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Welcome to BalanSoul

All of life is a matter of balance. Every ecosystem, every organism, the planet, the universe, every atom of every molecule—all things depend upon a careful balance.
From gravity governing the fabric of the cosmos to the precision of your organ systems, equilibrium is a constant. When things are thrown off, all of these systems are designed to restore balance. It’s an essential part of the nature of existence. Without this predisposition to balance, life could not go on and existence would be chaos.

At BalanSoul, acknowledgement of this essential truth serves as our most solid foundation. It is at the heart of our passion for wisdom and unending desire for wellness—two sides of the same coin. Your body wants to be well, and it has the healing power to keep itself well and perfectly balanced, if only you’ll let it.

Perhaps more than any of my other treatments, my heart and soul rest in my mental health work.

WHAT WE OFFER

Mental Health Treatments

You contact me about treating a mental health problem, you will be met with a deep understanding and compassion. I’ve found that many……

Stress
Management

We all have stress. There is no getting around that. But we need to recognize the difference between stress that we can manage on our own….

Mood
Disorder

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Sleep
Disorder

It’s a fact that approximately a third of the world’s population is suffering from a dangerous level of sleep deprivation. ….

WHAT IS BALANSOL

350+

Happy People

350+

Are Asleep

350+

Leading In Life

BalanSoul serves not only as a hub for the naturopathic consultations and services of George Parker, N.D., but also as an extensive library and information portal for all things related to body, mind, soul, and the intricate natural balance of these branches of being.

Whether you’re looking for an immediate expert naturopathic consultation or just some enlightening reading material to compliment your morning coffee—you are free to use this site as you wish with no obligation. Most of the resources we offer through BalanSoul are completely free and widely enjoyed.

We Provide
Balance To All Of Life

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OUR BLOGS

Going the extra miles to ensure a positive results.

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Borrowed Hope

By Eloise Cole

Lend me your hope for awhile,
I seem to have mislaid mine.
Lost and hopeless feelings accompany me daily.
Pain and confusion are my companions.


I know not where to turn.
Looking ahead to the future times
Does not bring forth images of renewed hope.
I see mirthless times, pain-filled days, and more tragedy.


Lend me your hope for awhile,
I seem to have mislaid mine.
Hold my hand and hug me,
Listen to all my ramblings.


I need to unleash the pain and let it tumble out.
Recovery seems so far and distant,
The road to healing, a long and lonely one.
Stand by me. Offer me your presence,


Your ears and your love.
Acknowledge my pain, it is so real and ever present.
I am overwhelmed with sad and conflicting thoughts.
Lend me your hope for awhile.


A time will come when I will heal,
And I will end my renewed hope to others.

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Courage to Live

By Grace Noll Crowell

To those who have tried and seemingly have failed,
Reach out, dear Lord, and comfort them today;

 

For those whose hope has dimmed, whose faith has paled,
Lift up some lighted heavenly torch, I pray.


They are so frightened, Lord; reach out a hand.
They are so hurt and helpless, be their friend.


Baffled and blind, they do not understand –
They think this dark and tangled road the end.


Oh, touch to flame their hope that has burned low,
And strike with fire faith’s ashes that are dead.


Let them walk proudly once again, and go
Seeking the sure and steadfast light ahead.


Help them to move amount their fellow men
With courage to live, courage to try again.

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The Woman Who Has Courage

By Katie Chase

Stalwart and strong,
She stands upon the Rock,
Faces the wind,
And it throws itself against her
Howling and hurling at her with fierceness
The woman who has courage.

Like a lighthouse,
She stands upon the Rock,
Illuminates the scene,
And darkness encroaches
Blinding and billowing at her to bury her
The woman who has courage.

Faithful and fearful,
She stands upon the Rock
Lights the dark
And my spirit swells
Watching and waiting as she endures the storm
The woman who has courage.

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Hope

by Brian Quinn

When all about you is black with gloom,
And all you feel is pending doom.
When your bones are racked with grim despair –
When every breath is a gasp for air.
Keep on going, though you need to grope,
For around the bend is a ray of hope.

A ray of hope is perhaps all that’s left,
As your will to live has been bereft.
You’ve lost it all, it’s just no use!
You can end it all, you need no excuse.
But throw away that piece of rope,
And give yourself a chance of hope.

Just give yourself another day,
Brushing aside what your thoughts may say.
This is your life and you can make a new start,
By ignoring the brain – just follow the heart.
Taking baby steps in order to cope,
And minute by minute you’ll build on your hope.

Build on your hope, one day at a time,
Though the road be steep and hard to climb.
The hurts of the past – they should be dead.
The fears of the future are all in your head.
Just live in the present and refuse to mope
Your life will sparkle for you’re living in hope.

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Life with hope

Lleyson Hernandez

 

The emptiness is closing, creeping,

crushing all hope I have to keep on living.

 

When I have nothing left to believe in

and I think I can go no more.

 

Hope is enough to keep me alive.

Giving me strength I didn’t know I had.

 

But we can live on hope and

dreams cause with hope I can endure,

for it is the perfect cure.

 

The heart is a womb were hope is born

it is conceived in the mind.

 

Hope is a quest to be free an open door or a key.

It will keep you strong in times of despair

and just when you think you’re all alone

in the end hope will be there.

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Don't Lose Courage

Runita R Menezes

 

When things go wrong and you are blue,

 

When there’s nothing that you want to do,

 

When you feel your world’s falling apart,

 

When you feel that you just can’t make a start.

 

Don’t lose courage, don’t lose heart,

 

Put on a smile and restart.

 

For life is precious and shouldn’t be thrown away,

 

And after every dark night there’s a bright day.

 

When the road ahead seems all uphill,

 

And your chances of happiness range from zero to nil.

 

When life is hard and your spirits, are low,

 

When there’s nowhere for you to go.

 

Don’t lose courage, don’t lose strength,

 

Get on your feet and start again.

 

For though today is sad, tomorrow will give,

 

A brand new reason for you to live.

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COURAGE

Marie Fairy AJM

 

Courage gives us strength and this strength gives our life more length

 

Courage helps us to face our fears and it is the only one to wipe our tears

 

It teaches us to live with unity and helps us to maintain our reliability

 

Courage is being brave not like cowards and slaves

 

Courage is a ladder to success it is a blessing by which we are blessed

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COURAGE

Richard Baird

 

What does courage mean to me?

 

What does it mean to you?

 

To some, a single attribute, others, quite a few,

 

For courage is a lack of fear, inspired by faith and love,

 

Love of a person, place, or thing, faith in “our Lord” above.

 

In time of stress, the “Lord” provides, the strength to overcome,

 

It’s courage! giving special drive! until the goal is won.

 

When danger threatens life or limb, it’s courage to the fore,

 

A courage known by many names, as: daring! guts! and more.

 

Whatever name we give this trait, it’s valiant! stout! and bold!

 

In action, it is fortitude, a wonder! to behold.

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Anyone's Courage

Julio Hernandez

 

Courage is something any one can achieve

 

It can happen so fast if you just believe

 

Believe in yourself and you’ll be surprised,

 

your more brave then you ever realized

 

Courage is something hidin inside

 

It makes you stronger than the highest tide

 

Courage means you can face your fears

 

That you’re not afraid to shed some tears

 

In life without fear you can never be brave

 

You can’t rescue a princess if there’s no one to save

 

Life is a balance, like dark and light

 

There can be no wrong if there is no right

 

Getting courage isn’t to hard to do

 

Look deep inside and you’ll find it too

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Courage by Bea Early

Bea Early

 

The heart of love is courage,

 

The core of courage is love,

 

Without the one there is no other.

 

Love listens with courage to care,

 

The courage to forsake fear, doubt, desire.

 

Love is wisdom, love is freedom, love is kindness.

 

Love listens. Love speaks.

 

Speak love, and courage will listen.

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Tribute to Courage

James Elston

 

Courage is doing what is right

 

Without having to be told

 

Courage is manning up

 

When you know you’ve done something wrong

 

Courage is looking the enemy in the eye

 

And telling them to just bring it

 

Courage is having fear

 

But still staying strong

 

Courage is facing adversity

 

But being able to overcome it

 

Courage is leaving your family behind

 

To defend the country you love

 

Courage is being a soldier In the greatest army in the world

 

Thank you for this courage

 

That lets us live free

 

May God bless you

 

And come home safely to your families

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COURAGE

Hanson Chen

 

Courage is what it takes to stand up to others

 

 

Courage is what it takes to make your own decisions

 

 

Courage is what it takes to succeed

 

 

But it also takes courage to sit down and listen It also takes courage to admit a loss

 

 

It will take courage to respect someone others don’t

 

 

Courage is needed to withstand peer pressure

 

 

So what does this mean?

 

 

Courage is essential in your journey through life.

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Courage

Daniel Vango

 

The courage I need
I need the courage to control my instincts


The courage I need to face my fears
I need the courage to see the future


The courage I need to compare facts and opinion
I need the courage to think right


The courage I need to see if my friends trust me
I need the courage to ask questions


The courage I need to survive
I need the courage to convince myself to do something
I have to prepare myself for any thing that comes up!

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Promise Yourself

(one the most classic motivational poems)

 

Promise yourself to be so strong

that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.

 

To talk health, happiness,

and prosperity to every person you meet.

 

To make all your friends feel

like there is something in them.

 

To look at the sunny side of everything

and make your optimism come true.

 

To think only of the best,

to work only for the best, and expect only the best.

 

To be just as enthusiastic about the success of

others as you are about your own.

 

To forget the mistakes of the past

and press on the greater achievements of the future.

 

To wear a cheerful countenance at all times

and give every living person you meet a smile.

 

To give so much time to the improvement of yourself

that you have no time to criticize others.

 

To be too large for worry, too noble for anger,

and too strong for fear, and to happy to permit the presence of trouble.

 

 

The Optimist Creed From The Optimist International

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Look Well to This Day

Anonymous, 50 B.C.

 

Look well to this day,

For it and it alone is life.

In its brief course

Lie all the essence of your existence:

 

The Glory of Growth

The Satisfaction of Achievement

The Splendor of Beauty

For yesterday is but a dream,

And tomorrow is but a vision.

 

But today well lived makes

every yesterday a

dream of happiness,

And every tomorrow a vision of hope.

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Start living now.

 

Stop saving the good china for that special occasion.

 

Stop withholding your love until that special person materializes.

 

Every day you are alive is a special occasion.

 

Every minute, every breath, is a gift from God.

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A Prayer For Courage

Rabindranath Tagore

 

Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers,
But to be fearless in facing them.


Let me not beg for the stilling of my pain,
But for the heart to conquer it.


Let me not look for allies in life’s battlefield,
But to my own strength.


Let me not crave in anxious fear to be saved,
But hope for the patience to win my freedom.


Grant me that I may not be a coward,
feeling your mercy in my success alone,
But let me find the grasp of your hand in my failure.

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To Believe...

Author Unknown

 

To believe is to know that every day is a new beginning.
It is to trust that miracles happen, and dreams really do come true.
To believe is to see angels dancing among the clouds,
To know the wonder of a stardust sky and the wisdom of the man in the moon.


To believe is to know the value of a nurturing heart,
The innocence of a child’s eyes
and the beauty of an aging hand,
for it is through their teachings we learn to love.


To believe is to find the strength
and courage that lies within us.
When it is time to pick up the pieces and begin again.


To believe is to know we are not alone,
That life is a gift and this is our time to cherish it.


To believe is to know that wonderful surprises
are just waiting to happen,
And all our hopes and dreams are within reach.
If only we believe.

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Be Who You Must Be

Diarmuid Cronin

 

I don’t know where you are on your path
I have never stood in your shoes
I see not with your eyes.
I know not what your purpose is here
In this stage of your evolution
But I feel blessed to know you
As you are not in my life by chance
And you are my teacher
As I hope you learn from me
I pray I show reverence to you
I pray not to judge you
I wish to let you be
Who you are
Who you dream of being
I will just be beside you
And watch you grow
And the day will come for sure
When we will know why
Our paths crossed this way
And until then my friend
Be who you must be

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I'll Never Give Up

Rachel A. Lund

 

Though life may be unkind
And knock me around for a while
Though I may get a few bruises
And carry some permanent scars
I won’t let it defeat me
I’ll never give up

Though life may leave me crumbled
Weeping on the floor
The tears I cry today
Will be gone tomorrow
I’ll stand up with new strength
With courage in my stubborn heart
Refusing to stay down

This isn’t the first time
Life tried to bring an end to me
Nor is this the first time
I fought to survive

I’ve experienced being crushed
Many times in this life I live
Only causing me to rise again
To defiantly stare life in the face
Letting it know

That I will never give up

Life can hurt me
And kick me while I’m down
The bruises will heal
And the scars will fade with time
While I’ll rise once again
To laugh in the face of life
Daring it to try again
Because I’ll never give up

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The Victor

C.W. Longenecker

 

If you think you are beaten, you are.
If you think you dare not, you don’t
If you like to win but think you can’t,
It’s almost a cinch you won’t.

If you think you’ll lose, you’re lost.
For out in the world we find
Success begins with a fellow’s will
It’s all in the state of mind.

If you think you are outclassed, you are.
You’ve got to think high to rise.
You’ve got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win the prize.

Life’s battles don’t always go
To the stronger or faster man.
But sooner or later, the man who wins
Is the man who thinks he can.

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Various Poems

Courage, it would seem,
is nothing less than the power
to overcome danger, misfortune, fear, injustice,
while continuing to affirm inwardly
that life with all its sorrows is good;
that everything is meaningful
even if in a sense beyond our understanding;
and that there is always tomorrow.
-Dorothy Thompson

 

 

 

Whatever you do, you need courage.
Whatever course you decide upon,
there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong.
There are always difficulties arising
that tempt you to believe your critics are right.
To map out a course of action and follow it to an end
requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs.
Peace has its victories,
but it takes brave men and women to win them.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

 

 

It is not the critic who counts,
not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled,
or where the doer of deeds could have done better.
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena,
whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood,
who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again,
who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions,
and spends himself in a worthy cause,
who at best knows achievement
and who at the worst if he fails
at least fails while daring greatly
so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls
who know neither victory nor defeat.
-Theodore Roosevelt

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Time

by Jan Brooks

 

Time heals the wounds,
But always leaves a scar,
It’s a reminder,
Of who we really are.

Time helps the pain,
Until it eventually fades away,
Just a dull ache,
Is all that’s left every day.

Time heals the heart,
Stops the bleeding deep inside,
It beats again,
And lets us find that lost pride.

Time helps the soul,
Recover from the spiritual pain,
Builds the confidence,
And helps us learn to love again..

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What It Takes

by Jan Brooks

 

Love and compassion,
Want and need,
You have what it takes,
To go where it may lead.


Faith and insight,
Knowledge and trust,
You have what it takes,
To believe love is a must.


Strength and courage,
Desire and hope,
You have what it takes,
To find a way to cope…

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Walking Away

by Jan Brooks

 

Walking away,
From a painful past,
Letting go,
Of a love that didn’t last.


Walking away,
From someone who didn’t care,
Letting go,
And realizing it was going nowhere.


Walking away,
From the hurt and heartbreak,
Letting go,
And learning from that mistake.


Walking away,
From years of emotional pain,
Letting go,
And learning to find happiness again…

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The Future

by Jan Brooks

 

Don’t live in the past,
Live in the here and now,
Look to the future,
And you will see it all somehow.


Don’t think about the past,
Always think about today,
Think of the future,
And you will always find a way.


Don’t long for the past,
Long for this day to be great,
Long for the future,
And you know it’s never too late!

