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Vintage Dilbert August 23, 1993

Vintage Dilbert
August 23, 1993

One day I stopped to think about growing apples. I was munching a delicious, juicy apple and took a big bite. As a result I got an apple seed into my mouth. I spat it out into my hand, with the intention of throwing it away. But instead I looked at the apple seed. Really looked. It was dark brown, almost black. It’s shape reminded me of a candle flame. A little dark brown candle flame…

I realized I was holding an apple tree in the palm of my hand. A little seed with the potential to become a beautiful big tree; a tree that could grow thousands of apples in its lifetime. Thousands of apples, each containing several seeds, each capable of growing a new tree which again could produce thousands of apples. Why then the world wasn’t filled with apple trees?

It is a rule of nature that only a few of these seeds grow. Most never do or are destroyed early on in their growth.

And it came to my mind, it’s quite often so with people’s dreams. Wonderful ideas come to our minds but they die too soon – we don’t tend to the little saplings, we don’t protect them as we should. And then one day we wonder what happened to our dreams, why did they never come true?

I put the apple seed on the table and bent down to see how the light was reflected from it, this nature’s tiny wonder. I wondered when someone was seriously growing apples, how many times they had to try to get a seed to germinate? How much work did it require?

Maybe it was like with our dreams: the seeds of your dreams did not automatically grow. Like planting an apple tree. It might take many trys; like a hundred job applications to get that good job. You might send your manuscript out two hundred times before it was accepted. You might meet dozens of people until you meet the true friend.

But if you kept on sowing the seeds of your dream, one day you would succeed. And after that others would comment on how you were lucky to be successful – when in fact you probably failed more often than you would like to count. But you were good at failing – you learned, you adapted, and then with your new knowlegde you tried again. And again. And again. And one day success was yours.

I picked up the apple seed again – but instead of throwing it away I took an empty flower pot, poured some earth into it and planted the seed. Maybe one day it would grown into a proud tree. I’d never know if I didn’t try.

Some people think their best time in life is when they are young. Once they’ve hit the 40-mark, they begin to tell how it is of no use any more to start achieving new things.

I refuse to believe that. There are plenty of examples out there that prove you can achieve amazing things even in your mature years.

I love the little story of a woman who decided she wanted to go and study when she was in her forties. Her husband asked her. “Do you realize that if you start your studies now, you will be fifty when you graduate?” To which this admirable lady replied “Darling – I shall be fifty in any case.”

So go ahead and follow your dreams. Start today. No matter what they are, no matter what your age, and no matter what others think of it. It’s your life after all.

 

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Vintage Dilbert March 25, 2016

Vintage Dilbert
March 25, 2016

Jeremy was born with a twisted body, a slow mind and a chronic, terminal illness that had been slowly killing him all his young life. Still, his parents had tried to give him as normal a life as possible and had sent him to St. Theresa’s Elementary School.

At the age of 12, Jeremy was only in second grade, seemingly unable to learn. His teacher, Doris Miller, often became exasperated with him. He would squirm in his seat, drool and make grunting noises. At other times, he spoke clearly and distinctly, as if a spot of light had penetrated the darkness of his brain. Most of the time, however, Jeremy irritated his teacher. One day, she called his parents and asked them to come to St. Teresa’s for a consultation.

As the Forresters sat quietly in the empty classroom, Doris said to them, “Jeremy really belongs in a special school. It isn’t fair to him to be with younger children who don’t have learning problems. Why, there is a five-year gap between his age and that of the other students!”

Mrs. Forrester cried softly into a tissue while her husband spoke. “Miss Miller,” he said, “there is no school of that kind nearby. It would be a terrible shock for Jeremy if we had to take him out of this school. We know he really likes it here.”

Doris sat for a long time after they left, staring at the snow outside the window. Its coldness seemed to seep into her soul. She wanted to sympathize with the Forresters. After all, their only child had a terminal illness. But it wasn’t fair to keep him in her class. She had 18 other youngsters to teach and Jeremy was a distraction. Furthermore, he would never learn to read or write. Why waste any more time trying?

As she pondered the situation, guilt washed over her. “Oh God,” she said aloud, “here I am complaining when my problems are nothing compared with that poor family! Please help me to be more patient with Jeremy.”

