Showing posts from 2015

The grass cutting days

The Pastor called me to come forward. I walked to the pulpit. I looked out at my family. Their faces still damp with tears. Then I gazed down at the shiny black coffin. My father, Charlie Lyons, was gone. It was my turn to pay tribute to the man who taught me so much growing up on the Northside. How do you sum up a lifetime in 10 minutes? Then, I started talking about a special moment. 

Dad was always full of advice, but one of the biggest lessons he taught me one summer was about having a strong work ethic. When my brother and I were growing up, we mowed yards during the summer to earn pocket money. Dad was our salesman. He pitched our service to neighbors and offered a price they could not refuse. My brother and I got $10 per yard. Some yards were a half-acre. I later found out our friends were charging $20 or more for the same amount of work. 
Every time we headed out to mow lawns, Dad was there to watch. I used to wonder why he came with us. He stood supervising our work in the stic…

the lesson of the words

A blind boy sat on the steps of a building with a hat by his feet. He was holding up a sign which said: “I am blind, please help.” There were only a few coins in the hat. A man was walking by. He took a few coins from his pocket and dropped them into the boy’s hat. 
He then took the sign, turned it around, and wrote some words on it. The man then put the sign back so that everyone who walked by would see the new words. Soon the blind boy’s hat began to fill up. A lot more people were giving money to the blind boy. That afternoon the man who had changed the sign came to see how things were with his blind friend. The boy recognized his footsteps and asked in amazement, “Were you the one who changed my sign this morning? What did you write?” 
The man replied, “I only wrote the truth. I also said what you had written but in a different way.” What the man had written was: “Today is a beautiful day and I cannot see it.” 
Do you think the first sign and the second sign were saying the same thin…

A cheque of comfidence

There was a business executive who was deep in debt and could see no way out. Creditors were closing in on him. Suppliers were demanding payment. He sat on the park bench, head in hands, wondering if anything could save his company from bankruptcy. 
Suddenly an old man appeared before him. ”I can see that something is troubling you,” he said. After listening to the executive’s woes, the old man said, “I believe I can help you.” He asked the man his name, wrote out a cheque, and pushed it into his hand saying, “Take this money. Meet me here exactly one year from today, and you can pay me back at that time.” Then he turned and disappeared. The business executive saw in his hand a cheque for $500,000, signed by John D. Rockefeller, then one of the richest men in the world! “I can erase my money worries in an instant!” he realized. But instead, the executive decided to put the uncashed cheque in his safe. 
Just knowing it was there might give him the strength to work out a way to save his b…

You were not there

Once upon a time in a small village lived two brothers. The younger one was seven years old and the elder one was nine. The kids used to spend most of their time playing with each other in the forest. One such evening while playing hide and seek, the elder brother ventured into the dark forest. His brother tried finding him everywhere but he could not. 
Afraid and reluctant, he eventually entered the forest to look for his brother. After many hours of ordeal, he finally spotted his elder brother trapped in a deep dry well screaming for help. The kid looked around to seek help from someone but there was no sign of any human in the vicinity. They were all alone there! Alarmed, he ran to the well where his brother was trapped to help him out. By now both of them had realized that they were completely on their own. 
The younger brother started looking around the well and found a piece of worn out rope. Without wasting another minute, he quickly dropped the rope inside the well and asked his …

Deaf Kangaroo

A group of Kangaroos were travelling through the woods. Two Kangaroo fell into a deep pit. The other Kangaroos gathered around the hall and after seeing the depth, they said, “Nothing can be done, you are good as dead.”
Both the kangaroos ignored the comments and they kept jumping. The other kangaroos kept repeating they are good as dead, finally one of the two kangaroo gave up and died. The other kangaroo still tried. Once again, the other kangaroos yelled at them, you are good as dead. 

The kangaroo jumped harder and finally made it out. Seeing this, the kangaroos were is shock and they asked, Did you not hear us? She did not speak and later thanked them to motivate her. She explained she was deaf and thought they all were motivating her to come out. Become deaf! Become Blind! for the people who are around to depress you. Take it positively and work harder to achieve your aim. The same people will follow you when you are at the pinnacle. The power lies within! Explore it! Wake up and pu…

Salt and the lake

Salt and the lake

ONCE an unhappy young man came to an old
master and told he had a very sad life and
asked for a solution.
The old Master instructed the unhappy young
man to put a handful of salt in a glass of water
and then to drink it.

"How does it taste?" - the Master asked.
"Terrible." - spat the apprentice.
The Master chuckled and then asked the young
man to take another handful of salt and put it
in the lake. The two walked in silence to the
nearby lake and when the apprentice swirled
his handful of salt into the lake.

The old man said, "Now drink from the lake."
As the water dripped down the young man's
chin, the Master asked, "How does it taste?"
"Good!" - remarked the apprentice.
"Do you taste the salt?" - asked the Master.
"No." - said the young man.
The Master sat beside this troubled young
man, took his hands, and said, "The pain of life
is pure salt; no more, no less.

The amount of pain in life remains the same, 

Burned Biscuits

Burned Biscuits
When I was a little child, at times my mom liked
to make breakfast food for dinner every now
and then. And I remember one night in
particular when she had made breakfast food at
dinner time after a long, hard day at work.

