A psychologist once asked a group of college students to jot down, in thirty seconds, the initials of the people they disliked. Some of the students taking the test could think of only one person. Others listed as many as fourteen. The interesting fact that came out of this bit of research was this Those who disliked the largest number were themselves the most widely disliked. When we find ourselves continually disliking others, we ought to bring ourselves up short and ask ourselves the question 'What is wrong with me.'
A man on a hiking trip through the Blue Ridge Mountains came to the top of a hill and saw, just below the crest, a small log cabin. Its aged owner was sitting in front of the door, smoking a corncob pipe, and when the traveler drew close enough he asked the old man patronizingly 'Lived here all your life' 'Nope,' the old mountaineer replied patiently. 'Not yet.'
Recently a large group of problem children were given the assignment of writing essays on the difficulties they had with their parents. The papers they turned in were misspelled but lively, listing a number of rather predicable faults gushing, nagging.
Some time ago we heard a strange story. The pilot of a small plane said that he had been caught in a one hundred fifty mile gale, which held his plane perfectly still. The motor was roaring, he claimed, but the plane was not moving. 'It was weird,' he said, 'to be going one hundred fifty miles an hour and yet not be going anywhere at all.'
Sir William Blackstone, the great English jurist, writing in his Commentaries on the Laws of England in 1769, was most explicit in emphasizing the weakness of mans nature. As he observed '... if our reason were always, as in our first ancestor before hi.
Just before he ascended the gallows following the Nuremberg trials, Hans Frank, one of the top Nazis who controlled Poland, made a statement. He claimed he had little idea, until it was too late, that turning away from God could have such destructive and deadly consequences. 'It was not only because of technical reasons and unfortunate coincidences that we lost the war. It was not just ill luck and treason. Rather God has passed sentence on Hitler. He has passed it on him and his system which we served in a state of mind hostile to God.' He then implored that everything be done to warn others not to follow in his path. 'Not even one step,' he emphasized, since the way he followed was 'the way without God, the road from Christ, and in the final outcome the road of political stupidity, of disaster and death.'
A young lady went into a bookstore and asked the clerk for Irving Stones book, 'Immoral Wife.' 'The title is 'Immortal Wife,' the clerk replied. 'Ill get it for you.' 'Oh, please dont bother, If thats the correct name of the book, I dont think Id care for it. I had something else in mind.'
A Seattle lawyer once interrupted his lengthy cross-examination of a witness and exclaimed, 'Your Honor, one of the jurors is asleep.' 'You put him to sleep,' replied the judge. 'Suppose you wake him up.'
A high-school girl, seated next to a famous astronomer at a dinner party, struck up a conversation with him by asking 'What do you do for a living' 'I study astronomy,' he replied. 'Really said the teenager, wide-eyed. 'I finished astronomy last year.'
During a rehearsal of Beethovens Ninth Symphony the members of the orchestra were so overwhelmingly moved by the conducting of Arturo Toscanini that they rose as one man and applauded him. When the spontaneous cheering has subsided, Toscanini turned to his men, tears glistening in his eyes. 'Please ... please Dont do this You see, gentlemen, it isnt me you should applaud. Its Beethoven'
A suburban local was stalled by a blizzard one winters night, and so deep was the snow that its passengers were unable to leave the car. Next morning the hundred and fifty-odd half-frozen commuters were startled to see a manned signal tower only a few hundred yards away. The signal-station attendant had seen the stalled train the night before, but when asked why hed done nothing about it, he answered, 'Its not in my territory.'
One day, the Devil decided to go out of business. His tools, therefore, being for sale, were put on display and Malice, Jealousy, and Pride were soon recognized by most of his prospective customers. There was one worn, tiny wedge-shaped tool bearing the highest price, however, which seemed difficult to identify. 'What is that' someone asked. 'I cant quite place it.' 'Oh that' Satan answered. 'That is Discouragement. It is my most valuable tool. With it I can open many hearts, since so few people know that it belongs to me.'
The Metropolitan Museum of Art some time ago held a display of contemporary art at which 52,000 was awarded to American sculptors, painters, and artists in allied fields. The award for the best painting went to the canvas of an Illinois artist. It was described as 'a macabre, detailed work showing a closed door bearing a funeral wreath.' Equally striking was the works title 'That which I should have done, I did not do.'
The will of a wealthy New York woman, in addition to distributing her worldly goods to her children, left them the following advice Love one another. Hold fast to that whether you understand one another or not, and remember nothing really matters except being kind to one another in the name of Christ and to all the world as far as you can reach.
A young man, just beginning the study of musical composition, once went to Mozart and asked him the formula for developing the theme of a symphony. Mozart suggested that a symphony was rather an ambitious project for a beginner perhaps the young man might better try his hand at something simpler first. 'But you were writing symphonies when you were my age.' the student protested. 'Yes, but I didnt have to ask how.'
