Inspiration OctoberNovember 2001

Shortarmguy's Inspirational Page

On this page, I will post the most inspirational material I receive on any given day.  So email 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!

November 25, 2001

Finally, The Truth on National TV

Billy Graham’s daughter was being interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her “How could God let something like this happen?”

And Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response. She said  “I believe that God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we’ve been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government, and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman that He is, I believe that He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us
His blessing and His protection if we demand that He leave us alone?”

I know there’s been a lot of an email going around in regard to 9/11/01, but this really makes you think. If you don’t have time, at least skim through it, but the bottom line is something to think about….

In light of recent events…terrorists attack, school shootings, etc.

Let’s see, I think it started when Madeline Murray O’Hare (she was murdered, her body was found recently) complained she didn’t want any prayer in our schools, and we said OK.

Then, someone said you better not read the Bible in school… the Bible that says thou shalt not kill; thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said, OK.

Then, Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn’t spank our children when they misbehave because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock’s son committed suicide) and we said an expert should know what he’s talking about so we said OK.

Then, someone said teachers and principals better not discipline our children when they misbehave. And the school administrators said no faculty member in this school better touch a student when they misbehave because we don’t want any bad publicity, and we surely don’t want to be sued  (There’s a big difference between disciplining and touching, beating, smacking,humiliating, kicking, etc.) And we said, OK.

Then someone said, let’s let our daughters have abortions if they want and they won’t even have to tell their parents. And we said, OK.

Then some wise school board member said, since boys will be boys and they’re going to do it anyway, let’s give our sons all the condoms they want, so they can have all the fun they desire, and we won’t have to tell their parents they got them at school. And we said, OK.

Then some of our top elected officials said it doesn’t matter what we do in private as long as we do our jobs. And agreeing with them, we said it doesn’t matter to me what anyone, including the President, does in private as long as I have a job and the economy is good.  And then someone said let’s print magazines with pictures of nude women and call it wholesome, down-to-earth appreciation for the beauty of the female body. And we said, OK.

And then someone else took that appreciation a step further and published pictures of nude children and then stepped further still by making them available on the Internet. And we said OK; they’re entitled to their free speech.

And then the entertainment industry said, let’s make TV shows and movies that promote profanity, violence, and illicit sex. And let’s record music that encourages rape, drugs, murder, suicide, and satanic themes. And we said it’s just entertainment, it has no adverse effect, and nobody takes it seriously anyway, so go right ahead.

Now we’re asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don’t know right from wrong, and why it doesn’t bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.

Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out.

I think it has a great deal to do with “WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.”

“Dear God, Why didn’t you save the little girl killed in her classroom?”

Sincerely, Concerned Student

AND THE REPLY “Dear Concerned Student, I am not allowed in schools.”

Sincerely, God.

Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world’s going to hell.

Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says.

Funny how everyone wants to go to heaven provided they do not have to believe, think, say, or do anything the Bible says.

Funny how someone can say “I believe in God” but still follow Satan who, by the way, also “believes” in God.

Funny how we are quick to judge but not to be judged.

Funny how you can send a thousand ‘jokes’ through e-mail and they spread like wildfire, but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing.

Funny how the lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene pass freely through cyberspace, but the public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.

Funny how someone can be so fired up for Christ on Sunday, but be an invisible Christian the rest of the week.

Are you laughing?

Funny how when you go to forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you’re not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you for sending it to them. Funny how I can be more worried about what other people think of me than what God thinks of me.

Are you thinking?

November 19, 2001

This sketch was reportedly drawn by a soldier waiting to report for active duty.

November 11, 2001 

One day a teacher asked her students to list the names of the other students in the room on two sheets of paper, leaving a space between each name. Then she told them to think of the nicest thing they could say about each of their classmates and write it down.  It took the remainder of the class period to finish their assignment, and as the students left the room, each one handed in the papers. That Saturday, the teacher wrote down the name of each student on a separate sheet of paper, and listed what everyone else had said about that individual.

On Monday she gave each student his or her list. Before long, the entire class was smiling. “Really?” she heard whispered. “I never knew that I meant anything to anyone!” and, “I didn’t know others liked me so much.” were most of the comments.  No one ever mentioned those papers in class again. She never knew if they discussed them after class or with their parents, but it didn’t matter. The exercise had accomplished its purpose. The students were happy with themselves and one another.

