A MEANINGFUL LIFE
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greatness of a nation and its moral progress
can be judged by the way its
animals are treated."
~ Mahatma Gandhi...
November 28, 2005
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THIS WEEK'S ISSUE
From the Inside Out...
Yes You Can!...
of a Sherpa
Untangling the Web...
What a Site and
Just for YOU...
Laughing It Off...
Feeling Alone &
this Holiday Season?
BE the World
You Want to See!
animals, of all kinds,
do not operate with the hidden
agendas of humans,
examples are there of Angels
in our midst?
~ Chelle Thompson, Editor
From the Inside Out
AN UNLIKELY ANGEL
It was just after Thanksgiving. An angry middle-aged man stood at the counter
of the animal shelter, gripping the leash of an aging German shepherd. "Why
won't you take him?" he shouted. "I need to get him off my hands!"
adoption counselor tried once more to explain. "At fourteen, Samson is too
old to be a good adoption candidate," she said.
then just take him and put him down," the man yelled. "I want to be
rid of him."
don't take animals just to put them down," the counselor explained. "May
I ask why you no longer wish to keep the dog?"
just can't stand the sight of him," the man hissed, "and if you won't
put him down, I'll shoot him myself."
not to show her horror, the counselor pointed out that shooting an animal was
illegal. She urged the man to consult with his veterinarian for other options.
not spending any more money on this animal," the man grumbled and, yanking
the leash, he stalked out.
the counselor wrote down the license plate of the man's truck and offered up a
quick prayer for Samson.
few days later, a German shepherd was found abandoned. He was brought to the shelter,
and the staff recognized him as Samson. The town where he had been abandoned was
where his owner lived. The man was contacted by the police and, under questioning,
admitted that distraught over his recent divorce, he had sought revenge through
the shepherd. He hadn't even wanted the dog, but he fought to keep him to spite
his wife. Once his wife was gone, he couldn't bear to see the animal. The man
was charged with abandonment, and Samson came to stay at the shelter.
wife and the couple's son were located in Pennsylvania. They were horrified to
hear what had happened to their dog and agreed immediately to have him come live
was just one problem: The wife was nearly broke after the divorce and their initial
move. She could take no time off from work to drive to New Hampshire and get the
dog, and she couldn't afford any other method of getting him to her. She hated
to have Samson in the shelter any longer but didn't know what to do.
come up with something," the staff assured her, but in their hearts they
didn't know what. They were concerned, as well. Samson had lived with his family
all his life. Within a few weeks, his whole world had been turned upside down.
He was beginning to mope, and the staff could tell by his eyes that if he wasn't
back with his family soon, he would give up.
was only two weeks away when the angel arrived. He came by pickup truck in the
form of a man in his mid-thirties. Through a friend of a shelter staffer, he had
heard about Samson's plight. He was willing to drive Samson to Pennsylvania, and
he would do it before Christmas.
staff was thrilled with the offer, but cautious. Why would a stranger drive hundreds
of miles out of his way to deliver a dog to people he didn't know? They had to
make sure he was legitimate and that Samson wouldn't be sold to meat dealers or
dumped along the interstate. The man understood their concerns and, thankfully,
checked out to be an upstanding citizen. In the course of the conversation, he
explained why he had come forward.
year, I left my dog in my van while I went to do some grocery shopping,"
he explained. "While I was inside, the van caught fire. I heard people hollering
and rushed out to see my van engulfed in flames. My dog meant everything to me,
and he was trapped. I tried to get to the van, but people restrained me.
I heard someone shouting, 'The dog is safe! The dog is safe!' I looked over, and
there was this man I'd never seen before, holding my dog. He had risked his own
life to get my dog out. I'll forever be in his debt. Just when you don't think
there are heroes any more, one comes along. "I vowed then and there that
if I ever had the chance to do someone a good turn when it came to a beloved pet,
that I would. When I heard about Samson and his family, I knew this was my chance,
so here I am."
shelter staff was amazed. They all knew about the van rescue story. It had been
in all the papers, and the shelter had even given the rescuer a reward, but they
had never dreamed that Samson's angel was connected to this earlier good deed.
few days later, Samson and his angel were on their way. The dog seemed to know
he was going home, because his ears perked up and his eyes were brighter than
they had been in some time.
before Christmas, the mail brought one of the best cards the shelter had ever
received. Along with a thank-you note were photos of a deliriously happy Samson
romping with his family in the snow and snuggling with them by their Christmas
tree. Samson was truly where he belonged, and the staff knew he would live out
his days happily there.
also knew that Samson's journey home was a true Christmas miracle, and that angels
and heroes may still appear when you need them, even in the most
Crystal Ward Kent www.KentCreativeWeb.com
Contributed by Jane at www.The-Cats-Meow.com
To Read Many More Heartwarming Stories & Poetry
Yes You Can!
