Thoughts on life


    In his book, The Secret to Living is Giving, Mac Anderson wrote:

    “One of my favorite things to do is waking up early on Sunday morning, getting the Sunday paper, making a hot cup of coffee, and kicking back to read about what’s going on in the world. It’s my quiet time, my time to reflect and relax.

    “One Sunday morning about halfway through my little ritual, I spotted a headline that caught my attention, ‘Graduating Student Credits His ‘Angel’’ and I began to read.

    “A young man who was graduating from college told the story about how Oral Lee Brown was his ‘Real Life Angel.’ In 1987, Brown, a real estate agent in Northern California, saw a young girl in her neighborhood begging for money.

    “When she went to the school the girl had claimed to attend, Brown couldn’t find her, but that day she made a decision that would change the lives of many other children forever. She adopted an entire first-grade class in one of Oakland’s lowest performing schools, and she pledged that she personally would pay for anyone who wanted to attend college.

    “This would be a great story even if Oral Lee was independently wealthy; however, it is a much greater story considering she was a former cotton picker from Mississippi, making $45,000 a year and raising two children of her own.

    “Brown lived up to her pledge. Since 1987, she’s personally saved $10,000 a year while raising donations for her ‘adopted first-grade kids.’ And because of her tremendous act of unselfish love, children who could have been ‘swallowed by the streets’ are now graduating from college to pursue their dreams.”

    Anderson ended the story with these words: “We all seek our purpose in life. Most of us wonder how we can make a positive difference during our brief time on this earth. But Oral Lee Brown discovered the simple secret – giving.”

    Tennis superstar Arthur Ashe said it best: “From what we get, we can make a living. What we give, however, makes a life.”

    My good friend, Dr. Willie T. Ong, puts it succinctly, “The greatest rule for networking is to give and give first.

    Give your time, effort or even resources if you can. Give with no thought in return. And one day soon, it will come back slowly. The degree by which we receive is proportional to the degree we have given. If we are not receiving, perhaps we have not given enough yet.”

    The statement makes sense, indeed. That’s why the Ten Commandments given by our Creator to Moses is still relevant in these days of computers, cellular phones, and internet. Paradoxically, the Ten Commandments have been reworded to keep abreast with modern times.

    I received this thought of wisdom from my friend. “Someone has written these beautiful sentences,” it said.

    “Try to understand the deep meaning of them. They are like Ten Commandments to follow in the life all the time.”

    1. Prayer is not a “spare wheel” that you pull out when in trouble, but it is a “steering wheel” that directs the right path throughout. As George Buttrick puts it: “Prayer is not a substitute for work, thinking, watching, suffering, or giving; prayer is a support for all other efforts.”

    2. Ever wonder why a car’s windshield is so large and the rearview mirror is so small? It’s because your past is not as important as your future. Look ahead and move on.

    3. Friendship is like a book. It takes few seconds to burn, but it takes years to write. Goethe reminds, “The world is so empty if one thinks only of mountains, rivers, and cities; but to know someone here and there who thinks and feels with us, and who, though distant, is close to us in spirit, this makes the earth an inhabited garden.”

    4. All things in life are temporary. If going well, enjoy it; they will not last forever. If going wrong, don’t worry; they can’t last long either. “I have found life an enjoyable, enchanting, active, and sometimes terrifying experience, and I’ve enjoyed it completely,” Sean O’Casey said. “A lament in one ear, maybe, but always a song in the other.”

    5. Old friends are gold! New friends are diamond! If you get a diamond, don’t forget the gold! Because to hold a diamond, you always need a base of gold! “Three men are my friends,” Parin said. “He that loves me, he that hates me, and he that is indifferent to me. Who loves me teaches me tenderness. Who hates me teaches me caution. Who is indifferent to me teaches me self-reliance.”

    6. Oftentimes, when you lose hope and think it’s the end of the world, God smiles from above and says, “Relax, my child, it’s just a bend, not the end!”

    7. When God solves your problems, you have faith in His abilities; when God doesn’t solve your problems He has faith in your abilities.

    8. A blind person asked Swami Vivekanand: “Can there be anything worse than losing eye sight?” He replied: “Yes, losing your vision!” The Holy Bible itself said, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”

    9. When you pray for others, God listens to you and blesses them, and sometimes, when you are safe and happy, remember that someone has prayed for you.

    10. Worrying does not take away the troubles of tomorrow; it takes away today’s peace.

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