ugly just looked up at me completely trusting in me to relieve his pain.

Ugly died in my arms before I could get inside, but I sat and held him for a long time afterwards, thinking about how one scarred, deformed little stray could so alter my opinion about what it means to have true pureness of spirit, to love so totally and truly.

Ugly taught me more about giving and compassion than a thousand books, lectures, or talk show specials ever could, and for that I will always be thankful. He had been scarred on the outside, but I was scarred on the inside, and it was time for me to move on and learn to love truly and deeply - to give my total to those I care for.



Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Promise yourself every morning



Promise yourself every morning...

To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind;
To talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person you meet;
To make all your friends feel that there is something in them;
To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true;
To think only the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best;
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own;
To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future;

To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile;
To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others;
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear; and too happy to permit the presence of trouble;
To think well of yourself and to proclaim this fact to the world, not in loud words, but in great deeds;

To live in the faith that the whole world is on your side so long as you are true to the best that is in you.




Credits: C.D.Larson

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

An ounce of compassion


Today let's look at a word called 'compassion'.

Teaching is a profession I love, and I admire those who do a fantastic task. Certain individuals excel in that area, and I marvel those who do it with passion. Some teach at universities, while others at regular schools and even Sunday schools. Something I have come to realize lately is that Sunday school, is that one institution which can propel a child towards the presence of our Lord, though most adults take it lightly. In my opinion, when our little children look up to those Sunday school teachers, they should appear as 'God's Ambassadors'. Those teaching about God should have that spark in their soul, and 'twinkle in their eye'. In a nutshell, little children should be able to see the image of God in their teachers.

 Here is a story I came across about one teacher who made a difference in the life of someone.

Her name was Mrs. Thompson. As she stood in front of her 5th grade class on the very first day of school, she told the children a lie. Like most teachers, she looked at her students and said that she loved them all the same. But that was impossible, because there in the front row, slumped in his seat, was a little boy named Teddy Stoddard.

Mrs. Thompson had watched Teddy the year before and noticed that he didn't play well with the other children, that his clothes were messy and that he constantly needed a bath. And Teddy could be unpleasant. It got to the point where Mrs. Thompson would actually take delight in marking his papers with a broad red pen, making bold X's and then putting a big "F" at the top. At the school where Mrs. Thompson taught, she was required to review each child's past records and she put Teddy's off until last.

However, when she reviewed his file, she was in for a surprise. Teddy's first grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is a bright child with a ready laugh. He does his work neatly and has good manners...he is a joy to be around. "His second grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is an excellent student, well-liked by his classmates, but he is troubled because his mother has a terminal illness and life at home must be a struggle. "His third grade teacher wrote, "His mother's death had been hard on him. He tries to do his best, but his father doesn't show much interest and his home life will soon affect him if some steps aren't taken.

"Teddy's fourth grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is withdrawn and doesn't show much interest in school. He doesn't have many friends and he sometimes sleeps in class".

By now, Mrs. Thompson realized the problem and she was ashamed of herself. She felt even worse when her students brought her Christmas presents, wrapped in beautiful ribbons and bright paper, except for Teddy's. His present was clumsily wrapped in the heavy, brown paper that he got from a grocery bag. Mrs. Thompson took pains to open it in the middle of the other presents. Some of the children started to laugh when she found a rhinestone bracelet with some of the stones missing, and a bottle that was one-quarter full of perfume. But she stifled the children's laughter when she exclaimed how pretty the bracelet was, putting it on, and dabbing some of the perfume on her wrist.

Teddy Stoddard stayed after school that day just long enough to say, "Mrs. Thompson, today you smelled just like my Mom used to." After the children left, she cried for at least an hour. On that very day, she quit teaching reading, and writing, and arithmetic. Instead, she began to teach children. Mrs. Thompson paid particular attention to Teddy. As she worked with him, his mind seemed to come alive. The more she encouraged him, the faster he responded.

By the end of the year, Teddy had become one of the smartest children in the class and, despite her lie that she would love all the children the same, Teddy became one of her "teacher's pets." A year later, she found a note under her door, from Teddy, telling her that she was still the best teacher he ever had in his whole life.

