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I was introduced to The Shark and the Goldfish by my boss. He tacked a post-it to its cover that said “I think this will change your perspective on things” and left it on my desk.

My first impression wasn’t positive. The story is illustrated, so it reminded me of a children’s book. The opening statement–Are you a shark or a goldfish?–made me wonder what the heck my boss was trying to tell me. Was he suggesting that I needed to be more of a man? I didn’t get it. I skimmed the book’s contents within five minutes, decided the story was too hokey for my tastes, and dismissed it as unimportant.

Sometime later, a coworker recognized the book in my cubicle and asked me about it. After explaining why I didn’t really read it, my coworker agreed that although the story was corny, the message is what really mattered. He suggested I try reading it again, saying “Make sure you read the introduction this time.”

After reading The Shark and the Goldfish front to back, I’m happy to report that I get it now. The author Jon Gordon starts off with a confession saying that of course a goldfish, a freshwater fish, cannot survive in the ocean. Gordon goes on to explain that his “Shark or Goldfish?” concept started out as a story he liked using in motivational speeches. The story is intentionally short so he can communicate his point quickly. Consequently, The Shark and the Goldfish is more of a quick-and-dirty tool than a magnum opus:

A goldfish is alone is his bowl, perfectly content with being fed each day. During a trip to the beach he is accidentally swept away into the ocean, where he starts to go hungry. He fears that he is done for, until he meets a friendly shark who challenges his thinking.

The message shines through in this bit of dialogue between the shark and his newfound friend: “You know what your problem is?” “I’m starving and no one will feed me.” “No, you are waiting to be fed.”

The focus of the story revolves around one important truth: You can’t control the events in your life. You can, however, choose how you respond to them.

This truism is the motivation that the shark uses to teach the goldfish how to “be a shark.” In order to be a successful shark, the goldfish will need to work hard for his food. Furthermore, it’s not a “once in a while” type of work — it’s a mindset that reinforces the need to work hard every day.

It is a lesson that translates well into dealing with adversity. If you’re unemployed, you can’t wait for jobs to come knocking at your door – you must actively search for jobs and beat out the competition to a job offer. If you’re working in a dead-end job, you can’t wait for something better to land in your lap – you must actively seek out new opportunities. If you’re anxious to get a raise or a promotion, you can’t wait for someone to notice you – you must take on extra projects, leverage your contacts, and do other proactive tasks that will help get you get noticed.

Though the main focus of The Shark and the Goldfish is about turning misfortune into fortune by seeing opportunity in the midst of adversity, there are other lessons to be learned from the story. The book highlights these different lessons that the goldfish learns through illustration: Whenever the goldfish learns something, he’ll inscribe a reminder into different rocks or pieces of coral throughout the ocean. The reminder that resonated most with me is the importance of faith over fear.

Faith and fear are similar because both are beliefs of a future that hasn’t happened yet. Fear is the belief in a negative future, while faith is a belief in a positive one. Fear is most common, because of the multiple forms it comes in. There is fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of starving, fear of change, and even fear of fear. Because fear can be so paralyzing, it’s no wonder that so many people will settle for their small goldfish-bowl world. We are content, so long as we’re being fed.

As a result, we forget about our options for a different future. We lose sight of our own potential because our faith in a positive future is drowned out by all of the fears we carry.

In The Shark and the Goldfish, the goldfish successfully overcomes his fears. In the face of adversity, he chooses to be proactive. Despite negativity from naysayers, he proves himself to be a shark capable of finding more food than he’d ever need. He decides to create a school for fish that once thought like himself, and teaches what it takes to be a shark like him.

At about 80 pages, many of which have less than 15 words on them due to illustrations, The Shark and the Goldfish can be read in under an hour. Gordon admits that he’s received criticism regarding the length and simplicity of the book, and I almost dismissed its significance because of just how small it is.

In spite of my poor first impression, I am grateful that The Shark and the Goldfish was recommended to me a second time, because I see now what my boss was getting at. When it comes to success, attitude is everything. With a proactive approach to life, you can handle everything that’s thrown at you, even if it’s as terrifying as the vastness of the ocean to a tiny goldfish. You realize that against all odds, you are still in control over yourself. As a result, you are in control of your life.

As Gordon puts it, the choice is yours. What do you want to be? A shark or a goldfish?

Are you a shark or a goldfish

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“Finding positive ways to strive through waves of change.”

