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Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
September 30, 2002

When the late Nadine Stair of Louisville, Kentucky, was 85 years old, she was asked what she would do if she had her life to live over again.

“I’d make more mistakes next time,” she said. “I’d relax. I would limber up. I would be sillier than I have been on this trip. I would take fewer things seriously. I would take more chances. I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers. I would eat more ice cream and less beans. I would perhaps have more actual troubles, but I’d have fewer imaginary ones.

“You see, I’m one of those people who live sensibly and sanely hour after hour, day after day. Oh, I’ve had my moments, and if I had to do it over again, I’d have more of them. In fact, I’d try to have nothing else. Just moments, one after another, instead of living so many years ahead of each day. I’ve been one of those persons who never goes anywhere without a thermometer, a hot water bottle, and a raincoat. If I had to do it over again, I would travel lighter than I have.

“If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall. I would go to more dances. I would ride more merry-go-rounds and I would pick more daisies.”

 

Author  -  Don Herold

"Working for Christ"

“They were also to stand every morning to thank and praise the Lord. They were to do the same in the evening.” (1 Chronicles 23:30, NIV)

The Levites were set apart to offer thanks and praise to God every morning and every night – day in and day out, in a never-ending cycle. It was their job. It was forced. It was required of them. Forced “thank yous.” Required praises. Imagine the temptations inherent in this routine. Did easy-to-repeat prayers take the place of petitions motivated by full hearts and genuine gratitude? Did their minds wander as the words bubbled out? “Hear me, O God. Here we go again.”

Praise and thanksgiving are like the yellow line down the center of a highway. If we ignore that line and go off course, we could easily crash and bring others down with us. It’s purpose is to keep us on track…

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Especially Made

Every night when I go to bed, I am wounded, struck down by the battles of the day. I would say that the battles can’t be as hard as what others may face. But the battles are mine, and I am tested to the full. That which I am most weak in is the place of the most intense fighting.

I lie awake for some time replaying the events of the day. When my eyes finally close, The Lord gives me the rest I need, both physical and spiritual. “Rest, my child, for tomorrow is a new day of battles.” “What, Lord? More battles? I may not want to awaken from this peaceful solitude. How could I fight when I barely made it through this day? Why would you enlist me once again when my wounds are still fresh?”

BibleBut while I am asleep, He renews me and miraculously heals…

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Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
September 26, 2013

Once upon a time there was a little boy who was raised in an orphanage.

The little boy had always wished that he could fly like a bird. It was very difficult for him to understand why he could not fly. There were birds at the zoo that were much bigger than he, and they could fly. “Why can’t I?” he thought. “Is there something wrong with me?” he wondered.

There was another little boy who was crippled. He had always wished that he could walk and run like other little boys and girls. “Why can’t I be like them?” he thought.

One day the little orphan boy, who had wanted to fly like a bird, ran away from the orphanage. He came upon a park where he saw the little boy, who could not walk or run, playing in the sandbox.

He ran over to the little boy and asked him if he had ever wanted to fly like a bird.

“No,” said the little boy who could not walk or run. “But I have wondered what it would be like to walk and run like other boys and girls.”

“That is very sad,” said the little boy who wanted to fly. “Do you think we could be friends?” he said to the little boy in the sandbox.

“Sure,” said the little boy.

The two little boys played for hours. They made sand castles and made really funny sounds with their mouths. Sounds which made them laugh real hard. Then the little boy’s father came with a wheelchair to pick up his son. The little boy who had always wanted to fly ran over to the boy’s father and whispered something into his ear.

“That would be OK,” said the man.

The little boy who had always wanted to fly like a bird ran over to his new friend and said, “You are my only friend and I wish that there was something that I could do to make you walk and run like other little boys and girls. But I can’t. But there is something that I can do for you.”

The little orphan boy turned around and told his new friend to slide up onto his back. He then began to run across the grass. Faster and faster he ran, carrying the little crippled boy on his back. Faster and harder he ran across the park. Harder and harder he made his legs travel. Soon the wind just whistled across the two little boys’ faces.

The little boy’s father began to cry as he watched his beautiful little crippled son flapping his arms up and down in the wind, all the while yelling at the top of his voice,

“I’M FLYING, DADDY. I’M FLYING!”

 

Author - Roger Dean Kiser, Sr. 
Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
September 26, 1991

Excerpted from a speech delivered by Mr. Brody to the graduating class of John Hopkins University on May 26, 2005.

