Thursday, February 28, 2019

"The trouble is, you think you have time." - The Buddha

From “The Human Condition: A User’s Manual,” by Arnold Kunst
23 March
This life you’re leading is a real life – it’s not a dress rehearsal for life. When you turn 37 remember this: you’ll never, ever be 36 again. In addition, there’s no guarantee that you’ll make it not only to 38 but to tomorrow!

“Never look down on someone unless you’re helping them get up.” - Anonymous

 From “Lincoln 365,” by Arnold Kunst
February 28
Early on Lincoln took to writing letters for the illiterate among his family and friends. In this way he combined two urges that never left him: to help those who needed what he could do with consummate ease, and to express himself both clearly and concisely in writing.

'There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.'
- Edith Wharton

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

“The most desired of love is not diamonds, or roses, or chocolate. It’s focused attention.” - Anonymous

From “The Human : A User’s ,” by Arnold Kunst
2 February
How to Handle a Woman: One Right way.
Suppose they’re talking about you at work behind your back and you’re really angry, and that night when you sit down to dinner at 6:00 PM you ask your wife how her day went. And your wife says, “They’re talking about me at work behind my back and I’m really angry.” And your very first thought is, “hey, that’s what I wanted to unload onto you about!” And instead you a little self-discipline and say, simply, “tell me about it.” And she does, in a big way. Like, for the next two hours she does 90% of the talking – you’re the poster child for empathy; all you’ve done is ask clarifying questions or make summarizing statements. Somewhere along the line you learned - maybe by watching her - the one-mouth-two-ears thing, and they need to be used in those proportions. In short, you don’t judge, you don’t anything. At this particular point she’s not looking for a string of answers but a shoulder to lean on. The last thing she needs is for you to say, “Why did you do that?! Or, “This is what you need to say to him tomorrow.” Never mind, “That was really stupid.”  It’d be far more respectful for you to say, “What do you think would happen if you had said _____ to her instead?” and then go back to listening big time. Or “So you said this and she said that and you said this other; do I have that right?” Or, “That was the very best thing you could have said/done!” Or, “I’m really proud that you _____!”  Assuming you handle those two hours right, assuming you’ve learnt how to listen-listen-listen, it’s possible you will have provided her with a service no man has ever given her in her life - not her father, or her brother, or her teacher[s], or her priest, or any of her boy friend[s]. It’s quite possible that this two-hour experience is a great water-shed moment in this relationship. You listen effectively to her from 6 to 8 on the night you want to unload on her and you could end up with a friend for life. When all the dust is settled, that friend-for-life thing could be far more important than your eventually answering her question later: “By the way, how was your day?”

“Real queens fix each others’ crowns.” - Anonymous

From “Lincoln 365,” by Arnold Kunst
February 27
'First convince a man that you are his sincere friend. Therein is the drop of honey that catches his heart, which, say what you will, is the great high road to his reason, and which, when once gained, you will find but little trouble in convincing his judgment of the justice of your cause.'
- Abraham Lincoln

'I resolve to speak ill of no man whatever, not even in a matter of truth; but rather by some means excuse the faults I hear charged upon others, and upon proper occasions speak all the good I know of everybody.'
- Benjamin Franklin

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

“There are some fleas a dog just can’t reach.” – Abraham Lincoln

From “The Human Condition: A User’s Manual,” by Arnold Kunst
26 February
If you find that you fail to impact this or that person you intended to impact, rest assured; you’re not alone! My guess is, not everyone who came in contact with Jesus Christ became a Christian either. 
I can just imagine two guys coming down from the Sermon on the Mount, and the first guy says, "Wasn't he fantastic! Imagine: it’s the poor in spirit, not the rich, who are blessed!" The other guy says, "I don't know; it was a little chilly; I should have brought a jacket." One perceives only what one is open to. Maybe the problem with the guy who "didn't get much out of that” was that he didn't bring anything to put it into!

