Tuesday, August 30, 2011


The window display of a Japanese collectibles store - “A habit cannot be tossed out the window; it must be coaxed down the stairs a step at a time.”

Winston Churchill said, "We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight
on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the
streets, we shall fight in the hills." Like humorist Bob Orben added,
"That sounds a lot like our family vacations." And for some people it
sounds like everyday life.

The problem is not whether families should have conflict - of course
they will! The problem is rather whether or not those conflicts will
end. For some people, living in families is like the Hundred Year War.
Conflict that has a good ending can bring people closer together, but
fighting that goes on and on will only tear families apart.

At one point during a game, the coach said to one of his young
players, "Do you understand what cooperation is? What a team is?" The
little boy nodded yes.

"Do you understand that what matters is whether we win together as a
team?" The little boy nodded yes.

"So," the coach continued, "when a strike is called, or you are out at
first, you don't argue or curse or attack the umpire. Do you
understand all that?" Again, the boy nodded yes.

"Good," said the coach. "Now go over there and explain it to your

Families are like baseball teams. The only way a family will win is as
a team. They win pulling together; they never win pushing against each

If your family has conflict – talk it out. Then when it's over, let it
really be over so you can pull together. That is the only way your
family will win!

From Lifesupport

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Sunday, August 28, 2011


Master Grade Sword Impulse Gundam model kit - “Only one who devotes himself to a cause with his whole strength and soul can be a true master. For this reason mastery demands all of a person.”

Did you hear about the man who attempted skydiving for the first
time? His parachute didn't open. Then his auxiliary chute failed. Now
he found himself in free fall with no more options.

Then a strange thing happened. He spotted something coming up towards
him from the ground at a high rate of speed. It was a man! When he
was sure they would pass one another without a collision, he shouted
down to the figure, "Do you know anything about parachutes?"

"No!" the man called back. "Do you know anything about gas stoves?"

A little bit of technological knowledge could have been helpful in
both cases. But it has never just been about how much we know.

I read that the world's body of knowledge doubled from 1900 to 1950.
In other words, knowledge that took thousands of years to accumulate
doubled in only fifty years. It then doubled again between 1950 and
1965. In just fifteen years. It is estimated that the world's body of
knowledge doubled once more between 1965 and 1970 and now doubles
every five years. Amazing! We can never keep up with all there is to

But perhaps more important than how much any of us knows is how
consistently we act on the knowledge we have. We certainly need
enough knowledge to live fruitful and constructive lives, but even
knowledge will not serve well if we neglect to use it.

You may know that material things don't bring lasting happiness. Will
you actively pursue things of the heart and spirit?

You may know peace comes when you forgive. Will you decide to put
down that grudge and leave it behind?

You may know that any decision made from fear alone is likely to be
wrong. Will you choose the path of courage, even if that path seems
hard to navigate?

Most of us know important principles about effective living. But in
the end, what we know to be true is of no consequence - the decisions
we make are everything. And if we apply well even the little we know,
we can be healthy, happy and hopeful.

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Lifesigns Life Quotes

Friday, August 26, 2011


Gardening spades for sale - “Gardening requires lots of water - most of it in the form of perspiration.”

One woman describes herself as "Five feet, three inches tall and
pleasingly plump." After she had a minor accident, her mother
accompanied her to the hospital emergency room. The admitting nurse
asked for her height and weight, and she blurted out,
"Five-foot-eight, 125 pounds."

The nurse pondered over this information and looked over the patient.
Then the woman's mother leaned over to her and gently chided,
"Sweetheart, this is not the Internet."

If you could change your appearance in life as easily as you can make
one up on the Internet, would you remake yourself? We live in an age
when people are increasingly dissatisfied with their bodies. They want
liposuction, face lifts, tummy tucks, silicon implants and cosmetic
surgery – too often for no other reason than to look like someone

And don't think I am only talking about women. Men too place great
emphasis on their bodies. Studies show that in 1972, one in six men
didn't like their appearance; today, almost 50% of men surveyed
reported being unhappy with their looks. According to the book THE
ADONIS COMPLEX New York: The Free Press, 2000), more and more men are
feeling insecure about their appearance. In 1996, over 700,000 men had
some cosmetic surgery – often in an unhealthy attempt to fix a
perceived flaw that nobody else noticed. Eating disorders and steroid
abuse are all too common among males.

