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Which part of the world

  Quotations that inspire  

Everything Happens for a Reason (click to go)
Lucky or unlucky? You be the judge!
Liberté (French poem by Paul Eluard with English translation side by side)
1. Beautiful advice from a divorced man after 16 years of marriage
2. The best marriage advice from a woman, divorced after 7 years of marriage

In French
Portrait du Bon Français (The portrait of a true Frenchman - as seen by himself)
In Spanish
(1) Se despide un Genio
(A Genius Bids Farewell)

(2) El Derecho al Delirio
(The Right to Delirium)

Don't ever slam a door, you might want to go back. - Don Herold
What are the things that upset and disturb me? If small things have the power to disturb you, then who you think you are is exactly that: small. That will be your unconscious belief. What are the small things? Ultimately all things are small things because all things are transient. -Eckhart Tolle in "A New Earth"
The times change, people change, fashions come and go but you can remain true to yourself - if you have character. (GPJ)
When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don't blame the lettuce. You look for reasons it is not doing well. It may need fertilizer, or more water, or less sun. You never blame the lettuce. Yet if we have problems with our friends or family, we blame the other person. But if we know how to take care of them, they will grow well, like the lettuce. - Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk
The measure of a man's real character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out. - Thomas Babington Macaulay
Life is too short to wake up with regrets. So love the people who treat you right. Forget about those who don’t. - Harvey MacKay
To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself. - Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk
Being happy doesn't mean that everything is perfect. It means that you've decided to look beyond the imperfections. - Gerard Way
You must take personal responsibility for your life. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. - Jim Rohn
I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work. - Thomas Edison
Four little words that you might need to comfort yourself when you are down: This too shall pass. Click for story.
Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened. - Dr. Seuss
Independence is my happiness, and I view things as they are, without regard to place or person; my country is the world, and my religion is to do good. - Thomas Paine
It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves. - Sir Edmund Hillary, first person (along with Sherpa Tenzing) to reach the summit of Mount Everest on 29 May 1953)
Irish Philosophy
There are only two things to worry about - either you are well, or you are sick
If you are well then you have nothing to worry about
If you are sick there are two things to worry about - either you will get well, or you will die
If you get well then there is nothing to worry about
If you die there are two things to worry about - either you will go to heaven, or hell
If you go to heaven there is nothing to worry about
But if you go to hell you'll be so damn busy shaking hands with all your friends down there you won't have time to worry!
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. - Martin Luther King Jr.
It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default. - J.K. Rowling
Forget what hurt you in the past, but never forget what it taught you. Be wise and keep moving! -Darren Shan
Don't worry about people from your past,
There's a reason why they didn't make it to your future.
When you look at a person, any person, remember that everyone has a story. Everyone has gone through something that has changed them.
Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow.
Don't walk behind me, I may not lead.
Just walk beside me, and be my friend. - Albert Camus
Don't criticize anyone till you walk a mile in their shoes so when you finally do criticize them...you're a mile away and have their shoes.
Say of him what you please, but I know my child's failings. I do not love him because he is good, but because he is my little child. How should you know how dear he can be when you try to weigh his merits against his faults? When I must punish him he becomes all the more a part of my being. When I cause his tears to come my heart weeps with him. I alone have a right to blame and punish, for he only may chastise who loves. - Rabindranath Tagore
If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome. - Anne Bradstreet
Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow. It only saps today of its strength. - A.J. Cronin
Always be yourself because the people that mind don't matter and the people that matter don't mind. - Dr. Seuss
We are no longer happy so soon as we wish to be happier. - Walter Savage Landor
There are only two ways to live life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is. - Albert Einstein
What happens is not as important as how you react to what happens. - Ellen Glasgow
When you put your hand in a flowing stream, you touch the last that has gone before and the first of what is still to come. - Leonardo da Vinci
The most knowledgeable person in one domain may be the most ignorant in another. - Albert Camus
