There’s A Mouse in the House!

Photo Credit: Micolo J via CC Flickr
Photo Credit: Micolo J via CC Flickr

This is a re-post of an article that I posted way back when I first began my “Good Time Stories” page. I hope you like it as much as I do!!


There are many people in today’s world that want nothing to do with helping other people. Their thought is, “why should I go out of my way to help them with the problem that they are facing? It has nothing to do with me.” Well, sometimes this decision can come back to affect them. The story today clearly illustrates why, sometimes, we should go out of our way to help others.

A mouse looked through the crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife open a package. What food might this contain? The mouse wondered – he was devastated to discover it was a mousetrap. Retreating to the farmyard, the mouse proclaimed the warning: There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!

The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said, “Mr.Mouse, I can tell this is a grave concern to you, but it is of no consequence to me.”” I cannot be bothered by it.”

The mouse turned to the pig and told him, “There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!” The pig sympathized, but said, I am so very sorry, Mr. Mouse, but there is nothing I can do about it but pray. “Be assured you are in my prayers.”

The mouse turned to the cow and said “There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!” The cow said, “Wow, Mr. Mouse. I’m sorry for you, but it’s no skin off my nose.”

So, the mouse returned to the house, head down and dejected, to face the farmer’s mousetrap alone.

That very night a sound was heard throughout the house — like the sound of a mousetrap catching its prey. The farmer’s wife rushed to see what was caught. In the darkness, she did not see it was a venomous snake whose tail the trap had caught. The snake bit the farmer’s wife. The farmer rushed her to the hospital, and she returned home with a fever. Everyone knows you treat a fever with fresh chicken soup, so the farmer took his hatchet to the farmyard for the soup’s main ingredient.

But his wife’s sickness continued, so friends and neighbors came to sit with her around the clock. To feed them, the farmer butchered the pig.
The farmer’s wife did not get well; she died. So many people came for her funeral, the farmer had the cow slaughtered to provide enough meat for all of them.
The mouse looked upon it all from his crack in the wall with great sadness.
So, the next time you hear someone is facing a problem and think it doesn’t concern you, remember…..the mouse in the house.

The Wisdom of Mother Teresa

Photo Credit: Peta_de_Aztian via CC Flickr
Photo Credit: Peta_de_Aztian via CC Flickr

How often each day do you really think about helping people that you meet or spend time with each day? Or is your primary focus primarily in determining how much you receive from others? Today’s short story, in which read on kluth.org, is about one of the most humble and caring people that the world has ever known…Mother Teresa.

Mother Teresa visited Australia. A new recruit to the monastery in Australia was assigned to be her guide and “gofer” during her stay. The young man was so thrilled and excited at the prospect of being so close to this woman. He dreamed of how much he would learn from her and what they would talk about.

But during her visit, he became frustrated. Although he was constantly near her, he never had the opportunity to say one word to Mother Teresa. There were always other people for her to meet. Finally, her tour was over, and she was due to fly to New Guinea.

In desperation, the friar had his opportunity to speak to Mother Teresa. He said to her, “If I pay my own fare to New Guinea, can I sit next to you on the plane so I can talk to you and learn from you?” Mother Teresa looked at him. “You have enough money to pay airfare to New Guinea?” she asked. “Oh, yes,” he replied eagerly. “Then give that money to the poor,” she said. “You’ll learn more from that than anything I can tell you.”

The situation here was that this young man wanted to encounter an experience of a feeling when instead; all he needed to do was to simply learn a lesson for life simply by doing things for others.

The Little Angel

Photo Credit: Suvodeb Banerjee via CC Flickr
Photo Credit: Suvodeb Banerjee via CC Flickr

There are times in our lives when we all get depressed, down on ourselves, and wonder why we were put into a situation that may seem so unfair or cruel. I recently came across the following short story written by Helen Down on Life if Hope that is a terrific reminder why we shouldn’t focus on the negative things that happen in our lives but to use them to help others that may be experiencing the circumstance as you did.

He looked in the mirror, repelled by the sight of what he saw, a constant reminder of his last fire-fight. ‘Though he’d rescued a man, a dog, and a boy, his fame as a “hero” brought him little joy. His wife had now left him for a more handsome man. She crushed his soul when she said, “Care of an invalid was not in my plan.”

