that you are all people
and that all people are you.
simple as it sounds, we all must try to be the best person we
can: by making the best choices, by making the most of
the talents we've been given.
Mary Lou Retton
for a lover; be one.
James Leo Herlihy
introduction and afterword by Dale Carnegie
parents are tempted to criticize their children. You would
expect me to say "don't." But I will not.
I am merely going to say, "Before you criticize
them, read one of the classics of American journalism, 'Father
Forgets.'" It originally appeared as an editorial in
the People's Home Journal. . . .
"Father Forgets" s one of those little pieces
which--dashed off in a moment of sincere feeling--strikes an
echoing chord in so many readers as to become a perennial
reprint favorite. Since its first appearance, "Father
Forgets" has been reproduced, writes the author, W.
Livingston Larned, "in hundreds of magazines and house
organs, and in newspapers the country over. It has been
reprinted almost as extensively in many foreign languages.
I have given personal permission to thousands who wished to read
it from school, church, and lecture platforms. It has been
'on the air' on countless occasions and programs. Oddly
enough, college periodicals have used it, and high-school
magazines. Sometimes a little piece seems mysteriously to
'click.' This one certainly did.
W. Livingston Larned
Listen, son: I am saying this as you lie asleep, one
little paw crumpled under your cheek and the blond curls
stickily wet on your damp forehead. I have stolen into
your room alone. Just a few minutes ago, as I sat reading
my paper in the library, a stifling wave of remorse swept over
me. Guiltily, I came to your bedside.
the things I was thinking, son: I had been cross to
you. I scolded you as you were dressing for school because
you gave your face merely a dab with a towel. I took you
to task for not cleaning your shoes. I called out angrily
when you threw some of your things on the floor.
At breakfast I found fault, too. You spilled things.
You gulped down your food. You put your elbows on the
table. You spread butter too thick on your bread.
And as you started off to play and I made for my train, you
turned and waved a hand and called, "Goodbye, Daddy!"
and I frowned, and said in reply, "Hold your shoulders
Then it began all over again in the late afternoon. As I
came up the road I spied you, down on your knees, playing
marbles. There were holes in your stockings. I
humiliated you in front of your friends by marching you ahead of
me to the house. Stockings were expensive--and if you had
to buy them you would be more careful! Imagine that, son,
from a father!
Do you remember, later, when I was reading in the library, how
you came in timidly, with a sort of hurt look in your
eyes? When I glanced up over my paper, impatient at the
interruption, you hesitated at the door. "What is it
you want?" I snapped.
You said nothing, but ran across in one tempestuous plunge, and
threw your arms around my neck and kissed me, and your small
arms tightened with an affection that God had set blooming in
your heart and which even neglect could not wither. And
then you were gone, pattering up the stairs.
Well, son, it was shortly afterwards that my paper slid from my
hands and a terrible sickening fear came over me. What has
habit been doing to me? The habit of finding fault, of
reprimanding--this was my reward to you for being a boy.
It was not that I did not love you; it was that I expected too
much of youth. I was measuring you by the yardstick of my
And there was so much that was good and fine and true in your
character. The little heart of you was as big as the dawn
itself over the wide hills. This was shown by your
spontaneous impulse to rush in and kiss my good night.
Nothing else matters tonight, son. I have come to your
bedside in the darkness, and I have knelt there, ashamed!
It is a feeble atonement; I know you would not understand these
things if I told them to you during your waking hours. But
tomorrow I will be a real daddy! I will chum with you, and
suffer when you suffer, and laugh when you laugh. I will
bite my tongue when impatient words come. I will keep
saying as if it were a ritual: "He is nothing but a
boy--a little boy!"
I am afraid I have visualized you as a man. Yet as I see
you now, son, crumpled and weary in your cot, I see that you are
still a baby. Yesterday you were in your mother's arms,
your head on her shoulder. I have asked too much, too
of condemning people, let's try to understand them. Let's
try to figure out why they do what they do. That's a lot
more profitable and intriguing than criticism; and it breeds
sympathy, tolerance, and kindness. "To know all is to
As Dr. Johnson said: "God himself, sir, does not
propose to judge man until the end of his days."
