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Know & Grow Monthly Magazine
"I always have to dream up there against the stars.
If I don't dream I will make it, I won't even get close."

~ Henry J. Kaiser... Daily Inspirational Quotes

August 28, 2006


TODAY'S TUNE [ON/OFF]


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THIS WEEK'S ISSUE


From the Inside Out...
The Red
Mahogany Piano


Yes You Can!...
Manage Your Fears,
Depression & Anxiety


Far Horizons...
African Diversity


Untangling the Web
...

What a Site and
Computer Tips & 'Toons


Just for YOU...
Special Treats


Laughing It Off...
Chocolate Chuckles


Fascinating Facts...
The Rain in Spain


Online All the Time...
Weekly Blog, Daily Quotes,
New Books & More

 


Inspiration Online Magazine

It's Time to BE — the World
You Want to See
!

Just a simple gesture of kindness — what possible difference could it make? Ah, there lies the mystery and the magic! Do we only give because we want an ego boost from knowing we "did good," or only when we get tangible proof that our gift will be put to "proper" use? The beauty of unconditional kindness is that we may NEVER know.

Chelle
~ Chelle Thompson, Editor

 

 

 

From the Inside Out"Child at Piano" By Frederick C. Frieseke 1923
THE RED MAHOGANY PIANO

Many years ago, when I was a young man in my twenties, I worked as a salesman for a St. Louis piano company. We sold our pianos all over the state by advertising in small town newspapers and then, when we had received sufficient replies, we would load our little trucks, drive into the area and sell the pianos to those who had replied.

Every time we would advertise in the cotton country of Southeast Missouri, we would receive a reply on a postcard which said, in effect, "Please bring me a new piano for my little granddaughter. It must be red mahogany. I can pay $10 a month with my egg money."

The old lady scrawled on and on and on that postcard until she filled it up, then turned it over and even wrote on the front — around and around the edges until there was barely room for the address.

Of course, we could not sell a new piano for $10 a month. No finance company would carry a contract with payments that small, so we ignored her postcards.

One day, however, I happened to be in that area calling on other replies, and out of curiosity I decided to look the old lady up. I found pretty much what I expected: The old lady lived in a one room sharecroppers cabin in the middle of a cotton field. The cabin had a dirt floor and there were chickens in the house.

Obviously, the old lady could not have qualified to purchase anything on credit — no car, no phone, no real job, nothing but a roof over her head and not a very good one at that. I could see daylight through it in several places. Her little granddaughter was about 10, barefoot and wearing a feedsack dress.

I explained to the old lady that we could not sell a new piano for $10 a month and that she should stop writing to us every time she saw our ad. I drove away heartsick, but my advice had no effect — she still sent us the same post card every six weeks. Always wanting a new piano, red mahogany, please, and swearing she would never miss a $10 payment. It was sad.

A couple of years later, I owned my own piano company, and when I advertised in that area, the postcards started coming to me. For months, I ignored them — what else could I do?

But then, one day when I was in the area something came over me. I had a red mahogany piano on my little truck. Despite knowing that I was about to make a terrible business decision, I delivered the piano to her and told her I would carry the contract myself at $10 a month with no interest, and that would mean 52 payments.

I took the new piano in the house and placed it where I thought the roof would be least likely to rain on it. I admonished her and the little girl to try to keep the chickens off of it, and I left — sure I had just thrown away a new piano.

But the payments came in, all 52 of them as agreed -- sometimes with coins taped to a 3x5 inch card in the envelope. It was incredible! So, I put the incident out of my mind for 20 years.

Then one day I was in Memphis on other business, and after dinner at the Holiday Inn on the Levee, I went into the lounge. As I was sitting at the bar having an after dinner drink, I heard the most beautiful piano music behind me. I looked around, and there was a lovely young woman playing a very nice grand piano.

Being a pianist of some ability myself, I was stunned by her virtuosity, and I picked up my drink and moved to a table beside her where I could listen and watch. She smiled at me, asked for requests, and when she took a break she sat down at my table.

"Aren't you the man who sold my grandma a piano a long time ago?"

It didn't ring a bell, so I asked her to explain. She started to tell me, and I suddenly remembered. My Lord, it was her! It was the little barefoot girl in the feedsack dress!

She told me her name was Elise and since her grandmother couldn't afford to pay for lessons, she had learned to play by listening to the radio. She said she had started to play in church where she and her grandmother had to walk over two miles, and that she had then played in school, had won many awards and a music scholarship. She had married an attorney in Memphis and he had bought her that beautiful grand piano she was playing.

Something else entered my mind. "Elise," I asked, "It's a little dark in here. What color is that piano?"

