Tonic for the Spirit

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Opportunity in Today

Look for the opportunity in today, even if “today” is not quite what you had bargained for. A graduate student had just gotten his first job, a desk job, which he felt – and probably correctly – that was much beneath his talents. He complained to his friend that he did not do pencil-pushing.

His friend was entirely unsympathetic. He just patted him on the back and said to him, “You know, the world is a better place because Michelangelo didn’t say, ‘I don’t do ceilings.”’

So it is. You go through the Bible and Moses didn’t say, “1 don’t do rivers.” Noah didn’t say, “1 don’t do arks.” Ruth didn’t say, “1 don’t do mothers-in-law.” David didn’t say, “1 don’t do giants.”

Paul didn’t say, “I don’t do Gentiles.” Mary Magdalene didn’t say, “1 don’t do feet.” Jesus didn’t say, “1 don’t do crosses.”

By Kaimlet on 16-12-2017
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St. Antony Tempted

Chapters have been written and graphic pictures painted about all sorts of temptations that plagued the hermit St Antony while he lived deep in the Libyan desert.

The story goes that Satan himself one day went out to check on the progress of his impish students, who were using their entire repertoire of temptations on the saint with very little success. So he huddled them together and explained how they were doing everything wrong, and that he would give them an unforgettable lesson.

So Satan decked himself out as a monk, with cowl and all. He approached Antony with a deep bow and with his arms across his heart like a standard archangel, he whispered into Antony’s ear, “Rejoice, my brother, I bring you good news. Your brother, whom you have left behind in the big bad city, a simple monk like you, has just been named patriarch of Alexandria.”

On hearing that, immediately a dark frown crept over the usually sunny face of the hermit. For a split second, envy and jealousy almost curled his lips.

Reflection: The first ever reported sin was the result of jealousy. The devil was jealous of the privileged position of Adam and Eve. So too the first ever reported murder was due to jealousy – Cain was jealous of his younger brother, Abel. As clearly seen from the story of St. Antony of the Desert, “Jealousy can lead the holiest people into temptation. It is the trump card in the hands of the devil.” It is so deadly, yet it looks so innocuous.

By Kaimlet on 14-12-2017
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Acceptance Changes All

A woman named Mary Ann Bird tells her story: “I grew up knowing that I was different, and I hated it. 1 was born with a cleft palate, and when I started school, my classmates made it clear to me how I must look to others: a little girl with a misshapen lip, crooked nose, lopsided teeth and garbled speech.

When my schoolmates would ask, ‘What happened to your lip?’ I’d tell them I’d fallen and cut it on a piece of glass. Somehow it seemed more acceptable to have suffered an
accident than to have been born different. I was convinced that no one outside my family could love me.

“There was, however, a teacher in the second grade that we all adored, Mrs. Leonard by name. She was a short, round, happy, sparkling lady.

Annually, we would have a hearing test. Mrs. Leonard gave the test to everyone in the class, and finally it was my turn. I knew from past years that as we stood against the door and covered one ear, the teacher sitting at her desk would whisper something and we would have to repeat it back. .. things like ‘The sky is blue’ or ‘Do you have new shoes?’ 1 waited there for those words which God must have put into her mouth, those seven words which changed my life.

Mrs. Leonard said, in her whisper, ‘I wish you were my little girl.'”
_ William J Bausch

Reflection: Being accepted and appreciated in spite of her physical defect by her kindly teacher changed her whole life for Mary Ann Bird. A little kindness on our part many a time can make a world of difference for someone.

By Kaimlet on 08-12-2017
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You are closer than you think (A True Story)

