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Know & Grow Monthly Magazine
“Great opportunities to help others seldom come,
but small ones surround us everyday.”

~ Sally Koch ... Daily Inspirational Quotes

July 28, 2008


"Long Distance Information,
give me Memphis, Tennessee"

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From the Inside Out...
Touching Lives

Fascinating Facts...
Nature's Fireworks

Words from the Wise...
Thoughts Become Things

Yes You Can!...
Discover That Less Is More

Far Horizons...
Fiji: The Isles of Smiles

Just for YOU...
Announcements & Treats

Untangling the Web

Uplifting News Stories...
A Ladder of Love
Has 6,000 Steps

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BE the World
You Want to See!

Touching the lives of others is best explained by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: "Everybody can be great ... because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love."

Chelle Thompson, Editor
~ Chelle Thompson, Editor

... you can help people all
around the
world without a bit of risk to yourself!

From the Inside OutInformation Please

When I was quite young, my father had one of the first telephones in our neighborhood. I remember well the polished old case fastened to the wall. The shiny receiver hung on the side of the box. I was too little to reach the telephone, but used to listen with fascination when my mother used to talk to it.

Then I discovered that somewhere inside the wonderful device lived an amazing person — her name was Information Please, and there was nothing she did not know. Information Please could supply anybody's number and the correct time.

My first personal experience with this genie-in-the-bottle came one day while my mother was visiting a neighbor. Amusing myself at the tool bench in the basement, I whacked my finger with a hammer. The pain was terrible, but there didn't seem to be any reason in crying because there was no one home to give sympathy.

I walked around the house sucking my throbbing finger, finally arriving at the stairway — the telephone! Quickly I ran for the footstool in the parlor and dragged it to the landing. Climbing up I unhooked the receiver in the parlor and held it to my ear. "Information Please," I said into the mouthpiece just above my head. A click or two and a small clear voice spoke into my ear. "Information."

"I hurt my finger. . ." I wailed into the phone. The tears came readily enough now that I had an audience. "Isn't your mother home?" came the question. "Nobody's home but me," I blubbered. "Are you bleeding?"

"No," I replied. "I hit my finger with the hammer and it hurts."

"Can you open your icebox?" she asked. I said I could. "Then chip off a little piece of ice and hold it to your finger."

After that I called Information Please for everything. I asked her for help with my geography and she told me where Philadelphia was. She helped me with my math, and she told me my pet chipmunk I had caught in the park just the day before would eat fruits and nuts.

And there was the time that Petey, our pet canary died. I called Information Please and told her the sad story. She listened, then said the usual things grown-ups say to soothe a child. But I was unconsoled. Why is it that birds should sing so beautifully and bring joy to all families, only to end up as a heap of feathers, feet up on the bottom of a cage?

She must have sensed my deep concern, for she said quietly, "Paul, always remember that there are other worlds to sing in." Somehow I felt better. Another day I was on the telephone. "Information," said the now familiar voice. "How do you spell 'fix'?" I asked

All this took place in a small town in the pacific Northwest. Then when I was 9 years old, we moved across the country to Boston. I missed my friend very much. Information Please belonged in that old wooden box back home, and I somehow never thought of trying the tall, shiny new phone that sat on the hall table. Yet as I grew into my teens, the memories of those childhood conversations never really left me; often in moments of doubt and perplexity I would recall the serene sense of security I had then. I appreciated now how patient, understanding, and kind she was to have spent her time on a little boy.

A few years later, on my way West to college, my plane put down in Seattle. I had about half an hour or so between planes, and I spent 15 minutes or so on the phone with my sister, who lived there now.

Then without thinking what I was doing, I dialed my hometown operator and said, "Information Please." Miraculously, I heard again the small, clear voice I knew so well, "Information." I hadn't planned this but I heard myself saying, "Could you tell me please how-to spell fix?"

There was a long pause. Then came the soft spoken answer, "I guess that your finger must have healed by now." I laughed, "So it's really still you," I said. "I wonder if you have any idea how much you meant to me during that time."

"I wonder," she said, "if you know how much your calls meant to me. I never had any children, and I used to look forward to your calls." I told her how often I had thought of her over the years and I asked if I could call her again when I came back to visit my sister. "Please do, just ask for Sally."

Just three months later I was back in Seattle. . . A different voice answered Information, and I asked for Sally. "Are you a friend?"

"Yes, a very old friend," I said. "Then I'm sorry to have to tell you. Sally has been working part-time the last few years because she was sick. She died five weeks ago."

