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Just Some Inspiring Readings

Discussion in 'Social' started by goingonhope, Nov 15, 2006.

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  1. goingonhope

    goingonhope Member Premium Member

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    An opportunity to share any inspiring readings we've found, held onto or cherished along the way.

    .....Here goes one I've again found recently that I still think is great. This one might very well be a tough one to read as it is lengthy, but if you make your way to the end, I think you'll find it well worth it.

    Author unknown

    It was in biblical times that a young king from a distant land heard of the wisdom and kindness of King Abraham and asked his court astrologers and seers to come and see a portrait of Abraham he had just obtained and tell him what they could see in Abraham's face so that he could better be prepared for meeting with this famous king.

    Expecting to hear of evidence of Abraham's fine qualities, the young king was stunned to hear warnings that the face of Abraham did not show kindness and wisdom and the other great virtues for which Abraham was famous, but instead showed cruelty and arrogance and a fierce heart full of vengeance. They warned the young king to give up his idea to make a pilgrimage to meet with Abraham for they feared for his life with such a dangerous and heartless fellow. They persisted, but the young king would not relent in his plan to visit the famous King of Israel.

    And so it was that the young king from a distant land made his pilgrimage to see Abraham. Taking but a small entourage with him he took leave of his people with a heavy heart, not entirely sure he would ever return again. Upon reaching Abraham's kingdom he asked for an audience with the great King. And on the third day of his visit Abraham granted his wish and the young king met the old and great King of Israel.

    As he walked in the room he saw a face full of peace and kindness unlike any face he had ever seen before. He saw a wise and gentle soul full of strength and above all he saw a spiritual man full of holiness. After an hour or so of a wonderful conversation in which the young king learned a great deal about himself and being a leader of men, he gathered the courage to ask the great king a question which had disturbed him greatly.

    He said, "Dear friend, I do not mean to offend but please answer a question which has troubled me this whole time we have spent together. In preparation for this trip I sought out and bought a painting of you done in your youth. I asked my seers and astrologers to analyze your face so that I might know you better when we met. What they told me troubled me greatly. They said to beware of you for they saw cruelty and vengefulness and arrogance in your face. Yet now as we speak all I feel for you is love and respect and all I see is wisdom and kindness. Please explain this confusion to me if you can."

    Abraham smiled gently and said to the young king. "What your seers and court astrologers saw in my face was true. I have all those qualities that they saw in my portrait."

    The young king went to protest but Abraham held up his hand to quiet the young king and went on. "What your court astrologers and seers could not see in that portrait of my youth was my struggle to overcome those defects of character. All of us, my young friend, possess a dark side. It is in the struggle to transform those dark qualities into love that we come to know the best in ourselves and reach true communication with God."

    .....not to discount this, as again I just love it, but many readings are powerful and not quite as long. Hope someone can appreciate this one, as much as I do.
     
    Flutter likes this.
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  3. goingonhope

    goingonhope Member Premium Member

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    ......Just some Inspiring Readings

    The Tiger, The Man And God
    Anonymous

    A man was being chased by a tiger. He ran as hard as he could until he was at the edge of a cliff with the tiger in hot pursuit. The man looked over the edge of the cliff and saw a branch growing out from the side of the cliff a few feet down. He jumped down and grabbed the branch just as the tiger reached the cliff. The tiger growled viciously as the man sighed a great sigh of relief.

    Just then a mouse came out from a crevice and began to chew on the branch. The man looked down to what was a drop of a thousand feet and sure death and looked to the heavens and yelled out, "Dear God, if you are there, please help. I will do anything you ask but please help."

    Suddenly a voice came booming down from heaven, "You will do anything I ask?" it questioned.

    The man shocked to hear a reply to his plea yelled back, "I will gladly do anything you ask, but please save me."

    The voice from heaven then replied, "There is one way to save you but it will take courage and faith."

    The branch began to weaken from the mouse and the tiger was still growling a few feet above the man, "Please, Lord, tell me what I must do and I will do it. Your will is my will."

    The voice from heaven then said, "All right then, let go of the branch."

    The man looked down to a fall of a thousand feet and certain death. He looked up at the hungry tiger a few feet away and he looked at the mouse still chewing on the branch. Then he looked up at the heavens and yelled, "Is there anyone else up there?"
     