EMBRACE THE RADIANCE
OF A SHERPA
in the Himalayan mountains, Sherpas carry unbelievable weights over great distances,
laughing as they go. Some have climbed Everest several times, even with physical
disabilities. Stalwart guides and porters, they scale the highest peaks, guiding
others beyond all self-limitation. They are courageous, cheerful, and willing
to put their life on the line. Climbing the highest mountain is their passion.
It is in their blood. They embody the maxim, "The trek upward is worth the
inconvenience," and their good-heartedness is contagious.
these Sherpas, we each have our own Everest to climb, and people who count on
us to carry them forward. Maybe it's a child, an elderly parent, or coworkers
on the job, especially when the going gets tough. How we process the challenges
life brings to us directly impacts our journey through life. Are we willing to
take the high road, to become a shining example? What are we willing to pledge
or to give up? How far are will we go to love authentically and leave footprints
for others to follow?
a Sherpa means striving to greet adversity with joy. It means sacrificing the
enemy within that would derail our best efforts. It's a little like Jedi training,
that impels us to embrace our higher self, to serve others and to surrender to
our highest blueprint. Following the Himalayan Sherpas on the best and worst of
days boils down to twelve principles.
first principle is to pursue self knowledge. To become radiant Sherpas, we
must first get to know ourselves, to be ready to face our dark side, even if this
brings temporary discomfort. The more honest we become with ourselves, the more
sincerely we can help others.
second principle is to greet crisis as an opportunity. Sherpas understand
that every crisis provides an opportunity to come up higher. Likewise, our personal
growth is commensurate to our willingness to change. When conflict knocks at our
door, we do not hide. We vigorously pursue resolution that brings everyone up
a notch or two.
third principle is taking responsibility. We can't hide from what we say and
do, or even from what we think. We understand that at a deep level, every circumstance
and interaction that come into life, both pleasant and adverse, is somehow a result
of a cause that we previously set in motion. Sherpas do not shrink back from that
responsibility. They make the best of it.
fourth principle is mastering our thoughts, words, and feelings. Thoughts,
words and feelings impact us in many seen and unseen ways, and even affect our
overall health. You can't reach the summit of the Himalayas or of the mountain
of life if you don't get on top of these three.
The fifth principle is leading from the heart. Research shows that our
heart has its own intelligence, and that when we ask our heart for guidance, we
can actually surpass anything our minds would have come up with. Without fanning
the fires of the heart, Sherpas could not succeed.
sixth principle is being a co-creator. Sherpas consult the mountain before
heading upward. They do not take unnecessary risks. They are humble before Nature
and her divine Spirit. They know that to reach the top, their quest must harmonize
with Life. Likewise, we are co-creators. We can do nothing of lasting value, unless
we seek out and honor divine guidance.
seventh principle is letting go. The serenity prayer attributed to Saint Francis
resonates as a Sherpa way of living. "God grant me the serenity to accept
the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom
to know the difference." As we face the twists and turns in our road of life,
we must embrace this wisdom. We will find much solace if we honor the middle way
between being a doer, taking responsibility and surrendering to a higher Will.
eighth principle is faith in re-creation. Like the weather at high altitudes,
we change minute by minute. If we stubbornly hold onto an idea of the past, we
can get stuck. Without forgiveness, there can be no freedom. It is best to learn
from the past and move on. We liberate ourselves and others when we give everyone
ninth principle is to embrace the web of life. Antakharana is a Sanskrit
term for the "web of life." It implies that everything we do, both seen
and unseen, impacts every other part of life because we are all connected. Sherpas
know that as they change, so will others, even if it is imperceptible at first.
That is why their goodwill is contagious, and why it has been said that in their
presence, dreams of a better life suddenly seem less foolish.
tenth principle is to influence by example. As they lead Westerners up the
mountain, Sherpas know that modeling is the only effective way to teach. Truly,
we are most effective when we practice what we preach. Knowing that we can't effectively
teach what we haven't become, we are goaded to come up higher, not only for ourselves
but also for all who depend upon us.
eleventh principle is displayed when the four faces of God shine through us.
