This teenager lived alone with his father, and the two of them had a very special relationship. The boy was on the football team. Even though the son was always on the bench, his father was always in the stands cheering. He never missed a game. This young man was still the smallest of the class when he entered high school. But his father continued to encourage him but also made it very clear that he did not have to play football if he didn't want to but the young man loved football and decided to hang in there. He was determined to try his best at every practice, and perhaps he'd get to play when he became a senior. All through high school he never missed a practice nor a game, but remained a bench warmer all four years. His faithful father was always in the stands, always with words of encouragement for him.
When the young man went to college, he decided to try out for the football team as a "walk-on." Everyone was sure he could never make the cut, but he did. The coach admitted that he kept him on the roster because he always puts his heart and soul to every practice, and at the same time, provided the other members with the spirit and hustle they badly needed. The news that he had survived the cut thrilled him so much that he rushed to the nearest phone and called his father. His father shared his excitement and was sent season tickets for all the college games. This persistent young athlete never missed practice during his four years at college, but he never got to play in the game. It was the end of his senior football season, and as he trotted onto the practice field shortly before the big play off game, the coach met him with a telegram. The young man read the telegram and he became deathly silent. Swallowing hard, he mumbled to the coach, "My father died this morning. Is it all right if I miss practice today ?" The coach put his arm gently around his shoulder and said, "Take the rest of the week off, son, and don't even plan to come back to the game on Saturday."
Saturday arrived and the game was not going well. In the third quarter, when the team was ten points behind, a silent young man quietly slipped into the empty locker room and put on his football gear. As he ran onto the sidelines, the coach and his players were astounded to see their faithful team-mate back so soon. "Coach, please let me play. I've just got to play today," said the young man. The coach pretended not to hear him. There was no way he wanted his worst player in this close playoff game but the young man persisted, and finally feeling sorry for the kid, the coach gave in. "All right," he said. "You can go in." Before long, the coach, the players and everyone in the stands could not believe their eyes. This little unknown, who had never played before was doing everything right. The opposing team could not stop him. He ran, he passed, blocked and tackled like a star. His team began to triumph. The score was soon tied. In the closing seconds of the game, this kid intercepted a pass and ran all the way for the winning touchdown. The fans broke loose. His team-mates hoisted him onto their shoulders. Such cheering you've never heard !
Finally, after the stands had emptied and the team had showered and left the locker room, the coach noticed that the young man was sitting quietly in the corner all alone. The coach came to him and said, "Kid, I can't believe it. You were fantastic ! Tell me what got into you... How did you do it ?" He looked at the coach, with tears in his eyes, and said, "Well, you knew my dad died, but did you know that my dad was blind ?" The young man swallowed hard, forced a smile and said, "Dad came to all my games, but today was the first time he could see me play, and I wanted to show him I could do it !"
I read of a man who stood to speak at the funeral of a friend. He referred to the dates on her tombstone from the beginning...to the end. He noted that first came her date of birth and spoke the following date with tears. But he said what mattered most of all was the dash between those years. (l900 -l970)
For that dash represents all the time that she spent alive on earth... And now only those who loved her Know what that little line is worth. For it matters not, how much we own; the cars...the house...the cash, what matters is how we live and love and how we spend our dash.
And be less quick to anger, and show appreciation more and love the people in our lives like we've never loved before. If we treat each other with respect, and more often wear a smile... Remembering that this special dash might only last a little while.
So, when your eulogy's being read with your life's actions to rehash... Would you be proud of the things they say about how you spent your dash?
- Linda Ellis
An elder Cherokee Native American was teaching his grandchildren about life. He said to them, "A fight is going on inside me... it is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.
One wolf represents fear, anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other stands for joy, peace, love, hope, sharing, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, friendship, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.
This same fight is going on inside you, and inside every other person, too." They thought about it for a minute and then one child asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?" The old Cherokee simply replied... "The one you feed."
If you think you're beaten, you are. If you think you DARE NOT, you don't. If you'd like to win, but you think you can't it's almost an cinch you won't. If you think you'll lose, you've lost, for out in the world we find Success begins with a fellow's will it's all in a state of mind. If you think you're outclassed, you are. You've got to think high to rise, You've got to be sure of yourself before you can ever win the prize. Life's battles don't always go to the stronger or faster man, But soon or later the one who wins is the one who THINKS he can."
We convince ourselves that life will be better after we get married, have a baby, then another. Then we are frustrated that the kids aren't old enough, and we'll be more content when they are. After that we're frustrated that we have teenagers to deal with. We will certainly be happy when they are out of that stage.
We tell ourselves that our life will be complete when our spouse gets his or her act together, we get a nicer car, are able to go on a nice vacation, or when we retire. The truth is, there's no better time to be happy than right now. If not now, when?
Your life will always be filled with challenges. It's best to admit this to yourself and decide to be happy anyway. Here is a quote that comes from Alfred D Souza. He said:
"For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin - real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life." This perspective has helped me to see that there is no way to happiness.
Happiness is the way. So, treasure every moment that you have. And treasure it more because you shared it with someone special, special enough to spend your time, and remember that time waits for no one.
So stop waiting until you finish school,
until you go back to school,
until you lose ten pounds,
until you get married,
until you have kids,
until your kids leave the house,
until you start work,
until you retire,
until Friday night,
until Sunday morning,
until you get a new car or home,
until your car or home is paid off,
until spring, summer, fall, or winter,
until your song comes on,
to decide that there is no better time than right now to be happy...
Happiness is a journey, not a destination.
INTERVIEW WITH GOD
"Come in," God said. "So, you would like to interview me?" "If you have the time," I said. God smiled and said: "My time is eternity and is enough to do everything; what questions do you have in mind to ask me?"
"What surprises you most about mankind? God answered: "That they get bored of being children, are in a rush to grow up, and then long to be children again. That they lose their health to make their money, and then lose their money to restore their health. That by thinking anxiously about the future, they forget the present, and in such they live neither for the present nor the future. That they live as if they will never die, and they die as if they had never lived..." God's hands took mine and we were silent for while and then I asked... "As a parent, what are some of life's lessons you want your children to learn?"
God replied with a smile: "To learn that they cannot make anyone love them. What they can do is to let themselves be loved. To learn that what is most valuable is not what they have in their lives, but whom they have in their lives. To learn that it is not good to compare themselves to others. All will be judged individually on their own merits, not as a group on a comparison basis! To learn that a rich person is not the one who has the most, but is one who needs the least. To learn that it only takes a few seconds to open profound wounds in persons we love, and that it takes many years to heal them. To learn to forgive by practicing forgiveness. To learn that there are those that love them dearly, but simply do not know how to express or show their feelings. To learn that money can buy everything but happiness. To learn that two people can look at the same thing and see it totally different. To learn that a true friend is someone who knows everything about him or her and likes him or her anyway. To learn that it is not always enough that they be forgiven by others, but that they have to forgive themselves."
I sat there for a while enjoying the moment. I thanked Him for his time and for all that. He has done for my family and I, and He replied, "Anytime. I'm here 24 hours a day. All you have to do is ask for me, and I'll answer." People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did ... but people will never forget how you made them feel.