There is a man who I’d like to tell you about. His name is Sandy Greenberg. In his youth, Sandy was a very good student, but he came from a poor family. And so he went to Columbia University on a scholarship and there he met his roommate who also was receiving financial aid.

Now while he was a sophomore at Columbia University, Sandy contracted an eye disease that eventually proved to be glaucoma. But the trouble was, it wasn’t detected early enough, and as a result he became legally blind. I ask you all to imagine for a moment having been sighted all your life, and then all of a sudden being faced, in a very competitive school, with losing so much sight you could no longer read. This is what happened to Sandy Greenberg.

But something else happened to Sandy that may surprise you. Sandy said that when he lost his sight, his roommate would read his textbooks to him, every night.

So I’m going to put you in that position, in a competitive school like Columbia, or Johns Hopkins. If your roommate had a serious disability, would you take the time to read textbooks to him every night, knowing the more you spend time reading textbooks to your roommate, perhaps the less well you might do with your other activities? That’s not as easy a question as it first appears.

But luckily for Sandy, his roommate did. And as a result, Sandy went on to graduate with honors. He got a Fulbright Scholarship, and he went off to study at Oxford. He was still quite poor, but he said he had managed to save about five hundred dollars as he went along.

His roommate, meanwhile, also went on to graduate school. One day, Sandy got a call from him at Oxford. And his former roommate said, “Sandy I’m really unhappy. I really don’t like being in graduate school, and I don’t want to do this.”

So Sandy asked, “Well what do you want to do?”

And his roommate told him, “Sandy, I really love to sing. I have a high school friend who plays the guitar. And we would really like to try our hand in the music business. But we need to make a promo record, and in order to do that I need $500.”

So Sandy Greenberg told me he took all his life savings and sent it to his roommate. He told me, “You know, what else could I do? He made my life; I needed to help make his life.”

So, I hope you’ll remember the power of doing well by doing good. Each of you, in your own lives, will be faced with challenges, with roadblocks, with problems that you didn’t anticipate or expect. How you are able to deal with adversity will be influenced, to no small extent, by how you deal with others along the way. What you get will depend a lot on what you give. And that’s the end of the story of doing well, by doing good.

Ah! I almost forgot. You probably are wanting to know who Sandy’s roommate was. I think you’ve heard of him. Sandy’s roommate was a fellow by the name of Art Garfunkel, and he teamed up with another musician by the name of Paul Simon. That $500 helped them cut a record that eventually became “The Sounds of Silence.” Recently, we had the pleasure of going to Sandy’s daughter’s wedding, and it was Art Garfunkel who sang as Sandy walked his daughter down the aisle.

When you get to be my age (which, for some of you, is really old, (though it doesn’t seem so old to me anymore), you will find yourself beginning to ask, did my life make a difference?

That’s the day of personal reckoning. And I think the only way to face it is to consider, every day of your life: How can I do something for somebody else? How can I give back to others? It may be teaching, it may be becoming a doctor, you may be successful in business – no matter what your career path, there will always be the opportunity to give back. The chance will present itself to be giving of your time, giving of your money, but mostly, to be giving of yourselves, of your own heart and soul.

My hope today, as you commence to new beginnings, is you will always keep your eyes open for those opportunities to give and embrace them as your best sure way of doing well.

Author - William R. Brody
Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
September 25, 1991

On Nov. 18, 1995, Itzhak Perlman, the violinist, came on stage to give a concert at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center in New York City.

If you have ever been to a Perlman concert, you know that getting on stage is no small achievement for him. He was stricken with polio as a child, and so he has braces on both legs and walks with the aid of two crutches. To see him walk across the stage one step at a time, painfully and slowly, is an awesome sight.

He walks painfully, yet majestically, until he reaches his chair. Then he sits down, slowly, puts his crutches on the floor, undoes the clasps on his legs, tucks one foot back and extends the other foot forward. Then he bends down and picks up the violin, puts it under his chin, nods to the conductor and proceeds to play.

By now, the audience is used to this ritual. They sit quietly while he makes his way across the stage to his chair. They
remain reverently silent while he undoes the clasps on his legs. They wait until he is ready to play.

But this time, something went wrong. Just as he finished the first few bars, one of the strings on his violin broke. You
could hear it snap – it went off like gunfire across the room. There was no mistaking what that sound meant. There was no mistaking what he had to do.

