Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Playfulness is the fizz in the champagne of life.

From “The Human Condition: A User’s Manual” by Arnold Kunst
No dream is worth striving for unless it is big enough for the God of the universe to romp about in.

We don’t enter the future, we create it.

From “Lincoln 365,” by Arnold Kunst:
May 31
'Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith let us to the end dare to do our duty as we understand it.'
- Abraham Lincoln

'It's only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you will realize your true potential.'
- Barack Obama

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.” – The Buddha

From “Lincoln 365,” by Arnold Kunst:
May 30
'When I do good I feel good. When I do bad I feel bad. That is my religion.' 
- Abraham Lincoln
'When all is said and done, more gets said than done.' 
- Anonymous

“Prejudice is the child of ignorance.” - William Hazlitt

From “Lincoln 365,” by Arnold Kunst:
May 29
The presidential campaign of 1860 that elected Lincoln for the first time ‘completely failed to do what a political campaign is supposed to do – bring the nation to a full awareness and earnest discussion of its most crucial issues and lead to a verdict that would put those issues on the way toward settlement. There had been nothing even resembling an attempt by reasonable men to analyze a baffling problem and see what could be done about it… The election would be a shock which could benefit no one but the extremists on both sides.’
- Bruce Catton

‘Force is as pitiless to the man who possesses it, or thinks he does, as it is to its victims; the second it crushes, the first it intoxicates. The truth is, nobody really possesses it.’
- Simone Weil

Sunday, May 28, 2017

“When you realize how perfect everything is you will tilt your head bacvk anfd laugh at the sky.” - Buddha

From “Lincoln 365,” by Arnold Kunst:
May 28
In 1854 Lincoln represented James Dunlap who had assaulted a newspaper editor by the name of Peter Selby. Selby wanted $10,000 in damages. ‘There wasn’t much Lincoln could do about getting his client entirely off the hook; Dunlap had in fact assaulted Selby. When the time came for his turn to address the jury, Lincoln slowly stood, picked up a copy of Selby’s motion, and then suddenly burst into a long, loud laugh accompanied by his most wonderfully grotesque facial expression. The very sight of this caused several members of the jury to snicker, at which point Lincoln apologized. He said he had looked at the motion and noticed that the original amount of the suit had been only $1,000, but that this had been crossed out and replaced with the $10,000 figure. Lincoln snickered that, somehow, Selby had had second thoughts and “concluded that the wounds to his honor were worth an additional nine thousand dollars.” His little joke was calculated to rob the assault case [and the plaintiff] of dignity. Apparently it worked; the jury returned a decision for damages of only $300.’
- Brian Dirck

‘The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook.’
- William James

Saturday, May 27, 2017

“Oh, divine art of subtlety and secrecy!” – Sun Tzu

From “The Human Condition: A User’s Manual” by Arnold Kunst
I think Albert Einstein got it right: "God is subtle."

‘There is nothing holy about hared.” – Lady Gaga

From “Lincoln 365,” by Arnold Kunst:
May 27
     'I rode with Robert E Lee / For three years thereabout.
Got wounded in three places / And I starved at Point Lookout.
I caught the rheumatism / A'campin in the snow.
But I killed a hundred Yankees / And I'd like to kill some more.
     Three hundred thousand Yankees / Is stiff in Southern dust,
We got three hundred thousand / Before they conquered us.
They died of Southern fever, / Of Southern steel and shot.
But I wish it was three million / Instead of what we got.'
- 'I'm a good Old Rebel,' Post Civil War ballad

'I could drown in a frown and swim in a smile.'
- Anonymous

Friday, May 26, 2017

“Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.” – Vince Lombardi

From “The Human Condition: A User’s Manual” by Arnold Kunst
In every circumstance I’m meant to carry myself like a team whose professionalism is so unassailable that the game is over before the opposition knew it had started.

“Determination is the wake-up call to the human will.” – Tony Robbins

From “The Human Condition: A User’s Manual” by Arnold Kunst
F.D.R. should never have won the presidency - never mind four times! - because of his polio; Truman, an abrasive country boy, should have lost the job he accidentally got to the slick professional assault of the Dewey machine of 1948; Ike started his political career having trouble focusing on which political party he belonged to; Kennedy was too young, too Irish, and too Catholic to get elected; L.B.J. should have gone under in the hurley-burley of Washington politics, never mind the pressures of the presidency, with his bad heart. I’ll stop there. These men didn't stumble into the achievement of their goal. They got there after they decided to get there.