In one of the decisive battles of World War I, disastrous reports poured into the headquarters of Marshal Foch, the commander of the Allied forces. The great general never lost heart. When things were at their worst, he drafted his famous order which is now in all textbooks of military strategy 'My center is giving way, my right is pushed back, my left is wavering. The situation is excellent. I shall attack'
High up in the Rockies a small boy and his mother were visiting. One day, after he had been punished, the boy ran to the edge of the cliff and shouted at his mother, 'I hate you I hate you' Across the ravine came the echo, 'I hate you I hate you' Thoroughly frightened the boy ran to his mother and said . 'Who is that bad man over there who said, I hate you' Taking the boys hand, the mother led him back to the top of the cliff, 'Now,' she said, 'call out I love you I love you' Clearly and sweetly the echo came, repeating his words. 'My boy,' said the mother, taking him into her arms, 'that is the law of life what you give, you get in return.'
Christopher Columbus, in a letter addressed to Ferdinand and Isabella, the King and Queen of Spain '... But these great and marvelous results are not to be attributed to any merit of mine, but to the holy Christian faith, and to the piety and religion of our Sovereigns for that which the unaided intellect of man could not compass, the spirit of God has granted to human exertions, for God is wont to hear the prayers of His servants who love His precepts even to the performance of apparent impossibilities ... 'Therefore, let the King and Queen, our princes and their most happy kingdoms, and all the other provinces of Christendom, render thanks to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who has granted us so great a victory ...'
There is an ancient tale about a king who wanted to pick the wisest man among his subjects to be his prime minister. When the search finally narrowed down to just three men, he decided to put them to the supreme test. Accordingly, he placed them together in a room in his palace, and on the room door he had installed a lock which was the last word in mechanical ingenuity. The candidates were informed that whoever was able to open the door first would be appointed to the post of honor. Setting themselves to the task, two of the men began to work out complicated mathematical formulas to discover the lock combination. The third man, however, just sat down in his chair, lost in thought. Finally, without bothering to put pen to paper, he got up, walked to the door, and turned the handle. The door opened. It had been unlocked all the time.
A gentleman walking along the street passed a vacant lot where some boys were playing baseball. He asked what the score was and was told,'Were behind eighteen to nothing.' 'Well,' said the gentleman, 'I must say you dont look very discouraged.' 'Discouraged' the boy said, puzzled, 'Were not discouraged. We havent come to bat yet'
During a heavy storm at sea a nervous woman passenger on a large liner went to the captain, seeking reassurance. 'Captain,' she asked tremulously, 'are we in great danger' 'Dont worry, madam,' he answered, 'after all, we are in the hands of God.' 'Oh,' she gasped, terror written on her face, 'is it as bad as that'
Paul Cezanne never knew that he was later to be considered 'the father of modern painting.' Because of his great love for his work, he never thought of recognition. He struggled for thirty-five years, living in oblivion at Aix, giving away masterpieces to indifferent neighbors. And then one day a discerning Paris dealer happened upon his canvases and, gathering several of them, presented the Cezanne exhibit. The great of the art world were stunned here, indeed, was a master And Cezanne himself was no less astonished. Arriving at the gallery on the arm of his son, he gazed wonderingly at his paintings, and tears came to his eyes. 'Look,' he whispered, 'theyve framed them'
William L. Stidger, in the magazine, Your Life, tells a story about the conductor, Walter D. Famrosch, who once stopped his orchestra when everything was apparently going along smoothly, and asked 'Where is the seventh flute Where is the seventh flute' As Mr. Stidger points out, the conductor didnt ask for the first flute, or the secondbut the seventh. Even the seventh flute had an important place in creating the harmony the leader desired. 'We may feel inferior, untalented, not even beautiful, and some of us uneducated,' Mr. Stidger comments, 'but each of us has a part to play and should play it well.'
Three hundred years ago a prisoner condemned to the Tower of London carved on the wall of his cell this sentiment to keep up his spirits during his long imprisonment: 'It is not adversity that kills, but the impatience with which we bear adversity.
With his car stalled in a busy intersection, the flustered driver hurriedly got out and lifted the hood. As he did the driver of the car behind began honking his horn. The noise kept on without letup until the driver of the stalled car suddenly walked to the car behind and said calmly, 'If youll fix my car, Ill be glad to keep blowing your horn for you.'
One of the big surprises of the 1946 opening session of the UN General Assembly in New York was a forthright statement by Abayomi Cassell, the delegate from Liberia 'Every single human creature is the object of Gods interest and care and there will be no chance for lasting peace so long as one shred of injustice exists on the globe. 'I believe that each time ... one group of people or one nation takes advantage of the other, retribution follows either from within or from without for that breach of the perfect law of God as well as those of mankind, which are products of the Divine within man'
As she read the ten commandments for the first time, a Chinese woman said, 'I dont see how anyone can very well get on without them.'
A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.
As William Dean Howells and Mark Twain were coming out of church one morning, it commenced to rain heavily. 'Do you think it will ever stop' asked Howells. 'It always has,' answered Twain.
In Holman Hunts painting, 'The Light of the World, 'Christ is shown in a garden at midnight, holding a lantern in His left hand. With His right hand He is knocking on a heavily paneled door. When the painting was unveiled, a critic remarked to the painter, 'Mr. Hunt, the work is unfinished. There is no handle on the door.' 'That,' Hunt answered, 'is the door to the human heart. It can be opened only from the inside.'
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