Shortarmguy's Emails That Made Me Think
On this page, I will post the most inspirational material I receive on any given day. So email firstname.lastname@example.org the best stuff you get. Life can be darn tough sometimes and every now and then you might need a little happiness booster. I’m hoping this page may accomplish that. After you read a few of these, you can push back from your keyboard, throw your arms in the air, wave them back and forth and scream “I’m glad to be alive!” If this happens to you, please send pictures and I’ll post them here!
By Oprah Winfrey
I live in the space of thankfulness – and I have been rewarded a million times over for it. I started out giving thanks for small things, and the more thankful I became, the more my bounty increased.
That’s because what you focus on expands, and when you focus on the goodness in your life, you create more of it.
Opportunities, relationships, even money flowed my way when I learned to be grateful no matter what happened in my life.
“Say thank you!” Those words from my friend and mentor Maya Angelou turned my life around.
One day about ten years ago, I was sitting in my bathroom with the door closed and the toilet lid down, booing and a hooing on the phone so uncontrollably that I was incoherent.
“Stop it! Stop it right now and say thank you!” Maya chided.
“But – you don’t understand,” I sobbed.
To this day, I can’t remember what it was that had me so far gone, which only proves the point Maya was trying to make.
“I do understand,” she told me. “I want to hear you say it now….Out loud.”
‘Thank you.'” Tentatively, I repeated it: “Thank you – but what am I saying thank you for?”
“You’re saying thank you,” Maya said, “because your faith is so strong that you don’t doubt that whatever the problem, you’ll get through it.
You’re saying thank you because you know that even in the eye of the storm, God has put a rainbow in the clouds.
You’re saying thank you because you know there’s no problem created that can compare to the Creator of all things.
Say thank you!”
So I did – and still do.
Only now I do it every day.
I kept a gratitude journal, as Sarah Ban Breathnach suggests in Simple Abundance, list at least five things that I’m grateful for.
My list includes small pleasures: The feel of Kentucky bluegrass under my feet (like damp silk); a walk in the woods with all nine of my dogs and my cocker spaniel Sophie trying to keep up; cooking fried green tomatoes with Stedman and eating them while they’re hot; reading a good book and knowing another awaits.
My thank-you list also includes things too important to take for granted: an “okay” mammogram, friends who love me, 25 years at the same job (and loving it more than the first day I started), a chance to share my vision for a better life, staying centered, having financial security.
I won’t kid you, having money for all the things I want is a blessing.
But as I look back over my journals, which I’ve kept since I was 15 years old, 99 per cent of what brought me real joy had nothing to dowith money.
(It had a lot to do with food, however.)
It’s not easy being grateful all the time. But it’s when you feel least thankful that you are most in need of what gratitude can give you: PERSPECTIVE.
Just knowing you have that daily list to complete allows you to look at your day differently, with an awareness of every sweet gesture and kind thought passed your way.
When you learn to say thank you, you see the world anew.
And as Meister Eckhart so eloquently stated: “If the only prayer you ever say in your whole life is ‘Thank you God, that would suffice.”
THANK YOU GOD !!!
July 23, 2006
“A house becomes a home when you can write “I love you” on the furniture.”
I can’t tell you how many countless hours that I have spent CLEANING! I used to spend at least 8 hours every weekend making sure things were just perfect -“in case someone came over”. Then I realized one day that no one came over; they were all out living life and having fun!
Now, when people visit, I find no need to explain the “condition” of my home. They are more interested in hearing about the things I’ve been doing while I was away living life and having fun. If you haven’t figured this out yet, please heed this advice.
Life is short. Enjoy it! Dust if you must, but wouldn’t it be better to paint a picture or write a letter, bake a cake or plant a seed, ponder the difference between want and need?
Dust if you must, but there’s not much time, with rivers to swim and mountains to climb, music to hear and books to read, friends to cherish and life to lead.
Dust if you must, but the world’s out there with the sun in your eyes, the wind in your hair, a flutter of snow, a shower of rain. This day will not come around again.
Dust if you must, but bear in mind, old age will come and it’s not kind. And when you go – and go you must – you, yourself will make more dust!
It’s not what you gather, but what you scatter that tells what kind of life you have lived.
The elephant seemed distressed so the man approached it very carefully. He got down on one knee and inspected the elephant’s foot. There was a large thorn deeply embedded in the bottom of the foot.