Authors Harrison Pope, Katharine Phillips, and Robert Olivardia did an
experiment in which men were asked to take a computer image of an
ordinary man and add muscle mass to him until he was the size these
men wanted to be. On average, the men packed about 28 more pounds of
muscle mass on the computer image; women, on the other hand, only
added a negligible amount of muscles to the image to create their
ideal guy.

Poet Khalil Gibran said, "Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light
in the heart." When we choose to believe that our most attractive
qualities lie within, we can let go of those unrealistic expectations
of our bodies. Care for your body; you'll keep it for the rest of your
life. Be thankful for it and treat it well. But remember, the real
you, the essence of you, cannot be improved by a bottle, a pill or a
salon. It is a beautiful and glorious light shining from your heart to
the heart of the world. Cherish it. And let it shine.

From Lifesupport

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Bugis Street Singapore - “I met in the street a very poor young man who was in love. His hat was old, his coat worn, his cloak was out at the elbows, the water passed through his shoes, - and the stars through his soul.”

This is the age
Of the half-read page.
And the quick hash
And the mad dash.
The bright night
With the nerves tight.
The plane hop
With the brief stop.
The lamp tan
In a short span.
The Big Shot
In a good spot.
And the brain strain
The heart pain.
And the cat naps
Till the spring snaps -
And the fun's done!

Sound familiar? But wait - this poem was actually published in The
Saturday Evening Post in 1949, under the title, "Time of the Mad
Atom." Seems that people were as rushed then as they are now!

Personally, I like the father who decided to slow down and spend some
afternoon time walking with his son. The inquisitive boy used the
opportunity to satisfy his curiosity on a few subjects he'd been
thinking about.

"How does electricity go through those telephone wires, Dad?" he

His father replied, "I don't know. I never knew much about
electricity, Son."

A few blocks further the boy asked, "What causes lightning and

"To tell you the truth," came the reply, "I never understood that

A bit later he asked, "Why do some leaves turn red and others turn
yellow in the Fall?"

"I'm not really sure, Son," his father answered.

Finally, as they were nearing home, the boy said, "Dad, I hope you
don't mind my asking you so many questions."

"Of course not!" exclaimed his father. "How else are you going to

Maybe the old man wasn't a walking encyclopedia, but you have to hand
it to him, he invested some time listening and talking to his son.
Which may be far more valuable than rattling off accurate answers to
questions! The message he gave his boy was: "You are important to me
and I want to spend time with you." It's a matter of finding time.

Whether these are the worst of times or the best of times, these are
the only times we've got. Today, will you find time for that which is

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Lifesigns Life Quotes

Monday, August 22, 2011


Fried wet noodles - “To keep the body in good health is a duty, for otherwise we shall not be able to trim the lamp of wisdom, and keep our mind strong and clear. Water surrounds the lotus flower, but does not wet its petals.”

Imagine an artist painting a winter scene. She depicts a
white, frozen ground and evergreens draped in snow. Her hand brings
the day to a close as she paints night falling on the canvas. In the
deep shadows of dusk, she has painted a grim, log cabin, barely
visible to the casual observer.

Then she dips her brush in yellow paint and, with a few
quick strokes, places a brightly burning lamp in one of the cabin's
windows. Warm rays dance on white snow, now made brighter by the
light. The lonely lamp wholly changes the tone of the picture,
replacing feelings of dark and gloom with warmth and security.

Edith Wharton has said that there are two ways of
spreading the light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.
Sometimes we are candles. We shed light of love and hope. We shine
encour­agement into dark souls. Or we illuminate with in­sight.

But sometimes we reflect the light. We are mirrors to
enable others to see the light of their own goodness and beauty. And
when we have no other light of our own, we are mirrors which re­flect
a greater Light.

