Thursday, September 29, 2016

May You Be Known By Your Love

Henry Drummond has said, "The moments when you have really lived are the moments when you have done things in the spirit of love."

Here is a story (possibly apocryphal, but powerful nevertheless) about a man who acted in the spirit of love and about what he consequently learned. 

Many years ago an old man stood on a Virginia riverbank. He was waiting to cross the river and, since it was bitterly cold and there were no bridges, he was hoping to get a ride across on horseback. After a lengthy wait he spotted a group of horsemen approaching. He let the first one pass, then the second, third, fourth and fifth. One rider remained. As he drew abreast, the old man looked him in the eye and said, "Sir, would you give me a ride across the river?"

The rider immediately replied, "Certainly." Once across the river, the old man slid to the ground. "Sir," the rider said before leaving. "I could not help but notice that you permitted all the other men to pass without asking for a ride. Then, when I drew abreast, you immediately asked me to carry you across. I am curious as to why you didn’t ask them and you did ask me."

The old man quietly responded, "I looked into their eyes and could see no love and knew in my own heart it would be useless to ask for a ride. But when I looked into your eyes, I saw compassion, love and the willingness to help. I knew you would be glad to give me a ride across the river."

The rider was touched. "I’m grateful for what you are saying," he said. "I appreciate it very much." With that, Thomas Jefferson turned and rode off to the White House.

A good question. For it is said that others will know us by our love. Some will see it in the things we do and some in the things we say. And a few perceptive souls, like the old man in the story, may catch a glimmer of a loving and generous spirit in the expression of kind eyes. 

It is often said that our eyes are the windows to our souls. If that is true, what is it that our eyes show about us? Or let me ask it a different way: if you had been the last rider, would the old man have asked you for a ride?

May you be easily recognized by your love.


-Steve Goodier (Life Support System)


Thursday, September 22, 2016

Flight Announcements



Occasionally, airline attendants and pilots make an effort to make the “in-flight safety lecture” and their other announcements a bit more entertaining. Here are some real examples that have been heard or reported:

*       From a Southwest Airlines employee.. “There may be 50 ways to leave your lover, but there are only 4 ways out of this airplane.”
 
*       Pilot: “Folks, we have reached our cruising altitude now, so I am going to switch the seat belt sign off. Feel free to move about as you wish, but please stay inside the plane till we land.. it’s a bit cold outside, and if you walk on the wings it affects the flight pattern.”
 
*       After landing: “Thank you for flying Delta Business Express. We hope you enjoyed giving us the business as much as we enjoyed taking you for a ride.”
 
*       As the plane landed and was coming to a stop at Washington National, a lone voice comes over the loudspeaker: “Whoa, big fella. WHOA!”
 
*       After a particularly rough landing during thunderstorms in Memphis, a flight attendant on a Northwest flight announced: “Please take care when opening the overhead compartments because, after a landing like that, sure as hell everything has shifted.”
 
*       From a Southwest Airlines employee: “Welcome aboard Southwest Flight XXX to YYY. To operate your seat-belt, insert the metal tab into the buckle, and pull tight. It works just like every other seat-belt and if you don’t know how to operate one, you probably shouldn’t be out in public unsupervised. In the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, oxygen masks will descend from the ceiling. Stop screaming, grab the mask, and pull it over your face. If you have a small child traveling with you, secure your mask before assisting with theirs. If you are traveling with two small children, decide now which one you love more.
 
*       “Weather at our destination is 50 degrees with some broken clouds, but they’ll try to have them fixed before we arrive. Thank you, and remember, nobody loves you or your money, more than Southwest Airlines.”
 
*       “Your seat cushions can be used for flotation and in the event of an emergency water landing, please take them with our compliments.”
 
*       “As you exit the plane, please make sure to gather all of your belongings. Anything left behind will be distributed evenly among the flight attendants. Please do not leave children or spouses.”
 
*       “Last one off the plane must clean it.”
 
*       From the pilot during his welcome message: “We are pleased to have some of the best flight attendants in the industry.. Unfortunately none of them are on this flight!”
 
