高中英语必读美文(1—50 )
【发布时间:2017-06-13】 【作者:/来源:】【关闭窗口】


During summer vacations, I would volunteer at the vet’s, so I’d seen a lot of dogs. Minnie was by far the funniest-looking dog I’d ever seen. Thin curly hair barely covered her sausage-shaped body. Her bugged-out eyes always seemed surprised. And her tail looked like a rat’s tail.

She was brought to the vet to be put to sleep because her owners didn’t want her anymore. I thought Minnie had a sweet personality, though. "No one should judge her by her looks," I thought. So the vet spayed her and gave her the necessary shots. Finally, I advertised Minnie in the local paper: "Funny-looking dog, well behaved, needs loving family."

When a young man called, I warned him that Minnie was strange looking. The boy on the phone told me that his grandfather’s sixteen-year-old dog had just died. They wanted Minnie no matter what. I gave Minnie a good bath and fluffed up what was left of her scraggly hair. Then we waited for them to arrive.

At last, an old car drove up in front of the vet’s. Two kids raced to the door. They scooped Minnie into their arms and rushed her out to their grandfather, who was waiting in the car. I hurried behind them to see his reaction to Minnie.

Inside the car, the grandfather cradled Minnie in his arms and stroked her soft hair. She licked his face. Her rattail wagged around so quickly that it looked like it might fly off her body. It was love at first lick.

"She’s perfect!" the old man exclaimed.

I was thankful that Minnie had found the good home that she deserved.

That’s when I saw that the grandfather’s eyes were a milky white color - he was blind.


Tomorrow was his girlfriend’s birthday and the young man was having a difficult time deciding on a present for her. She already had more clothes than she knew what to do with them, so he couldn’t get any kind of apparel. She never ate sweets, so candy was out of the question. What then? He had a very special reason for wanting to impress her with just the right gift; tomorrow he was going to make an offer of marriage to her.

He finally decided on perfume . All girls liked perfume. That raised another problem, however. What kind did she prefer? He couldn’t ask her, because that would ruin the surprise.

At last the young man hit upon a brilliant idea. That afternoon, pretending to take his girl-friend’s fox terrier, little dog. Together, the young man and the dog went directly to the perfume counter of the town’s biggest department store. Good! There was a large array of perfume. He beckoned a clerk, instructing her to open a large number of bottles and wave the stoppers under the dog’s nose.

Nestled in the young man’s arms, the terrier began to be restless and bored as this seemingly pointless game went on. Then Fritz suddenly became frisky, wiggling in the young man’s arms and barking excitedly, as the clerk waved one stopper under his nose.

“I’ll take that one,” said the young man to the clerk. The price was high; but it was worth it, he thought.

“My favorite perfume!” said the delighted girl the next evening as she unwrapped the package. “How did you know?” she asked, dabbing some perfume behind each ear.

“Intuition, I guess,” said the young man, deciding that it wasn’t exactly wrong to tell a lie under the circumstances. One day, after they were married, he would admit that his intuition had really been a little dog named Fritz.


My parents were in a huge argument, and I was really upset about it. I didn’t know who I should talk with about how I was feeling. So I asked Mom to allow me to stay the night at my best friend’s house. Though I knew I wouldn’t tell her about my parents’ situation, I was looking forward to getting out of the house. I was in the middle of packing up my things when suddenly the power went out in the neighborhood. Mom came to tell me that I should stay with my grandpa until the power came back on.

I was really disappointed because I felt that we did not have much to talk about. But I knew he would be frightened alone in the dark. I went to his room and told him that I’d stay with him until the power was restored. He was quite happy and said, “Great opportunity.”

“What is?” I asked.

“To talk, you and I,” he said. “To hold a private little meeting about what we’re going to do with your mom and dad, and what we’re going to do with ourselves now that we’re in the situation we are in.”

“But we can’t do anything about it, Grandpa,” I said, surprised that here was someone with whom I could share my feelings and someone who was in the same “boat” as I was

And that’s how the most unbelievable friendship between my grandfather and me started. Sitting there in the dark, we talked about our feeling and fears of life---from how fast things change, to how they sometimes don’t change fast enough. That night, because the power went out, I found a new friend, with whom I could safely talk about all my fears and pains, whatever they may be.

Suddenly, the lights all came back on. “Well,” he said, “ I guess that means you’ll want to go now. I really like our talk. I hope the power will go out every few nights!”


I really love my job because I enjoy working with small children and like the challenges and awards from the job. I also think my work is important. There was a time when I thought I would never have that sort of career.

I wasn’t an excellent student because I didn’t do much schoolwork. In my final term I started thinking what I might do and found I didn’t have much to offer. I just accepted that I wasn’t the type to have a career.

I then found myself a job, looking after two little girls. It wasn’t too bad at first. But the problems began when I agreed to live in, so that I would be there if my boss had to go out for business in the evening. We agreed that if I had to work extra hours one week, she’d give me time off the next. But unfortunately, it didn’t often work out. I was getting extremely tired and fed up, because I had too many late nights and early mornings with the children.

One Sunday, I was in the park with the children, and met Megan who used to go to school with me. I told her about my situation. She suggested that I should do a course and get a qualification if I wanted to work with children. I didn’t think I would be accepted because I didn’t take many exams in school. She persuaded me to phone the local college and they were really helpful. My experience counted for a lot and I got on a part-time course. I had to leave my job with the family, and got work helping out at a kindergarten.

Now I’ve got a full-time job there. I shall always be thankful to Megan. I wish I had known earlier that you could have a career, even if you aren’t top of the class at school.

Each of us fails from time to time. If we are wise, we accept these failures as a necessary part of the learning process.


Donnie was a shy, nervous perfectionist. His fear of failure kept him from classroom games that other children played with joyous excitement. He seldom answered questions -- he might be wrong. Written assignments, especially math, reduced him to nail-biting frustration. He seldom finished his work because he repeatedly checked with me to be sure he hadn't made a mistake.
         Then one morning we were working math problems at the chalkboard. Pleased with their progress, I left the children with Mary Anne
my student teacher, and went for art materials. When I returned, Donnie was in tears. He'd missed the third problem. Anne looked at me in despair. Suddenly her face brightened. She reached the drawer we shared for some pencils.
    "See these pencils, Donnie?" she said, kneeling beside him and gently lifting the tear-stained face from his arms. "They belong to Mrs. Lindstrom and me. See how the erasers are worn? That's because we make mistakes too. Lots of them. But we erase the mistakes and try again. That's what you must learn to do, too."
     She kissed him and stood up. "Here," she said, "I'll leave one of these pencils on your desk so you'll remember that everybody makes mistakes, even teachers." Donnie looked up with love in his eyes and just a glimmer of a smile -- the first I'd seen on his face that year.
     The pencil became Donnie's prized possession. That, together with Mary Anne's frequent encouragement and unfailing praise for even Donnie's small successes, gradually persuaded him that it's all right to make mistakes -- as long as you erase them and try again.


A little boy wanted to meet God. He knew it was a long trip to where God lived, so he packed his suitcase with potato chips and root beer and started his journey.
    When he stopped by in a park, he met an old woman. He was about to take a drink from his root beer when he noticed that the old lady looked hungry, so he offered her some chips. She gratefully accepted it and smiled at him.
    Her smile was so pretty that the boy wanted to see it again, so he offered her a root beer. Again, she smiled at him. The boy was delighted! They sat there all afternoon eating and smiling, but they never said a word.
    As twilight approached, the boy realized that he got to go back home. When the boy opened the door, his mother was surprised by the look of joy on his face. She asked him,
    "What did you do today that made you so happy?"
    "I had lunch with God. You know what? She's got the most beautiful smile I've ever seen!"
    Meanwhile, the old woman, also radiant with joy, returned to her home. Her son was stunned by the look of peace on her face and he asked,
    "Mother, what did you do today that made you so happy?" 
    "I ate potato chips in the park with God. You know, he's much younger than I expected."
    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. People come into our lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. Embrace all equally!


A few weeks ago, I followed a friend into an art-supply store. I found him picking out tubes of water-color paint, which surprised me because he’s not an artist.

“I signed up for a water-color class, and it starts next week,” he said sheepishly. “I don’t really have time for it, but it was on my list of 50 things to do before I die, so I went for it.” This sounds interesting, “What else is on the list” I asked him.

“All kinds of things,” he said. “Every few months I look at the list and decide what to focus on next. Before I had the list, I regretted a lot about what I was missing in my life. Now I just do stuff.”

“Can I see your list sometime” I asked.

“I don’t know,” he said. “It reveals a lot about me. Write your own list, and you’ll see what I mean.”

So that night I did just that, and he was right. The list revealed a whole lot about what was important to me. It also revealed how hopelessly behind I am at getting to the things I really want.

Just writing the list helped me sort through some of my priorities. I filled up the first 20 blanks quickly, but then began to think carefully. Eventually I added items I’ve thought about for years, dreams I’ve carried with me since I was young, and things that I was longing for when I first heard about them.

I have a cousin who has accomplished an amazing string of interesting things. She told me the key was preparing the ground so that life could work in mysterious ways. “If you want your ship to come in, you must build a dock,” she said.

Thanks to my list, I’m working on some big docks.


Last night was the last game for my eight-year-old son’s soccer team. It was the final quarter. The score was two to one, my son’s team in the lead. Parents surrounded the playground, offering encouragement.

With less than ten seconds remaining, the ball suddenly rolled in front of my son’s teammate, Mickey. With shouts of “Kick it!” echoing across the playground, Mickey turned around and gave it everything he had. All around me the crowd erupted. Mickey had scored!

