We teach children that what happens to them will not always be fair, but it takes a person as old as I am to realize that things are never fair, not does it “all come out in the wash,” which is another saying we use to indicate that when all is known things will be squared up.
Life’s events are more like a swinging pendulum than a carefully balanced scale. I once ran a red light right in front of a police officer; but when I promptly pulled over, he didn’t arrest me; he just said, “Be more careful in the future.” That day my pendulum swung to the “good luck” side of the equation. That was good for me, but hardly fair to all the other people who have received tickets for running that same red light both before and since.
On the other hand, plenty of people have extremely bad luck on one or more occasions when the pendulum swings far over to the other side. Taking this to the extreme, consider this event that happened in my home town in the early 1960’s. About half a dozen cars were crossing our river bridge one day when it suddenly collapsed—just like that. A bridge that had stood for fifty years collapsed at the very moment those half dozen cars were driving across. But were the drivers unlucky people? Maybe not. No one was killed, so perhaps instead of being extraordinarily unlucky they were extraordinarily lucky; or perhaps they were both unlucky and lucky in rapid succession, a fact that fits my original premise. Life is never fair, nor is it balanced. Most events lean one way or the other.
The only balanced events in our lives are the non-events. When nothing happens, we’re in status neutral which is the closest thing to perfect balance life ever offers.
I believe it is useful to think about the changing nature of our fortunes because of our old friend, “hope” My pendulum has lately swung almost exclusively to the “bad luck” side. I have been weighed down and nearly overcome by ongoing misfortune. Nevertheless, from a lifetime of observance, I can be assured the pendulum will swing the other way sometime in the future. That’s a very comforting thought.
By Elizabeth Ruth
Always Be Humble and Kind
My twin brother and I were raised by our grandparents. They have taught us so many things about life, but the one thing that has always stuck with me is to always be humble and kind no matter what you do in life. My grandpa always told us no matter where life leads you, always remember your values and where you came from. He was a colonel in the Air Force for 20 years, and then became a lawyer and owned his own law firm for another 20 years. Today, at age 83, he is a cashier at Walmart and you would never know what all he has done because he is that humble. People go to his register to see him because he always puts a smile on their face. He has taught us that it doesn’t matter what you do or have done, it’s about who you are and your character. He really does teach by example.
My Support System
Ever since I was young, my parents and older brother have always cheered me on – whether it was at a dance competition, piano recital, or an academic accomplishment. They were there even when I attempted 1 of 10 sports, only to later realize I just wasn’t that athletic. Point is – they never stopped to tell me I couldn’t do something or to quit. They encouraged me every step of the way, and went the extra mile to be the parent that was the volunteer soccer coach or would rearrange their hectic schedules for my passions and growth.
My family became a main value through these childhood moments, and are also integral to every other value I hold important – whether it’s learning persistence or respect for others. They have instilled in me these values from a young age, and continue to help me abide by them. At every major turning point in my life whether its choosing a college or a full time job, I rely on them for their advice, and consider how to maintain this value while being away. In 5 years, I know family will be of equal importance to me and will always strive to make it known to them that they are my greatest value.
Submitted by Ayeesha
Poem of Peace
Our nation’s innocence is lost,
Stolen by acts of hate.
Helpless people paid the cost,
For them it is too late.
Daughters, sons, husbands, wives,
Sisters, friends and brothers.
All of them have lost their lives,
To senseless acts of others.
New York’s city has been defaced.
Bodies lay in rubble.
They can never be replaced.
But war won’t end our trouble.
Angers only escalate,
As we point out the guilt.
Violence will perpetuate.
While we dig through the silt.
Cries of anger, cries for war,
Echo in the air.
As if our bombs and missiles soar,
It will make it fair.
People claim “eye for an eye”
Our nation wants to fight.
If their innocent people die,
Then will that make US right?
Punishment surely must take place.
These murderers must pay.
But they are groups and not a race.
Keep liberty in mind, each day.
We are people of goodwill,
Of truth and love and light.
Please give thought before you kill,
Take heed before you fight.
We ask, what do we tell our children?
How do we give them ease?
Reactions set examples for them,
Should we not teach them peace?
Optimism – The Difference between Optimsts and Pessimists
In order to better understand people’s views of the world, a researcher once placed two children, one a pessimist and the other an optimist, alone in separate rooms.
The pessimist was placed in a colorful room full of all kinds of imaginative toys…the optimist was put in a room filled with horse manure.
The first child played in the room for a little while, but soon came to the door asking to leave because the toys were boring and because they broke too easily.
Likewise, the young optimist soon came to the door…but rather than asking to leave, she asked for a shovel.
Of course, the researcher asked the child why she wanted a shovel.
She replied, “With all this manure around, I know that there must be a pony in here somewhere.”
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