"It's red mahogany," she said, "Why?"

I couldn't speak. Did she understand the significance of the red mahogany? The unbelievable audacity of her grandmother insisting on a red mahogany piano when no one in his right mind would have sold her a piano of any kind? I think not.

And then the marvelous accomplishment of that beautiful, terribly underprivileged child in the feedsack dress? No, I'm sure she didn't understand that either. But I did, and my throat tightened.

Finally, I found my voice. "I just wondered," I said. "I'm proud of you, but I have to go to my room."

And I did have to go to my room, because men don't like to be seen crying in public.

~By Joe Edwards, Springfield, Missouri (Reprinted from www.TheUnleashed.com)
Joe has spent most of his working life as a jazz pianist in Kansas City nightclubs.
He's now retired but still playing wedding receptions in the Missouri area.
.

*Other Stories & More*

 

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Inspiration Online Magazine
Ye
s You Can!

MANAGE YOUR FEARS, DEPRESSION & ANXIETY

Everybody deals with anxiety and depression, however some people have a hard time managing it. Here is a brief list of techniques that you can use to help manage their most persistent fears and every day anxieties.

1. When facing a current or upcoming task that overwhelms you with a lot of anxiety, the first thing you can do is to divide the task into a series of smaller steps.

Completing these smaller tasks one at a time will make the stress more manageable and increases your chance of success.

2. Sometimes we get stressed out when everything happens all at once.

When this happens, take a deep breath and try to find something to do for a few minutes to get your mind off of the problem. You could get some fresh air, listen to some music, or do an activity that will give you a fresh perspective on things.

3. Visualize a red stop sign in your mind when you encounter a fear provoking thought.

When the negative thought comes, think of a red stop sign that serves as a reminder to stop focusing on that thought and to think of something else. You can then try to think of something positive to replace the negative thought.

4. Another technique that is very helpful is to have a small notebook of positive statements that make you feel good.

Whenever you come across an affirmation that makes you feel good, write it down in a small notebook that you can carry around in your pocket. Whenever you feel depressed or frustrated, open up your notebook and read those statements. This will help to manage your negative thinking.

5. One of the ways to manage your depression is to challenge your negative thinking with positive statements and realistic thinking.

When encountering thoughts that make you fearful or depressed, challenge those thoughts by asking yourself questions that will maintain objectivity and common sense.

For example, you're afraid that if you do not get that job promotion, then you will be stuck at your job forever. This depresses you — however your thinking in this situation is unrealistic. The fact of the matter is that there are all kinds of jobs available and just because you don’t get this job promotion doesn’t mean that you will never get one. In addition, people change jobs all the time, and you always have that option of going elsewhere if you are unhappy at your present location.

6. Some people get depressed and have a difficult time getting out of bed in the mornings.

When this happens, take a deep breath and try to find something to do to get your mind off of the problem. You could take a walk, listen to some music, read the newspaper or do an activity that will give you a fresh perspective on things. Doing something will get your mind off of the problem and give you confidence to do other things.

7. Sometimes, we can get depressed over a task that we will have to perform in the near future.

When this happens, visualize yourself doing the task in your mind. For instance, you and your team have to play in the championship volleyball game in front of a large group of people in the next few days. Before the big day comes, imagine yourself playing the game in your mind. Imagine that you're playing in front of a large audience. By playing the game in your mind, you will be better prepared to perform "for real" when the time comes. Self-Visualization is a great way to reduce the fear and stress of an upcoming situation.

8. Learn to take it one day at a time.

Instead of worrying about how you will get through the rest of the week, try to focus on today. Each day can provide us with different opportunities to learn new things and that includes learning how to deal with your problems. You never know when the answers you are looking for will come to your doorstep. We may be ninety-nine percent correct in predicting the future, but all it takes is for that one percent to make a world of difference.

9. Take advantage of the help that is available around you.

If possible, talk to a professional who can help you manage your depression and anxieties. They will be able to provide you with additional advice and insights on how to deal with your current problem. By talking to a professional, you will be helping yourself in the long run because you will become better able to deal with your problems in the future. Remember that it never hurts to ask for help.

Dealing with our persistent fears is not easy. Remember that all you can do is to do your best each day, hope for the best, and take things in stride. Patience, persistence, education, and being committed in trying to solve your problem will go along way in fixing your problems.