Then there was silence. Mickey had scored all right, but in the wrong goal, ending the game in a tie. For a moment there was a total hush. You see, Mickey has Down syndrome(唐氏综合症)and for him there is no such thing as a wrong goal. All goals were celebrated by a joyous hug from Mickey. He had even been known to hug the opposing players when they scored.

The silence was finally broken when Mickey, his face filled with joy, hugged my son tightly and shouted,“I scored! I scored. Everybody won! Everybody won!” For a moment I held my breath, not sure how my son would react. I need not have worried. I watched, through tears, as my son threw up his hand in the classic high-five salute and started chanting, “Way to go Mickey! Way to go Mickey!” Within moments both teams surrounded Mickey, joining in the chant and congratulating him on his goal.

Later that night, when my daughter asked who had won, I smiled as I replied, “It was a tie. Everybody won.”


Life whispers in your soul and speaks to your heart. Sometimeswhen you don't have the time to listen... Life throws a brick at your head.

A young and successful CEO was traveling down a neighborhood street going a bit too fast in his new Jaguar. As his car passedone child appearedand a brick smashed into the Jag's side door. He slammed on the brakes and spun the Jag back to the spot from where the brick had been thrown.

He jumped out of the cargrabbed the kid and pushed him up against a parked car shouting"What was that all about and what the hell are you doing? That's a new car and that brick you threw gonna cost a lot. Why did you do it?"

“PleasemisterpleaseI'm sorry. I didn't know what else to do!” pleaded the youngster.

“It's my brother,” he said. “He rolled off the curb and fell out of his wheelchair and I can't lift him up.” Sobbingthe boy asked the executive "Would you please help me get him back into his wheelchair? He's hurt and he's too heavy for me.”

Moved beyond words the driver lifted the young man back into the wheelchair and took out his handkerchief and wiped the scrapes and cutschecking to see that everything was going to be okay.

"Thank yousir. And God bless you" the grateful child said to him. The man then watched the little boy push his brother to the sidewalk toward their home.

It was a long walk back to his Jaguar... a longslow walk. He never did repair the side door. He kept the dent to remind him not to go through life so fast that someone has to throw a brick at you to get your attention.


Many say their most painful moments are saying good-bye to those they love.  After watching Cheryl, my daughter-in-law, through the six long months her mother suffered towards death, I think the most painful moments can be in the waiting to say good-bye.
          Cheryl made the two-hour trip over and over to be with her mother.  They spent the long afternoons praying, soothing, comforting, and retelling their shared memories.
       As her mother‘s pain intensified and more medication was needed to ease her into sedation, Cheryl sat for hours of silent vigil by her mother‘s bed.
      Each time she kissed her mother before leaving, her mother would tear up and say, "I‘m sorry you drove so far and sat for so long and I didn‘t even wake up to talk with you."  

Cheryl would tell her not to worry, it didn‘t matter, still her mother felt she had let her down and apologized at each good-bye until the day Cheryl found a way to give her mother the same reassurance her mother had given to her so many times.
           "Mom, do you remember when I made the high school basketball team?"  Cheryl‘s mother nodded.  "You‘d drive so far and sit for so long and I never even left the bench to play.  You waited for me after every game and each time I felt bad and apologized to you for wasting your time."  Cheryl gently took her mother‘s hand.
     "Do you remember what you would say to me?"   
     "I would say I didn‘t come to see you play, I came to see you."    
     "And you meant those words, didn‘t you."   
     "Yes, I really did."    
      "Well, now I say the same words to you.  I didn‘t come to see you talk, I came to see you."   
     Her mother understood and smiled as she floated back into sleep.    
     Their afternoons together passed quietly into days, weeks, and months.  Their love filled the spaces between their words.  To the last day they ministered to each other in the stillness, love given and received just by seeing each other.  
      A love so strong that, even in this deepened silence that followed their last good-bye, Cheryl can still hear her mother‘s love.


One day, a poor boy who was trying to pay his way through school by selling goods door to door found that he only had one dime left. He was hungry so he decided to beg for a meal at the next house.

  However, he lost his nerve when a lovely young woman opened the door. Instead of a meal he asked for a drink of water. She thought he looked hungry so she brought him a large glass of milk. He drank it slowly, and then asked, “How much do I owe you?”

  “You owe me nothing,” she replied. “Mother has taught me never to accept pay for a kindness.” As Howard Kelly left that house, he not only felt stronger physically, but it also increased his faith. He was about to give up and quit before this point.

    Years later the young woman became critically ill. The local doctors were baffled. They finally sent her to the big city, where specialists can be called in to study her rare disease. Dr. Howard Kelly, now famous, heard the name of the town she came from, a strange light filled his eyes. Immediately, he rose and went down through the hospital hall into her room. He recognized her at once. He went back to the consultation room and determined to do his best to save her life.

    After a long struggle, the battle was won. However, when the bill was sent to her room, she was afraid to open it because she was positive that it would take the rest of her life to pay it off. Finally she looked, and the note on the side caught her attention.

    “Paid in full with a glass of milk.”

     Tears of joy flooded her eyes as she prayed silently: “Thank You, God. Your love has spread through human hearts and hands.”


Today we buried our 20-year-old son. He was killed instantly in a motorcycle accident on Friday night. How I wish I had known when I talked to him last that it would be the last time. If I had only known I would have said, "Jim, I love you and I‘m so very proud of you."

I would have taken the time to count the many blessings he brought to the lives of the many who loved him. I would have taken time to appreciate his beautiful smile, the sound of his laughter, his genuine love of people.

When you put all the good attributes on the scale and you try to balance all the irritating traits such as the radio which was always too loud, the haircut that wasn‘t to our liking, the dirty socks under the bed, etc., the irritations don‘t amount to much.

I won‘t get another chance to tell my son all I would have wanted him to hear, but, other parents, you do have a chance. Tell your young people what you would want them to hear if you knew it would be your last conversation. The last time I talked to Jim was the day he died. He called me to say, "Hi, Mom! I just called to say I love you. Got to go to work. Bye." He gave me something to treasure forever.

If there is any purpose at all to Jim‘s death, maybe it is to make others appreciate more of life and to have people, especially families, take the time to let each other know just how much we care.

You may never have another chance. Do it today!


A friend of mine named Paul received an automobile from his brother as a Christmas present. On Christmas Eve when Paul came out of his office, a street urchin was walking around the shiny new car, admiring it. "Is this your car, Mister?" he asked.

Paul nodded. "My brother gave it to me for Christmas." The boy was astounded. "You mean your brother gave it to you and it didn't cost you nothing? Boy, I wish..." He hesitated.

Of course Paul knew what he was going to wish for. He was going to wish he had a brother like that. But what the lad said jarred Paul all the way down to his heels.

"I wish," the boy went on, "that I could be a brother like that."

Paul looked at the boy in astonishment, then impulsively he added, "Would you like to take a ride in my automobile?"

"Oh yes, I'd love that."

After a short ride, the boy turned and with his eyes aglow, said, "Mister, would you mind driving in front of my house?"

Paul smiled a little. He thought he knew what the lad wanted. He wanted to show his neighbors that he could ride home in a big automobile. But Paul was wrong again. "Will you stop where those two steps are?" the boy asked.

He ran up the steps. Then in a little while Paul heard him coming back, but he was not coming fast. He was carrying his little crippled brother. He sat him down on the bottom step, then sort of squeezed up against him and pointed to the car.

"There she is, Buddy, just like I told you upstairs. His brother gave it to him for Christmas and it didn't cost him a cent. And some day I'm gonna give you one just like it... then you can see for yourself all the pretty things in the Christmas windows that I've been trying to tell you about."

Paul got out and lifted the lad to the front seat of his car. The shining-eyed older brother climbed in beside him and the three of them began a memorable holiday ride.

That Christmas Eve, Paul learned what Jesus meant when he had said, "It is more blessed to give..." 


A man came home from work late, tired and irritated, to find his 5-year old son waiting for him at the door.

“Daddy, please tell me, how much do you make an hour?” pleaded the little boy.

“If you must know, I make $20 an hour.”

“Oh,” the little boy replied, with his head down. Looking up, he said, “Daddy, may I please borrow $10?”

The father was furious, “If the only reason you asked that is so you can borrow some money to buy a silly toy or some other nonsense, then you march yourself straight to your room and go to bed. Think about why you are being so selfish.”

The little boy quietly went to his room and shut the door. The man sat down and started to get even angrier about the little boy's questions. How dare he ask such questions only to get some money? After about an hour or so, the man had calmed down, and started to think: Maybe there was something he really needed to buy with that $10 and he really didn't ask for money very often.
   “I've been thinking, maybe I was too hard on you earlier,” said the man, “It's been a long day and I took out my aggravation on you. Here's the $10 you asked for.”

The little boy sat straight up, smiling. “Oh, thank you daddy!” He yelled. Then, reaching under his pillow he pulled out some crumpled up bills. The man, seeing that the boy already had money, started to get angry again. The little boy slowly counted out his money, then looked up at his father.

“Daddy, I have $20 now. Can I buy an hour of your time? Please come home early tomorrow. I would like to have dinner with you.”


   Don't ever save anything for a special occasion. Every day you're alive is a special occasion.”

  I'm still thinking about these words, and they've changed my life. I'm reading more and dusting less. I'm sitting on the deck and admiring the view without fussing about the weeds in the garden.  I'm spending more time with my family and friends and less time in committee meetings. Whenever possible, life should be a pattern of experience to enojy, not endure. I'm trying to recognize these moments now and cherish them.

"Someday" and "one of these days" are losing their significance in my vocabulary. If it's worth seeing or hearing or doing, I want to see and hear and do it now.  It's those little things left undone that would make me angry if I knew that my hours were limited. Angry because I put off seeing good friends whom I was going to get in touch with-someday. Angry because I hadn't written certain letters that I intended to write--one of these days. Angry and sorry that I didn't tell my husband and daughter often enough how much I truly love them. 