Six years went by before she got another note from Teddy. He then wrote that he had finished high school, third in his class, and she was still the best teacher he ever had in his whole life.

Four years after that, she got another letter, saying that while things had been tough at times, he'd stayed in school, had stuck with it, and would soon graduate from college with the highest of honors. He assured Mrs. Thompson that she was still the best and most favorite teacher he ever had in his whole life.

Then four more years passed and yet another letter came. This time he explained that after he got his bachelor's degree, he decided to go a little further. The letter explained that she was still the best and most favorite teacher he ever had. But now his name was a little longer -- the letter was signed, Theodore F. Stoddard, MD.

The story doesn't end there. You see, there was yet another letter that spring. Teddy said he'd met this girl and was going to be married. He explained that his father had died a couple of years ago and he was wondering if Mrs. Thompson might agree to sit in the place at the wedding that was usually reserved for the mother of the groom.

Of course, Mrs. Thompson did. And guess what? She wore that bracelet, the one with several rhinestones missing. And she made sure she was wearing the perfume that Teddy remembered his mother wearing on their last Christmas together. They hugged each other, and Dr. Stoddard whispered in Mrs.Thompson's ear, "Thank you Mrs. Thompson for believing in me. Thank you so much for making me feel important and showing me that I could make a difference." Mrs. Thompson, with tears in her eyes, whispered back.

She said, "Teddy, you have it all wrong. You were the one who taught me that I could make a difference. I didn't know how to teach until I met you."

Jesus is a wonderful example of compassion. Let's look at one such occasion when Jesus Christ expressed his compassion towards fellow humans. Remember the shortest verse in the Bible, "Jesus wept." This is in the context of Lazarus being buried and his family grieving over his death. Jesus became so sad after seeing them. He expressed his emotion due to compassion and he too cried.
John 11: 34-38 "Where have you laid him?" he asked. "Come and see, Lord," they replied. Jesus wept. Then the Jews said, "See how he loved him!" But some of them said, "Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?" Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance.
Learning from the Great Teacher, those who claim to practice Christianity should show some compassion towards others - an ounce a day, at least.


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This story reminded me that I should call up some of my teachers and professors and talk to them. I recently called up my Sunday school teachers and shared my appreciation for them.

Looking back, I feel I should have taught Sunday school with more fervor and made lot more difference in the lives of youngsters. Being fully aware of my abilities, I would not even call myself a 'teacher'.


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Christian’s Declaration of Independence


When in the course of human events it becomes necessary to separate ourselves from humanity and the sinfulness that pervades it so, a God given conscience and the Holy Spirit call us to action.

We hold these truths to be self evident, that God in six days created the heavens and the earth and all that are in them, that all of nature bears witness to Him so that all are held accountable, that the fall of man sent the world into sin, that God sent His son to redeem his children, through Jesus Christ we may reestablish the relationship with God that was originally intended for man in the garden of Eden.

To secure these rights we need simply call upon the name of Jesus and ask forgiveness for our iniquities and transgressions. When we find the world bearing down upon us we are called to battle and to equip ourselves with the full armor of God. We are to place upon ourselves the belt of truth around our waist, the breastplate of righteousness, our feet fitted with the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and carry the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God. It is right for us, as citizens not of this world, but of a heavenly kingdom, to do so.

Whenever the prince of this dark world becomes destructive, as he has already proven himself to be so, it is our duty to separate ourselves from him and declare ourselves an independent nation, a kingdom of priests, citizens of a heavenly kingdom.

Satan, the current ruler of this world, has shown many grievances against us and we do so list them that all may know why we leave this world behind. He has murdered our brethren in the nations of this world yearning for the light of the gospel and killed our missionaries. He has killed the unborn children, still in the womb, having not a chance at life. He has invaded governments across the world and kept godly men and women from public office. He has shut the door to prayer in schools and caused evolution to be taught in place of the truth. He has invaded our churches, leading many astray with ideas of a one world religion and more than one way to heaven. He has lied to us in all areas of life, always trying to get us to reject the truth. He has lead our children away in rebelliousness, seducing them with drugs and sex. He has destroyed our families, breaking up marriages pledged before God as a commitment that would allow no man to separate. He has filled our mind with philosophies that deny the existence of God. And he has mocked God and attempted to place himself in a higher position than God himself.