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One Life

Courage is a wonderful phenomenon
Anyone can possess it indeed
It is an everlasting feeling
Grown from a tender and loving seed

Courage is in a dying and sick child
With the biggest heart all can see
Fighting with every inch of their body
Loving life more than you and me

It is a brave and heroic firefighter
Running into a firestorm of hell
Saving lives and futures of strangers
Our own miraculous wishing well

A soldier in a fiery and deadly war
Losing brothers before their eyes
Fighting with their whole body and soul
Under a gloomy blood drenched sky

Courage is a breast cancer survivor
Beating death at its own game
Never giving up in the least bit
Rejoicing in their own personal fame

A single parent raising a child
More daunting and tedious than we see
Two roles molded into one
Becoming the mother, the father, the We

Courage is a relief aid worker
Traveling to a dangerous and foreign place
Helping the poor and unfortunate
Some things everyone should taste

Courage is beating a drug addiction
Demons consuming people’s lives
Ripping away our youth and innocence
Making us so much stronger, brave and wise

Courage is also standing up for yourself
When everyone is tearing you apart
Living the best life possible
And doing so with all your heart.

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Changes

by Jan Brooks

 

I feel these changes,
And I have a confession,
Have I beaten it,
That demon they call depression?
Has it left me?
Sometimes I’m not really sure,
But I feel different,
I don’t feel down anymore.
Is it temporary?
The truth is I don’t know,
But I have hope now,
And hopefully my courage will grow.
I feel more confident,
And I feel stronger inside,
Not so emotional,
And my thoughts I don’t have to hide.
Time has proven,
That a broken heart can heal,
The pain can fade,
And happiness I can again feel…

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Something

by Jan Brooks

 

Something beautiful,
Something brightens your day,
Lifts up your mood,
Pushes the clouds away.

Something wonderful,
Something you can’t explain,
Makes you feel good,
Lets hope it will remain.

Something inspiring,
Something just touches you,
Gives you courage,
Helps you to see it through.

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Help Others

by Jan Brooks

 

Be a strong person,
Have courage as well,
Help others,
So much you can tell.

Be a good leader,
Who will lead the way,
Help others,
Let them have their say.

Be an activist,
Stand up for your rights,
Help others,
And fight the good fights!

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Starting A New Life

by Jan Brooks

 

Starting a new life,
Letting go of all in my past,
Only memories left,
Of a marriage that didn’t last.
Starting a new life,
Moving on now from the old,
And the heartache it brought,
From a man who’s love had gone cold.
Starting a new life,
Giving up on all that I knew,
All the insecurities,
Of a man who was deceitful and untrue.
Starting a new life,
Shedding a fake and feeble disguise,
Facing the reality,
And escaping all the unfaithfulness and lies.
Starting a new life,
Finding a freedom I never had,
A new future beckons,
And I’ll try to make something good from the bad.
Starting a new life,
Looking forward to a new day,
A different direction,
And hopefully happiness will come my way…

 

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Do It Right

by Jan Brooks

 

Have a strong voice,
Make the right choice,
And you will go far,
You must be true,
See it right through,
And prove who you are.

Know what to say,
In the right way,
Use a little tact,
Have no disguise,
And tell no lies,
Always deal with fact.

Never deceive,
Always believe,
That you’ll do it right,
You know you’re strong,
You can’t go wrong,
You must keep up the fight!

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Hope

by Hope is Poets

 

Hope is the thing with petals
smiling towards the sun.
A yellow beam of light
streaming across a dark room.
Hope is a rose with no petals
bursting into full bloom.


Hope is what we wish for;
a paintbrush poised over pristine paper,
rainbow palette in hand.
Hope is a rope we cling to
when the ground gives way
beneath our feet.


Hope is waking up to see
morning’s hazy first light;
the new dawn unfolding.
Hope is joy and dreams;
what just could be;
shafts of sun peeking through a cloudy day.


Hope is taking baby steps
to reach the summit,
knowing you can survive
anything and everything.
Hope is embracing life,
believing in the wonder
when there’s nothing left.


Hope is what we are grateful for:
a caring voice on the phone,
a letter from a friend,
a family to love,
a walk hand in hand with your lover.

 

Hope is a tiny shard of light
escaping a crack beneath the door;
a willingness to cross a threshold to worlds unknown,
open to endless possibilities.

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Mountains

by Linda Nielsen

 

We are each given challenges,
it happens all the time.
Some are given small hurdles,
while others, mountains to climb.

Although we’d rather stay down here,
in our valleys safe and sound.
God may start us toward that mountain,
to get our feet up off the ground.

With anger, fear, and tears all packed,
all burdens carrying weight,
we start off on that journey,
still questioning our fate.

At first the climbing isn’t tough,
a gradual slow ascent.
Too soon the bumpy path begins,
with our energy slowly spent.

Then one by one we’ll cast aside,
emotions not needed for feeling,
that which matters most of all,
Faith, Hope, Love, and Healing.

Still it gets so hard with every step,
there’s much to overcome.
The obstacles set before us,
are getting very troublesome.

But the higher we are climbing,
we notice that the view,
gets more beautiful and beautiful,
than anything we knew.

And as our energy is fading,
and the mountain top is near.
We know that God is with us,
for He whispers in our ear.

“You needed to climb this mountain,
and be high up in the sky,
For you dear are an Angel now,
set free, with wings to fly.”

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Heart and Soul

by Mike Hall from Denver, Colorado

 

You have stolen a precious part of me.
Yet you’ll never claim the heart of me.
You can’t touch the flame that burns in me…
The spirit that lives for eternity.
I’ll give you credit
You have awakened a power in me
That is unstoppable…
A thirst in me
That is unquenchable.
And a hunger in me
That won’t be denied.
I tell you boldly
That you have met your match.
I will not give in
And I will not give up.
And you had better ready yourself
For the fight of your life.

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I Shall Be Glad

by Grace Noll Crowell

 

If I can put new hope within the heart
Of one who has lost hope,
If I can help a brother up
Some difficult long slope
That seems too steep for tired feet to go,
If I can help him climb
Into the light upon the hill’s far crest,
I shall begrudge no time
Or strength that I spend, for well I know
How great may be his need.
If I can help through any darkened hour,
I shall be glad indeed.

 

For I recall how often I have been
Distressed, distraught, dismayed,
And hands have reached to help, and voices called
That kept me unafraid.
If I can share this help that I have had.

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Poem for Hope

A Hong Kong Proverb

 

As long as we have hope,
we have direction,
the energy to move,
and the map to move by.
We have a hundred alternatives,
a thousand paths and infinity of dreams.
Hopeful, we are halfway to where we want to go;
Hopeless, we are lost forever.

 

Hope is one of the prime differences between successful people and those who can only see failure. Successful people have hope because they can clearly see their goals. People who only see failure have no hope because they see no light, they set no goals, and they see nothing accomplished. Successful people see alternatives and are willing to try different ways. People who only see failure are unable to see another way and give up to easily. With hope you are halfway to where you want to go; by setting your goals, and taking the action to achieve them, you will see your hope turn into your reality!

 

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Begin Again

by Susan Coolidge

 

Every day is a fresh beginning,
Every day is the world made new;
You who are weary of sorrow and sinning,
Here is a beautiful hope for you-
A hope for me and a hope for you.

All the past things are past and over,
The tasks are done and the tears are shed;
Yesterday’s errors let yesterday cover;
Yesterday’s wounds, which smarted and bled,
Are healed with the healing which night has shed.

Yesterday now is a part of forever,
Bound up in a sheaf, which God holds tight;
With glad days, and sad days and bad days which never
Shall visit us more with their bloom and their blight,
Their fullness of sunshine or sorrowful night.
Let them go, since we cannot relieve them,
Cannot undo and cannot atone;
God in His mercy, receive, forgive them;
Only the new days are our own,
Today is ours, and today alone.

Here are the skies all burnished brightly,
Here is the spent earth all reborn,
Here are the tired limbs springing lightly
To face the sun and to share the morn,
In the chrism of dew and the cool of dawn.

Every day is a fresh beginning;
Listen, my soul, to the glad refrain,
And, spite of old sorrow and older sinning,
And puzzles forecasted and possible pain
Take heart with the day, and begin again.

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Be The Best of Whatever You Are

by Douglas Malloch

 

If you can’t be a pine on the top of the hill
Be a scrub in the valley–but be
The best little scrub by the side of the rill;
Be a bush if you can’t be a tree.

If you can’t be a bush be a bit of the grass,
And some highway some happier make;
If you can’t be a muskie then just be a bass–
But the liveliest bass in the lake!

We can’t all be captains, we’ve got to be crew,
There’s something for all of us here.
There’s big work to do and there’s lesser to do,
And the task we must do is the near.

If you can’t be a highway then just be a trail,
If you can’t be the sun be a star;
It isn’t by size that you win or you fail–
Be the best of whatever you are!

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Hope

Never go gloomy, man with a mind,

Hope is a better companion than fear;

Providence, ever benignant and kind,

Gives with a smile what you take with a tear;

All will be right, Look to the light.

Morning was ever the daughter of night;

All that was black will be all that is bright,

Cheerily, cheerily, then cheer up.

Many a foe is a friend in disguise,

Many a trouble a blessing most true,

Helping the heart to be happy and wise,

With love ever precious and joys ever new.

Stand in the van, Strike like a man!

This is the bravest and cleverest plan;

Trusting in God while you do what you can.

Cheerily, cheerily, then cheer up.

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Laugh A Little Bit

by Edmund Vance Cooke

 

Here’s a motto, just your fit–
Laugh a little bit.
When you think you’re trouble hit,
Laugh a little bit.
Look misfortune in the face.
Brave the beldam’s rude grimace;
Ten to one ’twill yield its place,
If you have the wit and grit
Just to laugh a little bit.
Keep your face with sunshine lit,
Laugh a little bit.
All the shadows off will flit,
If you have the grit and wit
Just to laugh a little bit.
Cherish this as sacred writ–
Laugh a little bit.
Keep it with you, sample it,
Laugh a little bit.
Little ills will sure betide you,
Fortune may not sit beside you,
Men may mock and fame deride you,
But you’ll mind them not a whit
If you laugh a little bit.

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The Difference Between Strength and Courage

It takes strength to be firm.
It takes courage to be gentle.

It takes strength to stand guard.
It takes courage to let down your guard.

It takes strength to conquer
It takes courage to surrender.

It takes strength to be certain.
It takes courage to have doubt.

It takes strength to fit in.
It takes courage to stand out.

It takes strength to feel a friend’s pain.
It takes courage to feel your own pain.

It takes strength to hide feelings.
It takes courage to show them.

It takes strength to endure abuse.
It takes courage to stop it.

It takes strength to stand alone.
It takes courage to lean on another.

It takes strength to love.
It takes courage to be loved.

It takes strength to survive.
It takes courage to live.

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Courage by Harihara Sudhahar Ramamoorthy

by Harihara Sudhahar Ramamoorthy


Many are the troubles we are confronted with,
Life is no more than a troublesome myth,
Reality is so bizarre and weak,
Sadness and fear has reached its peak.


What we lack is the courage to start,
Yet what we need is just a strong living heart,
Gather your wits all in one part,
And face that evil killing dart.


Whatever will happen, whatever it will take,
You are not going to let it break,
Cross the line and break your fate,
And start to try loving what you hate.


You have the right to decide your life course,
But be ready it may be all hollow and hoarse,
Try all that you can but don’t give up,
If in the end, you want the winning cup.


The courage is all that you need,
In your life, that will be the sowing seed,
It may put you in the lead,
But never will it be the weed.


If you think you are missing something,
Its the courage, the courage, in your ears it will ring.

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COURAGE

by Wish Belkin

From Wish Belkin’s “Diurnalis” © 2000


When evening comes the shadows grow, as the sun begins to set.
Take care that you don’t come to know, a thing that’s called regret.
Not what you try or what you do, throughout a carefree youth.
It’s what you don’t you’ll come to rue, when time reveals it’s truth.


There is wisdom to be had from mistaken words and acts.
You’ll find that failure’s not so bad, it strengthens you in fact.
Rejection’s fear or the fear of failure, that paralizes you.
Is the stuff of tears and that which keeps you dreams from coming true.


It takes a certain kind of nerve to tell someone you care.
But then nature tends to serve the person who would dare.
Bravery isn’t something you can cultivate from seed.
It must be conjured up anew each time that there’s a need.

 

So take these words and hold them close, it’s certain you’ll find that,
one second of courage to speak from the heart will result in you hearing them back.

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COURAGE

Courage is a wonderful phenomenon
Anyone can possess it indeed
It is an everlasting feeling
Grown from a tender and loving seed

Courage is in a dying and sick child
With the biggest heart all can see
Fighting with every inch of their body
Loving life more than you and me

It is a brave and heroic firefighter
Running into a firestorm of hell
Saving lives and futures of strangers
Our own miraculous wishing well

A soldier in a fiery and deadly war
Losing brothers before their eyes
Fighting with their whole body and soul
Under a gloomy blood drenched sky

Courage is a breast cancer survivor
Beating death at its own game
Never giving up in the least bit
Rejoicing in their own personal fame

A single parent raising a child
More daunting and tedious than we see
Two roles molded into one
Becoming the mother, the father, the We

Courage is a relief aid worker
Traveling to a dangerous and foreign place
Helping the poor and unfortunate
Some things everyone should taste

Courage is beating a drug addiction
Demons consuming people’s lives
Ripping away our youth and innocence
Making us so much stronger, brave and wise

Courage is also standing up for yourself
When everyone is tearing you apart
Living the best life possible
And doing so with all your heart.

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See it Through

When you’re up against a trouble,
Meet it squarely, face to face;
Lift your chin and set your shoulders,
Plant your feet and take a brace.
When it’s vain to try to dodge it,
Do the best that you can do;
You may fail, but you may conquer,
See it through!

Black may be the clouds about you
And your future may seem grim,
But don’t let your nerve desert you;
Keep yourself in fighting trim.
If the worse is bound to happen,
Spite of all that you can do,
Running from it will not save you,
See it through!

Even hope may seem but futile,
When with troubles you’re beset,
But remember you are facing
Just what other men have met.
You may fail, but fall still fighting;
Don’t give up, whate’er you do;
Eyes front, head high to the finish.
See it through!



~ Edgar A. Guest ~

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This Too Shall Pass

If I can endure for this minute
Whatever is happening to me,
No matter how heavy my heart is
Or how dark the moment may be

If I can remain calm and quiet
With all the world crashing about me,
Secure in the knowledge God loves me
When everyone else seems to doubt me

If I can but keep on believing
What I know in my heart to be true,
That darkness will fade with the morning
And that this will pass away, too

Then nothing in life can defeat me
For as long as this knowledge remains
I can suffer whatever is happening
For I know God will break all of the chains

That are binding me tight in the darkness
And trying to fill me with fear
For there is no night without dawning
And I know that my morning is near.



~ Helen Steiner Rice ~

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Courage & Hope Quotes

If you do not hope, you will not find what is beyond your hopes.

 

St. Clement of Alexandra

We are all inventors, each sailing out on a voyage of discovery, guided each by a private chart, of which there is no duplicate. The world is all gates, all opportunities.


Ralph Waldo Emerson

For hope is but the dream of those that wake.

 

Matthew Prior

Hope is the dream of the waking man.

 

French Proverb

The virtue lies in the struggle, not in the prize.

Richard Monckton Milnes

The art of living lies less in eliminating our troubles than in growing with them.

 

Bernard M. Baruch

With lots of tragedies in Life, I chose to be positive, as it is my last resort.”

 

by Preeti Agarwal —India

Nothing but courage can guide life.

 

Vauvenargues

He who loses wealth loses much; he who loses a friend loses more; but he who loses his courage loses all.

 

Miguel de Cervantes

Courage … is nothing less than the power to overcome danger, misfortune, fear, injustice, while continuing to affirm inwardly that life, with all its sorrows, is good; that everything is meaningful, even if in a sense beyond our understanding; and that there is always tomorrow.

 

Dorothy Thompson

Keep your fears to yourself, but share your courage with others.

 

Robert Louis Stevenson

Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you’re scared to death!

 

Earl Wilson

We must build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear.

 

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.

 

Winston Churchill

Do you really think it is weakness that yields to temptation? I tell you that there are terrible temptations which it requires strength, strength and courage to yield to.

 

Oscar Wilde

Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.

 

John F. Kennedy

We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face… we must do that which we think we cannot.

 

Eleanor Roosevelt

Courage is like love; it must have hope for nourishment.

 

Napoleon Bonaparte

The first virtue in a soldier is endurance of fatigue; courage is only the second virtue.

