WITandWISDOM™ - E-zine

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WITandWISDOM(tm) - March 5, 2007
ISSN 1538-8794

~~~~~~~ THOUGHTS:

The young do not know enough to be prudent, and therefore they attempt the impossible - and achieve it, generation after generation. - Pearl S. Buck

Source: Carol's Thought for Today, http://home.comcast.net/~mrs.carol/


For centuries, poets and philosophers have written about friendship Ė that special bond of affection and caring that adds immeasurably to our ability to cope with bad times and expand joy when things go well.

One important aspect of friendship is acceptance conveyed in the proverb "Love is blind; friendship closes its eyes." Another is the capacity of a friend to motivate growth.

I love the line in the movie As Good As It Gets when the character played by Jack Nicholson expresses gratitude and amazement at the impact of a new friendship: "You make me want to be a better person."

But to really understand friendship, look into the heart of a 12-year-old girl named Alex. In a birthday letter to her best friend, she captured the essence of friendship as well as any poet:

Dear Aby,

I am sooooo lucky to have you as my friend. You are sweet and funny and so much more. You are fun to be with. You crack me up with laughter and touch my heart with your kindness. You have a wonderful ability to know when to offer advice and when to sit in quiet support. Time after time, youíve come to my rescue and brightened my routine days. And time after time, I realize how fortunate I am that my life includes you. Everybody should have a friend like you. But so far it looks like you are one of a kind!

Your loving friend,
Alexandra Devon Jacobsen

Iím proud that my daughter Abrielle, 12-years-old, evoked such words of appreciation, and Iím in awe that her 12-year-old friend had the insight and eloquence to express herself so well.

This is Michael Josephson reminding you that character counts.

© 2007 Josephson Institute of Ethics; reprinted with permission. Michael Josephson, one of the nation's leading ethicists, is the founder of the Josephson Institute of Ethics and the premier youth character education program, CHARACTER COUNTS! For further information visit http://www.charactercounts.org

~~~~~~~ THIS & THAT:

Many years ago in a small Russian village, a farmer had the misfortune of owing a large sum of money to the village money lender.

The money lender, who was old and horrible, fancied the farmer's beautiful daughter. So he proposed a bargain. He said he would forgo the farmer's debt if he could marry his daughter. Both the farmer and his daughter were horrified by the proposal.

The cunning money lender suggested that they decide the matter this way: He told them that he would put a black pebble and a white pebble into an empty money bag. Then the girl would have to pick one pebble from the bag.

1. If she picked the black pebble, she would become his wife and her father's debt would be forgiven.

2. If she picked the white pebble, she need not marry him and her father's debt would still be forgiven.

3. But if she refused to pick a pebble, her father would be thrown into jail.

Standing on a pebble-strewn path in the farmer's field, the money lender bent over to pick up two pebbles.

As he picked them up, the sharp-eyed girl noticed that he had picked up two black pebbles and put them into the bag.

He then asked the girl to pick a pebble from the bag.

Now, imagine that you were standing in the field that day. What would you have done if you were the girl?

If you had to advise her, what would you have told her?

Careful analysis would produce three possibilities:

1. The girl should refuse to take a pebble.

2. The girl should show that there were two black pebbles in the bag and expose the money lender as a cheat. But he will not forgive the loan.

3. The girl should pick a black pebble and sacrifice herself in order to save her Father from his debt and imprisonment.

Take a moment to ponder over this story.

The girl's dilemma cannot be solved with traditional logical thinking. Think of the consequences if she chose any of the logical choices. What would you recommend the girl do?

Do not look at the answer yet, give your advice after a few minutes of your own lateral thinking................

Well, here is what she did.

She put her hand into the moneybag and drew out a pebble. Without looking at it, she fumbled and let it fall onto the pebble-strewn path where it immediately became lost among all the other pebbles. "Oh how clumsy of me," she said. "But never mind, if you look into the bag for the one that is left, you will be able to tell which pebble I picked."

Since the remaining pebble was black, they had to assume that she had picked the white one.

And since the moneylender dared not admit his dishonesty, the girl changed what seemed an impossible situation into an extremely advantageous one.

Submitted by Ron Wise


Although we modern persons tend to take our electric lights, radios, mixers, etc., for granted, hundreds of years ago people did not have any of these things, which is just as well because there was no place to plug them in.

Then along came the first Electrical Pioneer, Benjamin Franklin, who flew a kite in a lightning storm and received a serious electrical shock. This proved that lightning was powered by the same force as carpets, but it also damaged Franklin's brain so severely that he started speaking only in incomprehensible maxims, such as "A penny saved is a penny earned."

Eventually he had to be given a job running the post office.

Dave Barry, "What Is Electricity?"

Source: Chapnotes, mailto:xanmansa@chapnotes.org?Subject=Subscribe

~~~~~~~ TRIVIA:

Waiting to have a physical at the base hospital in Cherry Point, N.C., I overheard a Marine Corps warrant officer try unsuccessfully to get the medical personnel to issue him new eyeglasses without an appointment. Just then, a two-star general came into the room, and the warrant officer snapped sharply to attention, greeting him, "Good morning, Colonel." "Mister," the general replied, "If you can't tell a two-star general from a colonel, you better get some glasses." The warrant officer didn't have to wait for an appointment.

Contributed to "Humor In Uniform" by Willis Vaughn

Source: America In Uniform, http://www.beliefnet.com/user/newsletter_choose.asp

WITandWISDOM™ - E-zine