We figured that he would have to get up, put on the clasps again, pick up the crutches and limp his way off stage – to either find another violin or else find another string for this one. But he didn’t. Instead, he waited a moment, closed his eyes and then signaled the conductor to begin again.

The orchestra began, and he played from where he had left off. And he played with such passion and such power and such purity as they had never heard before.

Of course, anyone knows that it is impossible to play a symphonic work with just three strings. I know that, and you know that, but that night Itzhak Perlman refused to
know that.

You could see him modulating, changing, re-composing the piece in his head. At one point, it sounded like he was de-tuning the strings to get new sounds from them that they had never made before.

When he finished, there was an awesome silence in the room. And then people rose and cheered. There was an extraordinary outburst of applause from every corner of the auditorium. We were all on our feet, screaming and cheering, doing everything we could to show how much we appreciated what he had done.

He smiled, wiped the sweat from this brow, raised his bow to quiet us, and then he said – not boastfully, but in a quiet, pensive, reverent tone – “You know, sometimes it is the artist’s task to find out how much music you can still make with what you have left.”

What a powerful line that is. It has stayed in my mind ever since I heard it. And who knows? Perhaps that is the definition of life – not just for artists but for all of us.

Here is a man who has prepared all his life to make music on a violin of four strings, who, all of a sudden, in the middle of a concert, finds himself with only three strings; so he makes music with three strings, and the music he made that night with just three strings was more beautiful, more sacred, more memorable, than any that he had ever made before, when he had four strings.

So, perhaps our task in this shaky, fast-changing, bewildering world in which we live is to make music, at first with all that we have, and then, when that is no longer possible, to make music with what we have left.

 

Author - Jack Riemer  
Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
September 24, 1991

My day started just like all the other days for the past 15 years where I get up, make some coffee, shower, get dressed and leave for the train station at preciously 7:35 A.M. to arrive at work by 8:30. While on the train I would always choose a seat away from the crowd so I can read the newspaper in peace and quiet. At work I am always being bombarded with questions from coworkers, suppliers, telephone and then those dreaded meetings so the last thing I need is some stranger to sit beside me and make small talk.

I don’t know why but for some reason when I got on the train today it was unusually full, something I don’t recall ever happening in the past. With hesitation I sat down in the only seat available beside a middle aged man that had his head down and seemed to be lost in his thoughts. I was glad that he didn’t notice when I sat next to him as he just continued to look down towards the floor.

Shortly after the train left for my 30 minute ride downtown I found myself wondering what this man was thinking about. What could be so important that he didn’t even see me sit next to him? I tried to forget about it and started to read my paper. However, for some strange reason this “inner voice” kept prompting me to talk to this man. I tried to ignore the “voice” as there was no way I was starting a conversation with a complete stranger.

As you probably guessed I eventually broke down and came up with an excuse to ask him a question. When he raised his head and turned his eyes towards me I could see that he must have been really upset as he had red eyes and still had some tears rolling down the side of his face despite his feeble attempt to wipe them away. I can’t describe the sadness I felt seeing someone in so much pain.

We talked for about 20 minutes and in the end he seemed to be doing better. As we were leaving the train he thanked me profusely for being an angel by taking the time to talk. I never did find out what was making his heart so heavy with pain but was glad I listened to the “voice” that day.

Several weeks had passed when I noticed an envelope on my desk after returning from lunch. It was not addressed to anyone and only had the word “Angel” written on it. My receptionist attached a note saying a gentleman dropped it off saying he did not know my name but had described me well enough that the receptionist knew it was for me. When I read the note inside the envelope I was so filled with emotions that I couldn’t contain myself. It was a letter from the man I met on the train thanking me again for talking to him and saving his life that day.

Apparently he had some very hurtful personal problems that were so overwhelming he was planning to take his life that day. In his letter he went on to explain that he was a religious person and in desperation screamed out to God that if God really cared about him he would send someone to prevent him from taking his life. In his eyes I was that someone, that Angel sent by God.

Not being a religious person myself I don’t know what that “voice” was that made me take a chance and talk to a stranger but I do know that it made a difference in someone’s life that day. So the next time you feel prompted for no apparent reason to talk to a friend, relative, neighbor or even a complete stranger please remember my story. You just may make a difference in someone’s life when you listen to your inner voice.

 

Author  - Bob Eilers  
 © 2006, Bob Eilers. All Rights Reserved
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