Why should you and I?
grandfather of all people-skills books was first published
in 1937. It was an overnight hit, eventually selling 15
million copies. How to Win Friends and Influence People
is just as useful today as it was when it was first
published, because Dale Carnegie had an understanding of
human nature that will never be outdated. Financial
success, Carnegie believed, is due 15 percent to
professional knowledge and 85 percent to "the ability
to express ideas, to assume leadership, and to arouse
enthusiasm among people." He teaches these skills
through underlying principles of dealing with people so
that they feel important and appreciated.
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memorable act in the history of the world is a triumph of
Nothing great was ever achieved without it because it gives any
or any occupation, no matter how frightening or difficult, a new
Without enthusiasm you are doomed to a life of mediocrity
but with it you can accomplish miracles.
on the Shore
A story is told about a bloodhound chasing a
stag. A fox crossed the path, so the hound
chased the fox. After a while a rabbit crossed
the path, so the hound chased it. Later, a
mouse crossed the path and the hound chased the
mouse into a hole. The hound began his hunt on
the trail of a magnificent stag and ended up
watching a mouse hole!
Not that there is anything wrong with
spontaneity. Some of the most wonderful things
have come into my life by beautiful accident.
But there is also something to be said for knowing
where we want to go.
Florence Chadwick learned the importance of keeping
a goal in mind on July 4, 1952. She waded into
the Pacific Ocean off Catalina Island and began
swimming toward the California coast 26 miles
away. The day was cold and her attendants
drove off sharks throughout the journey.
Florence had already swum the English Channel twice
and, if she could finish today, she would be the
first woman to have swum both. But after
fifteen hours in the water, for the first and only
time in her long-distance swimming career, she gave
up and climbed into the escort boat. Others
had urged her on, but in the fog they could not tell
her how near she was to the coast. She later
learned that she was less than half a mile from
When asked by a reporter why she gave up, Florence
replied: "It was the fog. If I
could have seen land, I could have finished.
But when you can't see your goal, you lose all sense
of progress and you begin to give up."
On a warm, sunny day two months later Florence
Chadwick swam the Catalina Channel, handily beating
the men's record. Only when she kept her eyes
on the shore did she eventually arrive there.
Keeping that goal constantly in sight will get you
where you want to go.
From Your Life Support System, a free
newsletter sharing life, love and laughter,
published by Steve Goodier. http://www.lifesupportsystem.
years from now you will be more disappointed by the things
didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off
the bowlines. Sail
away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade wind in
Explore. Dream. Discover.
Faith and New
quite sure what people mean when they say they're "putting
their faith to the test." I'm not sure that faith is
something that gets tested, like light bulbs or cars or anything
that's manufactured. I am sure that the saying generally
comes up when people take risks, especially huge risks--and by
huge I mean potentially damaging ones. When we take risks,
we're putting ourselves in situations in which we can get hurt or
damaged, emotionally, physically, financially, or in any of a
number of other ways.
But isn't risk an important part of life? And shouldn't
faith be a natural part of our lives, also, and thus a natural
part of any risk-taking that we may encounter?
Right now, for example, my wife and I are involved in a pretty
large risk. Because of our former job and living situations,
as well as the current employment problems that still confound the
world in general, we decided together to set out and move to a
place where we have no jobs, no place to live, no friends, and
really no prospects. While many people would see this as a
huge risk, we don't necessarily see it as such. We do see it
as a risk, for there is the potential of damage, but we don't see
it as a huge risk, mostly because of our faith.
You see, life always has been good to us. Not in the ways
that we sometimes wanted, and not in ways that have made us
wealthy or that have given us an over-abundance of material goods,
but in ways that have kept us safe and well cared for. We
both have faith that things will work out, and that faith helps us
to see our current move in a very positive light, rather than
looking at the world from a place of worry and
concern. When I was laid off from work last year, that
wasn't the end of the world--after all, millions of
other people were going through the same thing, many
in much worse situations than I. Rather than
look at the situation as justification for losing my
faith-- or questioning it--I saw the situation as
life pushing me in a different direction. And
the work I ended up getting six months later
definitely turned out to be a positive learning
I don't see faith as trusting that God is going to
look down and meddle in my life to make things
work. God is not going to flip a switch in
someone's brain and have that person feel magically
compelled to offer me a job. God is not going
to take over the steering of my car and drive me to
someplace that's looking to hire someone with just
my qualifications. Rather, I see faith as
simply trusting. I need to go on doing what I
do, following my conscience and following my heart,
trusting that things will turn out. What we
tend to call "setbacks" are usually just
minor obstacles that we need to go past. I may
apply for thirty jobs before getting one; some
people apply for hundreds. But the right work
is out there for me, and it may be that the right
work isn't anything at all like the work I had
thought it would or should be, but if I approach it
in the right ways, I most certainly can find any
work to be fulfilling and gratifying.
