This blog will hopefully inspire you, warm your heart, make you smile and feel positive.

Posts tagged ‘Reblog’

Ring the Bell

A priest is walking down the street one day when he notices a boy trying to press a doorbell on a house across the street. However, the boy is very small, and the doorbell is too high for him to reach.

After watching the boy’s efforts for some time, the priest decides to help. The priest steps smartly across the street, walks up behind the little fellow and, placing his hand kindly on the child’s shoulder, leans over and gives the doorbell a solid ring.

The child looks over his shoulder and smiles at the priest. “Thank you father,” he says. “Now we run!”

The Horai Box

Kathleen met Albert and his wife Sally at a Christmas party which was held at Kathleen’s home. Sally caught the attention of Kathleen. She never spoke. It was hard to tell whether she was ill, tired or bored. When the tea was served, she hesitantly took a sip, then tried to put the cup and saucer aside. But to do so she had to move the writing box, which Kathleen had inadvertently left on the coffee table. Kathleen noticed as Sally pushed back her chestnut hair and focused on the intriguing box, her dour mask had dropped. She was much younger than she looked – perhaps not yet 30.

The writing box looked like a miniature Japanese tansu, a chest of drawers, but it measured only 20 inches long, 12 inches high, and 8 inches deep. All the corners were covered with thin right-angled black iron, the top compartment had a hinged cover and was only deep enough for a thin charcoal ink block and brushes, and the front was inset with seven drawers of different sizes. Each drawer had its own tiny lock and was painstakingly cut, mitered and assembled with bamboo pegs in place of nails.

“Most Japanese were illiterate in the early 1800s,” Kathleen explained, “These boxes were used by itinerant scribes who carried their writing equipment in them as they went from village to village.”

The attempt to start a conversation proved useless; Sally’s mind was elsewhere again for the rest of the party.

Kathleen received a call from Albert the next day. “I want to apologize for last night,” he said. “Sally suffers from depression. When we were informed that there is a party, I hope new people or the party might cheer her up. I was wrong. I’m sorry.”

Albert continued, “We had a baby three months ago. The baby was strong and healthy when he was born. After being home four days we found him dead in his crib. Doctors called it SIDS – Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. No warning. No cause. No cure. That’s when Sally went into depression. Doctors gave her tranquilizers and mood elevators, but they only mask the symptoms; they really don’t help.”

After hearing Sally’s story, remembered how Sally’s face lit up when she first saw and touched the writing box, Kathleen emptied all the drawers and cubicles in her Japanese writing box. She found out the address of Albert and Sally from her friends, wrapped the box, enclosed a card, and sent it to them.

However, Kathleen received no thank-you or other acknowledge from Albert and Sally after that.

One year later, Kathleen found her precious little writing box in a package delivered to her. Inside was a letter:

Dear Kathleen,

I know I’ve been remiss in not writing sooner, but perhaps after reading this letter, you will understand my reasons for not doing so – and hopefully forgive me.

I vaguely remember receiving your gift, unwrapping it, then ignoring it as I retreated into my solitude. The next morning, the first thing I saw after waking was the box. An errant beam of sunlight highlighted it, like a spotlight on a single performer in a darkened theater. Its simple lines and exquisite craftsmanship penetrated my muddled mind. I began to perceive elegance and beauty. I played with the drawer, the locks, hinges and drawer pulls, captivated by its detail and precision.

I quickly dressed for the first time since I became ill and went shopping. I bought wax and buffing cloths for my new box. The next day and daily after, I went out looking for pens and inks and papers, exploring new places, meeting new people and thinking of poetry. I started going to the library to read up on Japanese arts and crafts. I learned a lot about the box and the special techniques of Japanese wood crafting. I also learned about Horai, a place where there is no winter and flowers never fade – and by reason of being young at heart, the people always smile. I named my box Horai.

I also went to museum where I could learn even more about the arts and culture of Japan. I am now a docent there. Between my new avocation, museum work and household chores, I was too busy and too excited to be depressed.

At this point, when I was so happy, I suppose I should have written to you, but then I found out I was pregnant. Old fears and doubts resurfaced. In any event, we had a lovely little girl in November – now two months old – at last I find myself free of the past. I can write to you honestly, appreciatively and candidly.