(~_~)

 

 
Fran the Frog was the best chef in the whole swamp, and all the toads and frogs of the region enjoyed coming to her very select restaurant. Her ‘Flies in spicy bug sauce’ and her ‘Caramelised dragon flies wings with honey of bee’ were the kind of delicacies that every self-respecting frog should try; and that made Fran feel truly proud.

One day, Toby came to her restaurant, ready for a nosh. Toby was a great big toad, and certainly wasn’t the brightest. When Fran’s fine creations were brought before him he complained, saying that that wasn’t food, and that what he really wanted was a botfly burger. Fran came out of the kitchen to see what the problem was, and Toby told her that these dishes weren’t good enough for – and certainly wouldn’t fill – a Smooth Newt. This made Fran so offended, and furious, that she went to the kitchen, came back with a frying pan, and whacked Toby squarely on the forehead.

A slight scuffle ensued.

Even though Fran realised she should have controlled her temper, and she kept asking Toby to forgive her, the toad was so angry that he said he could only forgive her if she handed him the frying pan so he could hit her back.
Everyone tried to calm Toby down, knowing full well that, given his strength, he could easily crack little Fran’s head open with that frying pan.

Toby would not accept an apology, and Fran felt awful for having bashed him, so she tried everything. She gave him a special cream for bruises, she poured him an exquisite puddlewater liqueur. Even better than that, she cooked him a… beautiful botfly burger!

But Toby the Toad still insisted he would not be satisfied until he got to return the blow he had received. It had reached the stage where he was almost getting out of control.

Then a very old toad entered the restaurant, shuffling along with the help of two crutches.

– Wait Toby, – said the old toad -you can give her a whack after I’ve broken your leg. Remember that you are the reason why I have to walk with these crutches.

Toby didn’t know what to say.

He recognised the old toad. It was Reddit, his old teacher. When Toby was small, Reddit had saved him from a bunch of young hooligans. In the process, Reddit had lost a leg. Toby remembered that it had all happened because he had been highly disobedient, but he had never given a thought to Reddit until now…

Toby now realised he was being very unfair to Fran. Everyone, including himself, made mistakes sometimes. And if we are to return blow for blow, wound for wound, all we are doing is prolonging the damage. So, even though his head still hurt and he thought Fran had made quite a remarkable mistake with that frying pan, seeing her feeling so sorry, and doing everything she could to put things right, Toby decided to forgive her.

Apology accepted, they spent the rest of the evening laughing at what had happened, and enjoying wonderful botfly burgers. And everyone heartily agreed that that was a rather better idea than getting into problems with pans.

story source: a frog and a frying pan

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If every one lived by the rule an eye for an eye, the whole world would be blind.

when your cup over flows with cuteness… smile!

(~_~)

Who was Pavlov’s Dog?

Well, it is an experiment in behavioral psychology. The idea is that if we associate one thing with another (in this case, associate a bell with food), that eventually the same things will happen when the associated thing happens as when the original impetus happens. The dogs would start salivating when they saw their food… so they would ring a bell when the food came, and eventually, the dogs would start salivating when the bell rang… even when it was not accompanied by food.
 
The same thing happens in everyday life to a certain extent. For instance, someone who hates their job will get grumpy whenever they are at work… but they could also start to associate it with other things, like the whole company, the whole city, the whole state. Eventually “I hate California” would express that person’s hatred of doing a particular thing or interacting with a particular person, because they have associated other things with whatever they detest. Whether it is worth addressing all of our associations and working through them or just moving to another state depends on the circumstances.Read more: here
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So, every time I hear a bell… I get hungry? (grinin’)
Perhaps not, but I can relate to ill feelings stemming from my past. For instance, alcohol. I don’t drink, recalling so many hang-overs and events from my past (like pancreas). Seeking more self-control in my life, offering to be the designated driver and still enjoy the company of family and Friends on an outing.
 
The crutch in life. I have seen (at work) where many come in with a broken leg or had been shot and years later, even though they don’t need it, they still have a cane or walking stick.
 
So, where are you going with all this Art?
 