That group of students moved on. Several years later, one of the students was killed in Vietnam and his teacher attended the funeral of that special student. She had never seen a serviceman in a military coffin before. He looked so handsome, so mature. The church was packed with his friends. One by one those who loved him took a last walk by the coffin. The teacher was the last one to bless the coffin.  As she stood there, one of the soldiers who acted as pallbearer came up to her.  “Were you Mark’s math teacher?” he asked. She nodded: “yes.” Then he said: “Mark talked about you a lot.” After the funeral, most of Mark’s former classmates went together to a luncheon. Mark’s mother and  father were there, obviously waiting to speak with his teacher. “We want to show you something,” his father said, taking a wallet out of his pocket. “They found this on Mark when he was killed. We thought you might recognize it.”  Opening the billfold, he carefully removed two worn pieces of notebook paper that had obviously been  taped, folded and refolded many times.  The teacher knew without looking that the papers were the ones on which she had listed all the good things each of Mark’s classmates had said about him.  “Thank you so much for doing that,” Mark’s mother said. “As you can see, Mark treasured it.” All of Mark’s former classmates started to gather around. Charlie smiled rather sheepishly and said, “I still have my list It’s in the top drawer of my desk at home.” Chuck’s wife said, “Chuck asked me to put his in our wedding album.” “I have mine too,” Marilyn said. “It’s in my diary.” Then Vickie, another classmate, reached into her pocketbook, took out her wallet and showed her worn and frazzled list to the group. “I carry this with me at all times, ” Vickie said and without batting an eyelash, she continued: “I think we all saved our lists.” That’s when the teacher finally sat down and cried. She cried for Mark and for all his friends who would never see him again.

The density of people in society is so thick that we
forget that life will end one day. And we don’t know when that one day will be. So please, tell the people you love and care for, that they are special and important. Tell them, before it is too late… 

Remember, you reap what you sow, what you put into the lives of others comes back into your own.


October 28, 2001


Broken Arrow, Oklahoma School officials remove “God Bless America” signs from schools in fear that someone might be offended.

Channel 12 News in Long Island, New York, orders flags removed from the newsroom and red, white, and blue ribbons removed from the lapels of reporters.


Management did not want to appear biased and felt that our nations flag might give the appearance that “they lean one way or another”.

 Berkeley, California bans U.S. Flags from being displayed on city
fire trucks because they didn’t want to offend anyone in the community.

In an “act of tolerance” the head of the public library at Florida Gulf Coast University ordered all “Proud to be an American” signs removed so as to not offend international students.

I, for one, am quite disturbed by these actions of so-called American citizens; and I am tired of this nation worrying about whether or not we are offending some individual or their culture.

Since the terrorist attacks on September 11, we have experienced a surge in patriotism by the majority of Americans. However, the dust from the attacks had barely settled in New York and Washington D.C. when the “politically correct” crowd began complaining about the possibility that our patriotism was offending others.

I am not against immigration, nor do I hold a grudge against anyone who is seeking a better life by coming to America.

In fact, our country’s population is almost entirely comprised of descendants of immigrants; however, there are a few things that
those who have recently come to our country, and apparently some native Americans, need to understand.

First of all, it is not our responsibility to continually try not to offend you in any way. This idea of America being a multi-cultural community has served only to dilute our sovereignty and our national identity.

As Americans, we have our own culture, our own society, our own language, and our own lifestyle. This culture, called the “American
Way”, has been developed over centuries of struggles, trials, and victories by millions of men and women who have sought freedom.
Our forefathers fought, bled, and died at places such as Bunker Hill, Antietam, San Juan, Iwo Jima, Normandy, Korea, Vietnam.

We speak English, not Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or any other language. Therefore, if you wish to become part of our society – learn our language!

“In God We Trust” is our national motto. This is not some off-the-wall, Christian, Right Wing, political slogan; it is our
national motto. It is engraved in stone in the House of Representatives in our Capitol and it is printed on our currency. We
adopted this motto because Christian men and women, on Christian principles, founded this nation; and this is clearly documented
throughout our history. If it is appropriate for our motto to be inscribed in the halls of our highest level of Government, then it
is certainly appropriate to display it on the walls of our schools.

God is in our pledge, our National Anthem, nearly every patriotic song, and in our founding documents. We honor His birth, death, and
resurrection as holidays, and we turn to Him in prayer in times of crisis.

If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another part of the world as your new home, because God is part of our culture and we are proud to have Him.

We are proud of our heritage and those who have so honorably defended our freedoms. We celebrate Independence Day, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Flag Day. We have parades, picnics, and barbecues where we proudly wave our flag. As an American, I have the right to wave my flag, sing my national anthem, quote my national motto, and cite my pledge whenever and wherever I choose.

