Uninvited Guest…

A few years after I was born, my dad met a stranger who was new to our small town. From the beginning, Dad was fascinated with this enchanting newcomer and soon invited him to live with our family. The stranger was quickly accepted and was around from then on.

As I grew up, I never questioned his place in my family. My parents were complementary instructors: Mom taught me good from evil, and Dad taught me to obey. The stranger, he was our storyteller. He would keep us spellbound for hours on end with adventures, mysteries, and comedies. If I wanted to know anything about politics, history or science, he always knew the answers about the past, understood the present and even seemed able to predict the future. He made me laugh, and he made me cry.

Dad ruled our household with certain moral convictions, but the stranger never felt obligated to honor them. Profanity, for example, was not allowed in our home. Our longtime visitor however, got away with four-letter words that burned my ears and made my dad squirm and my mother blush.

My dad didn’t permit the liberal use of alcohol. But the stranger encouraged us to try it on a regular basis. He made cigarettes look cool, cigars manly, and pipes distinguished. He talked freely (much too freely) about sex. His comments were sometimes blatant, sometimes suggestive, and generally embarrassing.

I now know that my early concepts about relationships were influenced strongly by the stranger. Time after time, he opposed the values of my parents, yet he was seldom rebuked, and never asked to leave.

More than fifty years have passed since the stranger moved in with our family. He has blended right in and is not nearly as fascinating as he was at first. If you could walk into my parents’ den today, you would still find him sitting over in his corner, waiting for someone to listen to him talk and watch him draw his pictures.

His name? We just call him “TV”.

-Author Unknown



A man once came to see the Buddha to get help with his problems. After the man had told the Buddha one of his problems and asked for help, the Buddha replied, “I cannot help you get rid of that problem.”

The man was surprised that the Buddha could not help him in this regard, but he told the Buddha about another problem. He thought to himself that the Buddha should at least be able to help him with that problem. But the Buddha told him, “I cannot help you with that problem, either.”

The man started to get impatient. He said, “How can it be that you are the perfectly Enlightened Buddha, when you can’t even help people get rid of their problems?”

The Buddha answered, “You will always have 83 problems in your life. Sometimes a problem will go, but then another problem will come. I cannot help you with that.”

The baffled man asked the Buddha, “With what can you help me, then?”

The Buddha replied, “I can help you get rid of your 84th problem.”

The man asked, “But what is my 84th problem?”

The Buddha replied, “That you want to get rid of your 83 problems.”

-Author Unknown

Making sandcastles…


Hot sun. Salty air. Rhythmic waves.

A little boy is on his knees scooping and packing the sand with plastic shovels into a bright blue bucket. Then he upends the bucket on the surface and lifts it. And, to the delight of the little architect, a castle tower is created.

All afternoon he will work. Spooning out the moat. Packing the walls. Bottle tops will be sentries. Popsicle sticks will be bridges. A sandcastle will be built.

Big city. Busy streets. Rumbling traffic.

A man is in his office. At his desk he shuffles papers into stacks and delegates assignments. He cradles the phone on his shoulder and punches the keyboard with his fingers. Numbers are juggled and contracts are signed and much to the delight of the man, a profit is made.

All his life he will work. Formulating the plans. Forecasting the future. Annuities will be sentries. Capital gains will be bridges. An empire will be built.

Two builders of two castles. They have much in common. They shape granules into grandeurs. They see nothing and make something. They are diligent and determined. And for both the tide will rise and the end will come.

Yet that is where the similarities cease. For the boy sees the end while the man ignores it. Watch the boy as the dusk approaches.

As the waves near, the wise child jumps to his feet and begins to clap. There is no sorrow. No fear. No regret. He knew this would happen. He is not surprised. And when the great breaker crashes into his castle and his masterpiece is sucked into the sea, he smiles. He smiles, picks up his tools, takes his father’s hand, and goes home.

The grownup, however, is not so wise. As the wave of years collapses on his castle he is terrified. He hovers over the sandy monument to protect it. He blocks the waves from the walls he has made. Salt-water soaked and shivering he snarls at the incoming tide.

“It’s my castle,” he defies.

The ocean need not respond. Both know to whom the sand belongs.

I don’t know much about sandcastles. But children do. Watch them and learn. Go ahead and build, but build with a child’s heart. When the sun sets and the tides take – applaud. Salute the process of life and go home.

-Author unknown

The Frogs…


A group of frogs were traveling through the woods, and two of them fell into a deep pit. All the other frogs gathered around the pit. When they saw how deep the pit was, they told the unfortunate frogs they would never get out. The two frogs ignored the comments and tried to jump up out of the pit.

The other frogs kept telling them to stop, that they were as good as dead. Finally, one of the frogs took heed to what the other frogs were saying and simply gave up. He fell down and died.

The remaining frog continued to jump as hard as he could. Once again, the crowd of frogs yelled at him to stop the pain and suffering and just die. He jumped even harder and finally made it out.

When he got out, the other frogs asked him, “Why did you continue jumping? Didn’t you hear us?”