As he stood there bemoaning his unhappy state, he was filled with self-pity, with anger and hate. His dreams for the future now turned upside down, he limped to the park with a deep frown on his face. He decided to give his mind some relief, so he sat down and started to read. As he read, he paid little attention to the movement that began around him.

Then out from a group of some children at play, a ragged young girl approached, her head turned away. Standing close to his side, and her eyes to the ground, she stretched out her arm and said, “Look what I found!” She held in her hand what looked like a weed, all wilted and brown, its flower gone to seed.

The man growled in answer, “Just leave me alone. Get on with your playing, or run along home.”

But the child was undaunted. “I picked these for you. They’re awfully pretty, and I think you are, too.”

The man was annoyed, for her eyes seemed to shift. He pushed her aside, refusing her gift. He thought that she mocked him, as others had done–the object of ridicule, the target for “fun”.

And then something happened. God opened his mind. A new look he took: the wee girl was blind! He reached out and touched her. He patted her head; then accepted her flowers, although they looked dead.

His anger and hatred had started their melt. God’s love, through this child, he knew he had felt. The man turned to thank her, but she wasn’t there. She seemed to have vanished into the noon air. Although day after day to the park the man came, he never did see his small angel again.

But the child had awakened in him a desire to start a new life, to forget that last fire. He went to the hospital, where once he had been. He stood there and stared at familiar scenes. He watched the burn patients in their therapy. In some he saw anger, in some, agony. Remembering so vividly the pain he’d endured, he knew that the “inside” was the hardest to cure. From that moment on, he knew what he’d do. He’d help these folks heal. And his soul would heal, too.

Start to help others and heal your soul…today!

The Garbage Truck Principle

Photo Credit: P. Gordon via CC Flickr
Photo Credit: P. Gordon via CC Flickr

There are many kinds of people that we come in contact with each day. Some people have encouraging, positive, and happy personalities, some have quiet and soothing behaviors, while still others, have just plain mean, nasty, and miserable people.

Personally, I am the kind of person that enjoys helping, encouraging, and uplifting others.  Nothing “makes my day” more than making someone smile or going out of my way to hold a door open for someone, cutting someone’s lawn, or, believe it or not, pay for an anonymous person’s meal or their food at the check out line in a supermarket. Why? Because it makes me happy…it brings me joy…it’s the strength of what I do.

You may be wondering why I am revealing these thoughts with you. The reason is simple…I would like to share a principle, a theory with you that I once heard, that affected the way that I react when certain people “lose their cool.” It’s called the “Garbage Truck Principle.”

The “Garbage Truck Principle” goes something like this… there are some people in today’s world that are like Garbage Trucks. They are filled with all kinds of “garbage”, anger, resentment, rage, hatred and other poisonous feelings. They fill themselves with all kinds of trash until they can’t take any more. The result? They look for something or someone to dump their trash onto. These individuals “explode” by yelling, screaming, shouting, or displaying hurtful actions towards others.

There are a couple of ways to deal with the “Garbage Trucks” which will help us stay positive and prevent them from robbing us of the joy we have. First, don’t allow these negative people to dump the trash on you. When you meet a person that is filled with these poisonous emotions, avoid them. Don’t react to them by what you say or do…just ignore them and move on. Remember, they are looking for a place to dump their trash. Second, be mentally strong. Make up and prepare your mind in advance when you do come across a Garbage Truck, you will not allow them to steal your joy. You will not allow them to take control of your actions or emotions. You have better things to do with your life than to waste it on these people. Remember, you are not a garbage dump. You are special, one-of-a-kind person, that was put on this earth to be an encouragement and help towards others.

Lastly, don’t become a garbage truck! Don’t allow the negative experiences and hurtful things in life make you bitter, angry, and resentful. Turn your negative thoughts into positive ones. Instead of seeing what people can do for you…change your thinking…”what can I DO for others?” You will find your life will be more fulfilling and meaningful.

Remember…Don’t Be A Garbage Truck!!

Finding Strength in Difficult Times

There are times throughout our lives when things or circumstances can get so difficult…that our dreams or goals seems totally unreachable. But, the difference between an extraordinary person and an ordinary person…is that little EXTRA! 

