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I have any beliefs about immortality,
it is that certain dogs I have known will go to heaven,
and very, very few persons."
~ James Thurber...
April 25, 2005
My Best Friend"
THIS WEEK'S ISSUE
From the Inside Out...
Yes You Can!...
Find Spiritual Nurturing
Untangling the Web...
What a Site!
Just for YOU...
Laughing It Off...
Daily Security Alerts
BE the World
You Want to See!
sweet mini-dachshund, Ruby, brings such light into our home. She
relieves my husband's daily stress like a thirsty little sponge
and consistently showers us with unconditional love. (Of course,
our three cats want me to mention that they, too, are quite wonderful!!)
~ Chelle ~
From the Inside Out
Ever wonder where the old saying, "A mans best friend
is his dog," came from? Well, if you guessed Warrensburg, Missouri,
you were right!
George Graham Vest won a court battle, and the ears of dog lovers
everywhere, when he paid his famous tribute to the dog during the
1870 Burden vs. Hornsby court case in Warrensburg.
speech included the line, "The one absolutely unselfish friend
that a man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts
him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous, is his
"eulogy to the dog" won the case for Charles Burden whose
favorite hound, "Old Drum," was shot by a neighbor, Leonidas
Hornsby, who had sworn to kill the first dog that came onto his
Hornsby had hunted with Drum and acknowledged him to be one of the
best hunting dogs he had ever seen, he carried out his threat when
one night a dog was found prowling in his yard. That dog was Old
immediately sued Hornsby for damages and the trial quickly became
one of the strangest in the history of this part of the country.
Each man was determined to win the case. After several appeals,
the case finally reached the Supreme Court of Missouri.
was awarded $50 in damages for the loss of his favorite hunting
dog. Vests eulogy to the dog, which he made in his final appeal
to the jury, won the case and became a classic speech.
the direction of the Warrensburg Chamber of Commerce and coordinated
efforts by many dog lovers across the country, Old Drum was immortalized
in a statue on the Johnson County Courthouse lawn in Warrensburg
on September 23, 1958.
no record was kept of the last half of Vests tribute to a
dog, the first portion has fortunately been preserved. It was this
speech that originated the saying, "A mans best friend
is his dog." George Graham Vest speaking:
of the Jury, the best friend a man has in this world may turn against
him and become his enemy. His son or daughter that he has reared
with loving care may prove ungrateful.
who are nearest and dearest to us, those whom we trust with our
happiness and our good name, may become traitors to their faith.
money that a man has, he may lose. It flies away from him, perhaps
when he needs it the most. A mans reputation may be sacrificed
in a moment of ill-considered action.
people who are prone to fall on their knees to do us honor when
success is with us may be the first to throw the stone of malice
when failure settles its cloud upon our heads.
one absolutely unselfish friend that a man can have in this selfish
world, the one that never deserts him and the one that never proves
ungrateful or treacherous is his dog.
of the Jury, a mans dog stands by him in prosperity and in
poverty, in health and in sickness. He will sleep on the cold ground,
where the wintry winds blow and the snow drives fiercely, if only
he may be near his masters side.
will kiss the hand that has no food to offer, he will lick the wounds
and sores that encounters the roughness of the world.
guards the sleep of his pauper master as if he were a prince. When
all other friends desert, he remains. When riches take wings and
reputation falls to pieces, he is as constant in his love as the
sun in its journey through the heavens.
fortune drives the master forth an outcast in the world, friendless
and homeless, the faithful dog asks no higher privilege than that
of accompanying him to guard against danger, to fight against his
the last scene of all comes, and death takes the master in its embrace
and his body is laid away in the cold ground, no matter if all other
friends pursue their way, there by his graveside will the noble
dog be found, his head between his paws, his eyes sad but open in
alert watchfulness, faithful and true even to death."
George Graham Vest (1830-1904): US Senator from Missouri,
Confederate States Congressman, Confederate Veteran, attorney, famed
orator, conservationist and champion for the rights of Native Americans.
To Read Many More Heartwarming Stories & Poetry
Yes You Can!
NURTURING IN NATURE
Busy, complex lives in society at times can seem to kill the spark
of life in us. Dealing with our boss at work or carting the kids
to this or that event, we have no time for us. What about our spirit
where is it in all this hurry? Hopefully not dead, but certainly
buried good and far down somewhere. Just to survive in a social
circle or a career, we may always have to put off achieving awakening
to who we really are in our very depths. At times, we can feel smothered,
even obliterated. There
is an urgency then to recover what we once had, as kids, when we
climbed, ran, danced, and played without thought of anything but
the moment. Fortunately we have all around us, at any time, both
the place and the spirit of that time we long to. It is time to
rediscover how to move our bodies, rhythmically and magically, in
the spirit of Nature.
