Las estrellas de mar

Había una vez… un escritor que vivía en una tranquila playa, cerca de una colonia de pescadores. Todas las mañanas iba a caminar por la orilla del mar para inspirarse y las tardes las concurría en su casa escribiendo. Cierto […]

El pescador

En cierta ocasión un alto ejecutivo estaba paseando por una bonita playa vestido con sus bermudas (de marca), sus gafas de sol (también con marca muy visible), su polo (con mucha marca), su gorra (con marca destacada), su reloj (de […]

Sobre la naturaleza de la mente

En el siglo XIX un gran maestro tenía un discípulo particularmente obtuso. El maestro le enseñaba una y otra vez, tratando de introducirlo a la naturaleza de su mente, sin resultado. Finalmente, un día se enfureció y le dijo:

Sobre los cambios

Estoy escribiendo la historia de mi vida con cada uno de los “hoy.” Me estoy desplazando en la dirección correcta?. Si no, tal vez necesite hacer algunos cambios. No puedo hacer nada para cambiar el pasado, excepto dejar de repetirlo […]

Ver más allá

Dicen que una vez un hombre era perseguido por varios malhechores que querían matarlo. El hombre ingresó a una cueva. Los malhechores empezaron a buscarlo por las cuevas anteriores a la que él se encontraba. Con tal desesperación elevó una […]

 

Eleanor Roosevelt wrote…

Many people will walk in and out of your life,

But only true friends will leave footprints in your heart.

To handle yourself, use your head;
To handle others, use your heart.

Anger is only one letter short of danger.
If someone betrays you once, it is his fault;
If he betrays you twice, it is your fault.

Great minds discuss ideas;
Average mindsscuss events;
Small minds discuss people.

He, who loses money, loses much;
He, who loses a friend, loses much more;
He, who loses faith, loses all.

Beautiful young people are accidents of nature,

But beautiful old people are works of art.

Learn from the mistakes of others.
You can't live long enough to make them all yourself.

Yesterday is history.
Tomorrow is mystery.
Today is a gift.

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PHRASE OF THE WEEK

If you look to find the Beloved in all those around you,
you will find the Beloved within yourself.

(John-Roger)

The Crumpled Blue Ribbon

Mrs. Green, a fourth-grade teacher, was grief-stricken as she watched the news on TV. She had been teaching for more than twenty-two years, but she had never been faced with such disaster. She was overwhelmed with despair, until suddenly she recalled the "Who You Are Makes a Difference" story she had read in the first Chicken Soup for the Soul book, in which a fourteen-year-old boy's life was saved when his father honored him with a blue ribbon.

"That's the answer," she shouted. We don't have to focus all our energies on the terrorists. I can teach my students how to love one another and make the world a healthier and more peaceful place right now. She immediately called to purchase the "Who I Am Makes a Difference" blue ribbons.

As she held the blue ribbons in her hands, her eyes twinkled as she announced to her students that today they would not be learning reading, writing and arithmetic. Instead, they were going to have a hands-on experience of love, life and what it means to be truly a great human being. One by one, she approached each of them, telling them how very special and unique they were to her. Then she placed a "Who I Am Makes a Difference" blue ribbon just above their heart. The sadness and pain of the recent days faded.

Her students' faces glowed, chests swelled and spirits soared. If only for those thirty minutes, the usual gloom and doom of the recent days had lifted, and she was convinced that something very special had occurred on this day.

As her students left her classroom, she handed out extra blue ribbons saying, "Go home and tell your parents, brothers, sisters – everybody – how much you love them. Tell them today! Place a blue ribbon above their heart." The bell rang, her students raced out with a new vigor. She sat at her desk, crying with happiness. She felt such a relief. Love was definitely what needed to be taught in this world right now. At least she had done her part.

Now she hoped that her students would be able to pass on this love to others. But she could not have imagined the difference this exercise would have made to one father.
Less than a week later, a parent stormed into her classroom unannounced.
"I'm Timmy's father," he declared. "Was this your idea to do this blue ribbon project?"
"Yes," Mrs. Green answered.
"Well," the father mumbled, pulling out a crumpled blue ribbon from his pocket, "my son came home the other day and told me how much he loved me and what a good father I am. I've come here to tell you that I'm not a good father. I'm an alcoholic. But something happened to me when my son told me how much he loved me.
At that moment, I decided to go to AA for the first time. I even attended church this past Sunday. You see," he said as he turned toward the door, "the world might be hurting, but I don't need to add to the pain. In fact," he said, "from now on, I'm going to become the father my son thinks I am."