 

Napoleon Bonaparte

Courage is fear holding on a minute longer.

 

George S. Patton

Every man has his own courage, and is betrayed because he seeks in himself the courage of other persons.

 

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them.

 

Bruce Lee

t takes a lot of courage to show your dreams to someone else.

 

Erma Bombeck

Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.

 

Dale Carnegie

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Courage & Hope Quotes!

Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself.

Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections, but instantly set about remedying them

– every day begin the task anew.

 

Saint Francis de Sales

People of mediocre ability sometimes achieve outstanding success because they don’t know when to quit.

Most men succeed because they are determined to.

 

George Allen

A man of sense is never discouraged by difficulties;

he redoubles his industry and his diligence, he perseveres, and infallibly prevails at last.

 

Lord Chesterfield

Do just once what others say you can’t do, and you will never pay attention to their limitations again.”

 

James R. Cook

You are never given a dream without also being given the power to make it true.

You may have to work for it, however.

 

Richard David Bach

Practice hope.

As hopefulness becomes a habit,

you can achieve a permanently happy spirit.

 

Norman Vincent Peale

When we become aware that we do not have to escape our pains, but that we can mobilize them into a common search for life, those very pains are transformed from expressions of despair into signs of hope.

 

By Henri Nouwen

Live your beliefs and you can turn the world around.

 

Thoreau

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage—to move in the opposite direction.

 

E. F. Schumacher

Everyday courage has few witnesses. But yours is no less noble because no drum beats for you and no crowds shout your name.

 

Robert Louis Stevenson

The greatest mistake is life is to be continually fearing that you will make one.

 

Elbert Hubbard

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

 

Martin Luther King Jr.

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.

 

Anais Nin

“Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them.”

 

Ralph Waldo Emerson

When I tell the truth, it is not for the sake of convincing those who do not know it, but for the sake of defending those that do.”

 

William Blake

If you don’t stand for something, you stand for nothing.

 

Mel Thompson

If you assume that there’s no hope, you guarantee that there will be no hope. If you assume that there is an instinct for freedom, there are opportunities to change things, there’s a chance for you to contribute to making a better world. That’s your choice.

 

Noam Chomsky, The Chronicles of Dissent

Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little.

 

Edmund Burke

It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare.

 

Mark Twain


Courage is not the absence of despair; it is, rather, the capacity to move ahead in spite of despair.

 

Rollo May

Hope is a waking dream.

 

Aristotle

Hope is some extraordinary spiritual grace that God gives us to control our fears, not to oust them.

Vincent McNabb

With self-discipline most anything is possible.

 

Theodore Roosevelt

Fear cannot be without hope nor hope without fear.

 

Baruch Spinoza

If you want to conquer fear, don’t sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.

 

Dale Carnegie

Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities… because it is the quality which guarantees all others.

 

Winston Churchill

I find hope in the darkest of days, and focus in the brightest. I do not judge the universe.

 

Dalai Lama

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.

 

Dalai Lama

Stand up to your obstacles and do something about them. You will find that they haven’t half the strength you think they have.

 

Norman Vincent Peale

The bravest thing you can do when you are not brave is to profess courage and act accordingly.

 

Corra Harris

Conscience is the root of all true courage; if a man would be brave let him obey his conscience.

 

James Freeman Clarke

f you lose hope, somehow you lose the vitality that keeps life moving, you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you go on in spite of it all. And so today I still have a dream.

 

Martin Luther King, jr.

Courage and perseverance have a magical talisman, before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish into air.

 

John Quincy Adams

Live as brave men; and if fortune is adverse, front its blows with brave hearts.

Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live.

 

Dorothy Thompson

The only courage that matters is the kind that gets you from one moment to the next.

 

Mignon McLaughlin

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of fear.

 

Mark Twain

All serious daring starts from within.

 

Harriet Beecher Stowe

A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is braver five minutes longer.

 

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.

 

Erich Fromm

Courage is doing what you’re afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you’re scared.

 

Eddie Rickenbacker

Courage without conscience is a wild beast.

 

Robert G. Ingersoll

History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.

 

Maya Angelou

History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.

 

Maya Angelou

Courage is the ladder on which all the other virtues mount.

 

Clare Booth Luce

With courage you will dare to take risks, have the strength to be compassionate, and the wisdom to be humble. Courage is the foundation of integrity.

 

Keshavan Nair

Without courage, wisdom bears no fruit.

 

Baltasar Gracian

One isn’t necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.

 

Maya Angelou

True courage is not the brutal force of vulgar heroes, but the firm resolve of virtue and reason.

 

Alfred North Whitehead

Moral excellence comes about as a result of habit. We become just by doing just acts, temperate by doing temperate acts, brave by doing brave acts.

 

Aristotle

We could never learn to be brave and patient if there were only joy in the world.

 

Helen Keller

You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.

 

Eleanor Roosevelt

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.

 

Anais Nin

If courage wasn’t a standard result of aging, it meant that the young could somehow acquire it as well.

 

Lawana Blackwell

Physical courage, which despises all danger, will make a man brave in one way; and moral courage, which despises all opinion, will make a man brave in another.

 

Charles Caleb Colton

He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.

 

Muhammad Ali

Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear.

 

Ambrose Redmoon

Courage is the discovery that you may not win, and trying when you know you can lose.

 

Tom Krause

Everyone has talent. What is rare is the courage to follow that talent to dark place where it leads.

 

Erica Jong

Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience.

Paulo Coelho

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength while loving someone deeply gives you courage.

 

Lao Tse

Come to the edge,’ he said.They said, ‘We are afraid.”Come to the edge,’ he said.They came.He pushed them…And they flew.

 

Peter McWilliams

Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.

 

Mary Anne Radmacher

It takes a lot of courage to show your dreams to someone else.

 

Erma Bombeck

Love bravely, live bravely, be courageous, there’s really nothing to lose.

 

Jewel

Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.

 

Andre Gide

Courage is knowing what not to fear.

 

Plato

Sometimes even to live is an act of courage.

 

Lucius Annaeus Seneca

A man of courage never wants weapons.

 

Anonymous

A man of courage never wants weapons.

 

Anonymous

You’ve got to follow your passion. You’ve got to figure out what it is you love–who you really are. And have the courage to do that. I believe that the only courage anybody ever needs is the courage to follow your own dreams.

 

Oprah Winfrey

here is no need to be ashamed of tears, for tears bear witness that a man has the greatest of courage, the courage to suffer.”

 

Frankl

Courage is the ladder on which all the other virtues mount.

 

Clare Booth Luce

If you lose hope, somehow you lose the vitality that keeps life moving, you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you go on in spite of it all. And so today I still have a dream.

 

Martin Luther King, jr.

Time is neutral and does not change things. With courage and initiative, leaders change things.

 

Jesse Jackson

A timid person is frightened before a danger, a coward during the time, and a courageous person afterward.

 

Jean Paul Richter

Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear.”

 

Ambrose Redmoon

With courage you will dare to take risks, have the strength to be compassionate, and the wisdom to be humble. Courage is the foundation of integrity.

 

Keshavan Nair

There would be nothing to frighten you, if you refused to be afraid.”

 

Mahatma Gandhi

To be courageous requires no exceptional qualifications, no magic formula, no special combination of time, place, and circumstance. It is an opportunity that sooner or later is presented to us all.”

 

John F. Kennedy

For courage to be authentic, one must encounter fear and prove superior to the fear through right action.”

 

Mark Sturgell

There are some situations where all you can do is simply let go and move on, gather your courage and choose a direction that carries you toward a new dawn.”

 

Author Unknown

Genius is talent set on fire by courage.”

 

Henry van Dyke

“You must be courageous and brave, and not fearful, in taking advantage of life’s opportunities as they are made available to you.”

 

A. Posse

“Wish not for things, but for wisdom and courage.”

 

Author Unknown from 20 Keys To A Happy Life

Courage is a condition of our thinking, our mind, and our beliefs. Each of us at every given moment has the choice to be courageous or not.”

 

Ken Keis

The greatest test of courage on earth is to bear defeat without losing heart.”

 

Robert Green Ingersoll


Let us not underestimate the power of hope.
No matter how fleeting its life,
It offers to us the most convincing
And fulfilling power.

 

Sri Chinmoy

 

Yesterday’s failures
Must be forgotten.
Tomorrow’s new hope
And new fulfilment
Must be cherished.

 

Sri Chinmoy

Hope is not a momentary flicker.
Hope is Eternity’s slow, steady,
Illumining and fulfilling height.

 

Sri Chinmoy

Hope Abides

 

Hope abides; therefore I abide.

Countless frustrations have not cowed me.

I am still alive, vibrant with life.

The black cloud will disappear,

The morning sun will appear

once again In all its supernal glory.

 

Sri Chinmoy

Courage doesn’t always roar.

Sometimes courage is the quiet voice

at the end of the day saying,

“I will try again tomorrow.”

 

Mary Anne Radmacher

Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in where nature may heal and cheer and give strength to the body and soul.

 

John Muir

Choose rather to be strong of soul than strong of body.

Pythagoras

Everyone should carefully observe which way his heart draws him, and then choose that way with all his strength.

 

Hasidic Saying

With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.

 

Eleanor Roosevelt

With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.

Eleanor Roosevelt

Never allow a person to tell you No who doesn’t have the power to say Yes.

Eleanor Roosevelt

Never allow a person to tell you No who doesn’t have the power to say Yes.

 

Eleanor Roosevelt

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.

Helen Keller

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our Light, not our Darkness, that most frightens us.

 

Marianne Williamson

Hard times don’t create heroes. It is during the hard times when the “hero” within us is revealed.

 

Bob Riley

To go against the dominant thinking of your friends, of most of the people you see every day, is perhaps the most difficult act of heroism you can perform.

 

Theodore H. White

Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves.

 

Marie Curie

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Courage & Hope Quotes

“When you feel like giving up, remember why you held on for so long in the first place.”

~Unknown

“When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.”

~Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882)
Emerson was a famous American author, essayist, poet, and philosopher.


“You are never given a dream without also being given the power to make it true.
You may have to work for it, however.”

~Richard David Bach (1936 – )

Bach is an American writer who is widely known as the author of the hugely popular 1970s best-sellers “Jonathan Livingston Seagull,” “Illusions,” “The Adventures Of A Reluctant Messiah” and others.

“Instead of giving myself reasons why I can’t, I give myself reasons why I can.”

~Unknown

“Do just once what others say you can’t do, and you will never pay attention to their limitations again.”

~James R. Cook (1728-1778)

Cook was a British navigator, explorer, and cartographer. He became famous for his voyages in the Pacific Ocean and his accurate mapping of it, as well as for his application of scientific methods to exploration.

“Fall seven times, stand up eight.”

~ Japanese Proverb

“I advise you to say your dream is possible and then overcome all inconveniences, ignore all the hassles and take a running leap through the hoop, even if it is in flames.”

~Les Brown (1945 – )

A renowned American professional motivational speaker, author and television personality. He was briefly married to singer Gladys Knight.

“When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.”

~Alexander Graham Bell (1847 – 1922)

Bell was an eminent scientist, inventor and innovator who is credited in the United States with the invention of the telephone.

“Whoever I am, or whatever I am doing, some kind of excellence is within my reach.”

~John William Gardner (1912 – 2002)

Gardner was an American author and educator, as well as a former US Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare under President Lyndon Johnson.

“When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on. “

~Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882 – 1945)

Roosevelt, often referred to by his initials FDR, was the 32nd President of the United States.

“Look well into thyself; there is a source of strength which will always spring up if thou wilt always look there.”

~Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus (121 – 180)

Augustus was Roman Emperor from 161 to his death in 180. He was the last of the “Five Good Emperors”, and is also considered one of the most important Stoic philosophers. He was often referred to as “the Wise.”

“If you hear a voice within you say “you cannot paint,” then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.”

~Vincent Van Gogh (1853 – 1890)

Vincent Willem van Gogh was a Dutch Post-Impressionist artist. Some of his paintings are now among the world’s best known, most popular and expensive works of art, many of these being produced in the final two years of his life. It was during this time that he cut off part of his left ear following a breakdown in his friendship with Paul Gauguin.

“If you’re going through hell, keep going. “

~Sir Winston Churchill (1874 – 1965)

A British politician who served as Prime Minster of the United Kingdom–twice. The first appointment was from 1940 to 1945, where he demonstrated his skill in leadership during the British war effort. His second service to office was held between 1951 and 1955.

“Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”

~(Christopher Robin to Pooh) – Alan Alexander Milne (1882 – 1956)

Milne was an English author, best known for his books about the adventures of a bear called Winnie-the-Pooh. The character called Christopher Robin, was named after his own son, and the various characters found in the stories were inspired by his son’s stuffed animals, most notably the bear named Winnie-the-Pooh.

“When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn. “

~Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811 – 1896)

Stowe was an American abolitionist and author. Stowe’s novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852) depicted life for African-Americans under slavery.

“One has to remember that every failure can be a stepping stone to something better.”

~Col. Harland Sanders (1890 – 1980)

Harland David Sanders, better known as Colonel Sanders, was an American entrepreneur who founded Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC).

“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”

~Henry David Thoreau (1817 – 1862)

Was an American author, naturalist, transcendentalist, tax resister, development critic, and philosopher. This was a busy man!

“The time for action is now. It’s never too late to do something.”

~Antoine de Saint Exupery (1900 – 1944)

Exupery was a French writer and aviator. He is most famous for his novella The Little Prince, and is also well known for his books about aviation adventures, including Night Flight and Wind, Sand and Stars.

“We all have our own life to pursue, our own kind of dream to be weaving, and we all have the power to make wishes come true, as long as we keep believing.”

~Louisa May Alcott (1832 – 1888)

Alcott was an American novelist. She is best known for the novel Little Women, published in 1868. This novel is loosely based on her childhood experiences with her three sisters.

“Dare to grow into your dreams and claim this as your motto: Let it be me.”

~Mary Kay Ash (1918 – 2001)

Was an American businesswoman and founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics, Inc.

“The possibilities are numerous once we decide to act and not react.”

~George Bernard Shaw (1856 – 1950)

Shaw was an Irish playwright who wrote more than 60 plays during his lifetime. He is the only person to have been awarded both the Nobel Prize for Literature (1925) for his contributions to literature and an Oscar (1938) for his work on the film Pygmalion.

“Keep on going, and the chances are that you will stumble on something, perhaps when you are least expecting it. I never heard of anyone ever stumbling on something sitting down.”

~Charles Franklin Kettering (1876 – 1958)

Kettering was an American inventor and the holder of over 300 patents. He was a founder of Delco, and was head of research for General Motors for 27 years from 1920 to 1947. Among his most widely used automotive inventions were the electrical starting motor and leaded gasoline. He was also responsible for the invention of Freon refrigerant for refrigeration and air conditioning systems for the DuPont Chemical Company.

“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.”

~Theodore Roosevelt (1858 – 1919)

Also known as Teddy Roosevelt, he was the 26th President of the United States. His image stands alongside Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln on Mount Rushmore.

“A little more persistence, a little more effort, and what seemed hopeless failure may turn to glorious success.”

~Elbert Green Hubbard (1856 – 1915)

Hubbard was an American writer, publisher, artist, and philosopher. He is most famous for his essay A Message to Garcia and was an influential exponent of the Arts and Crafts movement.

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Three Hours of Fear and Hope

By: Kenneth Miller

Zachary Mastoon thought he was finished with his fear of death. In the past few years, he had lost his mother to cancer and a friend to suicide. He’d been travelling in Thailand in December 2004 when the tsunami claimed more than 200,000 lives across the region; by chance, he was in another part of the country when the big waves hit. He believed that when his time came, he would take it calmly. But as he watched the news reports about JetBlue Flight 292, his eyes filled with anxious tears. ”Some of the experts were saying there could be a loud crash, a large fire,” he recalls. ”Others were saying it’s not a big deal at all.” 

For the 27-year-old electronic musician, the debate held more than academic significance: Zachary Mastoon was aboard the crippled plane, hoping he would make it home to Brooklyn, and the oddsmakers were squabbling on his seatback screen.