Nature, we can let go of the person we have to be at work and in
society, merging in the rhythm of the land and the seasons. We can
walk freely in the hills or on the beach, letting our bodies move
with their natural rhythm they crave. Merging in the rhythm of the
land and the seasons, say, on nature trails or in the mountains,
we can feel in our bodies the wonder of mountain upon stream-filled
mountain with azure haze spilling out from the clouds.
that wondrous beauty, far away from artifice and social care, we
feel a vastness hugely bigger than ourselves than our job
at home, than all our associations, appointments and obligations.
Like the small human figure in a Chinese nature landscape, we are
a tiny speck in the vast world of forces much bigger than us. As
we swing our arms in the bracing wind and the rhythm of our breathing
harmonizes with our footstep, we perceive in our humble happiness
an opening through which we can speak to our original self, the
face of brightness which we can find by penetrating our conditioning
the land can also help bring us into harmony with nature and our
deepest self. In fact, the great horticulturist Alan Chadwick called
gardening true religion: the epitome and mother of all true culture,
where by devotion to working the soil, we contact our original nature
and partner with Nature to enliven the earth. Through such service
to the earth, gardeners help to calm restless thoughts and attain
glimpses of the Tao.
embodies what the Buddhists call Emptiness, the meditative cleansing
of the mind. Immersion in mountains, rivers, and forests that are
far from civilized comforts symbolize that complete merging of our
ego self back into the peace of nature. Perhaps we get some taste
of the battle for the supreme experience of Oneness with the divine
waged by such nature lovers as St. Francis and of the Buddha, who
resolved not to leave the wilderness until enlightenment came. All
such great figures knew about the wilds of nature and about the
floods of anxious, negative thoughts that boil over in the mind
in a setting purified of all the feverish activity of humanity.
The Buddha under the bodhi tree won pure freedom from the anxieties
of the mind.
is why we today have the rare chance to draw on the rich spiritual
benefits such brave souls won. There is a way to gain some of their
peace. Out in nature, we can contact and feel in our bodies a harmonious
spirit. And in our own private space, we can practice passage meditation,
which engages our highest faculties and connects our deepest being
with the serene beauty of a calm lake or high mountain top. By concentrating
deeply, say, on a nature passage in The Path of Direct Awakening,
we gradually gain some of the peace won by those brave souls who
broke free into the enlightened state. Their peace becomes ours,
if we only want it and ask for it.
suggest meditating on nature passages for a period of half an hour
and submerging oneself in nature at least some part of every day.
This brings our life closer to the spirit that flows through nature.
Through life in nature, service to the earth, and meditation on
the words of enlightened nature poets, we imprint upon ourselves
the peace of a mountain lake, a far off stream, or a beautifully
tilled field. This will help us to:
Pull back from stress;
2) Defeat worry;
3) Reverse bad habits;
4) Give up the compulsion to control;
5) Elevate our self image; and
6) Contact the highest reality and harmonize our life with
Stephen Ruppenthal is the author of The
Path of Direct Awakening: Passages for Meditation,
co-author of Eknath Easwaran's edition of The
Dhammapada, and the author of Keats and Zen.
Dr. Ruppenthal is an international workshop leader in passage meditation
and in courses for those
looking for end of life spiritual care and for the spiritual step
component of twelve-step programs.
Visit Stephen's work at: www.DirectAwakenings.com
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Vitória's Teatro Carlos Gomes
Brazilian city of Vitória is built into a steep hillside
overlooking the docks, but the main streets are all at shore level.
From Avenida Jerônimo Monteiro , the main shopping street,
a number of stairways (escadarias) lead to the colonial
Palácio de Anchieta, now the state governor's palace.
Just down from here the pleasant, tree-shaded Praça Costa
Pereira is the heart of the downtown area with its Teatro Carlos
Gomes, a replica of La Scala in Milan built between 1925 and
1927. Vitória is vaguely reminiscent of Rio with its combination
of sea, steep hills, granite outcrops and irregularly shaped mountains
on the horizon. Founded in 1551, it's one of the oldest cities
in Brazil. The heart of Vitória is an island connected
to the mainland by a series of bridges, but the city has long
since broken its natural bounds, spreading onto the mainland north
and south: the major beach areas are on these mainland zones,
Camburi to the north and Vila Velha with its beach Praia da Costa
to the south. Vitória is renowned as the world capital
of marlin fishing.
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WHAT A SITE!
"World View of Global Warming"
The World View of Global Warming project is documenting this
change through science photography from the Arctic to Antarctica,
from glaciers to the oceans, across all climate zones. Rapid
climate change and its effects is fast becoming one of the prime
events of the 21st century. It is real and it is accelerating
across the globe. Be sure to see: 15
Very Important Things to Do about Global Warming...from the
individual to the national. As the effects of this
change combine with overpopulation and weather crises, climate
disruptions will affect more people than does war.