I'm trying very hard not to put off, hold back, or save anything that would add laughter and shine to our lives.

And every morning when I open my eyes, I tell myself that it is special.  Every day, every minute, every breath truly is ... a gift from God. 


My friend Gayle has been "living" with cancer for four years and it is progressively getting worse. During a conversation with another friend, Gayle expressed that one of her childhood wishes was to have a red Radio Flyer wagon. As a child she never received one because she believed that if you told your birthday wish it wouldn't come true. I was at an ice cream stand one day and in the window was a miniature red Radio Flyer wagon that could be won in a weekly drawing. Every time you make a purchase you could fill out a ticket for a chance to win. After several weeks and many ice cream cones, I didn't win. I got up the courage to ask the person in charge if I could buy one. I went to the window and as I began to tell my story, I could feel my throat tighten and my eyes overflowed with tears. Somehow I managed to explain my reason for wanting to purchase the wagon, and after writing a check, I left carrying it. The wagon was delivered the next day, and for Gayle it was dream come true. The following day I received a letter that read:
  Dear Bonnie,
  Every once in a while there is an opportunity to pass on a kindness – no questions asked. I lost my parents to cancer six months apart from each other. I cared for both of them but could not have done it without the love and generosity of friends – friends who care.
The best to you,

  It was from the owner of the ice cream stand. Enclosed was my uncashed check


Be Still With God

 All day long I had been very busy; picking up trash, cleaning bathrooms and scrubbing floors. My grown children were coming home for the weekend. I went grocery shopping and prepared for a barbecue supper, complete with ribs and chicken. I wanted everything to be perfect.

Suddenly, it dawned on me that I was dog-tired. I simply couldn't work as long as I could when I was younger. "I've got to rest for a minute," I told my husband, Roy, as I collapsed into my favorite rocking chair. Music was playing, my dog and cat were chasing each other and the telephone rang.

A scripture from Psalm 46 popped into my mind. "Be still, and know that I am God." I realized that I hadn't spent much time in prayer that day. Was I too busy to even utter a simple word of thanks to God? Suddenly, the thought of my beautiful patio came to mind. I can be quiet out there, I thought. I longed for a few minutes alone with God.

Roy and I had invested a great deal of time and work in the patio that spring. The flowers and hanging baskets were breathtaking. It was definitely a heavenly place of rest and tranquility. If I can't be still with God in that environment, I can't be still with Him anywhere, I thought. While Roy was talking on the telephone, I slipped out the backdoor and sat down on my favorite patio chair. I closed my eyes and began to pray, counting my many blessings.

A bird flew by me, chirping and singing. It interrupted my thoughts. It landed on the bird feeder and began eating dinner as I watched. After a few minutes it flew away, singing another song.

I closed my eyes again. A gust of wind blew, which caused my wind chimes to dance. They made a joyful sound, but again I lost my concentration on God. I squirmed and wiggled in my chair. I looked up toward the blue sky and saw the clouds moving slowly toward the horizon. The wind died down. My wind chimes finally became quiet.

Again, I bowed in prayer. "Honk, honk," I heard. I almost jumped out of my skin. A neighbor was driving down the street. He waved at me and smiled. I waved back, happy that he cared. I quickly tried once again to settle down, repeating the familiar verse in my mind. Be still and know that I am God.

"I'm trying God. I really am," I whispered. "But you've got to help me here."

The backdoor opened. My husband walked outside. "I love you," he said. "I was wondering where you were." I chuckled, as he came over and kissed me, then turned around and went back inside.

"Where's the quiet time?" I asked God. My heart fluttered. There was no pain, only a beat that interrupted me yet again. This is impossible, I thought. There's no time to be still and to know that God is with me. There's too much going on in the world and entirely too much activity all around me.

Then it suddenly dawned on me. God was speaking to me the entire time I was attempting to be still. I remembered the music playing as I'd begun my quiet time. He sent a sparrow to lighten my life with song. He sent a gentle breeze. He sent a neighbor to let me know that I had a friend. He sent my sweetheart to offer sincere sentiments of love. He caused my heart to flutter to remind me of life. While I was trying to count my blessings, God was busy multiplying them.

I laughed to realize that the "interruptions" of my quiet time with God were special blessings He'd sent to show me He was with me the entire time.


Plant a Row for the Hungry

It was a cold night in Washington, D.C., and I was heading back to the hotel when a man approached me. He asked if I would give him some money so he could get something to eat. I'd read the signs: "Don't give money to panhandlers." So I shook my head and kept walking.

I wasn't prepared for a reply, but with resignation, he said, "I really am homeless and I really am hungry! You can come with me and watch me eat!" But I kept on walking.

The incident bothered me for the rest of the week. I had money in my pocket and it wouldn't have killed me to hand over a buck or two even if he had been lying. On a frigid, cold night, no less, I assumed the worst of a fellow human being.

Flying back to Anchorage, I couldn't help thinking of him. I tried to rationalize my failure to help by assuming government agencies, churches and charities were there to feed him. Besides, you're not supposed to give money to panhandlers.

Somewhere over Seattle, I started to write my weekly garden column for The Anchorage Daily News. Out of the blue, I came up with an idea. Bean's Cafe, the soup kitchen in Anchorage, feeds hundreds of hungry Alaskans every day. Why not try to get all my readers to plant one row in their gardens dedicated to Bean's? Dedicate a row and take it down to Bean's. Clean and simple.

We didn't keep records back then, but the idea began to take off. Folks would fax me or call when they took something in. Those who only grew flowers donated them. Food for the spirit. And salve for my conscience. In 1995, the Garden Writers Association of America held their annual convention in Anchorage and after learning of Anchorage's program, Plant a Row for Bean's became Plant a Row For The Hungry. The original idea was to have every member of the Garden Writers Association of America write or talk about planting a row for the hungry sometime during the month of April.

As more and more people started working with the Plant a Row concept, new variations cropped up, if you will pardon the pun. Many companies gave free seed to customers and displayed the logo, which also appeared in national gardening publications.

Row markers with the Plant a Row logo were distributed to gardeners to set apart their "Row for the Hungry."

Garden editor Joan Jackson, backed by The San Jose Mercury News and California's nearly year-round growing season, raised more than 30,000 pounds of fruits and vegetables her first year, and showed GWAA how the program could really work. Texas fruit farms donated food to their local food bank after being inspired by Plant a Row. Today the program continues to thrive and grow.

I am stunned that millions of Americans are threatened by hunger. If every gardener in America - and we're seventy million strong - plants one row for the hungry, we can make quite a dent in the number of neighbors who don't have enough to eat. Maybe then I will stop feeling guilty about abandoning a hungry man I could have helped.

Butterfly Kisses

  My newlywed husband said the same thing every morning. "You're beautiful today."

 One glance in the mirror revealed that it was far from the truth.

A skinny girl with mashed hair on one side of her head and no makeup smiled back at me. I could feel my sticky morning breath.

“Liar,” I shot back with a grin.

It was my usual response. My mother's first husband was not a kind man and his verbal and physical abuse forced her and her two children to find a safe place. He showed up on her doorstep one day with roses. She let him in and he beat her with those roses and took advantage of her. Nine months later she gave birth to a 9 lb. 13 oz. baby girl -- me.

The harsh words we heard growing up took root. I had trouble seeing myself as someone of value. I had been married two years when I surprised myself. My husband wrapped his arms around me and told me I was beautiful.

“Thank you,” I said.

The same thin girl with the mousy brown hair still stared back at me in the mirror, but

A lot of years have passed. My husband has grey in his hair. I'm no longer skinny. Last week I woke up and my husband's face was inches from mine.

“What are you doing?” I asked.

I covered my mouth, trying to hide my morning breath. He reached down and kissed my face.

             “What I do every morning,” he said.

He leaves in the early hours of the morning while I sleep. I miss our morning conversations, but I had not realized that he continued to tell me that he loved me even while I slept. When he left, I rolled over and hugged my pillow. I envisioned4 the picture of me lightly snoring with my mouth open and giggled.

What a man! My husband understands my past. He's been beside me as I've grown from an unsure young girl to a confident woman, mother, speaker and author.

But I'm not sure that he understands the part he played in that transition. The words I heard growing up pierced my soul, yet his words pierced even deeper.

This Anniversary Day I plan to wake early. I want to tell Richard how much I love him. He may look in the mirror and see an extra pound or two, or wish for the day when his hair was dark and curly, but all I'll see is the man who saw something in me when I couldn't see it myself, and who leaves butterfly kisses, even after twenty-three years of marriage.


The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for god to rescue him, and every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming. Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect him from the elements, and to store his few possessions. But then one day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, the smoke rolling up to the sky. The worst had happened; everything was lost. He was stunned with grief and anger. "God, how could you do this to me!" he cried. Early the next day, however, he was awakened by the sound of a ship that was approaching the island. It had come to rescue him. "How did you know I was here?" asked the weary man of his rescuers. "We saw your smoke signal," they replied. It is easy to get discouraged when things are going bad. But we shouldn’t lose heart, because god is at work in our lives, even in the midst of pain and suffering. Remember, next time your little hut is burning to the ground it just may be a smoke signal that summons the grace of god. For all the negative things we have to say to ourselves, god has a positive answer for it.


Sometimes people come into your life and you know right away that they were meant to be there, they serve some sort of purpose, to teach you a lesson or help figure out who you are or who you want to become. You never know who these people may be - your roommate, neighbor, professor, long lost friend, lover or even a complete stranger who, when you lock eyes with them, you know that very moment that they will affect your life in some profound way.

