A Birth Certificate shows that we were born
A Death Certificate shows that we died
Pictures show that we live!
Have a seat. Relax . . .
And read this slowly.

I Believe...
That just because two people argue,
It doesn't mean they don't love each other.
And just because they don't argue,
It doesn't mean they do love each other.

I Believe...
That we don't have to change friends if
We understand that friends change.

I Believe....
That no matter how good a friend is,
they're going to hurt you,
every once in a while
and you must forgive them for that.

I Believe.....
That true friendship continues to grow,
even over the longest distance.Same goes for true love.

I Believe...
That you can do something in an instant
That will give you heartache for life.

I Believe....
That it's taking me a long time
To become the person I want to be, and I am still evolving. 

I Believe...
That you should always leave loved ones with Loving words.
It may be the last time you see them.

I Believe....
That you can keep going long after you think you can't.

I Believe....
That we are responsible for what
We do, no matter how we feel.

I Believe...
That either you control your attitude or it controls you.

I Believe....
That heroes are the people
who do what has to be done
when it needs to be done,
regardless of the consequences.

I Believe....
That my best friend and I can do anything or nothing
and have the best time..

I Believe....
That sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you're down will be the
ones to help you get back up.

I Believe...
That sometimes when I'm angry
I have the right to be angry, but that
doesn't give me the right to be cruel.

I Believe...
That maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you've had
And what you've learned from them and less to do with how many birthdays you've

I Believe.....
That it isn't always enough,
to be forgiven by others.
Sometimes, you have to learn
to forgive yourself.

I Believe...
That no matter how bad
your heart is broken,
the world doesn't stop for your grief.

I Believe....
That our background and circumstances
may have influenced who we are, but,
we are responsible for who we become.

I Believe...
That you shouldn't be
so eager to find out a secret.
It could change your life forever.

I Believe....
Two people can look at the exact same
Thing and see something totally different.

I Believe...
That your life can be changed
in a matter of hours
by people who don't even know you.

I Believe...
That even when you think
you have no more to give,
When a friend cries out to you,
you will find the strength to help.

I Believe...
That credentials on the wall
do not make you a decent human being.

I Believe...
That the people you care about
most in life
are taken from you too soon.




Secrets of the World Class

From Simple Truths

An excerpt from
The Strangest Secret
by Earl Nightingale
George Bernard Shaw said, "People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don't believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can't find them, make them."

Well, it's pretty apparent, isn't it? And every person who discovered this believed (for a while) that he was the first one to work it out. We become what we think about.

Now, it stands to reason that a person who is thinking about a concrete and worthwhile goal is going to reach it, because that's what he's thinking about. And we become what we think about.

Conversely, the person who has no goal, who doesn't know where he's going, and whose thoughts must therefore be thoughts of confusion, anxiety, fear and worry - his life becomes one of frustration, fear, anxiety and worry. And if he thinks about nothing...he becomes nothing.

How does it work? Why do we become what we think about? Well, I'll tell you how it works, as far as we know. To do this, I want to tell you about a situation that parallels the human mind.

Suppose a farmer has some land, and it's good, fertile land. The land gives the farmer a choice; he may plant in that land whatever he chooses. The land doesn't care. It's up to the farmer to make a decision.

We're comparing the human mind with the land because the mind, like the land, doesn't care what you plant in it. It will return what you plant, but it doesn't care what you plant.

Now, let's say that the farmer has two seeds in his hand - one is a seed of corn, the other is nightshade, a deadly poison. He digs two little holes in the earth and he plants both seeds - one corn, the other nightshade. He covers up the holes, waters and takes care of the land...and what will happen? Invariably, the land will return what was planted. As it's written in the Bible,

"As ye sow, so shall ye reap."

Remember, the land doesn't care. It will return poison in just as wonderful abundance as it will corn. So up come the plants - one corn, one poison. The human mind is far more fertile, far more incredible and mysterious than the land, but it works the same way. It doesn't care what we plant...success...or failure. A concrete, worthwhile goal...or confusion, misunderstanding, fear, anxiety, and so on. But what we plant it must return to us.

You see, the human mind is the last great, unexplored continent on earth. It contains riches beyond our wildest dreams. It will return anything we want to plant.


The North Wind and the Sun

An ancient storyteller named Aesop told a fable about the north wind and the sun. It opens with a challenge about a traveler’s cloak. The north wind bets the sun that he can get that cloak off the traveler.
The north wind begins to blow, but the harder he blows, the more tightly the traveler wraps his cloak around him. Then comes the sun’s turn. The day quickly warms, and the man on the road just as quickly removes his cloak.
This is Howard Butt, Jr., of Laity Lodge with a fairly obvious moral about force versus persuasion—about cold strength versus personal warmth. Strength may win battles in the short term, but warmth can win minds in the high calling of our daily work.
The Butterfly Effect
The Butterfly Effect
Not long ago, I finally told the story of when, at the age of twenty-three, homeless and scared, I was given guidance in a most unusual fashion by an old man named Jones.

What the old man told me did nothing less than change my life and my future. He said..."With a little perspective you can live a life of permanent purpose."