That's what learning is, after all: not whether we lose the game, but how we lose and how we've changed because of it, and what we take away from it that we never had before, to apply to other games. Losing, in a curious way, is winning. - Richard Bach
I consider myself a student of many religions. The more I learn, the more questions I have. - Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code.
Live neither in the past nor in the future, but let each day's work absorb your entire energies and satisfy your wildest ambition. - William Osler
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.
The true measure of a person is how they treat someone who can do him absolutely no good. - Samuel Johnson
The greatest thing in this world is not so much where we are, but in what direction we are moving. - Oliver Wendell Holmes
Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it. — Mahatma Gandhi
Brilliant people talk about ideas. Average people talk about things. Small people talk about other people.
A smile costs nothing but gives much. It enriches those who receive without making poorer those who give. It takes but a moment, but the memory of it sometimes lasts forever. No one is so rich or mighty that he can get along without it, and no one is so poor that he cannot give it. A smile creates happiness in the home, fosters goodwill in business, and is the cornerstone of friendship. It brings rest to the weary, cheer to the discouraged, sunshine to the sad, and is nature's best antidote for trouble. Yet it cannot be bought, begged, borrowed, or stolen, for it is something that is of no value to anyone until it is given away. When people are too tired to give you a smile, give them one of yours. No one needs a smile so much as he who has none to give. - Author unknown
The next time you get the urge to shut somebody up because they don't see the world exactly the same way you do, take a deep breath, get out your Bill of Rights, and count to the ten amendments. - Dennis Miller
Making happiness and misery the same, making success and failure the same, fight thou on - Gita
Be nice to people on your way up because you'll meet them on your way down. - Wilson Mizner
It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness. - Chinese proverb
The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience. - Harper Lee
The education of a person is never completed until he dies. - Robert E. Lee
To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best day and night to make you everybody else, means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight, and never stop fighting. - E.E. Cummings
We can make mountains of molehills and molehills of mountains. Our thoughts can heal us and our thoughts can make us ill.
I never cared about acceptance as much as I cared about respect. - Jackie Robinson
Motto: Hope for the best, but expect the worst.
If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.
The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook. - William James
A loyal friend laughs at your jokes when they're not so good, and sympathizes with your problems when they're not so bad. - Arnold H. Glasow
A truly rich man is one whose children will run into his arms when his hands are empty.
Never judge another until you have walked two weeks in his shoes.
The person who is straightforward and honest doesn't have to worry about a faulty memory.
No one is better than another. We are all different.
A wise man knows when to keep his mouth shut.
In prosperity our friends know us; in adversity, we know our friends. - John Churton Collins
It's better to lose your ego to the one you love than to lose the one you love because of ego. - John Keats
I was grumbling because I had no shoes on my feet - and then I saw a man who had no feet.
The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitude. - William James
The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.
The truth is not always the same as the majority decision. - Pope John Paul II
Unless we dream the best dreams of which we are capable, the future will be poorer than it might be. --Brian Stableford
Our greatest glory consists not in never falling but in rising each time we fall. (Can someone kindly tell me who said this? Some attributed it to Oliver Goldsmith, some to Ralph Waldo Emerson and others to Confucius. - PJG)
I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.
Note: This quotation, often attributed to Voltaire, actually came from Evelyn Beatrice Hall (writing under the pseudonym of S.G. Tallentyre) in her book "The Friends of Voltaire".
This was what she wrote: The men who had hated [the book], and had not particularly loved Helvetius, flocked round him now. Voltaire forgave him all injuries, intentional or unintentional. 'What a fuss about an omelette!' he had exclaimed when he heard of the burning. How abominably unjust to persecute a man for such an airy trifle as that! 'I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it,' was his attitude now.
We cannot control the evil tongues of others; but a good life enables us to disregard them. - Cato the Elder
A boy doesn't have to go to war to be a hero; he can say he doesn't like pie when he sees there isn't enough to go around. - Edgar Watson Howe