On September 21, 2005, a mechanical glitch on a medium-sized airliner seized the attention of millions around the world. Among them were the plane’s passengers, who followed the live coverage via satellite TV being fed to the cabin. Hurtling towards an emergency landing would be harrowing enough, even without the added stress of starring in a bizarre reality show. But that was where Zachary Mastoon and 139 others found themselves on an otherwise ordinary Wednesday afternoon.


Almost every air traveller has at some point wondered: What would I do if my plane ran into serious trouble? How would my fellow passengers behave? The ticket-holders on the 3.17 pm flight from Burbank, California to New York City, and their loved ones on the ground, had three long hours to grapple with such questions – and their very real fear.


Experts say that when disaster threatens, about 50 per cent of people manage to hold themselves together and function well; 25 per cent go into shock and become withdrawn, and another 25 per cent become hysterical. ”For someone with a pre-existing issue – a divorce or another difficulty – this could be a trigger for a significant reaction,” says psychologist Robert Scott, the chief trauma specialist for the Los Angeles Fire Department. In general, however, says Dr Don Nance, director of the Counselling and Testing Centre at Wichita State University, ”you cannot predict who is going to freak in those situations.”


The first signal that something was amiss occurred about 15 minutes after takeoff, when the pilot – a calm-voiced North Carolinian named Scott Burke – came on the intercom. ”For those of you who may have noticed,” he said,”we are flying in circles.” The plane’s front landing gear had failed to retract, Burke explained, and he would keep everyone posted as he investigated the problem. Few worried until he performed a low flyby of the Long Beach Airport air traffic control tower so that observers with binoculars could get a close look. Fire engines and ambulances were lined up below, clearly visible from the aircraft’s windows.


Moments later, a woman sitting towards the rear of the cabin yelled, ”Hey, we’re on TV!” While waiting for the pilot to report on the Long Beach tower’s diagnosis, passengers began flipping between the all-news channels. That’s how many first heard that the nose-gear wheels were skewed at a 90-degree angle, and that there was a chance the plane could spin right off the runway when it tried to land. Some wept or prayed. And many began reaching out to one another.


For Mastoon, hunkered in the rearmost row, help came in the form of a large plastic water bottle. ”Take a swig of this,” offered his seatmate, a 40-something real estate broker. ”It’s leaded.” The man had smuggled aboard a litre of vodka and tonic, and as Mastoon drank, his courage returned. There are two ways you can react to this situation, he admonished himself. You can be really negative and freak out, or you can say, This is completely out of my control. If I’m going to die, I don’t want to spend my last two hours biting my nails and watching TV. Mastoon took out his camera and snapped some digital photos of the televised image of the plane. Then he switched to Comedy Central, and spent the next two hours laughing.


At the front of the cabin, Lisa Schiff was floundering in the negative. An Los Angeles gallery owner, Schiff, 34, had never been a nervous flyer. But when the captain confirmed the wheel trouble and said the plane would have to make an emergency landing, she says, ”I started to fall apart pretty quickly.” Panicking, she tried to call her mother on her mobile phone, but couldn’t get a signal. ”I was aching to hear her voice,” Schiff recalls. ”I wrote her a text message saying not to worry – if something happened, I would be watching over her and my father and my brother.” She typed messages to other family members, to friends and business partners, to her boyfriend and an ex-boyfriend, even though there was no signal to send them with. She couldn’t stop crying. The seat beside her was empty, and she felt utterly alone.


Suddenly, a hand touched her shoulder. A dark-haired young woman named Christiana Lund was smiling at Schiff over the headrest. ”It’s going to be all right,” said Lund, 25, an aspiring singer who had recently moved from Los Angeles to New York and was flying back with her cat. ”Do you really think so?” Schiff asked. ”Or are you just saying that to make me feel better?” Lund insisted that she meant it. Says Schiff: ”She just reached around and held me for a while. It was the most comforting thing.”


Lund, in fact, was less tranquil than she appeared. ”I was in denial, really,” she says. She tried to believe the pilot’s assurances that there was little danger and to disregard the worst-case scenarios on TV. Still, she would soon type a text message on her phone to her younger sister, saying, ”Pray for me.” Although she hungered for information, she couldn’t watch the news shows for long without needing to get up and walk off her nerves. On one such stroll, she ran into a flight attendant, who saw the tension in her face and gave her a warm hug. So did Taryn Manning, who co-stars in the film Hustle & Flow, and Manning’s publicist. Lund returned to her seat, feeling ready to contend with whatever lay ahead.


In row 22, Sam and Janel Meza were talking about their past. Married for 35 years and the parents of three grown children, the Mezas, both 56, are pastors of the Living Hope Community Church in Mission Hills, California. ”If there’s anything I’ve ever done that you haven’t forgiven me for,” said Sam, ”I ask you to forgive me today.” Janel couldn’t think of a thing. ”Sam,” she said, ”there’s no-one I’d rather enter into eternity with than you.” The couple sang Psalm 34, with its line, ”The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him.” Beside them, a hip New Yorker grimly clutched his water bottle. ”Look out the window,” Janel told him. ”Do you see the angels?” The young man looked. ”I see them,” he whispered.


In truth, the angels who most impressed the Mezas – and many other passengers – were the six members of the flight crew. As the plane circled low over the Pacific Ocean, burning off heavy fuel to make a controlled landing somewhat easier, attendants circulated in the cabin. They were generous with jokes, reassuring words and pats on the shoulder. When they began to redistribute the plane’s weight, passing carry-on luggage to the rear in a kind of bucket brigade, Janel was again moved to prayer. ”I said, ‘Lord, that’s how I want to be, fulfiling our purpose. If you give us an opportunity to land, that’s how we want to live.’ ”


The flight attendants soon moved some passengers rearward too. Lisa Schiff found herself beside a woman her age, who was as distraught as Schiff had been not long before. To calm her new seatmate, Schiff spoke of a psychic reading she’d once had. ”I said, ‘Don’t worry, I’m going to live to be 84, so we’re all good.’ ” She held the woman’s hand for the rest of the flight.


Christiana Lund wound up next to an elderly couple who’d been through an emergency landing 44 years before. ”They said, ‘If we survived that, I’m sure we can survive this,’ ” she recalls. But far below, on a Los Angeles freeway, her father was wrestling with a darker memory: an Alaska Airlines flight that crashed in January 2000, killing all aboard, while attempting an emergency landing at Los Angeles Airport.


Richard Lund, 54, a background photographer for TV and films (he shot the Manhattan skyline that hangs behind Jay Leno on The Tonight Show), was driving to a set when he heard on the car radio that his daughter’s plane was in trouble. ”I thought, Whatever’s going to happen, I’ve got to be there,” he says. He sped to his office, told his producer he couldn’t work, and then headed north towards the airport, where newscasters said Flight 292 would be arriving within the hour.


Richard sobbed as he weaved through heavy traffic, thinking about what life would be like without Christiana. The previous night, she’d come home late from a friend’s TV shoot, and he had gone to work early that morning without saying goodbye. In desperation, he now called his daughter’s mobile phone and left a message: ”Chrissy, I don’t know if you’ll ever hear this, but I just wanted to tell you that I love you.” Then he barrelled down an exit ramp near the airport, hoping to find a vantage point where he could witness either his worst nightmare or his greatest reprieve.

On the plane, the crew had given passengers their final instructions for the emergency landing. To avoid injury if escape slides were deployed, women wearing high heels were asked to remove them. Those carrying ID cards in their hand baggage were advised to place them in their pockets. (The attendants didn’t mention that this would make it easier for bodies to be identified, but many people figured it out for themselves.) As the descent began, everyone assumed the emergency position: feet flat on the floor, head between legs and arms wrapped around the knees. 

Flight attendants began chanting, ”Brace! Brace! Brace!” and the passengers repeated the mantra, drowning out the engines.

On the plane, the crew had given passengers their final instructions for the emergency landing. To avoid injury if escape slides were deployed, women wearing high heels were asked to remove them. Those carrying ID cards in their hand baggage were advised to place them in their pockets. (The attendants didn’t mention that this would make it easier for bodies to be identified, but many people figured it out for themselves.) As the descent began, everyone assumed the emergency position: feet flat on the floor, head between legs and arms wrapped around the knees. Flight attendants began chanting, ”Brace! Brace! Brace!” and the passengers repeated the mantra, drowning out the engines.

Parked on an industrial street, Richard watched the jet roar overhead; then he lost sight of it behind a warehouse. For agonising minutes, he listened to the radio for news of a crash. But the JetBlue pilot knew precisely what he was doing. At 6.19 pm, Scott Burke brought Flight 292 down on its rear wheels, and then settled the nose as gently as a mother laying her newborn in a bassinet. Twenty ambulances were standing by on the scene, along with 24 fire engines; many of them chased the plane along the 3300-metre runway. The front tires burned away, filling the air with acrid smoke, but the landing gear held firm. When the craft coasted to a stop, near the end of the tarmac, there was a deep silence on board.


Finally, Burke announced, ”There is no fire,” and the cabin exploded in cheers. Christiana wept for the first time that day. She called her father’s mobile phone, told him she was safe. She phoned her mother, who was at a wedding in Minnesota. Last, she checked her voice mail, listened to her dad’s farewell message and could barely breathe for bawling.


Father and daughter found each other in the baggage-claim area, and clung together for a while. Then they joined several other passengers near the entrance to the terminal, where a horde of reporters and cameramen jostled for a sound bite. The next few days were crazy for the ”survivors,” as some news outlets took to calling them. There were interviews and limousines and JetBlue freebies, and for many of them a nerve-racking but uneventful flight to New York. At last, though, life returned to something like normal. Mastoon went back to his sampling equipment and turn-tables, Schiff to her gallery, the Mezas to their church, Christiana to her songwriting – and to her night job as a cocktail waitress.


By then, the investigation of the near-disaster on Flight 292 had uncovered some startling news: At least seven other Airbus A320s had suffered similar malfunctions in recent years, though all had touched down safely.
Still, no-one on board Flight 292 walked away unaltered. ”There’s something really great about flirting with death,” observes Schiff, ”…if you don’t die.”


As Christiana Lund puts it: ”I’m more focused now. I want the people in my life to know I care about them. And I don’t want to waste any more time messing around. I want to take advantage of every day.”

 

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Tracy and Her Dad's Stories

They are not both leukemia patients…learn how she conquered cancer and her father defied the odds…a great story of hope!

In 2006, I lost my job and life seemed hopeless, but in August of 2006, I finally found my soul mate. By the start of 2007, I had found my dream job, was engaged to my best friend and thought nothing could ever go bad. In February I had my yearly exam and they found abnormal cell growths. After two surgeries, they diagnosed me with Squamous cell carcinoma T1a1 stage 2 on March 28. 

 The doctors thought a radical hysterectomy would take care of it and we finally set a date for May 9th. I was fired from my job on May 3rd because I was still on probation(for the job) and they could not let me have the time off. Well, I had the surgery and by September of 2007, I was listed as being in remission and all has gone well since then.

I thought all cancer worries were over until Easter weekend of 2008. My Dad hadn’t been feeling well and my Mother took him to the emergency room. They discovered his blood counts were very low and admitted him to run more test. After about a week they gave him the diagnosis of Aplastic Anemia and set him up with an oncologist. He was home just a few days when he felt so bad that my mom took him back to the ER. He was again hospitalize and more test run. On March 28,2008(one year after my diagnosis) my dad was told he had Acute Mylogenic Leukemia(M2). He took the news very well. He said at least he now had a name for why he felt so bad and a chance to fight it. His doctor ask him to try a new clinical trial med and he agreed. He was put in the hospital and before they could start the treatment, his blood counts took a drastic drop. His doctor told him he had been dropped from the trial because he would not live long enough to finish it. They gave him less than 3 weeks to live.

At this point, Dad asked what his options were and was told he probably would not survive the first week of chemo because it was such a heavy dose and that he should go home and make the best of the time he had left. He then proceeded to tell the doctor(in a very colorful way) that he was not ready to die and wanted to start the chemo. The doctor felt the need to remind him, he would probably not survive it and Dad, again in his colorful way, told him he was not going to die in the hospital. Well, they started a three day double push of chemo and then another week of chemo. Dads counts dropped to almost nothing during this time.

Once the chemo was done they started the T-cell treatments to boost his cell production. Within a week his counts had started to come up and they sent him home. He was only home for 2 days when his counts started dropping again. They put him back in the hospital for another round of T-cell treatments and were amazed at how well he reacted to them. They ran another bone marrow test on him and found the leukemia cells had dropped from 97% to just under 6% and his body had started forming new cells.


They have determined that Dad will never go into remission but with regular chemo treatments he will be able to live a quality life for as long as his body will hold up. He is now having chemo every 8 weeks and usually only has a few bad days at the end. He has been helping my brother build a race car, planting a garden and for the first time in about 5 years, he has started driving again. He has recently celebrated his 45th anniversary with my mother, his 72nd birthday and is looking forward to the birth of his first great granddaughter in March.
This man has been a real inspiration to all of us that know and love him. He refused to give up even when the doctors felt there was no hope. His doctor has also ask him if he could write a paper on his recovery. Dad of course has agreed.

 

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Tanya's Domestic Abuse Story

Author: Burt Dubin

When I was eighteen years old, I thought I knew everything there was to know about life. I was young, determined, strong-minded, independent, and confident. I was determined to stay true to my beliefs and I was confident I could. I was very family oriented. I was close to my father and my older brother Rob, and the rest of my four brothers and three sisters. At this point in my life, I was not easily influenced by others. I had my own preconceived virtues that 

I chose to live my life by. I knew the difference between right and wrong, and because I was afraid of the consequences of my actions I usually chose what was right. In my eyes right and wrong were like black and white, I did not believe in the gray areas. The main problem with this view I was so unbelievably narrow-minded. I was so opinionated in what my own beliefs were, and I did not care what other people believed. It was my belief that there are a few rules, that I was not willing to break nor did I think others should. I did not believe in doing drugs, teen pregnancy, sex before marriage, peer pressure, abusive relationships, and abortion. I also did not know that I would spend the next ten years of my life experiencing things that would totally derail my whole view on life. Nor did I think that these experiences would be influence by a boy.

A year and a half after I graduated high school, I met a boy, for this story his name is C. When I met him, I had no idea that he would be the person who would influence and change my life. I did not know that he would be the reason why I would break all the rules I chose to live my life by. I accomplished all of this in a year and a half after turning eighteen years old. But the main event in my life that really changed my perspective was meeting this boy. This boy was my first love, and the boy who took my virginity. In my eyes he was everything. Up until this point in life, I did not allow others to influence any decisions in my life. But that changed with this boy.

Everything began like a whirl wind romance. He was seemingly sweet, caring, cool, intriguing and most of all lived life on his terms. I did not know that I would end up living my life on his terms too. It wasn’t necessarily how I met C, but it was the way he could influence my thinking without trying. The first week I met him he didn’t amaze me through flowers, gifts, nice dinners, or by the way he dressed, but by the conversation we had. The thing that really drew me to him was the fact that he did not seem like he was just trying to get me to have sex with him.

Three months later, I became pregnant and up rooted to his mother’s house. Shortly after moving in with him, he became abusive. I always told myself that I would never stay with a man that was abusive in any way toward me, but I was in love so it was okay and love would make everything better. The abuse started out slow it was always mental first. 

He knew that he was the first boy that I had ever loved and used that fact to his advantage. He was the person who painted a picture of what love was suppose to be, because before him I was closed off to any emotion that would make me vulnerable. He was my vulnerability and I listened to everything he said and took it as truth. The mental hold he had on me, influenced the next years of my life. I spent the next seven years breaking all the rules I set for myself. He influenced me to start experimenting drugs, to have sex before marriage, he got me pregnant three times, convinced me to have an abortion, and inevitably to marry him because I could not do better than him. He had such a mental hold on me that I was okay with his physical abuse on me and would convince myself that I had done something to provoke him.


