Jerry is the manager of a
restaurant in America.
He is always in a good mood and always has something positive to say. When
someone would ask him how he was doing, he would always reply, "If I were
any better, I would be twins!" Many of the waiters at his restaurant quit
their jobs when he changed jobs; they would follow him around from restaurant
to restaurant. The reason the waiters followed Jerry was because of his
attitude. He was a natural motivator. If an employee was having a bad day,
Jerry was always there, telling the employee how to look on the positive side
of the situation.
Seeing this style really
made me curious, so one day I went up to Jerry and asked him, "I don't get
it! No one can be a positive person all of the time. How do you do it?"
Jerry replied, "Each
morning I wake up and say to myself, I have two choices today. I can choose to
be in a good mood or I can choose to be in a bad mood. I always choose to be in
a good mood. Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or I
can choose to learn from it. I always choose to learn from it. Every time
someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or I
can point out the positive side of life. I always choose the positive side of
"But it's not always
that easy," I protested.
"Yes, it is,"
Jerry said, "Life is all about choices When you cut away all the junk,
every situation is a choice You choose how you react to situations. You choose
how people will affect your mood. You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood.
It's your choice how you live your life."
Several years later, I
heard that Jerry accidentally did something you are never supposed to do in the
restaurant business: he left the back door of his restaurant open one morning
and was robbed by three armed men. While trying to open the safe, his hand,
shaking from nervousness slipped off the combination. The robbers panicked and
shot him. Luckily, Jerry was found quickly and rushed to the hospital. After 18
hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, Jerry was released from the
hospital with fragments of the bullets still in his body. I saw Jerry about six
months after the accident.
When I asked him how he
was, he replied, "If I were any better, I'd be twins. Want to see my
I declined to see his
wounds, but did ask him what had gone through his mind as the robbery took
"The first thing that
went through my mind was that I should have locked the back door," Jerry
replied. "Then, after they shot me, as I lay on the floor, I remembered
that I had two choices: I could choose to live or choose to die. I chose to
scared?" I asked.
Jerry continued, "The
paramedics were great. They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when
they wheeled me into the Emergency Room and I saw the expressions on the faces
of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes, I read 'He's a
dead man.' I knew I needed to take action."
"What did you
do?" I asked. "Well, there was a big nurse shouting questions at
me," said Jerry.
"She asked if I was
allergic to anything."
'Yes,' I replied. The
doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply. I took a deep
breath and yelled, 'Bullets!' Over their laughter, I told them, 'I am choosing
to live. Please operate on me as if I am alive, not dead'.
Jerry lived thanks to the
skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude.
I learned from him that
everyday you have the choice to either enjoy your life or to hate it. The only
thing that is truly yours - that no one can control or take from you - is your
attitude, so if you can take care of that, everything else in life becomes much
MORE PRECIOUS THAN A GEM
"A wise woman who was
traveling in the mountains found a precious stone in a stream. The next day she
met another traveler who was hungry, and the wise woman opened her bag to share
her food. The hungry traveler saw the precious stone and asked the woman to
give it to him. She did so without hesitation. The traveler left, rejoicing in
his good fortune. He knew the stone was worth enough to give him security for a
But a few days later he
came back to return the stone to the wise woman. "I've been
thinking," he said, "I know how valuable the stone is, but I give it
back in the hope that you can give me something even more precious. Give me
what you have within you that enabled you to give me the stone."
A MIRACLE OF $1.10 (claimed
to be a true story)
Tess was a precocious eight
year old when she heard her Mom and Dad talking about her little brother,
Andrew. All she knew was that he was very sick and they were completely out of
money. They were moving to an apartment complex next month because Daddy didn't
have the money for the doctor bills and our house. Only a very costly surgery
could save him now and it was looking like there was no-one to loan them the
money. She heard Daddy say to her tearful Mother with whispered desperation,
"Only a miracle can save him now."
Tess went to her bedroom
and pulled a glass jelly jar from its hiding place in the closet. She poured
all the change out on the floor and counted it carefully. Three times, even.
The total had to be exactly perfect. No chance here for mistakes. Carefully
placing the coins back in the jar and twisting on the cap, she slipped out the
back door and made her way 6 blocks to Rexall's Drug Store with the big red
Indian Chief sign above the door. She waited patiently for the pharmacist to
give her some attention but he was too busy at this moment. Tess twisted her feet
to make a scuffing noise. Nothing. She cleared her throat with the most
disgusting sound she could muster. No good.