And sometimes things happen to you and at the time they may seem horrible, painful and unfair, but in reflection you realize that without overcoming those obstacles, you would have never realized your potential, strength, will power or heart. Everything happens for a reason. Nothing happens by chance or by means of good or bad luck. Illness, injury, love, lost moments of true greatness and sheer stupidity - all occur to test the limits of your soul. Without these small tests, if they be events, illnesses or relationships, life would be like a smoothly paved, straight, flat road to nowhere. Safe and comfortable but dull and utterly pointless.

The people you meet who affect your life and the successes and downfalls you experience - they are the ones who create who you are. Even the bad experiences can be learned from. Those lessons are the hardest and probably the most important ones.

If someone hurts you, betrays you or breaks your heart, forgive them for they have helped you learn about trust and the importance of being cautious to whom you open your heart to. If someone loves you, love them back unconditionally, not only because they love you, but because they are teaching you to love and opening your heart and eyes to things you would have never seen or felt without them.

Make every day count. Appreciate every moment and take from it everything that you possibly can, for you may never be able to experience it again.

Talk to people you have never talked to before, and actually listen. Let yourself fall in love, break free and set your sights high. Hold your head up because you have every right to. Tell yourself you are a great individual and believe in yourself, for if you don't believe in yourself, no one else will believe in you either. You can make of your life anything you wish. Create your own life and then go out and live it.

"People are like tea bags - you have to put them in hot water before you know how strong they are."


Sometimes I really doubt whether there is love between my parents. They don’t act in the romantic ways that I read in books or I see on TV. In their opinion, “I love you” is too luxurious for them to say. Sending flowers to each other on Valentine’s Day is even more out of the question. Finally my father has a bad temper. When he’s very tired from the hard work, it is easy for him to lose his temper.

“Is there love between you and Dad?” I asked Mother in a very low voice while she was sewing a quilt

“Susan,” she said thoughtfully, “Look at this thread. Sometimes it appears, but most of it disappears in the quilt. The thread really makes the quilt strong and durable. If life is a quilt, then love should be a thread. It can hardly be seen anywhere or anytime, but it’s really there. Love is inside.”

I listened carefully but I couldn’t understand her until the next spring. At that time, my father suddenly got sick seriously. My mother had to stay with him in the hospital for a month. When they returned from the hospital, they both looked very pale.

After they were back, every day in the morning and dusk, my mother helped my father walk slowly on the country road. My father had never been so gentle. It seemed they were the most harmonious couple. The doctor had said my father would recover in two months. But after two months he still couldn’t walk by himself. All of us were worried about him.

“Dad, how are you feeling now?” I asked him one day.

“Susan, don’t worry about me.” he said gently. “To tell you the truth, I just like walking with your mom. I like this kind of life.” Reading his eyes, I know he loves my mother deeply.

Once I thought love meant flowers, gifts and sweet kisses. But from this experience, I understand that love is just a thread in the quilt of our life. Love is inside, making life strong and warm..


Once upon a time the colors of the world started to quarrel: all claimed that they were the best, the most important, the most useful, the favorite.

GREEN said: "Clearly I am the most important. I am the sign of life and of hope. I was chosen for grass, trees, leaves - without me, all animals would die. Look over the countryside and you will see that I am in the majority."

BLUE interrupted: "You only think about the earth, but consider the sky and the sea. It is the water that is the basis of life and, drawn up by the clouds, forms the deep sea. The sky gives space and peace and serenity. Without my peace, you would all be nothing."

YELLOW chuckled: "You are all so serious. I bring laughter, gaiety, and warmth into the world. The sun is yellow, the moon is yellow, the stars are yellow. Every time you look at a sunflower, the whole world starts to smile. Without me there would be no fun."

ORANGE started next to blow her trumpet: "I am the color of health and strength. I may be scarce, but I am precious for I serve the needs of human life. I carry the most important vitamins. Think of carrots, pumpkins, oranges, mangoes, and pawpaws. I don't hang around all the time, but when I fill the sky at sunrise or sunset, my beauty is so striking that no one gives another thought to any of you."

RED could stand it no longer. He shouted out: "I am the ruler of all of you - I am blood - life's blood! I am the color of danger and of bravery. I am willing to fight for a cause. I bring fire into the blood. Without me, the earth would be empty as the moon. I am the color of passion and of love, the red rose, the poinsettia and the poppy."

PURPLE rose up to his full height. He was very tall and spoke with great pomp: "I am the color of royalty and power. Kings, chiefs, and bishops have always chosen me for I am the sign of authority and wisdom. People do not question me - they listen and obey."

Finally, INDIGO spoke, much more quietly than all the others, but with just as much determination: "Think of me. I am the color of silence. You hardly notice me, but without me you all become superficial. I represent thought and reflection, twilight and deep water. You need me for balance and contrast, for prayer and inner peace."

And so the colors went on boasting, each convinced of his or her own superiority. Their quarreling became louder and louder. Suddenly there was a startling flash of bright lightening - thunder rolled and boomed. Rain started to pour down relentlessly. The colors crouched down in fear, drawing close to one another for comfort.

In the midst of the clamor, rain began to speak: " You foolish colors, fighting amongst yourselves, each trying to dominate the rest. Don't you know that you were each made for a special purpose, unique and different? Join hands with one another and come to me."

Doing as they were told, the colors united and joined hands. The rain continued: "From now on, when it rains, each of you will stretch across the sky in a great bow of color as a reminder that you can all live in peace. The RAINBOW is a sign of hope for tomorrow."

And so, whenever a good rain washes the world, and a rainbow appears in the sky, let us remember to appreciate one another.


However mean your life is, meet it and live it ; do not shun it and call it hard names. It is not so bad as you are. It looks poorest when you are richest. The fault-finder will find faults in paradise. Love your life, poor as it is. You may perhaps have some pleasant, thrilling, glorious hours, even in a poor-house. The setting sun is reflected from the windows of the alms-house as brightly as from the rich man's abode; the snow melts before its door as early in the spring. I do not see but a quiet mind may live as contentedly there, and have as cheering thoughts, as in a palace. The town's poor seem to me often to live the most independent lives of any. May be they are simply great enough to receive without misgiving. Most think that they are above being supported by the town; but it often happens that they are not above supporting themselves by dishonest meanswhich should be more disreputable. Cultivate poverty like a garden herb, like sage. Do not trouble yourself much to get new things, whether clothes or friends, Turn the old, return to them. Things do not change; we change. Sell your clothes and keep your thoughts.


It was the last day of final examination in a large Eastern university. On the steps of one building, a group of engineering seniors huddled, discussing the exam due to begin in a few minutes. On their faces was confidence. This was their last exam-then on to commencement and jobs.
         Some talked of jobs they already had; others of jobs they would get. With all this assurance of four years of college, they felt ready and able to conquer the world.
The approaching exam, they knew, would be a snap. The professor had said they could bring any books or notes they wanted, requesting only that they did not talk to each other during the test.
        Jubilantly they field into the classroom. The professor passed out the papers. And smiles broadened as the students noted there were only five essay-type questions.
       Three hours passed. Then the professor began to collect the papers. The students no longer looked confident. On their faces was a frightened expression. No one spoke as, papers in hand, the professor faced the class.
       He surveyed the worried faces before him, then asked: “how many completed all five questions?”
      Not a hand was raised.
     "One, then? Certainly somebody finished one."
But the class remained silent. The professor put down the papers. “That is exactly what I expected,” he said.
      “I just want to impress upon you that, even though you have completed four years of engineering. There are still many things about the subject you don't know. These questions you could not answer are relatively common in everyday practice.” Then, smiling, he added: “you will all pass this course, but remember- even though you are now college graduates, your education has just begun.”


My son Joey was born with club feet. The doctors assured us that with treatment he would be able to walk normally - but would never run very well. The first three years of his life were spent in surgery, casts and braces. By the time he was eight, you wouldn't know he had a problem when you saw him walk.

The children in our neighborhood ran around as most children do during play, and Joey would jump right in and run and play, too. We never told him that he probably wouldn't be able to run as well as the other children. So he didn't know.

In seventh grade he decided to go out for the cross-country team. Every day he trained with the team. He worked harder and ran more than any of the others - perhaps he sensed that the abilities that seemed to come naturally to so many others did not come naturally to him. Although the entire team runs, only the top seven runners have the potential to score points for the school. We didn't tell him he probably would never make the team, so he didn't know.

He continued to run four to five miles a day, every day - even the day he had a 103-degree fever. I was worried, so I went to look for him after school. I found him running all alone. I asked him how he felt. "Okay," he said. He had two more miles to go. The sweat ran down his face and his eyes were glassy from his fever. Yet he looked straight ahead and kept running. We never told him he couldn't run four miles with a 103-degree fever. So he didn't know.

Two weeks later, the names of the team runners were called. Joey was number six on the list. Joey had made the team. He was in seventh grade - the other six team members were all eighth-graders. We never told him he shouldn't expect to make the team. We never told him he couldn't do it. We never told him he couldn't do it...so he didn't know. He just did it.


A person, like a commodity, needs packaging. But going too far is absolutely undesirable. A little exaggeration, however, does no harm when it shows the person's unique qualities to their advantage. To display personal charm in a casual and natural way, it is important for one to have a clear knowledge of oneself. A master packager knows how to integrate art and nature without any traces of embellishment, so that the person so packaged is no commodity but a human being, lively and lovely.