As carefully and as gently as he could he removed the thorn and the elephant gingerly put down its foot. The elephant turned to face the man and with a rather stern look on its face, stared at him. For a good ten minutes the man stood frozen — thinking of nothing else but being trampled.
Eventually the elephant trumpeted loudly, turned and walked away.
For years after, the man remembered the elephant and the events of that day. One day the man was walking through the zoo with his son. As they approached the elephant enclosure, one of the creatures turned and walked over to where they are standing at the rail. It stared at him and the man couldn’t help wondering if this was the same elephant.
After a while it trumpeted loudly, then it continued to stare at him.
The man summoned up his courage, climbed over the railing and made his way into the enclosure. He walked right up to the elephant and stared back in wonder.
Suddenly the elephant trumpeted again, wrapped its trunk around one of the man’s legs and swung him wildly back and forth along the railing, killing him.
Probably wasn’t the same elephant.
July 16, 2006
One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.
He said, “My son, the battle is between two “wolves” inside us all.
One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.
The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather:
“Which wolf wins?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
July 9, 2006
Because of misunderstandings that frequently develop when Easterners and Californians cross states such as Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota, those states’ Tourist Councils have adopted a set of information guidelines.
In an effort to help outsiders understand the Midwest, the following list will be handed to each driver entering the state:
1. That farm boy standing by the feed bin did more work before breakfast than you do all week in the gym.
2. It is called a ‘gravel road.’ No matter how slow you drive, you will get dust on your Navigator.
3. I have a four-wheel drive because I need it, not just to keep up with the neighbors. We could really care less what you drive!
4. We all started hunting and fishing when we were seven years old. Yeah, we saw Bambi’s dad, killed him, and mounted his likeness on our wall. We
got over it.
5. Any references to “corn fed” when talking about our women will get your butt whupped –by our women.
6. Go ahead. Bring your $600 Orvis Fly Rod. Do not cry to us if a flathead catfish breaks it off at the handle.
7. We have a name for those little trout for which you fish. It is called bait.
8. Pull your pants up. You look like an idiot.
9. If that cell phone rings while a bunch of mallards are making their final approach, we will shoot it.
10. That is right. Whiskey is only two bucks. We can buy a fifth for what you pay for one drink at the airport.
11. No, there’s no “Vegetarian Special” on the menu. Order steak and order it rare. Or, you can order the chef salad and pick off the two pounds of
ham and turkey.
12. You bring coke into my house, it better be brown, wet, and served over ice.
13. So you have a $60,000 car parked in your driveway. We are real impressed. We have a $250,000 combine that we use two weeks a year. So take that!
14. Let’s get this straight. We have one stoplight in town. We stop when it is red. We may even stop when it is yellow.
15. Our women hunt, fish, and drive pickups, trucks, and tractors because they want to. So, you are a feminist — isn’t that cute?
16. We eat catfish. Carp and turtle too. You really want sushi and caviar? It is available at the bait shop.
17. They are pigs. That is what they smell like. Get over it. Don’t like it? Interstates 70, 80, and 90 go east and west. Interstates 29, 35 & 55 go
north and south. Pick one and use it accordingly.
18. Speaking of which — we call them “Interstates” and not “Freeways” because they are just that — free. We do not charge our citizens again to
drive on a highway for which they have already paid.
19. The “Opener” refers to the first day of deer season. It is a religious holiday. You can get breakfast at the church.
20. Speaking of which — yes, Christmas is a religious holiday. Get over it. We say “Merry Christmas” when we greet you, not “Happy Holidays” or
“Seasons Greetings.” Don’t like it? Then feel free to work on December 25.
21. So every person in every pick-up truck waves at each other. It is called being friendly. Understand the concept?
22. Yeah, we have golf courses. Do not hit your ball into the water hazard. It spooks the fish.
23. That Highway Patrol Officer who just pulled you over for driving like an idiot. His name is “Sir.”
Now please, enjoy your visit. Just do not overdo your stay, we have corn to plant.
July 2, 2006
New Rules for 2006
New Rule: Stop giving me that pop-up ad for classmates.com! There’s a reason you don’t talk to people for 25 years. It is because you don’t particularly like them! Besides, I already know what the captain of the Football team is doing these days: mowing my lawn.
New Rule: Stop saying that teenage boys who have sex with their hot, blonde teachers are permanently damaged. I have a better description for these kids: lucky bastards.
New Rule: Ladies, leave your eyebrows alone. Here’s how much men care about Your eyebrows: do you have two of them? Okay, we’re done.