  4. goingonhope

    goingonhope Member Premium Member

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    Good Luck? Bad Luck?

    There is a Chinese story of an old farmer who had an old horse for tilling his fields. One day the horse escaped into the hills and when all the farmer's neighbors sympathized with the old man over his bad luck, the farmer replied. "Bad luck? Good luck? Who knows?"

    A week later the horse returned with a herd of wild horses from the hills and this time the neighbors congratulated the farmer on his good luck. His reply again was, "Good luck? Bad luck? Who knows?"

    Then when the farmer's son was attempting to tame one of the wild horses, he fell off its back and broke his leg. Everyone thought this very bad luck. Not the farmer, whose only reaction was, "Bad luck? Good luck? Who knows?"

    Some weeks later the army marched into the village and conscripted every able-bodied youth they found there. When they saw the farmer's son with his broken leg, they let him off. Now was that good luck? Bad luck? Who knows?

    By Anthony De Mello
     
  5. goingonhope

    goingonhope Member Premium Member

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    Becoming Real
    by Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit


    The Skin Horse had lived longer in the nursery than any of the others. He was so old that his brown coat was bald in patches and showed the seams underneath, and most of the hairs in his tail had been pulled out to string bead necklaces. He was wise, for he had seen a long succession of mechanical toys arrive to boast and swagger, and by-and-by break their springs and pass away, and he knew that they were only toys, and would never turn into anything else. For nursery magic is very strange and wonderful, and only those playthings that are old and wise and experienced like the Skin Horse understand all about it.

    "What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. "Does it mean having things that turn inside you and a stick-out handle?"

    "Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."

    "Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.

    "Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."

    "Does it happen all at once, like being would up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"

    "It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't often happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."
     
  6. Marlene

    Marlene I'm a VIP Premium Member

    Great quote, Hope. Thanks. :kiss:
     
  7. goingonhope

    goingonhope Member Premium Member

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    ...You're more than welcome Marlene, my pleasure. :kiss:


    Hope For The Flowers
    by Trina Paulus

    Yellow, a very special caterpillar, searches for more in life. She knows the pain of the climb. She knows that this is not for her. She knows the pain of the end of a relationship, but she will not let the pull of Stripe, her partner, make her do something that she knows is wrong for her. Still she does not know what is right for her. She trusts in herself that there must be something more in life. She wanders. And she meets a grey caterpillar spinning a cocoon. Thinking that he must be in trouble to be doing something so peculiar, she offers to help him. He signals that he is doing what he needs to do to be a butterfly. Yellow is excited. And when she asks what is a butterfly, she is told that this, a butterfly, is what she truly is. Puzzled, she questions how such a transformation is possible.

    "How can I believe there's a butterfly inside ... when all I see is a fuzzy worm?"

    "You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar."

    "You mean to die?"

    "...What's really you will still live. Life is changed, not taken away."
     
  8. goingonhope

    goingonhope Member Premium Member

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    Aikido in Action
    by Terry Dobson

    The train clanked and rattled through the suburbs of Tokyo on a drowsy spring afternoon. Our car was comparatively empty...a few housewives with their kids, some old folks going shopping. I gazed absently at the drab houses and dusty hedgerows.

    At one station the doors opened, and suddenly the afternoon quiet was shattered by a man bellowing violent, incomprehensible curses. The man staggered into our car. He wore laborer's clothing, and he was big, drunk and dirty. Screaming, he swung at a woman holding a baby. The blow sent her spinning into the laps of an elderly couple. It was a miracle that the baby was unharmed.

    Terrified, the couple jumped up and scrambled toward the other end of the car. The laborer aimed a kick at the retreating back of the old woman but missed as she scuttled to safety. This so enraged the drunk that he grabbed the metal pole in the center of the car and tried to wrench it out of its stanchion. I could see that one of his hands was cut and bleeding. The train lurched ahead, the passengers frozen with fear. I stood up.

    I was young then, some twenty years ago, and in pretty good shpae. I'd been putting in a solid eight hours of aikido training nearly every day for the past three years. I liked to throw and grapple. I thought I was tough. Trouble was, my martial skills were untested in actual combat. As students of aikido, we were not allowed to fight.