All the qualities I had as a person before I met him were no longer there. I ended up losing every aspect of myself to the point that my father, who knows me better than anyone, did not recognize who I was becoming. Those seven years, I spent feeling physically and mentally weak. No matter how strong I thought I was, I was never strong enough to break free from his emotional terror he reigned on my life. I spent those seven years in love with this boy, C, but lost the person, who I had spent eighteen years of life building. I allowed myself to be so consumed in this man that he influenced who I was.


During this time, I became introverted, had low self-esteem, and made decisions that I would have never made if I did not think that it would impact whether or not he would still love me. My family or friends did not recognize me, nor did I know who I was anymore. No one understood why I stayed with this man; they just knew that something wasn’t right with my behavior. The only thing I could see was that I love this man. I felt that as long as I did everything I could to make him happy, I would be happy. Through these years, he cheated on me a total of ten times or more, choked me to almost black out, gave me several black eyes, called me names, beat up my father, convinced me to have an abortion, and pulled a knife on me. Until the last day I let him lay a hand on me.
That last day was December 12, 2006, which just so happen to be the birthday of my dead grandmother and one of my best friend’s. The day began fine, because I did not see or talk to him. He moved out two weeks prior in the middle of the night, because he said that he did not love me and also he met another woman on the internet. He promised that he would come over every night to watch the kids so I could go to work and not have to pay a babysitter. But every day for those two weeks he made me late. To make matters worse he left and did not and would not help pay any bills that he helped to accumulate. On top the bills he used my car because his car broke down. Well that night around 5:30 p.m. I called him to find out if he was on his way over to watch the kids so I could go to work and to ask him if help me with some of the bills. These questions of course, started an argument. He and I began to argue, because his response to my questions was, “I have my own bills to take care of; you need to figure it out on your own.” This made me angry that he said this to me, in my mind I was thinking, “These are your children and you helped to create these bills.” All I wanted to do was rage. I wanted to punch all the walls and scream in a fit of anger, but all I did was cry and tell him, “If you do not help me with the kids and the bills I am going to call your commanding officer!!” After all, he was a Marine Reservist, who just so happened to be a pending discharge for drugs, but that is another story for a different time. Right after saying these words he hung and I began to get a little nervous, because maybe I just should not have said anything and figure things out on my own. Two minutes later he came flying in the apartment door and charging toward the living room couch where I was sitting. I would have tried to run, but he moved too quickly, and just like any other incidences with him he always grabbed me by the neck and dragged me across the couch. I could not see anything but blur, because while he was dragging me across the couch, he was punching in the face and anywhere else on my body he could inflict pain until I wounded up on the floor. While I was on the floor he continued to punch and choke me. At this point, I tried to push him off and scream for help, but no sound would come out. I could the sound of the television and my kids coming into the room. As the kids entered the room, C yelled, “Go to your room!!” The next thing I knew C was sitting on my chest, with one hand squeezing my throat and the other hand on my mouth and nose. I could hear both of my children beating with their little hands on his back yelling, “Get off my mommy!!!” It wasn’t until he realized that I was on the verge of blacking out that he finally got off of me. I tried to get off of the floor, but I struggled to get up. I finally got up and sat on the couch, because I had to convince him to let me go to work. In order to be able to leave I needed to find some kind of strength to calm myself down so that he would believe me when I said that I would not call the police. I ended up going to work that night and to the police station afterward. That was the night I put him in jail, got a U-haul, and fled to Ohio never looking back.

Four years later, I am still trying to find myself again. Looking back at those seven years, I have realized how I have affected my family, friends, and most of all myself. It breaks my heart that I allowed a person to impact me that jeopardized the relationships with these people and most all the fact that I let someone jeopardize my life over some skewed perception of love. 

The person I was just entering adulthood and the person I was during those seven years of this abusive relationship are no longer who I am, but are part of what is molding me into who I want to become.

I found that the gray areas of life are what help to build a person’s character and help them to find the strength deep within themselves. I made many assumptions at eighteen years old that were forever changed by these experiences, but most of all I now view life with my eyes wide open and my heart wide open to people that have had to make tough decisions. I am not sure of many things, but I am sure that I will never judge person’s character by the mistakes they have made, I will never be in a situation that compromises my own personal values, and I will grow into a strong woman my children will love and appreciate. I have a better understanding of what could change a person’s views on ideas that they thought they would never go against. I will also listen to a person’s reasons for the decisions they make before I make a statement of what is right and wrong because there is always a reason behind it.


I wanted to share my story of my life and let people know that you can break free if you want too!!

 

 

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Never Quit

“Never, never, never give up!” – Winston Churchill

The words of Winston Churchill echoed across the globe during times of peace and in times of war. In our time, his words echo across the Internet. They speak to those who may have ever considered quitting, even when victory may have been a short distance away – just out of current sight.
Our next selections deal with the one common denominator regarding all those who have achieved success in any endeavor that they have set out upon. And, in truth, “success” is defined by how it is measured. Each day, we are presented with the possibilities of accomplishing small victories in our lives. 

 The question remains, do we live up to those challenges or do we allow them to defeat us? Make no mistake, walking away from a challenge is, in and of itself, a form of defeat. While looking adversity in the face and refusing to turn away is a form of victory no matter what the physical outcome.

We offer for you now, four distinctly different videos but each with a common denominator. In our first video, we will see that sometimes, we can stumble in life. But that doesn’t mean that we will fail. It just means that we have to choose whether to stay down – or get back up and continue on. Sometimes the results are quite surprising.

In our second video, we see a young lady who refused to give up, thereby demonstrating a form of courage very few of us get to see in one sustained effort. Here, there was no trophy and no applause from the crowds – just skinned knees, bruises and one thing that she will carry with her for the rest of her life. The knowledge that she refused to quit even when there seemed to be no reward for her efforts. But, in truth, there was.

The third video deals with overcoming a seemingly impossible task by overcoming one’s own mental limitations. When we do this, we not only prove to ourselves what can be accomplished, but we provide an example for others as well.

In the final video, you will witness something that no one has ever seen before. How, even in nature, refusing to give up can defeat overwhelming odds. How even in situations that seem hopeless, the ability to keep fighting can turn the “weak” into those who can be overcome by nothing.

These videos represent the essence of the role of hope in the face of adversity. When we refuse to give up – no matter what – we can achieve the impossible. Whether it can be seen on the outside or felt on the inside for a lifetime.


~ George Parker, N.D.

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The Ultimate Message of Hope For Our Time

Hope can come in many forms and, of course, there are many stories that can perfectly illustrate how hope can affect our lives and lives of those around us. But one can always pose the question as to whether or not we make a difference in our environment – even when we are not engaged in some extraordinary action that is eventually noted by those who observe and share what we’re doing? The answer to this question may surprise you. In actuality, we are in a unique position in our human history to make a positive impact that can bring light and hope into the world.

The key to understanding the basis for this astounding individual ability is to understand, first and foremost, that our nature is one of spirit that temporarily inhabits a garment that we know as the human body. The body is not our true nature – but it does reflect certain aspects of ourselves that interact with the world at large. The most powerful forms of communication and interaction come from us when we seek to find the center of peace within ourselves.

When looking closely at this, we understand that it’s a known scientific fact that our world is influenced by electro-magnetic energy. That energy exists in everything and that energy resides in each of us. However, it has since been determined that the heart, and not the brain, is the true center of our energy. This only makes sense, since the heart is up to 100% stronger electrically and up to 5,000% stronger magnetically than the brain. So what does this mean? It means that the emotions that we experience, whether positive or negative, can actually influence the encoded information sent out by the heart. This, in turn, affects our surroundings. For example, feelings of joy and hope can alter the behavior of those around us. This ability to generate positive energy can be accessed very simply by one basic practice. The practice of meditation.

This cause and effect has been demonstrated numerous times. A famous example occurred when a large group of meditation-practicing individuals were assembled in Washington in 1993. As the group began to meditate, it was quickly noticed that there was an amazing drop in the area’s crime rate. But what was even more amazing was that there was a definite mathematical parallel drawn between the number of meditating individuals and the crime rate percentage. The larger the meditation group, the larger the corresponding drop in the crime rate. This has been proven on more than one occasion and the facts speak for themselves. Each of us makes a difference in our environment. And the simplest and most profound way to create an immediate effect is through meditation.

This message of hope is critical to the survival of our civilization. We know that, in the past, our ancestors lived as one unit and practiced the ways of meditation. However, complacency eventually led them to forget their connection to one another. The result has been the swift disappearance of entire civilizations whose evidence of existence is only now being discovered. Throughout the world, new pyramids are currently being revealed that can attest to this fact. One of the most wondrous is found at the site of the lost civilization in the Mayan City of Mirador, Guatemala. There, we have found the largest valley of pyramids in the known world along with the largest known pyramid. But where are the people? Will the same question be asked about us, in the future?

The only way that we will insure our survival is to understand the realities of hope, love and the eternal message that we are all part of the same family. It is within this reality, that we will truly come to understand how important each of us is to one another. Here we offer a beautifully presented video that brings out these points for us to ponder…

~ George Parker, N.D.

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How You Interpret the World

All of us see things in different ways. Our eyes catch the light and the colors of our surroundings and we respond accordingly. But suppose our eyes were no longer able to perform this function? At that point, we would rely on other senses to provide the interpretations for us. It may be the case that we would begin to rely more heavily on our sense of smell or hearing. But still, we would have to make the decision as to how we would face this difficult situation. Do we lose hope and place ourselves in one spot while waiting for something to change? Or can we be shown that there is more than one way of “seeing” the world.

This is also true for those of us who have no visual impairment. Can just a slight change in the wording of sign allow us to take a different look at our surroundings? That small change may end up being a powerful catalyst in the way we view (and treat) those around us. Here, now, we offer an example of that effect. Just a simple moment in time with a few simple words that can change the course of someone’s day – and their interpretations…

~ George Parker, N.D.

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Casey Heynes and the Truth Behind Bullies

Here is a tale about bullies and their victims that you may have heard about. It revolved around a teenaged student by the name of Casey Heynes but, in truth, it could have been the story of any one of us. I won’t go too much into the details, but here is a brief synopsis. It appeared that Casey (although a rather large kid) was gentle enough to attract the attention of some merciless bullies who constantly attacked him. The cruelty had reached the point where one of these bullies was going to make a video of Casey’s next beating and place it online. However, unexpectedly, instead of taking a thorough beating, Casey found it within himself to grab his assailant and slam him into the ground. At that point, Casey just quickly walked away and a further altercation was avoided through the intervention of another student. The school principal subsequently punished Casey with suspension because of the incident (the same number of days as the bully). Of course, this sparked public outrage. After that episode, there was a lot of on-going publicity on the Internet (and even TV), with most of it supportive of Casey and his right to violently attack his bully in order to prevent further abuse.

That’s the story. And, in essence, it’s a story that involved millions of children throughout the years, when it come to being seriously bullied. I don’t mean the kind of teasing that is a normal part of growing up. I’m talking about serious, self-esteem damaging bullying that ultimately can negatively affect the lives of those who have been victimized. What is the cost rendered by this victimization? It can be considerable. In the case of Casey Heynes, it ended in an explosion of fury that very well might have ended the life of the kid slammed head-first into the pavement. Or it could have left the “bully” a quadriplegic.

That reaching inside for his inner strength and standing up for himself was the only action that Casey, as a kid, could perform after backing down all those other times. And you really couldn’t blame him for that. How many times have we, ourselves, wished that we had stood up for our own damaged self-esteem? Did this action solve Casey’s problems? Probably not. The real issue at hand is how we, as adults, deal with this horrendous problem.

If your child comes home from school and looks depressed, do you just ignore it? If you are a school official, are you aware of the problems that bullying can create? Have you heard reports of bullying in your school and chalked them up to just kids doing “what kids do”? Do we expect children (who represent the “Hope” of our future) to sort these things out on their own?

When we talk about having hope in the face of adversity, we are not talking about having to rely on just our own strengths when we face life’s hurdles. We are also talking about the support and love we receive from others while giving all that we have, as well. At its most beautiful, hope can be a two-way street. For the person who has been told that they have a terminal illness, should they not have a support group to help them find their inner strength? Of course they should. In that same way, we need to help our children by not allowing them to be subjected to the violence of bullying. We can do this by listening and observing while setting the tone for honest communication with our children.

And just one more thing. The actions of the much smaller (and younger) boy who was the “bully”, in the Casey Heynes episode, is also a cause for major concern. If your child was that bully, wouldn’t you want to know what was attacking his self-esteem in such a way that he felt the need to attack a larger child who had consistently refused to fight back? To be honest, we have two victims, here. Let’s hope that all the media attention doesn’t escalate this unfortunate scenario further. To have hope means to work towards having inner peace immersed in an atmosphere of love…

~ George Parker, N.D.

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The Power of Determination: Glenn Cunningham's Story

Author: Burt Dubin

The little country schoolhouse was heated by an old-fashioned, pot-bellied coal stove. A little boy had the job of coming to school early each day to start the fire and warm the room before his teacher and his classmates arrived.

One morning they arrived to find the schoolhouse engulfed in flames. They dragged the unconscious little boy out of the flaming building more dead than alive. He had major burns over the lower half of his body and was taken to a nearby county hospital.

From his bed the dreadfully burned, semi-conscious little boy faintly heard the doctor talking to his mother. The doctor told his mother that her son would surely die – which was for the best, really – for the terrible fire had devastated the lower half of his body.

 

But the brave boy didn’t want to die. He made up his mind that he would survive. Somehow, to the amazement of the physician, he did survive. When the mortal danger was past, he again heard the doctor and his mother speaking quietly. The mother was told that since the fire had destroyed so much flesh in the lower part of his body, it would almost be better if he had died, since he was doomed to be a lifetime cripple with no use at all of his lower limbs.

Once more the brave boy made up his mind. He would not be a cripple. He would walk. But unfortunately from the waist down, he had no motor ability. His thin legs just dangled there, all but lifeless.

Ultimately he was released from the hospital. Every day his mother would massage his little legs, but there was no feeling, no control, nothing. Yet his determination that he would walk was as strong as ever.

When he wasn’t in bed, he was confined to a wheelchair. One sunny day his mother wheeled him out into the yard to get some fresh air. This day, instead of sitting there, he threw himself from the chair. He pulled himself across the grass, dragging his legs behind him.

He worked his way to the white picket fence bordering their lot. With great effort, he raised himself up on the fence. Then, stake by stake, he began dragging himself along the fence, resolved that he would walk. He started to do this every day until he wore a smooth path all around the yard beside the fence. There was nothing he wanted more than to develop life in those legs.

Ultimately through his daily massages, his iron persistence and his resolute determination, he did develop the ability to stand up, then to walk haltingly, then to walk by himself – and then – to run.

He began to walk to school, then to run to school, to run for the sheer joy of running. Later in college he made the track team.

Still later in Madison Square Garden this young man who was not expected to survive, who would surely never walk, who could never hope to run – this determined young man, Dr. Glenn Cunningham, ran the world’s fastest mile!

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A Story of Hope

Author: Unknown

Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room’s only window. The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back.

he men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation. And every afternoon when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window.

The man in the other bed began to live for those one-hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the world outside.

The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color of the rainbow. Grand old trees graced the landscape, and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.

 

As the man by the window described all this in exquisite detail, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene. One warm afternoon the man by the window described a parade passing by. Although the other man couldn’t hear the band – he could see it in his mind’s eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words. Days and weeks passed.

One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep. She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away.

As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone. Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the world outside. Finally, he would have the joy of seeing it for himself.

He strained to slowly turn to look out the window beside the bed. It faced a blank wall. The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this window.

The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall. She said, “Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you.”

 

Epilogue. . . .There is tremendous happiness in making others happy, despite our own situations. Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness when shared, is doubled. If you want to feel rich, just count all of the things you have that money can’t buy. “Today is a gift, that’s why it is called the present.”

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A Helping Hand or Two

Author: Ken Prather

About three years ago, after a long stay in a convalescent home due to a severe injury, I started an outreach program working with the elderly, disabled, and people with developmental disabilities. I primarily work as a counselor and am often called to work with people that are especially difficult to get through to. Many times, I see people after they reach rock bottom and try to work with them by simply offering unconditional love and compassion in an effort to show them self-worth, self-pride, and purpose. I try to make sure not to only give them love and compassion, but to show them that they too can give this love and compassion to others.