There are also times that we need that one special person to help us “pull through” the tough situation that we may experiencing and encourage us to “fight on” and overcome our diversity.

It is my hope, that this incredible video will touch your heart, soul, and mind and encourage you to stay strong when you feel your weakest.

Pictures That Speak Volumes #47

Photo Credit: Unknown
Photo Credit: Unknown

There is always something beautiful when people work together to help give an unfortunate individual an experience of a lifetime!

“It’s Not My Problem”

Photo Credit: jenny from Taipei via Wikimedia
Photo Credit: jenny from Taipei via Wikimedia

The story is told about a land that was once called Paradise. All the people that lived in Paradise were very kind; they each had a house, food, clothing, and all they ever wanted. Everyone shared all that they had with each other and each person looked out for their neighbor.

Then, one day, the wonderful king of Paradise died and soon his son, the prince, became the ruler of the kingdom. Unfortunately, the new king didn’t live by the same credo as his father. The concept of “All for one and one for all” seemed silly and trivial. He simply had no compassion or concern for the people in his land…just his own.

After a while, the king’s counselors and advisors told him that a section of the kingdom was starving. Stuffing his mouth full of food, he said, “Look, I have plenty of things to eat, so, these people are not my problem.”

The conditions in the land continued to get worse. The king was told that some of the water had now been poisoned and was unfit to drink. Shrugging his shoulders, he poured himself a big glass of cool water and responded, “I have all the water I need, it’s not my problem if they don’t have anything to drink.”

Soon, everyone in the land began behaving like the new king and no one was willing to help anyone else.

One day, a wise old fisherman who remembered the good ‘ole days of the empire, decided to fix up his boat, decorate it and made it look like one of the most beautiful yachts that the people had ever seen. He decided to invite the new king, his advisors and counselors, to come onto his boat for a beautiful day on the river. The royal group of people happily accepted the fisherman’s invitation.

Once they were in the middle of the great river, the fisherman stopped his boat, took out a huge saw, and began cutting a big hole in the floorboards of the boat.

The young king cried out, “Stop! What are you doing? The water will come in and we will drown!”

“I’m sorry”, said the fisherman. “It’s my boat and I can do whatever I want to do right now…like sawing a hole in the floor of my boat.”

“But don’t you see?” argued the king, “Don’t you care that I am upset? Don’t you understand that I don’t want the boat to go down…I can’t even swim!”

“No, not really,” said the fisherman. “It’s not my problem.”

———-

The good news about this story, is that the young king, facing the possibility of his death, saw the foolishness of his ways and promised to treat the people of his kingdom the way his wise father had done.

The fisherman put away his saw, and life returned to normal in the land called Paradise.

————

It is my hope, that we all stand with courage and confidence, to speak up and be counted when we see the things around affect others in negative ways. So, reach out and help and support someone each day. We, as people of this world, are all in it together. Let’s treat others as we would like to have them treat us!

When Life Is Gray

Life is a funny thing…there are times when a person feels great about themselves; their self-esteem is at an all-time high, everything in the world looks and feels as beautiful as a cool, crisp autumn day…nothing can be better.

Then come the “down times” in life; the moments in life when an individual feels as if they are beaten, battered, and worthless. It seems as though nobody cares about what they say (or do), their self-confidence is gone and life just seems to be going nowhere.

It is during these rough times that two kinds of people are made; those who dwell on the negative and are forever stuck in the quagmire of worthlessness and self-doubt or the folks that deal with bad situations by determining what they can learn from their situation and use it in a positive way to help themselves and encourage others.

In today’s story, we see how ONE PERSON saw a heartbreaking situation and decided to do something encouraging…and notice the effect it had not only on the individual that was dealing with the hardship but how it affected the other people around him. What started out as an INDIVIDUAL act of kindness turned into an experience in which a GROUP got involved and turned a depressing situation into a fantastic experience for everyone that took part in the activity.

Also, observe the affect it had on the person that was receiving the encouragement. It’s truly amazing when you watch the affect of what a group of people, all focused on one goal in a positive manner, can accomplish.

The power of positive thinking, encouraging others and the ability not to stay “bogged down”, not only allows a person to feel better about themselves, but demonstrate an act of compassion that can not only help themselves but enhance other peoples feeling of worth.