One of the things that helps me in my life; is Zen. When confronted with a situation (more often strong emotions) I will place my hands together, take a deep breath, close my eyes and begin now, recalling all that I know clouds judgment (yes experience is a helpful tool) but often times it is past emotions that are triggered by certain things (like the ringing of the bell) and even though I know not what triggered this emotion, I drop it and do what I know is right and that is live in the now. Zen is a state of being, in the now, there-fore I use this to suppress anger or anxieties and open my mind before I open my eyes. Then see it for what it is, for it is what it is!
 
 
The more I think about Pavlov’s dogs, the more I realize that there have been so many triggers instilled in our lives and to untangle them will take time. Just a little tid-bit, I recall my father when I was about 9 coming home drunk and tearing the house apart. He turned the refrigerator over in the kitchen. I came downstairs to see what the loud noise was and saw this, my mother ‘crying,’ orders me to go back to bed. In seeing someone get out of control has instilled in me to be in control of one’s anger and emotions. Yes, we are a direct result of our up bringing and environment.
 
I think of my mother as an Angel, that makes me a Demi-Angel!
 
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Ivan Pavlov was a Russian physiologist who lived from 1849-1936. He founded the Institute of Experimental Medicine in 1890, where his primary interest was digestion.

Pavlov’s Dogs is the name given to Ivan Pavlov’s seminal research in the early 20th century (there was not actually one dog as a pet but many dogs used in experimentations) which established some essential principles of Classical Conditioning in the field of human psychology. Classical Conditioning concerns ‘learned’ or conditioned behaviour, (which also forms the basis of behaviour therapy).

We all have behaviours that we might seek to change. The Pavlov’s Dogs illustration helps us to understand more about why we respond sometimes irrationally to certain situations.

Pavlov’s Dogs provides a wonderful and true example for anyone seeking to explain or understand how our past experiences can prompt certain behaviours in the future, for example, phobias (irrational fears), neurosis (severe nervous or emotional responses to particular situations), and even mild feelings of concern or anxiety that virtually all of us are prone to in one way or another (eg., public speaking, fear of heights, flying, being reprimanded or tested, etc.)

The initial Pavlov’s Dogs experiment was simply to place a dog in a sound-proof, smell-proof cubicle, with no outside view – a controlled environment in other words. A sound was made when food was given to the dog, and the amount of salivation the dog produced was measured. After repeating this several times (called ‘trials’), the sound was made but no food was given. The dog still salivated.

This simple experiment established that the dog did not necessarily need the food in order to respond to food. The dog was responding to a stimulus or ‘trigger’ that produced the same response as the real thing. Pavlov could make the dog salivate whenever the sound was made.

This is expressed technically: a ‘Conditioned Stimulus’ (the sound) can produce a ‘Conditioned Response’ (the salivation), which was the same ‘Unconditioned Response’ (salivation in response to food) for the original ‘Unconditioned Stimulus’ (the food)…. read more of this article here!

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~may your day be filled with zen~

(~_~)

One day, a spider and a silkworm crossed paths and struck up a conversation. The spider said to the silkworm,

“I admit your silk is better than the silk from the spider. It is yellow and white, dazzling and bright. You use the silk that you spin yourself to make a beautiful comfortable cocoon, which you live inside thinking falsely you are kings. You dream in your little cocoon until the women put you in scalding hot water and peel your silk off strand by strand. Then your beautiful cocoons are all gone. What a shame, though you have the ability to create such beauty, then die because of it, is this not stupid?”

The silk worm thinking about what the spider said, answered:

“Our actions are actually like suicide, but we spin silk so that people can weave beautiful fabrics, giving all the people the ability to look beautiful. Can you really say our labor is a waste?

Look at you spider, your whole reason for weaving is to make a trap that will let you eat the little bugs that fly into it. You may not regret it, but don’t you at least think that is a little cruel?”

Bowing his head, the spider left.

With his words, the silkworm reminded the spider that in the end, humanity makes wondrous things out of his thread, while the spider is killed and his webs are brushed away with a broom.

Moral: On one hand, many people think it is a waste to do things that do not personally benefit them. These people cannot understand why making sacrifices for the benefit of others would be either logical or acceptable. On the other hand, there are some people who are satisfied knowing that their sacrifices benefit others. They have learned the joy of service to others.

When we learn to look up from our small needs, leave our egos behind and look at the broader picture and needs of humanity, we have taken a significant step on the path to enlightenment.

(note: You see it all the time, online and on the streets, “webs” of deceit made to trap you for the gain of the all mighty dollar. There are a lot more spiders than there are silk worms, yet there are still a great number of silk worms that sacrifice themselves for others, which are you?)

