Leadership can come in a variety of forms. Some people lead by example, some good, some bad. Some individuals lead others from the front while others lead from behind. Some people think that their popularity from their peers is a type of leadership. There are leaders that lead their group with a laissez-faire type of attitude, while others are more autocratic and don’t listen to the opinions and thoughts of their charges. Then there are the people whose leadership characteristics shine the most in certain situations…whether they be good or bad.
Take some time and observe the picture of the wolf pack at the top of this blog. I would like you to notice a few interesting things about this photo…
The three wolves in front are old & sick, they walk in front to set the pace of the whole pack so they will never be left behind.
The next five are the strongest and best, their task is to protect the front side if there is an attack.
The five wolves at the tail of the group are also among the strongest; they are in charge to protect the backside from any possible threat.
The group in the middle is always protected from any attack.
The very last wolf is the LEADER, the Alpha. He ensures that no one is ever left behind, and he keeps the pack united on the same path. He controls everything from the rear. He can keep his eye on the pack and circumstance or happening that is currently taking place. The leader is the one who decides the direction of his flock and guides them where he wants them to go.
So, if anyone wanted to know what it really means to be a leader here is your answer. A true leader never leaves anyone behind but cares for each and every member of the “pack” laying the foundations of a society built upon humanity, care, and respect.
Learning lessons can be a curious business. People learn lessons in life in a variety of ways and today’s story is a fabulous tale how a little girl learned a valuable lesson…a lesson that we should all take to heart and thank those special people that we know and love.
Sometimes, even the simplest things in life can teach us lessons that will serve as reminders to us about the goodness of life…such as a simple bowl of noodles.
One night, a little girl had a terrible quarrel with her mother, then stormed out of the house. While she was out roaming the town, she suddenly realized that she did not have any money in her pocket, she didn’t even have enough coins to make a phone call home.
After walking around for what seemed like hours, her stomach began to growl and she began to get very hungry. She suddenly smelled a sweet fragrance and discovered a noodle shop, one of her favorite foods to eat. How she wished for a bowl of noodle soup! But she had one problem, she had no money!
The owner of the eatery saw her standing at the counter and noticed her sad face and demeanor and said, “Hi there little girl, you want to have a bowl of noodles?
The little girl just shook her head and shyly replied, “I do not have any money
“Okay, I’ll tell you what, I’ll treat you,” said the owner, “come in, I will cook you a bowl.”
A few minutes later the owner brought her a steaming bowl of noodles. The little girl was so happy to see the food and started to gobble up the delicious food…then suddenly started to cry.
“What is it? What’s the matter? Why are you crying?”, asked the store owner.
“Nothing. Nothing at all. I am just touched by your kindness!”, the girl said as she wiped her the tears from her face. “I can’t believe it. Even a stranger on the street gives me a bowl of noodles. My mother is so mean and cruel. We had a huge fight and I decided to leave her. I have the worst mother on earth”
The store owner sighed and asked, “why did you think so? I want you to think again. I gave you a simple bowl of noodles and you were happy and content. Your mother has raised you since you were little. She has taken care of you, fed you, clothed you, and loved you. Why are you not grateful and thankful? Is this soup more important than your mother?
After hearing this, the girl was very sad then said to herself, “Why did I not think of that? A bowl of noodles from a stranger made me feel thankful and happy, while my mother has raised me since I was born, and I have never once felt so grateful and appreciative…I never once said thank you.”
On her way home, the little girl thought to herself what she would say to her mother when she arrived home: “Mom, I’m sorry. I know it is my fault, please forgive me … ”
After a while, she arrived back to her home and started to climb the stairs. Suddenly, she looked up and saw her mother full of worry and exhausted from looking for her everywhere. Upon seeing her daughter, her mother gently said: “Come inside honey. You are probably very hungry. I cooked rice and prepared the meal already, come eat while it is still hot …”
Unable to control her regret and sadness any longer, the little girl began to sob in her mom’s hands.
You see folks, in life, we sometimes find it easy to appreciate the small actions of some people around us, but for the relatives, especially parents, we often overlook their love and sacrifices and look at them as a matter of natural, mundane actions…we take them for granted.
Parental love, care, and concern are the most precious gifts we have been blessed to have since the day we were born.
Parents do not expect us to pay them back for nurturing and caring for us…but how much do REALLY appreciate or treasure the unconditional sacrifice and love of our parents?
A great point to ponder.
So…take some time today to thank your parents. Give them a hug, a kiss, thank them for all that they have done for you, or just tell them a simple I love you.