    A young person, especially a female, radiant with beauty and full of life, has all the favor granted by God. Any attempt to make up would be self-defeating. Youth, however, comes and goes in a moment of doze. Packaging for the middle-aged is primarily to conceal the furrows ploughed by time. If you still enjoy life's exuberance enough to retain self-confidence and pursue pioneering work, you are unique in your natural qualities, and your charm and grace will remain. Elderly people are beautiful if their river of life has been, through plains, mountains and jungles, running its course as it should. You have really lived your life which now arrives at a complacent stage of serenity indifferent to fame or wealth. There is no need to resort to hair-dyeing-the snow-capped mountain is itself a beautiful scene of fairyland. Let your looks change from young to old synchronizing with the natural ageing process so as to keep in harmony with nature, for harmony itself is beauty, while the other way round will only end in unpleasantness. To be in the elder's company is like reading a thick book of de luxe edition that fascinates one so much as to be reluctant to part with.

    As long as one finds where one stands, one knows how to package oneself, just as a commodity establishes its brand by the right packaging.


The Best Day Of My Life

Today, when I awoke, I suddenly realized that this is the best day of my life, ever! There were times when I wondered if I would make it to today; but I did! And because I did I'm going to celebrate!

Today, I'm going to celebrate what an unbelievable life I have had so far: the accomplishments, the many blessings, and, yes, even the hardships because they have served to make me stronger. I will go through this day with my head held high, and a happy heart. I will marvel at God's seemingly simple gifts: the morning dew, the sun, the clouds, the trees, the flowers, the birds. Today, none of these miraculous creations will escape my notice.

Today, I will share my excitement for life with other people. I'll make someone smile. I'll go out of my way to perform an unexpected act of kindness for someone I don't even know.

Today, I'll give a sincere compliment to someone who seems down. I'll tell a child how special he is, and I'll tell someone I love just how deeply I care for her and how much she means to me.

Today is the day I quit worrying about what I don't have and start being grateful for all the wonderful things God has already given me. I'll remember that to worry is just a waste of time because my faith in God and his Divine Plan ensures everything will be just fine.

And tonight, before I go to bed, I'll go outside and raise my eyes to the heavens. I will stand in awe at the beauty of the stars and the moon, and I will praise God for these magnificent treasures.

As the day ends and I lay my head down on my pillow, I will thank the Almighty for the best day of my life. And I will sleep the sleep of a contented child, excited with expectation because I know tomorrow is going to be the best day of my life, ever!


Perseverance can make miracles happen

An eight-year-old child heard her parents talking about her little brother. All she knew was that he was very sick and they had no money left. They were moving to a smaller house because they could not afford to stay in the present house after paying the doctor's bills. Only a very costly surgery could save him now and there was no one to loan them the money.

When she heard her daddy say to her tearful mother with whispered desperation, 'Only a miracle can save him now', the little girl went to her bedroom and pulled her piggy bank from its hiding place in the closet. She poured all the change out on the floor and counted it carefully.

Clutching the precious piggy bank tightly, she slipped out the back door and made her way six blocks to the local drugstore. She took a quarter from her bank and placed it on the glass counter.

"And what do you want?" asked the pharmacist. "It's for my little brother," the girl answered back. "He's really, really sick and I want to buy a miracle."

"I beg your pardon?" said the pharmacist.

"His name is Andrew and he has something bad growing inside his head and my daddy says only a miracle can save him. So how much does a miracle cost?"

"We don't sell miracles here, child. I'm sorry," the pharmacist said, smiling sadly at the little girl.

"Listen, I have the money to pay for it. If it isn't enough, I can try and get some more. Just tell me how much it costs."

In the shop was a well-dressed customer. He stooped down and asked the little girl, "What kind of a miracle does you brother need?"

"I don't know," she replied with her eyes welling up. "He's really sick and mommy says he needs an operation. But my daddy can't pay for it, so I have brought my savings".

"How much do you have?" asked the man. "One dollar and eleven cents, but I can try and get some more", she answered barely audibly.

"Well, what a coincidence," smiled the man. "A dollar and eleven cents - the exact price of a miracle for little brothers."

He took her money in one hand and held her hand with the other. He said, "Take me to where you live. I want to see your brother and meet your parents. Let's see if I have the kind of miracle you need."

That well-dressed man was Dr Carlton Armstrong, a surgeon, specializing in neuro-surgery. The operation was completed without charge and it wasn't long before Andrew was home again and doing well.

"That surgery," her mom whispered, "was a real miracle. I wonder how much it would have cost?"

The little girl smiled. She knew exactly how much the miracle cost ... one dollar and eleven cents ... plus the faith of a little child.

Perseverance can make miracles happen!


Getting married is like going to a restaurant with friends. You order what you want, then when you see what the other fellow has, you wish you had ordered that.

 At the cocktail party, one woman said to another, "Aren't you wearing your wedding ring on the wrong finger??" The other replied, "Yes, I am. I married the wrong man."

Before a man is married, he is incomplete. Then when he is married, he is finished.

            Marriage is an institution in which a man losses his bachelor's degree and the woman gets her master's status.

 A little boy asked his father, "Daddy, how much does it cost to get married??" And the father replied, "I don't know son, I'm still paying for it."

 Young son : "Is it true, Dad, I heard that in some parts of Africa, a man doesn't know his wife until he marries her?" Dad : "That happens in most countries son."

        Then there was a man who said, "I never knew what real happiness was until I got married, and then it was too late."

        A happy marriage is a matter of give and take; the husband gives and the wife takes.

        When a newly married man looks happy, we know why. But when a ten-year married man looks happy, we wonder why. Affair ?

       Married life is very frustrating. In the first year of marriage, the man speaks and the woman listens. In the second year, the woman speaks and the man listens. In the third year, they both speak and the neighbors listen.

      After a quarrel, a wife said to her husband, "You know, I was a fool when I married you." And the Husband replied, "Yes, dear, but I was in love and didn't notice it."

      A man inserted an 'ad' in the classified : "Wife wanted". The next day, he received hundreds letters. They all said the same thing "You can have mine."

      When a man opens the door of his car for his wife, you can be sure of one thing : either the car is new or his wife is new.

     A woman was telling her friend : "It is I who made my husband a millionaire." "And what was he before you married him?" the friend asked. The woman replied, "A multimillionaire."


Sometimes your biggest weakness can become your biggest strength. Take, for example, the story of one 10-year-old boy who decided to study judo despite the fact that he had lost his left arm in a devastating car accident.
          The boy began lessons with an old Japanese judo master. The boy was doing well, so he couldn't understand why, after three months of training, the master had taught him only one move.
        "Sensei," the boy finally said, "shouldn't I be learning more moves?"
        "This is the only move you know, but this is the only move you'll ever need to know," the sensei replied.
         Not quite understanding, but believing in his teacher, the boy kept training.
         Several months later, the sensei took the boy to his first tournament.
         Surprising himself, the boy easily won his first two matches. The third match proved to be more difficult, but after some time, his opponent became impatient and charged; the boy deftly used his one move to win the match. Still amazed by his success, the boy was now in the finals.
           This time, his opponent was bigger, stronger, and more experienced. For a while, the boy appeared to be overmatched. Concerned that the boy might get hurt, the referee called a time-out. He was about to stop the match when the sensei intervened.
           "No," the sensei insisted, "Let him continue."
           Soon after the match resumed, his opponent made a critical mistake: he dropped his guard. Instantly, the boy used his move to pin him. The boy had won the match and the tournament. He was the champion.
         On the way home, the boy and sensei reviewed every move in each and every match. Then the boy summoned the courage to ask what was really on his mind.
         "Sensei, how did I win the tournament with only one move?"
        "You won for two reasons," the sensei answered. "First, you've almost mastered one of the most difficult throws in all of judo. Second, the only known defense for that move is for your opponent to grab your left arm."
           The boy's biggest weakness had become his biggest strength. (350)


Once upon a time, there was an island where all the feelings lived: Happiness, Sadness, Knowledge, and all of the others including Love. One day it was announced to the feelings that the island would sink, so all repaired their boats and left.
          Love wanted to persevere until the last possible moment. When the island was almost sinking, Love decided to ask for help. Richness was passing by Love in a grand boat. Love said, "Richness, can you take me with you?" Richness answered, "No, I can't. There is a lot of gold and silver in my boat. There is no place here for you."
      Love decided to ask Vanity who was also passing by in a beautiful vessel, "Vanity, please help me!" "I can't help you Love. You are all wet and might damage my boat." Vanity answered.
       Sadness was close by so Love asked for help, "Sadness, let me go with you." "Oh....Love, I am so sad that I need to be by myself!"
       Happiness passed by Love too, but she was so happy that she did not even hear when Love called her!
       Suddenly, there was a voice, "Come Love, I will take you." It was an elder. Love felt so blessed and overjoyed that he even forgot to ask the elder his name. When they arrived at dry land, the elder went his own way.
        Love realizing how much he owed the elder and asked Knowledge, another elder, "Who helped me?" "It was Time," Knowledge answered. "Time?" asked Love. "But why did Time help me?" Knowledge smiled with deep wisdom and answered, "Because, only Time is capable of understanding how great Love is."


The poor are very wonderful people. One evening we went out and we picked up four people from the street. And one of them was in a most terrible conditionand I told the sisters: You take care of the other three. I take care of this one who looked worse. So I did for her all that my love can do. I put her in bed, and there was such a beautiful smile on her face. She took hold of my hand as she said just the words “thank you” and she died. I could not help but examine my conscience[良心]before her and I asked what would I say if I was in her place. And my answer was very simple. I would have tried to draw a little attention to myself. I would have said I am hungry, that I am dying, I am cold, I am in pain, or something, but she gave me much more-she gave me her grateful love. And she died with a smile on her face. As did that man whom we picked up from the drain, half eaten with worms, and we brought him to the home. “I have lived like an animal in the street, but I am going to die like an angel, loved and cared for.” And it was so wonderful to see the greatness of that man who could speak like that, who could die like that without blaming anybody, without cursing anybody, without comparing anything. Like an angel-this is the greatness of our people. And that is why we believe what Jesus had said: I was hungry, I was naked, I was homeless, I was unwanted, unloved, uncared for, and you did it to me.