When I asked what he meant, the old man answered with a question. "Do you sometimes find yourself unconsciously judging your actions by level of importance?"
I frowned a bit, not certain I understood. "For instance," he continued, "the time you spend with friends is important, but the time you spend with family, is more important. You might rank an hour fishing as very important, thirty minutes visiting a sick friend in the hospital much more important than the fishing, and a sixty second conversation with a convenience store clerk as not very important at all."

I nodded my understanding and he returned to his initial point. "When you know that everything matters - that every move counts as much as any other - you will begin living a life of permanent purpose. A life of permanent purpose will make you a better parent, a better spouse, and a more valuable friend. Your productivity and financial success will soar to new heights while the old days of uncertainty, doubt, and depression fade into the past."

Of course, that conversation with Jones changed me. But even more, it became the guiding force that produced the kind of speaker and author I have become. You see, I understand fully that my very value as an author and speaker must ultimately be judged by the success you achieve. And as I consult with companies or speak to organizations and teams, I am keenly aware that much of my client's (your) ability to succeed beyond imagination depends upon my ability to prove this very concept!

When a sales organization sees proof that casual conversations in town matter just as much as an arranged meeting with a major prospect -

When the second string right-guard sees proof that his every action on and off the field, whether he plays or not, is as critical to the team's successful season as everything the starting quarterback does -

When a teenager sees and understands proof that every choice made in leisure today will affect the choices that will be available to him in more pressing times ahead -
When one lives a life of permanent purpose, sales figures soar, team chemistry thrives, and teenage decisions become wiser and more cautious. And these are just a few examples of what will happen...Simply put, when we understand that every action matters, every result of our actions immediately improves!

In these pages, I know you will find hope and direction for yourself, but I am most excited that you will now be equipped to lead others to their own life of permanent purpose! My hope for our families, our places of worship, our businesses, our nation, and our world is an incredible life of permanent purpose that can be achieved when at last we understand: Every move we make and every action we take, matters not just for us, but for all of us...and for all time.


What you just read was an excerpt from Andy Andrews' book, The Butterfly Effect.  You can find this book at Simple Truths.Contact Us
Simple Truths, LLC.,
1952 McDowell Road, Ste. 300,
Naperville, IL 60563, USA
Phone: 800-900-3427 / 630-946-1460


Many, many years ago I met a woman who presented a staff development program at our school district who wrote several books, one of which was Grow Deep Not Just Tall. I absolutely loved her presentation and her books and they have helped to form my philosophy not only of teaching but of living and relationships. This book touched something in me that I can't even really explain, I just know I love the message that she presents. Karen Kaiser Clark taught me a lot in the few hours she was with us that day, twenty three years ago. And I thank her!


Humans have always searched for an oracle, a source of wise counsel and prophetic vision. Oracles can take any form. In this book it is an old, gnarled, oak tree that speaks to us. This wise and weathered spirit has lived through many seasons. He continues to Grow Deep Not Just Tall. Openly he shares the gift of who he is with those who choose to listen.

Our culture teaches us to be logical and sequential in our thinking. Growth is often perceived as a progression from infancy, childhood, adolescence and finally into adulthood. We are encouraged to look outside ourselves to find truth and strength. We engage in competitive comparisons to define our levels of success and value. The Tree offers a different and balancing perception.

Growing deep, like wisdom, extends beyond objective, critical forms of thinking. Inches, seasons, even years address only the externals of real growth. As The Tree cautions, "Look beyond the surface of first impressions." The seasons in this book do not necessarily parallel the stages of human growth. Reach deep within your core for light and warmth. The Tree affirms, "We are each so much more than what some reduce to measuring."

This little book is filled with life and hope. It does not give answers. Rather, it offers invitations to you. My Friend, to journey with The Tree and to grow through each season in your own way. Search with your heart for what is real in each page. The seeds of new beginnings are hidden everywhere; in the words, in the drawings and in you. Growth takes time and patience to nurture into fullness. Risk letting go and re-discover your own magic. The gift of choice is yours. Will you choose to live fully and to Grow Deep Not Just Tall? The Tree patiently awaits your decision.

I was doing some research for a book that I'm currently working on and was drawn to this little book again for guidance and wisdom. I encourage you to take a little time and discover it for yourself.

You can find Ms. Clark's website at http://www.karenkaiserclark.com/. There you can learn more about her and her wonderful books

Little girl on swing | Free Pictures

Remember, what you focus on you get more of. 
Good or bad, if you focus on it, if you dwell on it, you are assured that you will get more of it.  It is a fact.  An ancient Chinese proverb says, "If we don't change our direction, we are likely to end up where we are headed."  How many times have you said to your children, "Don't do that" only to turn around and find out they did it anyway.  It's like waving a red flag in front of them.  Once you say those words, it becomes a challenge. 

There are times, for safety reasons, that we must protect our children, but I would suggest to you that there are other times when the lesson may be better learned by letting the child do as they please and then live with the consequence of that choice.  Let me say it again, I am NOT encouraging you to let your child play in the street or with fire or anything else that may cause serious bodily or emotional harm.  What I am suggesting is that for those little life lessons we all must learn, children (and adults) learn better by making their own choices.  Having to deal with the consequences of our choices, good and bad, brings the lesson home in ways that we, as parents providing loving guidance, cannot.   