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re-posting

 

Once upon a time there was a serpent that was persecuting a firefly. The poor firefly fled from the ferocious predator, using all the energy created by fear to speed him along.

The serpent, however, never considered giving up his pursuit, so he chased the poor firefly run away one day, and again for the second day.

The ordeal continued, until the third day.

Without the strength to continue, the firefly stopped and asked the Serpent, “May I ask you three questions?”

The Serpent said with a haughty tone, “I’m not used to answering anyone, but since I am going to devour you, you can ask me anything”.

“Am I part of your food chain?”

“No” answered the Serpent

“Did I hurt you or provoke you in any way?” asked the firefly.

“No” repeated the serpent.

“So, why do you want to devour me?”

“Well”, said the Serpent, “because I can’t stand to see your shining light.”

In your life, there will always be “serpents” that will come about to try to steal your light and dreams; you will have two options:

You can stop shinning your light, so no serpent will be after you any longer, or you can let your light shine even brighter and learn how to deal with people like that. But it will always be your choice.

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Sources:

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Did you know~ Outdoors, spider’s make their webs facing south. (South of the equator they make them facing north… always toward the sun)

 

~In the spider web of facts many truths are strangled~

(~_~)

 

An owl and a Seagull went into business together. The owl did not have any money so he borrowed some. The seagull owned a precious jewel and he put that into the venture as well.

The two of them went to board a ship, having decided to start their business in a far off land. But there was a storm and the ship sank. The owl and the seagull managed to get to safety.

But they lost all of their possessions. Ever since then, the owl only comes out at night for fear of meeting its creditors and the seagull flies high over the rocks in the hope that the sea will give him back his precious jewel.

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      Once lived a turkey, he was very curious and always causing mischief, because of this, his name was Trouble. One day he asked another fellow turkey why turkeys don’t fly but other birds do. To this the fellow turkey answered: “I do not know. It sure would make escaping from the butcher at Thanksgiving a lot easier, but not flying is the turkeys’ tradition, so I shall not fly.”
          Of course Trouble thought that was a silly reason not to fly. So he went to ask his Mother. “Mother,” Trouble said “Why don’t us turkeys fly?” His mother smiled and answered back, “I do not know, but just thinking about it makes my back ache! Besides not flying is the turkeys’ tradition, so I shall not fly.”
          Still, Trouble was not satisfied. He waddled all the way to Utah, then asked his distant cousin, the Seagull, and said, “Mother, and a fellow turkey told me that turkeys don’t fly because it is their tradition, it might be theirs but it is surely not mine.” Seagull chuckled, “Trouble, Trouble, Trouble! You must not understand! Turkeys aren’t meant to fly. They are meant to be eaten on Thanksgiving dinner, if turkeys flew there’d be no turkey for Thanksgiving, but if you’re sure you want to fly, I’ll teach you. Trouble was very happy and thanked Seagull.
          They started lessons the next day, Seagull taught Trouble how to hold his wings just right and how to land with out having a horrible injury. When the time came that Trouble had learned all there was to learn, Seagull said, “Okay let’s go for a test-fly,”
Trouble agreed and they climbed to the tip-top of the Rocky Mountains. Seagull was the first to go; he jumped and dived gracefully, then flew back up to where Trouble was still standing. “Your turn” Seagull cried. Trouble swallowed hard; as if to try to keep back all of his fears. He nodded, then jumped he opened his wings, straightened his tail feathers, and . . . flew.
          “Ha-ha” Trouble laughed, “wait till’ my flock sees this!” He thanked Seagull one last time, flew to the ground, and waddled all the way back home. All the turkeys welcomed Trouble back home, but no matter how hard Trouble tried, he could never fly again.
          What’s the moral of the story? It fun to try different things, but family traditions last a life time.

may your day be filled with simplicity

(~_~)

Once upon a time there lived a cloth merchant in a village with his wife and two children. They were indeed quite well-off. They had a beautiful hen which laid an egg everyday. It was not an ordinary egg, rather, a golden egg. But the man was not satisfied with what he used to get daily. He was a get rich-trice kind of a person. The man wanted to get all the golden eggs from his hen at one single go.

