пятница, 13 мая 2011 г.

Even Eagles Need A Push

We touch the lives of others in ways we often never know. People sometimes come into our personal world for fleeting moments and can leave us forever changed. We have more power to create or to destroy than we can imagine. We can leave things or individuals better or worse than we found them. A look, a word, a gesture has tremendous impact and frequently we blither along blind to the effect every communication wields.I learned this in a powerful way:

It was a rainy, humid day: the mother of all bad hair days. I was riding on a bus downtown to go to work. Everyone was wilting. I was sitting next to a man in a business suit and didn't pay him much attention until we both got off at the same stop and walked to the same newsstand to get a morning paper.

The man running the stand was obviously among those having a bad day. He was rude, abrupt and unsmiling as we purchased our papers, which served to add only more gloom to my day. The businessman caught my eye and smiled. He then proceeded to smile even more brightly, thank the newsstand proprietor for the paper and for being open on such a morning to make sure we were able to get our papers. In short, he expressed his appreciation for something most of us would take for granted.

The man running the newsstand responded only with a grunt and a sour expression. The businessman then pleasantly wished him a pleasant day.

As we turned away, I asked this man why he had continued to be pleasant to the newsman when he obviously didn't care about and didn't respond to his expression of appreciation and friendliness. The businessman grinned at me and said,

"Why would I let someone else control what I say and what I feel or what kind of day I'm going to have?"

I never saw the businessman again, even though I looked for him on the bus on other days. He appeared briefly in my life and disappeared just as quickly. I don't even remember what he looked like. But I've never forgotten the words he said, or the way his smile seemed like a shaft of light on a gloomy day.

That was a good 25 years ago, but the impact this had on my life has lasted. I never had a chance to thank him personally, but the way in which I choose to look at life as a result of those words is his legacy to me and my thanks to him.

Our interactions with the people we encounter can impact at least the next five people they encounter. A smile and words of simple appreciation multiply themselves geometrically.

We cannot control people and situations that come to us, but we can always control our responses to them. In each of our decisions lies our power to make a positive difference. It's something anyone and everyone can do.

 http://www.beliefnet.com/Inspiration/Inspired-Faith/Even-Eagles-Need-a-Push/A-Life-Changing-Experience.aspx?source=NEWSLETTER&nlsource=49&ppc=&utm_campaign=DIBSoup&utm_source=NL&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_term=mail.ru

понедельник, 9 мая 2011 г.

Just the Two of Us

BY: Bobi Seredich
A story from Courage Does Not Always Roar.
I'll never forget that first night in our new apartment. I had spent the previous week getting the place ready for us to move in as I prepared for the next chapter in my life: a single mom going back to college with my four-year-old son, Michael, in tow.

We had lived with my parents in Dover, Delaware, for a year after my marriage broke up. They were so patient and generous as they gave me space and time to figure out what I was going to do with the rest of my life. I was just 23 years old - disappointed in love and confused about my future. I finally decided I needed to go to college and get an education.

I had very little money to start my new life - $100 a month child support and $100 a month from my parents. I rented a basement apartment in Newark, where the University of Delaware was located, a hundred miles north of Dover. I furnished it with a $10 army cot for Michael, a $40 used bed for myself, a $10 table on which to study, and two empty beer kegs with pillows on top for stools. My coffee table was two cinder block bricks with a board across the top. There was no sofa, just a small Greek Flokati rug to sit on the floor. A bookcase held my radio/receiver, turntable, and a pair of small stereo speakers. The apartment looked like a typical college student apartment, except that in our case, the student was a young single mother with a toddler.

Michael and I spent our first day unpacking and putting our clothes and personal things away in the closets and cabinets. His toys filled a plastic laundry basket. We went to the market to stock up on food and got the kitchen all ready to use. It had been a busy day.

Bedtime came and after his bath, I knelt to tuck Michael into his army cot. Tears welled up in his eyes as I leaned over to kiss him goodnight. "I'm scared," he started to cry. "I want to go back to Grandma's house."

I wrapped my arms around him. "I know, sweetheart. I want to go back to Grandma's house too," I said as I started to cry, too. "But we can't - we have to stay here and start our new life. From now on it's just you and me."

We clung to each other and sobbed. We felt like a couple of orphans, suddenly finding ourselves alone that night, knowing we had to make our own way in the world.

There were no reassuring bedtime stories or fairy tales to make us feel better. We just hugged each other. Michael finally fell asleep in my arms and I went off to sleep in my own room.

That was many years ago and needless to say, we survived that night. We rose to the challenges of the following days, weeks, months and years. It wasn't easy for either of us. I often say that Michael and I took turns raising each other.

And we still like to go to Grandma's house - but we're not afraid to sleep in our own beds, in our own homes, anymore.

http://www.beliefnet.com/Inspiration/Inspired-Faith/Courage-Does-Not-Always-Roar/Just-the-Two-of-Us.aspx