Finally she took a quarter
from her jar and banged it on the glass counter. That did it!
"And what do you
want?" the pharmacist asked in an annoyed tone of voice. "I'm talking
to my brother from Chicago whom I haven't seen in ages," he said without
waiting for a reply to his question.
"Well, I want to talk to you about my brother," Tess answered back in
the same annoyed tone. "He's really, really sick... and I want to buy a
"I beg your
pardon?" said the pharmacist.
"His name is Andrew
and he has something bad growing inside his head and my Daddy says only a
miracle can save him now. So how much does a miracle cost?"
"We don't sell
miracles here, little girl. I'm sorry but I can't help you," the
pharmacist said, softening a little. "Listen, I have the money to pay for
it. If it isn't enough, I will get the rest. Just tell me how much it
The pharmacist's brother
was a well dressed man. He stooped down and asked the little girl, "What
kind of a miracle does you brother need?"
"I don't know,"
Tess replied with her eyes welling up. "I just know he's really sick and
Mommy says he needs an operation. But my Daddy can't pay for it, so I want to
use my money."
"How much do you
have?" asked the man from Chicago.
"One dollar and eleven cents," Tess answered barely audibly.
"And it's all the money I have, but I can get some more if I need to.
"Well, what a
coincidence," smiled the man. "A dollar and eleven cents - the exact
price of a miracle for little brothers." He took her money in one hand and
with the other hand he grasped her mitten and said, "Take me to where you
live. I want to see your brother and meet your parents. Let's see if I have the
kind of miracle you need."
That well dressed man was
Dr. Carlton Armstrong, a surgeon, specialising in neuro-surgery. The operation
was completed without charge and it wasn't long until Andrew was home again and
doing well. Mom and Dad were happily talking about the chain of events that had
led them to this place.
her Mom whispered. "was a real miracle. I wonder how much it would have
Tess smiled. She knew
exactly how much a miracle cost... one dollar and eleven cents ...... plus the
faith of a little child.
A miracle is not the
suspension of natural law, but the operation of a higher law......
INSTRUCTIONS FOR LIFE (from
1. Take into account that
great love and great achievements involve great risk.
2. When you lose, don't
lose the lesson.
3. Follow the three Rs:
Respect for self Respect for others and Responsibility for all your actions.
4. Remember that not
getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
5. Learn the rules so you
know how to break them properly.
6. Don't let a little
dispute injure a great friendship.
7. When you realize you've
made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
8. Spend some time alone
9. Open your arms to
change, but don't let go of your values.
10. Remember that silence
is sometimes the best answer.
11. Live a good, honorable
life. Then when you get older and think back, you'll be able to enjoy it a
12. A loving atmosphere in
your home is the foundation for your life.
13. In disagreements with
loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don't bring up the past.
14. Share your knowledge.
It's a way to achieve immortality.
15. Be gentle with the
16. Once a year, go
someplace you've never been before.
17. Remember that the best
relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for
18. Judge your success by
what you had to give up in order to get it.
19. Approach love and
compassion with reckless abandon.
She smiled at a sorrowful stranger.
The smile seemed to make him feel better.
He remembered past kindnesses of a friend
And wrote him a thank you letter.
The friend was so pleased with the thank you
That he left a large tip after lunch.
The waitress, surprised by the size of the tip,
Bet the whole thing on a hunch.
The next day she picked up her winnings,
And gave part to a man on the street.
The man on the street was grateful;
For two days he'd had nothing to eat.
After he finished his dinner,
He left for his small dingy room.
He didn't know at that moment that he might be facing his doom.
On the way he picked up a shivering puppy.
And took him home to get warm.
The puppy was very grateful
To be in out of the storm.
That night the house caught on fire.
The puppy barked the alarm.
He barked till he woke the whole household
And saved everybody from harm.
One of the boys that he rescued
Grew up to be President.
All this because of a simple smile
That hadn't cost a cent.
'The 12th century master
Geshe Ben was renowned for his goodness and integrity.
Once, while begging for
alms, a family of devout Buddhists invited him to their home to be fed.
He was so hungry that he
found it difficult to wait while his hosts were elsewhere preparing the meal.
To his complete shock he
found himself stealing food from a jar when no-one was looking.
Geshe Ben suddenly burst
into loud cries of "Thief! Thief! I've caught you red-handed."
His hosts rushed into the
room to find him berating himself and threatening his hand with being cut off
it ever behaved like that again.'