What you think of yourself is much more important than what others think of you. - Seneca
My mother drew a distinction between achievement and success. She said that achievement is the knowledge that you have studied and worked hard and done the best that is in you. Success is being praised by others. That is nice but not as important or satisfying. Always aim for achievement and forget about success. - Helen Hayes
Great tranquillity of heart is his who cares for neither praise nor blame. - Thomas A. Kempis
Keep a good heart. That's the most important thing in life. It's not how much money you make or what you can acquire. The art of it is to keep a good heart. - Joni Mitchell
No one can be wrong all the time. Even a clock that has stopped running is right twice a day.
The least of things with a meaning is worth more in life than the greatest of things without it. - Carl Jung
The greatest wealth is to live content with little, for there is never want where the mind is satisfied.
Nothing matters to a man who says nothing matters. - Lin Yu-tang
I would like to be able to admire a person's opinions as I would their dog - without being expected to take it home with me. - Frank A. Clark
Fame is vapour, popularity an accident; Riches take wings; those who cheer today will curse tomorrow, only one thing endures, and that is character. - Horace Greely (1811-1872)
We do not stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing. - Anonymous.
The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts. - Bertrand Russell
Two men look out the same prison bars; one sees mud and the other stars. - Frederick Langbridge
I have learned that a man only has the right to look down on another man when it is to help him to stand up. - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Here is my secret. It is very simple: it is only with the heart that one can see rightly. The essence is invisible to the eye. - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry in The Little Prince
(In French): "Voici mon secret. Il est très simple: on ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux."
The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate.... Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Deal with the faults of others as gently as with your own. - Chinese proverb
A man must have limits and cannot give in to the wild desires to be everything and everyone and everything to everyone. - Saul Bellow (1915-2005)
I set it down as a fact that if all men knew what each said of the other, there would not be four friends in the world. - Pascal
The biggest mistake you can make is to always be right.
When you are content to be simply yourself and don't compare or compete, everybody will respect you. - Lao-Tzu
When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us. - Helen Keller
If you give a man a fish, he will have food for a day. If you show him how to fish, he will have food all his life.
People only see what they are prepared to see. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
In life we have to jostle and be jostled. We elbow our way through life, giving and receiving offence.
One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one's work is terribly important. - Bertrand Russell
Do unto others as you wish others do unto you. - Confucius
The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain. - Dolly Parton
Money may be the husk of many things, but not the kernel. It brings you food, but not appetite; medicine, but not health; acquaintances, but not friends; servants, but not loyalty; days of joy, but not peace or happiness. - Ibsen (1828-1906)
The two hardest things to handle in life are failure and success.
Life is mostly froth and bubble; Two things stand like stone: - Kindness in another's trouble, Courage in your own. - Adam Lindsay Gordon (1833-70)
Worrying does not take away tomorrow's troubles, it takes away today's peace. - Randy Armstrong
All things in life are temporary. If it's going well, enjoy it, that won't last long. If it's going badly, don't worry, that won't last long either.
The happiest people don't have the best of everything but make the best of everything they have. - Marcus Aurelius
It is not who is right, but what is right that is of importance.
Be more concerned with your character than with your reputation. Your character is what you really are while your reputation is merely what others think you are. - John Wooden
Worry is like a rocking chair - gives you something to do but doesn't get you anywhere.
Forget injuries, never forget kindnesses. - Chinese Proverb
When angry, count four; when very angry, swear. - Mark Twain (1835-1910)
I must respect the opinions of others even if I disagree with them. - Herbert Henry Lehman
When someone asks you how you are, and your reply is "Bad!", you are being selfish, for there are many that are much worse off than you.
Hanging on to resentment is letting someone you despise live rent-free in your head. - Ann Landers
The heights by great men reached and kept,
Were not obtained by sudden flight
But they, while their companions slept,
Were toiling upward in the night. - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
I am tomorrow, or some future day, what I establish today. I am today what I established yesterday or some previous day. - James Joyce
Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck. - Dalai Lama
People want what they can't have, once they have it they don't want it anymore.
The only tyrant I accept in this world is the still voice within. - Mahatma Gandhi
The Man in the Arena (President Theodore Roosevelt)
It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat. - Teddy Roosevelt
(This speech, entitled "The Man in the Arena", was delivered by former U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt at the Sorbonne in Paris, France on April 23, 1910.)
Greed has poisoned men's souls. Has barricaded the world with hate. Has goose-stepped us with misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical, our cleverness hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery, we need humanity. More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness. - Charlie Chaplin in "The Great Dictator"
Though nothing can bring back the hour of splendour in the grass,
or glory in the flower, we will grieve not,
rather find strength in what remains behind. - William Wordsworth
There are very few guarantees in life, yet one thing is certain -- if you never attempt anything, you'll never accomplish anything. We frequently are held back by fear of failure. And failure is always a possibility. It is a certainty, however, when you never try in the first place.
You become what you think about most. When you continually focus on the fear of failure, failure will become real for you. Look instead at the possibilities. Look at what could happen if only you would attempt it. Sure, it might not succeed completely. Yet even then you will learn something. - Ralph Marston
"You must let go of anger, fear and guilt" by Annamerkaba

