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

Posts tagged ‘Reblog’

Dancing with Isabel

Jim was working as an assistant cruise director. The male staff had to dance with the elderly ladies who were traveling by themselves. Whenever they saw these passengers in one of the lounges, they were required to strike up a conversation and offer to dance with them.

On one particular Saturday night, the ship’s program called for fifteen minutes of music and dancing in the main lounge. Jim looked around and spotted a lady sitting off to the side, her foot stomping away to the beat of a lively Glenn Miller tune. She looked like she was in her seventies, on the petite side, and was wearing a wig that was unevenly pulled to the side.

Jim walked to her, introduced himself and asked her if she wanted to dance. She smiled at him and said, “No, thank you.”

Jim mentioned that he had seen her tapping to the music and knew she was enjoying the Big Band sound. Reaching out his hand and gently placing it in hers, Jim said, “Come on, let’s go have some fun.”

She got up and they made their way to the dance floor. To Jim’s surprise, she was a very good dancer. Her eyes were all lit up, and she was smiling. She showed Jim all kinds of great swing-step moves, and Jim desperately tried to keep up with her. They were the kind of dance steps a professional swing dancer use. She was really phenomenal!

The music ended, Jim walked her back to her seat and knew her name was Isabel. As they sat down, Jim noticed the tears in her eyes. She reached down into her purse, pulled out a tissue and began to cry.

“Have I done something to upset you?” Jim asked. “Was it my poor dancing abilities? I’m sorry.”

She looked up and assured Jim that he had done nothing wrong. “I love to dance,” she said. “My husband and I would go dancing every Saturday night. We never missed an opportunity.”

Isabel tried to compose herself, but her face was overcome with emotion. “My husband and I always dreamed of dancing at sea together. We talked about going on a cruise, and we saved up our money.” Isabel drew a deep breath and continued, “Then on Saturday evening, just as we were getting dressed to go out, he sat down on our bed and said he needed to rest for a few minutes. Well,” she said gently, “he never woke up.”

Jim could see her love for her husband in every wrinkle of her precious face.

“I haven’t danced in twenty-eight years,” she paused and looked at Jim with a smile, “until now.”

Then she gave Jim a hug and whispered, “Thank you for being my partner tonight.”

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Being and Non-Being

We join spokes together in a wheel,
but it is the center hole that makes the wagon move.

We shape clay into a pot,
but it is the emptiness inside that holds whatever we want.

We hammer wood for a house,
but it is the inner space that makes it livable.

We work with being,
but non-being is what we use.

How Much Can You Love?

After married for more than 50 years, my parents keep arguing every day. It seems like just the voice from one of them can simply lead to a heated argument. I wonder they may divorce one day in their seventies. Looking at them, marriage is like a process that turns a person that you once loved most to the one you eventually hate most. People would think marriage can last for a life time before, now people wonder how long their marriages can last. New definition about relationship such as one-night stand and speed dating are surfaced. How much can you love another person? How long can you share your life with your other half without feeling bored?

True love may only be found in movies and dramas nowadays. For example, even Jack knew that there was no arrangement for him to get off the Titanic, he still persuaded Rose to board the lifeboat. They looked at each other when Rose’s lifeboat was lowered down to the sea. Rose then realized that she could not leave Jack and jumped back onto the lower deck and reunited with him.

In the “Twilight” movies, Bella did not want to grow old while her vampire boyfriend Edward stopped aging at 17. Oddly enough, she asked Edward to transform her to a vampire. However, Edward did not want her to sacrifice her life for him and suppressed the temptation to suck her blood. Realizing the danger that he and his family posed to Bella, Edward ended their relationship and left with his family.

And in the Japanese drama “Proposal Daisakusen”, Ken was stuck in the situation to provide a speech in the wedding as the best friend of the bride Rei, who he loved for a long time. However, Rei was going to marry someone else. After a formal start, Ken could not control his emotion and confessed his love to Rei. Below is part of his touching speech.

“For 14 years, during happy times, difficult times, times of suffering, the one who always spent time with Rei, the one who would be able to make her happy, I seriously thought that I am the only one who could do that. The one who knows her best is me.

But in the end, these are just thoughts inside my heart, because not once have I been able to become honest about it in front of her. Though I always have been near her, the words I thought I would say someday, I haven’t been able to say it after all.

That one thing … never did I say it. I … I was in love with Rei. Honestly, if I say so, even now, I am still in love with Rei … But, she is getting married to someone today. Though it’s excruciating for me, she will get married. Because her place in my heart is so vast, the struggle for me to arrive at these words has taken an extreme amount of time.

Rei. Congratulations on your wedding. Please be happy. If you don’t … I really won’t forgive you.”

Even if it hurts and the ending is not perfect, you have to let the one you love be happy.

Nathan’s Upgrade

“Mr. Degner,” the man began, “I’m Tom Fury. You probably don’t remember meeting me and my family back in November. We were going to Miami and the flight was overbooked.”