So, the next time you are “down and out” and life throws you a “curve ball” (or even if you are enjoying a “high” in life)…think to yourself…what am I doing with the gifts and abilities that I have been blessed to have? Am I going to wallow in self-pity or am I going to decide to try and make a difference in another person’s life and be an encouragement to the people and friends around you…like the one man started in the video?

What can you do when your life is a gloomy and ominous?? Help and encourage other people. You will be surprised how quickly your view on your life will chance.

So…what are you going to do?  The choice is yours.

“Whatever Goes Around, Comes Around”

Photo Credit: mensatic via morguefile.com
Photo Credit: mensatic via morguefile.com

A short time ago, I discovered the following story on academictips.org which tells us a marvelous account of an occurrence that happened between three people and demonstrates the magic of giving to others and going out of our way for them. It expresses to us the importance and beauty of thinking of others and helping them. I hope this story touches your heart as it did mine.

One day a man saw an old lady, stranded on the side of the road, but even in the dim light of day, he could see she needed help. So he pulled up in front of her Mercedes and got out. His Pontiac was still sputtering when he approached her.

Even with the smile on his face, she was worried. No one had stopped to help for the last hour or so. Was he going to hurt her? He didn’t look safe; he looked poor and hungry. He could see that she was frightened, standing out there in the cold. He knew how she felt. It was those chills which only fear can put in you. He said, “I’m here to help you, ma’am. Why don’t you wait in the car where it’s warm? By the way, my name is Bryan Anderson.”

Well, all she had was a flat tire, but for an old lady, that was bad enough. Bryan crawled under the car looking for a place to put the jack, skinning his knuckles a time or two. Soon he was able to change the tire. But he had to get dirty and his hands hurt.

As he was tightening up the lug nuts, she rolled down the window and began to talk to him. She told him that she was from St. Louis and was only just passing through. She couldn’t thank him enough for coming to her aid.
Bryan just smiled as he closed her trunk. The lady asked how much she owed him. Any amount would have been all right with her. She already imagined all the awful things that could have happened had he not stopped. Bryan never thought twice about being paid. This was not a job to him. This was helping someone in need, and God knows there were plenty, who had given him a hand in the past. He had lived his whole life that way, and it never occurred to him to act any other way.

He told her that if she really wanted to pay him back, the next time she saw someone who needed help, she could give that person the assistance they needed, and Bryan added, “And think of me.”
He waited until she started her car and drove off. It had been a cold and depressing day, but he felt good as he headed for home, disappearing into the twilight.

A few miles down the road the lady saw a small cafe. She went in to grab a bite to eat, and take the chill off before she made the last leg of her trip home. It was a dingy looking restaurant. Outside were two old gas pumps. The whole scene was unfamiliar to her. The waitress came over and brought a clean towel to wipe her wet hair. She had a sweet smile, one that even being on her feet for the whole day couldn’t erase. The lady noticed the waitress was nearly eight months pregnant, but she never let the strain and aches change her attitude. The old lady wondered how someone who had so little could be so giving to a stranger. Then she remembered Bryan.

After the lady finished her meal, she paid with a hundred dollar bill. The waitress quickly went to get change for her hundred dollar bill, but the old lady had slipped right out the door. She was gone by the time the waitress came back. The waitress wondered where the lady could be. Then she noticed something written on the napkin.
There were tears in her eyes when she read what the lady wrote: “You don’t owe me anything. I have been there too. Somebody once helped me out, the way I’m helping you. If you really want to pay me back, here is what you do, do not let this chain of love end with you.” Under the napkin were four more $100 bills.

Well, there were tables to clear, sugar bowls to fill, and people to serve, but the waitress made it through another day. That night when she got home from work and climbed into bed, she was thinking about the money and what the lady had written. How could the lady have known how much she and her husband needed it? With the baby due next month, it was going to be hard… She knew how worried her husband was, and as he lay sleeping next to her, she gave him a soft kiss and whispered soft and low, “Everything’s going to be all right. I love you, Bryan Anderson.”

There is an old saying “What goes around comes around.”