The Mayonnaise Jar and 2 Cups of Coffee  (thanks to Kelly Yolland for sharing)

When things in your lives seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 cups of coffee.
A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was. The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.
The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with an unanimous "Yes."
The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.
"Now," said the professor as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things - your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions - and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.
The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car. The sand is everything else - the small stuff.  "If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.
"Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first - the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."
One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented. The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend."

When love beckons to you, follow him  (From "The Prophet" by Khalil Gibran)

When love beckons to you, follow him, Though his ways are hard and steep. And when his wings enfold you, yield to him, Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you. And when he speaks to you believe in him, Though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden.
For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning. Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun, So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth.....
But if in your fear you would seek only love's peace and love's pleasure, Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love's threshing-floor, Into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears. Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself. Love possesses not nor would it be possessed; For love is sufficient unto love.....
Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself. But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires: To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night. To know the pain of too much tenderness. To be wounded by your own understanding of love; And to bleed willingly and joyfully. To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving; To rest at the noon hour and meditate love's ecstasy; To return home at eventide with gratitude; And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips.

The Paradox of Our Age  by Dr. Bob Moorehead (often wrongly attributed to George Carlin)

We have taller buildings but shorter tempers; wider freeways but narrower viewpoints; we spend more but have less; we buy more but enjoy it less; we have bigger houses and smaller families; more conveniences, yet less time; we have more degrees but less sense; more knowledge but less judgement; more experts, yet more problems; we have more gadgets but less satisfaction; more medicine, yet less wellness; we take more vitamins but see fewer results. We drink too much; smoke too much; spend too recklessly; laugh too little; drive too fast; get too angry quickly; stay up too late; get up too tired; read too seldom; watch TV too much and pray too seldom.
We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values; we fly in faster planes to arrive there quicker, to do less and return sooner; we sign more contracts only to realize fewer profits; we talk too much; love too seldom and lie too often. We've learned how to make a living, but not a life; we've added years to life, not life to years. We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbor. We've conquered outer space, but not inner space; we've done larger things, but not better things; we've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul; we've split the atom, but not our prejudice; we write more, but learn less; plan more, but accomplish less; we make faster planes, but longer lines; we learned to rush, but not to wait; we have more weapons, but less peace; higher incomes, but lower morals; more parties, but less fun; more food, but less appeasement; more acquaintances, but fewer friends; more effort, but less success. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but have less communication; drive smaller cars that have bigger problems; build larger factories that produce less. We've become long on quantity, but short on quality.
These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion; tall men, but short character; steep in profits, but shallow relationships. These are times of world peace, but domestic warfare; more leisure and less fun; higher postage, but slower mail; more kinds of food, but less nutrition. These are days of two incomes, but more divorces; these are times of fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, cartridge living, throw-away morality, one-night stands, overweight bodies and pills that do everything from cheer, to prevent, quiet or kill. It is a time when there is much in the show window and nothing in the stock room. Indeed, these are the times!

LET IT GO   by T.D.Jakes

When people can walk away from you, let them walk.
I don't want you to try to talk another person
into staying with you, loving you, calling you,
caring about you, coming to see you...
Your destiny is never tied to anybody that left...
People leave you because they are not joined to you.
And if they are not joined to you, you can't make
them stay. Let them go.
And it doesn't mean that they are bad,
it just means that their part in the story is over...
You've got to know when it's over...
Stop begging people to stay. Let them go!!...
If someone can't treat you right, love you back,
and see your worth let it go!!!
If someone has angered you  let it go!!!...
If you keep judging others to make yourself
feel better  let it go!!!...
Get Right or Get Left...think about it, and then let it go!!!

