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in life has nothing to do with
what you gain in life or accomplish for yourself.
It's what you do for others."
~ Danny Thomas, Entertainer/Humanitarian (1914-1991)
November 29, 2004
THIS WEEK'S ISSUE
From the Inside Out...
Yes You Can!...
Jukkasjärvi's Ice Hotel
Untangling the Web...
What a Site!
Just for YOU...
Great Gift Giving
Horns of Plenty
Laughing It Off...
Daily Security Alerts
Alone for the
BE the World
You Want to See!
radiate from many an
unexpected source ...
because a person
does not need to
be 'perfect' to be
~ Chelle ~
From the Inside Out
SOMETHING FOR STEVIE
try not to be biased, but I had my doubts about hiring Stevie. His
placement counselor assured me that he would be a good, reliable
busboy. But I had never had a mentally handicapped employee and
wasn't sure I wanted one. I wasn't sure how my customers would react
to Stevie. He was short, a little dumpy, with the smooth facial
features and thick-tongued speech of Down syndrome. I wasn't worried
about most of my trucker customers, because truckers don't generally
care who buses tables as long as the meatloaf platter is good and
the pies are homemade. The four-wheeler drivers were the ones who
concerned me; the mouthy college kids traveling to school; the yuppie
snobs who secretly polish their silverware with their napkins for
fear of catching some dreaded "truckstop germ;" the pairs
of white-shirted business men on expense accounts who think every
truckstop waitress wants to be flirted with. I knew those people
would be uncomfortable around Stevie, so I closely watched him for
the first few weeks.
shouldn't have worried. After the first week, Stevie had my staff
wrapped around his stubby little finger, and within a month my truck
regulars had adopted him as their official truckstop mascot. After
that I really didn't care what the rest of the customers thought
of him. He was like a 21-year-old in blue jeans and Nikes, eager
to laugh and eager to please, but fierce in his attention to his
duties. Every salt and pepper shaker was exactly in its place, not
a bread crumb or coffee spill was visible, when Stevie got done
with the table. Our only problem was convincing him to wait to clean
a table until after the customers were finished. He would hover
in the background, shifting his weight from one foot to the other,
scanning the dining room until a table was empty. Then he would
scurry to the empty table and carefully bus the dishes and glasses
onto cart and meticulously wipe the table up with a practiced flourish
of his rag. If he thought a customer was watching, his brow would
pucker with added concentration. He took pride in doing his job
exactly right, and you had to love how hard he tried to please each
and every person he met. Over time, we learned that he lived with
his mother, a widow who was disabled after repeated surgeries for
cancer. They lived on their Social Security benefits in public housing
two miles from the truckstop. Their social worker, who stopped to
check on him every so often, admitted they had fallen between the
cracks. Money was tight, and what I paid him was the probably the
difference between them being able to live together and Stevie being
sent to a group home.
why the restaurant was a gloomy place that morning last August,
the first morning in three years that Stevie missed work. He was
at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester getting a new valve or something
put in his heart. His social worker said that people with Down syndrome
often had heart problems at a early age, so this wasn't unexpected,
and there was a good chance he would come through the surgery in
good shape and be back at work in a few months. A ripple of excitement
ran through the staff later that morning when word came that he
was out of surgery, in recovery and doing fine. Frannie, my head
waitress, let out a war whoop and did a little dance the aisle when
she heard the good news. Belle Ringer, one of our regular trucker
customers, stared at the sight of the 50-year-old Grandmother of
four doing a victory shimmy beside his table. Frannie blushed, smoothed
her apron and shot Belle Ringer a withering look.
grinned. "Okay, Frannie, what was that all about?" he
asked. "We just got word that Stevie is out of surgery and
going to be okay. I was wondering where he was. I had a new joke
to tell him. What was the surgery about?" Frannie quickly told
Belle Ringer and the other two drivers sitting at his booth about
Stevie's surgery, then sighed. "Yeah, I m glad he is going
to be okay," she said, "but I don't know how he and his
mom are going to handle all the bills. From what I hear, they're
barely getting by as it is." Belle
Ringer nodded thoughtfully, and Frannie hurried off to wait on the
rest of her tables.