Love your parents
And treat them with loving care
For you will only know their value
When you see their empty chair
Story Source (Revised): Moral Stories – Ogbuagu Henry Chiedozie
Perspective and attitude is everything in our lives. Many times, the way that we look at certain situations and circumstances that we are facing, will greatly determine if the outcome results in a negative or positive experience.
The following story gives us a great example of why having a positive attitude and a proper perspective can lead
Once a woman woke up in the morning only to realize that she had only three strands of hair left on her head. “ Well”, she said, “ I think I’ll braid my hair today.” She braided her hair and she had a wonderful day.
When she got up the next day and looked in the mirror she noticed that she only had two strands of hair on her head. She said, “ I think I will part my hair down the middle today”. She parted her hair in the middle and she had a great day.
The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and noticed that she had only one hair on her head. “Well,” she said, “Today I’m going to wear my hair in a ponytail.” So she did, and she had a fun day.
The next day she woke up and noticed that there wasn’t a single hair on her head. “Yippie!” she exclaimed. “I don’t have to fix my hair today!”
Attitude is everything.
Everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.
If you read the front page story of the San Francisco Chronicle on Thursday, December 15, 2005, you would have read about a female humpback whale who had become entangled in a spider web of crab traps and lines.
The fifty-foot whale was weighted down by hundreds of pounds of traps that caused her to struggle to stay afloat. She also had hundreds of yards of line rope wrapped around her tail, her torso and a line tugging in her mouth.
A fisherman spotted her just east of the Farallon Islands (outside the Golden Gate) and radioed an environmental group for help. Within a few hours, the rescue team arrived and determined that she was so bad off, the only way to save her was to dive in and untangle her – a very dangerous proposition. One slap of the tail could kill a rescuer.
They worked for hours with curved knives and eventually freed her. When she was free, the divers say she swam in what seemed like joyous circles. She then came back to each and every diver, one at a time, and nudged them, pushed them gently around – she thanked them. Some said it was the most incredibly beautiful experience of their lives.
The guy who cut the rope out of her mouth says her eye was following him the whole time, and he will never be the same.
May you, and all those you love, be so blessed and fortunate today – to be surrounded by people who will help you get untangled from the things that are binding you.
And, may you always know the joy of giving and receiving gratitude!!!
There is nothing better that having good friends. Having those special people that we can go and share our thoughts, concerns, as well as the good and bad times we experience, are simply priceless. That’s why, I believe, that whenever we can, we should take the time to honor our friends. friends truly are a blessing!
Today’s little poem is actually a toast. It is a nice little thing that you can share the next time you have the opportunity to make a toast and give a nice, small toast of thankfulness to your friends 🙂
Make new friends,
But keep the old;
The new are silver,
The old ones are gold.
New made friends
Like new made wine;
With age doth mellow,
It and refine.
But unlike age,
that turneth gray;
Never doth decay.
So, make new friends,
But keep the old;
The new are silver,
The old are gold.
Smiles and happiness are SO good for the heart and soul. It is great medicine a person. The following thoughts are fabulous reminders as to why a smile is so important. So, take time every day to laugh, giggle, or smile. A smile is not only good for yourself but an encouragement to others!
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.
None is so rich or mighty that he can get along without it, and none is so poor, but that he can be made rich by it.
A Smile creates happiness in the home, fosters good will in business, and is the countersign of friendship.
It brings rest to the weary, cheer to the discouraged, sunshine to the sad, and it 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.
Some people are too tired to give you a smile;
Give them one of yours, as none needs a smile so much as he who has no more to give.
What makes up a marriage? What makes every moment in a marriage full of smiles, laughs, and excitement? We all now that the married life always runs smoothly and really is a Bed of Roses. Good times! Right? Unfortunately, we all know, without question, the marriage is hard work and there are times when couples face adversity, sorrow, or suffering. It how we react to these circumstances that can make all the difference.
A friend of mine, (my sister-in-law 🙂 recently shared the following little ditty that I think sums up what a marriage really is in a beautiful and positive way!!
Lifelong commitment is not what most people think it is. It’s not waking up every morning to make breakfast and eat together. It’s not cuddling in bed until both of you fall asleep. It’s not a clean home filled with laughter and love making every day.
It’s someone who steals all the covers, and snores, it’s slammed doors and a few harsh words at times.
It’s stubbornly disagreeing and giving each other the silent treatment until your hearts heal, and then forgiveness.