When I was younger, I had a pretty negative
relationship with faith. I used to think that
prayers would only be answered through strong faith,
and that since none of my prayers were being
answered, my faith could never grow. And since
my faith could never grow, none of my prayers would
ever be answered. That perspective, though,
was about me and my thought processes, and not at
all about the true nature of faith.
Many people have trust issues. Adult children
of alcoholics, people who come from broken homes,
people who grew up with unreliable adults in their
lives--all of us have internalized some sorts of
problems with trusting others. But even among
those problems, we can see that such problems are
inherently unfair to those who deserve our
trust. A woman who has been burned by several
different men, may have issues of trust, but is it
fair to the potential new men in her life that she
treat them with distrust? They don't deserve
not to be trusted.
And very often, we don't trust people until they
prove that they can be trusted. This is the
wrong way of going about things. The proper
way to view trust is that we should trust people
until they prove that they can't be trusted (while
still being careful--we wouldn't trust a person
we've known for an hour with our life savings, would
I do know that God (however you choose to see God)
and life are deserving of our trust. This
trust is our faith. When we have faith, we
live our lives as if things are going to work out
well, no matter how they may look at any given
time. And the fact that we're living our lives
that way can help us to create the lives that we
have our faith in, thus helping us to strengthen our
faith even more.
My wife and I don't take God for granted. We
don't say, "Well, we're taking chances so God
will make things work." Rather, we say
that we have a lot of hard work ahead of us, looking
for jobs and looking for a place to live, and we
trust that our hard work will help us to find what
we need to find. We may not find the work
that's what we envisioned, but we have faith that we
will find the work that's best for us at this point
in our lives. And that faith is going to help
us not to worry and not to feel too much stress and
to be able to give our best no matter what we
do. And that faith is going to allow us to
live each day fully in the meantime, not squandering
days because of concerns about the future.
Faith truly is a strong tool in our lives, and one
that we can go about strengthening on our own.
If you are
ideas, go out walking.
whisper to us
when we go for walks.
Life Fully, the e-zine
exists to try to provide for visitors of the world wide web a
of growth, peace, inspiration, and encouragement. Our
are presented as thoughts of the authors--by no means do
mean to present them as ways that anyone has to live
from them what you will, and disagree with
whatever you disagree
with--just know that they'll be here for you
group of alumni, highly established in their
careers, got together to visit their old university
professor. Conversation soon turned into
complaints about stress in work and life.
Offering his guests coffee, the professor went to
the kitchen and returned with a large pot
of coffee and an assortment of cups -
porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain
looking, some expensive, some exquisite - telling
them to help themselves to the coffee.
When all the students had a cup
of coffee in hand, the professor
said: "If you noticed, all the nice
looking expensive cups have been taken up, leaving
behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is
normal for you to want only the best for yourselves,
that is the source of your problems and stress.
Be assured that the cup itself adds no quality to
the coffee. In most cases it is just more
expensive and in some cases even hides what we
drink. What all of you really wanted was
coffee, not the cup, but you consciously went for
the best cups... And then you began eyeing each
Now consider this: Life is the coffee; the
jobs, money and position in society are the
cups. They are just tools to hold and contain
Life, and the type of cup we have does not define,
nor change the quality of life we live.
Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail
to enjoy the coffee. Savor the coffee, not the
cups! The happiest people don't have the best
of everything. They just make the best of
everything. Live simply. Love
generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly.
* * * * *
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gratitude ignites the light within us and is a sure path to joy.
Gratitude is one of the highest vibrations of energy we can
it's free, and anyone can give it. It can be as simple as
for soup, being thankful one can see, walk, wiggle a finger, or
a beat. One can be grateful for happy children, good
luck, and simply being alive. . . . Part of the journey toward joy
not waiting around for trouble, but being continuously aware of
Freedom is not simply the circumstances that allow
you to do whatever you want.
Freedom is not only the opportunity to choose. Freedom is the
character to choose and to do what it right. With that in
mind, our age is not an
age of freedom, but an age of slavery. It is subtle, but it is
real. The foundation
of freedom is not power or choice. Freedom is upheld not by
men and women
in government, but by people who govern themselves.