I hadn't had time to round up a busboy to replace Stevie, and really
didn't want to replace him, the girls were busing their own tables
that day until we decided what to do. After the morning rush, Frannie
walked into my office. She had a couple of paper napkins in her
hand a funny look on her face. "What's up?" I asked. "I
didn't get that table where Belle Ringer and his friends were sitting
cleared off after they left, and Pony Pete and Tony Tipper were
sitting there when I got back to clean it off, " she said,
" This was folded and tucked under a coffee cup." She
handed the napkin to me, and three $20 fell onto my desk when I
opened it. On the outside, in big, bold letters, was printed Something
For Stevie. "Pony Pete asked me what that was all about,"
she said, "so I told him about Stevie and his mom and everything,
and Pete looked at Tony and Tony looked at Pete, and they ended
up giving me this." She handed me another paper napkin that
had "Something For Stevie" scrawled on its outside.
Two $50 bills were tucked within its folds. Frannie looked at me
with wet, shiny eyes, shook her head and said simply, "Truckers."
was three months ago. Today is Thanksgiving, the first day Stevie
is supposed to be back to work. His placement worker said he's been
counting the days until the doctor said he could work, and it didn't
matter at all that it was a holiday. He called 10 times in the past
week, making sure we knew he was coming, fearful that we had forgotten
him or that his job was in jeopardy. I arranged to have his mother
bring him to work, met them in the parking lot and invited them
both to celebrate his day back. Stevie was thinner and paler, but
couldn't stop grinning as he pushed through the doors and headed
for the back room where his apron and busing cart were waiting.
"Hold up there, Stevie, not so fast, "I said. I took him
and his mother by their arms. "Work can wait for a minute.
To celebrate you coming back, breakfast for you and your mother
is on me. I led them toward a large corner booth at the rear of
the room. I could feel and hear the rest of the staff following
behind as we marched through the dining room. Glancing over my shoulder,
I saw booth after booth of grinning truckers empty and join the
stopped in front of the big table; its surface covered with coffee
cups, saucers and dinner plates, all sitting slightly crooked on
dozens of folded paper napkins. "First thing you have to do,
Stevie, is clean up this mess," I said, trying to sound stern.
Stevie looked at me, and then at his mother, then pulled out one
of the napkins. It had "Something for Stevie" printed
on the outside. As he picked it up, two $10 bills fell onto the
table. Stevie stared at the money, then at all the napkins peeking
from beneath the tableware, each with his name printed or scrawled
on it. I turned to his mother. "There's over $10, 000 in cash
and checks on that table, all from truckers and trucking companies
that heard about your problems. Happy Thanksgiving!" Well,
it got real noisy about that time, with everybody hollering and
shouting, and there were a few tears, as well. But you know what's
funny? While everybody else was busy shaking hands and hugging each
other, Stevie, with a big, big smile on his face, was busy clearing
all the cups and dishes from the table... best worker I ever hired.
Dan Anderson, November, 1998
Read More: Stories
for a Faithful Heart by Alice Gray
Yes You Can!
LEAVE BEHIND GREAT
woman announced, "I intend to live forever! So far so good.."
But the length of our lives is not the real issue; it's the quality
and meaning that matter. Not the years in a life, but the life in
asked what he wanted to be remembered for when his life was over,
Leo Buscaglia replied, "I want to be remembered as somebody
who lived life fully and with passion. I've been asked to write
my epitaph and I have always thought that the perfect one for my
tombstone would be, 'Here lies Leo who died living.'"
want to die living. And I want to be remembered as one who lived
with purpose, joy and verve. I want to spend my time learning what
goes into a whole and happy life, then building that life the best
Tony Campolo told about a study in which fifty people over the age
of 90 were asked to reflect upon their lives. "If you had it
to do over again," they were asked, "what would you do
differently?" Though there were many answers, three responses
dominated. Here they are:
many respondents answered, "I would reflect more." Do
you ever feel that too much time is spent in "doing" and
not enough spent thinking about what you are doing and why you are
they said, "I would risk more." Do you think that important
opportunities either have been or might be forfeited because of
your fear to take a necessary risk?
they said, "I would do more things that would live on after
I died." Do you feel that you are immersed in something bigger
and more enduring than your own existence?
more. Risk more. Leave a legacy. These are what our elders say they
would do the second time around.
why wait for a second time around? Every new day is a second chance!
Reflect more today it will reveal to you what is truly important.
Risk more today take a chance on making that dream come alive.
Get involved with something which makes a difference in this world
and a beautiful legacy is what you will leave behind.
Leo Buscaglia, I want to live fully and with passion. And if all
my plans don't work out as I had hoped, I'm still betting that I
will have more fun!