    "Aikido," my father said again and again, "is the art of reconciliation. Whoever has the mind to fight has broken his connection with the universe. If you try to dominate people, you are already defeated. We study how to resolve conflict, not how to start it."

    I listened to his words, I tried hard. I even went so far as to cross the street to avoid the Chimpira, the pinball punks who lounged around the train stations. My forbearance exalted me. I felt both tough and holy. In my heart, however, I wanted an absolutely legitimate opportunity whereby I might save the innocent by destroying the guilty.

    This is it! I said to myself as I got to my feet. People are in danger. If I don't do something fast, somebody will probably get hurt. Seeing me stand up, the drunk recognized a chance to focus his rage. "Aha!" he roared. "A foreigner! You need a lesson in Japanese manners!" I held on lightly to the commuter strap overhead and gave him a slow look of disgust and dismissal. I planned to take this turkey apart, but he had to make the first move. "All right!" he hollered. You're gonna get a lesson." He gathered himself for a rush at me.

    A split second before he could move, someone shouted "Hey!" It was earsplitting. I remember the strangely joyous, lilting quality of it, as though you and a friend had been searching diligently for something and he had suddenly stumbled upon it. "Hey!"

    I wheeled to my left; the drunk spun to his right. We both stared down at a little old Japanese man. He must have been well into his seventies, this tiny gentleman, sitting there immaculate in his kimono. He took no notice of me but beamed delightedly at the laborer, as though he had a most important most welcome secret to share.

    "C'mere," the old man said in an easy vernacular, beckoning to the drunk. "C'mere and talk with me." He waved his hand lightly.

    The big man followed as if on a string. He planted his feet belligerently in front of the old gentleman and roared above the clacking wheels, "Why the hell should I talk to you?" The drunk now had his back to me. If his elbow moved so much as a millimeter, I'd drop him in his socks.

    The old man continued to beam at the laborer. "What'cha been drinkin?" he asked, his eyes sparkling with interest. "I been drinkin sake," the laborer bellowed back, "and it's none of your business!" Flecks of spittle spattered the old man. "Oh, that's wonderful," the old man said, "absolutely wonderful! You see, I love sake too. Every night, me and my wife (she's seventy-six, you know), we warm up a little bottle of sake and take it out into the garden, and we sit on an old wooden bench. We watch the sun go down, and we look to see how our persimmon tree is doing. My great-grandfather planted that tree, and we worry about whether it will recover from those ice storms we had last winter. Our tree has done better than I expected, though, especially when you consider the poor quality of the soil. It is gratifying to watch when we take our sake and go out to enjoy the evening...even when it rains." He looked up at the laborer, eyes twinkling.

    As he struggled to follow the old man's conversation, the drunk's face began to soften. His fists slowly unclenched. "Yeah," he said, "I love persimmons too..." His voice trailed off. "Yes," said the old man, smiling, "And I'm sure you have a wonderful wife."

    "No," replied the laborer. "My wife died." Very gently, swaying with the motion of the train, the big man began to sob. "I don't got no wife. I don't got no home. I don't got no job. I'm so ashamed of myself." Tears rolled down his cheeks; a spasm of despair rippled through his body.

    Now it was my turn. Standing there in my well-scrubbed youthful innocence, my make-this-world-safe-for-democracy righteousness, I suddenly felt dirtier than he was.

    Then the train arrived at my stop. As the doors opened, I heard the old man cluck sympathetically. "My, my," he said. "That is a difficult predicament, indeed. Sit down here and tell me about it." I turned my head for one last look. The laborer was sprawled on the seat, his head in the old man's lap. The old man was softly stroking the filthy, matted hair.

    As the train pulled away I sat down on a bench. What I had wanted to do with muscle had been accomplished with kind words. I had just seen Aikido tried in combat, and the essence of it was love. I would have to practice the art with an entirely different spirit. It would be a long time before I could speak about the resolution of conflict.
     
  9. goingonhope

    goingonhope Member Premium Member

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    The Touch of the Master's Hand
    Myra Brooks Welch

    'Twas battered and scarred, and the auctioneer thought it scarcely worth his while to waste much time on the old violin, but held it up with a smile: "What am I bidden, good folks," he cried, "Who'll start the bidding for me?" "A dollar, a dollar"; then, "Two!" "Only two? Two dollars, and who'll make it three? Three dollars, once; three dollars, twice; going for three ~" But no, from the room, far back, a gray-haired man came forward and picked up the bow; Then, wiping the dust from the old violin, and tightening the loose strings, he played a melody pure and sweet as a caroling angel sings.