While on vacation in Colorado, I woke up early for a hike. The three-mile trail ran to the peak of Beaver Creek Mountain. At the top base a sign said it should take about three hours to reach the top. Looking up to my destination, I was intimidated. The trail was extremely steep. The altitude at the base was 8,000 feet above sea level. The peak stood at more than 11,000 feet.
Just walking up the first set of stairs, I began breathing heavier than normal. I had to remind myself to take it easy. At home in Houston, I run several miles a few times a week and play a lot of basketball. But the elevation there is only fifty feet above sea level. The thinner air in the Colorado Mountains had me doubting whether I could make it to the top. I started out with my cell phone and a bottle of water. Determined, I set a pretty good pace. The first fifteen minutes seemed as though I were carrying an extra load. I had to stop every so often to catch my breath.
About forty-five minutes into my hike, the trail got extremely steep – almost like I was climbing straight up. My pathway snaked skyward through thick strands of aspen and ponderosa pine. The view was both beautiful and daunting. Despite the fact that I am in shape from running and playing basketball, my legs were burning and my chest was pounding. As I climbed over the big ridge, I had to stop for air. Sweat was pouring out of my body. I thought: If there’s another two hours like this, I don’t know if I can make it.
Up to that point, I had not seen anyone else on the path. Suddenly an older gentleman heading down the mountain came around a curve. He seemed cool and calm. And he read me pretty well. As we passed, he said something that changed my whole perspective. He smiled kindly and said in a calm voice: “You are closer than you think.”
Hearing those words, I felt rejuvenated as if he’d breathed new life into my lungs. Though the climb was difficult, I caught my second wind and whispered those words of encouragement with every stride that I made. Without those encouraging words I may have turned around, even though I was almost at the top.

Reflection: Friends, you are closer to your victory than you think. I encourage you to let these words get deep down in your spirit. Don’t stop now. Do not turn around, just keep pressing forward. You are closer to your goal than you think.

By Kaimlet on 05-12-2017

The Little Dangers

At the foot of a cliff in the Colorado primeval forest lie the remains of a gigantic tree. Scientists say that it had stood there for more than 400 years. It had been a sapling when Columbus discovered San Salvador. It was not even half-grown when the Pilgrim Fathers settled at Plymouth Rock.

In its life time it had been struck by lightning 14 times; over the centuries numerous land slides and storms had assaulted it. But it bravely withstood them all. Finally the tree was attacked by an army of white ants or termites. They ate their way through its bark and gradually destroyed the tree from the inside by eating it hollow.
_ Dale Carnegie
Reflection: This giant of the forest, which the ravages of centuries could not destroy, which lightning could not shatter, finally collapsed under the onslaught of white ants, which are so small that a person can crush one to death between his fingers. Unless one is careful, even a very healthy person can be conquered by the seemingly small germs and viruses; so too the little defects, which we often do not take into account, can like the white ants in this story, by and by completely destroy us. Don’t Underestimate the Little Dangers – the so-called ‘venial sins’.

By indian-admin on 03-12-2017

Who is richer than Bill Gates?

Someone asked Bill Gates, Is there any person richer than you?
He said, yes, only one. Many years ago, I had been dismissal and I had gone to New York airport. I read titles of newspapers there. I liked one of them and I want to buy it. But I didn’t have change (coin). I abandoned, suddenly, a black boy called me and told, “This newspaper for you.” I said, but I don’t have change. He said, “No problem, I give you free”.
After 3 months, I went there. Coincidentally, that story happened again and that same boy gave another free newspaper again. I said, I can’t accept. But he said, “I give you from my profit.”
After 19 years, I had been rich and I decided to find that boy. I found him after one and half months searching. I asked him, do you know me? He said, “Yes, you’re famous Bill Gates.”
I said, you gave me free newspaper in 2 times many years ago. Now, I want to compensate it. I am going to give you everything that you want. Black young man replied, “You can’t compensate it!”
I said, why? He said, “Because I gave you when I was poor. You want to give me when you are rich. So, how do you compensate?”
Bill Gates said, I think that black young man is richer than me.
Reflection: You don’t have to be rich or wait to be rich to give.

By indian-admin on 29-11-2017
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God Helps Those Who Help Themselves.

John, who was in financial difficulty, walked into a church and started to pray. ”Listen God,” John said. ”I know I haven’t been perfect, but I really need to win the lottery. I don’t have any money. Please help me out.”

He left the church, a week went by, and he hadn’t won the lottery, so he walked into a synagogue. ”Come on, God,” he said. ”I really need this money. My mom needs surgery and I have bills to pay. Please let me win the lottery.”