If the Stars and Stripes offend you, or you don’t like Uncle Sam, then you should seriously consider a move to another part of this planet.

The American culture is our way of life, our heritage, and we are proud of it.
We are happy with our culture and have no desire to change, and we really don’t care how you did things where you came from, if it was so superior, go home.

We are Americans. Like it or not, this is our country, our land, and our lifestyle.

Our First Amendment gives every citizen the right to express his opinion about our government, culture, or society, and we will allow
you every opportunity to do so.

But once you are done complaining, whining, and griping about our flag, our pledge, our national motto, or our way of life, I highly
encourage you take advantage of one other great American freedom, the right to leave.

If you agree, pass this onto other Americans!!
It is time to take a stand!!


October 23, 2001

Like it or not, in this life…
The Name of the Game is Change

by Paul McNeese


Most of us fear change, because – as we’ve all experienced – most change seems to be imposed upon us, originating outside of ourselves.

The only thing that each of us can really change is OURSELVES.

A rule to remember: “The only thing you can change is YOU.”

Therefore, unless you change…NOTHING CHANGES.

But once you’ve changed yourself, your perception of the world has, by definition, changed…and, as a direct result, EVERYTHING CHANGES…at least as far as you’re concerned. In other words, when you see things differently, things are different…AND THE DOOR TO CHANGING YOUR ATTITUDE AND BELIEF SYSTEMS OPENS.

Here, then, is the vital question:


Every ounce of effort you’ve got to give – that’s what it’ll take. That’s the real answer. You need to put out whatever it takes, accomplish whatever change is needed to meet the challenges of personal, social, employment and career development these days.

As my friend Ken O’Brien used to say, “You don’t necessarily get what you want or what you desire. You just get what you get — and that depends on what you do and who you are!”

It’s true that actions are up to you, but events in the world aren’t under your control. You’re constantly faced with having to respond to the world as it changes, which means that you often have to change rather quickly or suffer some kind of loss. So let’s take a look at change…another rather heavy subject.

Many centuries ago it was noted that change is something of a constant. Today things are different. No, change hasn’t stopped. Quite the opposite. It’s happening faster than ever. And not only is change occurring more rapidly these days, but also the degree of change is increasing…even in this shortened time frame. Change, it seems, is a function of technology, which brings us new challenges along with new knowledge.

Back in the early 17th century, Francis Bacon wrote this famous line: “Knowledge is power.” At that time, the total store of the world’s knowledge was rather meager, and only a few people possessed it…clerics, academics, a few military men.

Today, knowledge is doubling about every four years, and, thanks to mass media, computers and other communications devices, many people possess the knowledge.

Today, the power comes from appropriate application of knowledge. Of all the skills you could learn in your life, the knowledge of WHAT WORKS in a GIVEN SITUATION is probably the most valuable.

Here, though, is the rub. The more we know, the less we know how to apply the knowledge we have. Far from the old logic that says that the more we know about the situation the better we’ll be able to handle it, today’s knowledge bank is so extensive and requires so much sifting and sorting, that we experience uncertainty more now than ever before. So let’s take a few minutes to look at CHANGE as KNOWLEDGE — or SKILL.

You know, making changes in your life isn’t easy. And often it’s not a matter of choice; it’s a matter of urgent necessity, even to the extent of being life-preserving. Does a person change personal habits after a severe heart attack? If life is the goal, then change is the order of the day!

There are five stages to the change process.

1.The first is CRISIS. The wake up call comes, and we’ve got to change. The minute we make this decision we’ve completed the first stage.

 2. Then comes the HARD WORK. Most of it is mental. What will the nature of this change be? What     form will it take? What is the objective, the goal? What must be done — a step at a time — to get from where I am to where I believe I need to be? Most people really enjoy this stage, because there’s a sense of control in these exercises. The danger, of course, is that the planning descends into pure fantasy, or that a sense of being overwhelmed sets in because of all that must be decided and done. It’s a tough time, but necessary to the process.
3. Once the thinking part is over, the TOUGH DECISION moment comes…the instant in which you commit to DO IT. You haven’t even made the first move, but a feeling of relief sets in. Believe me, this is a difficult moment, but when it occurs, take careful note of it. How do you feel? Whom do you tell? (It’s a good idea to tell some trusted friends about your decision; this reinforces your commitment to actually DOING IT.)
4. The fourth stage, which almost invariably occurs — but sometimes doesn’t — is THE MOMENT OR MOMENTS OF UNEXPECTED PAIN. These are times when things don’t go as you’ve planned. They’re the frustrating moments when you want to give it all up. When this happens, remember the old cliché, “Don’t quit five minutes before the miracle occurs.” Or tell yourself, “There’s got to be a breakdown before there’s a breakthrough!” These reminders will help you hang in there and keep on moving forward.
5. Finally, there’s THE MOMENT IN WHICH YOU REALIZE THAT THE CHANGE HAS ACTUALLY OCCURRED! Payoffs are arriving! This is the moment of joy and the instant of integration. Enjoy it. It may be the most satisfying reward you’ll get — the knowledge that you’ve succeeded in changing!