I was startled, but before I could hang up she said, "Wait a minute. Did you say your name was Paul?"

"Yes," I replied.

"Well, Sally left a message for you. She wrote it down. Here it is I'll read it....

'Tell him I still say there are other worlds to sing in. He'll know what I mean'."

I thanked her and hung up. I DID know what Sally meant.
Never underestimate the impression you may make on others. Whose life have you touched today?


~ By Paul Villiard "Information Please"
First published in 1966 in Reader's Digest
(Contributed by Mary Lynn in Peoria, Illinois)

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Meaningful Life Answers & Encouragement


Fascinating Facts


Is it true that opals contain
water and fossils?

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Words from the Wise

Online Short Movies Starring Amazing People
(From Filmmaker Nic Askew)
Many of us hear 'thoughts become reality' and nod gently in agreement but perhaps don't take on board its profound nature. What if it was actually the way it works? What is it that you're thinking and what have you created around you?
Learn more abut Mike HERE

Author of 'Notes from the Universe' ... Mike Dooley
is an adventurer who travels the world teaching
people how thoughts become things.

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s You Can!


There is a strange addiction in our society today. I call it the addiction to more... more... more. Sound familiar? More clothes. Bigger houses. Fancier cars. Exhausting! You may think that excessive accumulation is a characteristic only of the rich. Not so! I have visited many homes of rich and poor alike, and I am struck by the excess of "things" that seem to be everywhere. I would suggest that our need to accumulate more...more...more is not improving our lives; rather it is bringing the quality of our lives down... down... down.

If you think about it, our lives would be so much easier if we would focus on getting rid of things instead of accumulating things. By definition, our addiction to "more" creates a need to work so hard that true enjoyment of life becomes impossible. There is no time to stop and smell the proverbial roses.

We become prisoners of responsibility. We struggle to relax. We work so hard on the upkeep of our lives that we have little time for pleasure and play. Our self-created burdens are very heavy, indeed. As I say in my book:

End the Struggle and Dance with Life: How to Build Yourself Up When the World Gets You Down (Get book HERE) ... "The clutter in our lives makes us feel as though we are going through life carrying a watermelon and an overloaded suitcase! It's time to drop these tremendous weights and learn how to live in the freedom that simplicity allows."

Let me introduce you to three new words to help you break your addiction to more... more... more. Those three words are simply... "LESS... LESS... LESS." Right now say these powerful words to yourself over and over again..."LESS ... LESS ...LESS." As you keep repeating these words, I predict that you will soon feel a sense of release ... of freedom. Breathing space at last!

I speak from experience. When Mark and I sold our large house, we moved into a very small apartment just to give us time to find ourselves a new house more suited to our needs. An acquaintance bought our excess furniture thus saving us the hassle of putting it all in storage. We figured we would start fresh and buy new furniture when we found our new house. Strangely as I watched our much loved "stuff" being carted away, instead of feeling sadness, it was as though a big load was being lifted from our lives. It was a wonderful introduction to the land of less... less... less. And it felt great.

We took a 6 month lease on our little apartment with the idea of soon finding our new home. Another surprise! We fell in love... love... love with our little space. As I write this, we've now been here, not 6 months, but 6 years! And neither one of us has any desire to move! It's cozy and romantic and comfortable. It is also easy... easy... easy. A perfect example of less being more.

And something else: When we moved into our little apartment, I had to get rid of so many clothes since closet space was very limited, and once again, I felt a sense of freedom. Why did I need all those clothes to begin with? I didn't! Some of the clothes I gave away I hadn't worn in years! And because I realize that I need less clothes, I am saving so much money. Again, less is turning out to be so much more.

Yes, we are certainly blessed when we have "enough." But today as I look around this big wide wonderful world of ours, enough doesn't seem to be enough! We live with a poverty mentality. It's hard to imagine that even wealthy people can have an intense poverty mentality, but many do! I call them "the affluent poor." Or we are competitive with others. We act as though we are fearful we will fall behind in our ability to outdo everyone else! I see it all around me.

It's interesting that we all put a premium on "filling" our lives. But I think so many of us have missed the point. It makes for a much richer life to let go of the external trappings that smother us and instead "fill" our lives with those riches that take us to a higher place.