~By Stan Popovich, author of "A Layman's Guide to Managing Fear,"
a book of techniques for managing persistent fears and anxieties.
For additional information go to: www.ManagingFear.com

 


Far Horizons

AFRICAN DIVERSITY

Swahili
Swahili boys near Stone Town on shores of Indian Ocean.
Learn More Here

Africa is incredibly interesting because it is so diverse. Every African country is a mix of tribes each with their own unique language and culture. Countries as small as Uganda have more than 30 tribes. In Kenya you could be riding a camel in the desert with the Borana one day, go on a walking safari with the Maasai a few days later and finish your week exploring old Islamic coastal towns with the Swahili on the shores of the Indian Ocean. If you are interested in traditional African cultures there all kinds of cultural tours available. You could go desert walking in Botswana with San Bushmen, who are traditionally hunter-gatherers and live in small mobile family groups. Here you will be shown how to collect veldt foods (from wild fruits, nuts, berries, leaves, seeds, roots and barks), track game, collect herbs and participate in music and dance. You could try herding in East Africa with the self-sufficient and proud Maasai, who are pastoralists and warriors. Another unique experience is camel riding in the Sahara with the Touareg of Mali. The bivouacs are organized with Touareg tents in their dwellings or nearby. Meals are prepared by a cook based on local goods mixed with imported ones. Further off the beaten track there's Timbuktu with its fantastic mosques built of mud, and the mysterious thousand-year-old Great Zimbabwe Ruins. Sited on an open wooded plain surrounded by hills, the ruins comprise the vast Great Enclosure complex, and the Hill Complex, a veritable castle of interlocking walls and granite boulders. The ruins feature an array of chevron, herringbone and many other intricate patterns in its walls. The complex, which wealthy Shona-speaking cattlemen built between the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, used no mortar to bind the stone blocks and may have housed as many as 40,000 people.

Untangling the Web

Inspiration Online Magazine
WHAT A SITE!

"The Inspiration Factory"
Dr. Femi Osokoya is a medical doctor, author, artist, poet and motivational speaker. He has created a four-minute inspirational message called The Black Box which has been uplifting audiences around the world. The Black Box' recording is like the one on an airplane, but this one is for YOUR LIFE — when you've made some wrong decisions that cause your life to veer off-track or, worse still, to crash! This power-packed message helps you to not make the same mistakes again and is freely available at the link below. 'The Future — Belongs To Those Who Can Possess It From Where They Stand'
The Sky Is Not The Limit!! ... Find Out Why
www.The-Inspiration-Factory.com

Check HereInspirational Links

 

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COMPUTER TIPS & 'TOONS

Just Shut Down, Will Ya?
Have you ever found yourself wishing that Windows wouldn't ask you if you really want to shut down after you've gone to all the trouble of hitting the Start button, then Shut Down? Sure, if you're a wild mouse clicker, maybe that extra little confirmation occasionally saves the day, but what if you just want a quick way to turn the thing off?
Computer Tips at Inspiration Line


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SPECIAL TREATS

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SHORT SLEEVES - A Book for Friends
Live an Ordinary Life in a Non-Ordinary Way

Frozen Image Of Spirit
Thawing In Joy And Love
Fill My Well Of Life
With Gratitude
For All To Drink


Available in bookstores and online at:

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Laughing It Off Chocolate Time
CHOCOLATE CHUCKLES

If you've got melted chocolate all over your hands, you're eating it too slowly.

Nine out of ten people like chocolate. The tenth person always lies...

I could give up chocolate, but I'm not a quitter.

Man cannot live on chocolate alone; but woman sure can.

Chocolate is cheaper than therapy and you don't need an appointment.

In the cookies of life, friends are the chocolate chips.

Chocolate is nature's way of making up for Mondays.

Stress wouldn't be so hard to take if it were chocolate covered.

Chocolate has many preservatives. Preservatives make you look younger.

Put "eat chocolate" at the top of your list of things to do today. That way, at least you'll get one thing done.

There are four basic food groups: milk chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate, and chocolate truffles.

If not for chocolate, there would be no need for control top pantyhose. An entire garment industry would be devastated!

If you can't eat all your chocolate, it will keep in the freezer. But if you can't eat all your chocolate, what's wrong with you?

Chocolate covered raisins, cherries, orange slices and strawberries all count as fruit, so eat all you like.

If I eat equal amounts of dark chocolate and white chocolate, is that a balanced diet? Don't they actually counteract each other?

Strength is the capacity to break a chocolate bar into four pieces with your bare hands — and then eat just one of the pieces.

If calories are an issue, store your chocolate on top of the fridge. Calories are afraid of heights, and they will jump out of the chocolate to protect themselves.

T-Shirt Slogan: EMERGENCY ALERT: If wearer of this shirt is found vacant, listless, or depressed, ADMINISTER CHOCOLATE IMMEDIATELY.

~Contributed by Jane at www.The-Cats-Meow.com
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