Mrs. Green gasped as she watched the father go out her classroom door, knowing that the healing had begun and the world was going to get better . . . because she taught at least one child to love.

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PHRASE OF THE WEEK:

"Living Love is loving yourself first, in order to be able to love others. It is taking care of yourself in order to be able to take care of others. It is doing those things that are good for you, so you can be happy, healthy and joyful to be with".

(John Roger)

An Unlikely Hero

By Mary Turner

Fred hated school. Having grown up on a farm near Alliston, Ontario, Fred was a good worker but felt uncomfortable and unaccepted in a town school. Although he tried hard, he was not a good student. In order to graduate, he had to repeat some of his exams. An academic career just did not seem to be in the cards for Fred but he had a persistent streak.

After graduation, he began studies to become a minister. When that did not go well, he changed his goal to medicine, working strenuously to become an orthopaedic surgeon. World War I arrived, and the great need for field medics facilitated the early graduation of many doctors, including Fred.

After the War, the young Canadian doctor returned home to set up his practice. To his dismay, business was slow to nonexistent. He waited a whole month before treating his first patient, and his payment was the grand sum of four dollars! Fred had so much time on his hands as he waited for patients to materialize that he whiled away the hours reading medical journals. He began to focus on articles on diabetes, a disease that had claimed the life of a neighbour's child.

Realizing that research might solve the problem of this disease, Fred decided he needed a laboratory. He approached Dr. J. J. R. Macleod at the University of Toronto. Dr. Macleod was initially uninterested – he figured Fred knew nothing about research and refused to waste laboratory facilities on him. But Fred stubbornly persisted and eventually convinced Dr. Macleod to support him. In 1920, Fred happily entered a poorly equipped laboratory and was given a young assistant named Charles Best.

In those days there was no support in the medical and scientific communities for an unknown surgeon's research. Fred and his assistant were given lab animals left over from other scientists' studies. But they dedicated themselves to working long hours without pay, and Fred even sold his car to finance the needed experiments. Dr. Macleod soon grew more interested in the team's work, and he eventually became involved in the research.

Fred and Charles worked day and night, but early results in producing the hormone preparation they called insulin were discouraging. Many of the animals they treated died, but finally, one animal survived for several weeks. The team appeared to be finally getting somewhere and it was time to move on to human subjects. Before treating human patients, however, Fred and Charles tested the safety of their insulin on each other. Their tests were a resounding success.

The first patient to be treated with Fred and Charles's insulin formulation was a fourteen-year-old boy named Leonard. The year was 1921. For two years, Leonard had been on the "Allen diet" – a starvation diet for diabetics that allowed only 450 calories a day. The poor boy weighed only seventy-five pounds, and he was barely alive. But the new insulin treatment administered by Fred and Charles was a great success. Leonard gained weight, and his health dramatically improved. History shows that Leonard, the very first insulin patient, actually lived to adulthood.

By now, interest in insulin was growing rapidly. Charles Best developed methods for quick, large-scale production, and by the end of 1922, diabetics from all over the world were coming to Toronto for treatment. It had been only two short years from the first, rudimentary experiments with animals to the successful widespread treatment of diabetics.

In 1923, the Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded jointly to Canadian Doctors Frederick Banting and J. J. R. Macleod. In keeping with his character, Fred gave half of his $20,000 prize money to his assistant and friend, Charles Best. Fred put his share of the money right back into research, establishing the Banting Research Foundation and the Banting Institute at the University of Toronto.

Fred could have made himself a millionaire with his discovery. Instead, he sold his patent for the production of insulin to the University of Toronto – for one dollar – so that the drug could be marketed cheaply and thousands of lives could be saved and improved.

Since 1922, millions of lives worldwide have been saved by insulin, and because of Fred, diabetics are able to live normal lives where before it was impossible.

Fred – Dr. Frederick Banting – was just an ordinary man in many respects, but he was a man with a vision and the stubborn will to pursue his goal. He had the heart of a true Canadian hero.

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PHRASE OF THE WEEK:

We have not come into the world to be a number; we have been created for a purpose, for great things: To love and be loved.

– Mother Teresa

This story is really special!