New Rule: There’s no such thing as flavored water. There’s a whole aisle of This crap at the supermarket, water, but without that watery taste. Sorry, but flavored water is called a soft drink. You want flavored water? Pour some scotch over ice and let it melt. That’s your flavored water.
New Rule: Stop messing with old people. Target is introducing a redesigned Pill bottle that’s square, with a bigger label. And the top is now the Bottom. And by the time grandpa figures out how to open it, his a$$ will be In the morgue.
Congratulations, Target, you just solved the Social Security Crisis.
New Rule: The more complicated the Starbucks order, the bigger the a$$ Hole. If you walk into a Starbucks and order a “decaf Grande half-soy, Half-low fat, iced vanilla, double-shot, gingerbread cappuccino, extra dry, Light ice, with one Sweet-n’-Low and one NutraSweet,” ooh, you’re a huge A$$hole.
New Rule: I’m not the cashier! By the time I look up from sliding my card, Entering my PIN number, pressing “Enter,” verifying the amount, deciding, No, I don’t want cash back, and pressing “Enter” again, the kid who is Supposed to be ringing me up is standing there eating my Almond Joy.
New Rule: Just because your tattoo has Chinese characters in it doesn’t make you spiritual. It’s right above the crack of your a$$. And it Translates to “beef with broccoli.” The last time you did anything Spiritual, you were praying to God you weren’t pregnant. You’re not Spiritual. You’re just high.
New Rule: Competitive eating isn’t a sport. It’s one of the seven deadly Sins. ESPN recently televised the US Open of Competitive Eating, because watching those athletes at the poker table was just too damned exciting. What’s next, competitive farting? Oh wait. They’re already doing that. It’s called “The Howard Stern Show.”
New Rule: I don’t need a bigger mega M&M. If I’m extra hungry for M&Ms, I’ll go nuts and eat two.
New Rule: If you’re going to insist on making movies based on crappy, old Television shows, then you have to give everyone in the Cineplex a remote So we can see what’s playing on the other screens. Let’s remember the Reason something was a television show in the first place is that the idea Wasn’t good enough to be a movie.
New Rule: No more gift registries. You know, it used to be just for Weddings. Now it’s for babies and new homes and graduations from rehab. Picking out the stuff you want and having other people buy it for you isn’t Gift giving, it’s the white people version of looting.
New Rule: and this one is long overdue: No more bathroom attendants. After I zip up, some guy is offering me a towel and a mint like I just had sex with George Michael. I can’t even tell if he’s supposed to be there, or Just some freak with a fetish. I don’t want to be on your webcam, dude. I just want to wash my hands.
New Rule: When I ask how old your toddler is, I don’t need to know in months. “27 Months.” “He’s two,” will do just fine. He’s not a cheese. And I didn’t really care in the first place.
June 25, 2006
1) My life is likely to last 10 to 15 years. Any separation from you will be very painful.
2) Give me time to understand what you want of me.
3) Place your trust in me, it is crucial for my well-being.
4) Don’t be angry with me for long and don’t lock me up as punishment. You have your work, your friends, your entertainment. I have only you!
5) Talk to me. Even if I don’t understand your words, I understand your voice when it’s speaking to me.
6) Be aware that however you treat me, I’ll never forget it
7) Before you hit me, remember that I have teeth that could easily crush the bones in your hand, but I choose not to bit you.
8) Before you scold me for being lazy or uncooperative, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I’m not getting the right food, I’ve been out in the sun too long, or my heart may be getting old and weak.
9) Take care of me when I get old. You, too, will grow old.
10) Go with me on difficult journeys. Never say, “I can’t bear to watch it,” or “Let it happen in my absence.” Everything is easier for me if you are there. Remember, I love you!!!
June 18, 2006
A certain lieutenant colonel at Luke AFB deserves a big pat on the back. Apparently, an individual who lives somewhere near Luke AFB wrote the local paper complaining about a group of F-16s that disturbed his/her day at the mall. When that individual read the response from a Luke AFB officer, it must have stung quite a bit.
“Question of the day for Luke Air Force Base: Whom do we thank for the morning air show? Last Wednesday, at precisely 9:11 a.m., a tight formation of four F-16 jets made a low pass over Arrowhead Mall, continuing west over Bell Road at approximately 500 feet. Imagine our good fortune! Do the Tom Cruise-wannabes feel we need this wake-up call, or were they trying to impress the cashiers at Mervyns’ early-bird special? Any response would be appreciated.”