For these reasons, we declare ourselves independent from this world. We will fight Satan, knowing that he will not allow us to leave without a fight. We will call upon God for strength. We WILL be victorious for we know already who will win this battle. Satan’s time is short and his sole desire is to drag as many of us to hell as he can. We will not allow this. For we are blood bought and sanctified by the blood of Jesus Christ.

For these reasons, we claim our independence and look forward to the coming kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he has gone ahead of us to prepare. This is a call to arms for all Christians. We have been lukewarm and weak for too long. Satan has made a mockery of our churches and has stormed our doors, dragging away many with his lies.

It is time to take back what it ours - The Kingdom of God.


Monday, January 20, 2014

MLK Jr. Day


Leo Tolstoy followed the beatitude, "Blessed are the peacemakers.... for they will be called children of God - Matthew 5:9. However, his temper kept getting in the way of peacemaking. Tolstoy wrote the book, 'The Kingdom of God is Within You,' which laid out a new organization for society based on a literal Christian interpretation. Tolstoy took the title of the book from Luke 17:21.

Few years later, Gandhi read this book and it opened up the mind of Leo Tolstoy to him, who at that time was still a young protester living in South Africa.

Gandhi wrote in his autobiography The Story of My Experiments with Truth (Part II, Chapter 15) that this book "overwhelmed" him and "left an abiding impression."

In 1908 Tolstoy wrote to Gandhi, 'A Letter to a Hindu', which outlined the notion that only by using love as a weapon through passive resistance could the native Indian people overthrow the colonial British Empire. This idea sparked the organization of non-violent strikes nationwide, led by Gandhi. In 1909, Gandhi wrote to Tolstoy seeking advice and permission to republish 'A Letter to a Hindu' in his native language, Gujarati.

Several years later, an American minister, Martin Luther King Jr., studied Gandhi's tactics and decided to put them into practice in the United States of America. At first, this idea was not welcome even within his own circles, where they wanted to drift towards the "black power" rhetoric. While riots broke out in LA, Chicago, Harlem, etc., MLK traveled from city to city cooling off the tempers by reminding demonstrators about the principle of non-violence from the 'Sermon on the Mount' and lessons from Gandhi.

MLK stood true to peacemaking and did not strike back. He echoed, "Christianity, has always insisted that the cross we bear precedes the crown we wear. To be a Christian, one must take up his cross, with all it's difficulties and agonizing and tension-packed content, and carry it until that very cross leaves its mark upon us and redeems us to that more excellent way which comes only through suffering."

Happy MLK Jr. Day!

Additional Info:
Bio of MLK
Martin Luther King, Jr. was an American pastor, activist, humanitarian, and leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement.
Born: January 15, 1929, Atlanta, GA
Assassinated: April 4, 1968, Memphis, TN
Spouse: Coretta Scott King (m. 1953–1968)
Awards: Nobel Peace Prize, Time's Person of the Year, etc..
Children: Dexter Scott King, Yolanda King, Bernice King, Martin Luther King III
Education: Boston University (1954–1955)


Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Preparing for 2014



“Beloved, I do not consider that I have finally made it my own. But in one area I have forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the finish line for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature be of this same mind.”
- Apostle Paul, in his letter to the Church at Philippians. 3:13-15

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Dale's Inspiration



If we are going to make big requests of God, we must come to Him with clean hearts and hands—that is, solely on the merits of His Son Jesus.

- Dale Whitaker

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Inspiration by Dale


God-given struggles don't come to stay, they come to pass. Just be patient. Wait while God works for you.
- Dale R. Whitaker

Sunday, June 23, 2013

The greatest subject


But they kept silent: for by the way they had disputed with one another, which one of them was the greatest. And He sat down, and called the twelve, and said to them, "If any man desires to be first, he shall be the last of all and servant of all."
- Mark 9:34-35 

Once there was a king who decided to set aside a special day to honor his greatest subject. When the big day arrived, a large gathering took place in the palace courtyard and our finalists were brought forward.