Unending Love by Rabindranath Tagore
Read by Dhruba Chakrabarty

I seem to have loved you in numberless forms, numberless times…
In life after life, in age after age, forever.
My spellbound heart has made and remade the necklace of songs,
That you take as a gift, wear round your neck in your many forms,
In life after life, in age after age, forever.
Whenever I hear old chronicles of love, its age-old pain,
Its ancient tale of being apart or together.
As I stare on and on into the past, in the end you emerge,
Clad in the light of a pole-star piercing the darkness of time:
You become an image of what is remembered forever.
You and I have floated here on the stream that brings from the fount.
At the heart of time, love of one for another.
We have played alongside millions of lovers, shared in the same
Shy sweetness of meeting, the same distressful tears of farewell
Old love but in shapes that renew and renew forever.
Today it is heaped at your feet, it has found its end in you
The love of all man’s days both past and forever:
Universal joy, universal sorrow, universal life.
The memories of all loves merging with this one love of ours
And the songs of every poet past and forever.
I have a dream by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Note: You might need Real Player or VideoLAN (VLC Media Player) to play it.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slaveowners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream...(edited)...that one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.
This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope.

Invictus (Unconquerable) by William Ernest Henley
(This poem was a great source of inspiration to Nelson Mandela when he was imprisoned on Robben Island.)

Read by Walter Rufus Eagles
Note: You might need Real Player or VideoLAN (VLC Media Player) to play it.

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud,
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
(Note: Henley suffered from tuberculosis of the bone when he was 12. His diseased foot had to be amputated. Worse still his physicians announced that his other foot also had to be amputated in order to save his life. Henley fought this with all his spirit. He was discharged from hospital with his foot and his life and was able to lead an active life for nearly 30 years despite his handicap. His disease killed him at 54. This poem was written from a hospital bed.)

IF by Rudyard Kipling
Read by Walter Rufus Eagles
Note: You might need Real Player or VideoLAN (VLC Media Player) to play it.

If you can keep your head when all about you,
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream -- and not make dreams your master;
If you can think -- and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster,
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken,
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools;
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute,
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!
Desiderata by Max Erhmann (1872-1945)    
Note: You might need Real Player or VideoLAN (VLC Media Player) to play it.

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence
As far as possible without surrender, Be on good terms with all persons
Speak your truth quietly and clearly, and listen to others - Even the dull and ignorant,
they too have their story
Avoid loud and aggressive persons - they are vexations to the spirit
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter,
For always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans
Keep interested in your own career - However humble,
It is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time
Exercise caution in your business affairs, For the world is full of trickery
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is
Many persons strive for high ideals, And everywhere life is full of heroism
Be yourself
Especially do not feign affection, neither be cynical about love
For in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, It is as perennial as the grass
Take kindly the council of the years, Gracefully surrendering the things of youth
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune, But do not distress yourself with imaginings
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself
You are a child of the universe
No less than the trees and the stars, You have a right to be here
And whether or not it is clear to you, No doubt the universe is unfolding as it should
Therefore, be at peace with God, whatever you conceive him to be
And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, Keep peace with your soul
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world
Be cheerful
Strive to be happy.

Everything Happens for a Reason
(This thought-provoking text that makes one feel good even after a painful experience in life has been reproduced from the Phoenixmasonry website)