“I was summoned by my country, whose voice I can never hear but with veneration and love.” – George Washington

From “Lincoln 365,” by Arnold Kunst:
May 26
'The fiery trial through which we pass will light us down in honor or dishonor to the latest generation. We say we are for the Union. The world will not forget that we say this. We know how to have the Union. The world knows we do know how to save it. We - even we here - hold the power, and bear the responsibility.'
- Abraham Lincoln

‘”I must do something” always solves more problems than “Something must be done.”’
- Anonymous

Can YOU keep your mouth shut?

May 25
'I am rather inclined to silence, and whether that be wise or not it is at least more unusual nowadays to find a man who can hold his tongue than to find one who cannot.'
- Abraham Lincoln

‘A closed mouth gathers no feet.’
- Anonymous

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

“Wisdom begins in wonder.” - Socrates

From “The Human Condition: A User’s Manual” by Arnold Kunst
I take great delight in the free expressions of my children as they unfold - life-long blossoms exhibiting ever-new wonders, each a universe as multifarious and beautiful as any external universe they grace with their wondering attention. Innocent, thorough, simple - each of them a god, as Emerson says somewhere, playing the fool.

“Forgiveness is giving up the idea of a better past.” – Ricardo Ferrari

From “Lincoln 365,” by Arnold Kunst:
May 24
'I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice.'
- Abraham Lincoln

'Not to forgive is to be imprisoned by the past, by old grievances that do not permit life to proceed with new business. Not to forgive is to be locked into a sequence of act and response, of outrage and revenge, tit for tat, escalating always. The present is endlessly overwhelmed and devoured by the past.'
- Lance Morrow

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

“As long as you’re learning you’re not old.” - Anonymous

From “The Human Condition: A User’s Manual” by Arnold Kunst
You and I are meant to adjust to new demands/choices/opportunities with the pliability of a goalie in a soccer match, tingling with all the excitement of life itself, darting at a milli-second’s notice to avert a goal.

“Life is tough, but it’s tougher when you’re stupid.” – Anonymous

From “Lincoln 365,” by Arnold Kunst:
May 23
The following editorial appeared in The Atlanta Confederacy just before the election of 1860, just before what looked like the formation of a thing called the Confederate States of America; 'let the consequences be what they may - whether the Potomac is crimsoned in human gore, and Pennsylvania Avenue is paved ten fathoms deep with mangled bodies, or whether the last vestige of liberty is swept from the face of the American continent, the South will never submit to such humiliation and degradation as the inauguration of Abraham Lincoln.'

'Every absurdity has a champion to defend it, for error is always talkative.'
- Oliver Goldsmith

Monday, May 22, 2017

Let me at 'em!

From “The Human Condition: A User’s Manual” by Arnold Kunst
In 20, 30, 50 years the bloom of youth will have more than faded. There will be parts of my anatomy which, however firm now, will be sagging then. When I lift my arm off the table the part in the middle will leave last. My face may look like a prune, my thighs like congealed cottage cheese. Despite all that, I intend to emulate the playwright Samuel Beckett who said he wouldn't shed the ailments of old age for the vigor of youth even if he could - "not with the fire in me now."

Honesty is the best policy.

From “Lincoln 365,” by Arnold Kunst:
May 22
Lincoln advised a young man about becoming a lawyer that he 'resolve to be honest at all events; and if in your own judgment you cannot be an honest lawyer resolve to be honest without being a lawyer.'

'A horse of good breeding is not dishonored by his saddle.'
- Anonymous

Sunday, May 21, 2017

"Living vicariously is as silly as eating vicariously." - Arnold Kunst

From “The Human Condition: A User’s Manual” by Arnold Kunst
I do not believe in vicarious living.

“Fate loves the fearless.” - Anonymous

From “Lincoln 365,” by Arnold Kunst:
May 21
'...and that government of the people by the people for the people shall not perish from the earth.'
- Abraham Lincoln

‘The fishermen know the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore.’
- Vincent van Gough

Saturday, May 20, 2017

“Do or do not; there is no try.” - Yhoda

From “The Human Condition: A User’s Manual” by Arnold Kunst
Heaven isn't made of plastic, $1.98 at Wal-Mart. The good news is, it's free for the taking. The bad news is, we've got to be prepared to take hell first, for it's only yours once you're prepared to gird your loins and storm the battlements.

“Beware the half truth; you may have siezed the wrong half.” - Anonymous

From “Lincoln 365,” by Arnold Kunst:
May 20
'I am a patient man - always willing to forgive on the Christian terms of repentance; and also to give ample time for repentance. Still I must save this government if possible.'
- Abraham Lincoln

‘Beware the fury of a patient man.’
- Publius Syrus

Friday, May 19, 2017

“The job of an educator is to teach students to see the vitality in themselves.” – Joseph Campbell

From “The Human Condition: A User’s Manual” by Arnold Kunst
I am called upon to jettison small-mindedness.

