Passage 26. Five Balls of Life
Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air.
You name them work, family,health, friends and spirit
and you’re keeping all of these in the air.
You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball.
If you drop it, it will bounce back.
But the other four balls family, health, friends and spirit are made of glass.
If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered.
They will never be the same.
You must understand that and strive for balance in your life. How?
Don’t undermine your worth by comparing yourself with others.
It is because we are different that each of us is special.
Don’t set your goals by what other people deem important.
Only you know what is best for you.
Don’t take for granted the things closest to your heart.
Cling to them as they would be your life, for without them, life is meaningless.
Don’t let your life slip through your fingers by living in the past or for the future.
By living your life one day at a time, you live ALL the days of your life.
Don’t give up when you still have something to give.
Nothing is really over until the moment you stop trying.
Don’t be afraid to admit that you are less than perfect.
It is this fragile thread that binds us to each together.
Don’t be afraid to encounter risks.
It is by taking chances that we learn how to be brave.
Don’t shut love out of your life by saying it’s impossible to find.
The quickest way to receive love is to give it;
the fastest way to lose love is to hold it too tightly;
and the best way to keep love is to give it wings.
Don’t run through life so fast that you forget not only where you’ve been,
but also where you are going.
Don’t forget, a person’s greatest emotional need is to feel appreciated.
Don’t be afraid to learn.
Knowledge is weightless,a treasure you can always carry easily.
Don’t use time or words carelessly.
Neither can be retrieved.
Life is not a race, but a journey to be savored each step of the way.
Yesterday is history, Tomorrow is a mystery and Today is a gift:
that’s why we call it “The Present“.
Passage 27. The Road to Success
It is well that young men should begin at the beginning
and occupy the most subordinate positions.
Many of the leading businessmen of Pittsburgh had a serious responsibility
thrust upon them at the very threshold of their career.
They were introduced to the broom,
and spent the first hours of their business lives sweeping out the office.
I notice we have janitors and janitresses now in offices,
and our young men unfortunately miss that salutary branch of a business education.
But if by chance the professional sweeper is absent any morning,
the boy who has the genius of the future partner in him will not hesitate to try his hand at the broom.
It does not hurt the newest comer to sweep out the office if necessary.
I was one of those sweepers myself.
Assuming that you have all obtained employment and are fairly started,
my advice to you is “aim high.“
I would not give a fig for the young man who does not already see himself the partner
or the head of an important firm.
Do not rest content for a moment in your thoughts as head clerk,
or foreman, or general manager in any concern, no matter how extensive.
Say to yourself,“My place is at the top.“
Be king in your dreams.
And here is the prime condition of success,the great secret:
concentrate your energy,thought, and capital exclusively upon the business
in which you are engaged.
Having begun in one line, resolve to fight it out on that line, to lead in it,
adopt every improvement,have the best machinery, and know the most about it.
The concerns which fail are those which have scattered their capital,
which means that they have scattered their brains also.
They have investments in this, or that, or the other,here, there, and everywhere.
“Don’t put all your eggs in one basket“ is all wrong.
I tell you “put all your eggs in one basket, and then watch that basket.“
It is easy to watch and carry the one basket.
He who carries three baskets must put one on his head,
which is apt to tumble and trip him up.
One fault of the American businessmen is lack of concentration.
Passage 28. A Divided House Cannot Stand
If we could first know where we are, and whither we are tending,
we could better judge what to do, and how to do it.
We are now far into the fifth year since a policy was initiated with the avowed object
and confident promise of putting an end to slavery agitation.
Under the operation of that policy, that agitation has not only not ceased,
but has constantly augmented.
In my opinion, it will not cease until a crisis shall have been reached and passed.
“A house divided against itself cannot stand.“
I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free.
I do not expect the Union to be dissolved;
I do not expect the house to fall; but I do expect it will cease to be divided.
It will become all one thing, or all the other.
Either the opponents of slavery will arrest the further spread of it,
and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that
it is in the course of ultimate extinction,
or its advocates will push it forward till it shall become alike lawful in all the States,
old as well as new, North as well as South.
Have we no tendency to the latter condition?
Let any one who doubts, carefully contemplate that now almost complete legal combination
—piece of machinery,so to speak—compounded of the Nebraska doctrine and the Dred Scott decision.
Let him consider, not only what work the machinery is adapted to do,
and how well adapted, but also let him study the history of its construction,and trace,
if he can, or rather fail, if he can, to trace the evidences of design
and concert of action
Passage 29. Alone Again, Naturally
Alone, we squander life by rejecting its full potential
and wasting its remaining promises.
Alone, we accept that experiences unshared are barely worthwhile,
that sunsets viewed singly are not as spectacular,
that time spent apart is fallow and pointless.
And so we grow old believing we are nothing by ourselves,
steadfastly shunning the opportunities for self-discovery
and personal growth that solitude could bring us.
We’ve even coined a word for those who prefer to be by themselves:
antisocial, as if they were enemies of society.
They are viewed as friendless, suspect in a world that goes around in twos or more
and is wary of solitary travelers.
People who need people are threatened by people who don’t.
The idea of seeking contentment alone is heretical,
for society steadfastly decrees that our completeness lies in others.
Instead, we cling to each other for solace, comfort,and safety,
believing that we are nothing alone—insignificant, unfulfilled, lost—
accepting solitude in the tiniest, most reluctant of slices, if at all,
which is tragic, for it rejects God?s precious gift of life.
Ironically, most of us crave more intimacy and companionship than we can bear.
We begrudge ourselves,our spouses,
and our partners sufficient physical and emotional breathing room,
and then bemoan the suffocation of our relationships.
To point out these facts is not to suggest we should abandon all our close ties.
Medical surveys show that the majority of elderly people who live alone,
yet maintain frequent contact with relatives and friends,
rate their physical and emotional well-being as “excellent.“
Just as an apple a day kept the doctor away when they were young,
an active social calendar appears to serve the same purpose now.
Passage 30. The Blue Days
Everybody has blue days.
These are miserable days when you feel lousy, grumpy, lonely, and utterly exhausted.
Days when you feel small and insignificant, when everything seems just out of reach.
You can’t rise to the occasion.
Just getting started seems impossible.
On blue days you can become paranoid that everyone is out to get you.
This is not always such a bad thing.
You feel frustrated and anxious, which can induce a nail-biting frenzy
that can escalate into a triple-chocolate-mud-cake-eating frenzy in a blink of an eye!
On blue days you feel like you’re floating in an ocean of sadness.
You’re about to burst into tears at any moment and you don’t even know why.
Ultimately, you feel like you’re wandering through life without purpose.
You’re not sure how much longer you can hang on, and you feel like shouting,
“Will someone please shoot me!“
It doesn’t take much to bring on a blue day.
You might just wake up not feeling or looking your best,
find some new wrinkles, put on a little weight, or get a huge pimple on your nose.
You could forget your date’s name or have an embarrassing photograph published.
You might get dumped,divorced, or fired, make a fool of yourself in public,
be afflicted with a demeaning nickname,or just have a plain old bad-hair day.
Maybe work is a pain in the butt.
You’re under major pressure to fill someone else’s shoes,
your boss is picking on you, and everyone in the office is driving you crazy.
You might have a splitting headache,or a slipped dish, bad breath, a toothache,
chronic gas, dry lips, or a nasty ingrown toenail.
Whatever the reason, you’re convinced that someone up there doesn’t like you.
Oh what to do, what to dooo?