Sometimes people come into your life and you know right away that they were meant to be there, to serve some sort of purpose, teach you a lesson, or to help you figure out who you are or who you want to become.  You never know who these people may be (possibly your roommate, neighbor, teacher, fraternal brother or sister, long lost friend, lover, or even a complete stranger), but when you lock eyes with them, you know that at that very moment they will affect your life in some profound way.
And sometimes things happen to you that may seem horrible, painful, and unfair at first, but in reflection you find that without overcoming those obstacles you would have never realized your potential, strength, willpower, or heart.
Everything happens for a reason.  Nothing happens by chance or by means of good luck. Illness, injury, love, lost moments of true greatness, and sheer stupidity all occur to test the limits of your soul. Without the small tests, whatever they may be, life would be like a smoothly paved, straight flat road to nowhere.  It would be safe and comfortable, but dull and utterly pointless.
The people you meet who affect your life, and the success and downfalls you experience, help to create who you are and who you become.  Even the bad experiences can be learned from.  In fact, they are probably the most poignant and important ones. If someone hurts you, betrays you, or breaks your heart, forgive them, for they have helped you learn about trust and the importance of being cautious to when you open your heart.  If someone loves you, love them back unconditionally, not only because they love you, but because in a way, they are teaching you to love and how to open your heart and eyes to things. Make every day count.
Appreciate every moment and take from those moments everything that you possibly can for you may never be able to experience it again. Talk to people that you have never talked to before, and actually listen.  Let yourself fall in love, break free, and set your sights high. Hold your head up because you have every right to.  Tell yourself you are a great individual and believe in yourself, for if you don’t believe in yourself, it will be hard for others to believe in you.  You can make your life anything you wish.  Create your own life and then go out and live it with absolutely no regrets.  Most importantly, if you love someone tell them, for you never know what tomorrow may have in store.  And finally, enjoy looking forward to learning a new lesson each day and enjoying the journey.
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The Blind Men and the Elephant by John Godfrey Saxe (1816-1887)
(Note: Each of the six blind men below is convinced he is perfectly right because he hasn't got access to the whole elephant but only a part of it.)


                - Anonymous Samurai, fourteenth century
It was six men of Indostan
To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Elephant
(Though all of them were blind),
That each by observation
Might satisfy his mind

The First approached the Elephant,
And happening to fall
Against his broad and sturdy side,
At once began to bawl:
God bless me! but the Elephant
Is very like a wall!

The Second, feeling of the tusk,
Cried, Ho! what have we here
So very round and smooth and sharp?
To me 'tis mighty clear
This wonder of an Elephant
Is very like a spear!

The Third approached the animal,
And happening to take
The squirming trunk within his hands,
Thus boldly up and spake:
I see, quoth he, the Elephant
Is very like a snake!

The Fourth reached out an eager hand,
And felt about the knee.
What most this wondrous beast is like
Is mighty plain, quoth he;
'Tis clear enough the Elephant
Is very like a tree!

The Fifth, who chanced to touch the ear,
Said: Even the blindest man
Can tell what this resembles most;
Deny the fact who can
This marvel of an Elephant
Is very like a fan!?

The Sixth no sooner had begun
About the beast to grope,
Than, seizing on the swinging tail
That fell within his scope,
I see, quoth he, the Elephant
Is very like a rope!

And so these men of Indostan
Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right,
And all were in the wrong!


So oft in theologic wars,
The disputants, I ween,
Rail on in utter ignorance
Of what each other mean,
And prate about an Elephant
Not one of them has seen!

Interview with God
I dreamed I had an interview with God.
“So you would like to interview me?” God asked
“If you have the time” I said.
God smiled. “My time is eternity”
“What questions do you have in mind for me?”
“What surprises you most about humankind?...”
God answered...
“That they get bored with childhood.
They rush to grow up and then
long to be children again.”
“That they lose their health to make money
and then lose their money to restore their health.”
“That by thinking anxiously about the future,
they forget the present,
such that they live in neither
the present nor the future.”
That they live as if they will never die,
and die as if they had never lived.”
God’s hand took mine
and we were silent for a while
And then I asked...
“As a parent, what are some of life’s lessons
you want your children to learn?”
God replied with a smile
“To learn they cannot make anyone love them.
What they can do is let themselves be loved.”
“To learn that it is not good
to compare themselves to others.”
“To learn that a rich person is not one who has the most,
but is one who needs the least.”
“To learn that it only takes a few seconds
to open profound wounds in persons we love,
and it takes many years to heal them.”
“To learn to forgive by
practicing forgiveness.”
“To learn that there are persons who love them dearly,
but simply do not know how to express or show
their feelings.”
“To learn that two people
can look at the same thing
and see it differently.”
“To learn that it is not always enough that they
be forgiven by others. But that they must forgive themselves.”
“And to learn that I am here always.”