Tibetan teaching story
STILSON'S LEAP (from a book
of which the title I lost)
On a grey day in late
November 1941, a squadron of Spitfires was flying back towards Britain across
the English Channel. The sky was low, with few
breaks in the clouds. They had just broken up a formation of enemy bombers and,
while most pilots were now low on fuel, all would make it back safely to the
base if luck held.
Then flames leaped out from
beneath the cowling of the commanding officer's plane, and thick, black smoke
spewed from his exhausts. The whirling propeller slowed, then froze, and his
aircraft, trailing smoke, began hurtling down towards the sea.
The cockpit canopy slid
back, and the commanding officer tumbled out. His parachute opened. The others
watched him drift down through the wind and silence towards the ocean, which
splashed and foamed below.
Dropping lower, they saw
him hit the sea, then, supported by his life-vest, rise up and swim away from
the entangling parachute lines. He waved them off, but awkwardly, as if he were
injured. Despite his signal, they circled over him until their fuel was
dangerously low. They would wait for his life raft to bob up to the surface
before they left him.
But the raft never
surfaced. A shard of metal had torn it, perhaps - or a bullet had pierced it,
or the flames had destroyed it. No matter. Without a life raft he could never
survive in those cold waters.
The other pilots radioed his position over and over, though several were flying
with almost dry tanks.
The new acting squadron
leader knew there was nothing more they could do. It was his job to bring the
squadron home. Cursing the foul luck that had caught them so close to home, he
gave the order for them to continue back to their base.
But a man named Stilson,
ignoring all orders to leave, and refusing to acknowledge any radio contact,
only gained altitude while still circling over their downed commander. At three
thousand feet, Stilson's canopy slid back, the graceful green-and-brown fighter
arched over, and Stilson tumbled from the warmth and safety of the cramped
little cockpit, falling free.
His parachute blossomed
above him, as he floated down towards the foaming sea. The sun broke through
the clouds, and a mile away his empty plane ploughed into the waves, kicking up
a long plume of rainbow spray, and, settling in the water, sank from sight.
The other pilots saw
Stilson float down, strike the choppy, glinting surface of the Channel, sink,
then come frothing up into the sunlight. They saw him cut loose from the shroud
lines and kick free of the sinking chute. They saw his inflated raft pop up to
the surface, saw him pull himself in and paddle over to where the commander was
still struggling feebly in the bitterly cold water. They saw him haul the
officer into the tiny raft with him. On their next pass - their last - the
others saw both men bobbing in the life raft together. Next, the clouds closed
in, obscuring all.
The others all made it back
safely - just barely. They filled out their reports and waited. No word came.
In the morning the sky was peaceful and clear, and they flew over a bright,
blue, calm, sparkling sea.
But no trace of either man
was ever found.
MAKING A DIFFERENCE
A friend was walking down a
deserted Mexican beach at sunset. As he walked along, he began to see another
man in the distance. As he grew nearer, he noticed that the local native kept
leaning down, picking something up and throwing it out into the water. Time and
again he kept hurling things out into the ocean. As my friend approached even
closer, he noticed that the man was picking up starfish that had washed up on
the beach, and, one at a time, he was throwing them back into the water. My
friend was puzzled.
He approached the man and
said. "Good evening, friend. I was wondering what you are doing."
"I'm throwing these
starfish back into the ocean. You see, it's low tide right now and all of these
starfish have been washed up onto the shore. If I don't throw them back into
the sea, they'll die up here from lack of oxygen."
my friend replied, "but there must be thousands of starfish on this beach.
You can't possibly get to all of them. There are simply too many. And don't you
realize this is probably happening on hundreds of beaches all up and down this
coast. Can't you see that you can't possibly make a difference?"
The local native smiled,
bent down and picked up yet another starfish, and as he threw it back into the
sea, he replied, "Made a difference to that one!"
Coming across a monk
praying while circumambulating a holy building, Geshe Tenpa said, "How
pleasant to walk around sacred places, but you know, it's far better to
practice the wonderful Dharma." The monk took his words to heart and began
earnestly studying the scriptures. One day Geshe Tenpa came across him and
commented, "How commendable it is to study the scriptures, but you know,
it is far better to practice the wonderful Dharma." The monk took his
words to heart and took up intensive meditation. One day Geshe Tenpa came
across him and said, "How blissful to be lost in one-pointed meditation,
but you know, it's far better to practice the wonderful Dharma." The monk
was completely confounded. In desperation he begged, "Master, teach me
what to do." Geshe Tenpa smiled and replied, "Just stop grasping at