But a person who is shut out, who feels unwanted, unloved, terrified, the person who has been thrown out from society--that poverty is so full of hurt and so unbearable…And so let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love, and once we begin to love each other naturally we want to do something.


A Pair of Socks

One fine afternoon I was walking along Fifth Avenue, when I remembered that it was necessary to buy a pair of socks. I turned into the first sock shop that caught my eye, and a boy clerk who could not have been more than seventeen years old came forward. “What can I do for you, sir?” “I wish to buy a pair of socks.” His eyes glowed. There was a note of passion in his voice. “Did you know that you had come into the finest place in the world to buy socks?” I had not been aware of that, as my entrance had been accidental. “Come with me,” said the boy, ecstatically. I followed him to the rear of the shop, and he began to haul down from the shelves box after box, displaying their contents for my delectation.
“Hold on, lad, I am going to buy only one pair!” “I know that,” said he, “but I want you to see how marvelously beautiful these are. Aren’t they wonderful?” There was on his face an expression of solemn and holy rapture, as if he were revealing to me the mysteries of his religion. I became far more interested in him than in the socks. I looked at him in amazement. “My friend,” said I, “if you can keep this up, if this is not merely the enthusiasm that comes from novelty, from having a new job, if you can keep up this zeal and excitement day after day, in ten years you will own every sock in the United States.”
My amazement at his pride and joy in salesmanship will be easily understood by all who read this article. In many shops the customer has to wait for someone to wait upon him. And when finally some clerk does deign to notice you, you are made to feel as if you were interrupting him. Either he is absorbed in profound thought in which he hates to be disturbed or he is skylarking with a girl clerk and you feel like apologizing for thrusting yourself into such intimacy.
He displays no interest either in you or in the goods he is paid to sell. Yet possibly that very clerk who is now so apathetic began his career with hope and enthusiasm. The daily grind was too much for him; the novelty wore off; his only pleasures were found outside of working hours. He became a mechanical, not inspired, salesman. After being mechanical, he became incompetent; then he saw younger clerks who had more zest in their work, promoted over him. He became sour. That was the last stage. His usefulness was over.
I have observed this melancholy decline in the lives of so many men in so many occupations that I have come to the conclusion that the surest road to failure is to do things mechanically. There are many teachers in schools and colleges who seem duller than the dullest of their pupils; they go through the motions of teaching, but they are as impersonal as a telephone.


Freda Bright says, “Only in opera do people die of love.” It’s true. You really can’t love somebody to death. I’ve known people to die from no love, but I’ve never known anyone to be loved to death. We just can’t love one another enough.

A heart-warming story tells of a woman who finally decided to ask her boss for a raise in salary. All day she felt nervous and apprehensive. Late in the afternoon she summoned the courage to approach her employer. To her delight, the boss agreed to a raise.

The woman arrived home that evening to a beautiful table set with their best dishes. Candles were softly glowing. Her husband had come home early and prepared a festive meal. She wondered if someone from the office had tipped him off, or... did he just somehow know that she would not get turned down?

She found him in the kitchen and told him the good news. They embraced and kissed, then sat down to the wonderful meal. Next to her plate the woman found a beautifully lettered note. It read: “Congratulations, darling! I knew you’d get the raise! These things will tell you how much I love you.”

Following the supper, her husband went into the kitchen to clean up. She noticed that a second card had fallen from his pocket. Picking it off the floor, she read: “Don’t worry about not getting the raise! You deserve it anyway! These things will tell you how much I love you.”

Someone has said that the measure of love is when you love without measure. What this man feels for his spouse is total acceptance and love, whether she succeeds or fails. His love celebrates her victories and soothes her wounds. He stands with her, no matter what life throws in their direction.

Upon receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, Mother Teresa said: “What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.” And love your friends. Love them without measure.


If your foreign friend tells you that he still prefers red tea rather than the green variety after a few years spent in China, it probably means that he never tried this drink with serious and curiosity.

The author was a serious drinker of red tea, but after only a few months spent in China, green tea became one of his favorite drinks.

As the reader probably knows it, the entire secret resides in patience. The Green tea drinker needs to patiently wait until the delicate green leaves sink to the bottom of his cup, otherwise… he will have to cope with all the sticky leaves in his mouth, which is a common occurrence for the inexperienced laowai.

But how could the laowai know that he has to wait for the leaves to reach the bottom?

In Europe people tend to prefer coffee. A drink synonym with speed rather than with patience. You put your little coin in the machine, press the button and wait for the coffee to give you the necessary jolt. Often the drinker of coffee is looking for this “kick.” The tea drinker doesn’t expect such a materialistic feeling... there is definitively more spirituality in drinking tea than coffee.

No better example than the “espresso,” the worldwide famous coffee, directly taken from an Italian word meaning “express”... but why adding this to our lives where so many things go express and where there is often too little time for spirituality?

European people tend to be naturally more laid back... The author is convinced that without coffee the whole continent would fall asleep. In China things are different and people don’t seem to need coffee to transform the country into a super power. So... encourage your local leaves and give up the imported coffee bean!

Another particularity of green tea is the fact that you have to finish your tea pot, add boiling water and drink again and again tasting the changing flavor, patience as I said...

The author began to enjoy green tea during his many train trips. Drinks served on trains are not famous for their taste, but the tea drank during those trips is worth being mentioned here. Discovering green tea is also (re)discovering China, with all its varieties from bitter to sweet, coming from all across the country.

When it comes to beer, well, Europe is recognized to produce the best beers in the world, and beer is for (too) many a religion in Europe; but China could be as famous for the number of its drinkers...

As for the other alcohols, well, the author tried once a special Chinese alcohol made of rice, and it seems that it might be difficult for him to enjoy this drink, maybe even more difficult than learning Chinese...


Today my friend asked me a question. At nightdo you turn off your cell phone If you don’t whom do you leave it on1 for

I usually do not turn off my cell phone. WhyI have no idea. After reading an articleI seemed to understand a little bitfor that little bit of caring. I am now sharing this story with you.

The girl would turn her cell phone off and put it by her photo on the desk every night before going to bed. This habit had been with her ever since she bought the phone.

The girl had a very close boyfriend. When they couldn’t meetthey would either call or send messages to each other. They both liked this type of communication.

One nightthe boy really missed the girl. When he called herhoweverthe girl’s cell phone was off because she was already asleep. The next daythe boy asked the girl to leave her cell phone on at night because when he needed to find her and could not he would be worried.

From that day forth the girl began a new habit. Her cell phone never shut down at night. Because she was afraid that she might not be able to hear the phone ring in her sleepshe tried to stay very alert. As days passedshe became thinner and thinner. Slowlya gap began to form between them.

The girl wanted to revive their relationship. One nightshe called the boy. Howeverwhat she got was a sweet female voice “Sorry the subscriber you dialed is power off.”

The girl knew that her love had just been turned off.

After a long timethe girl had a new love. No matter how well they got alongthe girlhoweverrefused to get married. In the girl’s heartshe always remembered that boy’s words and the night when that phone was power off.

The girl still kept the habit of leaving her cell phone on all throughout the nightbut not expecting that it would ring.

One nightthe girl caught ill. In a moment of flusterinstead of calling her parentsshe dialed the new boyfriend’s cell phone. The boy was already asleep but his cell phone was still on.

Laterthe girl asked the boy“Why don’t you turn your cell phone off at night

The boy answered“I’m afraid that if you need anything at night and aren’t able to find meyou’ll worry.”

The girl finally married the boy.


The last time Natasha’s parents saw her was in Los Angeles over Father’s Day weekend in 2001. She flew there to join them in sightseeing, shopping and visiting relatives.

A month later, Natasha was found one night lying on the floor of her apartment in Manhattan, with a 12-inch butcher knife in her chest right through her lung. There were signs of pricking she left in her throat and stomach. She died on the way to the hospital.

In her bedroom, police found Natasha’s diaries. There, she had battled for years: her fight to keep her weight, her disappointment in meeting men who were interested only in her looks, her endless plans to better herself. And she had strong fear that none of those efforts would ever make her feel safe enough.

Nothing in Natasha’s childhood suggested such a violent end. She was a girl of talent. She learned to ski at three and started piano lessons at five. When she was in the third grade the family moved to France. Natasha loved France. But three years later, they moved back to the U.S.. The return was difficult to Natasha. She missed her friends in France and fell behind in school. Unhappy and rebellious, she began gaining weight.

Her parents had hoped she could go on a diet, but it didn’t work. By the time she went to high school, Natasha weighed 250 pounds. “Sometimes kids would stare and make comment,” remembers Natasha’s close friend. Even teachers could be hurtful by saying “You’d really be beautiful if you lost 50 pounds.”

Then, before the start of her senior year at high school, Natasha suddenly announced plans to get in shape. She wanted a new start. She became crazy about losing weight. Natasha began a strict exercise program and ate a very low 900 calories a day. By the time she graduated, she had lost almost 100 pounds. Suddenly, Natasha was popular. “Everyone wanted to talk to he,” the friend recalls. “Friends who had drifted away became friends again.” Natasha seemed happy yet guarded. She always said, “Everyone thinks I’m pretty [now], but before they didn’t.”

A slim girl then, Natasha set another goal-- to become an actress. At 19, she applied to a famous studio in New York City and was accepted as a student. She was very excited about it. And only one year later, she got a part-time job in a big modeling agency. It provided a chance to get noticed -- and Natasha did. Soon, this big-eyed model was making $2,000 a day.

