Once upon a time there was a little boy who was raised in an orphanage. The little boy had always wished that he could fly like a bird. It was very difficult for him to understand why he could not fly.
There were birds at the zoo that were much bigger than he, and they could fly "Why can't I?" he thought. "Is there something wrong with me?" he wondered.
There was another little boy who was crippled. He had always wished that he could walk and run like other little boys and girls.
One day the little orphan boy who had wanted to fly like a bird ran away from the orphanage. He came upon a park where he saw the little boy who could not walk or run playing in the sandbox. He ran over to the little boy and asked him if he had ever wanted to fly like a bird.
"No," said the little boy who could not walk or run. "But I have wondered what it would be like to walk and run like other boys and girls."
"That is very sad”, said the little boy who wanted to fly. "Do you think we could be friends?" he said to the little boy in the sandbox.
"Sure." said the little boy.
The two little boys played for hours. They made sand castles and made really funny sounds with their mouths. Sounds, which made them laugh, real hard. Then the little boy's father came with a wheelchair to pick up his son. The little boy who had always wanted to fly ran over to the boy's father and whispered something into his ear.
The little boy who had always wanted to fly like a bird ran over to his new friend and said, "You are my only friend and I wish that there was something that I could do to make you walk and run like other little boys and girls. But I can't. But there is something that I can do for you."
The little orphan boy turned around and told his new friend to slide up onto his back. He then began to run across the grass. Faster and faster he ran, carrying the little crippled boy on his back. Faster and harder he ran across the park. Harder and harder he made his legs travel. Soon the wind just whistled across the two little boys' faces.
The little boy's father began to cry as he watched his beautiful little crippled son flapping his arms up and down in the wind, all the while yelling at the top of his voice, "I'M FLYING, DADDY. I'M FLYING!"
An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer-contractor of his plans to leave the job and live a more leisurely life with his wife, enjoying his extended family. He would miss the paycheck, but he had to retire. They would get by somehow.
The contractor was sorry to see a good worker go and asked him if he could build just one more house as a personal favour. The carpenter said yes, but in time it was easy to see that his heart was not in his work. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior material. It was an unfortunate way to end his career.
When the carpenter finished his work, the contractor came to see the house and handed over the front-door key to the carpenter.
"This is your house," he said, "It is my gift to you!"
What a shock! What a shame! If only the carpenter had known that he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently. Now he had to live in a home he had built none too well.
All of us are like the carpenter. Our life is like the house. Each day we hammer a nail, place a board, or erect a wall. Let us build wisely. It is the only life we shall ever build. Even if we live for only one day more, that day deserves to be lived graciously and with dignity.We can build the life we want. It will exactly reflect our attitude and the choices we make - today and tomorrow.
Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work. -Aristotle
Last spring I was walking in a park. A short distance ahead of me was a mom and her three-year-old daughter. The little girl was holding on to a string that was attached to a helium balloon.
All of a sudden, a sharp gust of wind took the balloon from the little girl. I braced myself for some screaming and crying.
But, no! As the little girl turned to watch her balloon go skyward, she gleefully shouted out, "Wow!"
I didn't realize it at that moment, but that little girl taught me something.
Later that day, I received a phone call from a person with news of an unexpected problem. I felt like responding with "Oh no, what should we do?" But remembering that little girl, I found myself saying, "Wow, that's interesting! How can I help you?"
One thing's for sure - life's always going to keep us off balance with its unexpected problems. That's a given. What's not preordained is our response. We can choose to be frustrated or fascinated.
No matter what the situation, a fascinated "Wow!" will always beat a frustrated "Oh, no."
So the next time you experience one of life's unexpected gusts, remember that little girl and make it a "Wow!" experience. The "Wow!" response always works . .