If this doesn't light your fire — your wood is wet!! I try not to be biased, but I had my doubts about hiring Stevie. His placement counselor assured me that he would be a good, reliable busboy. But I had never had a mentally handicapped employee and wasn't sure I wanted one. I wasn't sure how my customers would react to Stevie. He was short, a little dumpy with the smooth facial features and thick-tongued speech of Downs Syndrome. I wasn't worried about most of my trucker customers because truckers don't generally care who buses tables as long as the meatloaf platter is good and the pies are homemade. The four-wheeler drivers were the ones who concerned me; the mouthy college kids traveling to school; the yuppie snobs who secretly polish their silverware with their napkins for fear of catching some dreaded "truck stop germ"; the pairs of white shirted business men on expense accounts who think every truck stop waitress wants to be flirted with. I knew those people would be uncomfortable around Stevie so I closely watched him for the first few weeks. I shouldn't have worried. After the first week, Stevie had my staff wrapped around his stubby little finger, and within a month my truck regulars had adopted him as their official truck stop mascot. After that, I really didn't care what the rest of the customers thought of him. He was like a 21-year-old in blue jeans and Nikes, eager to laugh and eager to please, but fierce in his attention to his duties. Every salt and pepper shaker was exactly in its place, not a bread crumb or coffee spill was visible when Stevie got done with the table. Our only problem was persuading him to wait to clean a table until after the customers were finished.

He would hover in the background, shifting his weight from one foot to the other, scanning the dining room until a table was empty. Then he would scurry to the empty table and carefully bus dishes and glasses onto a cart and meticulously wipe the table up with a practiced flourish of his rag. If he thought a customer was watching, his brow would pucker with added concentration. He took pride in doing his job exactly right, and you had to love how hard he tried to please each and every person he met. Over time, we learned that he lived with his mother, a widow who was disabled after repeated surgeries for cancer. They lived on their Social Security benefits in public housing two miles from the truck stop. Their social worker, who stopped to check on him every so often, admitted they had fallen between the cracks. Money was tight, and what I paid him was probably the difference between them being able to live together and Stevie being sent to
a group home. That's why the restaurant was a gloomy place that morning last August, the first morning in three years that Stevie missed work. He was at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester getting a new valve or something put in his heart. His social worker said that people with Downs Syndrome often had
heart problems at an early age so this wasn't unexpected, and there was a good chance he would come through the surgery in good shape and be back at work in a few months. A ripple of excitement ran through the staff later that morning when word came that he was out of surgery, in recovery, and doing fine. Frannie, headwaitress, let out a war hoop and did a little dance in the aisle when she heard the good news. Belle Ringer, one of our regular trucker customers, stared at the sight of the 50-year-old grandmother of four doing a victory shimmy beside his table. Frannie blushed, smoothed her apron and shot Belle Ringer a withering look.

He grinned. "OK, Frannie, what was that all about?" he asked. We just got word that Stevie is out of surgery and going to be okay." "I was wondering where he was. I had a new joke to tell him. What was the surgery about?" Frannie quickly told Belle Ringer and the other two drivers sitting at his booth about Stevie's
surgery, then sighed: "Yeah, I'm glad he is going to be OK" she said. "But I don't know how he and his Mom are going to handle all the bills. From what I hear, they're barely getting by as it is." Belle Ringer nodded thoughtfully, and Frannie hurried off to wait on the rest of her tables.. Since I hadn't had time to round up a busboy o replace Stevie and really didn't want to replace him, the girls were busing their own tables that day until we decided what to do. After the morning rush, Frannie walked into my office. She had a couple of paper napkins in her hand and a funny look on her face. "What's up?" I asked. "I didn't get that table where Belle Ringer and his friends were sitting cleared off after they left, and Pony Pete and Tony Tipper
were sitting there when I got back to clean it off," she said. "This was folded and tucked under a coffee cup.." She handed the napkin to me, and three $20 bills fell onto my desk when I opened it. On the outside, in big, bold letters, was printed "Something For Stevie."

"Pony Pete asked me what that was all about," she said, "so I told about Stevie and his Mom and everything, and Pete looked at Tony and Tony looked at Pete, and they ended up giving me this." She handed me another paper napkin that had "Something For Stevie" scrawled on its outside. Two $50
bills were tucked within its folds. Frannie looked at me with wet, shiny eyes, shook her head and said simply: "truckers."