But as her career took off, Natasha herself seemed to start sinking. She told friends that the modeling world was shallow. As a model she could do nothing except keeping outward beauty, something superficial yet valued by many people. She worked out at the gym. She ran in Central Park twice a day. Having to lose weight seemed the only thing for her to do. “I had the feeling she wasn’t having fun,” one of her model friends says.

Then came the failure of her love. Natasha was looking for a boyfriend who would not just love her because she was pretty. She was tired of great attention she got when she walked down the street. About five months before she died, she fell in love with her workout teacher. After weeks of working out together and talking on the phone, he told her he just wanted to be friends. Outward beauty, it seemed, couldn’t bring her everything.


Many years ago, my dad was diagnosed with a terminal heart condition. He was put on permanent disability and was unable to work at a steady job. He would be fine for quite a while, but would then fall suddenly ill and have to be admitted to the hospital.

He wanted to do something to keep himself busy, so he decided to volunteer at the local children hospital. My dad loved kids. It was the perfect job for him. He ended up working with the terminally and critically ill children. He would talk to them and play with them and do arts and crafts with them. Sometimes, he would lose one of his kids. In certain instances, he would tell the grieving parents of these children that he would soon be with their child in heaven and that he would take care of them until they got there. He would also ask the parent if there was a message they would like to send with him for their child.

My dad assurances seemed to help parents with their grieving. One of his kids was a girl who had been admitted with a rare disease that paralyzed her from the neck down. I don‘t know the name of the disease or what the prognosis usually is, but I do know that it was very sad for a girl around eight or nine years old. She couldn‘t do anything, and she was very depressed. My dad decided to try to help her. He started visiting her in her room, bringing paints, brushes and paper. He stood the paper up against a backing, put the paintbrush in his mouth and began to paint. He didn‘t use his hands at all. Only his head would move. He would visit her whenever he could and paint for her. All the while he would tell her, see, you can do anything you set your mind to.

Eventually, she began to paint using her mouth, and she and my dad became friends. Soon after, the little girl was discharged because the doctors felt there was nothing else they could do for her. My dad also left the children hospital for a little while because he became ill. Sometime later after my dad had recovered and returned to work, he was at the volunteer counter in the lobby of the hospital. He noticed the front doors open. In came the little girl who had been paralyzed, only this time she was walking. She ran straight over to my dad and hugged him really tight. She gave my dad a picture she had done using her hands. At the bottom it read, thank you for helping me walk.

My dad would cry every time he told us this story and so would we. He would say sometimes love is more powerful than doctors, and my dad - who died just a few months after the little girl gave him the picture - loved every single child in that hospital.


That would be the last day when I stayed in the concentration camp.I was sure that I was to be killed. I became terribly nervous. I fumbled in my pockets to see if there were any cigarettes, which had escaped their search. I found one and because of my shaking hands, I could barely get it to my lips. But I had no matches, they had taken those. I looked through the bars at my jailer. He did not make eye contact with me. I called out to him “Have you got a light?” He looked at me, shrugged and came over to light my cigarette. At that moment, I smiled. I don't know why I did that. Perhaps it was because, when you get very close, one to another, it is very hard not to smile. In any case, I smiled. In that instant, it was as though a spark jumped across the gap between our two hearts, our two human souls. I know he didn't want to, but my smile leaped through the bars and generated a smile on his lips, too. He lit my cigarette but stayed near, looking at me directly in the eyes and continuing to smile.

   "I kept smiling at him, now aware of him as a person and not just a jailer. And his looking at me seemed to have a new dimension too. 'Do you have kids?' he asked. " 'Yes, here, here.' I took out my wallet and nervously fumbled for the pictures of my family. He, too, took out the pictures of his family and began to talk about his plans and hopes for them. My eyes filled with tears. I said that I feared that I'd never see my family again, never have the chance to see them grow up. Tears came to his eyes, too. "Suddenly, without another word, he unlocked my cell and silently led me out. Out of the jail, quietly and by back routes, out of the town. There, at the edge of town, he released me. And without another word, he turned back toward the town.

   "My life was saved by a smile." Yes, the smile ― the unaffected, unplanned, natural connection between people.. I really believe that if that part of you and that part of me could recognize each other, we wouldn't be enemies. We couldn't have hate or envy or fear.



She looked up and asked, “Can I help you?”

She smiled and he thought it was the most beautiful smile he has ever seen before. He picked one out and gave her money for it.

He went home and from then on, he went to that store every day and bought a CD. He was still too shy to ask her out and he really wanted to but he couldn’t. His mother found out about this and told him to just ask her. So the next day, he took all his courage and went to the store as usual. He bought a CD like he did every day and once again she went to the back of the store and came back with it wrapped. He took it and when she wasn’t looking, he left his phone number on the desk and ran out...

 The phone rang, and the mother picked it up and said, “Hello?”

It was the girl! The mother started to cry and said, “You don’t know? He passed away yesterday...”

Later in the day, the mother went into the boy’s room and opened the closet. She was face to face with piles and piles of unopened CDs. She was surprised to find all these CDs and she picked one up and sat down on the bed and she started to open one. Inside, there was a CD and as she took it out of the wrapper, out fell a piece of paper. The mother picked it up and started to read it. It said: Hi... I think U R really cute. Do u wanna go out with me? Love, Jocelyn.


Recently, one of my best friends, whom I''ve shared just about everything with since the first day of kindergartenspent the weekend with me. Since I moved to a new town several years ago, we’ve both always looked forward to the few times a year when we can see each other.
        Over the weekend, we spent hours and hours, staying up late into the night, talking about the people she was hanging around with. She started telling me stories about her new boyfriend, about how he experimented with drugs and was into other self-destructive behavior. I was blown away! She told me how she had been lying to her parents about where she was going and even sneaking out to see this guy because they didn’t want her around him. No matter how hard I tried to tell her that she deserved better, she didn’t believe me. Her self-respect seemed to have disappeared.
        I tried to convince her that she was ruining her future and heading for big trouble. I felt like I was getting nowhere. I just couldn’t believe that she really thought it was acceptable to hang with a bunch of losers, especially her boyfriend.
        By the time she left, I was really worried about her and exhausted by the experience. It had been so frustrating, I had come close to telling her several times during the weekend that maybe we had just grown too far apart to continue our friendship - but I didn’t. I put the power of friendship to the ultimate test. We’d been friends for far too long. I had to hope that she valued me enough to know that I was trying to save her from hurting herself. I wanted to believe that our friendship could conquer anything.
        A few days later, she called to say that she had thought long and hard about our conversation, and then she told me that she had broken up with her boyfriend. I just listened on the other end of the phone with tears of joy running down my face. It was one of the truly rewarding moments in my life. Never had I been so proud of a friend.


Michael is the kind of guy you love to hate. He is always in a good mood and always has something positive to say. Once he was involved in a serious accident, falling off 60 feet from a communications tower. After l8 hours of surgery, and weeks of intensive care, Michael was released from the hospital with rods placed in his back. I saw Michael about six months after the accident. When I asked him how he was, he replied, "If I were any better, I’d be twins. Wanna see my scars?" I declined to see his wounds, but did ask him what had gone through his mind as the accident took place.

"The first thing that went through my mind was the well being of my soon-to-born daughter," Michael replied. "Then, as I lay on the ground, remembered I had two choices: I could choose to live or I could choose to die. I chose to live." "Weren’t you scared? " I asked. Michael continued, “They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the operation room and I saw the expressions on their faces, I got really scared. In their eyes, l read ‘He's a dead man.'’ I knew I needed to take action."
 "What did you do?" I asked.

 "Well, there was a big burly nurse shouting questions at me” said Michael. "She asked me if I was allergic to anything. ‘Yes,’ I said. The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply. I took a deep breath and yelled", ‘Gravity’” Over their laughter, I told them, 'I'm choosing to live. Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead'."

Michael lived, thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude. I learned from him that every day we have a choice to live fully. Attitude is everything.


Grandpa's Valentine

I was the only family member living close by, so I received the initial call from the nursing home. Grandpa was failing rapidly. I should come. There was nothing to do but hold his hand. “I love you, Grandpa. Thank you for always being there for me.” And silently, I released him.

Memories...memories...six days a week, the farmer in the old blue shirt and bib overalls caring for those Hereford cattle he loved so much...on hot summer days lifting bales of hay from the wagon, plowing the soil, planting the corn and beans and harvesting them in the fall...always working from dawn to dusk. Survival demanded the work, work, work.

But on Sundays, after the morning chores were done, he put on his gray suit and hat. Grandma wore her wine-colored dress and the ivory beads, and they went to church. There was little other social life. Grandpa and Grandma were quiet, peaceful, unemotional people who every day did what they had to do. He was my grandpa -- he had been for 35 years. It was hard to picture him in any other role.

The nurse apologized for having to ask me so soon to please remove Grandpa’s things from the room. It would not take long. There wasn’t much. Then I found it in the top drawer of his nightstand. It looked like a very old handmade valentine. What must have been red paper at one time was a streaked faded pink. A piece of white paper had been glued to the center of the heart. On it, penned in Grandma’s handwriting, were these words:


With All My Love,

February 14, 1895

Are you alive? Real? Or are you the most beautiful dream that I have had in years? Are you an angel -- or a figment of my imagination? Someone I fabricated to fill the void? To soothe the pain? Where did you find the time to listen? How could you understand?

You made me laugh when my heart was crying. You took me dancing when I couldn’t take a step. You helped me set new goals when I was dying. You showed me dew drops and I had diamonds. You brought me wildflowers and I had orchids. You sang to me and angelic choirs burst forth in song. You held my hand and my whole being loved you. You gave me a ring and I belonged to you. I belonged to you and I have experienced all.