The first person was a wealthy philanthropist. This man was deserving of the king's honor because of his great humanitarian efforts. He had given much of his wealth to the poor, building orphanages, schools and hospitals throughout the land. The second was a celebrated physician. This outstanding doctor was deserving of honor for rendering his faithful and dedicated service to the sick for many years and discovering medicines that saved many lives. The third was a distinguished judge. He was noted for his wisdom, his fairness and his many a brilliant decision.

The last person presented before the king was an elderly woman. Her manner was quite humble, as was her dress. She hardly looked the part of someone who would be honored as the greatest subject in the kingdom. What chance could she possibly have, when compared to the other three, who had accomplished so very much?

The king was intrigued, and was somewhat puzzled by her presence. He asked who she was. Then the answer came,  "Well, my king, do you see the philanthropist, the doctor, and the judge over here? She was their teacher!"

This woman had no wealth, no fortune, and no special titles, but her giving changed countless lives that were helped, healed and changed forever.

We never know whose lives we're touching. As for me, there was someone who prayed for me, someone who gave me their valuable time, someone who educated about God and wisdom - so that I could grow. We as Christians can serve the Lord by sowing unselfishly into the lives of people He's put in our path - so that they may become great in God's Kingdom!


Friday, May 31, 2013

Carl's Garden


Carl was a quiet man.  He didn't talk much.  He would always greet you with a big smile and a firm handshake.  Even after living in our neighborhood for over 50 years, no one could really say they knew him very well.

Before his retirement, he took the bus to work each morning.  The lone sight of him walking down the street often worried us.  He had a slight limp from a bullet wound received in WWII.  Watching him, we worried that although he had survived WWII, he may not make it through our changing uptown neighborhood with its ever-increasing random violence, gangs and drug activity.

When he saw the flyer at our local church asking for volunteers for caring for the gardens behind the minister's residence, he responded in his characteristically unassuming manner.  Without fanfare, he just signed up.

He was well into his 87th year when the very thing we had always feared finally happened.  He was just finishing his watering for the day when three gang members approached him.  Ignoring their attempt to intimidate him, he simply asked, "Would you like a drink from the hose?"  The tallest and toughest-looking of the three said, "Yeah, sure," with a malevolent little smile.  As Carl offered the hose to him, the other two grabbed Carl's arm, throwing him down.  As the hose snaked crazily over the ground, dousing everything in its way, Carl's assailants stole his retirement watch and his wallet, and then fled.

Carl tried to get himself up, but he had been thrown down on his bad leg.  He lay there trying to gather himself as the minister came running out to help him.  Although the minister had witnessed the attack from his window, he couldn't get there fast enough to stop it.  "Carl, are you okay?  Are you hurt?" the minister kept asking as he helped Carl to his feet.  Carl just passed a hand over his brow and signed, shaking his head.  "Just some punk kids.  I hope they'll wise-up someday."  His wet clothes clung to his slight frame as he bent to pick up the hose.  He adjusted the nozzle again and started to water.

Confused and a little concerned, the minister asked, "Carl, what are you doing?"  "I've got to finish my watering.  It's been very dry lately," came the calm reply.  Satisfying himself that Carl really was alright, the minister could only marvel.  Carl was a man from a different time and place.

A few weeks later the three returned.  Just as before, their threat was unchallenged.  Carl again offered them a drink from his hose.  This time they didn't rob him.  They wrenched the hose from his hand and drenched him head to foot in the icy water.  When they had finished their humiliation of him, they sauntered off down the street, throwing catcalls and curses, falling over one another laughing at the hilarity of what they had just done.  Carl just watched them.  Then he turned toward the warmth giving sun, picked up his hose, and went on with his watering.

The summer was quickly fading into fall.  Carl was doing some tilling when he was startled by the sudden approach of someone behind him.  He stumbled and fell into some evergreen branches.  As he struggled to regain his footing, he turned to see the tall leader of his summer tormentors reaching down for him.  He braced himself for the expected attack.  "Don't worry old man.  I'm not going to hurt you this time."  The young man spoke softly, still offering the tattooed and scarred hand to Carl.

