Shortarmguy's Inspirational Page
On this page, I will post the most inspirational material I receive on any given day. So email firstname.lastname@example.org the best stuff you get. Life can be darn tough sometimes and every now and then you might need a little happiness booster. I'm hoping this page may accomplish that. After you read a few of these, you can push back from your keyboard, throw your arms in the air, wave them back and forth and scream "I'm glad to be alive!" If this happens to you, please send pictures and I'll post them here!
January 27, 2002
Things I Wish I Knew Before Going Out In The Real World
1. Any and all compliments can be handled by simply saying "Why, thank you"
2. In the many roles of Life, some people are working backstage, some are playing in the orchestra, some are on stage singing, some are in the audience as critics, and some are there to applaud. Know who and where you are, and do it with every fiber of your being.
3. Never give yourself a haircut after three margaritas.
4. When baking, follow directions. When cooking, go by your own taste.
5. Never continue dating anyone who is rude to the waiters and doesn't like dogs/cats.
6. You need only two tools. WD-40 and Duct tape. If it doesn't move and it should, use WD-40. If it moves and shouldn't, use the tape.
7. The five most essential words for a healthy, vital relationship "I apologize" and "You are right."
8. Everyone seems normal until you get to know them.
9. When you make a mistake, make amend immediately. It's easier to eat crow while it's still warm.
10. The only really good advice that I remember my mother ever gave me was, "Go! You might meet somebody!"
11. If he/she says that you are too good for him/her -- believe them.
12. I've learned to pick my battles; I ask myself, "Will this matter one year from now? How about one month? One week? One day?"
13. Never pass up an opportunity to pee. Never.
14. If you woke up breathing, congratulations! You have another chance!
15. Living well really is the best revenge. Being miserable because of a bad or former relationship just might mean that the other person was right about you.
16. Knowing how to listen to music is really as great a talent as knowing how to make it.
17. Work is good and it's important . . . especially when you learn to love it.
18. Never underestimate the kindness of your fellow man.
19. Overestimation, while noble, is a bit foolish, too.
20. And finally ... Be really nice to your friends. You never know when you are going to need them to empty your bedpan.
January 19, 2002
THE ROAD TO TREASON
By Jeff Jacoby
The Boston Globe
December 13, 2001
It isn't the case that the parents of John Walker -- the Marin County child of privilege turned Taliban terrorist -- never drew the line with their son.
True, they didn't do so when he was 14 and his consuming passion was collecting hip-hop CDs with especially nasty lyrics.
And true, they didn't put their foot down when he announced at 16 that he was going to drop out of Tamiscal High School -- the elite "alternative" school where students determined their own course of study and only saw a teacher once a week.
And granted, they didn't interfere when he abruptly decided to become a Muslim after reading *The Autobiography of Malcolm X,* grew a beard, and took to wearing long white robes and an oversized skullcap.
On the contrary: His father was "proud of John for pursuing an alternative course" and his mother told friends that it was "good for a child to find a passion." Nor did they object when he began spending more and more time at a local mosque and set about trying to memorize the Koran. Nor when he asked his parents to pay his way to Yemen so he could learn to speak "pure" Arabic. Nor when they learned that his new circle of friends included gunmen who had been to Chechnya to fight the Russians. Nor when he headed to Pakistan to join a madrassah in a region known to be a stronghold of Islamist extremists. His parents also didn't balk when he went to fight in Afghanistan -- but that, at least, they didn't know about: Walker hadn't told them. Perhaps by that point he had learned to take their consent for granted.
Only once, it seems, did Frank Lindh and Marilyn Walker actually deny their son something he wanted. When he first adopted Islam and took the name Suleyman, they refused to use it and insisted on calling him John.
After all, he had been named for one of the giants of our
time: John Lennon.
Their refusal must have amazed him. For as long as he could remember, his oh-so-progressive parents had answered "Yes" to his every whim, indulged his every fancy, permitted -- even praised -- his every passion. The only thing they insisted on was that nothing be insisted on. Nothing in his life was important enough for them to make an issue of: not his schooling, not his religion, not his appearance, not even whether he stayed in America or moved -- while still a minor -- to a benighted Third World oligarchy halfway around the world. Nothing.
Except, of course, their right to call him by the name of
their favorite Beatle.
Devout practitioners of the self-obsessed nonjudgmentalism for which the Bay Area is renowned, Lindh and Walker appear never to have rebuked their son or criticized his choices. In their world, there were no absolutes,
>>no fixed truths, no mandatory behavior, no thou-shalt-nots. If they had one conviction, it was that all convictions are worthy -- that nothing is intolerable except intolerance.
But even in Marin County, there are times when children need to hear "No" and "Don't." They need to know that there are limits they must respect and expectations they must try to live up to. If they cannot find those limits and expectations at home, they are apt to look for them elsewhere.
Newsweek calls it "truly perplexing" that Walker, who "grew up in possibly the most liberal, tolerant place in America . . was drawn to the most illiberal, intolerant sect in Islam." There is nothing perplexing about it. He craved standards and discipline. Mom and Dad didn't offer any. The Taliban did.
Even when it was clear that their son was sinking into
Islamist fanaticism, they wouldn't pull back on the reins. When Osama bin
Laden's terrorists bombed the USS Cole and killed 17 American servicemen, Walker
e-mailed his father that the attack had been justified, since by docking the
ship in Yemen, the United States had committed "an act of war."