I received a call about three months ago from one of the nursing homes that I routinely visit, asking for assistance with a gentleman who recently arrived and who would not respond to anybody. Bill refused to talk to anyone, including his family, chaplain, doctors, and social worker. When I first visited him, I was told that the Bill’s legs had just been amputated due to some major blood clots, and as far as he was concerned, his life was as good as over. Bill was a young man of 42 years and had always been very active in sports. In fact, he had especially been active in running and enjoyed competing in many marathons. The thought of never running again sent Bill into a whirlwind of hopeless despair.

When I first arrived to see Bill, he was a bit surprised. Even though he accepted my company, he was still very depressed and feeling sorry for himself. Our first conversation did not last long and I asked Bill if I could come back and see him the next day along with a friend of mine. He hesitantly agreed to see me again, but assured me that he would not like my friend.

The next day I returned to visit Bill with my friend Tom, a man whom I also met at a nursing home. Bill was sitting in a wheelchair looking even more bitter than the day before and greeted us with a depressing, “What do you want? You want to stare at a cripple or something?” Tom understood that his abrasive words came from fear and sadness, and explained that he came seeking assistance with writing a newsletter about sports trivia. Tom explained that he needed somebody to write for him and hoped Bill might be able to help. Bill looked at us with frustration and grunted, “what’s the matter, your hands broke or something?” to which Tom replied, “as a matter of fact, I have no hands at all.”

It was then with Tom’s insistence that I proceeded to untie the straps behind his back, revealing the prosthetic limbs attached to his shoulders. Bill could only sit there and stare in disbelief with his eyes wide open, especially when I then proceeded to remove Tom’s plastic prosthetic legs as well. You see, Tom had been born without limbs.

After about five minutes of silence and with an expression of awe on his face, Bill finally managed to say, “My God, I feel sorry for you,” to which Tom quickly replied, “why should you feel sorry for me, I don’t.” Tom then went on explaining, “This is the way God wants me.” Without warning, Bill started crying and apologized profusely to us for his behavior. Tom looked at him and said in a calm voice, “there’s nothing to forgive, as long as you forgive yourself, that’s all that matters.”

 

Tom, Bill, and I spent three hours together that afternoon, and that one afternoon changed Bill’s attitude forever. I am happy to report that today, Tom and Bill are writing that sports trivia newsletter together – Tom talks while Bill writes.

As Bill told me recently, it was not Tom’s disability that inspired him so greatly, but his attitude towards life and helping others.

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Life Beyond the Flames

Burn Survivor Story: Ron Thompson

Until the night of February 22, 1984 , I was an average 16-year-old. I was in high school.

I liked playing sports and hanging out with friends. On that night, I went riding around with my girlfriend’s brother. We met some of his friends and decided to drag race. We passed a slow-moving vehicle on a curve and couldn’t see the oncoming pickup truck. We hit head on.

The engine was pushed into my lap, breaking my right leg near my hip and trapping me in the car, which then caught fire. I put my hands up to protect my face.

It got so hot the dashboard melted and dripped onto my leg. The flames were getting me.

The rescue people had to wait until the fire was out to free me with the Jaws of Life. By this time I had been burned over thirty-five percent of my body. I had third- and fourth-degree burns on my chest and back, on the right side of my face and head, and on my right arm and left hand. I lost part of the fingers on my left hand and some vision in my right eye. The fire took my right ear and my right arm just below the elbow. I also lost the rest of my childhood. I spent three months in a hospital, three months in rehab, and twenty-one-years-and-counting undergoing more than a hundred surgeries and working to recover physically and emotionally.

It’s a hard road, but I’m glad I survived. I’m married, and have four children and a grandson. I’m still trying to get the truck-driving job of my dreams. For the most part I lead a normal life. Dealing with depression is an ongoing concern. For many years I felt very lonely, struggling with how others saw and accepted me. Along with the support of my family, friends and community, it’s been very important for me to have a connection with the Phoenix Society and others who have been burned.

I continue to feel the stares from those who are curious, those who are shocked, and those who are scared by what they see. I try to use these opportunities to educate others in understanding and compassion.

My name is Ron Thompson.



(Courtesy of the Phoenix Society and Steve Lobel, author of “Recognition Beyond Burned: Portraits of Survival, Rebirth & Hope”)

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Life Beyond the Flames

Burn Survivor Story: Winson Chen

I met my challenge driving home from Atlanta on October 26, 2002. It came in the form of a high-speed collision with an eighteenwheeler. I am unsure who was at fault. I burned alive for fifteen minutes before the fire truck arrived. I was rushed to the hospital and announced dead on arrival, but the burn unit revived me and kept me in a morphine coma for two months.

My body was asleep, but I lived in my dreams. I went to school, visited my parents, dated my girlfriend; everything felt real. I imagined I went west with a gang of credit cards, charged mansions, yachts and parties, and then skipped out on the bill. The cops chased me down and sent me to jail. I awoke to my father telling me it had all been a figment of my imagination. I was confused and frightened. My pain was indescribably intense. After much explaining from loved ones, I slowly became aware of my situation.

 was mad—mad at the truck driver, mad at the world, mad at God. How had I been named the delegate to suffer? I contemplated suicide daily. The hospital staff had to tie my hands down. Then the denial kicked in. I thought, if I could dream in color for two months and believe it was real, who’s to say that being here like this wasn’t just another chapter? This wasn’t happening to me. I still dream of one day awakening from the nightmare into my old life.

Embarrassment overwhelmed me. I couldn’t do anything for myself. In the hospital, I had to be walked, fed and wiped. At home, my mother had to bathe, clothe and bandage me. Then depression took its turn. I wasn’t a bad-looking guy before the accident. True, appearances aren’t everything, but they are something. We more easily accept those we perceive as aesthetically pleasing than those we see as deformed or challenged.

I had to take my grief by the horns. Complaining changes nothing. I am alive, I have family and friends who care for me, and I have purpose. I still get looks of distaste and bewilderment, but I don’t hold individuals accountable for their responses. It’s human nature to look at what’s different. Everyone worries about what to say to survivors, but often it’s not about what you say. Just being there and listening can help more than you expect.

My name is Winson Chen.



(Courtesy of the Phoenix Society and Steve Lobel, author of “Recognition Beyond Burned: Portraits of Survival, Rebirth & Hope”)

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The Whale Said "Thank-You"

Every now and again, life presents its entanglements that seem to appear out of nowhere. One moment, we’re free and content with our lives and then, suddenly, it all changes. In a relatively short period of time, a simple complication can weave itself into a network of problems that wrap around us like prison chains. Eventually, there seems to be no way out as we struggle for even one small breath of air to keep us alive. Soon, even our sense of hope is imprisoned.

But as we struggle to free ourselves from the entrapment of hopelessness, we suddenly discover that there is more to life than just ourselves. We realize that others are there to hold out their hands in spiritual and material assistance. All that we need to do is to understand this and accept that help in deep faith and gratitude. In that one marvelous moment, we become like the desperate whale in our next illustration…

 

~ George Parker, N.D.

The Whale Said "Thank-You"

Within a few hours, the rescue team arrived and determined that she was so bad off, the only way to save her was to dive in and untangle her.

They worked for hours with curved knives and eventually freed her…
When she was free, the divers say she swam in what seemed like joyous circles.

She then came back to each and every diver, one at a time, and nudged them, pushed them gently around…
She was thanking them. Some said it was the most incredibly beautiful experience of their lives.

The guy who cut the rope out of her mouth said her eyes were following him the whole time, and he will never be the same.

May you, and all those you love, be so blessed and fortunate to be surrounded by people who will help you get untangled from the things that are binding you. And, may you always know the joy of giving and receiving gratitude.

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The Story of Peng Shuilin

How many times have we found ourselves complaining about things that, in retrospect, were never really all that important to begin with? It’s the feeling that our circumstances are “unfair” that can give rise to a sense of persecution or even just an undercurrent of irritability. When this happens, it can be helpful for us to consider others who, most certainly, might have reasons to succumb to the “unfairness” of life – but have chosen not to.

Here, we see the story of Peng Shuilin who, in 1995, was severed in half by a freight truck. Through determination and an attitude that remained positive, he has overcome a situation that many would consider utterly impossible to live beyond. To see the power of an ability to look past negative thoughts and, instead, view positive affirmations of our daily affairs, read how Peng Shuilin overcame adversity and turned his life into an inspiration for others.

~ George Parker N.D

The Story of Peng Shuilin

In life we keep complaining about what is or why we don’t have. Half the time we seem dissatisfied, though full-bodied and free to choose. Fat people say,”I want to be slim.” Skinny people say,”I want to be fatter.” Poor people want to be rich and rich are never satisfied with what they have. Peng Shuilin is 78cms high. He was born in Hunan Province, China.

n 1995, in Shenzhen, a freight truck sliced his body in half. His lower body and legs were beyond repair. Surgeons sewed up his torso. Peng Shuilin, 37, spent nearly two years in hospital in Shenzhen, southern China, undergoing a series of operations to re-route nearly every major organ or system inside his body. Peng kept exercising his arms, building up strength, washing his face and brushing his teeth.

He survived against all odds. Now Peng Shulin has astounded doctors by learning to walk again after a decade. Considering Peng’s plight, doctors at the China Rehabilitation Research Centre in Beijing devised an ingenious way to allow him to walk on his own, creating a sophisticated egg cup-like casing to hold his body, with two bionic legs attached.

It took careful consideration, skilled measurement and technical expertise. Peng has been walking the corridors of Beijing Rehabilitation Centre with the aid of his specially adapted legs and a re-sized walking frame.

RGO is a recipicating gait orthosis, attached to a prosthetic socket bucket. There is a cable attached to both legs so when one goes forward, the other goes backwards. Rock to the side, add a bit of a twist and the leg without the weight on it advances, while the other one stays still, giving a highly inefficient way of ambulation.

Oh, so satisfying to ‘walk’ again after ten years with half a body! Hospital vice-president Lin Liu said: “We’ve just given him a checkup; he is fitter than most men his age.” Peng Shuilin has opened his own bargain supermarket, called the Half Man-Half Price Store. The inspirational 37-year-old has become a businessman and is used as a role model for other amputees.

At just 2ft 7ins tall, he moves around in a wheelchair giving lectures on recovery from disability. His attitude is amazing, he doesn’t complain. “He had good care, but his secret is cheerfulness. Nothing ever gets him down.” You have a whole body. You have feet. Now you have met a man who has no feet. His life is a feat of endurance, a triumph of the human spirit in overcoming extreme adversity. Next time you want to complain about something trivial, don’t.

Remember Peng Shulin instead.

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True Story of Courage and Love

Walking down a path through some woods in Georgia, I saw a water puddle ahead on the path. I angled my direction to go around it on the part of the path that wasn’t covered by water and mud. As I reached the puddle, I was suddenly attacked! Yet I did nothing for the attack was so unpredictable and from a source so totally unexpected. I was startled as well as unhurt, despite having been struck four or five times already. I backed up a foot and my attacker stopped attacking me. Instead of attacking more, he hovered in the air on graceful butterfly wings in front of me. Had I been hurt I wouldn’t have found it amusing, but I was unhurt, it was funny, and I was laughing. After all, I was being attacked by a butterfly!

Having stopped laughing, I took a step forward. My attacker rushed me again. He rammed me in the chest with his head and body, striking me over and over again with all his might, still to no avail. For a second time, I retreated a step while my attacker relented in his attack. Yet again, I tried moving forward. My attacker charged me again. I was rammed in the chest over and over again. I wasn’t sure what to do, other than to retreat a third time. After all, it’s just not everyday that one is attacked by a butterfly. This time, though, I stepped back several paces to look the situation over. My attacker moved back as well to land on the ground. That’s when I discovered why my attacker was charging me only moments earlier. He had a mate and she was dying. She was beside the puddle where he landed.

Sitting close beside her, he opened and closed his wings as if to fan her. I could only admire the love and courage of that butterfly in his concern for his mate. He had taken it upon himself to attack me for his mate’s sake, even though she was clearly dying and I was so large. He did so just to give her those extra few precious moments of life, should I have been careless enough to step on her. Now I knew why and what he was fighting for. There was really only one option left for me. I carefully made my way around the puddle to the other side of the path, though it was only inches wide and extremely muddy. His courage in attacking something thousands of times larger and heavier than himself just for his mate’s safety justified it. I couldn’t do anything other than reward him by walking on the more difficult side of the puddle. He had truly earned those moments to be with her, undisturbed.

I left them in peace for those last few moments, cleaning the mud from my boots when I later reached my car.

Since then, I’ve always tried to remember the courage of that butterfly whenever I see huge obstacles facing me. I use that butterfly’s courage as an inspiration and to remind myself that good things are worth fighting for.

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A Miracle of $1.10

Tess was a precocious eight year old when she heard her Mom and Dad talking about her little brother, Andrew. All she knew was that he was very sick and they were completely out of money. They were moving to an apartment complex next month because Daddy didn’t have the money for the doctor bills and our house. 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 say to her tearful Mother with whispered desperation, “Only a miracle can save him now.”

Tess went to her bedroom and pulled a glass jelly jar from its hiding place in the closet. She poured all the change out on the floor and counted it carefully. Three times, even. The total had to be exactly perfect. No chance here for mistakes. Carefully placing the coins back in the jar and twisting on the cap, she slipped out the back door and made her way 6 blocks to Rexall’s Drug Store with the big red Indian Chief sign above the door. She waited patiently for the pharmacist to give her some attention but he was too busy at this moment. Tess twisted her feet to make a scuffing noise. Nothing. She cleared her throat with the most disgusting sound she could muster. No good. Finally she took a quarter from her jar and banged it on the glass counter. That did it! “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 annoyed tone. “He’s really, really sick… and I want to buy a miracle.” “I beg your pardon?” said the pharmacist.

“His name is Andrew and he has something bad growing inside his head and my Daddy says only a miracle can save him now. So how much does a miracle cost?” “We don’t sell miracles here, little girl. I’m sorry but I can’t help you,” the pharmacist said, softening a little. “Listen, I have the money to pay for it. If it isn’t enough, I will get the rest. Just tell me how much it costs.” The pharmacist’s brother was a well dressed man. He stooped down and asked the little girl, “What kind of a miracle does you brother need?” “I don’t know,” Tess replied with her eyes welling up. “I just know he’s really sick and Mommy says he needs an operation. But my Daddy can’t pay for it, so I want to use my money.”

“How much do you have?” asked the man from Chicago. “One dollar and eleven cents,” Tess answered barely audibly. “And it’s all the money I have, but I can get some more if I need to.

“Well, what a coincidence,” smiled the man. “A dollar and eleven cents – the exact price of a miracle for little brothers.” He took her money in one hand and with the other hand he grasped her mitten and said, “Take me to where you live. I want to see your brother and meet your parents. Let’s see if I have the kind of miracle you need.”

That well dressed man was Dr. Carlton Armstrong, a surgeon, specialising in neuro-surgery. The operation was completed without charge and it wasn’t long until Andrew was home again and doing well. Mom and Dad were happily talking about the chain of events that had led them to this place.

 

“That surgery,” her Mom whispered. “was a real miracle. I wonder how much it would have cost?”

Tess smiled. She knew exactly how much a miracle cost… one dollar and eleven cents …… plus the faith of a little child. A miracle is not the suspension of natural law, but the operation of a higher law……

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The Power of Your Actions

One day, when I was a freshman in high school, I saw a kid from my class walking home from school. His name was Kyle. It looked like he was carrying all of his books. I thought to myself, “Why would anyone bring home all his books on a Friday? He must really be a nerd.” I had quite a weekend planned (parties and a football game with my friend the following afternoon), so I shrugged my shoulders and went on.

As I was walking, I saw a bunch of kids running toward him. They ran at him, knocking all his books out of his arms and tripping him so he landed in the dirt. His glasses went flying, and I saw them land in the grass about ten feet from him. He looked up and I saw this terrible sadness in his eyes.