Regarding “A wake-up call from Luke’s jets” (Letters, Thursday): On June 15, at precisely 9:12 a.m., a perfectly timed four-ship flyby of F-16s from the 63rd Fighter Squadron at Luke Air Force Base flew over the grave of Capt. Jeremy Fresques. Capt. Fresques was an Air Force officer who was previously stationed at Luke Air Force Base and was killed in Iraq on May 30, Memorial Day. At 9 a.m. on June 15, his family and friends gathered at Sunland Memorial Park in Sun City to mourn the loss of a husband, son and friend.
Based on the letter writer’s recount of the flyby, and because of the jet noise, I’m sure you didn’t hear the 21-gun salute, the playing of taps, or my words to the widow and parents of Capt. Fresques as I gave them their son’s flag on behalf of the President of the United States and all those veterans and servicemen and women who understand the sacrifices they have endured. A four-ship flyby is a display of respect the Air Force pays to those who give their lives in defense of freedom. We are professional aviators and take our jobs seriously, and on June 15 what the letter writer witnessed was four officers lining up to pay their ultimate respects. The letter writer asks, “Whom do we thank for the morning air show?” The 56th Fighter Wing will call for you, and forward your thanks to the widow and parents of Capt. Fresques, and thank them for you, for it was in their honor that my pilots flew the most honorable formation of their lives.
Lt. Col. Scott Pleus
CO 63rd Fighter Squadron
Luke Air Force Base, Arizona
June 11, 2006
Folded so only the stars will show.
It came from atop another chest,
Returned to her long ago,
It’s all that’s left of her brave young man
With sparkling eyes and face of tan.
He fell so far from the land of his birth,
Then others fought on,
To keep what he had won.
Then they too fell beneath the gun.
No farewell parade was held the day that he came in.
No hero’s accolade – No band that played.
The small chest came by rail, last car
It bore dents to show that it had traveled far.
She wondered at the fortune of his quest.
Where was the glory?
Who’d ever hear his story?
Tears blurred her eyes.
The breeze carried her sighs,
As she looked at the crosses there-
And then she knew.
Flying high atop a mountain,
Against a sky of blue.
It is time to change from REDNECK humor to TRUE AMERICAN Humor! Only I don’t see it as Humor, but the correct way to LIVE YOUR LIFE! If you feel the same, pass this on to your True American friends. Ya’ll know who ya’ are…
You might be a TRUE AMERICAN if: It never occurred to you to be offended by the phrase, “One nation, under God.”
You might be a TRUE AMERICAN if: You’ve never protested about seeing the 10 Commandments posted in public places.
You might be a TRUE AMERICAN if: You still say “Christmas” instead of “Winter Festival.”
You might be a TRUE AMERICAN if: You bow your head when someone prays.
You might be a TRUE AMERICAN if: You stand and place your hand over your heart when they play the National Anthem.
You might be a TRUE AMERICAN if: You treat Viet Nam vets with great respect, and always have.
You might be a TRUE AMERICAN if: You’ve never burned an American flag.
You might be a TRUE AMERICAN if: You know what you believe and you aren’t afraid to say so, no matter who is listening.
You might be a TRUE AMERICAN if: You respect your elders and expect your kids to do the same.
You might be a TRUE AMERICAN if: You’d give your last dollar to a friend.
June 4, 2006
The Glasswing Butterfly from South America
A butterfly with transparent wings is rare and beautiful. I have never seen one or knew they existed!
THIS WILL GIVE YOU CHILLLS
AFTER A FEW OF THE USUAL SUNDAY EVENING HYMNS, THE CHURCH’S PASTOR SLOWLY STOOD UP, WALKED OVER TO THE PULPIT AND, BEFORE HE GAVE HIS SERMON FOR THE EVENING, BRIEFLY INTRODUCED A GUEST MINISTER WHO WAS IN THE SERVICE THAT EVENING.
IN THE INTRODUCTION, THE PASTOR TOLD THE CONGREGATION THAT THE GUEST MINISTER WAS ONE OF HIS DEAREST CHILDHOOD FRIENDS AND THAT HE WANTED HIM TO HAVE A FEW MOMENTS TO GREET THE CHURCH AND SHARE WHATEVER HE FELT WOULD BE APPROPRIATE FOR THE SERVICE. WITH THAT, AN ELDERLY MAN STEPPED UP TO THE PULPIT AND BEGAN TO SPEAK.
“A FATHER, HIS SON, AND A FRIEND OF HIS SON WERE SAILING OFF THE PACIFIC COAST.” HE BEGAN.