I’ve often wondered why you gave me the box. One day I learned that Horai is also called Shinkiro, which means mirage – the vision of intangible. Now I understood that through intuition you perceived the intangible. You sensed what the gift would do.

I am returning the Horai box, not that I love it less, but so that you may have it in your hand if you ever need it to sustain another hapless soul. Should this never be the case, then I hope it will forever serve as a happy reminder between you and me.

Sincerely and gratefully,
Sally
P.S. Our little girl is named Kathleen.

Compassion in the Eyes

It was a bitter cold evening. The old man’s beard was glazed by winter’s frost while he waited for a ride across the river. The wait seemed endless. His body became numb and stiff from the frigid north wind.

He heard the faint, steady rhythm of approaching hooves galloping along the frozen path. Anxiously, he watched as several horsemen rounded the bend. He let the first one pass by without an effort to get his attention. Then another passed by, and another. Finally, the last rider neared the spot where the old man sat. As this one drew near, the old man caught the rider’s eye and said, “Sir, would you mind giving me a ride to the other side? There doesn’t appear to be a passageway by foot.”

Reining his horse, the rider replied, “Sure. Hop aboard.” Seeing the old man was unable to lift his half-frozen body from the ground, the horseman dismounted and helped the old man onto the horse. The horseman took the old man not just across the river, but to his destination, which was just a few miles away.

As they neared the tiny cottage, the horseman’s curiosity caused him to inquire, “Sir, I notice that you let several other riders pass by without making an effort to secure a ride. Then I came up and you immediately asked me for a ride. I’m curious why, on such a cold winter night, you would wait and ask the last rider. What if I had refused and left you there?”

The old man lowered himself slowly down from the horse, looked the rider straight in the eyes, and replied, “I’ve been around here for some time. I reckon I know people pretty good.” He continued, “I looked into the eyes of the other riders and immediately saw there was no concern for my situation. It would have been useless even to ask them for a ride. But when I looked into your eyes, kindness and compassion were evident. I knew, then and there, that your gentle spirit would welcome the opportunity to give me assistance in my time of need.”

Those heart-warming comments touched the horseman deeply. “I’m most grateful for what you have said,” he told the old man. “May I never get too busy in my own affairs that I fail to respond to the needs of others with kindness and compassion.”

With that, Thomas Jefferson, the President, turned his horse around and made his way back to the White House.

Fifteen Cents

In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less, a 10-year-old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and sat at a table. A waitress put a glass of water in front of him. “How much is an ice cream sundae?”

“Fifty cents,” replied the waitress.

The little boy pulled his hand out of his pocket and studied a number of coins in it. “How much is a dish of plain ice cream?” he inquired.

Some people were now waiting for a table and the waitress was a bit impatient. “Thirty-five cents,” she said brusquely.

The little boy again counted the coins. “I’ll have the plain ice cream,” he said.

The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on the table, and walked away. The boy finished the ice cream, paid the cashier and departed. When the waitress came back, she began wiping down the table and then swallowed hard at what she saw. There, placed neatly beside the empty dish, were fifteen cents – her tip.

How a Blind Girl Sees

Whit is a professional magician and he was hired by a restaurant to perform each evening for the patrons as they ate their dinners.

This evening, Whit walked up to a family, pulled out a deck of cards and began performing. Turning to a young girl sitting at the table, he asked her to select a card. The girl’s father informed him that Wendy, his daughter, was blind.

“That’s fine,” Whit replied, turned to the girl and said, “Wendy, would you like to help me with a trick?”

Being a little shy, she shrugged her shoulders and said, “Okay.”

Whit took a seat across from her at the table and said, “I’m going to hold up a playing card, Wendy, and it’s going to be one of two colors, either red or black. What I want you to do is use your psychic powers and tell me what color the card is, red or black. You got it?” Wendy nodded.

Whit held up a king of clubs and said, “Wendy, is this a red card or a black card?”

After a moment, the blind girl replied, “Black.” Her family smiled and thought that it was a lucky guess.