Tears streamed down my cheeks as I read the words. I pictured the old couple I had always known. It’s difficult to imagine your grandparents in any other role than that. What I read was so very beautiful and sacred. Grandpa had kept it all those years. Now it is framed on my dresser, a treasured part of family history.


Valentine’s Day had arrived and like every other day of the year, I was very busy.

My romantic husband, Roy, planned a date like we had never had before. A reservation at an expensive restaurant was made. A beautifully wrapped present had been sitting on my dresser for a few days prior to the heart-filled holiday.

After a hard day at work, I hurried home, ran into the house and jumped into the shower. When my sweetheart arrived, I was dressed in my finest outfit and ready to go. He hugged me, just as the sitter arrived. We were both excited.

Unfortunately, the littlest member in our household wasn’t so happy.

 “Daddy, you were going to take me to buy Mamma a present,” Becky, my eight-year-old daughter said, as she sadly walked over to the couch and sat down beside the babysitter.

Roy looked at his watch and realized that if we were to make our reservations, we had to leave right away. He didn’t even have a few minutes to take her to the corner drugstore, to buy a heart-shaped box of chocolate candy.

“I’m sorry, I was late getting home, honey,” he said.

“That’s ok,” Becky replied. “I understand.”

The entire evening was bittersweet. I couldn’t help being concerned about the disappointment in Becky’s eyes. I remembered how the joyful Valentine’s Day glow had left her face, just before the door closed behind us. She wanted me to know how much she loved me. She didn’t realize it, but I already knew it very well.

Today, I can’t remember what was wrapped in that beautiful box, which I swooned1 over for several days, but I’ll never forget the special gift, which I received when we arrived, back home.

Becky was asleep on the couch, clutching2 a box, which was sitting on her lap. When I kissed her cheek, she awoke. “I’ve got something for you, Mamma,” she said, as a giant smile covered her tiny face.

The little box was wrapped in newspaper. As I tore the paper off and opened the box, I found the sweetest Valentine gift that I have ever received.

After Roy and I left for our date, Becky got busy. She raided my fabric and cross-stitch box. She stitched the words “I Love Ya” on a piece of red fabric, cut the fabric in the shape of a heart, stitched the two pieces together, adorned3 it with lace and stuffed it with cotton. It was a heart-shaped pillow, filled with love, which I’ll cherish forever.

My wonderful Valentine gift has a special place in my bedroom today, some thirteen years later. As she was growing up into a young woman, many times I held that pillow close to my heart. I don’t know if a pillow can hold magic, but this pillow has surely held a great deal of joy for me over the years. It has helped me through several sleepless nights since she left home for college. I not only cherish the gift, but the memory, as well.

I know that I am a very lucky mother, indeed, to have such a wonderful little girl, who wanted so desperately4 to share her heart with me. As long as I live, there will never be another Valentine’s Day, which will be any more special to me.


Wild Flowers

This article is a message to people to love and cherish every waking moment in life and a warning not to wait too long to love, but to show people you love them before death takes them away.

Each spring brings a new blossom of wildflowers in the ditches along the highway I travel daily to work.

There is one particular blue flower that has always caught my eye. I've noticed that it blooms only in the morning hours, the afternoon sun is too warm for it. Every day for approximately two weeks, I see those beautiful flowers.

This spring, I started a wildflower garden in our yard. I can look out of the kitchen window while doing the dishes and see the flowers. I've often thought that those lovely blue flowers from the ditch would look great in that bed alongside other wildflowers. Everyday I drove past the flowers thinking, "I'll stop on my way home and dig them." “Gee, I don't want to get my good clothes dirty...” Whatever the reason, I never stopped to dig them. My husband even gave me a folding shovel one year for my trunk to be used for that expressed purpose.

One day on my way home from work, I was saddened to see that the highway department had mowed the ditches and the pretty blue flowers were gone. I thought to myself, "Way to go, you waited too long. You should have done it when you first saw them blooming this spring."

A week ago we were shocked and saddened to learn that my oldest sister-in-law has a terminal brain tumor. She is 20 years older than my husband and unfortunately, because of age and distance, we haven't been as close as we all would have liked. I couldn't help but see the connection between the pretty blue flowers and the relationship between my husband's sister and us. I do believe that God has given us some time left to plant some wonderful memories that will bloom every year for us.

And yes, if I see the blue flowers again, you can bet I'll stop and transplant them to my wildflower garden.


This week is going to be another nightmare for me as i am going to get back all my common test papers. By now, i have already got back my papers for 2 of the subjects. It is just disastrous and greatly disappointing and i feel quite disheartened now. but worry not, i am gonna make a superb comeback next time. One good thing i found about myself today is that i am such a strong and re-silent person. i could control my feelings so well after i actually undertook so many blows. i could behave or act as if nothing had happened though my heart has sunk to the bottom. I was extremely saddened yet i still had the ability to console other people who were as disappointed as me.

The other time when Lydia asked me about whom i hate in our class, i named her a few but in fact i didn't hate them that much back then. Now i am pretty convinced that some of them are really my HATEs! Yes, you did unexpectedly well this time. Good for you, we know you are high. but can you stop acting like a clown in front of the class and showing off how well you did? did you notice that many of your classmates were very sad: People were quietly crying at the back, people were speechless and had themselves  'frozen' at the corner, people were worried with whether to drop any of their A-level subjects. If you are considerate enough, you would just quit fooling around, talking/laughing so loud and saying those stuff like 'if I get two more marks, I will get a B'. In my vivid memory, last year when you failed two subjects at the promos, nobody did that to you, right? At least i didn't. Imagine if I were to do that to you, how would you feel? so please, treat people with the way you want to be treated. Common sense enough, right? 

My life has been pretty messed up in the past few months, but no worries. The failure at the common test has triggered something deep down inside of me-the desire to do well.  Have already started sorting things out and hope that I will be back to the right track soon.


Every Friday when school would let out, all the children that lived in the neighborhood met in the field t play some sort of game, ranging from tag to run down derby.  We wouldn't stop playing until every mother would call their children in for supper. Hearing my mother call me in I would always walk with my head down, saddened by the fact that I had to leave my friends.  When I walked into my home with my face red from the hard day of playing, my heart would skip a beat and I would feel a sense of homeliness and breathe in the smell of a loving home.  These were the reasons I felt so at home because my family and friends surrounded me throughout the day and night.

  But those days have long passed. Now, I live in an apartment complex within walking distance from my old neighborhood. Every time I drive by I still feel a sense of home and warmth.  I look over to my left at the beautiful green fields and I can almost see all of the children I used to play with and can almost smell my mother’s home cooked meals.  I close my eyes and remember my younger days and imagine myself running from my small backyard through the large white kitchen into my living room staring at my family sitting around the television.   I don't stop there; I run up the stairs and turn left when I reach the top and walk into my lilac painted bedroom that always seemed to smell like strawberry candles.   I plow myself on to my purple bed sheets and lay my head on my large pillows and seem to fall into a comfortable sleep…

I open my eyes and breathe in the fresh fall air. Everything’s changed and I have also changed. But it will be there forever that I will always feel a know in my chest and never forget the place I called HOME.


Run Through the Rain

She had been shopping with her Mom in Wal-Mart. It was pouring outside. We all stood there under the awning and just inside the door of the Wal-Mart. We waited, some patiently, others 4)irritated because nature messed up their hurried day. Her voice was so sweet as it broke the hypnotic trance we were all caught in. "Mom, let's run through the rain," she said.
  "We'll get soaked if we do," Mom said.
  "No, we won't, Mom. That's not what you said this morning," the young girl said as she tugged at her Mom's arm."
  "This morning? When did I say we could run through the rain and not get wet?"
  "Don't you remember? When you were talking to Daddy about his cancer, you said, 'If God can get us through this, he can get us through anything!"
  We all stood silently. No one came or left in the next few minutes. Mom paused and thought for a moment about what she would say. "Honey, you are absolutely right. Let's run through the rain. If get wet, well maybe we just needed washing," Mom said. Then off they ran.
  We all stood watching, smiling and laughing as they darted past the cars and. They held their shopping bags over their heads just in case. They got soaked. But they were followed by a few who screamed and laughed like children all the way to their cars. And yes, I did. I ran. I got wet. I needed washing. Circumstances or people can take away your material possessions, they can take away your money, and they can take away your health. But no one can ever take away your precious memories. So, don't forget to make time and take the opportunities to make memories every day!
  To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven. I hope you still take the time to run through the rain.


Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind. These passions, like great winds, have blown me hither and thither, in a wayward course, over a deep ocean of anguish, reaching to the very verge of despair.

  I have sought love, first, because it brings ecstasy –ecstasy so great that I would often have sacrificed all the rest of life for a few hours of this joy. I have sought it, next, because it relieves loneliness--that terrible loneliness in which one shivering consciousness looks over the rim of the world into the cold unfathomable lifeless abyss. I have sought it, finally, because in the union of love I have seen, in a mystic miniature, the prefiguring vision of the heaven that saints and poets have imagined. This is what I sought, and though it might seem too good for human life, this is what- at last- I have found.

  With equal passion I have sought knowledge. I have wished to understand the hearts of men. I have tried to apprehend the Pythagorean power by which number holds sway above the flu. A little of this, but not much, I have achieved.

  Love and knowledge, so far as they were possible, led upward toward the heavens. But always pity brought me back to earth. Echoes of cries of pain reverberate in my heart. Children in famine, victims tortured by oppressors, helpless old people a hated burden to their sons, and the whole world of loneliness, poverty, and pain make a mockery of what human life should be. I long to alleviate the evil, but I cannot, and I too suffer.

  This has been my life. I have found it worth living, and would gladly live it again if the chance were offered me.