*       Overheard on an American Airlines flight into Amarillo, Texas, on a particularly windy and bumpy day. During the final approach, the Captain was really having to fight it. After an extremely hard landing, the Flight Attendant came on the PA and announced: ”Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to Amarillo. Please remain in your seats with your seat-belts fastened while the Captain taxis what’s left of our airplane to the gate!”
 
*       Another Flight Attendant’s comment on a less than perfect landing: “We ask you to please remain seated as Captain Kangaroo bounces us to the terminal.”
 
*       An airline pilot wrote that on this particular flight he had hammered his ship into the runway really hard. The airline had a policy which required the first officer to stand at the door while the passengers exited, smile, and give them a “Thanks for flying XYZ airline.” He said that, in light of his bad landing, he had a hard time looking the passengers in the eye, thinking that someone would have a smart comment. Finally, everyone had gotten off except for this little old lady walking with a cane. She said: ”Sonny, mind if I as you a question?” “Why no, Ma’am,” said the pilot, “what is it?” The little old lady said: “Did we land or were we shot down?”
 
*       After a real crusher of a landing in Phoenix, the Flight Attendant came on with, “Ladies and gentlemen, please remain in your seats until Captain Crash and the Crew have brought the aircraft to a screeching halt up against the gate. And, once the tire smoke has cleared and the warning bells are silenced, we’ll open the door and you can pick your way through the wreckage to the terminal.”
 
*      Part of a Flight Attendant’s arrival announcement: “We’d like to thank you folks for flying with us today. And, the next time you get the insane urge to go blasting through the skies in a pressurized metal tube, we hope you’ll think of us here at US Airways."
 
*       On arriving at London's Heathrow Airport, the pilot announced: "Ladies and gentlemen, I'm pleased to report that we have arrived on time since, owing to a stroke of luck, we managed to find the airport at the first attempt."


-- Author Unknown

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Living and Working

Father was a hardworking man who delivered bread as a living to support his wife and three children. He spent all his evenings after work attending classes, hoping to improve himself so that he could one day find a better paying job. Except for Sundays, Father hardly ate a meal together with his family. He worked and studied very hard because he wanted to provide his family with the best money could buy. 

Whenever the family complained that he was not spending enough time with them, he reasoned that he was doing all this for them. But he often yearned to spend more time with his family.
The day came when the examination results were announced. To his joy, Father passed, and with distinctions too! Soon after, he was offered a good job as a senior supervisor which paid handsomely. 

Like a dream come true, Father could now afford to provide his family with life’s little luxuries like nice clothing, fine food and vacation abroad. 

However, the family still did not get to see father for most of the week. He continued to work very hard, hoping to be promoted to the position of manager. In fact, to make himself a worthily candidate for the promotion, he enrolled for another course in the open university. 

Again, whenever the family complained that he was not spending enough time with them, he reasoned that he was doing all this for them. But he often yearned to spend more time with his family. 

Father’s hard work paid off and he was promoted. Jubilantly, he decided to hire a maid to relieve his wife from her domestic tasks. He also felt that their three-room flat was no longer big enough, it would be nice for his family to be able to enjoy the facilities and comfort of a condominium. Having experienced the rewards of his hard work many times before, Father resolved to further his studies and work at being promoted again. The family still did not get to see much of him. In fact, sometimes Father had to work on Sundays entertaining clients. Again, whenever the family complained that he was not spending enough time with them, he reasoned that he was doing all this for them. But he often yearned to spend more time with his family. 

As expected, Father’s hard work paid off again and he bought a beautiful condominium overlooking the coast. On the first Sunday evening at their new home, Father declared to his family that he decided not to take anymore courses or pursue any more promotions. From then on he was going to devote more time to his family. 

Father did not wake up the next day..


-- Author Unknown


Thursday, August 18, 2016

Ducks Quack, Eagles Soar


I was waiting in line for a ride at the airport. When a cab pulled up, the first thing I noticed was that the taxi was polished to a bright shine. Smartly dressed in a white shirt, black tie, and freshly pressed black slacks, the cab driver jumped out and rounded the car to open the back passenger door for me.