“The very ink with which history ios written is merely fluid prejudice.” – Mark Twain

From “Lincoln 365,” by Arnold Kunst:
May 19
During the 40 years from 1880 to 1920 roughly 4,000 former slaves or children of former slaves were lynched in the United States, most of them in the South.

'Better than a thousand hollow words is one word that brings peace.'
- Buddha

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Thank more, receive more.

From “The Human Condition: A User’s Manual” by Arnold Kunst
Everything that is has at its disposal more than enough of everything it needs to reach its full potential, and then some. Such is the perceptible echo of an abundantly generous, loving God.

Teamwork: divide the task, multiply the success.

From “Lincoln 365,” by Arnold Kunst:
  May 18 When Grant was appointed head of all 860,000 Union troops in 1864, he devised a plan to attack all Confederate forces simultaneously: the Army of the Potomac would attack Lee in Virginia without let-up; Sherman would slash eastward through Georgia to the sea; Banks would attack northward through Mobile joining with Sherman in the Deep South. Lincoln had finally found his man, someone to execute a strategy he knew could not fail. Happily he observed, ‘those not skinning can hold a leg.’   ‘There is no “I” in “teamwork.”’ - Anonymous  

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

“Fear has its uses but cowardice has none.” – Mahatma Gandhi

From “The Human Condition: A User’s Manual” by Arnold Kunst
Don't kid yourself: if this year is a carbon copy of last year, you're dying by inches.

"'Impossible' is 'I'm possible' in disguise." - Arnold Kunst

From “Lincoln 365,” by Arnold Kunst:
May 17
Blacks in colonial America were far more influential than is commonly supposed. According to Lincoln, in five of the original thirteen states – Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey and North Carolina - free Negroes had the right to vote. They undoubtedly played a part in the ratification of the Constitution and certainly were included in the preamble 'we the people.'

‘Your progress is guaranteed insofar as you start out with, and continue to maintain, a clear view of the obstacles.'
- Arnold Kunst

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

I will honor Christmas in my heart and try to keep it all the year.” - Ebenezer Scrooge

From “The Human Condition: A User’s Manual” by Arnold Kunst
Don't go goofy on Keeping Track Of The Bottom Line. There's the story of Pooh Bear counting his pots of honey. "Thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, six-" and all of a sudden Rabbit bursts in upon him and distracts him. Pooh, of course, says, "Oh bother, now I'll have to start counting all over again!" And Rabbit replies, with more wisdom than he probably realizes, "If it's that important, call it twenty; what difference does it make?" What difference, indeed?! That's the real bottom line. After all, life is meant to be lived, not calibrated.

Self-control ultimately leads to emotional detachment and to peace of mind.

From “Lincoln 365,” by Arnold Kunst:
May 16
'I have borne a laborious and in some respects to myself, painful part in the contest. Through all I have neither assailed nor wrestled with any part of the Constitution.'
- Abraham Lincoln

'There's no substitute for the person with a properly formed sense of values.'
- Anonymous

Monday, May 15, 2017

“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” –John C. Maxwell

 From “The Human Condition: A User’s Manual” by Arnold Kunst
Don’t ever underestimate the power and breadth of your leading. Whether you like it or not, whether you realize it or not, you’re being watched – pretty much from all sides, pretty much at all times. Maybe with the unparalleled unobtrusiveness and uncanny accuracy of an oh, so quiet child who drinks in what his idol of a father/sister/uncle/mother is, filtering out the froth of what he/she says. Just like you did when you were a kid.  Let’s assume you believe in the primacy of Scripture: trust me,they may well read Scripture in no other place but in the person you are.

“Humility is not thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less.” –C. S. Lewis

From “Lincoln 365,” by Arnold Kunst:
May 15
'When southern people tell us they are no more responsible for the origin of slavery than we, I acknowledge the fact. When it is said that the institution exists and that it is very difficult to get rid of it in any satisfactory way, I can understand and appreciate the saying. I surely will not blame them for not doing what I should not know how to do myself.'
- Abraham Lincoln

‘Grow comfortable with the phrase, “I could be wrong, but...” Your elbow won’t fall off.’
- Arnold Kunst

Sunday, May 14, 2017

“The path to success is to take massive, determined action.” – Tony Robbins

From “The Human Condition: A User’s Manual” by Arnold Kunst
The miracle of moving some mountain always must begin with an aggressive decision to move the mountain. And no matter how immense the mountain to be moved, no matter how dramatic its ultimate movement, the real miracle is in that initial decision, for if a man can move himself, there is no other miracle more miraculous.