Shortarmguy's Emails That Made Me Think
On this page, I will post the most inspirational material I receive on any given day. So email firstname.lastname@example.org the best stuff you get. Life can be darn tough sometimes and every now and then you might need a little happiness booster. I’m hoping this page may accomplish that. After you read a few of these, you can push back from your keyboard, throw your arms in the air, wave them back and forth and scream “I’m glad to be alive!” If this happens to you, please send pictures and I’ll post them here!
Beneath the long, straggly branches of an old willow tree.
Disillusioned by life with good reason to frown,
For the world was intent on dragging me down.
A young boy out of breath approached me, all tired from play.
He stood right before me with his head tilted down
And said with great excitement, “Look what I found!”
With its petals all worn – not enough rain, or too little light.
Wanting him to take his dead flower and go off to play,
I faked a small smile and then shifted away.
But instead of retreating he sat next to my side
And placed the flower to his nose
and declared with overacted surprise,
“It sure smells pretty and it’s beautiful, too.
That’s why I picked it; here, it’s for you.”
Not vibrant of colors, orange, yellow or red.
But I knew I must take it, or he might never leave.
So I reached for the flower, and replied, “Just what I need.”
But instead of him placing the flower in my hand,
He held it mid-air without reason or plan.
It was then that I noticed for the very first time
I heard my voice quiver, tears shone like the sun
As I thanked him for picking the very best one.
“You’re welcome,” he smiled, and then ran off to play,
Unaware of the impact he’d had on my day.
I sat there and wondered how he managed to see
A self-pitying woman beneath an old willow tree.
How did he know of my self-indulged plight?
Perhaps from his heart, he’d been blessed with true sight.
That weed-toting boy could not see: he was blind.
The problem was not with the world; the problem was me.
And for all of those times I myself had been blind,
I vowed to see the beauty in life,
and appreciate every second that’s mine.
And then I held that wilted flower up to my nose
And breathed in the fragrance of a beautiful rose
And smiled as I watched that young boy,
another weed in his hand
About to change the life of an unsuspecting old man.
November 20, 2005
A woman was waiting at an airport one night,
With several long hours before her flight.
She hunted for a book in the airport shops,
Bought a bag of cookies and found a place to drop.
She was engrossed in her book but happened to see,
That the man sitting beside her, as bold as could be,
Grabbed a cookie or two from the bag in between,
Which she tried to ignore to avoid a scene.
So she munched the cookies and watched the clock,
As the gutsy cookie thief diminished her stock.
She was getting more irritated as the minutes ticked by,
Thinking, “If I wasn’t so nice, I would blacken his eye.”
With each cookie she took, he took one too,
When only one was left, she wondered what he would do.
With a smile on his face, and a nervous laugh,
He took the last cookie and broke it in half.
He offered her half, as he ate the other,
She snatched it from him and thought… oooh, brother.
This guy has some nerve and he’s also rude,
Why he didn’t even show any gratitude!
She had never known when she had been so galled,
And sighed with relief when her flight was called.
She gathered her belongings and headed to the gate,
Refusing to look back at the thieving ingrate.
She boarded the plane, and sank in her seat,
Then she sought her book, which was almost complete.
As she reached in her baggage, she gasped with surprise,
There was her bag of cookies, in front of her eyes.
If mine are here, she moaned in despair,
The others were his, and he tried to share.
Too late to apologize, she realized with grief,
That she was the rude one, the ingrate, the thief.
How many times in our lives,
have we absolutely known that something
was a certain way, only to be wrong?
November 13, 2005
It takes a Baby to remind us not to Judge People.
We were the only family with children in the restaurant. I sat Erik in a high chair and noticed everyone was quietly sitting and talking. Suddenly, Erik squealed with glee and said, “Hi.” He pounded his fat baby hands on the high chair tray. His eyes were crinkled in laughter and his mouth was bared in a toothless grin, as he wriggled and giggled with merriment. I looked around and saw the source of his merriment. It was a man whose pants were baggy with a zipper at half-mast and his toes poked out of would-be shoes. His shirt was dirty and his hair was uncombed and unwashed. His whiskers were too short to be called a beard and his nose was so varicose it looked like a road map. We were too far from him to smell, but I was sure he smelled. His hands waved and flapped on loose wrists.
“Hi there, baby; Hi there, big boy. I see ya, buster,” the man said to Erik.
My husband and I exchanged looks, “What do we do?”
Erik continued to laugh and answer, “Hi”
Everyone in the restaurant noticed and looked at us and then at the man. The old geezer was creating a nuisance with my beautiful baby. Our meal came and the man began shouting from across the room,
“Do ya patty cake? Do you know peek-a-boo? Hey, look, he knows peek-a-boo.”