It’s coming home to the same person every day that you know loves and cares about you in spite of, and because of, who you are.
It’s laughing about the one time you accidentally did something stupid.
It’s about dirty laundry and unmade beds.
It’s about helping each other with the hard work of life.
It’s about swallowing the nagging words instead of saying them out loud.
It’s about eating the easiest meal you can make and sitting down together at a late hour because you both had a crazy day.
It’s when you have an emotional breakdown and your love lays down with you and holds you, and tells you everything is going to be okay. And you believe them.
It’s about still loving someone even though sometimes they make you absolutely insane.
Loving someone isn’t always easy, sometimes it’s hard. But it is amazing and comforting and one of the best things you will ever experience.
If you are blessed to have a wonderful partner in your life, then leave a thought here and please feel free to share this post with others!
What in the world is happening? Why did something like this happen to me? Why is it that this individual continues to do this annoying thing to me? Don’t they understand that when they continue to do this same thing over and over, it really, really bothers me!?! What is this jerk doing? Why is this person so mean? Why is it, that it always seems like bad things always happen to me?
Occasionally, there are things or situations in life that happen that we simply don’t understand at the time we are experiencing them. Sometimes people will continuously do things to us, like our bosses, parents, or a host of other kinds of people, that we don’t comprehend why they are doing what they are doing. The result? We jump to negative conclusions, make poor judgments and assessments of others…many times resulting in embarrassing or awkward moments.
The following little story is a great little illustration which demonstrates a simple truth of life…that we should attempt to truly understand the unfortunate things that may happen to us before we judge others wrongly.
Once upon a time, there was a crab. It was walking on the shore of the ocean, leaving its beautiful footprint behind. The crab adored its footprints. Suddenly as the crab was adoring it footprints, the waves of the ocean washed the footprints away. The crab turned towards the ocean wave and said, “Hey!! I thought you were my best friend. Why did you do that?? Why did you wash my footprints away?” The ocean said, “A fisherman was chasing you, my dear friend, looking at your footprints, so I washed them away so that fisherman could not chase you.” It’s a general human tendency. We all judge each other in different situations and conclude about the person. Even in our relationships, we judge the people by the actions or behavior. But it is important not to conclude about that person and react without understanding other person’s intentions. (Divya Nimbalkar). http://frtonyshomilies.com/
JUDGING A PERSON DOES NOT DEFINE WHO THEY ARE…IT DEFINES WHO YOU ARE!
Death, grief, despair: these scorns of life are devastating. Death is arguably the most sorrowful time an individual can experience in life. Most unfortunate is when people encounter death within a family, a friendship, or an acquaintance. Sometimes, the loss can hurt so bad that it may seem like the pain and suffering will never go away.
Bill, a dear friend of mine, lost his wife to cancer at age 60 and a brother to murder at age 42. He uses faith, philosophy, family, and friends to mitigate his loss.
I would like to share the following story/essay that he wrote a while ago while thinking of these unfortunate events. It is our hope that this story will help ease the pain and sadness of others who may be struggling with the loss of a loved one.
Here is Bill’s story/essay.
As part of the human race, we all suffer loss. Loss is not a one-time occurrence, it happens to us and then it happens again. Loss is always difficult to accept. On the loss of a loved one, we wish to hold open the door into the next world and pull the deceased out. We wish to kiss those vanished lips, to hear that silenced voice; but it doesn’t work that way.
There is an instructive story on grief titled, “Kafka and the Doll.” In the story, Franz Kafka encountered a little girl in the park where he and his friend Dora walked daily. The little girl was disconsolate and weeping as if her heart would break. When Kafka inquired about her tears, the girl said she had lost her doll. Kafka told the girl that he knew for a fact the doll was fine. How he could be so certain, the little girl asked? Why just that morning, Kafka told the girl, he had received a letter from the doll.
Kafka arranged to meet the little girl the next day at the same spot in the park. That night he composed a letter from the doll and read it to the little girl when they met. “Please do not mourn me, I have gone on a trip to see the world. I will write to you about my adventures.”
The meetings and the letters from the beloved doll continued. The little girl was comforted. When the meetings came to an end, Kafka presented her with a new doll. The doll obviously looked different from the original doll. An attached letter explained: “Do not be surprised at my appearance, my travels and adventures have changed me.”
Many years later, the now-grown girl found a letter stuffed into a deep fold in the cherished replacement doll. Kafka had written, “Everything you love, you will eventually lose, but in the end, love will return in a different form.”