For some, the world can be bleak and cold. They feel
frightened, lonely and even hopeless. But it's true that no amount of
darkness can extin­guish the light of one, small candle. You?

From Lifesupport

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Saturday, August 20, 2011


Roadside eatery at night - “Night has brought to those who sleep, only dreams they can not keep.”

Tallulah Bankhead quipped, "Nobody can be exactly like me.
Sometimes even I have trouble doing it." But the truth is...we DO
have trouble being ourselves, don't we? Especially in a world
that wants us to conform. "To be nobody but yourself in a world
that is doing its best day and night into making you like
everybody else," said poet E. E. Cummings, "is to fight the
hardest battle there is and never stop fighting."

One of the deepest cravings of young people, especially teens, is
to be liked by their peers. They want to be accepted. Like all of
us, they want to be valued. It's during those critical teen-age
years, according to Earl Nightingale, that they begin to play a
game called "Follow the Follower." The game is not the same as
"Follow the Leader." Following the follower is about
conforming...talking, dressing, acting and thinking like one
another. Everyone follows everyone else.

In adulthood, we discover who we really are and do our best to
grow into that person. We find our value, not in acceptance by
others, but because we believe in our worth. It's a wonderful day
when we can say in honesty, "I know who I am and I'm glad I am

The lovable children's author Dr. Seuss got it right when he
wrote, "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who
mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." It takes
strength to swim against the tide. It takes courage to speak your
convictions. It takes trust to act on your own intuitions. In the
end, your success will always be a result of your being true to
yourself rather than an imitation of somebody else.

You'll never have to give an account for not being more like your
favorite celebrity, that shining star in your chosen field or
anybody else. However, at the end of my life, the question I
never want to be asked is, "How come you weren't more like you?
You had such great potential. You were a wholly unique person --
an unrepeatable creation. Why you weren't more like you?"

Whatever your ambitions, your greatest success will be derived
from your being the best YOU possible. In a world that wants you
to conform -- be yourself. It's a challenging and rewarding
job...and nobody can do it as well as you.

From Lifesupport

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Ceramic water fountain - “Friendship flourishes at the fountain of forgiveness.”

An American racing enthusiast entered his horse in Britain's famous
Epsom Downs Steeple­chase. Just before the race began, he slipped his
horse a white pellet. The Duke of Marlboro, who was serving as
steward, caught the owner in the act and objected. "I say, old man,
really you can't do that sort of thing over here!"

"Just a harmless sugar lump," the Ameri­can assured him. He gulped one
down himself. "Here, try one," he said.

The Duke took a pill, swallowed it, and seemed satisfied. As the
jockey mounted, the American whispered in his ear, "Son, keep that
horse on the outside and stay out of trouble, be­cause once he starts
running, there ain't nothing that can catch him...except me and the
Duke of Marlboro!"

Do you ever feel that way - running so fast that nothing can catch
you? Our busy and full lives are too often like that; we rush here and
hurry there. We eat fast food. We run our errands. We use e-mail and
put off reading our messages until we have the time. We hurry through
meals and can only give friends "just a minute." We live fast-paced
and anxious lives. Too often, we run so fast we lose our center.

But, in the end, it's not how fast you lived that matters, but how
well you lived. Are you tak­ing time to enjoy? Have you left enough
time for you? Is there time to listen to a friend or visit a relative
in need? Are you leaving time each day to nurture your faith?
Do you need to slow down? After all, the only race that matters goes,
not to those who run it quickly, but to those who run it well.

From Lifesupport

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Stone information plaque - “Love is not written on paper, for paper can be erased. Nor is it etched on stone, for stone can be broken. But it is inscribed on a heart and there it shall remain forever.”

One of my favorite stories comes from pilots Peter Gaylor and
Stephanie Pound of Navajo Aviation. A funny thing occurred once when
they flew their tiny airplane over the bay on an ash-scattering
mission. With them were the two sons, in their twenties, of a late
mother who was being consigned to the winds.

As Stephanie opened the cockpit door, a stiff breeze blew the ashes
back into the plane, dusting the four occupants. A moment's stunned
silence, and then one of the boys sighed, "Just like Mom - she was
always all over everyone."