One thing you may realize in that moment is that more has changed than just events and outcomes. You may realize that YOU have changed, in a very fundamental way.

Congratulations in advance.

About the Author

Paul McNeese, a California personal and corporate (executive) coach, is owner of Optimum Performance Associates, a consulting firm specializing in transitional and transformational change for individuals and institutions. His “Betterchange” workshop is a customized training that has been offered in California since 1994. Mr. McNeese may be contacted at  The “Betterchange” website is


October 16, 2001

A sobering essay forwarded by a UC Berkeley professor:

Dear Friends,

 The following was sent to me by my friend Tamim Ansary.  Tamim is an Afghani-American writer.
He is also one of  the most brilliant people I know in this life.  When he writes, I read.  When he talks, I listen.

 Here is his take on Afghanistan and the whole mess we are in.  -Gary T.

Dear Gary and whoever else is on this email thread:

I’ve been hearing a lot of talk about  “bombing Afghanistan back to the Stone Age.”  Ronn Owens, on KGO Talk Radio today, allowed that this would mean killing innocent people, people who had nothing to do with this atrocity, but “we’re at
war, we have to accept collateral damage. What else can we do?”  Minutes later I heard some TV pundit discussing whether we “have the belly to do what must be done.”

And I thought about the issues being raised especially hard because I am from Afghanistan, and even though I’ve lived here for 35 years I’ve never lost track of what’s going on there.  So I want to tell anyone who will listen how it all looks
from where I’m standing.

I speak as one who hates the Taliban and Osama Bin Laden.  There is no doubt in my mind that these people were responsible for the atrocity in New York. I agree that something must be done about those monsters.

But the Taliban and Bin Laden are not Afghanistan.  They’re not even the government of Afghanistan.  The Taliban are a cult of ignorant psychotics who took over Afghanistan in 1997.   Bin Laden is a Political criminal with a plan.  When you think Taliban, think Nazis. When you think Bin Laden, think Hitler.  And  when you think “the people of Afghanistan” think “the
Jews in the concentration camps.”   It’s not only that the Afghan people had nothing to do with this atrocity.  They were the first victims of the perpetrators.   They would exult if someone would come in there, take out the Taliban and clear out the rats nest of international thugs holed up in their country.

Some say, why don’t the Afghans rise up and overthrow the Taliban? The answer is, they’re starved, exhausted, hurt, incapacitated, suffering.  A few years ago, the United Nations estimated that there are 500,000 disabled orphans in Afghanistan-a country with no economy, no food.   There are millions of widows.  And the Taliban has been burying these widows alive in mass graves. The soil is littered with land mines, the farms were all destroyed by the Soviets.

These are a few of the reasons why the Afghan people have not overthrown the Taliban.  We come now to the question of bombing Afghanistan back to the Stone Age. Trouble is, that’s been done.  The Soviets took care of it already.  Make the Afghans suffer?   They’re already suffering. Level their houses?  Done. Turn their schools into piles of rubble? Done.  Eradicate their hospitals? Done.  Destroy their infrastructure? Cut them off from medicine and health care?

Too late. Someone already did all that.

New bombs would only stir the rubble of earlier bombs.  Would they at least get the Taliban? Not likely.  In today’s Afghanistan, only the Taliban eat, only they have the means to move around.  They’d slip away and hide. Maybe the bombs would get some of those disabled orphans, they don’t move too fast, they don’t even have wheelchairs. But flying over Kabul and dropping bombs wouldn’t really be a strike against the criminals who did this horrific thing.  Actually it would only be making common cause with the Taliban-by raping once again the people they’ve been raping all this time

So what else is there? What can be done, then? Let me now speak with true fear and trembling. The only
way to get Bin Laden is to go in there with ground troops.  When people speak of  “having the belly to do what
needs to be done” they’re thinking in terms of having the belly to kill as many as needed.  Having the belly to
overcome any moral qualms about killing innocent people.

Let’s pull our heads out of the sand.

