Category Archives: Inspirational

A Tale of Two Cars

Screen shot 2014-10-04 at 5.25.06 PMSeveral years ago my dad was a math teacher at East High School in Salt Lake City, Utah. One of my dad’s former students, Mike, owned a car dealership that sold many high end cars. One day my dad decided to drop in, and say hello to a former student. While visiting he asked, “Mike, tell me one of your most interesting stories here at your car dealership.” Mike replied,” A few months ago a man in torn ragged clothes came into the show room looking at all the cars on display. It was not uncommon for homeless men and women to wander in off the streets to warm up from the cold. When this man came in, he was spending most of his time looking at the Rolls Royce automobiles.

Mike noticed he had two salesmen that could have helped this man, but chose not to. Feeling a little embarrassed that his salesmen were in no hurry to help this man, he went up to this guy and asked if he could help him. He began to tell Mike that he had always wanted to own a Rolls Royce, and it was his wife’s birthday. He wanted to surprise her with a white Rolls Royce, and he wanted to get a black one for himself. The commission that the salesmen passed up would have given them an equivalent of four months of pay on those two cars. Mike called the bank, and the cars were ordered while the salesmen were left squirming with their mouths wide open. They judged this man unfairly because of the clothes he was wearing.

The moral of the story: Don’t judge anyone, even people dressed in rags could end up helping you more than you realize.

Chinese Farmer Zen Story

Chinese Farmer.jpgChinese Farmer Zen Story

Here is a lovely Zen story, popularly known as the Chinese farmer Zen story or the  “Good luck bad luck” Zen story.

An elderly, hard-working Chinese farmer and his son, had a single horse. They used the horse to plow the field, to sow the seeds, grow the crop, and transport it to the market. The horse was essential for the farmer to earn his livelihood.

One morning, the horse broke the fence and ran away into the woods. When the neighbors found out that the only horse the farmer had, had run away, they came to solace him. They said – “Your only horse has run away just before the planting season. How will you till the land? How will you sow the seeds? This is unfortunate. This is bad luck.”

The farmer replied – “Good luck, bad luck. Who knows?”

A few days later the farmer’s horse returned from the woods along with two other wild horses. When the neighbors found out the news, they said – ” Now you have three horses! You can till the land much faster with three horses. Maybe you can buy more land and sow more crop and make more money. Or you can sell the other two horses. Either way, you will be a rich man! This is good luck! “

The wise farmer replied – “Good luck, bad luck. Who knows?”

Next morning, the farmer’s son started training the wild horses so that they would help till the land. While attempting to mount one of the wild horses, he fell down and broke his leg. Just before the sowing season, the son would not be able to help the farmer with his broken leg. The neighbors came once again and commented – ” This is really unfortunate. This is bad luck.“

The wise farmer repeated – “Good luck, bad luck. Who knows?”

A few days later, the king’s men started to visit each village in the kingdom. A war had started between their kingdom and a neighboring enemy state. The king’s men were enlisting the eldest son from each family to join the army so that they could defeat the enemy state. When they came to the farmer’s house they saw the son with the broken leg. He would not be of much use in the army and hence they didn’t take him. He was the only eldest son in the entire village who was not forcibly taken by the king’s men to fight the war. The neighbors, some of them with teary eyes, came once again to the farmer and commented – “Your son breaking his leg was really fortunate. He is the only one who was not taken. What a stroke of good luck.“

The farmer calmly replied – “Good luck, bad luck. Who knows?”

Every single time the neighbors thought that what had happened to the farmer was bad luck, it turned out to be good luck! And just when the neighbor’s thought that the incidents had brought the farmer good luck, it turned out to be bad luck! Have you had similar experiences in your own life? What you thought was a setback turned out to be a blessing? And what you thought was unfortunate turned out to be beneficial? However, in the interim, we go through an emotional roller-coaster of happiness and sadness!

The moral of the story?

As human beings, we have a tendency to interpret any and all events as either good or bad. Often we do it unconsciously. When we interpret events as good luck, we are usually happy and vice-versa. However, most events, like in the story, that are beyond our control are just events! There is nothing we can do about these events that are beyond our control, except accepting them and moving on. Adding our interpretation and the emotional drama into the mix is usually counterproductive and stops us from moving forward.

