Inspiring Thoughts

I Believe...
She is 92 years old, petite, well poised, and proud. She is fully dressed each morning by eight o'clock, with her hair fashionably coifed, and her makeup perfectly applied, in spite of the fact she is legally blind.

Today she has moved to a nursing home. Her husband of 70 years recently passed away, making this move necessary. After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing home, where I am employed, she smiled sweetly when told her room was ready.

As she maneuvered her walker to the elevator, I provided a visual description of her tiny room, including the eyelet curtains that had been hung on her window. "I love it," she stated with the enthusiasm of an eight-year-old having just been presented with a new puppy. "Mrs. Jones, you haven't seen the room...just wait," I said.

Then she spoke these words that I will never forget: "That does not have anything to do with it," she gently replied.

"Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time. Whether I like my room or not, does not depend on how the furniture is arranged. It is how I arrange my mind. I have already decided to love it. It is a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice.

I can spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty I have with the parts of my body that no longer work, or I can get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do work. Each day is a gift, and as long as my eyes open, I will focus on the new day and all of the happy memories I have stored away...just for this time in my life. Old age is like a bank account. You withdraw from what you have already put in.

I believe...
... that our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.
... that no matter how good a friend is, they're going to hurt you every once in awhile and you must forgive them for that.
... that just because someone doesn't love you the way you want them to doesn't mean they don't love you with all they have.
... that true friendship continues to grow, even over the longest distance. Same goes for true love.
... that it's taking me a long time to become the person I want to be.
... that you should always leave loved ones with loving words. It may be the last time you see them.
... that you can keep going, long after you can't.
... that we are responsible for what we do, no matter how we feel.
... that either you control your attitude or it controls you.
... that heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.
... that money is a lousy way of keeping score.
... that my best friend and I can do anything or nothing and have the best time.
... that sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you're down, will be the ones to help you get back up.
... that sometimes when I'm angry I have the right to be angry, but that doesn't give me the right to be cruel.
... that maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you've had and what you've learned from them and less to do with how many birthdays you've celebrated.
... that it isn't always enough to be forgiven by others. Sometimes you have to learn to forgive yourself.
... that no matter how bad your heart is broken the world doesn't stop for your grief.
... that just because two people argue, it doesn't mean they don't love each other. And just because they don't argue, it doesn't mean they do.
... that you shouldn't be so eager to find out a secret. It could change your life forever.
... that two people can look at the exact same thing and see something totally different.
... that your life can be changed in a matter of hours by people who don't know you.
... that even when you think you have no more to give, when a friend cries out to you will find the strength to help.
... that credentials on the wall do not make you a decent human being.
... that the people you care about most in life are taken from you too soon.


The Eagle

A man found an eagle's egg and put it in a nest of a barnyard hen. The eaglet hatched with the brood of chicks and grew up with them.

All his life the eagle did what the barnyard chicks did, thinking he was a barnyard chicken. He scratched the earth for worms and insects. He clucked and cackled. And he would thrash his wings and fly a few feet into the air.

Years passed and the eagle grew very old. One day he saw a magnificent bird above him in the cloudless sky. It glided in graceful majesty among the powerful wind currents, with scarcely a beat of its strong golden wings.

The old eagle looked up in awe. "Who's that?" he asked.

"That's the eagle, the king of the birds," said his neighbor. "He belongs to the sky. We belong to the earth. We're chickens." So the eagle lived and died a chicken, for that's what he thought he was.

To Kill An American

You may have missed it in the rush of news, but there was actually a report that someone in Pakistan had published in a newspaper an offer of a reward to anyone who killed an American, any American.

So an Australian dentist wrote the following to let everyone know what an American is, so they would know when they found one:

An American is English, or French, or Italian, Irish, German, Spanish, Polish, Russian or Greek. An American may also be Canadian, Mexican, African, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Australian, Iranian, Asian, or Arab, or Pakistani, or Afghan. An American may also be a Cherokee, Osage, Blackfoot, Navaho, Apache, Seminole or one of the many other tribes known as native Americans.

An American is Christian, or he could be Jewish, or Buddhist, or Muslim. In fact, there are more Muslims in America than in Afghanistan. The only difference is that in America they are free to worship as each of them chooses.

An American is also free to believe in no religion. For that he will answer only to God, not to the government, or to armed thugs claiming to speak for the government and for God.

An American is from the most prosperous land in the history of the world. The root of that prosperity can be found in the Declaration of Independence, which recognizes the God given right of each person the pursuit of happiness.

An American is generous. Americans have helped out just about every other nation in the world in their time of need.

When Afghanistan was overrun by the Soviet army 20 years ago, Americans came with arms and supplies to enable the people to win back their country. As of the morning of September 11, Americans had given more than any other nation to the poor in Afghanistan.

Americans welcome the best, the best products, the best books, the best music, the best food, the best athletes. But they also welcome the least.

The national symbol of America, The Statue of Liberty, welcomes your tired and your poor, the wretched refuse of your teeming shores, the homeless, tempest tossed. These in fact are the people who built America. Some of them were working in the Twin Towers the morning of September 11, 2001 earning a better life for their families. I've been told that the World Trade Center victims were from at least 30 other countries, cultures, and first languages, including those that aided and abetted the terrorists.

So you can try to kill an American if you must. Hitler did. So did General Tojo, and Stalin, and Mao Tse-Tung, and every bloodthirsty tyrant in the history of the world.

But, in doing so you would just be killing yourself. Because Americans are not a particular people from a particular place.

They are the embodiment of the human spirit of freedom. Everyone who holds to that spirit, everywhere, is an American.


The Decision

You are driving along on a wild stormy night. You pass by a bus stop and you see three people waiting for the bus:

1. An old lady who is about to die.
2. An old friend who once saved your life.
3. The perfect man/woman of your dreams.

Which one would you choose, knowing that there could only be one passenger in your car? This is a moral/ethical dilemma that was once actually used as part of a job application.

You could pick up the old lady, because she is going to die and thus you should save her first; or, you could take the old friend because he once saved your life and that would be the perfect chance to pay him back. However, you may never be able to find your perfect dream lover again. The candidate who was hired (out of 200 applicants) had no trouble coming up with his answer.

Think before you continue reading.

WHAT DID HE SAY? He simply answered: "I would give the car keys to my old friend and let him take the lady to the hospital. I would stay behind and wait for the bus with the woman of my dreams."

Sometimes, we gain more if we are able to give up our stubborn thought limitations. (THINK... "out of the box"). Received via email, author unknown