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WITandWISDOM(tm) - November 2, 2000
U.S. Secretary of Education, Dr. William Bennett, was asked this question by a seventh grader: "How can you tell a good country from a bad one?"
Secretary Bennett replied, "I apply the 'gate' test. When the gates of a country are open, watch which way the people run. Do they run into the country or out of the country?"
Quoted in "The Executive Speechwriter Newsletter" via Weekend Encounter via Sermon Fodder, Sermon_Fodderfirstname.lastname@example.org via http://www.witandwisdom.org
~~~~~~~ SPECIAL THOUGHTS:
A story is told about Fiorello LaGuardia, who was mayor of New York City during the worst days of the Great Depression and all of World War II. He was a colorful character who used to ride the New York City fire trucks, take entire orphanages to baseball games and, whenever the New York newspapers were on strike, go on the radio and read the Sunday funnies to the kids.
One bitterly cold night in January of 1935, the mayor turned up at a night court that served the poorest ward of the city. LaGuardia dismissed the judge for the evening and took over the bench himself. Within a few minutes, a tattered old woman was brought before him, charged with stealing a loaf of bread. She told LaGuardia that her daughter's husband had deserted her, her daughter was sick and her two grandchildren were starving. But the shopkeeper, from whom the bread was stolen, refused to drop the charges. "It's a bad neighborhood, your Honor," the man told the mayor. "She's got to be punished to teach other people around here a lesson."
LaGuardia sighed. He turned to the woman and said, "I've got to punish you. The law makes no exceptions - $10 or 10 days in jail." But even as he pronounced sentence, the mayor was already reaching into his pocket. He extracted a bill and tossed it into his famous sombrero saying: "Here is the $10 fine which I now remit; and furthermore I am going to fine everyone in this courtroom 50 cents for living in a town where a person has to steal bread so that her grandchildren can eat. Mr. Bailiff, collect the fines and give them to the defendant."
So the following day the New York City newspapers reported that $47.50 was turned over to a bewildered old lady who had stolen a loaf of bread to feed her starving grandchildren, 50 cents of that amount being contributed by the red-faced grocery store owner, while some 70 petty criminals, people with traffic violations and New York City policemen, each of whom had just paid 50 cents for the privilege of doing so, gave the mayor a standing ovation.
The grace of God operates at a profound level in the life of a loving person. Oh, that we would recognize God's grace when it comes to us!
By Brennan Manning, "The Ragamuffin Gospel"
Source: Monday Fodder email@example.com?subject=Subscribe_Monday_Fodder via http://www.witandwisdom.org
~~~~~~~ THIS & THAT:
Have you ever been in a position where someone asks you for a reference to get a job and you find yourself in an awkward position? You don't want to lie, but you really can't tell the truth because it will hurt.
Robert Thornton, professor of economics at Lehigh University, once composed the ideal letter to fit the situation:
I am pleased to say that this candidate is a former colleague of mine. In my opinion you will be fortunate to get this person to work for you. I recommend him with no qualifications whatsoever.
No person would be better for the job. I urge you to waste no time in making this candidate an offer of employment. All in all, and without reservation, I cannot say enough good things about him, nor can I recommend him too highly.
Source: Bits & Pieces, April 2, 1992, Copyright (c) Economic Press, Inc., www.epinc.com via http://www.witandwisdom.org
~~~~~~~ KEEP SMILING:
A note left for a pianist from his wife: "Gone Chopin, have Liszt, Bach in a Minuet."
Source: Bill's Punch Line, bills-punch-line- firstname.lastname@example.org via http://www.witandwisdom.org
Here's how former Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, was able to inspire quality work. Once, he asked an assistant to prepare an analysis. The young man worked day and night on the project. An hour after he presented it to Kissinger, he got it back. There was a note attached that told him to redo it.
The assistant stayed up all night revising the report. Again, Kissinger asked him to redo it. After rewriting the report three times, the assistant asked to see Kissinger. He told him, "I've done the absolute best I can do."
Kissinger looked up and said, "ln that case, I'll read it now."
By Neil Eskelin in Neil Eskelin's Daily Jump Start(tm), Copyright (c) 2000, www.neileskelin.com via http://www.witandwisdom.org