My heart went out to him. So, I jogged over to him, and as he crawled around looking for his glasses, I saw a tear in his eye. I handed him his glasses and said, “Those guys are jerks. They really should get lives.
He looked at me and said, “Hey, thanks!” There was a big smile on his face. It was one of those smiles that showed real gratitude. I helped him pick up his books, and asked him where he lived. It turned out he lived near me, so I asked him why I had never seen him before. He said he had gone to private school before coming to this school.

I would have never hung out with a private school kid before. We talked all the way home, and I carried his books. He turned out to be a pretty cool kid. I asked him if he wanted to play football on Saturday with me and my friends. He said yes. We hung all weekend and the more I got to know Kyle, the more I liked him. And my friends thought the same of him. Monday morning came, and there was Kyle with the huge stack of books again. I stopped him and said, “Damn boy, you are gonna really build some serious muscles with this pile of books everyday!”. He just laughed and handed me half the books. Over the next four years, Kyle and I became best friends.

When we were seniors, we began to think about college. Kyle decided on Georgetown, and I was going to Duke. I knew that we would always be friends, that the miles would never be a problem. He was going to be a doctor, and I was going for business on a football scholarship. Kyle was valedictorian of our class.

I teased him all the time about being a nerd. He had to prepare a speech for graduation. I was so glad it wasn’t me having to get up there and speak.

Graduation day arrived – I saw Kyle and he looked great. He was one of those guys that really found himself during high school. He filled out and actually looked good in glasses. He had more dates than me and all the girls loved him!


Boy, sometimes I was jealous. Today was one of those days. I could see that he was nervous about his speech. So, I smacked him on the back and said, “Hey, big guy, you’ll be great!”

He looked at me with one of those looks (the really grateful one) and smiled. “Thanks,” he said. As he started his speech, he cleared his throat, and began. “Graduation is a time to thank those who helped you make it through those tough years. Your parents, your teachers, your siblings, maybe a coach… but mostly your friends. I am here to tell all of you that being a friend to someone is the best gift you can give them. I am going to tell you a story.”

 

I stared at my friend in disbelief as he told the story of the first day we met. He had planned to kill himself over the weekend. He talked of how he had cleaned out his locker so his Mom wouldn’t have to do it later and was carrying his stuff home. He looked hard at me and gave me a little smile. “Thankfully, I was saved. My friend saved me from doing the unspeakable.”

I heard the gasp go through the crowd as this handsome, popular boy told us all about his weakest moment. I saw his Mom and dad looking at me and smiling that same grateful smile. Not until that moment did I realize its depth.


Never underestimate the power of your actions. With one small gesture you can change a person’s life. For better or for worse. God puts us all in each other’s lives to impact one another in some way. Look for God in others.


“Friends are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.”

 

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A Little Compassion

By: Dan Malone

A good friend of mine named Christina has an amazing gift, I think many people forget they have it in themselves. The gift of compassion. Why do I call it a gift? Because she gives it to others.

You see Christina fosters kittens who have no home. She goes out and rescues kittens from the wild. She cares for them, makes sure they are healthy and finds good homes for them.

One very special kitten recently came in to her life. Her name is Savannah. When Christina found Savannah she was not in good condition. She was dirty, afraid and unhealthy. As with all new kittens, Christina, takes them in to her home, cleans and feeds them. Once they have reached 2 pounds, she takes them to the vet where they are tested and vaccinated. I remember this day well. Christina had called with sadness when she found out Savannah had tested positive for FIV. It’s a disease that is specific to felines and is similar to AID’s.

Not doing much better then the day Christina found her, Savannah had stopped eating and began loosing a lot of weight. You could see the bones through her thin skin. Finally she stopped walking and eating altogether. Many would consider this a loosing battle. Christina would spend nights holding Savannah, simply trying to make her feel better. All the time, Christina herself was getting worse. She would be in tears, worrying about Savannah. The thought of Savannah loosing her life was tearing Christina apart.

There are many in the world that see FIV as a life sentence. Kittens with FIV are not expected to survive and the ones who do often need special care. Since FIV is easy to spread when kittens are playing, Savannah had to be kept apart from all the other kittens. Christina was the only friend she had come to know.

Christina though sad and hurting herself, never gave up. She had awoken early one morning and began searching the internet for information. After a little searching, she found that there was some hope for Savannah. With some special medicine, and care, she found out that Savannah might have a chance to get better and live a healthy life. Christina made many calls trying to obtain the medicine, caring nothing of the cost. She was finally able to find a shelter that would order the medicine for her, at no cost. She began to give Savannah the medicine, and feeding her fluids with a syringe.

In short time, Savannah began to gain a little weight, and start walking again. It was no time before she was up and playing. One night Christina brought Savannah over to play. I will never forget the look in Christina’s eyes, and the feeling of playing with a kitten who many would have given up on. This was a truly heart warming experience.

Savannah had just recently been tested again. This time she came up negative for FIV. In many cases, mothers can pass this disease on to her kittens, and in some cases the kittens, are able to shed it off over time. Savannah was now a healthy playful kitten, with the rest of her life to enjoy a world she may have never known.

There is no doubt in my mind that Savannah will have a better life because of Christina. I also know that Christina herself will have a better life because of Savannah. I have read a-lot of inspirational stories, but this one, the one I have been able to write will live with me forever. It reminds me that love and compassion do make a difference, and to never give up on someone or something you believe in.

Today is Wednesday the 23rd of June 2004. Savannah will be going to the Vet to set spade tomorrow morning. In a week or two she will be ready for adoption. Hopefully to a family that she can have a loving and compassionate impact upon.

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Breaking Through Uncertainty

By: Jim McCormick

We all question our ability at times. Uncertainty plagues us. It is even more intense if the ability we are questioning relates to something we have never tried or not succeeded at in the past.

Set backs are common, but we rarely welcome them. We are inclined to respond negatively to adversity. It may be time to revisit that reflexive response.

I had an experience recently that caused me to reconsider whether a negative response to adversity is always justified when I was confronted with a life-threatening situation.

It was mid-morning on a warm and pleasant Saturday. I was in the midst of my first skydive of the day. It was my 2,123th jump since having taken up the sport fifteen years ago.

After about one minute of freefall and 5,000 above the ground, I parted ways with my fellow jumpers to get far enough away from them to open my parachute safely. I initiated opening around 3,000 feet above the earth.

My parachute opened with some twists in the lines between the parachute and me. This is not that uncommon. What was different this time was that I was not able to clear the twists.

The twists in the lines caused my parachute to take on an asymmetrical shape. Receiving asymmetrical inputs, the canopy did what it is designed to do and initiated a turn — that’s how it’s steered. The problem occurred when the turn quickly became a rapid, diving downward spiral that was spinning me a full 360 degrees about once every second. This was a problem.

I looked up to assess my canopy and saw something I don’t often see – the horizon clearly visible ABOVE the trailing edge of my canopy. This meant my canopy and I were now on roughly the same horizontal plane. In that I could see the horizon behind it, I was actually above my parachute and it was leading our fast spinning parade rapidly towards mother earth.

My first need was to acknowledge that I was not going to be able to solve this problem. This is not as easy as it seems. Having successfully completed over 2,100 jumps without having to resort to my second parachute, it was hard for me to believe I had really encountered a problem I could not solve. I had a natural inclination to assume I could fix this problem as I had all those in the past.

Sound familiar? It’s always easy to lapse into denial when confronted with a problem. Until we acknowledge the problem and our possible inability to solve it – or to use the methods we have used in the past – we don’t have a chance of making things better.

Fortunately, the urgency of this situation caused my hard-headed nature to yield much quicker than usual. That decision probably took a second or two.

The next step, having accepted the need to follow a different course than in the past, was to determine the course. Fortunately fifteen years of training and practice before every day of jumping took hold.

I looked straight down at the two handles on either side of my chest – one to release me from my malfunctioning canopy and one for deploying my reserve parachute – and realized I needed to quickly get them in my hands. I could not help but notice when I made eye contact with them, as had been ingrained in me during my First Jump Course way back in 1988, that by now the rapid spins had turned me back to earth and there beyond my toes was once again the horizon. This was bad!

 

Time was of the essence at this point not only because I was now rapidly progressing toward the horse pasture below me, but also because the centrifugal force I was starting to experience would soon make it impossible to get my hands to those two handles.

With my hands now securely on the handles, I was confronted with a bothersome question, “Now, which one goes first.” The wrong order could cause my reserve parachute to deploy into my spinning main parachute which would result in an incurable entanglement.

Fortunately, ingrained training once again took over and I pulled them in the right order. First the handle on the right side which released me from my spinning main parachute followed by the handle on the left side to deploy my reserve parachute.

This brought on a wonderful experience. My malfunctioning black, teal and magenta canopy was replaced with a bright, yellow never before used reserve parachute. What a lovely sight! And all this by 1,700 feet – plenty of time to spare.

Many years ago, I read a book about the challenges and responsibilities of Secret Service agents. One of the sad aspects of that profession is that agents who never have the chance to validate their years of training by responding to a threat sometimes struggle severely in retirement. They are faced with not knowing – with certainty – how they would respond when faced with the paramount challenge their career can deliver. For this reason, agents who have faced such a challenge successfully are admired within the culture of the Service.

That Saturday morning, I had the privilege of facing a similar, life-threatening and I now realize life-defining challenge. I faced what Secret Service agents call “the dragon.”

For all of us the greater dragon is not the external threat, whether it be an assassin’s bullet, the unforgiving and fast approaching earth or another challenge. The real dragon is the self-doubt we carry within us.

For those few splendid moments after landing safely, I was able to put my foot firmly on the neck of the dragon … and it felt great.

Keep this in mind the next time you are confronted with adversity. On the far side of the experiences the adversity presents, there could be a valuable gift – a renewed confidence and certainty.

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A Touch of Heaven

By: Tim Reynolds

It had been a very disheartening day. The doctors had given us the worst of news. Our daughter, who had just completed her first brain surgery to remove a tumor and was going through radiation treatments, was now officially given a two percent chance of survival as this type of cancer had no cure.

My wife and I decided to take our daughter to lunch before continuing our afternoon conversations. We went to a local restaurant where we sat in silence waiting for the waitress. Our daughter Molly wouldn’t hear of such sadness or silence so she played happily with crayons and paper while we sat and stared at the floor.

I noticed a very elderly couple sitting a few booths away, they too in silence never speaking a word. I couldn’t help but wonder what challenges they had faced in their life and if they ever faced such terrible news about a child of theirs.

 

We eventually ordered our lunch and still sitting in silence we ate what we could. At some point I became intrigued by the old couple and I watched them more intently with each passing minute. I thought to myself that they hadn’t yet spoken to each other and I wondered if it was the peace they were enjoying or the food or maybe both. However, at some point I lost interest and put my focus back on my lunch

Molly was still talking away and enjoying her meal and her mom and I both listened and tried to be happy in her presence but it wasn’t going very well. All of a sudden I saw this hand come out of nowhere. It was huge and I could tell that it had been afflicted with arthritis. The knuckles were swollen and the fingers were crooked and off center. I couldn’t take my eyes of that hand. The hand drifted down and landed on my daughter’s tiny six year old hand and as it did I looked up, it was the old woman who had been sitting with the old man in silence eating their lunch.

I looked into her eyes and she spoke, but not to me. She looked at my daughter and simply whispered, “If I could do more for you I would.” And then she smiled and moved away to join her husband who had moved towards the door.

I heard a “Hey look, a whole dollar.” Molly spoke with excitment as she discovered that the old lady had placed a crumpled one dollar bill on the back of her hand. I looked down and saw the dollar bill and quickly realized that it had been left behind by the old lady. I looked up to thank her, but she was gone. I sat stunned, not sure what had just happended and then I looked over at my wife. In almost unison, we broke out into a smile. The sadness of the day had been wiped out by the crippled hand and generous touch of an old lady.

The dollar, although exciting to Molly, was not what made us smile or begin to feel differently, it was the offer from an old lady who felt our hurt and our suffering. The crippled hand symbolized a healing touch and made us realize that we did not have to fight this battle alone; that others cared and wanted to help. We felt up-lifted and soon our day filled with more happy thoughts as we spent the rest of our lunch planning the next day at home with fun filled activities for eveyone.

I will never forget that crippled arthritic hand that taught us such an important lesson. One does not have to go through life facing hardships all alone; the world is full of compassionate and understanding people. Even those that are suffering from their own afflictions have much to give to each other.

The hand that covered Molly’s on that day still covers it. And although Molly is no longer with me, I can see her holding hands with that old lady now, both hands perfect and both faces filled with smiles and laughter. And though Heaven has these two perfect angels now, the lessons that they both taught me will remain forever in my heart.

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Total Paralysis

By: © Ferna Lary Mills

His mind was sharp, but his vision was blurred. He could think, but could not talk. He wanted to write, but could not use his hands. With one eye sewn shut, his only means of communication was by blinking his left eye. Yet with all his obstacles and challenges, he was able to ”write” a bestselling book that was turned into a movie. Who am I talking about? Jean-Dominique Bauby the author ofThe Diving Bell and the Butterfly”.


There are stories that entertain, stores that scare, and stories that motivate. This is a story of motivation, perseverance and accomplishment in the face of adversity and debilitating paralysis. Every now and then you come across a story so powerful and compelling, that it grabs you by the throat and just won’t let go. Such is the nature of the true story of Jean- Dominique Bauby – locked in his body as one is in entombed in a diving bell, yet free to wander, dream and travel to faraway places using only his mind.

Jean-Dominique was the editor of the French ELLE magazine and lived a fast pace life in the world of fashion. Then on one day in 1995 he had a massive stroke that left him completely immobile except for the movement of his left eye. Unfortunately he was the victim of a extremely rare condition called Locked-in Syndrome. Now, just take a moment to absorb Jean-Dominique’s condition – you’re mind is perfectly fine, you feel pain, hot and cold, a bead of sweat rolling down your forehead, but the only thing you can move is your left eye. How would you react? Would you be able to turn your condition into something positive?

Locked-in Syndrome is characterized by full body paralysis usually caused by a massive stroke, traumatic brain injury or even by a drug overdose. Many times the only thing a victim can move is their eyes while their brain is typically undamaged. Jean- Dominique’s mind was fully functioning, aware, and learning to cope with his new body while the blinking of his left eye was his only means of communication. Imagine for just a moment what it would be like to lie perfectly still, and the only thing you can move is your left eye. As an experiment – try to read the rest of this article using only your left eye. Go ahead. It’s the least that you can do.

Learning to “write”

The therapist assigned to Jean-Dominique devised a means to communicate by organizing the letters of the alphabet by their frequency and reading each letter. Jean-Dominique would blink once when the correct letter was read that matched the letter in the word he was thinking. He would painstakingly spell each word in the sentence he was thinking. Using this method Jean- Dominique was able to pen his memoir. He tells how he would mentally write, edit and rewrite his sentences before communicating them to his therapist.

Making a Choice

”My diving bell becomes less oppressive, and my mind takes flight like a butterfly. There is so much to do. You can wander off in space or in time, set out for Tierra del Fuego or for King Midas’s court” – Jean-Dominique Bauby

The above quote from Jean-Dominique speaks volumes about his character and his ability to overcome adversity. Jean-Dominique had a choice to make: He could either lay there and play the part of a vegetable or accept his situation and try to make some good of it. Fortunately for us, he chose the latter. Using only his mind, he was free to wander the world, visit with friends or imagine himself in another time. With a blink of an eye, he wrote a book. What is it that makes some people “overcome” adversity, while others never really seem to recover?

Question: Would you have the strength to make the same choice?

1. Accept your situation.

This is easy to say and hard to do. But, if you want any chance of overcoming adversity of any kind, you first have to accept the cards you were dealt. It’s ok to visit pity city, but at some point you have to leave it all behind.

Another great example of someone accepting and making the best of a situation is Randy Pausch, the author of “The Last Lecture”. Here’s a guy at the pinnacle of his career, a loving wife and three young kids, who finds himself with tumors in his liver from pancreatic cancer. His is given three – six months of “good health”, before the inevitable happens. Randy gives his last lecture at Carnegie Mellon University and becomes a phenomenon in his final months. His lecture if full of his life’s lessons and bits of wisdom that we all should follow.