Hubbel Chapin once said, "Every action of our lives touches
on some chord that will vibrate in eternity." That is the definition
of a legacy. Wouldn't you love to do something that might strike
a beautiful chord that will "vibrate in eternity"?
discovered something about legacies ... generous people leave great
legacies. I read about a couple in Canada who stopped to help a
motorist who had run out of gasoline. It was a regular occurrence
in their part of rural Canada. After they got him on his way, they
bought a new fuel can, scratched their initials on it, filled it
with petrol and stored it in the trunk of their car.
few months later they again stopped to assist a stranded motorist.
But this time they GAVE him their gas can and told him to fill it
up, keep it with him and pass it along to the next motorist he sees
who has run out of fuel.
they never expected to see their can again, in a couple of years
they spotted it being passed along to a grateful motorist on the
road. They recognized it several more times over the years, and
each time they asked its owner where it had come from. They ascertained
that the can had traveled across the continent at least two times!
never intended to leave a legacy. When they bought the fuel can
they never dreamed that their action might strike chords that could
vibrate in eternity. But that container may still be traveling around
it might not seem like a big thing, but many motorists have been
saved by the generosity of complete strangers who stop to help.
Then each in turn has taken the container, re-filled it, and diligently
looked, perhaps for days or weeks, for an opportunity to pass it
along. Good will generated by a humble can of fuel has no doubt
been multiplied many times in countless ways, striking beautiful
chords that vibrate forever.
true generous people leave great legacies. Even that small
piece of yourself you generously give away may thrive in surprising
ways throughout eternity.
Steve Goodier © 2004 www.LifeSupportSystem.com
sharing inspirational stories, motivational
quotes, links and
positive resources to help you make your life ... the life of your
Jukkasjärvi, a quaint, little village in Swedish Lapland,
lies 200 km north of the Arctic Circle by the River Torne. 400
years ago, Jukkasjärvi was a popular village meeting place
for Lapland's settlers and hunters. Jukkasjärvi in Sami (Lappish)
means "meeting place," which is what the former Sami
village has been for half a millennium. Today, it is home to the
worlds largest igloo the incredible Ice Hotel. While
staying at the Ice Hotel, youll sleep soundly on a solid
bed of ice insulated by several soft mattresses and reindeer hides.
The hotel features an art gallery, ice bar, cinema and chapel.
Next door, the Ice Church is a consecrated room of snow and ice
which hosts religious services, christenings and about 150 weddings
a year. The first is held on December 26 and the last will be
in early April, before the sun becomes strong enough to melt the
entire complex. Those who stay in Jukkasjärvi for the honeymoon
can explore the fantastic surroundings by cross-country skis,
snowmobile or dog sled. The hotel also offers excursions to view
the Aurora Borealis, nature's own light show, that is best viewed
near the poles. There also are ice sculpting classes and visits
to the reindeer-herding Sami.
WHAT A SITE!
"Ending Hunger Caring for the Earth"
In 1944, the first shipment of
left Pennsylvania for Puerto Rico, for malnourished children
who had never even tasted milk. Heifer works to provide animals
ranging from snails and silkworms to elephants and water buffalo.
Today, millions of people in 125 countries are
experiencing better health, more income and the joy of helping
others. Heifer helps impoverished families feed themselves,
earn income and care for their environment. Like a stone dropped
into still water, your gift ripples out for years to come, ending
poverty, hunger and despair.
The Most Important Gift Catalog in
recommended by Chelle, Inspiration Line Editor)
New Programs in Windows...
installing a new program in Windows it is recommended that you
close all running programs. Actually, you probably don't need
to close each and every program on your system. I do installs
all the time with stuff running (not just background programs).
I only close all my programs if I run into a snag during installation.
If you still feel the need to get everything shut down, hit
CTRL-ALT-DEL. Shut down everything but Explorer and Systray
then go ahead and install. Just reboot your computer to get
it all back. You could also right click each program in your
system tray (by the clock) and select "close" or "disable"
on everything but your monitor and sound. ~WorldStart.com
Holiday Ideas Just for
GREAT GIFT GIVING
Magic of Intention
a book that explains
the power of Intention and helps you create your
own Success by Intention:
and listen to the reviews
Janin, Author and
Creativity Life Coach Presents:
Book for Success Now!
Circle of Success Bracelet
the two and you will see
your heart's desire manifesting...
Karin's Store Today
HORNS OF PLENTY FOR EVERYONE
a whole world beyond ROFL
on the Floor Laughing"
some of these new abbreviations
to amuse your friends and yourself ...