As he helped Carl get up, the man pulled a crumpled bag from his pocket and handed it to Carl.  "What's this?" Carl asked.  "It's your stuff," the man explained.  "It's your stuff back.  Even the money in your wallet."  "I don't understand," Carl said.  "Why would you help me now?"

The man shifted his feet, seeming embarrassed and ill at ease.  "I learned something from you," he said.  "I ran with that gang and hurt people like you.  We picked you because you were old and we knew we could do it.  But every time we came and did something to you, instead of yelling and fighting back, you tried to give us a drink.  You didn't hate us for hating you.  You kept showing love against our hate."  He stopped for a moment.  "I couldn't sleep after we stole your stuff, so here it is back."  He paused for another awkward moment, not knowing what more there was to say.  "That bag's my way of saying thanks for straightening me out, I guess."  And with that, he walked off down the street.

Carl looked down at the sack in his hands and gingerly opened it.  He took out his retirement watch and put it back on his wrist.  Opening his wallet, he checked for his wedding photo.  He gazed for a moment at the young bride that still smiled back at him from all those years ago.

He died one cold day after Christmas that winter.  Many people attended his funeral in spite of the weather.  In particular, the minister noticed a tall young man that he didn't know sitting quietly in a distant corner of the church.  The minister spoke of Carl's garden as a lesson in life.  In a voice made thick with unshed tears, he said, "Do you best and make your garden as beautiful as you can.   We will never forget Carl and his garden."

The following spring another flyer went up.  It read:  "Person needed to care for Carl's garden."  The flyer went unnoticed by the busy parishioners until one day when a knock was heard at the minister's office door.  Opening the door, the minister saw a pair of scarred and tattooed hands holding the flyer.  "I believe this is my job, if you'll have me," the young man said.  The minister recognized him as the same young man who had returned the stolen watch and wallet to Carl.  He knew that Carl's kindness had turned this man's life around.  As the minister handed him the keys to the garden shed, he said, "Yes, go take care of Carl's garden and honor him."

The man went to work and, over the next several years, he tended the flowers and vegetables just as Carl had done.  In that time, he went to college, got married, and became a prominent member of the community.  But he never forgot his promise to Carl's memory and kept the garden as beautiful as he thought Carl would have kept it.

One day he approached the new minister and told him that he couldn't care for the garden any longer.  He explained with a shy and happy smile, "My wife just had a baby boy last night, and she's bringing him home on Saturday."  "Well, congratulations!" said the minister, as he was handed the garden shed keys.  "That's wonderful!  What's the baby's name?"  "Carl," he replied.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The sermon to the brids




St. Francis was very kind and loving - kind and loving not only to men but to all living things. He spoke of the birds as his little brothers of the air, and he could never bear to see them harmed.

At Christmastime he scattered crumbs of bread under the trees, so that the tiny creatures  could feast and be happy.

Once when a boy gave him a pair of doves which he snared, St. Francis had a nest made for them, and the mother bird laid her eggs in it.

By and by, the eggs hatched, and a nestful of young doves grew up. They were so tame that they sat on the shoulders of St. Francis and ate from his hand.

And many other stories are told of this man's great love and pity for the timid creatures which lived in the fields and woods.

One day  as he was walking among the trees the birds saw him and flew down to greet him. They sang their sweetest  songs to show how how much  they loved him. Then, when they saw that he was about to speak, they nestled softly in the grass and listened.

"O little birds, " he said,  "I love you, for you are my brothers and sisters of the air. Let me tell you something, my little brothers, my little sisters: You ought always to love God and praise Him.

"For think what He has  given you. He has given  you wings with which to fly through  the air. He has given you clothing both warm and beautiful. He has given you the air in which to move and have homes.

"And think of this, O little brothers: you sow not, neither do you reap, for God feeds you. He gives you the rivers and the brooks from which to drink. He gives you the mountains and the valleys where you may rest. He  gives you the trees in which to build your nests.

"You toil not, neither do you spin, yet God takes care of you and your little ones. It must be, then, that He loves you. So, do not be ungrateful, but sing His praises and thank Him for his goodness toward you."

Then the saint stopped speaking and looked around  him. All the birds sprang up joyfully. They spread their wings and opened their mouths to show that they understood his words.