There are four pathways to our authentic self. As we open these pathways we become
chalices for our highest potential. Like the Sherpas, we become self-disciplined
ones, expressing God as the Loving Father, the essence of protection and direction.
We embrace adventure and courage as the Loved Boychild. We nurture teach and guide
those in our charge as the Loving Mother. And we rely on our Loved Girlchild's
intuition, caring and finesse to make sure everyone makes it back to camp safely.
The twelfth and most important Sherpa principle is to serve others first. Sherpas
have gladly laid down their lives for those in their care. They deeply understand
what it means to be their brother's keeper. They know that only through helping
others can one fulfill his or her reason for being.
matter what your stage on the mountain of life, whether sun rays come to warm
you or an avalanche approaches, may you embrace the principles of the radiant
Sherpas and keep on keeping on.
Emmanuel Grey leads Radiant Sherpa retreats. She co-authored the books
We Do What We Do: Four Pathways to Your Authentic Self, and The
Psychology of Success:
Tapping the Blueprint of Your Highest Self. Find
out more about how you can become a radiant
Sherpa and improve your life,
your relationships and your spiritual connection by visiting www.InnerFamilyArchetypes.com
or by writing to email@example.com
Gallarus Oratory (house of prayer) is the most perfectly preserved type of drystone
oratory built entirely without mortar. The technique is called corbelling, which
is a vault formed by piling rocks in horizontal courses, cantilevered inward until
the two walls meet in a pointed arch. The vault is held in place by the weight
of the rocks themselves. Although the Dingle Peninsula, County Kerry, is exposed
to the fierce winds and rains from the Atlantic Ocean, the interior of the Gallarus
Oratory is perfectly dry and silent, a testament to the skills of its builders.
Of the many heritage sites on the peninsula Gallarus is unique in its setting
and mystique. Gallarus is situated in natural farmland overlooking Smerwick Harbour
and exposed to the winds and Atlantic weather for over 1200 years. The building
of stone without mortar is still waterproof. From the inside you experience the
feeling of time gone by as you wonder at this masterpiece of stone work. Nearby
is the farmhouse where the farm folk who cultivated the surrounding fields lived
in modest settings. Toiling their livelihood from soil was as hard then as it
would be today without farm machinery. But they persisted at their work and prayed
in their oratory and today their culture and language survives. With the passage
of time farming has changed and declined and today the dwellings used by previous
generations are now open to visitors.
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WHAT A SITE!
"Planting Peace, Harvesting Hope"
Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Professor Wangari Maathai was once denounced as a "mad
woman" for her innovative, unwavering stances on human rights and the environment
but now Professor Maathai has now joined forces with Kenyan government in an effort
for improved human life. In her interview with Heifer International staff, she
shares her amazing story and exemplifies her own personal belief that each of
us posses the goodness and power to change the world. Read her inspirational story
Since Windows 98 a feature was included for changing the buttons on your mouse,
allowing you to replicate the feel of the right-handed mouse (like having the
primary mouse click be your pointer finger). To switch buttons on your mouse to
a left-handed configuration in Windows 98 & ME, go to Start, Settings,
Control Panel and double-click the Mouse icon. On the Buttons tab,
choose the Left-handed setting under "Button Configuration". Windows
XP users go to Start, Control Panel, "Printers and Other Hardware"
(if in category view), then Mouse. Go to "Button Actions" and
change the Left button action to "Right Click" and the Right button
action to "Left Click". (Don't be surprised if your user interface looks
different. Just look around, the feature should be there somewhere).
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is a selection from a book called "Then
Some Other Stuff Happened: A New History of America, Sort Of"
, a collection of short pieces about history written by eighth graders and compiled
by Bill Lawrence, a teacher and columnist
Pilgrams were a bunch of English wonderers who wanted to worship as they wanted
to. They excaped the Church of England and came over here because they heard that
American churches were different."
May Flower was the ship with which they came in. It didn't have a bathroom on
board so there was quite an oder. Priscillia Mullins was the captain."
the Pilgrams had gone to Holland, but left when their children started developing
customs there. After a stopover at Williamsbug when a large storm blew them off
course they landed on a big, slimey rock in Massatusetts. They spent the winter
they got off the ship even they drew up an agreement for the people of Plymouth
to agree on the voting for governors and congressmen. They kept this hid in the
May Flower Compact. Lord Delaware was elected the first governor of Plymouth Rock."
friendly Indian named Rhone Oak showed the Pilgrams how to plant corn by putting
it in the ground. Rhone Oak had been the first Indian to come to America and always
wanted a beer. He traveled around with Miles Standy and translated language. He
knew enough English to interupt."
interupter for the white man was Squanto, who was called that because he was so
short. Squanto drew up a declaration to give the settlers freedom of goverment
in the new land. The Pilgrams gave the Indians thanks for all this and that's
what started Thanksgiving."