Maybe it was because she was their mother and believed it was her lot
to correct. Children, especially, may feel that parents are "always
all over them." Few of us particularly like others to point out areas
for improvement. Dr. Norman Vincent Peale said it well: "Most of us
would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism."

I hold that encouragement is often more effective than criticism, and
we should criticize sparingly. But those who are wise will regularly
seek out someone they trust to hold a mirror before them that they may
see themselves more accurately. It is important to know the truth, and
it is often heard better when spoken by one who sincerely cares.

Someone accurately said, "Criticism, like rain, should be gentle
enough to nourish one's growth without destroying one's roots." If you
are in a position to critique, may your words nourish growth.

If you are the one reflected in the mirror, remember that what you see
may be your salvation. Learn what you can and discard the rest. It may
be more enjoyable to be ruined by praise, but what truth you hear will
help you grow.

From Lifesupport

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Sunday, August 14, 2011


Delicious breakfast food - “Feedback is the breakfast of champions.”

Do you remember the story of the sailor who over-imbibed and fell
asleep at his table? His bud­dies smeared a bit of strong smelling
cheese dip on his mustache, which caused him to wake up and look
around. He sniffed and then walked out­side, sniffed again and came
back in, walked out and back in one more time and finally sat back
down in his seat. "It's no use," he said to his friend, "the whole
world stinks!"

Ever felt that way? We have all experienced bad days and horrible
situations. We've felt trapped, helpless and, at times, hopeless. We
may have even believed that the whole world stinks.

But I like the tremendous way one woman has learned to approach
living. She grew up in ex­treme poverty, but was privileged to be in a
Sunday School class taught by a young woman named Alice Freeman
Palmer, who was later to become president of Wellesley College. One
Sunday, the teacher asked the children to find something beautiful in
their homes, and then tell the other children about it the next week.

The following Sunday, when the little girl was asked what she found
that was beautiful at home, she thought of her impoverished condition
and replied, "Nothing. There's nothing beautiful where I live,
except...except the sunshine on our baby's curls."

Years later, long after Mrs. Palmer's un­timely death, her husband was
lecturing at a uni­versity in the western United States. He was
ap­proached by a distinguished looking woman who fondly recalled that
she had been a member of his wife's Sunday School class. "I can
remember that your wife once asked us to find something beautiful in
our homes, and that I came back saying the only beautiful thing I
could find was the sunshine on my sister's curls. But that assignment
your wife made was the turning point in my life. I began to look for
something beautiful wherever I was, and I've been doing it ever
since." That one suggestion turned her life around.

If you have been thinking your "whole world stinks," the daily habit
of looking for some­thing beautiful can help you see the good that is
in the world, and transform your hope into enough positive energy to
build a life that counts.

From Lifesupport

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Friday, August 12, 2011


Chinese porcelain potteries for sale - “Common clay must go through the heat and fire of the furnace to become porcelain. But once porcelain , it can never become clay again.”

You've heard it said, "Be nice to your kids. They'll choose your
nursing home." Well, there may be other and more important reasons for
being careful how we treat one another.

I think that U.S. industrialist Charles M. Schwab may have gotten it
right. At age 72, Schwab was sued for a large sum of money. Many
high-profile persons would have settled out of court, but Schwab went
through with it and eventually won the suit.

Before he left the witness stand, he asked permission of the court to
make a statement of a personal nature.

This is what he said: "I am an old man, and I want to say that ninety
percent of my troubles have been due to my being good to other people.
If you younger folk want to avoid trouble, be hard-boiled and say no
to everybody. You will then walk through life unmolested, but…" and
here a broad smile lit up his face, "you will have to do without
friends, and you won't have much fun."

Maybe that's why Henry James said, "Three things in human life are
important: The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the
third is to be kind." It's a vital part of a whole and happy life.

From Lifesupport

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


View in a busy shopping mall - “The quickest way to know a woman is to go shopping with her.”