And when he had blessed them, all began to sing; and the whole forest was filled with sweetness and joy because of their wonderful melodies.

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Saturday, January 19, 2013

And if not



During World War II, as Hitler’s armies raced across France, thousands of Allied troops dug in along the coast of northern France in a last-ditch effort to hold off the German forces. Trapped on the beaches of Dunkirk, they knew they would soon face an annihilating attack by the Nazis. As the battle drew closer and rescue seemed impossible, the British troops sent a radio message across the English Channel in just three words: “And if not.” Some thought it was a coded transmission.

Actually it’s great significance comes from the Bible. In chapter 3 of Daniel, the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar had three Israeli captives (Hanaiah, Azariah, Mishael) condemned to die in a furnace. Their fate was sealed. They proclaimed faith in their God to deliver them from this certain death. But they added “And if not” we are willing to die.

This message of a fervent faith that they would be rescued from Dunkirk’s beaches, but of a resignation to die if need be in the fight to keep England free – was then told across Great Britain. Small boats and ships from around that island nation began a heroic effort to cross the English channel and rescue these men of valor and faith. They succeeded.

Today, do any of us have similar sort of dedication and faith that, when faced with great trials or even death, would say . . “And if not”.


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Short story on Aristotle


Aristotle was born in 384 BC, in Stagira, Macedonia, in Greece. His father was the personal physician to the King of Macedonia. But his parents died when Aristotle was a child and he was raised by a family friend.

At 17, Aristotle had the great honor of attending a prestigious Athens academy to study under Plato, another of history’s preeminent thinkers, which he did for the next 20 years. Aristotle also became a teacher there. 

To Aristotle’s considerable disappointment, when Plato died in 347 BC, it was Plato’s nephew, rather than he who became head of the academy. Aristotle resigned and accepted teaching assignments elsewhere.

In 343 BC, King Phillip of Macedonia, seeking an outstanding tutor for his son, hired Aristotle. In the two years Aristotle taught the King’s son, they developed a friendship as well as a scholarly relationship. 

When the son became King, he launched a series of military campaigns conquering most of the known world, an empire stretching thousand of miles. The son became famous as Alexander the Great. 

In 335 BC, Aristotle returned to Athens where he established his own Academy, the Lyceum. For the next 12 years, he focused on teaching and on publishing his works and it was the most productive time in his life. Students came from far and wide to hear his lectures.

But in 323 BC, Aristotle’s life took a terrible turn. On a military campaign, Alexander became ill and died suddenly at 32. To free themselves from Macedonian rule, the Athenians waged a fierce war. Because Aristotle was born in Macedonia and was Alexander’s tutor and friend, he was seen as pro-Macedonian and therefore, anti-Athenian.

In this highly emotional atmosphere, the Athenians charged Aristotle with “impiety” (disbelief in the established gods), the same charge that led to Socrates being convicted and executed in 399 BC. Before Aristotle could be prosecuted, he voluntarily and quickly went into exile to the distant island city of Chalcis, taking his wife and their son with him. 

A year later, Aristotle died of a long standing stomach ailment.

But his wisdom lives with us today. What valuable tip from the exceptional mind of Aristotle have we chosen? “Dignity does not consist in possessing honors, but in deserving them.” Please read these words again and give them careful thought; for they could change your life. 

If you want to become a great leader, give others the credit for major accomplishments. Few people can set their own egos aside to do it, but if you do, you’ll help others to feel good about themselves and they’ll help you in return. 

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Source: 
This short story about Aristotle was written by Dick Kazan, founder, chairman and CEO of Capital Associates, Inc. He has been writing short stories since 2005. These short stories are about people from all walks of life, who in many cases overcame supposedly insurmountable obstacles to achieve remarkable results. Most of their stories contain practical advice and some of their stories may help us avoid some of the costly and time consuming mistakes they made. Quite a wonderful motivational short story author. 

Click here to take you to Kazan's archives. 