He left the synagogue, a week went by, and he didn’t win the lottery. So, he went to a mosque and started to pray again. ”You’re starting to disappoint me, God,” he said. ”Give me a break! I’ve prayed and prayed. If you just let me win the lottery just this time, I’ll be a better person. I don’t have to win the jackpot, but just enough to get me out of debt. I’ll even give some to charity. Just let me win the lottery.”

John thought this did it, so he got up and walked outside. Just then the clouds opened up and a booming voice said, ”John, you give me a break; first, you go and buy a lottery ticket.”

Note: Not even God can help those who do not help themselves. The first step is yours to take, a necessary prerequisite.

By Kaimlet on 27-10-2017
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The Model

Once a man was waiting for a taxi, A beggar came along and asked him for some money. The man ignored him. But being a professional, the beggar kept on pestering him. The man became irritated when he realized that the beggar would not leave him alone unless he parts with some money.
Suddenly an idea struck him. He told the beggar, “I do not have money, But if you tell me what you want to do with the money, I will certainly help you.” “I would have bought a cup of tea”, replied the beggar.
The man said, “Sorry man. I can offer you a cigarette instead of tea”. He then took a pack of cigarettes from his pocket and offered one to the beggar. The beggar told, “I don’t smoke as it is injurious to health.”
The man smiled and took a flask of whisky and told the beggar, “Here, take this bottle and enjoy the stuff. It is Really good”.
The beggar refused by saying, “Alcohol muddles the brain and damages the liver”. The man smiled again. He told the beggar, “I am going to the race course. Come with me and I will arrange for some tickets and we will place bets.

If we win, you take the whole amount and leave me alone”. As before, the beggar politely refused the latest offer by saying, “Sorry sir, I can’t come with you as betting on horses is a bad habit.”

Suddenly the man felt relieved and asked the beggar to come to his home with him. Finally, the beggar’s face lit up in anticipation of receiving at least something from the man. But he still had his doubts and asked the man, “Why do you want me to go to your house with you”.

**The man replied, “I want to show my wife how a man with no Bad habits looks like.” **

By Kaimlet on 01-10-2017
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Greed Destroys Happiness

Mr. Smith and the head teacher were standing near the playground, where the children were frolicking to their heart’s content. He asked the headmaster, “Why is it that everyone wants to be happy, but so few ever are?”

The teacher looked at the playground and answered, “Those children seem to be really happy.” “Why shouldn’t they be?” said Smith. “All they do is play. But what keeps the grownups from being happy like that?”

“The same thing that can keep children from being happy.” When he said that, he reached into his pocket, pulled out a handful of copper coins, and threw them among the playing children. Suddenly all laughter stopped. The children tumbled over one another, fought and argued, in collecting the coins,

Then the teacher said to Mr. Smith, “Well, what do you think ended their happiness?”
“The fighting,” answered Smith. “And what started the fighting?” “Greed.”
“There you have the answer to your question” said the teacher.
-Willi Hoffsuemmer

Comment: Greed is nothing but the uncontrolled desire to possess. Buddha would say, desire is the root cause of all evil. As new leaves sprout one after another on a thriving plant, desire sprouts up endlessly in the human heart. Everybody wants to find happiness. But their greed to possess the things that they think will make them happy, unfortunately, keeps happiness itself away.

By Kaimlet on 19-09-2017
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Pessimist / Optimist  

In a city suburb there were two little lads, one an optimist and the other a pessimist. Their friends joined together to lock them in two rooms – a room full of toys for the pessimist and a room full of manure from the farmyard for the optimist.

An hour later they went back to see how they were doing. First they looked into the room of the pessimist. He was sitting on the floor in the middle of all the toys crying, because there was no drum. They went across the corridor to the other room full of manure where the optimist was. He didn’t even hear them opening the door. His eyes were popping out with excitement and he had a little shovel. “What are you doing?” they asked. “Quiet!” he responded, “With all this manure there’s got to be a pony somewhere here.”

Comment: Your happiness, and for that matter even your unhappiness, does not depend on the volume of your possessions. Socrates, they say, visited the weekly market without fail, but never purchased any thing. He was all the time looking for all the things he could do without. Desire, according to Gautama Buddha, is the cause of all unhappiness.

By Kaimlet on 24-08-2017