That was three months ago. Today is Thanksgiving, the first day Stevie is supposed to be back to work. His placement worker said he's been counting the days until the doctor said he could work, and it didn't matter at all that it was a holiday. He called ten times in the past week, making sure we knew he was coming, fearful that we had forgotten him or that his job was in jeopardy. I arranged to have his
mother bring him to work, met them in the parking lot and invited them both to celebrate his day back. Stevie was thinner and paler, but couldn't stop grinning as he pushed through the doors and headed for the back room where his apron and busing cart were waiting. "Hold up there, Stevie, not so
fast," I said. I took him and his mother by their arms. "Work can wait for a minute. To celebrate you
coming back, breakfast for you and your mother is on me!" I led them towad a large corner booth at the rear of the room. I could feel and hear the rest of the staff following behind as we marched through the dining room.

Glancing over my shoulder, I saw booth after booth of grinning truckers empty and join the procession. We stopped in front of the big table. Its surface was covered with coffee cups, saucers and dinner plates, all sitting slightly crooked on dozens of folded paper napkins. "First thing you have to do, Stevie, is clean up this mess," I said. I tried to sound stern. Stevie looked at me, and then at his mother, then pulled out one of the napkins. It had "Something for Stevie" printed on the outside. As he picked it up, two $10 bills fell on to the table. Stevie stared at the money, then at all the napkins peeking from beneath the tableware, each with his name printed or scrawled on it. I turned to his mother. "There's more than $10,000 in cash and checks on that table, all from truckers and trucking companies that heard about your problems.
"Happy Thanksgiving." Well, it got real noisy about that time, with everybody hollering and shouting, and there were a few tears, as well. But you know what's funny? While everybody else was busy shaking hands and hugging each other, Stevie, with a big, big smile on his face, was busy clearing all the cups and dishes from the table. Best worker I ever hired. Plant a seed and watch it grow. At this point, you can bury this
inspirational message or forward it fulfilling the need! If you shed a tear, hug yourself because you are a compassionate person.

WELL, DON'T JUST SIT THERE! SEND THIS STORY ON!

When you're lonely, I wish you LOVE.
When you're down, I wish you JOY.
When things get complicated, I wish you FAITH.
When things look empty, I wish you HOPE.

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PHRASE OF THE WEEK:

"We cannot hold a torch to light another person’s path without brightening our own."
– Ben Sweetland

Living With Purpose

Living With Purpose: Finding Joy in a Suffering World
by Melanie Votaw

Recently I was reading about how people are suffering in the Congo; how girls struggle to be educated in China; how a huge number of people in the world live without safe sanitation, and on and on and on. It seems endless! There is war, hunger, corruption, greed, and incomprehensible pain on our planet. How can I allow myself to feel anything positive when so many people are suffering?

But the right question to ask is, "how can I allow myself to NOT feel positive and joyful when so many people are suffering?!" If we are all connected to one another in a collective consciousness, as psychotherapist Carl Jung suggested, then perhaps I have a responsibility to the world to experience as much joy as possible! What's the use of drowning in the pain and simply perpetuating it further?

If we are all part of the same consciousness…
I can either go down with the ship, or I can try to pull it out of the water. I choose the latter! Sure, there's
activism, and I take part in as much of it as I possibly can. I sponsor the education of a woman in Iraq. I write
letters. I pray. I send love through the ethers. But, mostly, I try to remember how lucky I am and how ungrateful
I would be if I squandered my blessings.

In this journey we take in physical form, we are bound to experience pain and lose some of the exuberance that we brought into the world as children. It's an inevitable part of the human experience. But a big part of the lesson of this journey is to find our way back to that place of absolute openness to the wonder of the world. With our food and shelter taken care of, we are the lucky ones who can work toward elevating everyone to a higher state of consciousness – which is indeed a higher state of joy!

As you connect more and more with the joy in your life – without guilt – you begin to connect with your soul's
purpose. The universe is very economical. It has designed your true work to bring you the most joy and fulfillment, while at the same time providing some service to others. So, joy is both the ticket and the destination. Climb aboard!

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PHRASE OF THE WEEK:

"Nothing is as liberating as joy. It frees the mind and fills it with tranquility.
Sometimes our light goes out but is blown into flame by an encounter with another human being. Each of us owes the deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this inner light."

– Albert Schweitzer