Names in Your Address Book"
You can have an entry in your Address
Book made automatically every time you send an email. If you
do a ton of mailing, you could end up with a giant list of addresses
and no clue who they go with. So, how do you stop this? In Outlook
Express, go to Tools / Options and click the "Send"
tab. Uncheck the box marked "Automatically put people I
reply to in my Address Book." With Netscape Mail
go to Edit / Preferences then under "Mail &
Newsgroups" select "Addressing." Uncheck the
box marked "Outgoing Mail Messages (You should also uncheck
"Incoming..."). AOL 8.0 users can also shut
this off by going to Settings / Preferences then clicking
"Address Book." Uncheck the box marked "Automatically
add email addresses to my Address Book." You can now have
an Address Book filled only with people you actually plan to
DOES A DIAL-UP
INTERNET CONNECTION HANG UP
WHILE YOU'RE STILL ONLINE?
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Laughing It Off
are from potential visitors, who posted on an Australian Tourism
Website and the answers are the actual responses by the website
officials, who obviously have a snide sense of humor:
Does it ever get windy in Australia? I have never seen it rain
on TV, so how do the plants grow? (UK).
A: We import all plants fully grown and then just sit around
watching them die.
Will I be able to see kangaroos in the street? (USA)
A: Depends how much you've been drinking.
I want to walk from Perth to Sydney can I follow the railroad
A: Sure, it's only three thousand miles, take lots of water.
Which direction is North in Australia? (USA)
A: Face south and then turn 180 degrees. Contact us when you
get here and we'll send the rest of the directions.
Can I bring cutlery into Australia? (UK)
A: Why? Just use your fingers like we do.
Can I wear high heels in Australia? (UK)
A: You are a British politician, right?
Can you give me some information about hippo racing in Australia?
A: A-FRI-CA is the big triangle shaped continent south of
Europe. AUS-TRA-LIA is that big island in the middle of the Pacific
which does not ... oh forget it. Sure, the hippo racing is every
Tuesday night in Kings Cross. Come naked.
Are there supermarkets in Sydney and is milk available all year
A: No, we are a peaceful civilization of vegan hunter/ gatherers.
Milk is illegal.
Please send a list of all doctors in Australia who can dispense
rattlesnake serum. (USA)
A: Rattlesnakes live in A-MER-I-CA which is where YOU come
from. All Australian snakes are perfectly harmless, can be safely
handled and make good pets, especially the Taipans.
Can you send me the Vienna Boys' Choir schedule? (USA)
A: AUS-TRI-A that quaint little country bordering GER-MAN-Y,
which is...oh forget it. Sure, the Vienna Boys Choir plays every
Tuesday night in Kings Cross, straight after the hippo races.
I have a question about a famous animal in Australia, but I forget
its name. It's a kind of bear and lives in trees. (USA)
It's called a Drop Bear. They are so called because they drop
out of gum trees and eat the brains of anyone walking underneath
them. You can scare them off by spraying yourself with honey before
you go out walking.
by Vidya at www.WebWiseSage.com
DAILY SECURITY ALERTS
Joyful Lifestyles: Weekly Insights
LESSONS FROM UNEXPECTED PLACES
Steve Goodier, founder and publisher of Your
Life Support, sends out hope and encouragement
to a worldwide community of readers. Here he shares some very
wise words about how our life lessons can often come from the
most unexpected places:
have learned much about myself from the game of racquetball.
In fact, I have learned a great deal over the years about all
aspects life and living on the racquetball court. Here are some
of the more important lessons that have come from the court:
People play better when they are encouraged. It's true in life,
too. People do better when they are encouraged, rather than
criticized, condemned and judged.
When two or more people occupy a small space, they should learn
to share. It goes for planets, too.
The only way to get better is to practice. And in life, the
only way to improve relationships, learn courage or be happy
is to practice.
Pay attention. Those who lose their focus, lose perspective
and lose games. And those people who focus too much on yesterday
or tomorrow will never live today fully and joyously.
There are always people who will do better than you. But your
job is not to be the best, it is to do your best.
Attitude really is everything. When you believe in your success,
visualize it and work toward it, you are more likely to succeed.
Losses are lessons. When I lose a game so badly that I am humiliated
on the court, I thank my opponent for the free lesson. Failures
are not endings; they are lessons to learn from.
It isn't over until the last point is scored. Many victories
are snatched after one comes back from almost insurmountable
odds. So it is with life.
Work can be fun, but fun should never become merely work. Life
is to be enjoyed.
The only way to score ... is to serve. On the court and in life
that is true. Individuals and institutions that make a difference
find ways to meet human need. Those people who are happiest
and most satisfied with their lives have learned to serve. Great
lives are built on it." (© 2003 Steve
Goodier - Reprinted with Permission)
put Steve's wisdom in your "gym bag," as you take
yourself onto the Playing Field for May, 2005 ... then
serve up the best game of your life!
Thompson ('Shay'), Editor
"The intent of Inspiration Line is to
show What Is Possible by choosing new perspectives,
we can change ourselves from the inside out to improve our relationships,
our community and our planet."
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