The Mule & The Well


One day a farmer’s Mule fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally he decided the animal was old and the well needed to be covered up anyway, it just wasn’t worth it to retrieve the mule. So he invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well.

At first, the mule realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone’s amazement, he quieted down.  A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well and was astonished at what he saw.

With every shovel of dirt that hit his back, the mule was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up. As the farmer’s neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the mule stepped up over the edge of the well and trotted off.

The Moral:
Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a stepping stone. We can get out of the deepest wells just by not giving up! Shake it off and take a step up!



Once upon a time there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work. One day he was walking along the shore. As he looked down the beach, he saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself to think of someone who would dance to the day. So he began to walk faster to catch up.

As he got closer, he saw that it was a young man and the young man wasn’t dancing, but instead he was reaching down to the shore, picking up something and very gently throwing it into the ocean.

As he got closer he called out, “Good morning! What are you doing?”

The young man paused, looked up and replied, “Throwing starfish in the ocean.”

“I guess I should have asked, why are you throwing starfish in the ocean?”

“The sun is up and the tide is going out. And if I don’t throw them in they’ll die.”

“But, young man, don’t you realize that there are miles and miles of beach and starfish all along it. You can’t possibly make a difference!”

The young man listened politely. Then bent down, picked up another starfish and threw it into the sea, past the breaking waves and said- “It made a difference for that one.”

How many “starfish” do you come across in a day?

– Author Unknown

Inspirational One Armed Basketball Player

Found this really nice article today on the web about a basketball player who was born without most of his left arm and a girl/woman his same age who lost hers in a traffic accident.  To top it all off, his family is from Pleasanton, CA which is the same city I work in.   Hopefully everything works out well for them, it is a great story.  Article source:

Prospect Provides Inspiration With What He Doesn’t Have

FORK UNION, Va. — Kelli Whitescarver did not see traffic bottle up on Interstate 95 until it was too late. She lost control of her black Ford Explorer, which smashed a guardrail, flipped onto the driver’s side and dragged her left arm on the pavement.

Whitescarver, 21, had been on her way home to Richmond on Nov. 2 after visiting her sister in North Carolina. Instead, she was on her way to the hospital to have her left hand amputated.

During Whitescarver’s three-week stay at the Medical College of Virginia, she was told the amputation would not stop her from maintaining a normal life. But the people who told her that had two hands. Then, through some unusual serendipity, Whitescarver heard about someone who did not.

Kevin Laue, 18, was a 6-foot-10-inch college basketball prospect from California who was born with a left arm that ended at the elbow. He had recently enrolled at Fork Union Military Academy, about 50 miles from Richmond, in hopes of being noticed by an Ivy League team, but not for the reason he was most often noticed.

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Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

May 1, 1969: Fred Rogers testifies before the Senate Subcommittee on Communications

For Christmas, my mom and dad got me “The World According to Mister Rogers: Important Things to Remember”.  Kevin Rose just Tweeted about the video above.

“In 1969 the US Senate had a hearing on funding the newly developed Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The proposed endowment was $20 million, but President Nixon wanted it cut in half because of the spending going on in the Vietnam War. This is a video clip of the exchange between Mr. Rogers and Senator Pastore, head of the hearing. Senator Pastore starts out very abrasive and by the time Mr. Rogers is done talking, Senator Pastore’s inner child has heard Mr. Rogers and agreed with him. Enjoy”

Don’t Worry Be Happy

happy-pigI found the article below and thought I would share it with you.  If you are not happy now, you likely never will be.  Article source:

We have all foolhardily said, at one time or another, that if we only had so-and-so, we would be happy forever. I remember saying it when I was a little tyke and wanted a two-wheeler, and later when I was a young man and wanted a house, three kids, and two cars!

I think we set ourselves up when we depend on outside things to complete us and make us happy because we, in a way, become hostage to those circumstances. It’s a love/hate thing. We love the good times, but there is the veiled threat that the good times could go away. And that subconsciously scares us. So naturally, we become glued to anything pleasurable and adverse to anything not pleasurable. This sums up our lives, actually, this running away from that which we hate, and running toward what we love.

But this running toward and running away; can it ever provide us with lasting happiness? We’re happy with our kids, but the little rascals tend to grow up, and then reject everything we have ever taught them. As they go their own way.

Perhaps true happiness is something different from this clinging and pushing away. Perhaps true happiness is an internal thing. If we have unconditional happiness in our hearts, can outside circumstances ever disturb that happiness? Problems will surely come along, but like water off a duck’s back, problems will be only problems and nothing that disturbs our inner happiness.

On the other hand, if instead of happiness we harbor anger and discontent in our hearts, then regardless of how good outside circumstances are, the anger, and the conflict, will never stop.

So, can we develop internal happiness that won’t be corrupted by bad things that happen to us in an uncertain world? A question, I would think, that is critical because happiness is what we all pursue in one way or another, yet seldom find for long.

It is obvious that the first thing we would have to do is begin weaning ourselves from counting on outside circumstances to make us happy, simply because if we don’t, we will forever be held hostage by circumstances we cannot control. Our bank account, our friends, our relatives, our homes, our jobs – all of these could suddenly go away. Even our very lives could end.

It is not that we give all our money away, or hide from everyone and live in a cave; that doesn’t work because we would still be stuck with ourselves, and ourselves never make us happy because we know for sure that ourselves will definitely go away some day!

We must take a different approach, something we have perhaps never considered, and detach ourselves psychologically from all of this, while at the same time maintaining a love for it. This would mean living a full life, but without the smothering and threatening attachments that we now feel. If we could pull this off, we would be happy, and our happiness could never be threatened.

It all comes down to love actually; real love, unconditional love, which is a love directed at the other and never toward oneself. When we grasp at a pleasure or push away an annoyance, the movement is always centered on ourselves, never the other. The greatest charity, the greatest gift we can give, is giving up ourselves. When we can do that, we will have incorruptible happiness in our hearts, simply because no matter what happens to us, we no longer count, only the other counts. Can we look beyond our egos to see the logic in this?

Imagine if the other would feel the same way toward you; that you are the only thing that counts. Can you imagine the results? The results would be the exact opposite of what we are seeing presently in our violent world. The results would be a heaven on earth.

But it must begin with us; it cannot begin with them. Just as anger loops until violence erupts, love loops as well, but the results are dramatically different.

If you want to develop unconditional love, be willing to look at yourself. When you look at yourself, study yourself openly and honestly, in time you will forget about yourself. And when you forget about yourself, your “self” will be replaced by an unconditional love, and more; freedom that you can’t imagine.”