Pilgrams then appointed Thanksgiving as a national holiday. Abraham Lincoln later
pronounced it and gave it to them and it soon became a national holiday all around
people always wore old shoes with a big buckel on the top of them. The men wore
pants that only came a little ways past the knees and the girls wore funny bonets.
But if these people wouldn't had of come to America the United States wouldn't
be like it is today."
THE FALLING LEAVES
Joyful Lifestyles: Weekly Insights
FEELING ALONE & LONELY THIS HOLIDAY SEASON?
months ago I had lunch with best-selling author Margaret
Paul, Ph.D.. We discovered that we share a love for Santa Fe, New Mexico,
and have very similar philosophies about life. In 1988 Dr. Paul, along with Dr.
Erika Chopich, developed a transformational six-step spiritual pathway that creates
a powerful connection with your core Self and your Higher Guidance. This process,
called INNER BONDING, leads to healing core shame, anger and pain, while opening
a door to the sacred privilege of expressing your love and gifts upon the planet.
In an issue of Dr. Paul's Inner Bonding Journal, she writes:
alone is a challenge for many people. This challenge may loom especially large
during the holidays if you are single or newly divorced and without family around
you. Holidays are a time to share love, and many people end up feeling depressed
when they do not have people around with whom to share love. If you are in this
situation, what can you do to make the holidays joyous rather than depressing?
key phrase here is SHARE LOVE. Too often people think in terms of getting love
rather than giving and sharing their love. They don't realize that it is the act
of giving their love that is so very fulfilling.
had grown up very lonely in an emotionally distant family, with parents who did
not freely give their love and relatives who were also cold and distant. She had
married an emotionally distant man, and after 7 years of more loneliness, had
decided to leave him. This was her first holiday season alone. Gail decided that
she was not going to be alone and lonely again this holiday season. She did some
research on service agencies that needed volunteers and discovered a women's shelter
in her area for women and their children who were hiding from physically abusive
husbands. The shelter was badly in need of funds for food, which Gail didn't have.
What she did have was the time to help gather food. Each day, after her job as
a secretary, Gail went around to the markets in her area until she found some
willing to donate Thanksgiving dinners for the mothers and their children. Then,
on Thanksgiving Day, she spent her time at the shelter cooking, decorating, serving,
and having Thanksgiving dinner with these brave women who had left their abusive
husbands to save themselves and their children. It was the best Thanksgiving she
ever had! By choosing to share her love with people who needed her, she felt filled
with love. Gail had such a fulfilling experience that she found a small part-time
job in addition to her regular job so that she could afford to buy presents for
the children at the shelter for Christmas. She had such fun buying presents for
the children and watching their joyous little faces as they opened them on Christmas
day! Gail felt anything but alone and lonely.
was in a similar situation to Gail. He was single, had been an only child to parents
who were no longer alive, and had no close relatives. His janitorial business
did not give him much opportunity to make friends. Gary had spent many lonely
holidays feeling isolated and depressed, and decided a few years ago to do something
about it. Gary loved animals. As a child, his dog had been his main connection
with love. After some research, Gary discovered that there was a wonderful animal
shelter within a half-hour of his home a shelter that loved and cared for
animals and didn't euthanize them. Gary started to volunteer one day a week on
the weekends - cleaning, feeding, playing with puppies and kittens, helping to
interview people who wanted to adopt a pet, and getting to know the other volunteers.
He found that he really connected with the people who volunteered there. Many
of them were loving people who were deeply devoted to caring for animals. As his
friendships developed, he found he had a new sense of family centered around the
shelter. Thanksgiving and Christmas were now sometimes spent with the other volunteers
who did not have families, and sometimes with the families of some of the volunteers.
Gary's life had become full and fulfilling. The last I heard, he was dating a
woman who also volunteered at the animal shelter.
matter what your life situation is, you can always share your love with others.
Instead of feeling alone and lonely this holiday season, open your heart to giving.
There are many people and animals out there who would welcome your love."
(Dr. Paul is the author/co-author of : Do
I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By You?, Inner
Your Aloneness, Do
I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By My Kids? and her newest book, Do
I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By God?. Visit her website at www.Innerbonding.com
Inspiration Line's Editor
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