Many of us feel passed over in a world that seems to place a high
value on outward beauty. But a short poem by Anthony Ewell
reminds us that physical attractiveness can be over-rated. He

As a beauty I am not a great star,
There are others more handsome by far.
But my face, I don't mind it,
For I am behind it,
It's the people in front who get the jar!"

Maybe you are not the most beautiful person in the world. And
maybe, as the poem suggests, it doesn't matter. There is hidden
beauty in each of us that can be experienced by anybody who cares
to explore.

Several times I have visited a natural wonder that is one of
the largest and most spectacular of its kind in the world.
Carlsbad Caverns is an immense series of limestone caves
extending under much of southern New Mexico (USA). Native Americans
took refuge in the gaping hole that is the main entrance, but they did
not venture far. A hundred years ago settlers in the area were
attracted to the opening by the awesome sight of
hundreds of thousands of bats swarming from the hole every summer
evening. Though a bat guano mining operation was set up, nobody
explored much beyond the bat's dwelling places.

Eventually, a cowboy name Jim White explored deeper. He returned
with fantastic stories of gigantic subterranean chambers,
spectacular cave formations and unbelievably stupendous sights.
Even in 1915, after black and white photographs were taken of the
caverns, many did not believe. The government sent skeptic Robert
Holley to investigate in 1923. He wrote in his final report, "I
am wholly conscious of the feebleness of my efforts to convey in
words the deep conflicting emotions, the feeling of fear and awe,
and the desire for an inspired understanding of the Divine
Creator's work which presents to the human eye such a complex
aggregate of natural wonders."

A whole new world - majestic, wondrous and awe-inspiring - lay
hidden from view. Its unimagined beauty can only be experienced
by exploring beneath the surface.

And so it is with people. We each possess a unique inner beauty
that can be discovered by anyone who cares to explore beneath the
surface. You may have even successfully hidden it from yourself,
but that does not mean it is not there.

Outward looks simply don't matter. Who we really are lays beneath the
outer landscape like a magnificent subterranean palace. When you look
for beauty beneath the surface, you will see what others have missed.
And you will be rewarded beyond measure.

From Lifesupport

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Monday, August 8, 2011


Dog statues garden ornaments for sale - “The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.”

Walking into a noisy classroom, the teacher slapped her hand on the
desk and ordered sharply, "I DEMAND pandemonium!" The class quieted
down immediately. "It isn't what you demand," she later explained,
"but the way you demand it."

It isn't always what you say, but the way you say it. Try saying, "I
love you," with a scowl!

An international tourist came upon a group of people listening to an
orator in the central square of a small European town. The speaker
shouted from a makeshift podium. At one point, his arms waved about
wildly, his stern face turned red and the veins in his neck were

Since he could not speak the language, the now curious tourist asked a
man next to him what the speaker was ranting about. The man pointed to
a church spire in the distance and said, "See that church steeple? The
fellow who is speaking in the square is the pastor of that church.
Right now he is preaching about the love of God!"

It isn't always what you say, but the way you say it. One marriage
counselor sometimes asks couples who have difficulty communicating to
forget words and take 20 minutes and simply look into each other's
face and be silent together. They may see what they have missed:
hurting eyes, longing hearts, unfulfilled dreams, unmet needs, or a
yearning to love and be loved. They learn that deep communication is
more than words.

Who needs to hear what is in your heart? HOW you share it will be as
important as the words you use.

From Lifesupport

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Saturday, August 6, 2011


Bronze statues of workers - “From the backstabbing co-worker to the meddling sister-in-law, you are in charge of how you react to the people and events in your life. You can either give negativity power over your life or you can choose happiness instead. Take control and choose to focus on what is important in your life. Those who cannot live fully often become destroyers of life.”

I recently read of a study of ninety top lead­ers in a variety of
fields. Interviewers were trying to determine just what it is that
sets leaders apart. They discovered that those who rise to the top of
their professions have the never-ending ca­pacity to develop and
improve their skills. In other words, leaders are perpetual learners.

But shouldn't we always walk that path of learning? When do we feel as
if we now know enough? When should personal growth end?