What’s actually on the table is Americans dying. And not just because some Americans would die fighting their
way through Afghanistan to Bin Laden’s hideout.  It’s much bigger than that folks. Because to get any  troops to Afghanistan, we’d have to go through Pakistan.

Would they let us? Not likely. The conquest of Pakistan would have to be first. Will other Muslim nations just
stand by?  You see where I’m going. We’re flirting with a world war between Islam and the West.  

And guess what: that’s Bin Laden’s program. That’s exactly what he wants. That’s why he did this.

Read his speeches and statements. It’s all right there.  He really  believes Islam would beat the west. It might seem ridiculous, but he figures if he can polarize the world into Islam and the West, he’s got a billion soldiers.

If the west wreaks a holocaust in those lands, that’s a billion people with nothing left to lose, that’s even better
from Bin Laden’s point of view.  He’s probably wrong, in the end the west would win, whatever that would mean,
but the war would last for years and millions would die, not just theirs but ours.

Who has the belly for that? Bin Laden does.

Anyone else?

Tamim Ansary

October 2, 2001

On Monday there were people were trying to separate each other by race, sex, color and creed
On Tuesday they were all holding hands

On Monday we thought that we were secure
On Tuesday we learned better

On Monday we were talking about heroes as being athletes
On Tuesday we relearned what hero meant

On Monday people went to work at the world trade centers as usual
On Tuesday they died

On Monday people were fighting the 10 commandments on government property
On Tuesday the same people all said ‘God help us all’ while thinking ‘Thou shall not kill’

On Monday people argued with their kids about picking up their room
On Tuesday the same people could not get home fast enough to hug their kids

On Monday people picked up McDonalds for dinner
On Tuesday they stayed home

On Monday people were upset that their dry cleaning was not ready on time
On Tuesday they were lining up to give blood for the dying

On Monday politicians argued about budget surpluses
On Tuesday grief stricken they sang ‘God Bless America’

On Monday we worried about the traffic and getting to work late
On Tuesday we worried about a plane crashing into your house or place of business

On Monday we were irritated that our rebate checks had not arrived
On Tuesday we saw people celebrating people dying in the USA

On Monday some children had solid families
On Tuesday they were orphans

On Monday the president was going to Florida to read to children
On Tuesday he returned to Washington to protect our children

On Monday we emailed jokes
On Tuesday we did not

It is sadly ironic how it takes horrific events to place things in to perspective, but it has. The lessons learned this week, the things we have taken for granted the things that have been forgotten or overlooked, hopefully never will be again.

On Monday – pray and be thankful
On Tuesday – pray and be thankful
On Wednesday – pray and be thankful
On Thursday – pray and be thankful
On Friday – pray and be thankful
On Saturday – pray and be thankful
On Sunday – pray and be thankful

I am the flag of the United States of America.
My name is Old Glory.
  I fly atop the world’s tallest buildings.
  I stand watch in America’s halls of justice.
  I fly majestically over institutions of learning.
I stand guard with power in the world.
Look up and see me.
I stand for peace, honor,truth and justice.
I stand for freedom.
I am confident.
 I am arrogant.
 I am proud.

When I am flown with my fellow banners,
 my head is a little higher, my colors a little truer.
I bow to no one!
  I am recognized all over the world.
  I am worshipped – I am saluted.
 I am loved – I am revered.
  I am respected – I am feared.
 I have fought in every battle of every war for more than 200 years.
 I was flown at Valley Forge, Gettysburg, Shiloh and Appamatox.
I was there at San Juan Hill, the trenches of France,
  in the Argonne Forest, Anzio, Rome,
and the beaches of Normandy, Guam, Okinawa, Korea,
and KheSan, Saigon, Vietnam now me.
I was there.
I lead my troops.
  I was dirty, battleworn, and tired,
  but my soldiers cheered me and I was proud.
 I have been burned, torn and trampled
  on the streets of countries I have helped set free.
 It does not hurt, for I am invincible.

 I have been soiled upon, burned and torn and trampled on
 the streets of MY country.
   And when it’s by those whom I’ve served in battle – it hurts.
But I shall overcome – for I am strong.

I have slipped the bonds of Earth
  and stood watch over the uncharted froniters of space
from my vantage point on the moon.
 I have borne silent witness
  to all of America’s finest hours.
   But my finest hours are yet to come.

 When I am torn into strips and used as bandages
  for my wounded comrades on the battlefield,
   When I am flown at half-mast to honor my soldier,
  or when I lie in the trembling arms of a grieving parent
at the grave of their fallen son or daughter,
I am proud.