“The great gift of human beings is that we have the power of empathy.” – Meryl Streep

From “Lincoln 365,” by Arnold Kunst
February 26
‘Character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.'
- Abraham Lincoln

'Avoid following the crowd - be an engine, not a caboose.'
- Francis Quinn

Monday, February 25, 2019

“Don’t compare your uniqueness to anybody else’s.” – Anonymous

From “The Human Condition: A User’s Manual,” by Arnold Kunst
25 February
The loser is apart from.

The winner is a part of.

“Next to power without honor, the most dangerous thing in the world is power without humor.” – Eric Sevareid

From “Lincoln 365,” by Arnold Kunst
February 25
In 1832 Lincoln served as a captain in the Black Hawk War, an Indian skirmish which lasted but a few weeks and in which he did not once hear a shot fired in anger. In short, there seemed to be virtually nothing in this experience that might contribute to a burgeoning political career. He had a way of dealing with those who, like himself, had virtually no combat experience to bolster their careers: he showed how they and he were pretty much on the same footing. In short, their pretense brought out his withering humor. 'By the way, do you know I am a military hero? Yes, sir, in the days of the Black Hawk War, I fought, bled, and came away. Speaking of General Cass's career reminds me of my own. I was not at Stallman's defeat, but I was about as near to it as Cass to Hull's surrender; and like him I saw the place very soon afterwards. It is quite certain I did not break my sword, for I had none to break, but I bent my musket pretty badly on one occasion... If General Cass went in advance of me picking whortleberries, I guess I surpassed him in charging upon the wild onion.  If he saw any live, fighting Indians, it was more than I did, but I had a good many bloody struggles with the mosquitoes, and although I never fainted from loss of blood, I can truly say that I was often very hungry.'

'Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand.'
- Mark Twain

Sunday, February 24, 2019

“My luck is so bad, if I bought a cemetery people would stop dying!” – Anonymous

From “The Human Condition: A User’s Manual,” by Arnold Kunst
24 February
Little Johnny Stories VIII
Life can be harsh, even for a cutesy little kid. I lived in the British Isles during the 1970’s. I remember a program on BBC TV called “Opportunity Knocks!” It was a folksy, small-potatoes precursor of “America’s Got Talent,” a weekly variety show with singers, comedians, jugglers and so on all competing to win first place. First place went to the act that got the most post-card votes [how’s that for ancient history!]. The prize was a few hundred pounds, the chance to compete next week [to a maximum of four weeks] and of course a lot of national exposure.
I remember one week when little Johnny got introduced. He was 5 years old and, like, three-feet ziltch. He was going to play Chopin’s Minute Waltz on the piano. Well, the MC made a big deal out of this huge stopwatch they set up near the piano. He also pointed out the two London phone books stacked on the piano bench. Everybody clapped like crazy and said “Ooh!” and “Ahh” as little Johnny came out. He bowed awkwardly, but as he climbed up on top of those phone books, somehow his left elbow managed to come down on the bottom end of that keyboard!
We were all shocked by this freak accident. Nobody was more shocked than little Johnny who climbed back down and said, “I didn’t mean to do that. You see, I was climbing up on the piano bench and my elbow hit those notes by accident. I can play the Minute Waltz really well, and I can do it in less than a minute. I want you all to forget that mistake. Please, just forget that mistake!”
He then played the piece perfectly, and, according to the stopwatch in the corner of the screen, he did it in 57 seconds flat.
At the end of the program all the contestants would do a little bit of their act to remind the audience whom to vote for. My guess is, when they got to little Johnny everyone out there in TV-land thought something like this: “he was cute, and played really well; too bad about that mistake at the beginning, but I think I’ll vote for this other act.”
In short, two things happened: everyone remembered the very thing Johnny told them to forget; and, when all the dust settled, the only vote he got was his mother’s.
Is life a bummer, or what?

“No pressure, no diamonds.” – Anonymous

From “Lincoln 365,” by Arnold Kunst
February 24
According to Lincoln’s senior partner at the time, right after he passed the bar exam, Lincoln’s ‘knowledge of the law was very small … but he would get a case and try to know all there was connected to it; and in that way he got to be quite a formidable lawyer.’

‘As the caterpillar becomes the butterfly, so also the meaningless becomes meaningful to those who strive with persistence and trust with simplicity.’

- Arnold Kunst