Grief and loss are ubiquitous and an inescapable part of being human. Holding the perspective of the universality of loss, helps us deal with our loneliness and regret in times of grief, for if grief is omnipresent, we are less alone, less regretful. Holding the conviction that “love will return” is the path towards healing. As with the little girl in the story, following our loss and a period of grief, our job is to recognize love when it returns in its new form.
Those loved ones for whom we mourn would not want us to be in tears and sadness. They want us to remember them with laughter and with smiles, and to find love in all its new forms.
*Editor’s Note: Bill is simply a wonderful, charming, and outgoing man. After the loss of his wife, he continued teaching until he retired a few years ago. Since then, he has traveled across America, hiked great mountains of the world, explored various countries and cultures, and has see and discovered the many beautiful things in this world. His warm personality and sense of humor have brought encouragement and happiness to all that have met him.
“The song may have ended but the melody lingers on.” ~ Irving Berlin
We all have struggles and burdens that we deal with on a daily basis. For untold thousands of people, they can carry hardships, misery, and a sense of doom with them for years.
Today, I would like to share the following story from a blogger friend of mine, Chuck L., author of a fabulous site, “Dr.JoyFinder.com” I think that you will enjoy his “Bits of Wisdom,” art, and other ways of finding joy.
The Boy Who Saved A Village
Once upon a time in a small mountain village, it was the custom for the villagers to strap on their knapsacks each morning. Then, during the day, each time they worried about something or felt depressed about a problem, they would pick up a small pebble and put it in their knapsack. The knapsacks were heavy and a burden to carry because the villagers never emptied them. They carried their burdens every day. It was all they knew.
One day one of the village elders walked down to the river bank bent over from his knapsack full of burdens and noticed one of the small boys from the village skipping pebbles across the water. The boy’s knapsack was empty.
“What are you doing?” the old man asked. “And why is your knapsack empty? Why aren’t you carrying your burdens like the rest of us?”
“I come down to the river bank at the end of each day,” the boy said, “and skip my pebbles across the water until my knapsack is empty. I see no reason to keep carrying them.”
The old man was stunned and so bent over from his knapsack full of burdens that he could hardly move. He had never seen anyone cast their burdens away like that.
“Would you like to try it?” the boy asked.
The old man was hesitant, yet it seemed like such a good idea. Slowly he reached into his knapsack that was large and heavy from all the burdens he had accumulated over many years. He grabbed a pebble and studied it, recalling the burden of pain that he felt when he had placed it in his knapsack. He was so bent over that it was difficult to cast the burden away and watch it skip across the water and finally disappear, but he somehow did it.
The boy smiled.
The old man smiled also. It was easier than he thought to let go of the burden. Then he tossed another pebble, another burden, then another, and another. The boy stayed and watched. They built a fire and the old man kept throwing until his knapsack was at last empty. He felt so relieved.
The next day the old man, standing straight and tall, told the other villagers what happened and how good he felt. They could see how happy he was, how he looked and acted like a different person. They were amazed.
At the end of the day, all the villagers joined the old man and the small boy and went to the river bank and skipped their burdens across the water until their knapsacks were empty. They were amazed at how good and happy they felt. They never continued to hang onto their burdens again.
A sign was erected at the entrance to the village that said, “IT’S HARD TO BE ON TOP OF THE WORLD WHEN YOU’RE CARRYING IT ON YOUR SHOULDERS. LET GO AND LIVE.”
It is so foolish to believe that anyone is better than someone else. Sometimes our pride gets in the way so much, that we don’t realize what other people are really like. There are times individuals put themselves on such a high pedestal, that I believe that some people may be very surprised one day when they get to heaven.
The following poem is a good reminder of the foolishness of judging others. Let it serve as a reminder to us all.
I was shocked, confused, bewildered
As I entered Heaven’s door,
Not by the beauty of it all,
Nor the lights or its decor.
But it was the folks in Heaven
Who made me sputter and gasp–
The thieves, the liars, the sinners,
The alcoholics and the trash.
There stood the kid from seventh grade..
Who swiped my lunch money twice.
Next to him was my old neighbor
Who never said anything nice.
Herb, who I always thought
Was rotting away in hell,
Was sitting pretty on cloud nine,
Looking incredibly well.
I nudged Jesus, ‘What’s the deal?
I would love to hear Your take.
How’d all these sinners get up here?
God must’ve made a mistake.
‘And why’s everyone so quiet,
So somber – give me a clue.’
‘Hush, child,’ He said, ‘they’re all in shock.
No one thought they’d be seeing you.’