Lindh now says that the message "raised my concerns" -- but that
didn't stop him from wiring Walker another $1,200. After all, says Dad, "my
days of molding him were over." It isn't clear that they ever began.
It undoubtedly came as a jolt to his parents when Walker turned up at the fortress near Mazar-i-Sharif, sporting an AK-47 and calling himself Abdul Hamid. But the revelation that their son had enlisted in Al Qaeda and supported the Sept. 11 attacks brought no words of reproach -- or self-reproach -- to their lips.
Walker deserved "a little kick in the butt" for keeping them in the dark about his plans, his father said, but otherwise they just wanted to "give him a big hug." His mother, meanwhile, was quite sure that "if he got involved with the Taliban he must have been brainwashed. . . When you're young and impressionable, it's easy to be led by charismatic people." Yes, it is, and it's a pity that that didn't occur to her sooner. If she and Lindh had been less concerned with flaunting their open-mindedness and more concerned with developing their son's moral judgment, he wouldn't be where he is today.
Walker is responsible for his own behavior and he will pay the price the law requires.
But his road to treason and jihad didn't begin in Afghanistan.
It began in Marin County, with parents who never said "No."
January 10, 2002
December 31, 2001
The picture is that of a 21-week-old unborn baby named Samuel Alexander Armas, who is being operated on by a surgeon named Joseph Bruner. The baby was diagnosed with spina bifida and would not survive if removed from his mother's womb. Little Samuel's mother, Julie Armas, is an obstetrics nurse in Atlanta. She knew of Dr. Bruner's remarkable surgical procedure. Practicing at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, he performs these special operations while the baby is still in the womb. During the procedure, the doctor removes the uterus via C-section and makes a small incision to operate on the baby.
During the surgery on little Samuel, the little guy reached his tiny, but fully developed, hand through the incision and
firmly grasped the surgeon's finger. The photograph captures this amazing event with perfect clarity.
The editors titled the picture, "Hand of Hope." The text explaining the picture begins, "The tiny hand of 21-week-old fetus Samuel Alexander Armas emerges from the mother's uterus to grasp the finger of Dr. Joseph Bruner as if thanking the doctor for the gift of life."
Little Samuel's mother said they "wept for days" when they saw the picture. She said, "The photo reminds us my pregnancy isn't about disability or an illness, it's about a little person."
"The Hand" of the fetus. Here's the actual picture, and it is awesome.
December 8, 2001
IF I HAD MY LIFE TO LIVE OVER
by Erma Bombeck
(Written after she found out she was dying from cancer.)
I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren't there for the day.
I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.
I would have talked less and listened more.
I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded.
I would have eaten the popcorn in the 'good' living room and
worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the
I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.
I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a
summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.
I would have sat on the lawn with my children and not worried about grass stains.
I would have cried and laughed less while watching television - and more while watching life.
I would never have bought anything just because it was
practical, wouldn't show soil, or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.
Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I'd have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.
When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said,
"Later. Now go get washed up for dinner."
There would have been more "I love you"s.
More "I'm sorry"s.
But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every
minute...look at it and really see it...live it...and never give it back.
Stop sweating the small stuff. Don't worry about who doesn't like you, who has more, or who's doing what.
Instead, let's cherish the relationships we have with those who DO love us.
Let's think about what God HAS blessed us with
And what we are doing each day to promote yourselves mentally, physically, emotionally, as well as spiritually.
Life is too short to let it pass you by.
We only have one shot at this and then it's gone.
I hope you all have a blessed day.
December 2, 2001
MEET ME IN THE STAIRWELL
You say you will never forget where you were when you heard the news on September 11, 2001.
Neither will I.
I was on the 110th floor in a smoke filled room with a man who called his wife to say "Good-Bye". I held his fingers steady as he dialed. I gave him the peace to say, "Honey, I am not going to make it, but it is OK...I am ready to go."
I was with his wife when he called as she fed breakfast to their children. I held her up as she tried to understand his words and as she realized he wasn't coming home that night.
I was in the stairwell of the 23rd floor when a woman cried out to ME for help. "I have been knocking on the door of your heart for 50 years." I said. "Of course I will show you the way home-only believe in ME now."
I was at the base of the building with the Priest ministering to the injured and devastated souls. I took him home to tend to his Flock in Heaven. He heard My voice and answered.
I was on all four of those planes, in every seat, with every prayer. I was with the crew as they were overtaken. I was in the very hearts of the believers there, comforting and assuring them that their faith has saved them.
I was in Texas, Kansas, London. I was standing next to you when you heard the terrible news. Did you sense Me?
I want you to know that I saw every face. I knew every name, though not all know Me. Some met Me for the first time on the 86th floor. Some sought Me with their last breath. Some couldn't hear Me calling to them through the smoke and flames; "Come to Me... this way... take My hand" Some chose, for the final time, to ignore Me. But,I was there.
I did not place you in the Tower that day. You may not know why, but I do. However, if you were there in that explosive moment in time, would you have reached for Me?
September 11, 2001 was not the end of the journey for you. But someday your journey will end. And I will be there for you as well. Seek Me now while I may be found. Then, at any moment, you know you are "ready to go." I will be in the stairwell of your final moments.
Inspiration from the past
Inspiration October and November 2001
Inspiration August and September 2001
Inspiration Pre August, 2001
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