From that day on, she tried hard to ignore Jeremy’s noises and his blank stares. Then one day he limped to her desk, dragging his bad leg behind him. “I love you, Miss Miller,” he exclaimed, loudly enough for the whole class to hear. The other children snickered, and Doris’ face turned red. She stammered, “Wh-Why, that’s very nice, Jeremy. Now please take your seat.”

Spring came, and the children talked excitedly about the coming of Easter. Doris told them the story of Jesus, and then to emphasize the idea of new life springing forth, she gave each of the children a large plastic egg. “Now,” she said to them, “I want you to take this home and bring it back tomorrow with something inside that shows new life. Do you understand?”

Yes, Miss Miller!” the children responded enthusiastically – all except for Jeremy. He just listened intently, his eyes never left her face. He did not even make his usual noises. Had he understood what she had said about Jesus’ death and resurrection? Did he understand the assignment? Perhaps she should call his parents and explain the project to them. That evening, Doris’ kitchen sink stopped up. She called the landlord and waited an hour for him to come by and unclog it. After that, she still had to shop for groceries, iron a blouse and prepare a vocabulary test for the next day. She completely forgot about phoning Jeremy’s parents.

The next morning, 19 children came to school, laughing and talking as they placed their eggs in the large wicker basket on Miss Miller’s desk. After they completed their Math lesson, it was time to open the eggs. In the first egg, Doris found a flower. “Oh yes, a flower is certainly a sign of new life,” she said. “When plants peek through the ground we know that spring is here.” A small girl in the first row waved her arms. “That’s my egg, Miss Miller,” she called out.

The next egg contained a plastic butterfly, which looked very real. Doris held it up. “We all know that a caterpillar changes and grows into a beautiful butterfly. Yes, that is new life, too” Little Judy smiled proudly and said, “Miss Miller, that one is mine.”

Next Doris found a rock with moss on it. She explained that the moss, too, showed life. Billy spoke up from the back of the classroom. “My Daddy helped me!” he beamed.

Then Doris opened the fourth egg. She gasped. The egg was empty! Surely it must be Jeremy’s, she thought, and, of course, he did not understand her instructions. If only she had not forgotten to phone his parents. Because she did not want to embarrass him, she quietly set the egg aside and reached for another.

Suddenly Jeremy spoke up. “Miss Miller, aren’t you going to talk about my egg?” Flustered, Doris replied, “but Jeremy – your egg is empty!” He looked into her eyes and said softly, “Yes, but Jesus’ tomb was empty too!”

Time stopped. When she could speak again. Doris asked him, ” Do you know why the tomb was empty?”

“Oh yes!” Jeremy exclaimed. “Jesus was killed and put in there. Then his Father raised him up!”

The recess bell rang. While the children excitedly ran out to the school yard, Doris cried. The cold inside her melted completely away.

Three months later Jeremy died. Those who paid their respects at the mortuary were surprised to see 19 eggs on top of his casket, all of them empty.

Author - Ida Mae Kemp
Vintage Dilbert January 25, 2002

Vintage Dilbert
January 25, 2002

And what shall I do with this last precious day which remains in my keeping? First, I seal up its container of life so that not one drop spills itself upon the sand. I will waste not a moment mourning yesterday’s misfortunes, yesterday’s defeats, yesterday’s aches of the heart, for why should I throw good after bad?

Can sand flow upward in the hour glass? Will the sun rise where it sets and sets where it rises? Can I relive the errors of yesterday and right them? Can I call back yesterday’s wounds and make them whole? Can I become younger than yesterday? Can I take back the evil that was spoken, the blows that were struck, the pain that was caused? No. Yesterday is buried forever and I will think of it no more.

I will live this day as if it is my last.

And what then shall I do? Forgetting yesterday neither will I think of tomorrow. Why should I throw now after maybe? Can tomorrow’s sand flow through the glass before today’s? Will the sun rise twice this morning? Can I perform tomorrow’s deeds while standing in today’s path? Can I place tomorrow’s gold in today’s purse? Can tomorrow’s child be born today? Can tomorrow’s death cast its torment backward and darken today’s joy? Should I concern myself over events which I may never witness? Should I torment myself with problems that may never come to pass? No! tomorrow lies buried with yesterday, and I will think of it no more.

I will live this day as if it is my last.