On that evening so long ago, my mom placed a
plate of eggs, sausage and extremely burned
biscuits in front of my dad. I remember waiting
to see if anyone noticed! Yet, all my dad did was
reach for his biscuit, smile at my mom and ask
me how my day was at school. I don’t remember
what I told him that night, but I do remember
watching him smear butter and jelly on that
burnt biscuit and eat every bite!

When I got up from the table that evening, I
remember hearing my mom apologise to my dad
for burning the biscuits. And I’ll never forget
what he said: “Baby, I love burned biscuits.”
Later that night, I went to kiss Daddy good night
and I asked him if he really liked his biscuits
burned. He wrapped me in his arms and said,
“Your momma put in a hard day at work today
and she’s r…

Price of miracle

Price of miracle
TESS was eight when she heard her parents talking
about her little brother, Andrew. All she knew was
that he was very sick and they were poor. Only a very
costly surgery could save him now and it was looking
like there was no-one to loan them the money. She
heard Daddy whisper in desperation, “Only a miracle
can save him now.”

Tess went to her bedroom and pulled a glass jelly jar
from the closet. She poured all the change out on the
floor and counted it carefully.She then slipped out the
back door and made her way to Rexall’s Drug Store.

She waited patiently for the pharmacist to give her
some attention but he was too busy at this moment.
Finally she took a quarter from her jar and banged it on
the glass counter. “And what do you want?” the
pharmacist asked in an annoyed tone of voice. “I’m
talking to my brother from Chicago whom I haven’t seen
in ages,” he said without waiting for a reply to his question.

 “Well, I want to talk to you about my brother,”
Tess answered back in the same an…

The last cab ride

The last cab ride
Twenty years ago, I drove a cab for a living. One time
I arrived in the middle of the night for a pick up at a
building that was dark except for a single light in a
ground floor window.

Under these circumstances, many drivers would
honk once or twice, then drive away. But I had seen
too many impoverished people who depended on
taxis as their only means of transportation. Unless a
situation smelled of danger, I always went to the
door. I walked to the door and knocked.

After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman 
in her  80’s stood before me. She was wearing a print dress. By
her side was a small nylon suitcase.
The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for
years. All furniture was covered. There were no
utensils on the counters. I took the suitcase to the
cab, and then returned to assist the woman. She
took my arm. She kept thanking me for my kindness.

“It’s nothing,” I told her. “I just try to treat my
passengers the way I would want my mother
treated.” She gave me an add…

A bridge or a fence

A bridge or a fence

Once Upon a time two brothers, who lived on
adjoining farms, fell into conflict. It was the first
serious rift in 40 years of farming side by side,
sharing machinery, and trading labour and goods
as needed without a conflict.

Then the long collaboration fell apart. It began
with a small misunderstanding and it grew into a
major difference, and finally it exploded into an
exchange of bitter words followed by weeks of
One morning there was a knock on the older
brother’s door. He opened it to find a man with a
carpenter’s tool box.
“I’m looking for a few days’ work.” – he said.
“Perhaps you would have a few small jobs here
and there I could help with?”
“Yes.” – said the older brother. “I do have a job for
you. Look across the creek at that farm. That’s my
neighbour; in fact, it’s my younger brother. Last
week there was a meadow between us and he took
his bulldozer to the river levee and now there is a
creek between us. Well, he may have done this to
spite me,…

A Bowl of Noodles

A  bowl of noodles

That Night Sue quarrelled with her mother, then
stormed out of the house. While en route, she
remembered that she did not have any money in her
pocket, she did not even have enough coins to make
a phone call home.
At the same time, she went through a noodle shop,
picking up sweet fragrance, she suddenly felt very
hungry. She wished for a bowl of noodles, but she
had no money!
The seller saw her standing as she faltered before the
counter and asked: “Hey little girl, you want to eat a
bowl?” “Yes, but … but I do not carry money …” she
shyly replied.

“Okay, I’ll treat you,” the seller said, “Come in, I will
cook you a bowl.”
A few minutes later the owner brought her a steaming
bowl of noodles. Eating the delicious noodles, Sue
“What is it?” he asked.
“Nothing. I am just touched by your kindness!” Sue
said as she wiped her tears. “Even a stranger on the
street gives me a bowl of noodles, and my mother,
after a quarrel, chased me out of the house. She is
The seller sighed: “Girl,…

Poor Boy and The Dog

Poor Boy and The Dog
A few days ago I landed at the Mumbai airport and
took a cab to South Bombay. I was enjoying the busy
traffic with people rushing in every possible directions
then we got stranded at a very busy intersection.

As we waited for the signal to turn green, my eyes met
with a poor young boy, about 12 years old. He
removed a piece of bread from his pocket and took a
bite. As he was about to take his next bite, a stray dog
wagged his tail looking at him. Without hesitation, he
sat down and put the bread on the road for the dog to
eat. The dog sniffed the bread and walked away. The
boy waited until he was sure the dog was gone then
he picked up the bread and ate it!

My heart cried and wanted to walk up to the boy but
before I could open the door the signal turned green
and our car drove away. I kept thinking about the boy
and later during my evening meal I realized that I was
thinking of approaching the boy but never did, I could
have stopped the car and walked up to him which
again I never d…