And what are those riches? Beautiful times with friends and family, relaxing time to read books and experiment with life, fulfilling time to contribute to the world, and so on. It is not about filling our lives with "stuff", but filling our lives with those experiences that bring us joy. I'm left with the conclusion that ... raising our standard of living is truly about accumulating less and enjoying more!

One way we can break our addiction to more...more...more
is to begin giving all the excess "stuff" away.

In the beginning, it may be difficult letting go. Especially letting go of that belt you haven't worn for 10 years! (Trust me on this one!) To help you feel better about giving your stuff away, I suggest that you donate your excess clothes and dishes and furniture and books ... and so on ... to others who truly do need what is truly excessive and unnecessary in your life.

As you do this, you realize that you have made someone else's life a little easier. You become a source of abundance to them. You make a difference in this world. You become the "giver" instead of the "taker." You ultimately feel lighter and fresher and better able to see what you really need. This is what I imagine "spring cleaning" is truly about.

So look around and start giving things away. Make a game out of it and discard as many unnecessary "weights" as you can in your home and office. My rule is this: Use and enjoy that which enriches your life; let go of that which is just excess baggage. You will be surprised at how much excess baggage you will be giving away! And, importantly, you will be joyful knowing how you have enriched the lives of others.

And something very... very... very important to think about: You will be doing so much to help the survival of the planet as you consume less...less...less. Wow! That should be enough of a grand motivator to get us all going!

I suggest that starting today ... together ... we all begin dropping "the watermelon and the overloaded suitcase" and enter the world of less... less... less. We'll be helping the world in so many ways. Whew! I can hear the sighs of relief coming to me from all over the world! Amazing!

~© 2008 Susan Jeffers, Ph.D., is the best-selling author of many internationally renowned books.
She has also created many audiocassettes on fear, relationships, and personal growth.
(Contributed by Michelle who lives in Monterrey, Mexico)

"THE most effective self-help book ever written, in my opinion." ~Chelle
A phenomenal classic that has changed the lives of millions now in audio:
Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway 8-CD set:
Dynamic Techniques for Turning Fear, Indecision, and
Anger into Power, Action, and Love

Do you have difficulty making decisions . . . asking your boss for a raise, committing to or leaving a relationship, going on an interview, facing the future? Does fear keep you from jumping into life with energy and excitement? Now, Susan Jeffers, who has helped millions turn their lives around, can help you become more powerful in the face of your fears. Dynamic and inspirational, this book is filled with concrete techniques for turning passivity into action. With understanding and humor, Dr. Jeffers will teach you: The vital ten-step process that helps you outtalk the negative “Chatterbox” in your brain; How to move from “victim” to “creator”; The secret of making “no-lose” decisions; How to create more meaning in your life!

FEEL THE FEAR ... AND DO IT ANYWAY (Get her original book HERE)
By Susan Jeffers, Ph.D.

Far Horizons


Fijiian Lion Fish
Scuba to see spectacular lion fish show off their colors in the Fijiian reefs.

Learn More Here

People visualize Fiji as an island paradise — tropical and romantic with a wide range of upscale lodging choices waiting to pamper you during your sojourn. However, most don't realize that Fiji consists of more than 330 islands and only about 1/3 of them are inhabited. It is small but a culturally diverse country with significant Fijian, Indian, Chinese, Polynesian and European communities retaining their ancestral cultures. Fiji's unspoiled beauty and tranquility present some spectacular scenery, both coastal and hinterland. Due to the mountainous nature of the Islands, there are numerous streams and waterfalls creating crystal clear ponds, ideal to have a swim and cool off in. Snorkeling and scuba diving are very popular. With large coral reefs teeming with life, the waters surrounding Fiji have some of the world's most magnificent reef habitats with many species of marine life

The Fijians are pretty easy-going, but if you are invited into a village, wear modest clothing and take off your hat (wearing one is an insult to the chief). To respect the local customs, it is always best for women to cover knees and shoulders. Leave your shoes outside the door when entering a home and keep in mind that it's also insulting to touch someone's head. Busy shopping districts, markets and villages offer plentiful local arts, paintings and traditional crafts to take home. Fijians are known for their bartering, so if you want to practice your bargaining skills, head for Cummings Street in Suva where you will find it quite an art form. If you are looking for less pushy salespeople, try Lautoka and Savusavu for your shopping experience. You won't want to miss the traditional outdoor Fijian feast called Lovo. Also important to the Fijian culture is the Kava ritual. Yoqona or Kava is made from the root of the Kava plant, a type of pepper plant. It is pounded into a powder and mixed with water then drunk from a bilo (half coconut shell). It is believed to have healing properties, curing ailments such as tooth decay and respiratory disease. Kava is not considered an intoxicating drink, but does give you a mild feeling of euphoria.