This is all I have and these hours are now my eternity. I greet this sunrise with cries of joy as a prisoner who is reprieved from death. I lift my arms with thanks for this priceless gift of a new day. So too, I will beat upon my heart with gratitude as I consider all who greeted yesterday’s sunrise who are no longer with the living today. I am indeed a fortunate man and today’s hours are but a bonus, undeserved. Why have I been allowed to live this extra day when others far better than I, have departed? Is it that they have accomplished their purpose while mine is yet to be achieved? Is this another opportunity for me to become the man I know I can be? Is there a purpose in nature? Is this my day to excel?

I will live this day as if it is my last.

I have but one life and life is naught but a measurement of time. When I waste one I destroy the other. If I waste today, I destroy the last page of my life. Therefore, each hour of this day will I cherish for it can never return. It cannot be banked today to be withdrawn on the morrow, for who can trap the wind? Each minute of this day will I grasp with both hands and fondle with love for its value is beyond price. What dying man can purchase another breath though he willingly give all his gold? What price dare I place on the hours ahead? I will make them priceless!

I will live this day as if it is my last.

I will avoid with fury the killers of time. Procrastination I will destroy with action; doubt I will bury under faith; fear I will dismember with confidence. Where there are idle mouths I will listen not; where there are idle hands I will linger not; where there are idle bodies I will visit not. Henceforth I know that to court idleness is to steal food, clothing, and warmth from those I love. I am not a thief. I am a man of love and today is my last chance to prove my love and my greatness.

I will live this day as if it is my last.

The duties of today I shall fulfill today. Today I shall fondle my children while they are young; tomorrow they will be gone, and so will I. Today I shall embrace my woman with sweet kisses; tomorrow she will be gone, and so will I. Today I shall lift up a friend in need: tomorrow he will no longer cry for help, nor will I hear his cries. Today I shall give myself in sacrifice and work; tomorrow I will have nothing to give, and there will be none to receive.

I will live this day as if it is my last.

And if it is my last, it will be my greatest monument. This day I will make the best day of my life. This day I will drink every minute to its full. I will savor its taste and give thanks. I will make every hour count and each minute I will trade only with something of value. I will labor harder than ever before and push my muscles until they cry for relief, and then I will continue. I will make more calls than ever before. I will sell more goods than ever before. I will earn more gold than ever before. Each minute of today will be more fruitful than hours of yesterday. My last must be my best.

I will live this day as if it is my last.

And if it is not, I shall fall to my knees and give thanks.

 

- By Og Mandino
Vintage Dilbert March 3, 2003

Vintage Dilbert
March 3, 2003

 

To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 42 lessons life taught me. It is the most requested column I’ve ever written.

My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:
1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short – enjoy it..

4. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and family will.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don’t have to win every argument. Stay true to yourself.

7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.

8. Save for retirement starting with your first pay check.

9. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

10. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.

11. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.

12. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

13. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it…

14. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

15. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful. Clutter weighs you down in many ways.

16. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.

17. It’s never too late to be happy. But it’s all up to you and no one else.

18. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.

19. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

20. Over prepare, then go with the flow.

21. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.

22. The most important sex organ is the brain.

23. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.

24. Frame every so-called disaster with these words ‘In five years, will this matter?’

25. Always choose life.

26. Forgive but don’t forget.

27. What other people think of you is none of your business.

28. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

29. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

30. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does..

31. Believe in miracles.

32. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

33. Growing old beats the alternative — dying young.

34. Your children get only one childhood.

35. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

36. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

37. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.

38. Envy is a waste of time. Accept what you already have not what you need.

39. The best is yet to come…

40. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

41. Yield.

42. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.

Written by Regina Brett, 90 years old,
 Cleveland, Ohio 
Vintage Dilbert February 26, 1996

Vintage Dilbert
February 26, 1996

When I was a kid growing up in Ohio, I made extra money picking strawberries for a man who had a small farm on the edge of town. He sold his produce from a little roadside stand.

Because I was paid by the quart, I figured the faster I picked, the more I would make. But the farmer informed me that there was another requirement.

“Don’t just fill your boxes to the edge. Fill them till they run over and won’t hold any more,” he said. “I’ve always operated on the principle that if I charge a fair price and give my customers a little extra, they’ll come back again.” And they did.

