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Showing posts from January, 2011


O Lord, help me never to judge another until I have walked a week in his moccasins. -- This is Sioux Indian Prayer, moccasins are slippers made of deerskin or other soft leather. O thou Great Chief, light a candle in my heart that I may see what is therein and sweep the rubbish from thy dwelling-place. -- African Child's Prayer, You may notice that they call God 'Great Chief', who is their tribe leader.

God with us

A story tells that God appeared like a man and knocked at the house of a family. They took him in, but were busy people, so they showed him into the front parlour, which they never used, and they just visited him on Sundays when they had on their best clothes.

Sip at this and nibble at that

Some people may just sip at this and nibble at that and keep changing their minds and never really do anything much at all. If you feel this might be applying to you, you could consider working along a particular line for a time, concentrating all your energies on one main subject. You may feel there is one thing about which you'd like to learn more, or which you'd like to try again. You may feel you have really become quite skilled or knowledgeable in a particular subject. Or you may already have an interest or hobby and feel that progressing in that is part of your progress in one of your fields.

Be Prepared

The Wild Boar was whetting his tusks against a tree. The Fox asked why, 'there is no hunter, nor hound, nor danger in sight.' The Wild Boar answered, 'When danger does arrive, I shall have something else to do than sharpen my weapons.' (An Æsop Tale) An ambitious young man asked a rich merchant for the secret of his success. 'There's no easy secret. You must jump at your opportunity.' 'But how can I tell when my opportunity comes?'asked the young man. 'You can't,' agreed the merchant, 'you've just got to keep on jumping.'

Superman Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci was not merely a great artist, but also a great genius, a sort of superman of a type that appears in the world's history only at very long intervals. He was splendidly handsome; he had such immense strength that with his bare hands he could straighten out a heavy horse hoe. He was brave to a fault, and brilliant talker. If he had not shone so greatly as a painter he would have gained worldwide fame as a sculptor; if he had never touched brush or chisel he would still have been celebrated for his inventions. In science and invention he was centuries ahead of his time. He was a clever chemist and the author of the first standard book on Anatomy. But Leonardo had no relationships with women, never married, had no children, so many believe that he was gay!

The Martyrdom of St. Ursula

St. Ursula was the daughter of a King of Brittany, whose story is that she was persecuted by a pagan prince who wanted to marry her and was told that in order to escape she must go on a pilgrimage to rome with 11,000 virgins. Where she collected this army of young women and they all sailed up the rhine to Basle and then made their way to Rome. Unfortunately, on their way back they fell into the hands of Huns at Cologne and were all massacred.

Boil the kettle and unpack the trunk

An elephant and a kangaroo got on very well and would like to go off for a picnic, but they didn't know anything about the picnics, and had not the faintest idea of what to do to get ready, so the elephant asked a child what normally he did on a picnics. The child said, they collect wood and make a fire to boil the kettle for tea. The elephant and the Kangaroo went off to the picnic-place. The kangaroo collected the wood and carried twigs and sticks back in her pouch; the elephant pushed down trees with his forehead and staggered back to the picnic-place with them rolled up in his trunk. They lit a bonfire made of whole trees. The elephant said,"Now, let's boil the kettle!" He produced a brightly shining copper kettle and very large black iron saucepan, filled the saucepan with water, and popped the kettle in the saucepan of water, and put the saucepan on the fire; for he thought that you boil a kettle in the same way you boil an egg, or boil a cabbage! When the

Hush a bye baby rhyme

Hus-a-bye baby rhyme is said to have originated from America. It was the practice of some Native Americans to place a baby in the branches of a tree allowing the wind to gently rock the child to sleep. Hush a bye baby, on the tree top, When the wind blows the cradle will rock; When the bow breaks, the cradle will fall, And down will come baby, cradle and all. You may imagine how the cradle rocks with the wind, and it's so sweet. But I met another version of the this nursery rhyme or lullaby in the book "Workhouse" by Simon Fowler (National Archives, P. 198), the verse was from Yorkshire: Hush-a-bye baby, on the tree top, When you grow old, your wages will stop, When you have spent the little you made, First to the Poorhouse and then to the grave. It seems quite offensive to sing to a baby, but it was the damn reality. A japanese Buddhist monk Sengai was invited to the birthday celebration of a rich man. The rich man asked Sengai to write something for th
Cunning may deceive kings and princes, but cannot impose upon pigs and fishes. Brute force may conquer an empire, but cannot win over the hearts of the people.

Pound, shillings, pennies, and guinea

Before 1971 the pound was divided into twenty shillings (abbreviated as s) and subdivided again in to twelve pennies (d). There were thus 240 pennies to the pound. A guinea was worth 21s. It is almost impossible to give any idea of what this was worth in modern terms A mid-Victorian labourer might hope to earn between 20s and 30s per week but of course many had to support their families on much less, particularly in times of economic distress. By contrast the minimum wage rate for workers over 22 today is well over £5 an hour. When Mary Higgs and her friend spent a week visiting lodging houses and casual wards in the north of England in the early 1900s, they each took just 2s 6d to last a whole week. It was claimed that a beggar or loafer in London and other big cities might make up to five shillings a day through a combination of begging and doing odd jobs such as holding horses or taking messages. -- Workhouse , by simon fowler

Man the divinest of all things

A hundred cares wreck his heart: countless anxieties trace their wrinkles on his brow: until his inmost self is bowed beneath the burden of life. And swifter still he hurries to decay when vainly striving to attain the unattainable, or grieving over his ignorance of that which can never be known.


Alas for the fulness and decay of human greatness! Though these are called the appointments of Heaven, truly they are the handiwork of man. It is written, "The proud shall suffer; the modest succeed." And so toil and anxiety may establish a kingdom; dissipation and ease will wreck a life. At the zenith of his fortune, among all the heroes of the age there could not be found his match. Yet when the tide turned, a few mummers dragged him to earth; the sceptre fell from his hand, and he perished, -- the laughing-stock of all. Truly misfortunes oftimes spring from trivial and unexpected causes; and wisdom and courage are often marred by foibles other than a passion for theatrical display.