A Genius Bids Farewell

(translated from Spanish)

If for a moment God would forget that I am a rag doll and give me a scrap of life, possibly I would not say everything that I think, but I would definitely think everything that I say.
I would value things not for how much they are worth but rather for what they mean.
I would sleep little, dream more. I know that for each minute that we close our eyes we lose sixty seconds of light.
I would walk when the others loiter; I would awaken when the others sleep.
I would listen when the others speak, and how I would enjoy a good chocolate ice cream.
If God would bestow on me a scrap of life, I would dress simply, I would throw myself flat under the sun, exposing not only my body but also my soul.
My God, if I had a heart, I would write my hatred on ice and wait for the sun to come out. With a dream of Van Gogh I would paint on the stars a poem by Benedetti, and a song by Serrat would be my serenade to the moon.
With my tears I would water the roses, to feel the pain of their thorns and the incarnated kiss of their petals...
My God, if I only had a scrap of life...I wouldn't let a single day go by without saying to people I love, that I love them.
I would convince each woman or man that they are my favourites and I would live in love with love.
I would prove to the men how mistaken they are in thinking that they no longer fall in love when they grow old, not knowing that they grow old when they stop falling in love. To a child I would give wings, but I would let him learn how to fly by himself. To the old I would teach that death comes not with old age but with forgetting.
I have learned so much from you men....I have learned that everybody wants to live at the top of the mountain without realizing that true happiness lies in the way we climb the slope.
I have learned that when a newborn first squeezes his father's finger in his tiny fist, he has caught him forever.
I have learned that a man only has the right to look down on another man when it is to help him to stand up. I have learned so many things from you, but in the end most of it will be no use because when they put me inside that suitcase, unfortunately I will be dying...
...No one, young or old, can be assured that tomorrow will be there. Today could very well be the last time you see those whom you love. For this reason do not wait any longer, do it today for if tomorrow never comes you would surely regret the day when you did not take the time for a smile, a hug, a kiss and were too busy to concede their last request. Keep your loved ones near you, let them know how much you need and love them and treat them well, take time to tell them "I'm sorry", "Excuse me", "Please", "Thanks" and all the loving words that you know.

- Gabriel Garcia Marquez

The Art of Being Well by Dr. Drauzio Varella

If you don’t want to be ill...speak your feelings
Emotions and feelings that are hidden, repressed, end in illnesses as: gastritis, ulcer, lumbar pains, spinal. With time, the repression of the feelings degenerates into cancer. Then, we go to a confidante, to share our intimacy, our "secrets", our errors! The dialogue, the speech, the word, is a powerful remedy and an excellent therapy!

If you don’t want to be ill...make decisions
The undecided person remains in doubt, in anxiety, in anguish. Indecision accumulates problems, worries and aggressions. Human history is made of decisions. To decide is precisely to know to renounce, to know to lose advantages and values in order to win others. The undecided people are victims of gastric ailments, nervous pains and problems of the skin.

If you don’t want to be ill...find solutions
Negative people do not find solutions and they enlarge problems. They prefer lamentation, gossip, pessimism. It is better to light a match than to regret the darkness. A bee is small, but produces one of the sweetest things that exist. We are what we think. The negative thought generates negative energy that is transformed into illness.

If you don’t want to be ill...don't live by appearances
Who hides reality, pretends , poses and always wants to give the impression of being well. He wants to be seen as perfect, easy-going, etc. but is accumulating tons of weight. A bronze statue with feet of clay. There is nothing worse for the health than to live on appearances and façades. These are people with a lot of varnish and little root. Their destiny is the pharmacy, the hospital and pain.

If you don’t want to be ill...accept
The refusal of acceptance and the absence of self-esteem, make us alienate ourselves. Being at one with ourselves is the core of a healthy life. They who do not accept this, become envious, jealous, imitators, ultra-competitive, destructive. Be accepted, accept that you are accepted, accept the criticisms. It is wisdom, good sense and therapy.

If you don’t want to be ill...trust
Who does not trust, does not communicate, is not open, is not related, does not create deep and stable relations, does not know true friendships. Without confidence, there is no relationship. Distrust is a lack of faith in you and in faith itself.

If you don’t want to be ill...do not live life sad
Good humor. Laughter. Rest. Happiness. These replenish health and bring long life. The happy person has the gift to improve the environment wherever they live. “Good humor saves us from the hands of the doctor". Happiness is health and therapy.