My plans to space out my posts today went awry when the internet went down for eight hours. But here’s another post I really enjoyed, this one from a new blogger who calls herself “A Quiet Chatterbox.” If you’ve ever had a loving relationship with “man’s best friend”, you’ll understand this account of how her dog Brodie has enriched her life.
LIFE IS LIKE AN OCEAN
Today I’m giving credit where credit is due by posting about several other blog posts I’ve read recently. I’ll begin with a poem I read this morning: The Reluctant Surfer, written by blogger Joel F (joysofjoel.com). He talks of the need to get out there and brave the waves, both in surfing and in life. His thoughts really encouraged me and I see they’ve inspired over 200 other people as well. I thought you might like to check it out, too.
by Edgar A Guest
If this were all of life we’ll know,
if this brief space of breath
were all there is to human toil,
if death were really death,
and never should the soul arise
a finer world to see
how foolish would our struggles seem.
How grim the earth would be!
If living were the whole of life,
to end in seventy years,
how pitiful its joys would seem.
How idle all its tears!
There’d be no faith to keep us true,
no hope to keep us strong,
and only fools would cherish dreams —
no smile would last for long.
How purposeless the strife would be
if there were nothing more,
if there were not a plan to serve,
an end to struggle for!
No reason for a mortal’s birth
except to have him die —
how silly all the goals would seem
for which men bravely try.
There must be something after death;
behind the toil of man
there must exist a God divine
Who’s working out a plan.
And this brief journey that we know
as life — must really be
the gateway to a finer world
that someday we shall see.
From his book, Collected Verse of Edgar A Guest
© 1934 by The Reilly & Lee Company
Word Press daily prompt: Abstract
Theresa and Gail became good friends in business college. Qualified typists, they applied for an opening in a large corporation and both were hired the same day. They were delighted to be working in the same area and having their lunch breaks together.
A week after they started work Theresa asked her friend, “How are you liking your new boss? Do you find him easy to get along with?”
“He’s okay, I guess,” said Gail. “But in some ways I find him pretty narrow-minded. He can be quite a control freak, too.”
“Really?” Theresa’s eyes popped open. “I’ve met him a few times and I sure wouldn’t have guessed. Narrow minded like how?”
“Well, according to him there’s only one way to spell a word and that’s his way. He checks every letter before I send it off and if I’ve spelled some words any different than what he thinks, he gets in a snit and insists I retype the whole thing.” She rolled her eyes. “I can just hear him now, rattling on about “i before e except after c.” And yesterday he made me change ‘pertanes’ to ‘p-e-r-t-a-i-n-s’— as if there can only be one way to spell it.”
Theresa sighed. “Gail, we need to talk. What are you doing after work?”
Revised and Reblogged from Swallow in the Wind
In response to Judy Dykstra-Brown’s poem using oodles of impressive words, I offer the experience of Ben Franklin, an episode that led to deep contrition, when he tried to show himself wise. My apologies if you’ve read this before.
At one point in Ben Franklin’s youth he became enchanted with impressive-sounding words. One day he told his mother, “I’ve imbibed an acephalous mollusc.”
She gasped. Thinking he’d eaten some poison she promptly dosed him with a foul-tasting concoction that made him vomit. The poor boy retched for hours. Once his stomach was settled again, he told his mother all he’d done was eaten an oyster.
“You naughty boy, scaring the wits out of me like that!” And she gave him a good thrashing.
He says this experience cured him of his liking for pomposity; that day he decided he’d never again use fancy words when simple ones would do.
The Word Press daily prompt word today is doubt. Curious, I picked up my book of quotes, Words of Wisdom, and found this gem:
“The greatest quality of leadership is the ability to hide your panic from the others.”
I hope leaders don’t go around in secret panic, but we know that every undertaking has the possibility of failure. A good leader won’t rattle on about his misgivings and the possibility of impending disaster. He weighs his options, decides on a course, and rallies the troops.
As Winston Churchill once did with his rousing speech:
“We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.”
He didn’t say:
We shall try to defend our island as best we can and hold out as long as we can, though it’s going to be a pretty tough go. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender until we have to.
Or do you all think we should rather give in now already? After all, we may not win. The enemy army is pretty strong, you know, and well organized. They may defeat our army, overrun our island and slaughter us all. But still, I think we should do our best to repel them — or would we be better off to wave the white flag and avoid all that bloodshed?
Not very inspiring.
How often in our day-to-day lives don’t we need people with courage and confidence? The following incident came to mind:
The teen son of a friend was doing some quick welding one day and a sliver of metal landed in his eye. My friend drove him to the medical clinic, then held her breath as the doctor took a razor-sharp blade and scraped the surface of the boy’s eyeball to dislodge the sliver.
She trembled, knowing one slip of that blade could cause permanent damage, but seeing the doctor’s confidence and steady hand gave her courage. A moment later the sliver was removed. My friend sighed with relief as she and her son left the office, prescription for antibiotic drops in hand.
Imagine yourself in that situation. How confident would you feel with a nervous doctor dithering away as he examined your child’s eye? Maybe he’d say, “Hmm… I’m not sure if I can get this out. I’ll give it a shot, but one slip of my blade and I’d slice his eyeball. I hope that won’t happen, because then infection might set in and he’d be blind in that eye for the rest of his life. I trust I can hold my hand steady enough, but I get a bit shaky when I’m tense, you see.”
Then he picks up the blade. Would you let him have a go at the child’s eye?
Granted, there’s the old “Look before you leap” advice. Yet prudence — thinking the matter through before acting — is a different species than the debilitating worm of doubt.