Whit then held up a seven of hearts and said, “Is this a red card or a black card?”

Wendy said, “Red.”

Then Whit held up a third card, three of diamonds, “Red or black?”

Without hesitation, Wendy said, “Red!” Her family giggled nervously. Whit went through three more cards and Wendy got all three right. Her family couldn’t believe how lucky she was.

On the seventh card, Whit held up a five of hearts and said, “Wendy, I want you to tell everyone the value and suit of this card … whether it’s a heart, diamond, club or spade.”

After a moment, Wendy replied confidently, “It’s the five of hearts.” Her family let out a gasp; they were stunned! Her father asked Whit whether he was doing some kind of trick. Whit replied, “You’ll have to ask Wendy.”

Wendy smiled and said, “It’s magic!” Whit shook hands with the family and gave Wendy a hug, left his business card and said goodbye. He had clearly created a magical moment that the family would never forget.

A few months later, Whit received a package from Wendy. It contained a deck of Braille playing cards, along with a letter:

Thanks for making me feel so special and helping me to “see” for just a few moments that night. I still hadn’t told my family how I did the trick, even though they kept asking me. I want to give you this deck of Braille cards so that you can come up with more tricks for blind people.

So how did Wendy do the trick? She had never met Whit before that moment in the restaurant, he could not tell her in advance and it was impossible for her to see the color and value of the cards.

Whit had communicated information to Wendy using a foot code. When he sat down across from Wendy and said, “I’m going to hold up a playing card, Wendy, and it’s going to be one of the two colors, either red or black,” he tapped her foot underneath the table once when he said the word “red” and twice when he said “black”. When he held up a red card, he just tapped her foot once and when it was a black card, he tapped her foot twice. So Wendy knew the color of the cards.

For the five of hearts, Whit tapped her foot five times to let her know it was a five. When he asked her whether the card was a heart, spade, club or diamond, he let her know the suit by tapping her foot as he said the word “heart”.

The real magic of this is the effect it had on Wendy. It gave her a chance to shine for a moment and made her a star in front of her family, when they told their friends about the amazing “psychic” experience.

Fifty Bucks is Fifty Bucks

helicopter

Ken and his wife Edna went to the state fair every year.

And every year Ken would say, “Edna, I’d like to ride in that helicopter.”

Edna always replied, “I know Ken, but that helicopter ride is fifty bucks, and fifty bucks is fifty bucks.”

One year Ken and Edna went to the fair, and Ken said, “Edna, I’m 75 years old. If I don’t ride that helicopter, I might never get another chance.”

To this, Edna replied, “Ken that helicopter ride is fifty bucks, and fifty bucks is fifty bucks.”

The pilot overheard the couple and said, “Folks I’ll make you a deal. I’ll take both of you for a ride. If you can stay quiet for the entire ride and don’t say a word I won’t charge you a penny!” He continued, “But if you say one word, it’s fifty dollars.”

Ken and Edna agreed and up they went.

The pilot did all kinds of fancy maneuvers, but not a word was heard.

He did his daredevil tricks over and over again, but still not a word …

When they landed, the pilot turned to Ken and said, “By golly, I did everything I could to get you to yell out, but you didn’t. I’m impressed!”

Ken replied, “Well, to tell you the truth, I almost said something when Edna fell out. But you know, fifty bucks is fifty bucks!”

Behavior of the Kids

The kid is approached by the lifeguard at the public swimming pool.

“You’re not allowed to pee in the pool,” said the lifeguard. “I’m going to report you.”

“But everyone pees in the pool,” said the kid.

“Maybe,” said the lifeguard, “but not from the diving board!”

Two kids were closely examining bathroom scales on display at the department store.

“What’s it for?” one asked.

“I don’t know,” the other replied. “I think you stand on it and it makes you mad. At least it does that for my Mom and Dad.”

One Halloween a trick-or-treater came to my door dressed as “Rocky” in boxing gloves and satin shorts. Soon after I gave him some goodies, he returned for more.

“Aren’t you the same ‘Rocky’ who left my doorstep several minutes ago?” I asked.

“Yes,” he replied, “but now I’m the sequel. I’ll be back three more times tonight too.”