There are many festivals in Fiji, reflecting the varied ethnic and religious make-up of the country. However, the three most popular events are during July, August and September known as the City Festivals — Bula Festival in Nadi, Hibiscus Festival in Suva and the Sugar Festival in Lautoka. These are celebrated with street parades, bands, rides, stalls and the crowning of the Festival Queen. Ceremonial dances are an important part of the Fijian culture, handed down from generation to generation for hundreds of years. Colorful costumes are made before each dance from the dense jungle foliage that surrounds the villages. Music is woven into the fabric of Fiji and the Meke embraces traditional song and dance to tell of legends, love stories, history and spirits of the islands. It can vary from a blood-curdling spear dance to a gentle and graceful fan dance is an ongoing tradition that enacts local stories and legends. The arrangement of the group and every subtle movement has significance. The instruments are percussion (hardwood gongs, bamboo tubes, beating sticks etc.). The male dance is called the meke moto and the female dance is called the seasea.

See Video HereSee Video — Awesome Adventures in Fiji HERE
(Always let videos fully download once, for smooth second viewing.)

In meke moto dances men wear skirts made from thin strips of the vau tree trunk.

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Uplifting News Stories

Liu and Xu at the top of the 6000 steps.

This cave was their home for more than 50 years.

BEIJING — An incredible love story came out of China two years ago and managed to touch the world. The tale of a 70-year-old Chinese man who hand-carved more than 6,000 stairs up a mountainside for his 80-year-old wife won the award for China’s greatest love story of 2006.

Over 50 years ago, Liu Guojiang a 19 year-old boy, fell in love with a 29 year-old widowed mother named XU Chaoqin. In a twist worthy of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, friends and relatives criticized the relationship because of the age difference and the fact that XU already had children. At that time, it was unacceptable and immoral for a young man to love an older woman. Desperate to escape market gossip and the scorn of their communities, the pair eloped to live in a cave in Jiangjin county, which is in southwest China’s Chongqing municipality. In the beginning, life was harsh as they had nothing, no electricity or even food. They had to eat grass and roots they found in the mountain. XU felt that she had tied Liu down and repeatedly asked him, 'Are you regretful?' Liu always replied, 'As long as we are industrious, life will improve.' In the second year of living in the mountain, Liu began and continued for over 50 years, to hand-carve the steps so that his wife could get down the mountain easily.

In 2001, a group of adventurers were exploring the forest and were surprised to find the elderly couple and the over 6,000 hand-carved steps. In 2006, their story became one of the top 10 love stories from China, collected by the Chinese Women Weekly. Liu and his wife were not present at the award ceremony due to their age, but their son Liu Mingsheng came with a kerosene lamp that his father had made from an ink bottle. Liu MingSheng, one of their seven children said, “My parents have lived in seclusion for more than 50 years because of their love for each other. They had no electricity and my father made kerosene lamps to light up lives,” the son said. “My mother seldom goes down the mountain but my father cut the 6,000-plus stairs for her convenience. It’s a ladder of love.”

The couple had lived in peace for over 50 years until July, 2008. Liu, at 72 years old, returned from his daily farm work and collapsed in the cave. XU sat and prayed with her husband as he passed away in her arms. So in love with XU, was Liu, that no one was able to release the grip he had on his wife's hand even after he had passed away. 'You promised me you'll take care of me, you'll always be with me until the day I died, now you left before me, how am I going to live without you?' XU spent days softly repeating this sentence and touching her husband's black coffin with tears rolling down her cheeks. The local government has decided to preserve the love ladder and the place they lived as a museum, so this love story can live forever ...

See Video HereTheir love story was recorded by a Chinese TV station HERE
(Always let videos fully download once, for smooth second viewing.)

(Story contributed by Liona who lives in Pitlochry, Scotland)

Liu Guojiang with his wife XU Chaoqin

Liu's hand-carved Ladder of Love

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August, 2008



"The word circulation implies that something is going round and round.
Whether it be money, love or good will, whatever you spread around
is going to come back to you. In order to be on the receiving end
of our desires, we must spread around to others exactly what
we want. In addition, we must do it with a grateful heart."

~By Adrain Calabrese, Ph.D. Author of
"How To Get Everything You Ever Wanted" (ENTER HERE)


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