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Monday, December 31, 2012

The two letter word - 'as'


For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. - Matthew 6:14

Have you ever noticed the presence of that little two-letter word in the Lord's prayer? It says "And forgive us of our sins as we forgive those who sin against us." Did you catch that? The word "as" implies that we cannot be forgiven until we offer that same forgiveness to others. In case we miss the "as," Jesus makes it very clear in the next verse: "But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins." (Matthew 6:15)

Forgiving someone who has treated you poorly, said evil things about you, even broken up your family, is a very difficult thing to do. It takes Godly intervention to truly offer forgiveness to people who have deeply wounded you. But God commands us to do so, and God would never command us to do anything that He wouldn't provide the ability to do.

Right now, pray for God to give you the strength to forgive those who have hurt you. Not only will God give you the power to do so, but He will also empower you supernaturally to love them, even though you hate what they did. Remember, bitterness is the poison we swallow, hoping the other person dies. Enjoy the release of this terrible burden by experiencing the cleansing power of forgiveness.



Credits: RFTH

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Bouquet for mother




A man stopped at a flower shop to order some flowers to be wired to his mother who lived two hundred miles away. As he got out of his car he noticed a young girl sitting on the curb sobbing.

He asked her what was wrong and she replied, “I wanted to buy a red rose for my mother. But I only have seventy-five cents, and a rose costs two dollars.”

The man smiled and said, “Come on in with me. I’ll buy you a rose.”

He bought the little girl her rose and ordered his own mother’s flowers. As they were leaving he offered the girl a ride home.

She said, “Yes, please! You can take me to my mother.”

She directed him to a cemetery, where she placed the rose on a freshly dug grave.

The man returned to the flower shop, canceled the wire order, picked up a bouquet and drove the two hundred miles to his mother’s house.

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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Giving up & Success


"Between you and every goal that you wish to achieve, there is a series of obstacles, and the bigger the goal, the bigger the obstacles. Your decision to be, have and do something out of the ordinary entails facing difficulties and challenges that are out of the ordinary as well. Sometimes your greatest asset is simply your ability to stay with it longer than anyone else."
-Brian Tracy 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Few Quotes


10 Inspiring Quotes for Uninspiring Times

Few inspirational quotes for you to cheer up:


Your best music is still inside you. 

It’s never too late to be who you could have been.

You are greater than the problems you face. 

Challenges are simply opportunities.

Tough times serve a purpose.

There’s no excuse for giving up on your goals.

You are closer than you were yesterday. 

Your opinion of YOU is what’s important.

It’s OK to let some people walk away. 

There’s a lot to appreciate in this moment. 


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Friday, August 17, 2012

Making choices



A middle aged man went to his parents' house for dinner one evening. He mournfully turned the discussion to his many problems; “I’ve just left my third failed marriage, I can’t hold onto a job, I’m in debt up to my ears and will have to declare personal bankruptcy” he whimpered.

When things go wrong, it’s easy to blame others. Blaming others for our difficulties is the easy way out. That’s why it’s so popular. If you switch on the TV and tune into any daytime talk show and you’ll find endless examples of people blaming everybody and everything for the way their lives have turned out.

But the happiest and most successful people - the leaders who get things done and get on with their lives know that life is an endless series of choices, and take responsibility for these choices as well as the consequences of their actions.

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Friday, July 20, 2012

Special Teacher


Her name was Mrs. Thompson. As she stood in front of her 5th grade class on the very first day of school, she told the children a lie. Like most teachers, she looked at her students and said that she loved them all the same. But that was impossible, because there in the front row, slumped in his seat, was a little boy named Teddy Stoddard.

Mrs. Thompson had watched Teddy the year before and noticed that he didn't play well with the other children, that his clothes were messy and that he constantly needed a bath. And Teddy could be unpleasant. It got to the point where Mrs. Thompson would actually take delight in marking his papers with a broad red pen, making bold X's and then putting a big "F" at the top. At the school where Mrs. Thompson taught, she was required to review each child's past records and she put Teddy's off until last.

However, when she reviewed his file, she was in for a surprise. Teddy's first grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is a bright child with a ready laugh. He does his work neatly and has good manners...he is a joy to be around. "His second grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is an excellent student, well-liked by his classmates, but he is troubled because his mother has a terminal illness and life at home must be a struggle. "His third grade teacher wrote, "His mother's death had been hard on him. He tries to do his best, but his father doesn't show much interest and his home life will soon affect him if some steps aren't taken.