What I learned was that we reap what we sow … in every facet of our lives. Give the minimum, expect to receive the minimum. Give lavishly, extravagantly, and be rewarded in kind. Not that that should be our motivation. But the law that says you can’t outgive the Lord is immutable. Jesus confirmed it when He preached, “Give and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For the measure you give will be the measure you get back” (Luke 6:38, RSV).

It applies to strawberries—and the fruits of the Spirit, as well.

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by Fred Bauer
Vintage Dilbert February 25, 2005

Vintage Dilbert
February 25, 2005

Outside my window a new day I see

And only I can determine what kind of day it will be.

It can be busy and sunny, laughing and gay

Or boring and cold, unhappy and gray.

My own state of mind is the determining key

For I am only the person I let myself be.

I can be thoughtful and do all I can to help

Or be selfish and think just of myself.

I can enjoy what I do and make it seem fun

Or gripe and complain and make it hard on someone.

I can be patient with those who may not understand

Or belittle and hurt them as much as I can.

But I have faith in myself and believe what I say

And I personally intend to make the best of each day.

I hope you enjoyed this story as much as I have..... Explore the MS&D 
achieves for over 1000 additional stories... 
Take Care and God Bless :-) Kenny T
Author Unknown - Please comment if you know the author
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Vintage Dilbert February 25,  2014

Vintage Dilbert
February 25, 2014

I showered and shaved, I adjusted my tie.
I got there and sat in a pew just in time.
Bowing my head in prayer, as I closed my eyes,
I saw the shoe of the man next to me touching my own. I sighed.

‘With plenty of room on either side,’
I thought, ‘Why must our soles touch?’
It bothered me, his shoe touching mine.
But it didn’t bother him much.

A prayer began: ‘Our Father.’ I thought,
‘This man with the shoes, has no pride.
‘They’re dusty, worn, and scratched.
‘Even worse, there are holes on the side!’

‘Thank You for blessings,’ the prayer went on.
The shoe man said a quiet ‘Amen.’
I tried to focus on the prayer but my thoughts were on his shoes again.

Aren’t we supposed to look our best when walking through that door?
‘Well, this certainly isn’t it,’ I thought, glancing toward the floor.
Then the prayer was ended and the songs of praise began.
The shoe man was certainly loud, sounding proud as he sang.

His voice lifted the rafters. His hands were raised high.
The Lord could surely hear the shoe man’s voice from the sky.
It was time for the offering and what I threw in was steep.
I watched as the shoe man reached into his pockets so deep.

I saw what was pulled out, what the shoe man put in.
Then I heard a soft ‘clink’ as when silver hits tin.
The sermon really bored me to tears, and that’s no lie.
It was the same for the shoe man, for tears fell from his eyes.

At the end of the service, as is the custom here,
We must greet new visitors and show them all good cheer.
But I felt moved somehow and wanted to meet the shoe man.
So after the closing prayer I reached over and shook his hand.

He was old and his skin was dark and his hair was truly a mess.
But I thanked him for coming, for being our guest.
He said, ‘My name’s Charlie; I’m glad to meet you, my friend.’
There were tears in his eyes but he had a large, wide grin.

‘Let me explain,’ he said, wiping tears from his eyes.
‘I’ve been coming here for months and you’re the first to say ‘Hi.’
‘I know that my appearance is not like all the rest.
‘But I really do try to always look my best.

‘I always clean and polish my shoes before my very long walk.
‘But by the time I get here they’re dirty and dusty, like chalk.’
My heart filled with pain and I swallowed to hide my tears.
As he continued to apologize for daring to sit so near

He said, ‘When I get here I know I must look a sight.’
‘But I thought if I could touch you then maybe our souls might unite.’
I was silent for a moment, knowing whatever was said
Would pale in comparison. I spoke from my heart, not my head.

‘Oh, you’ve touched me,’ I said, ‘And taught me, in part
‘That the best of any man is what is found in his heart.’
The rest, I thought, this shoe man will never know.
Like just how thankful I really am that his dirty old shoe touched my soul.

I hope you enjoyed this story as much as I have..... Explore the MS&D achieves 
for over 1000 additional stories... Take Care and God Bless :-) Kenny T
Author Unknown - Please comment if you know the author
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