Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Thought for the day

From Ven. Shi Wuling  

Once the thought arises,
the word is spoken and the deed is done

The thought, the word, the deed,
will live on long and impact others 
long after we have ceased 

Thought for the Day


Friday, June 20, 2008

When Insults Had Class

I couldn't resist posting this...

When Insults Had Class

These glorious insults are from an era when cleverness with
words was still valued, before a great portion of the
English language got boiled down to 4-letter words,
not to mention waving middle fingers.

The exchange between Churchill & Lady Astor: She said,
'If you were my husband I'd give you poison,' and he
said, 'If you were my wife, I'd drink it.'

A member of Parliament to Disraeli: 'Sir, you will
either die on the gallows or of some unspeakable
disease.' 'That depends, Sir,' said Disraeli, 'whether
I embrace your policies or your mistress.'

'He had delusions of adequacy.' - Walter Kerr

'He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the
vices I admire.'
Winston Churchill

'A modest little person, with much to be modest
a bout.'
Winston Churchill

'I have never killed a man, but I have read many
obituaries with great pleasure. 'Clarence Darrow

'He has never been known to use a word that might send
a reader to the dictionary.' - William Faulkner (about
Ernest Hemingway).

'Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come
from big words?'
Ernest Hemingway (about William Faulkner)

'Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I'll
waste no time reading it.' Moses Hadas

'He can compress the most words into the smallest idea
of any man I know.'

Abraham Lincoln

'I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter
saying I approved of it.'
Mark Twain

'He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his
friends.' - Oscar Wilde

'I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my
new play; bring a friend.... if you have one.' -
George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill

'Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend
second... if there is one.' - Winston Churchill, in

'I feel so miserable without you; it's almost like
having you here.' - Stephen Bishop

'He is a self-made man and worships his creator.' -
John Bright

'I've just learned about his illness. Let's hope it's
nothing trivial.' - Irvin S. Cobb

'He is not only dull himself, he is the cause of
dullness in others.' - Samuel Johnson

'He is simply a shiver looking for a spine to run up.'
- Paul Keating

'There's nothing wrong with you that reincarnation
won't cure.' Jack E. Leonard

'He has the attention span of a lightning bolt.' -
Robert Redford

'They never open their mouths without subtracting from
the sum of human knowledge.' - Thomas Brackett Reed

'In order to avoid being called a flirt, she always
yielded easi ly.'
Charles, Count Talleyrand

'He loves nature in spite of what it did to him.' -
Forrest Tucker

'Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without
any address on it?'
Mark Twain

'His mother should have thrown him away and kept the
stork.' - Mae West

'Some cause happiness wherever they go; others,
whenever they go.'
Oscar Wilde

'He uses statistics as a drunken man uses
lamp-posts... for support rather than illumination.' -
Andrew Lang (1844-1912)

'He has Van Gogh's ear for music.' - Billy Wilder

'I've had a perfectly wonderful evening.  But this
wasn't it.' - Groucho Marx

Saturday, June 7, 2008

There is more to life than increasing its speed. Mohandas Gandhi

The last few days I've been listening an audio version the book "The 4-Hour Workweek" by Timothy Ferriss.  The subtitle is:  Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere and Join the New Rich.  How could this possibly happen?  Isn't it the "law" that one works hard, and saves until they are 65? (Or 66 and 7 months for those of us born after a certain year).   Well, apparently not!

I was most intrigued by the chapter called "Mini Retirements".  What a concept?! I like it!  I've never been certain that permanent retirement was something I wanted in my life.   Of course the author has all sorts of good ideas on how to make this happen, some practical, some not so practical.  He also provides a wealth of websites to visit.  Including several websites that have opportunities for volunteer work opportunities.  

Another of the more interesting chapters described how to outsource your life.  There is an entire worldwide network of people who will complete every task from creating complex data-bases,  and research to writing an apology note to your spouse.  In fact, much of the research for this book was outsourced.  Some of the websites for outsourcing are set up in an Ebay style with jobs and bids submitted, and ratings given by both the bidders and those who bid.  I'm not sure if or when I'd use such a service, but the idea of a "global economy" at this level had never occurred to me!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Southern Sudan

Friday night I went to a talk given by Dr. Jack Hickle on his work in Old Fangak, Southern Sudan. This area of Sudan is extremely impoverished and disease ridden after 20 years of civil war.  A civil war  between the African Nuer people of the South and the Muslims of the North, over the oil riches in the area.  (Imagine that?!).  Dr. Hickle is a friend of Dr. Jill Seaman who has gone to Old Fandak for 19 years providing the only medical care for an estimated 5,000 people in the area.  Measles, Polio, malnutrition and a myriad of tropical diseases are rampant in the area.   The hospital consists of a small building with turn of the century iron beds and no latrines. Because the building is so small many of the patients lie outside under mosquito nets.  And, there are no outhouses outside either.  Unimaginable conditions to those of us who live our comfortable soft life here.  At any rate, Dr. Hickle is raising money for a clinic with indoor plumbing for Old Fangak.  To learn more about his project you can go to www.alaskasudan.org. I warn you though, the videos are heart-wrenching!  

As I left the talk, a friend of mine, who was deeply moved by what she had heard said:  "I don't understand a God that would let such horrors occur!"  I thought about that today, because I've pondered the very same.  You know, I've come to think of this differently, I can't believe the human race, people,  would commit and let such horrors occur!    I think Eckhart Tolle said it best in his book A New Earth.  He talks about the violent deaths man has suffered at the hand of their fellow human.  Just since the beginning of the 20th century  over 100 million people have been murdered by other humans.  He said:  "The collective manifestations of the insanity that lies at the heart of the human condition constitute the greater part of human history.  It is to a large extent a history of madness.  If the history of humanity were the clinical case history of a single human being, the diagnoses would have to be: chronic paranoid delusions, a pathological propensity to commit murder and acts of extreme violence and cruelty against his perceived "enemies"---his own unconsciousness projected outward.  Criminally insane, with a few brief lucid intervals."  Eckhart goes on to say that the collective human consciousness has to change from the "criminally insane" consciousness or the human race will not survive.  Pretty dark huh?!

Of course I don't have answers to all of this, only questions.  But I believe I am connected to the people in Southern Sudan through the spirit of God, and it is my responsibility to do what I can, however small my contribution may be.  And I believe it was no accident that I heard about these people, I must do something.

Each of us is on the earth with a holy mission: to give and to receive the love of God. With every encounter, it is our function to give to others the love we wish to receive. As we do so, we minister to their heart and to our own.  (I don't know the author of this, but I liked  it).  

Monday, May 26, 2008

Sunday, May 25, 2008

A Jewish Wedding

Today I went to a Jewish wedding, the first I've ever attended.  The service was beautiful,  in the woods, overlooking a creek.  I liked the traditions the Rabbi told us about, I assume because most of the attendees were not Jewish.  Anyway, the tradition of breaking the glass is one I enjoyed the most.  According to the Rabbi, in ancient times there were thought to be many demons around, and the sound of the breaking glass would scare the demons away.  The Rabbi said we still have demons that need to be scared away, the demons of jealousy, disrespect, anger and indifference.  I appreciated the analogy.  These and many other things can be demons in a marriage.