To do anything truly worth doing, I must not stand back shivering and thinking of the cold and danger, but jump in with gusto and scramble through as well as I can.
Yesterday I heard the head of our Central Indiana United Way share her concerns about our community in the months and even years ahead. The headlines that morning said the State was going to have to cut significant support of programs helping the poor, unemployed, sick and elderly. This is happening at a time when philanthropic organizations have seen their endowments shrink by an average of over 25% and philanthropic donations fall because of the economy. What makes things even more frightening is that our ability to provide support to those in need generally lag a return to normal employment levels by as much as two years. This is especially worrisome when many predict we will see high level unemployment for at least two more years. There is also great concern for what will happen when the stimulus money that is supporting social services dries up in the next year or so.
The bottom line is that our support systems are going to fall far short of the need. We can no longer rationalize our lack of involvement because we think those in need are undeserving of our help. We all know good folks have always paid their bills, worked hard and where good citizens and who have now have lost much and in some cases everything. It is a time when we are all needed; it is a time when we must help address the needs of our fellow man, for if we don’t there we be no one else there to do so. We just can’t afford to wait for another family to lose everything and then have no place to go for food, shelter and sustenance. The price we will pay for procrastination is just too high.
Here is a favorite piece written by Og Mandino offers us the opportunity to add luster to our lives through what we do for others, not tomorrow but today.
Live this Day
"Live this day as if it will be your last. Remember that you will only find "tomorrow" on the calendars of fools. Forget yesterday's defeats and ignore the problems of tomorrow. This is it. Doomsday. All you have. Make it the best day of your year.
The saddest words you can ever utter are, "If I had my life to live over again." Take the baton, now. Run with it! This is your day!
Beginning today, treat everyone you meet, friend or foe, loved one or stranger, as if they were going to be dead at midnight. Extend to each person, no matter how trivial the contact, all the care and kindness and understanding and love that you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again."
Og Mandino (1923 - 1996)
After being a U.S. pilot during World War II, Og Mandino worked as a magazine editor. After publishing The Greatest Salesman in the World in 1968, he became one of the most popular motivational speakers in the United States.
Act now. For now is all you have.
A man lay sprawled across three entire seats in the posh theater.
When the usher came by and noticed this, he whispered to the man, "Sorry, sir, but you're only allowed one seat."
The man groaned but didn't budge.
The usher became impatient. "Sir, if you don't get up from there I'm going to have to call the manager."
Again, the man just groaned, which infuriated the usher who turned and marched briskly back up the aisle in search of his manager.
In a few moments, both the usher and the manager returned and stood over the man. The two of them tried repeatedly to move him, but with no success. Finally, they summoned the police. The cop surveyed the situation briefly then asked," All right buddy, what's your name?"
"Sam," the man moaned "Where ya from, Sam?"
With pain in his voice Sam replied "the balcony."
"I've been on so many blind dates, I should get a free dog."
"What's the usual tip?" a man growled when, Jason, a college boy delivered his pizza.
"Well," Jason replied, "this is my first delivery, but the other guys said that if I got a quarter out of you, I'd be doing great."
"Is that so?" grunted the man. "In that case, here's five dollars."
"Thanks," Jason said, "I'll put it in my college fund."
"By the way, what are you studying?" questioned the man.
Jason replied, "Reverse psychology..."
"A keen sense of humor helps us to overlook the unbecoming, understand the unconventional, tolerate the unpleasant, overcome the unexpected, and outlast the unbearable."
A golfer who was well into his golden years had a lifelong ambition to play one hole at Pebble Beach, California, the way the pros do it. The pros drive the ball out over the water onto the green that is on a spit of land that juts out off the coast.
It was something he had tried hundreds of times without success. His ball always fell short, into the water. Because of this he never used a new ball on this particular hole. He always picked out one that had a cut or a nick.
One year he went out to Pebble Beach to try again. When he came to the fateful hole, he teed up an old cut ball and said a silent prayer. Before he hit it, however, a powerful voice from above said: WAIT ... REPLACE THAT OLD BALL WITH A BRAND-NEW BALL. He complied, with some slight misgiving, despite the fact that the Lord seemed to be implying that He was going to let him finally achieve his lifelong ambition.
As he stepped up to the tee once more, the voice came down again: WAIT ... STEP BACK ... TAKE A PRACTICE SWING. So he stepped back and took a practice swing. The voice boomed out again: TAKE ANOTHER PRACTICE SWING. He did. Silence followed. Then the voice spoke out again: PUT BACK THE OLD BALL.
A husband said to his wife, "No, I don't hate your relatives. In fact, I like your mother-in-law better than I like mine."
An old man goes to his doctor, complaining about a pain in his leg that doesn't heal and wants a diagnosis and explanation. The doctor checks out his leg, but can't find anything wrong. So he gives the old guy a full physical exam, and still can't come up with any possible explanation for the pain.
The doctor hands the patient his bill and says, "I'm sorry but the pain in your leg is simply caused by old age, there's nothing I can do about it."
The old man replies with a look of disbelief, "That's impossible! That can't be!
"The Doctor says, "What do you mean? I'm the expert here; if you know so much, how can you say it's NOT old age?"
The patient answers, "I'm no doctor but it doesn't take a medical degree to tell that your diagnosis is wrong. Clearly you're mistaken. After all my other leg feels just fine."
"So what?" says the doctor "What difference does that make?"
"Well it doesn't hurt a bit, and it's the SAME AGE!"
I can accomplish far more than I have, and I will, for why would the miracle which produced me end with my birth? Why can I not extend that miracle to my deeds of today?
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
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The editor is somewhat senile.
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