“WHEN A FAST APPROACHING STORM BLOCKED ANY ATTEMPT TO GET BACK TO THE SHORE. THE WAVES WERE SO HIGH, THAT EVEN THOUGH THE FATHER WAS AN EXPERIENCED SAILOR, HE COULD NOT KEEP THE BOAT UPRIGHT AND THE THREE WERE SWEPT INTO THE OCEAN AS THE BOAT CAPSIZED.”
THE OLD MAN HESITATED FOR A MOMENT, MAKING EYE CONTACT WITH TWO TEENAGERS WHO WERE, FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE THE SERVICE BEGAN, LOOKING SOMEWHAT INTERESTED IN HIS STORY.
THE AGED MINISTER CONTINUED WITH HIS STORY,
“GRABBING A RESCUE LINE, THE FATHER HAD TO MAKE THE MOST EXCRUCIATING DECISION OF HIS LIFE: TO WHICH BOY WOULD HE THROW THE OTHER END OF THE LIFE LINE. HE ONLY HAD SECONDS TO MAKE THE DECISION. THE FATHER KNEW THAT HIS SON WAS A CHRISTIAN AND HE, ALSO, KNEW THAT HIS SON’S FRIEND WAS NOT. THE AGONY OF HIS DECISION COULD NOT BE MATCHED BY THE TORRENT OF WAVES.
AS THE FATHER YELLED OUT, ‘I LOVE YOU, SON!’ HE THREW OUT THE LIFE LINE TO HIS SON’S FRIEND.
BY THE TIME THE FATHER HAD PULLED THE FRIEND BACK TO THE CAPSIZED BOAT, HIS SON HAD DISAPPEARED BENEATH THE RAGING SWELLS INTO THE BLACK OF NIGHT.
HIS BODY WAS NEVER RECOVERED.
BY THIS TIME, THE TWO TEENAGERS WERE SITTING UP STRAIGHT IN THE PEW, ANXIOUSLY WAITING FOR THE NEXT WORDS TO COME OUT OF THE OLD MINISTER’S MOUTH.
“THE FATHER,” HE CONTINUED, “KNEW HIS SON WOULD STEP INTO ETERNITY WITH JESUS AND HE COULD NOT BEAR THE THOUGHT OF HIS SON’S FRIEND STEPPING INTO AN ETERNITY WITHOUT JESUS.. THEREFORE, HE SACRIFICED HIS SON TO SAVE THE SON’S FRIEND. “
HOW GREAT IS THE LOVE OF GOD THAT HE SHOULD DO THE SAME FOR US. OUR HEAVENLY FATHER SACRIFICED HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON THAT WE COULD BE SAVED. I URGE YOU TO ACCEPT HIS OFFER TO RESCUE YOU AND TAKE A HOLD OF THE LIFE LINE HE IS THROWING OUT TO YOU IN THIS SERVICE.”
WITH THAT, THE OLD MAN TURNED AND SAT BACK DOWN IN HIS CHAIR AS SILENCE FILLED THE ROOM.
THE PASTOR AGAIN WALKED SLOWLY TO THE PULPIT AND DELIVERED A BRIEF SERMON WITH AN INVITATION AT THE END. HOWEVER, NO ONE RESPONDED TO THE APPEAL.
WITHIN MINUTES AFTER THE SERVICE ENDED, THE TWO TEENAGERS WERE AT THE OLD MAN’S SIDE.
“THAT WAS A NICE STORY,” POLITELY STATED ONE OF THEM,
“BUT I DON’T THINK IT WAS VERY REALISTIC FOR A FATHER TO GIVE UP HIS ONLY SON’S LIFE IN HOPES THAT THE OTHER BOY WOULD BECOME A CHRISTIAN.”
“WELL, YOU’VE GOT A POINT THERE,” THE OLD MAN REPLIED
GLANCING DOWN AT HIS WORN BIBLE. A BIG SMILE BROADENED HIS NARROW FACE. HE ONCE AGAIN LOOKED UP AT THE BOYS AND SAID, “IT SURE ISN’T VERY REALISTIC, IS IT? BUT I’M STANDING HERE TODAY TO TELL YOU THAT STORY GIVES ME A GLIMPSE OF WHAT IT MUST HAVE BEEN LIKE FOR GOD TO GIVE UP HIS SON FOR ME. YOU SEE…
” I WAS THAT FATHER AND YOUR PASTOR IS MY SON’S FRIEND.”
Inspiration from the past