Nobody thought the old man was cute. He was obviously drunk. My husband and I were embarrassed. We ate in silence; all except for Erik, who was running through his repertoire for the admiring skidrow bum, who in turn, reciprocated with his cute comments. We finally got through the meal and headed for the door. My husband went to pay the check and told me to meet him in the parking lot. The old man sat poised between me and the door.
“Lord, just let me out of here before he speaks to me or ! Erik,” I prayed.
As I drew closer to the man, I turned my back trying to sidestep him and avoid any air he might be breathing. As I did, Erik leaned over my arm, reaching with both arms in a baby’s “pick-me-up” position. Before I could stop him, Erik had propelled himself from my arms to the man’s.
Suddenly a very old smelly man and a very young baby consummated their love and kinship. Erik in an act of total trust, love, and submission laid his tiny head upon the man’s ragged shoulder. The man’s eyes closed, and I saw tears hover beneath his lashes. His aged hands full of grime, pain, and hard labor, cradled my baby’s bottom and stroked his back.
No two beings have ever loved so deeply for so short a time. I stood awestruck. The old man rocked and cradled Erik in his arms and his eyes opened and set squarely on mine.
He said in a firm commanding voice, “You take care of this baby.”
Somehow I managed, “I will,” from a throat that contained a stone.
He pried Erik from his chest, lovingly and longingly, as though he were in pain I received my baby, and the man said,
“God bless you, ma’am, you’ve given me my Christmas gift.” I said nothing more than a muttered thanks.
With Erik in my arms, I ran for the car. My husband was wondering why I was crying and holding Erik so tightly, and why I was saying, “My God, my I had just witnessed Christ’s love shown through the innocence of a tiny child who saw no sin, who made no judgment; a child who saw a soul, and a mother who saw a suit of clothes. I was a Christian who was blind, holding a child who was not.
I felt it was God asking, “Are you willing to share your son for a moment?” when He shared His for all eternity. The ragged old man, unwittingly, had reminded me, “To enter the Kingdom of God , we must become as little children.”
A day without the presence of God, is a wasteful day
November 6, 2005
Courage – Most in demand and least in supply, courage is the willingness to do the things you know are right.
Continuous learning – Read, at the very least, one book a week on business to keep you miles ahead of the competition.
October 30, 2005
Chortle and guffaw
I planted some birdseed. A bird came up. Now I don’t know what to feed it.
I had amnesia once — or twice.
I went to San Francisco. I found someone’s heart.
Last week I forgot how to ride a bicycle.
Protons have mass? I didn’t even know they were Catholic.
All I ask is a chance to prove that money can’t make me happy.
I’d give my right arm to be ambidextrous.
A beggar asked me for 50¢ for a sandwich. I said, “First let me see the sandwich.”
What is a “free” gift? Aren’t all gifts free?
They told me I was gullible… and I believed them.
Teach a child to be polite and courteous in the home and, when he grows up, he’ll never be able to edge his car onto a Freeway.
Experience is the thing you have left when everything else is gone.
What if there were no hypothetical questions?
One nice thing about egotists: They don’t talk about other people.
When the only tool you own is a hammer, every problem begins to look like a nail.
A flashlight is a case for holding dead batteries.
What was the greatest thing before sliced bread?
My weight is perfect for my height – which varies.
I used to be indecisive. Now, I’m not sure.
The cost of living hasn’t affected its popularity.
How can there be self-help “groups”?
Is there another word for synonym?
Where do forest rangers go to “get away from it all”?
The speed of time is one-second per second.
Is it possible to be totally partial?
What’s another word for thesaurus?
If you’re cross-eyed and have dyslexia, can you read all right?
Is Marx’s tomb a communist plot?
If swimming is so good for your figure, how do you explain whales?
Show me a man with both feet firmly on the ground, and I’ll show you a man who can’t get his pants off.
It’s not an optical illusion. It just looks like one.
Is it my imagination, or do buffalo wings taste like chicken?
October 23, 2005
MAKE THE MOST OF TODAY
Imagine there is a bank that credits your account each morning with $86,400. It carries over no balance from day to day. Every evening deletes whatever part of the balance you failed to use during the day. What would you do?
Draw out every cent, of course!!!!
Each of us has such a bank. Its name is TIME.
Every morning, it credits you with 86,400 seconds. Every night it writes off, as lost, whatever of this you have failed to invest to good purpose. It carries over no balance. It allows no overdraft.
Each day it opens a new account for you. Each night it burns the remains of the day. If you fail to use the day’s deposits, the loss is yours.