Jeff confessed that he couldn’t recall the occasion.

“You made an announcement asking for volunteers willing to give up their seats for free tickets and a later flight. My wife, Ann, went up to your desk and told you that the four of us – myself, my wife, our daughter Mariah, and our son Nathan – would be willing to go later.”

The story still didn’t ring a bell to Jeff.

“Well,” Tom went on, “we gave you our tickets but about fifteen minutes later, you came back and said that you wouldn’t need our seats after all.”

At this point, Jeff was still unsure where this former customer was going with his phone call.

Tom continued, “So you gave our tickets back and then you told us that you had upgraded our seats to first class as a way of showing gratitude for our willingness to be bumped. Now, I know that this was something you didn’t have to do – you could have just as easily left us with our original seats. Now do you remember us?”

“Yes, I think I do recall meeting you,” Jeff lied, “I’m glad you enjoyed those seats.”

“Oh, we did! That flight to Miami was wonderful,” Tom replied. “We were so excited. Ann and Mariah sat next to each other and Nathan and I were right across from them. We laughed and talked all the way to Florida. It was just fantastic.”

“I’m really glad that you and your family were happy with the seats, and thank you for taking the time to call …”

“There’s something more,” Tom said. Jeff noticed a sudden shift in the tone of his voice.

“Just after we got home from our vacation …” Jeff could hear the strain of tears and pain in Tom’s voice as he continued, “Nathan was out riding his bike and … the driver of the car didn’t even see …”

Tom couldn’t finish his sentence but Jeff knew what had happened. His eyes welled up as he waited in silence.

A moment later, the boy’s father went on, “That trip was the last trip the four of us were together. We’ll always remember that flight to Miami, all of us sitting in those first class seats. We were so happy and Nathan had so much fun. It meant so much to him. You helped make that time special, Mr. Degner. Ann and I just wanted to say how much we appreciate the gift you gave us.”

Jeff was speechless. He breathed in deeply and, somehow, he found words to express his sympathy for the tragedy and thanked Tom for sharing his story.

After they said goodbye, Jeff sat down and cried for this little boy and his grieving family. He hadn’t realized how much their upgrade had meant to them on their final trip with their son.

One Hour from You

After his wife passed away a year ago, Rick worked as a part time supervisor in a retailed store in addition to his full time consulting job. He wanted to earn more money and provide a better life to his daughter.

One night during dinner, his daughter asked, “Dad, how much do you earn for an hour of your part time job?”

The question surprised Rick and he answered softly, “50 dollars per hour.”

“Can you give me 30 dollars?” his daughter asked.

Rick was curious, he asked, “What for?”

“I just need 30 dollars from you,” his daughter replied.

“I won’t give you the money unless you tell me what the money is for.” Rick was a bit impatient and worried about why his daughter needed the money.

His daughter was upset and kept herself in her room that night.

Regretted and feeling guilty, Rick slid 3 10-dollar notes through the gap underneath his daughter’s bedroom door.

When Rick woke up the next morning, he saw a note placed on the table. On top was his daughter’s hand writing: “Can I buy one hour from you today after school? I want you to come to school and see our choir performance.”

Beside the note, other than Rick’s 3 10-dollar notes, there were another 20 dollars made up of smaller notes and coins which Rick recognized as his daughter’s pocket money.

The Story of the Eagle

The eagle has the longest life-span among birds. It can live up to 70 years. But to reach this age, the eagle must make a hard decision.

In its 40’s, its long and flexible talons can no longer grab prey which serves as food. Its long and sharp beak becomes bent. Its old-aged and heavy wings, due to their thick feathers, become stuck to its chest and make it difficult to fly.

Then, the eagle is left with only 2 options: die or go through a painful process of change which lasts 150 days.

The process requires that the eagle fly to a mountain top and sit on its nest. There the eagle knocks its beak against a rock until it plucks it out. After plucking it out, the eagle will wait for a new beak to grow back and then it will pluck out its talons. When its new talons grow back, the eagle starts plucking its old-aged feathers.

And after 5 months, the eagle takes its famous flight or rebirth and lives for 30 more years.

Many times, in order to survive we have to start a change process. We sometimes need to get rid of old memories, habits and other past traditions. Only freed from past burdens, we can take advantage of the present.

Our lives are not determined by what happens to us but by how we react to what happens. Not by what life brings to us, but by the attitude we bring to life.

A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events and outcomes. It is a catalyst, a spark that creates extraordinary results.

When it rains, most birds head for shelter; the eagle is the only bird that, in order to avoid the rain, starts flying above the cloud.

Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

When I was young, there was an amazing publication called “The Whole Earth Catalog”. It was created by Stewart Brand, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960’s, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and Polaroid cameras. It was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.

Stewart and his team put out several issues of “The Whole Earth Catalog”, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, on the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, I wish that for you.

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

– Steve Jobs, June 12, 2005