But you might as well bid a man struggling in the water, rest within arm’s length of the shore! I must reach it first, and then I’ll rest.”
― Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights
FOTO – BEACHSHACK URUNGA MARCH 2015
– Jack Herbert
The story goes: upon completing a highly dangerous tightrope walk over Niagara Falls in appalling wind and rain, ‘The Great Zumbrati’ was met by an enthusiastic supporter, who urged him to make a return trip, this time pushing a wheelbarrow, which the spectator had thoughtfully brought along.
The Great Zumbrati was reluctant, given the terrible conditions, but the supporter pressed him, “You can do it – I know you can,” he urged.
“You really believe I can do it?” asked Zumbrati.
“Yes – definitely – you can do it.” the supporter gushed.
“Okay,” said Zumbrati, “Get in the wheelbarrow…”
WELLINS CALCOTT, Thoughts Moral and Divine
(Holding his dram and staring it in the eye)
Ye killed me mother;
Ye killed me father;
Ah, sweet revenge!!
From a fine old Scottish gentleman from
“The Black Isle,” who passed away years ago:
” We should learn from our mistakes, but we shouldn’t beat the tar out of ourselves over them. The past is just that, past. Learn what went wrong and why. Make amends if you need to. Then drop it and move on.
The Power of Speech
Judaism is intensely aware of the power of speech and of the harm that can be done through speech. The rabbis note that the universe itself was created through speech. Of the 43 sins enumerated in the Al Cheit confession recited on Yom Kippur, 11 are sins committed through speech. The Talmud tells that the tongue is an instrument so dangerous that it must be kept hidden from view, behind two protective walls (the mouth and teeth) to prevent its misuse.
The harm done by speech is even worse than the harm done by stealing or by cheating someone financially: money lost can be repaid, but the harm done by speech can never be repaired. For this reason, some sources indicate that there is no forgiveness for lashon ha-ra (disparaging speech). This is probably hyperbole, but it illustrates the seriousness of improper speech. A Chasidic tale vividly illustrates the danger of improper speech: A man went about the community telling malicious lies about the rabbi. Later, he realized the wrong he had done, and began to feel remorse. He went to the rabbi and begged his forgiveness, saying he would do anything he could to make amends. The rabbi told the man, “Take a feather pillow, cut it open, and scatter the feathers to the winds.” The man thought this was a strange request, but it was a simple enough task, and he did it gladly. When he returned to tell the rabbi that he had done it, the rabbi said, “Now, go and gather the feathers. Because you can no more make amends for the damage your words have done than you can recollect the feathers.”
Speech has been compared to an arrow: once the words are released, like an arrow, they cannot be recalled, the harm they do cannot be stopped, and the harm they do cannot always be predicted, for words like arrows often go astray.
When God cooks, you don’t see smoke.
(“Kuteka Lesa ke kumweka bwishi ne.” from Kaonde, Zambia)
Tobacco, some say, is a a potent narcotic,
That rules half the world in a way quite despotic;
So to punish him well for his wicked and merry tricks,
We’ll burn him forthwith, as they used to do heretics.
-from Tobacco in Song and Story, by John Bain
— Florence King
1936-, American Author, Critic
Every house should have a Christ’s room. The coat which hangs in your closet belongs to the poor. If your brother comes to you hungry and you say, Go be thou filled, what kind of hospitality is that? It is no use turning people away to an agency, to the city or the state or the Catholic Charities. It is you yourself who must perform the works of mercy. Often you can only give the price of a meal, or a bed on the Bowery. Often you can only hope that it will be spent for that. Often you can literally take off a garment if it only be a scarf and warm some shivering brother. But personally, at a personal sacrifice, these were the ways Peter used to insist, to combat the growing tendency on the part of the State to take over. The great danger was the State taking over the job which our Lord Himself gave us to do, “Inasmuch as you did it unto one of the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me.“
― S.E. Hinton, The Outsiders
If falsehood, like truth, had but one face, we would be more on equal terms. For we would consider the contrary of what the liar said to be certain. But the opposite of truth has a hundred thousand faces and an infinite field. ~Michel Eyquem de Montaigne
• Knowing myself.
• Asking for help when I need it and acting on my own when I don’t.
• Admitting when I’m wrong and making amends.
• Accepting love from others, even if I’m having a tough time loving myself.
• Recognizing that I always have choices, and taking responsibility for the ones I make.
• Seeing that life is a blessing.
• Having an opinion without insisting that others share it.
• Forgiving myself and others.
• Recognizing my shortcomings and my strengths.
• Having the courage to live one day at a time.
• Acknowledging that my needs are my responsibility.
• Caring for people without having to take care of them.
• Accepting that I’ll never be finished — I’ll always be a work-in-progress.
(from Courage to Change: One Day At a Time in Al-Anon, page 63. Reprinted with permission of Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc., Virginia Beach, VA)
Know your limitations “O, tongue, regarding speech and eating . Garrulousness and gluttony can cause instantaneous death.
– By T. DeWitt Talmage
You have to look deeper, way below the anger, the hurt, the hate, the jealousy, the self-pity, way down deeper where the dreams lie, son. Find your dream. It’s the pursuit of the dream that heals you.
Billy Mills (father), Oglala Lakota (1938-)
– Susan Gale
継続は力なり。 (Keizoku wa chikara nari)
Continuance is power/strength.
Don’t give up. Just continuing to hold on will yield/reveal strength and power. Continuing on after a setback is its own kind of strength. Perseverance is power.
Six SANITY Steps for Regaining a Healthy Relationship with Adult Children
S = STOP the Enabling and STOP the Flow of Money
A = ASSEMBLE a Support Group
N = NIP Excuses in the Bud
I = IMPLEMENT Rules and Boundaries
T = TRUST Your Instincts
Y = YIELD Everything to God
“On the whole, I do not find Christians, outside of the catacombs, sufficiently sensible of conditions. Does anyone have the foggiest idea what sort of power we so blithely invoke? Or, as I suspect, does no one believe a word of it? The churches are children playing on the floor with their chemistry sets, mixing up a batch of TNT to kill a Sunday morning. It is madness to wear ladies’ straw hats and velvet hats to church; we should all be wearing crash helmets. Ushers should issue life preservers and signal flares; they should lash us to our pews. For the sleeping god may wake someday and take offense, or the waking god may draw us out to where we can never return. ”
― Annie Dillard
“At times, one of man’s greater needs is freedom from himself, and this freedom is likely to be increasingly threatened by population and economic pressures, by dogmas of organizations exalting power and bigness, and by old ideas that Nature exists only to be conquered. The trapper or the ex-trapper or the frank recluse is not alone in needing, on occasion, freedom from man to escape being psychologically overwhelmed by Man as a mass phenomenon.”
― Paul Errington, Of Men and Marshes
“Every path we take in life, we make the decision to pursue a dream. We travel the path of our dreams on a mental path of a narrow bridge; we must stay focused on our goal and not fear, lest we lose our balance of purpose and fall.”
― Ellen J. Barrier
― Howard Fast, The Immigrants
“By the time she had finished, her hand was in Elizabeth’s firm clasp again. Her touch was strangely comforting—a woman’s touch signifying a woman’s sympathy. Elizabeth would understand what it would be like to be a captive, to have one’s freedom taken away, and then, as a final indignity, to have one’s very body invaded and used for the pleasure of one’s captor. Another woman would understand the monumental inner battle that had
had to be waged every single day and night to cling to that something at the core of herself that was herself, that gave her identity and dignity. That something that even a rapist—even, perhaps, a murderer—could not take away from her.”
― Mary Balogh, One Night for Love