    The music ceased, and the auctioneer, with a voice that was quiet and low, said: "What am I bid for the old violin?" And he held it up with the bow. "A thousand dollars, and who'll make it two? Two thousand! And who'll make it three? Three thousand, once, three thousand, twice, And going, and gone," said he. The people cheered, but some of them cried, "We do not quite understand what changed its worth." Swift came the reply: "The touch of a master's hand."

    And many a man with life out of tune, and battered and scarred with sin, is auctioned cheap to the thoughtless crowd, much like the old violin. A "mess of pottage," a glass of wine; a game ~ and he travels on. He is "going" once, and "going" twice, he's "going" and almost "gone." But the Master comes, and the foolish crowd never can quite understand the worth of a soul and the change that's wrought by the touch of the Master's hand.
     
  10. Scott_Fraser

    Scott_Fraser Well-Known Member

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    I recomend a great novel called Private Prisoner, it is by Robert Gaylor and it is about a young British Soldier that spent 5 years in a German Stalag, it is full of humour and also tells that the ordinary German Soldier didn't give 2 hoots about Hitler.
    Another I recomend is, It Shouldn't happen to a Vet. By James Heriot. It is about a young country vet working in North Yorkshire before and after WW2. It is very funny and moving and a great read.:claps:
     
  11. goingonhope

    goingonhope Member Premium Member

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    Just Some Inspiring Readings......

    ......just wanted to let you know thx Scott for the recomm.'s Books are generally good. And, A good book is not always easy to find. Again Thanks!

    ......been sometime since posting here. Here goes:


    YOU LEARN...

    After a while you learn the subtle difference between holding a hand and chaining a soul.

    And you learn that love doesn't mean leaning and company doesn't mean security.

    And you begin to learn that kisses aren't contracts and presents aren't promises.

    And you begin to accept your defeats with your head up and your eyes ahead with the grace of a woman or a man not the grief of a child, and learn to build all your roads on today because tomorrow's ground is too uncertain for plans and futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.

    After a while you learn that even sunshine burns if you ask too much.

    So you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.

    And you learn that you really can endure, that you really are strong and you really do have worth.

    And you learn.....

    With every goodby you learn.....

    (anonymous)
     
  12. goingonhope

    goingonhope Member Premium Member

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    Zen Story
    by Joe Hymas

    Once a Zen master received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen. It was obvious to the master from the start of the conversation that the professor was not so much interested in learning about Zen as he was in impressing the master with his own opinions and knowledge. The master listened patiently and finally suggested they have tea. The master poured his visitor's cup full and then kept on pouring. The professor watched the cup overflowing until he could no longer restrain himself. "The cup is overfull, no more will go in." "Like this cup," the master said, "you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?"
    Zen in the Martial Arts
     
  13. goingonhope

    goingonhope Member Premium Member

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    I Went on a Search
    by Author Unknown

    I went on a search to become a leader. I searched high and low. I spoke with authority, people listened. But at last there was one who was wiser than I and they followed him.

    I sought to inspire confidence but the crowd responded, "Why should we trust you?" I postured and I assumed the look of leadership with a countenance that glowed with confidence and pride. But the crowd passed by and never noticed my air of elegance. I ran ahead of the others pointing new ways to new heights. I demonstrated that I knew the route to greatness.

    And then I looked back and I was alone. "What shall I do?" I queried. "I've tried hard and used all that I know." And then I listened to the voices around me. And I heard what the group was trying to accomplish. I rolled up my sleeves and joined in the work.

    As we worked I asked, "Are we all together in what we want to do, and how we'll get the job done?" And we thought together and we struggled towards our goal.

    I found myself encouraging the faint hearted. I sought the ideas of those too shy to speak out. I taught those who knew little at all. I praised those who worked hard.

    When our task was completed, one of the group members turned to me and said, "This would not have been done but for your leadership." At first I said, "I did not lead, I just worked with the rest." And then I understood - leadership isn't a goal. I lead best when I forget about myself as a leader and focus on my group, their needs and their goals. To lead is to serve, to give, to achieve together.
     
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