2. Focus on what you can do
Blink and think – that’s all Jean-Dominique could do. By using a single eye movement (one that we take for granted), he was able to write letters to friends and family and eventually write a book.

3. Be prepared for hard work
Hard work and setting goals is the key to overcoming adversity. Writing a book with the blink of an eye or writing and delivering your last lecture while undergoing chemotherapy treatment, all take hard work. Jean-Dominique was able to do it, Randy Pausch did it and so did Lance Armstrong. They set goals for themselves and worked to achieve those goals. One can experience great satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment when you achieve your goals.

 

Question: Have you written down your goals and developed a plan to achieve them?

4. Be persistent – nothing comes easy
Tenacity is the key. Many times people give up after a failure or an obstacle is put in their path. Walls are meant to be torn down, climbed over or pushed through. Never, ever give up! What did Thomas Edison say? “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”. He only needed to find one way to make the light bulb work and change the world.

 

Question: Were you able to read the rest of this article using only one eye?

While The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is the story of one man’s struggle with Locked-in Syndrome, it’s also a lesson in overcoming adversity. Against all odds, Jean-Dominique Bauby was able to show us that no matter how disabled or incapacitated, one can still make an impact on the world.

 

How are you going to make your mark on the world?

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Christianity and the Bible

It’s an interesting thing when those who practice Christianity find it difficult to relate their religious practices to spirituality. They may limit their faith to the writings in their Bible or the words that are said in a religious service. But upon serious study of the words set down by the apostles, given to them by Yeshua Ben Yosef (“Jesus Christ” is from the Greek), we find that His teachings were most definitely focused on our spiritual natures. The concept of focusing our spiritual energy to mold our reality was ever present in those teachings (“Truly I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ it will happen.”, Matthew 21:21).

What is the basis for these teachings and what foundations were initially laid down from ancient Judaism that created the Bible and how can we derive inspiration, refuge and hope from this? We need to ask ourselves, “If we believe in God, then what has been given us for us to hold on to, until we leave this brief and often times difficult existence?” The answers can be seen in this section of “Hope in Adversity”. Here, we’ll take a look at the Bible and how it endeavours to help those who are suffering and need the inspiration that its words can provide.

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Revelation 21:4

George Parker, N.D.

Psalm 9:9
The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.

Psalm 18:2

The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the hornof my salvation, my stronghold.

Psalm 22:24

For he has not despised or disdainedthe suffering of the afflicted one;he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help.

Psalm 23
The LORD is my shepherd,
I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
He restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD
forever.

Psalm 27:4-5
One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple. For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock.

Psalm 30:5
Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.

Psalm 34:18
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit

Psalm 37:39
The salvation of the righteous comes from the LORD; he is their stronghold in time of trouble

Psalm 46:1-2
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.

Psalm 48:14
For this God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end.

Psalm 55:22
Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you;he will never let the righteous fall.

Psalm 71:20-21
Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up. You will increase my honor and comfort me once again.

Psalm 73:26
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Psalm 138:7
Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes, with your right hand you save me.

Proverbs 14:32
When calamity comes, the wicked are brought down, but even in death the righteous have a refuge.

Isaiah 25:8
He will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove the disgrace of his people from all the earth. The LORD has spoken.

Isaiah 40:18-31
Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Isaiah 49:14-16
But Zion said, “The LORD has forsaken me, the Lord has forgotten me.” “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.”

Isaiah 51:3
The LORD will surely comfort Zion
and will look with compassion on all her ruins;
he will make her deserts like Eden,
her wastelands like the garden of the LORD.
Joy and gladness will be found in her,
thanksgiving and the sound of singing.

Isaiah 54:10
“Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you.

Isaiah 66:12-14
For this is what the LORD says:
“I will extend peace to her like a river,
and the wealth of nations like a flooding stream;
you will nurse and be carried on her arm
and dandled on her knees.
As a mother comforts her child,
so will I comfort you;
and you will be comforted over Jerusalem.”
When you see this, your heart will rejoice
and you will flourish like grass;
the hand of the LORD will be made known to his servants,
but his fury will be shown to his foes.

Lamentations 3:31-33
For men are not cast off by the Lord forever.Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love.For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to the children of men.

Hosea 13:14
“I will ransom them from the power of the grave [a] ; I will redeem them from death. Where, O death, are your plagues? Where, O grave, is your destruction?

Nahum 1:7
The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him.

Matthew 5:4
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Matthew 6:19-34
I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labour or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, “What shall we eat?” or “What shall we drink?” or “What shall we wear?” For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Matthew 11:25-30
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

John 6:39-40
And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.

John 14:1-4
Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God[; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.

John 14:27
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you asthe world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Romans 8:14,15
… because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”

Romans 8:31-39
What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: ” For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

1 Corinthians 15:52-57
In a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 1:3-5
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. 5For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.

2 Corinthians 4:13-16
It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presence. All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

1 Thessalonians 4:13
Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope.

Philippians 4:6
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God

Hebrews 2:14-15
Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death — that is, the devil — and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.

Hebrews 4:14-16
Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

1 Peter 1:3-9
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith the salvation of your souls.

1 Peter 5:6-7
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Revelation 7:15-17
And he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore, “they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them. Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat upon them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

Revelation 21:4
He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

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A 15-Year Journey of a Lifetime

By: Author Unknown

Growing up in a large Italian family, I learned quickly the importance of family. We were a tightly knit traditional family. My father grew up around his aunt and uncles and grandparents and parents, basically everyone, shouting Italian at each other, and so did I. My sister’s and my second home was my mommom and poppops house. Everyday they watched me. They helped me deal with my anxiety. We played card games and planted flowers, and when my sister started school it was just me. Those were the best years of my life.

hen, when i was 9, the unthinkable happened. My poppop died of mesothelioma, a slow growing cancer. I remember that night like it was last night. My family had been rocked by an earthquake of tragedy. Then 2 years later, my mommom died of lung cancer. I was destroyed. At that moment every spark of my anxiety was fanned into a flame of terror. For years I lived with the fear of everything, such as losing another family member, and especially, cancer. During my 7th grade year, when I was just 14 years old, it turned into full on depression. I couldn’t bear anyone even saying my grandparents’ names. What made it even worse after my mommom’s death, was that my tightly knit Italian family, with some exceptions accused us of things that we had never done, and left us. I felt like part of me left with them, But it’s not all bad.


Through therapy I finally defeated my depression. It felt like the greatest thing I had ever accomplished. I discovered that talking to someone really helps. And from there I took the first step in piecing my life back together. When I was 15 and in my freshman year of high school, I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and I got treatment. It was another giant step towards complete happiness. In school I also realized that I could be closer to my grandparents and my family in Italy if I learned our language. It’s like every day I get a constant reminder of where I came from, and it helped me figure out where I’m going.


Then my parents announced their divorce. I shouted with a sailors mouth. I had seen it coming , but it just felt like i couldn’t catch a break. My life had begun to change and my mom put my sister and I in therapy. Talking it out had helped me again. Everything had started to affect my grades in school. Then with my therapist’s help, I began to turn it all around.


Every day I think about my grandparents, and sure I’d like things to be the way they used to be. I still have a long way to go from here, but now I have everything I need to make this journey a good one from here on out. I live by a lil wayne quote as weird as that sounds, “I know this world can be cold and deceiving, but I keep my head up like my nose is bleeding” so I’ll stand tall, and know there’s nothing that can knock me down.

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Forever In My Heart

We sat together on the steps of the department. A small building. Falling apart from constant use. You could see the tiredness of the wooden doors and the weariness of the window frames. There we were. Heidi and me. The sounds of the animals echoing in the background. It was Summer. The blowflies and bees had one target. Everything.It was mid-afternoon. Almost time for feeding. Feeding was the easiest. It was like the final bell before school ended. We sat there in silence, Heidi and me. We didn’t need words to talk.

3.30pm. Sighing, we all moved slowly off to our designated areas to finish our rounds for the day. The bounding kangaroos greeted me at the gate. They knew the time. With the animals fed, we marched like ants out of the gates and into our separate lives.


Heidi and I headed for the beach. We sat together. In the distance, the city glistened in the sun. Our friendship grew closer each day we spent together. I didn’t see her much. I lived on the other side of the city. My hands were cool on the piles of sand.


Heidi was amazing. She was the clearest of all God’s creatures, still pure and uninhibited. Her sparkling blue eyes, golden hair and her unforgettable smile contributed to a flawless personality. I often wondered why people hurt her like they did.


I found out the next day that she had a restraining order against her ex-boyfriend. He was back, harassing her. She didn’t deserve it.


It was nice there. Just sitting and watching the children play, or the yachts sail past. We both thought a lot there. It was comfortable. Even in silence.


Heidi cut into my thoughts “Want a dip?” she asked.


We plunged in. I watched the bulging fish scatter as my hand cut the water. Heidi surfaced first. Treading water we discussed the finer things in life. Like the next big shopping spree, or the guys who were on the yachts.
They were the queens of the bay. Graceful when sailing, poised like dancers when moored.


Heading out of the water, we collected the discarded shells left by ocean critters and placed them beside our flamboyant towels. Sitting there we chatted and laughed about countless experiences. We always had fun together. No matter what happened.


Soon it was time to head home. The path through the cemetery was short. Shorter than any other way to the station. I didn’t mind walking to the station this way. Many of the headstones had beautiful poems or writings on them. It made me realize how lucky I was to be alive. Enjoying myself.


After seeing Heidi home, I continued on to the station. The train trip was boring. The scenery was a blur as it passed. All the way I thought about how much I enjoyed Heidi’s company.


Autumn came and went with the annual fall of bronze and golden leaves. Soon it was winter and soon I would never see Heidi again.

 couple of days later, I received a phone call informing me that Heidi was killed in a car accident, along with the driver. I was devastated. I didn’t know what do to. What to say. What to think. I needed someone to talk to. Who? I thought about everything. About everything we ever did. It was almost like my life was flashing before my eyes. It’s strange…the last time I saw Heidi we hugged. Maybe it was our fate to leave each other with a hug. I’m not sure, but I know she had so much more to offer.

My world crashed. No longer did I have anyone to go to the beach with. No longer did I have my favorite work partner. No longer did I have a great friend. No longer did I have someone to confide in.


Months later I went back to the beach and just sat. Sat and thought about Heidi and about all the great things we did together. On the way home I passed through the cemetery once again. This time, stopping to look and lay a flower on Heidi’s place of rest. Her poem was beautiful.


Do not cry
For my absence,
Feel close and
Still talk to me.
I will love you
From Heaven,
As I have loved
You on earth.


– Author Unknown –


I’m relieved I took the time, that step in healing. I’ve said my own private good-byes. Whenever I can, I go and visit Heidi. I may not be able to see her, but she will be forever in my heart.

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I Regretted But It Was Too Late

By: Author Unknown

I woke up one morning hearing my grandma (who lives a few houses away from us) shouting for my mom to help call the ambulance. Within minutes, an ambulance came and brought my uncle to the hospital. I was so shocked, I did not know what had happened! There we were, all preparing for his wedding that was going to happen next week, and then all of a sudden he was going to the hospital?

I knelt down and prayed. And right after I prayed, my mom called and told me, he’s gone. Everyone was shocked because no one even knew what happened. He was a cheerful and playful uncle everyone loved. I doubted life after that.

Just a few years later, life poured everything on me. I was chosen to lead the biggest club in my school. I was then chosen as the school’s swimming team’s captain and we had to defend the champion title. At that time, I wished there were a few of me to attend to everything! I was interviewed, invited to events, asked to give talks, flew all around the country and so on.

Then, in the midst of everything, I broke down. I was so tired of everything I turned to my best friend, Ryan, and said, “I feel like quitting”. He said, “Only losers quit and I believe, we all believe, you are not one.” With that, I continued on with all my activities. Ryan gave me a tremendous amount of support during that time.


One day, after a tiring trip to the beach, I came home and went to bed early. Upon waking up, I received a call that told me something that changed my life, “Ryan passed away…….. He drowned”.


I cannot describe how I felt at that very moment. Emotions filled me. Anger – towards Ryan for not keeping his promise, and towards God for taking everyone away. Guilt – because I never had the chance to tell Ryan and my uncle how much I appreciated them both and cherish them both. Sadness because all my supports are taken away!


I continued to wallow in my own self-pity and shut the door behind me. I told myself, “this reality is too real! I cannot take it.” I was living a life where I wanted every day to be the last.


Then Ryan’s mom called me to his house. She gave me Ryan’s artworks and some other notes and told me, “He is now in a better place.


I woke up. I totally woke up and I told myself, I had the privilege to know him. And to know my uncle. One showed me how to be happy with life and one gave me so much support just because he wanted me to succeed. They are gone but I will continue their legacy, all that they have taught me.


And I know that I have only this one chance to live life, to taste life. I am not going to waste this very chance. I am going to shape it, use it and make it the way I want it to be so that when I leave one day, I can leave behind an identity. An identity I want people to remember me as. We’ve got only one chance to live so live it the right way. Don’t waste it!

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Abortion Regret

Copyright © 1998 Colleen Graham Robertson

I had just returned home from the clinic. I had made my choice…I’d had an abortion. Tired, weary and hurting I tried to sleep.


It wasn’t a physical hurt, but a hurt that came from deep within me, a pain that branched out to every part of my being. I had never hurt like this before. Why was I feeling like this now? Why didn’t somebody tell me it would be like this? At the time before the abortion I was convinced it wasn’t even a baby. I remembered what a friend had said, “It’s not even a baby yet, it’s only a mass of tissue. So don’t worry about it. Once it’s done it’s over with!” But it’s not over! This is the worst kind of hurt. Will it ever go away? What in the world have I done? God, please forgive me!

I lie there, silent, my thoughts screaming through my head.


After a long, restless struggle, I began to feel myself drifting off. Somewhere between wakefulness and sleep I had this sensation, it was as if I were rising upward, floating, weightlessly towering far above the world below.
Suddenly, I found myself in a place far beyond my imagination. I first recall the overwhelming fragrance of what seemed to be a vast field of flowers, an awesome scent. Was I dreaming?


As I opened my eyes, breathlessly, I took it all in. Somehow, I had been transformed to another world. Without being told, I knew my eyes beheld the Celestial City. This unearthly splendor I was experiencing could not be matched by any earthly pleasure. The feeling of utter bliss stirred my senses.


As I stood enchanted by the magnificence surrounding me, I began to hear a faint cry somewhere in the distance. Wondering where it was coming from, instantly, there I was: the Pearly Gates, even more magnificent than my grandmother had described to me growing up.


There, at the foot of the gate, where the heart-broken sobs rang out, was a small child. The child’s cries penetrated my soul as if it were my own pain, until my face too was streaked with tears. “Sweetheart,” I said, “Why are you crying?”


The child replied, “The Gate Keeper said he has no name recorded for me in his Great Book, because I have no name. But it’s not my fault! I had no choice; I was aborted.”


It wasn’t until that moment I realized that this child was my own. I held my child as we cried until we saw it, a light; a light so brilliant, so radiant a glow, that it warmed our hearts and dried our tears. Out of that light we heard a voice, like divine music pronounce: “Suffer the little children, and forbid them not to come unto me: for such is the kingdom of Heaven. Your name is, My Child.”


The name “My Child” had no more been spoken than it appeared in the Lamb’s Book of Life. At that instant, the Gate Keeper opened the gate and we heard as the trumpet blew an angelic choir singing, and it was then that we saw Him. It was Jesus, in all His glory. We knew it was Jesus, as he held out his arms, we could see his nail scarred hands. Without hesitation My Child ran to Him and was tenderly lifted up into His warm embrace. He looked to me saying, “Behold, children are a gift of the Lord; the fruit of the womb is a reward. In all things set an example by doing what is good. Now go and sin no more!”


Suddenly, I was swept back to the world I thought I had left behind. Once again, I lie there silent, regretful, pondering over the wrong I had done.


Yet, anticipating the days ahead and longing to make known to others the love and forgiveness I now knew I was destined to share…Jesus!


Still, that choice would have to be theirs.

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