I once visited a friend who had just cele­brated her 80th birthday.
Jessie talked with much enthusiasm about a quilt she had recently
finished making for her great-grandson. She wanted the center square
to be special and asked him what picture he would like for that
square. The little boy replied, "I want a turtle."

Jessie had never made a turtle. "How about a dog?" she suggested. "Or
a house? I can't make a turtle."

"Well, Gramma," he said. "I think you're old enough to learn."

And she did! The finished quilt had a turtle right in the middle!

Jessie was especially proud of that quilt be­cause she learned to do
something new. And she discovered that he was right – she was old
enough to learn!

Are you a perpetual learner? It's part of building a whole and happy

From Lifesupport

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Thursday, August 4, 2011


Pruning shears for sale - “Natural abilities are like natural plants; they need pruning by study”

Gloria Pitzer quips, "In parts of the world, people still pray in the
streets. In this country they're called pedestrians."

The late theologian and educator Henri J. Nouwen said about prayer,
"As we are involved in unceasing thinking, so we are called to
unceasing prayer."

For some people, prayer is like a spare tire. They keep it in the
trunk of their automobile and don't think about it most of the time.
But it's there if they need it. When they have a flat tire they open
the trunk and rely on the spare to get them through the emergency.
Like the soldier in a foxhole: bombs were bursting all around and he
prayed, "Lord, I haven't bothered you in twenty years. Get me out of
this alive and I promise not to bother you for another twenty!"
Prayer is far from unceasing for him; it is more like a spare tire.

For other people, prayer is a road map. Not discreetly tucked away in
small compartment and rarely used. Instead, it is spread out on the
car seat next to the driver and consulted regularly. They understand
that the road map is essential if they are to head the right direction
and stay on the correct path. It is there to guide their lives and
must be used at all times.

People of many faiths practice prayer or meditation along life's
journey. Let it become a frequently used road map rather than a spare
tire and you'll find you end up where you need to be.

From Lifesupport

Lifesigns Life Quotes

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


00 Raiser Super Deformed Gundam Model Kit - “For me, insanity is super sanity. The normal is psychotic. Normal means lack of imagination, lack of creativity.”

One man quipped: "It's not that I'm afraid of dying. It's just that
I've been alive for as long as I can remember, and I'm kind of set in
my ways."

Some people ARE afraid of dying. Others are not concerned about their
death ... but they worry about how they're going to get there. Will
illness linger? Or will it be sudden?

I can't even guess how or when I might die, but knowing my life will
end has actually helped me to live more passionately. I think others
have discovered the same phenomenon.

Journalists Bill and Judith Moyers documented death and dying in the
U.S. They discovered that many terminal patients they interviewed
actually began to live with joy and passion only after they learned
they were dying. Like one man said, "If you are told you will never
see spring again, and you live to see spring, spring takes on a whole
new life." ("Modern Maturity," Sept. /Oct. 2000)

Psychologist Abraham Maslow had a similar experience. After his first
heart attack he realized that his remaining days on earth were short.
He wrote about it to a friend: "My river never seemed so beautiful
(Maslow lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on the Charles River). The
confrontation with death -- and reprieve from it -- makes everything
look so precious, so sacred, so beautiful and I feel more strongly
than ever the impulse to love it, to embrace it, and to let myself be
overwhelmed by it...."

Can you imagine feeling that way? He ends with this remarkable
statement: "Death and its ever present possibility makes love,
passionate love, more possible. I wonder if we could love
passionately, if ecstasy would be possible at all, if we knew we'd
never die."

Why wait until we are told by a doctor that we may not have much time
to live. Aren't we all terminal? We became so at birth. And that is a
wonderful thing to know. For strange as it may seem, knowing life is
all too short can help us to live ... beautifully, meaningfully,

It is a matter of embracing every day as if it were your last. Saying
what needs to be said today. Making plans to do today what you've been
putting off. And taking some time maybe just to do nothing but
appreciate life.

Like Emily says in Thornton Wilder's play "Our Town": "Do any human
beings ever realize life while they live it -- every, every minute?" I
hope that I can say, "Yes, at least a few times, I think I really

From Lifesupport

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