He handed me a laminated card and said: 'I'm Wasu, your driver. While I'm loading your bags in the trunk I'd like you to read my mission statement.'

Taken aback, I read the card. It said: Wasu's Mission Statement: To get my customers to their destination in the quickest, safest and cheapest way possible in a friendly environment.

This blew me away. Especially when I noticed that the inside of the cab matched the outside. Spotlessly clean!

As he slid behind the wheel, Wasu said, 'Would you like a cup of coffee? I have a thermos of regular and one of decaf.'

I said jokingly, 'No, I'd prefer a soft drink.'

Wasu smiled and said, 'No problem. I have a cooler up front with regular and Diet Coke, lassi, water and orange juice.'

Almost stuttering, I said, 'I'll take a Lassi.'

Handing me my drink, Wasu said, 'If you'd like something to read, I have The Hindu, Times  of India, ET and India Today.'

As they were pulling away, Wasu handed me another laminated card, 'These are the stations I get and the music they play, if you'd like to listen to the radio.'

And as if that weren't enough, Wasu told me that he had the air conditioning on and asked if the temperature was comfortable for him.

Then he advised me of the best route to my destination for that time of day. He also let me know that he'd be happy to chat and tell me about some of the sights or, if I preferred, to leave me with my own thoughts.

'Tell me, Wasu,' I was amazed and asked him, 'have you always served customers like this?'

Wasu smiled into the rear view mirror. No, not always. In fact, it's only been in the last two years. My first five years driving, I spent most of my time complaining like all the rest of the cabbies do_. *Then I heard about power of choice one day.'

'Power of choice is that you can be a duck or an eagle.'

'If you get up in the morning expecting to have a bad day, you'll rarely disappoint yourself. Stop complaining!'

'Don't be a duck. Be an eagle. Ducks quack and complain. Eagles soar above the crowd.'

'That hit me right,' said Wasu.

'It is about me. I was always quacking and complaining, so I decided to change my attitude and become an eagle. I looked around at the other cabs and their drivers. The cabs were dirty, the drivers were unfriendly, and the customers were unhappy. So I decided to make some changes. I put in a few at a time. When my customers responded well, I did more.'

'I take it that has paid off for you,' I said.

'It sure has,' Wasu replied. 'My first year as an eagle, I doubled my income from the previous year. This year I'll probably quadruple it. My customers call me for appointments on my cell phone or leave a message on it.'

Wasu made a different choice. He decided to stop quacking like ducks and start soaring like eagles. Have an eagle week, next week, and the next..


-- Author Unknown


Thursday, August 11, 2016

The Cobra and the Axe



As a carpenter went home after shutting down his workshop, a black poisonous cobra entered his workshop.

The cobra was hungry and hoped to find its supper lurking somewhere within. It slithered from one end to another, and accidentally bumped into a double-edged metal axe and was slightly injured.

In anger and seeking revenge, the snake bit the axe with full force. What could a bite do to a metallic axe? Instead the cobra's mouth started bleeding.

Out of fury and arrogance, the cobra tried its best to strangle and kill the object that was causing it pain by wrapping itself very tightly around the blades.

The next day when the carpenter opened the workshop, he found a seriously cut, dead cobra wrapped around the axe blades.

The cobra died not because of someone else's fault but faced these consequences merely because of its own anger and wrath.

Sometimes when angry, we try to cause harm to others but as time passes by, we realize that we have caused more harm to ourselves.

For a happy life, it is best we should learn to ignore and overlook some of the things, people, incidents, affairs and matters.

It is not necessary that we show a reaction to everything. Step back and ask yourself if the matter is really worth responding or reacting to.

Let's treat people with kindness even if your mind perceived that they hurt you.

People that show no inclination to change are best handled with silence and prayer.

This is really a good learning story and could help us take some good decisions.


-- Author Unknown