The Lesson of Growing Good Corn

Photo Credit: snowsoulmate via Flickr
Photo Credit: snowsoulmate via Flickr

There was a Nebraska farmer who grew award-winning corn. Each year he entered his corn in the state fair where it won a blue ribbon…

One year a newspaper reporter interviewed him and learned something interesting about how he grew it. The reporter discovered that the farmer shared his seed corn with his neighbors. 

“How can you afford to share your best seed corn with your neighbors when they are entering corn in competition with yours each year?” the reporter asked.

“Why sir,” said the farmer, “didn’t you know? The wind picks up pollen from the ripening corn and swirls it from field to field. If my neighbors grow inferior corn, cross-pollination will steadily degrade the quality of my corn. If I am to grow good corn, I must help my neighbors grow good corn.”

He is very much aware of the connectedness of life. His corn cannot improve unless his neighbor’s corn also improves.

So it is in our world. Those who choose to be at peace must help their neighbors to be at peace. Those who choose to live well must help others to live well, for the value of a life is measured by the lives it touches. And those who choose to be happy must help others to find happiness for the welfare of each is bound up with the welfare of all. 

The lesson for each of us is this: if we are to grow good corn, we must help our neighbors grow good corn.

——————–

Source:Indianchild.com

A Christmas Story: The Man Who Hated Christmas

Photo Credit: Pitsk via Flickr
Photo Credit: Pitsk via Flickr

The short, inspirational Christmas story below was originally published in the December 14, 1982 issue of Woman’s Day magazine. This moving story inspired the creation of The White Envelope Project, a caring nonprofit organization dedicated to developing the next generation of givers, civic leaders, and philanthropists. May this inspirational story remind us all of the true meaning of Christmas and giving during the holidays and throughout the year. The story was written by Nancy W. Gavin.

———————————
It’s just a small, white envelope stuck among the branches of our Christmas tree. No name, no identification, no inscription. It has peeked through the branches of our tree for the past ten years.

It all began because my husband Mike hated Christmas. Oh, not the true meaning of Christmas, but the commercial aspects of it – overspending and the frantic running around at the last minute to get a tie for Uncle Harry and the dusting powder for Grandma – the gifts given in desperation because you couldn’t think of anything else.

Knowing he felt this way, I decided one year to bypass the usual shirts, sweaters, ties and so forth. I reached for something special just for Mike. The inspiration came in an unusual way.

Our son Kevin, who was 12 that year, was on the wrestling team at the school he attended. Shortly before Christmas, there was a non-league match against a team sponsored by an inner-city church. These youngsters, dressed in sneakers so ragged that shoestrings seemed to be the only thing holding them together, presented a sharp contrast to our boys in their spiffy blue and gold uniforms and sparkling new wrestling shoes.

As the match began, I was alarmed to see that the other team was wrestling without headgear, a kind of light helmet designed to protect a wrestler’s ears. It was a luxury the ragtag team obviously could not afford.

Well, we ended up walloping them. We took every weight class. Mike, seated beside me, shook his head sadly, “I wish just one of them could have won,” he said. “They have a lot of potential, but losing like this could take the heart right out of them.” Mike loved kids – all kids. He so enjoyed coaching little league football, baseball and lacrosse. That’s when the idea for his present came.

That afternoon, I went to a local sporting goods store and bought an assortment of wrestling headgear and shoes, and sent them anonymously to the inner-city church. On Christmas Eve, I placed a small, white envelope on the tree, the note inside telling Mike what I had done, and that this was his gift from me.

Mike’s smile was the brightest thing about Christmas that year. And that same bright smile lit up succeeding years. For each Christmas, I followed the tradition – one year sending a group of mentally handicapped youngsters to a hockey game, another year a check to a pair of elderly brothers whose home had burned to the ground the week before Christmas, and on and on.

The white envelope became the highlight of our Christmas. It was always the last thing opened on Christmas morning, and our children – ignoring their new toys – would stand with wide-eyed anticipation as their dad lifted the envelope from the tree to reveal its contents. As the children grew, the toys gave way to more practical presents, but the small, white envelope never lost its allure.