The frog explained to them that he was deaf. He thought they were encouraging him the entire time.

Unknown Author

“Who did you eat lunch with today? Sometimes the answer is a classmate, but most days it’s nobody. Those are the days I feel sad for him, but he doesn’t seem to mind. He is a super sweet child, who always has a smile and hug for everyone he meets”

No matter how cliche or ‘corny’ it may sound, it’s the little things that count

Travis Rudolph, a star football player at Florida State University in Tallahassee, is no stranger to the spotlight. He is famous for his award-winning athleticism, catching high and running far as a wide receiver.

But it was Mr. Rudolph’s action off the football field that earned him national attention this week when, visiting a local school on a good-will visit with his teammates on Tuesday, he made a simple gesture.

He sat down at a lunch table.

In a moment captured on camera and shared widely on social media, Mr. Rudolph saw a boy sitting alone in the cafeteria at Montford Middle School.

“So I asked him could I sit down and have lunch with him,” Mr. Rudolph said in an interview with “Fox and Friends” on Thursday. “And he said, ‘Sure why not?’ ”

The boy introduced himself. His name was Bo Paske. He was a sixth grader.

“And the conversation went from there,” Mr. Rudolph said.

Although Mr. Rudolph, 21, did not know it at the time, Bo has autism and often eats lunch by himself, according to the boy’s mother, Leah Paske, who wrote about the moment and published the photograph on Facebook on Tuesday. Since then, the image of the football star eating pizza while seated opposite Bo has became an example of how a small act of kindness can go big.

Mr. Rudolph, Bo and Ms. Paske have since been inundated with requests for interviews with national media organizations, appearing on news programs and in newspapers. Ms. Paske’s post has been shared more than 13,000 times, and the photograph has been circulating on Twitter, including on the account of Autism Speaks, an advocacy and support organization, from where it was retweeted nearly 600 times.

“I did not even recognize that it will be this big,” Mr. Rudolph told the Fox show as Bo sat next to him and his mother sat on the other side of her son. “Everybody is the same, and one man can make a difference.”

Efforts to reach Mr. Rudolph through a family member were unsuccessful on Thursday. Ms. Paske did not immediately return emails and phone calls seeking comment.

The story also shed light on some of the challenges that face families coping with relatives who have autism spectrum disorder, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines as a group of developmental disabilities that can cause social, communication and behavioral challenges in about one in 68 children.

Ms. Paske said in her Facebook post that she was sometimes “grateful” that her son had the condition.

“That may sound like a terrible thing to say, but in some ways I think, I hope, it shields him,” she wrote. “He doesn’t seem to notice when people stare at him when he flaps his hands. He doesn’t seem to notice that he doesn’t get invited to birthday parties anymore. And he doesn’t seem to mind if he eats lunch alone.”

She said that she asks him questions about his school experience every day.

‘Was there a time today you felt sad?’ ‘Who did you eat lunch with today?’ Sometimes the answer is a classmate, but most days it’s nobody. Those are the days I feel sad for him, but he doesn’t seem to mind. He is a super sweet child, who always has a smile and hug for everyone he meets.”

She said that a friend of hers was at the school on the day that Mr. Rudolph and his teammates visited.

“I am not sure what exactly made this incredibly kind man share a lunch table with my son, but I’m happy to say that it will not soon be forgotten,” Ms. Paske said on Facebook. “This is one day I didn’t have to worry if my sweet boy ate lunch alone, because he sat across from someone who is a hero in many eyes.”

During the interview on Thursday, Ms. Paske recounted how anxious she had been as Bo attended middle school. As she spoke, Bo occasionally looked up at her and reached over to touch her arm whenever he saw that she was distressed.

Bo said that it was “amazing” that Mr. Rudolph had chosen to sit down with him, adding that the player had even signed his lunchbox.

Asked how the encounter had made him feel, Bo said, “It was kind of like me sitting on a rainbow.”


Hidden Truth

Long ago all human beings were gods, but they so abused their divinity that Brahma, the chief god, decided to take it away from them and hide it where humans would never find it again.

Where to hide their divinity was now the question. Brahma called together the other gods to help him decide. “Let’s bury it deep in the earth,” said one. Brahma answered, “No that will not do because humans will dig into the earth and find it.”

Another god suggested, “Let’s sink it in the deepest ocean.” But Brahma said, “No, not there, for they will learn to dive into the ocean and they will find it.”

The third god said, “Let’s take it to the top of the highest mountain and hide it there.” Once again Brahma replied, “No that will not do either, because they will eventually climb every mountain and once again find their divinity.”

Then the gods gave up and said, “We do not know where to hide it. It seems that there is no place on earth or in the sea that human beings will not eventually reach.”
Brahma thought about this for a long time and then said, “Here is what we will do. We will hide their divinity deep in the center of their own being, for humans will never think to look for it there.”

All the gods agreed that this was the perfect hiding place, and so the deed was done. Since that time humans have been going up and down the earth, digging, diving, climbing, and exploring, searching for something that already resides within them.

-Author Unknown