In fact, the moral of the story is nicely summarized in the “serenity prayer”

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.

As told by Tushar Vakil

Never a Better Hero

Kenneth Cope does a beautiful job singing this song he wrote about the Savior.

Never a Better Hero

Making His home with the lonely
Spending His days with the poor
Bring hope to their hearts
Giving man a new start with His cure

But not all would receive of His offering
Some even planned His decease
Yet He couldn’t forsake
Those whose lives He might save
So He refused to leave

[Chorus:] Never a better hero
Never a truer man
Hopin’ to save us
By taking our pain in His hands
Never a greater compassion
Never a wasted day
Not one regret, true to the end
There was never a better way

Now He knew His life would be shortened
But never murmured a word of complaint
For He had in mind
A much greater design
And it helped Him through the pain

He gave men power to take Him
Knowing His death would bring life
And it was no surprise
There was love in His eyes when He died

[Chorus:]

But death was not the end
For He would live again

[Chorus:]

All that He did
Follow and live
There’ll be never a better way

By Kenneth Cope

 

Jeopardy Question: No One Could Answer

IMG_1683On the Jeopardy game program, the contestants were asked the question which none could answer correctly.

The question was: “How many steps does the guard take during his walk across the tomb of the Unknowns

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Photograph of the Honour Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier – Arlington Cemetery.

1.  How many steps does the guard take during his walk across the tomb of the Unknowns and why?

ANSWER
: 21 steps – It alludes to the twenty-one gun salute which is the highest honor given any military or foreign dignitary.

2. How long does he hesitate after his about face to begin his return walk and why

ANSWER: 21 seconds for the same reason as answer number 1.

3. Why are his gloves wet?

ANSWER:
 His gloves are moistened to prevent his losing his grip on the rifle.

4. Does he carry his rifle on the same shoulder all the time and, if not, why not?

ANSWER: He carries the rifle on the shoulder away from the tomb. After his march across the path, he executes an about face and moves the rifle to the outside shoulder.

5. How often are the guards changed?

ANSWER: Guards are changed every thirty minutes, twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year.

6.  What are the physical traits of the guard limited to?
ANSWER: For a person to apply for guard duty at the tomb, he must be between 5′ 10′ and 6′ 2′ tall and his waist size cannot exceed 30.

SPECIAL NOTE

They must commit 2 years of life to guard the tomb, live in a barracks under the tomb, and cannot drink any alcohol on or off duty for the rest of their lives. They cannot swear in public for the rest of their lives and cannot disgrace the uniform or the tomb in any way.

After two years, the guard is given a wreath pin that is worn on their lapel signifying they served as guard of the tomb. There are only 400 presently worn. The guard must obey these rules for the rest of their lives or give up the wreath pin.

The shoes are specially made with very thick soles to keep the heat and cold from their feet.  There are metal heel plates that extend to the top of the shoe in order to make the loud click as they come to a halt.

There are no wrinkles, folds or lint on the uniform.

Guards dress for duty in front of a full-length mirror.

The first six months of duty a guard cannot talk to anyone nor watch TV.

All off duty time is spent studying the 175 notable people laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery .

A guard must memorize who they are and where they are interred. Among the notables are:

– President Taft,

– Joe Lewis {the boxer}

– Medal of Honor winner Audie L. Murphy, the most decorated soldier of WWII and of Hollywood fame.

Every guard spends five hours a day getting his uniforms ready for guard duty..

In 2003 as Hurricane Isabelle was approaching Washington, DC, our US Senate/House took 2 days off with anticipation of the storm. On the ABC evening news, it was reported that because of the dangers from the hurricane, the military members assigned the duty of guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier were given permission to suspend the assignment.

They respectfully declined the offer,”No way, Sir!” Soaked to the skin, marching in the pelting rain of a tropical storm, they said that guarding the Tomb was not just an assignment, it was the highest honor that can be afforded to a service person.

The tomb has been patrolled continuously, 24/7, since 1930.

 

The above was submitted by RCMP Veteran Shirley Hall.