"Teddy's fourth grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is withdrawn and doesn't show much interest in school. He doesn't have many friends and he sometimes sleeps in class".

By now, Mrs. Thompson realized the problem and she was ashamed of herself. She felt even worse when her students brought her Christmas presents, wrapped in beautiful ribbons and bright paper, except for Teddy's. His present was clumsily wrapped in the heavy, brown paper that he got from a grocery bag. Mrs. Thompson took pains to open it in the middle of the other presents. Some of the children started to laugh when she found a rhinestone bracelet with some of the stones missing, and a bottle that was one-quarter full of perfume. But she stifled the children's laughter when she exclaimed how pretty the bracelet was, putting it on, and dabbing some of the perfume on her wrist.

Teddy Stoddard stayed after school that day just long enough to say, "Mrs. Thompson, today you smelled just like my Mom used to." After the children left, she cried for at least an hour. On that very day, she quit teaching reading, and writing, and arithmetic. Instead, she began to teach children. Mrs. Thompson paid particular attention to Teddy. As she worked with him, his mind seemed to come alive. The more she encouraged him, the faster he responded.

By the end of the year, Teddy had become one of the smartest children in the class and, despite her lie that she would love all the children the same, Teddy became one of her "teacher's pets." A year later, she found a note under her door, from Teddy, telling her that she was still the best teacher he ever had in his whole life.

Six years went by before she got another note from Teddy. He then wrote that he had finished high school, third in his class, and she was still the best teacher he ever had in his whole life.

Four years after that, she got another letter, saying that while things had been tough at times, he'd stayed in school, had stuck with it, and would soon graduate from college with the highest of honors. He assured Mrs. Thompson that she was still the best and most favorite teacher he ever had in his whole life.

Then four more years passed and yet another letter came. This time he explained that after he got his bachelor's degree, he decided to go a little further. The letter explained that she was still the best and most favorite teacher he ever had. But now his name was a little longer -- the letter was signed, Theodore F. Stoddard, MD.

The story doesn't end there. You see, there was yet another letter that spring. Teddy said he'd met this girl and was going to be married. He explained that his father had died a couple of years ago and he was wondering if Mrs. Thompson might agree to sit in the place at the wedding that was usually reserved for the mother of the groom.

Of course, Mrs. Thompson did. And guess what? She wore that bracelet, the one with several rhinestones missing. And she made sure she was wearing the perfume that Teddy remembered his mother wearing on their last Christmas together. They hugged each other, and Dr. Stoddard whispered in Mrs.Thompson's ear, "Thank you Mrs. Thompson for believing in me. Thank you so much for making me feel important and showing me that I could make a difference." Mrs. Thompson, with tears in her eyes, whispered back.

She said, "Teddy, you have it all wrong. You were the one who taught me that I could make a difference. I didn't know how to teach until I met you."



Credits: CIY

Friday, July 13, 2012

Staying on Track



All of us go through ups and downs at various stages in life.  During those phases, some give up and few others stay on course. Those who stay on track under pressure are the ones who come out successfully.

Persistence is not an all-or-nothing endeavor. Just because your persistence breaks down one day, or in one situation, does not mean that all is lost. You’re allowed to have bad days. Just make sure you get back on track as soon as possible.

It is natural to become discouraged and to consider giving up. When that happens, go ahead and experience those feelings. Of course you have doubts. Of course you get weary. Take some time to give consideration to those negative thoughts. They’ve been nagging you, so it is best that you deal with them. Consider their validity. Consider what they’re trying to tell you. Look objectively and realistically at what you’re doing. Maybe a course correction is in order. Maybe you even need to change the destination. Or maybe not.

Then, once you’ve given appropriate consideration to your doubts and discouragement, make the commitment to get yourself back on track. You’ve gotten the discouragement out of your system. Now it is time to move on. You may very well change your approach a bit, yet the key is to keep going. Look at your doubts and discouragements as ways to make you more effective, rather than as reasons to stop.

You will get knocked off track on a regular basis. The key to persistence is in how fast you get yourself going again. Fortunately the value of persistence is cumulative. You can pick up right about where you left off.



Credits: Jon Clayton RTOL