So, one day he thought hard and at last clicked upon a plan. He decided to kill the hen and get all the eggs together. So, the next day when the hen laid a golden egg, the man caught hold of it, took a sharp knife, chopped off its neck and cut its body open. There was nothing but blood all around & no trace of any egg at all.

He was highly grieved because now he would not get even one single egg. His life was going on smoothly with one egg a day but now, he himself made his life miserable. The outcome of his greed was that he started becoming poorer & poorer day by day and ultimately became a pauper. How jinxed and how much foolish he was. So, the moral of the story is- one who desires more, looses all. One should remain satisfied with what one gets.

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Once a lion was roaming in the jungle in search of a prey. Luckily, he saw a rabbit  sleeping fast under a tree. He was delighted to get a meal with no efforts at all.

The lion was about to spring at the sleeping rabbit when he caught sight of a deer  passing by. He thought of going for a bigger prey, as it would be a much nicer meal. So, he chased the deer but failed to overtake it. He gave up the attempt and returned to the place where the rabbit was sleeping.

Reaching there, the lion saw that the small animal was no longer there. As it was getting dark, it was difficult for the lion to look out for another prey and so he had toremain hungry.“I have been served right. Had I contented myself with the rabbit, I would not have starved at least”, murmured the lion.

Moral: greed for more causes loss of what one already has.

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a bird in hand is better than two in the bush.

one shouldn’t hunt two rabbits, rather focus on one at a time.

(~_~)

 

Why Turtles have no ears  by Art~ 2012

Once upon a time, a long time ago, a turtle was making its way through the sea, swimming. It heard the sorrowful moans of the whales bellowing in the distance. The turtle said, “I can’t stand to hear the whales cry.” So, the turtle headed for the shore and crawled up on land.

There the turtle heard the seagulls fighting and squabbling. “Give me that fish,” “Get out of here,” “I hate you,” “Go away.” The seagulls yelled. The turtle hurried deeper into the woods to get away from the negative tones of the shore birds.

A great storm came, lightening and thundering crashed all around, frightening the turtle to the point that the turtle withdrew into its shell. “I wish I didn’t have ears to hear all this loud noise and all the bickering the animals do.” It was days before the turtle became hungry and had to venture out for something to eat. Drawn to water as turtles are, the turtle headed back to the sea.

When the turtle got back to the sea, it heard the roar of the ocean, the chattering of the gulls and once again wished it didn’t have ears to hear all that was bothersome to it.

Not far from where the turtle was there were two crabs fighting over a dead fish. The crabs pulled in a tug-of-war trying to dominate the morsel. Finally one crab reached out with its pincher and cut the fish in half. Seeing this the turtle had an idea. It went over to the crab and the crab started to dart away.

“Wait,” yelled the turtle. “I can give you more fish!” The crab stopped and went back toward the turtle. “I have a request and I am willing to give you more fish for a small favor.”

“What is the favor?” The crab asked.

“I couldn’t help but notice how sharp your pincher’s are,” The turtle began. “Do you think they are sharp enough to cut off my ears? I will pay you in fish if you do.”

Without hesitation the crab reached out and pinched off one of the turtles ears. “Ouch,” yelled the turtle.

“Bring me the fish and I will do the same to the other one.” The crab stated. The turtle went into the sea and captured a fish and brought it back to the crab. The crab inspected the fish and with-out a moments thought, pinched off the turtles other ear.

The turtle thanked the crab and went on its way. With-out any ears the turtle was momentarily satisfied till it once again heard the squabbling of the gulls. Realizing that even with-out ears the turtle could still hear. Just then the turtle heard the most wonderful sound, “Momma, Momma.” Little baby turtles came running to the turtle. The turtle embraced her young and delighted in their every sound, ear-less.

Growing up, the baby turtles all noticed that they had ears and their mother did not. Wanting to be like their mother, they too made a deal with the crabs. The crabs were happy to oblige for a meal and pinching off turtle ears was a fade for awhile, till all the turtles eventually, had no ears.

(moral: Body modifications are so common these days like: tattoos, tongue rings, lip and eye piercings, colored and spiked hair, it seems some may be trying to change their outer selves when deep down the inside is still the same. Trying to change ones-self begins on the inside. Then again, others are simply trying to fit in.)

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It’s no Godzilla, but an “earless rabbit allegedly born near Japan’s severely-damaged Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant has become the latest poster child for the side-effects of radiation exposure.