There is no going back. There is no drawing against the “tomorrow”.
You must live in the present on today’s deposits. Invest it so as to get from it the utmost in health, happiness, and success!
The clock is running. Make the most of today. As time waits for no one. .
October 16, 2005
When I Whine
Today, upon a bus, I saw a girl with golden hair
I looked at her and sighed and wished I was as fair.
When suddenly she rose to leave,
I saw her hobble down the aisle.
She had one leg and used a crutch
But as she passed, she passed a smile.
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine
I have 2 legs, the world is mine.
I stopped to buy some candy
The lad who sold it had such charm
I talked with him a while, he seemed so very glad
If I were late, it’d do no harm.
And as I left, he said to me,
“I thank you, you’ve been so kind.
It’s nice to talk with folks like you.
You see,” he said, “I’m blind.”
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine.
I have 2 eyes, the world is mine.
Later while walking down the street,
I saw a child with eyes of blue
He stood and watched the others play
He did not know what to do.
I stopped a moment and then I said,
“Why don’t you join the others, dear?”
He looked ahead without a word.
And then I knew, he couldn’t hear.
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine.
I have 2 ears, the world is mine.
With feet to take me where I’d go.
With eyes to see the sunset’s glow.
With ears to hear what I would know.
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine.
I’ve been blessed indeed, The world is mine.
If this poem makes you feel like I felt,
just forward it to all your friends,
after all, it’s just a simple reminder….
We have soooooo much to be thankful for!!!
Sorrow looks back,
Worry looks around,
Faith looks up.
October 10, 2005
‘Top Ten Reasons to Speak’
1. To acknowledge kindness, courage, worthy efforts and personal bests.
2. To offer help, assistance, encouragement; particularly to encourage
those who have reached for the stars and just failed to reach them……..this time!
3. To say ‘I love you’………..in the way which is appropriate.
4. When the conscience or intuition prompts. How often have you been in a silent room where there is something crying out to be said?
5. To share grief or anguish with a trusted friend.
6. To ask for help when doing so is difficult.
7. To encourage the development of creative workplaces which honor all associated: staff, clients or customers and staff.
8. To acknowledge being wrong and to apologize. The more difficult the apology, the greater the need to speak and the more we grow.
9. To help identify your personal ‘group of ten.’ These are those who unfailingly encourage and support you, make you laugh and whose feelings you reciprocate. These are the people you love the most.
10. To spread joy.
Rev. Thomas Gordy
October 2, 2005
1905 to 2005: Century of Change
The year is 1905 – one hundred years ago. What a difference a century makes!
Here are some of the U.S. statistics for 1905…
90 % of all U.S. physicians had no college education. Instead, they attended medical schools, many of which were condemned in the press and by the government as “substandard.”
Alabama, Mississippi, Iowa, and Tennessee were each more heavily populated than California. With a mere 1.4 million residents.
A competent accountant could expect to earn $2000 per year, a dentist $2,500 per year.
A mechanical engineer about $5,000 per year.
A three-minute call from Denver to New York City cost $11.00
A veterinarian between $1,500 and $4,000 per year.
California was only the 21st most populous state in the Union.
More than 95 percent of all births in the U.S. took place at home.
Only 8% of the homes had a telephone.
Only 14% of the homes in the U.S. had a bathtub.
The average life expectancy in the U.S. was 47 years.
The average U.S. worker made between $200 and $400 per year.
The average wage in the U.S. was 22 cents an hour.
The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 MPH.
The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower.
There were only 8,000 cars in the U.S., and only 144 miles of paved roads.
Sugar cost four cents a pound. Eggs were fourteen cents a dozen.
Coffee was fifteen cents a pound.
Most women only washed their hair once a month, and used borax or egg yolks for shampoo.
Canada passed a law prohibiting poor people from entering the country for any reason.
The five leading causes of death in the U.S. were:
1. Pneumonia and influenza
4. Heart disease
The American flag had 45 stars. Arizona, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Hawaii, and Alaska hadn’t been admitted to the Union yet.
The population of Las Vegas, Nevada, was 30.
Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and iced tea hadn’t been invented.
There was no Mother’s Day or Father’s Day.
Two of 10 U.S. adults couldn’t read or write. Only 6% of all Americans had graduated high school.
Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at corner drugstores. According to one pharmacist, “Heroin clears the complexion, gives buoyancy to the mind, regulates the stomach and bowels, and is, in fact, a perfect guardian of health.”
Eighteen percent of households in the U.S. had at least one full-time servant or domestic.
There were only about 230 reported murders in the entire U.S.
Try to imagine what it may be like in another 100 years…
Inspiration from the past