Rolling On The Floor For No Apparent Reason
Rolling On the Floor Laughing And Holding My Sides
Rolling On the Floor Laughing And Scaring The Cat (or ROFLASTD =
Rolling On The Floor Laughing Scaring The Cat If I Had One
Rolling On Floor Laughing My Head Off With Tears In My Eyes
Rolling On Floor Laughing And Spitting All Over The Place
Rolling On Floor Laughing Hysterically Out Loud Collecting Cat Fur
(or ROFLHOLCDF = Dog Fur)
Rolling On Floor Laughing Unable to Speak
Rolling On Floor And Can't Get Up
Rolling On Floor Laughing My Head Off At You
Rolling On Floor Laughing So Hard I Peed My Pants
Rolling On Floor Laughing At Myself
DAILY SECURITY ALERTS
Joyful Lifestyles: Weekly Insights
ALONE FOR THE HOLIDAYS?
friend and associate, Author, Dr.
Margaret Paul (who also lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico)
offers a transformational six-step spiritual process for healing
relationships, aloneness, addictions and trauma. Regarding difficulties
that many of us experience during holiday time, Dr. Paul writes,
"Being alone for the holidays is a major challenge for
many people. Holidays often conjure images of family, of warmth
and the sharing of special time. Loneliness can be overwhelming
when you have no one with whom to share holiday time. Many people,
however, miss the point of what holidays are really about and
what makes them special. Holidays are not about what you GET
they are about what you GIVE. Many people are under the
misconception that the joy of holidays is about what you receive
rather than about what you share. Our hearts get filled with
love when we give and share love, rather than from getting love.
may seem like a paradox. Many people spend their time with others
attempting to get love, attention and approval, thinking that
this is what makes them feel happy and worthy. But getting attention
from others to fill ourselves is like eating chocolate when
you are lonely it works for the moment but then you need
more and more of it. Eventually it becomes an addiction. What
really fills the emptiness is the giving of love. If you are
alone over the holidays, the question becomes, "How can
I give love in ways that will bring me joy?" Below are
some suggestions for sharing your love and caring over the holidays:
Gather toys from friends and store donations and bring them
to children who would not otherwise have toys. You can find
these children through schools, churches and various other organizations.
* Find a battered women's shelter in your area and help
to create the holiday there - preparing food, decorating the
tree, and just spending time with them. Last year a friend of
mine organized a number of her local markets to donate food
over Christmas to the local shelter that housed mothers and
their children who had left abusive husbands. She got to know
the mothers and children and received great fulfillment in providing
them with an abundant Christmas.
* Spend time with old people in nursing homes, especially
those who have no family. Spending time caring about another
lonely person will go a long way toward taking away your loneliness!
* Volunteer to help with serving food to the needy over
Christmas and Thanksgiving. Many churches and other charitable
organizations welcome volunteers to help in food lines over
* Locate a retreat center near you that has a special
event over the holidays and share your time with other people
who are also alone for the holidays. Last year a friend of mine,
who had just left her husband and was alone for the first time
with no family around her, went to a beautiful retreat center
on the East Coast. Twenty people gathered there to share Thanksgiving
together. There was a wonderful ceremony of gratitude that she
said filled her heart, and she enjoyed sharing time with new
* Find a church, temple or 12-step group in your area
that has special events for singles over the holidays. Go to
these events with the intention of sharing your caring with
others, which you can do just by being interested in listening
to another person. We all love being listened to and understood,
and all of us have the capacity to give this to another.
of my all-time favorite movies is "A Christmas Carol,"
the one starring Alistair Sim. I just love the scene
on Christmas morning when Scrooge realizes that no time has
passed and he has the opportunity to give. He feels such joy
at the prospect of giving, that he can hardly stand it! He dances
around and stands on his head and laughs and laughs with the
joy of giving! In one night he went from being a miserable old
man concerned only with getting, to a man now focused only on
giving, and he became a joyful person. While you might not have
money to give, we all have caring to give. You have no idea
how much you might enrich your own life as well as another person's
life just by giving your time, your attention, your interest,
your smile, your understanding. Whatever your life circumstances,
you always have the opportunity to give your caring. You will
discover that giving your caring to others, especially over
the holidays, is a profound way of caring about yourself."
~Dr. Margaret Paul, Author/co-author of several best-selling
books, including: Do
I Have to Give Up Me to Be Loved by You? ; Inner
Bonding : Becoming a Loving Adult to Your Inner Child
I Have to Give Up Me to Be Loved by My Kids?; Healing
Your Aloneness: Finding Love & Wholeness Through Your Inner
Child ; Do
I Have To Give Up ME to be Loved by GOD? Visit Dr. Paul's website at www.InnerBonding.com
~ Chelle ("Shay") Thompson, Editor
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