The story doesn’t end there. You see, we lost Mike last year due to dreaded cancer. When Christmas rolled around, I was still so wrapped in grief that I barely got the tree up. But Christmas Eve found me placing an envelope on the tree. And the next morning, I found it was magically joined by three more. Unbeknownst to the others, each of our three children had for the first time placed a white envelope on the tree for their dad. The tradition has grown and someday will expand even further with our grandchildren standing to take down that special envelope.

Mike’s spirit, like the Christmas spirit will always be with us.

What Are You Going to Do?

Photo Credit: DrTH80 via Flickr
Photo Credit: DrTH80 via Flickr

A week or so ago, I read a short story on Face Book that served as a great reminder why we should take some time each day to help other people. Even though I don’t know who authored the following tale, I thought that it would be a good thing to share with everyone.

After my morning classes at SFU, I spotted a man sitting outside all alone, shivering, pale and with a look of sadness in his eyes.

I asked him how he was doing, he responded, “Cold and alone. I miss my wife.” I walked away not knowing what to say or do. About a block later I found myself walking into a Starbucks on the corner of Seymour and Hastings. I went in, purchased a grande coffee and a muffin and my feet did the rest. I walked back to this man, sat down, handed him the hot coffee and asked him where his wife was. He looked at me for a couple seconds with tears in his eyes as he whispered, “She died on Monday, breast cancer. I’ve been sitting here since then. You’re the first person to ask me if I was okay.”

After talking for 15 minutes he explained that he was a WWII veteran and he met his late wife at a hospital in Europe. She was a nurse, he was an injured soldier. It turns out that him and his wife were both Italian. This man had lost the only person that he ever loved.

So…today…do something nice for a stranger. I know that we’re all busy with work, school and trivial things like wondering what we are going to get for Christmas.

Remember, we all have the potential to make the world a better place. It only takes a few minutes to brighten someone’s day. So…what are you going to do?

“Don’t We All”?

Photo Credit: Miekaspop via morguefile.com
Photo Credit: Miekaspop via morguefile.com

I was parked in front of the mall wiping off my car. I had just come
from the car wash and was waiting for my wife to get out of work.
Coming my way from across the parking lot was what society would
consider a bum.

From the looks of him, he had no car, no home, no clean clothes, and no
money. There are times when you feel generous but there are other times
that you just don’t want to be bothered. This was one of those “don’t
want to be bothered times.”

“I hope he doesn’t ask me for any money,” I thought.

He didn’t.

He came and sat on the curb in front of the bus stop but he didn’t look
like he could have enough money to even ride the bus.
After a few minutes he spoke.
“That’s a very pretty car,” he said.
He was ragged but he had an air of dignity around him. His scraggly
blond beard keep more than his face warm.
I said, “thanks,” and continued wiping off my car.
He sat there quietly as I worked. The expected plea for money never
came. As the silence between us widened something inside said, “ask him if
he needs any help.” I was sure that he would say “yes” but I held true
to the inner voice.
“Do you need any help?” I asked.
He answered in three simple but profound words that I shall never forget.
We often look for wisdom in great men and women. We expect it from
those of higher learning and accomplishments.

I expected nothing but an outstretched grimy hand. He spoke the three words that shook me.

“Don’t we all?” he said.

I was feeling high and mighty, successful and important, above a bum
in the street, until those three words hit me like a twelve gauge
shotgun.

Don’t we all?

I needed help. Maybe not for bus fare or a place to sleep, but I
needed help. I reached in my wallet and gave him not only enough for bus
fare, but enough to get a warm meal and shelter for the day. Those
three little words still ring true. No matter how much you have, no matter
how much you have accomplished, you need help too. No matter how little you
have, no matter how loaded you are with problems, even without money or
a place to sleep, you can give help.

Even if it’s just a compliment, you can give that.
You never know when you may see someone that appears to have it all.
They are waiting on you to give them what they don’t have. A different
perspective on life, a glimpse at something beautiful, a respite from
daily chaos, which only you through a torn world can see.
Maybe the man was just a homeless stranger wandering the streets. Maybe
he was more than that.

Maybe he was sent by a power that is great and
wise, to minister to a soul too comfortable in themselves.

Maybe God looked down, called an Angel, dressed him like a bum, and then said, “go minister to that man cleaning the car, that man needs help.”
Don’t we all?

 

Source: indianchild.com