The bunny — purportedly captured on video just outside the crippled plant exclusion area and posted on YouTube on May 21 — has become big news in Japan and, to a lesser extent, elsewhere, stoking fears that contamination from the damaged facility could cause genetic mutations.

But both rabbit experts and radiation researchers told AOL Weird News the bunny’s bizarre looks could have a less sensational explanation……   (more of this story: here)

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You have two ears and one mouth, use them proportionalley

(~_~)

Any one who has driven has felt the heart wrenching feeling when the car strikes an animal on the road. Lately there has been a number (higher than normal) of dead squirrels on the road where I live. My wife and I were talking about how we both have missed a few ourselves. Calling them suicide squirrels because they are so small and they act as though they are attacking the car, Kamikaze style. Or, running onto the road when they are clearly on the side of the road and simply need to run off into the woods… so what is up with that?

Then my wife goes and states that I am a suicide squirrel!!! “Hows that?” I ask.

“Because (of where I work) when ever there is a confrontation, or a situation that requires additional staff ;  ‘immediately’, I try to be the first to run to the scene.” (like a suicide squirrel diving between the tires) I thought about what she said, and she is right. I have the inner need to be there on the front lines of a battle, not to be the hero but to be there for the ones who are in need of help. I know that too many of the other people I work with will not move (become frozen) and do little to run to the aide of others. (however, with that being said there are a number of great co-workers who do put themselves on the line for others) I am what I am, a suicide squirrel.

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(I wrote this years ago while working construction, I saw this and had to write about it, hope you enjoy it, but it was hard to make the write as real as the scene that lasted a lot longer than the poem, between a crow and a squirrel)

King of the Pine~ by Art~

A tall pine tree
full of moss and vine
leaves were sent sailing
I saw tree bark fly

a small black bird
with squawking loud calls

it seemed to be angry

and ready for a brawl
Scampers a squirrel
in a ring around the rosy
spiral ascent
around the tree it mosey’d

The black bird dove
with Kamikaze dives,
pecking and striking at
a fluffy squirrel’s cries

In snickering taunts
it flicked its tail
hop, spring, then leap
from a tree limb it sailed

Pine cones fell

like hand-grenades,
pines needles dropped

from their little play
where ever the black bird

would leap and land
the squirrel

would shake that limb

A squawk and flapping
then another dive,
tiny talons grasp

a busy tail flies

The squirrel was tag teamed
by its enemies,
a black bird
and gravity

by Art~

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You’re driving down the road, minding your own business, when suddenly a squirrel, jaws clenched around something larger than its entire head, lunges out of the underbrush and launches itself suicidally in front of your car.

If reflexes and physics keep you from squashing that squirrel flat, you can rest assured that it will be only moments before the next romping Rocky ricochets out in front of you.

So what’s going on?

Well, it’s been a banner year for acorns and nuts, says Maggie Jones, executive director of the Denison-Pequotsepos Nature Center in Mystic. And it’s the second or third year of such abundance.

“Plenty of food means plenty of babies,” she says.

And plenty of baby squirrels (and chipmunks) early in the year means plenty of teenage squirrels (and chipmunks) in the fall.

Jones says the little buggers were feeling so flush early on that many went out and had entire second broods after the first ones left the nest.

And right now, those youngsters are just learning about things like roads.

The reactions that protect squirrels from predators, Jones says – stopping stock still, running in one direction and then turning tail and running in the exact opposite direction – don’t protect them from traffic.

In fact, she says, she has read that 70 percent of squirrels don’t make it past their first year on Earth. Not all of the deaths are vehicular – but some are, as anyone driving around here the past couple weeks can testify.

…..The American Automobile Association agrees. Representative Jacklyn Tobin says that “If avoiding the squirrel is in any way going to cause a driver to lose control, it’s better to simply not try to avoid the squirrel.”

If you’re the only car on the road, you can slow down, she says. But otherwise, grit your teeth and maintain your line.

“Safety is the No. 1 concern,” she says, adding, “The poor squirrels!”

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may you truly live this day

(~_~)

A lord asked Takuan, a Zen teacher, to suggest how he might pass the time. He felt his days very long attending his office and sitting stiffly to receive the homage of others.

Takuan wrote eight Chinese characters and gave them to the man:

Not twice this day
Inch time foot gem.
This day will not come again.
Each minute is worth a priceless gem.

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time is free yet priceless

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He almost killed somebody, but one minute changed his life. The beautiful story comes from Sherman Rogers’ old book, FOREMEN: LEADERS OR DRIVERS? In his true-life story, Rogers illustrates the importance of effective relationships.


During his college years, Rogers spent a summer in an Idaho logging camp. When the superintendent had to leave for a few days, he put Rogers in charge.


“What if the men refuse to follow my orders?” Rogers asked. He thought of Tony, an immigrant worker who grumbled and growled all day, giving the other men a hard time.


“Fire them,” the superintendent said. Then, as if reading Rogers’ mind, he added, “I suppose you think you are going to fire Tony if you get the chance. I’d feel badly about that. I have been logging for 40 years. Tony is the most reliable worker I’ve ever had. I know he is a grouch and that he hates everybody and everything. But he comes in first and leaves last. There has not been an accident for eight years on the hill where he works.”


Rogers took over the next day. He went to Tony and spoke to him. “Tony, do you know I’m in charge here today?”
Tony grunted. “I was going to fire you the first time we tangled, but I want you to know I’m not,” he told Tony, adding what the superintendent had said.


When he finished, Tony dropped the shovelful of sand he had held and tears streamed down his face. “Why he no tell me dat eight years ago?”
That day Tony worked harder than ever before — and he smiled! He later said to Rogers, “I told my wife that you first foreman in deese country who ever say, ‘Good work, Tony,’ and it make her feel like Christmas.”


Rogers went back to school after that summer. Twelve years later he met Tony again. He was superintendent for railroad construction for one of the largest logging companies in the West. Rogers asked him how he came to California and happened to have such success. Tony replied, “If it not be for the one minute you talk to me back in Idaho, I keel somebody someday. That one minute, changed my whole life.”


Effective managers know the importance of taking a moment to point out what a worker is doing well. But what a difference a minute of affirmation can make in any relationship!
One minute. Have you got one minute to thank someone?
A minute to tell someone what you sincerely like or appreciate about him/her? A minute to elaborate on something he did well?
One minute. It can make a difference for a lifetime.

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 If you think you are to small to be effective, you have never slept with a mosquito.

make the most out of every minute of your life

(~_~)

 

 

A certain man planted a rose and watered it faithfully and before it blossomed, he examined it. He saw the bud that would soon blossom, but noticed thorns upon the stem and he thought, “How can any beautiful flower come from a plant burdened with so many sharp thorns?” Saddened by this thought, he neglected to water the rose, and just before it was ready to bloom… it died.

So it is with many people. Within every soul there is a rose. The good qualities planted in us at birth, grow amid the thorns of our faults. Many of us look at ourselves and see only the thorns, the defects.

We despair, thinking that nothing good can possibly come from us. We neglect to water the good within us, and eventually it dies. We never realize our potential.

Some people do not see the rose within themselves; someone else must show it to them. One of the greatest gifts a person can possess is to be able to reach past the thorns of another, and find the rose within them.

This is one of the characteristic of love… to look at a person, know their true faults and accepting that person into your life… all the while recognizing the nobility in their soul. Help others to realize they can overcome their faults. If we show them the “rose” within themselves, they will conquer their thorns. Only then will they blossom many times over.

source: here

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zendictive: Destiny (reblogged)

A student was walking with an older Zen Master, in the zen garden. Feeling a bit insecure about what life had in store for him, he ask the Zen Master for some advice. “When will I know my destiny? When will I know what life has in store for me?” The student asked.

The Zen Master walked up to a rosebush and handed the young student a rosebud and told him to open it without tearing off any petals. The young student looked in disbelief at the Master and was trying to figure out what a rosebud could possibly have to do with his wanting to know what was in store for his life. But because of his great respect for the Zen Master, he proceeded to try to unfold the rose, while keeping every petal intact…

It wasn’t long before he realized how impossible this was to do. The student then said, “I haven’t the wisdom to unfold this rose before its time.”

The older Zen Master replied; “Exactly, If you try and unfold this rose before its time, you will destroy it’s beauty and its purpose. Just as time unfolds the rose, time will unfold your destiny, your inner beauty and your purpose.”

“Your wisdom shines like the beauty of a rose that has blossomed,” The student said. “I am but a rosebud that has yet to open.” The Zen master smiled, knowing that the student had learned the lesson well.

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(~_~)

Art~

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Art~

Emma (Sunshine),

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