Another point is that we all learn more from our mistakes than from our successes.  Think about it.  Some of life's greatest lessons came to you from the mistakes that you made.  When asked about the many, many times he failed before Thomas Edison successfully created the light bulb he said, "I didn't fail.  I now know 10,000 ways NOT to make a light bulb."  I would submit that there are no failures, only life lessons learned.  And if we don't learn the lesson this time, it will come up again...and again...until we get it.

It is just as easy to find the good things your child does, as it is to find the bad ones.  Also keep in mind, it takes seven positive statements to undo one negative.  Stop and listen to what you are saying to your child.  It really does make a difference, to them and to you.

Do you tend to encourage or discourage yourself?  Remember, how you treat yourself is how you will treat children.  If you change how you treat yourself, you will naturally change how you treat your children.

Remember that praise is not the same as encouragement.  Praise is about placing a judgment on someone else.  Encouragement is about accepting people for who they are.  It is never good to judge another.  Remember, when you judge someone, you are really saying something about yourself.  Encouragement accepts the other person and acknowledges their efforts whether the result was good or bad.  

No one can make you angry without your permission.  Become aware of your own thoughts and feelings. 
  • Focus on what you want, instead of what you don't want. 
  • Celebrate the successes.
  • See the situation from the other person's perspective.
  • Teach/show the other person what it is you need.

I've never subscribed to the adage
That "a child should be seen and not heard."
I have always admired the curious mind
And have welcomed the questioning word.

I think I'm a liberal parent,
One who'd never be labeled a prude.
But my child just discovered a four-letter word,
And it has me a trifle unglued.

I face now a trying dilemma:
To ignore or acknowledge this find.
Though I've always encouraged more picturesque speech,
I had something less graphic in mind.
                                                  Roy Battocchio


Please check out this YouTube video on Awesomommy.  Far too many young people are being labeled with psychiatric terms, prescribed medication, removed from their peers, and forever changed because of this practice.

Teenage as a Second Language:  A Parent’s Guide to Becoming Bilingual, by psychologists Dr. Jennifer A. Powell-Lunder and Dr. Barbara R. Greenberg. Here are some definitions-- and suggested responses from the authors -- that every parent should know.

1. ) "Whatever"
•An expression that implies that a teen may give in but is not really interested in what is being said

•An attempt to be dismissive in as few words as possible.
Suggested Parental Response: Leave this alone. Do not let your own concern that your teen may be less than thrilled create an unnecessary controversy.

2.) "And, yeah..."
•A phrase often used just as a teen is getting to the main point of a story.

•This phrase serves to deflate or minimize the importance of the main point of the story especially when a teen is unsure of how the story will be received.
Suggested Parental Response: This is an opportunity to respond in an interested and neutral manner. “I am interested in the rest of the story if you feel like telling me now or later.”

3.) "Fine"
•I will reluctantly consent, but not with pleasure.

•An intentionally vague description used when teenager clearly has no interest in providing further detail.
Suggested Parental Response: None needed. You have made your wishes known.

4.) "I hate you"
•An expression used to convey anger at the moment.

•An expression meant for 'shock value' in an effort to secure 'alone time.'/ A last ditch effort to get you to give in.
Suggested Parental Response: "I'm sorry you're upset, but that isn't going to change my answer."

5) "Thanks" or "Thanks a lot"
•When said sarcastically, a simple expression of anger and/or disappointment.
Suggested Parental Response: “Sorry, when you’re ready to talk to me maybe we can come up with some other fun things to do.” In all cases, avoid responding sarcastically. (Of course, if they genuinely thank you for something, make sure you acknowledge the good manners as well!)

Remember, the authors say it's critical to remain responsive, not reactive. Think cool, calm, and collected. Your teens will not only hear what you are trying to say, but you teach them the most productive way to approach all life situations. Also, avoid the trap of asking too many questions. Don't push. If they're holding back, let them disclose information at their own pace. When opening a dialogue, pointed questions result in more expansive responses. (e.g. Ask: “Tell me one thing you learned in school today,” instead of “How was school today?”)

"The tools and techniques we offer in the book have been shaped through trial and error in our own direct clinical work," says Powell-Lunder. "While we put the information we gathered into book form, it was the teens who let us into their lives that we feel we must credit. Our work with them and their families compelled us to write the book."

Of course, it may take some trial and error for parents, too. After all, it's not always easy to put up with the eye-rolling and "whatevers". Their advice? Remember it's not personal, even though, at times, it may feel that way.

"Teens are, by nature, egocentric. They assume that the whole world is watching them and that everything they think and feel is unique to them. Your perception of your teen should take these factors into account," she says. "If their responses frustrate or anger you, calmly explain why. Anger begets anger. It is not what you say to your teen but how you say it that can make all the difference."

More advice from our little friends on guidance and independence (from always kiss me good night:  Instructions on Raising the Perfect Parent by 147 kids who know, compiled by J.S. Salt):

Vivi, age 11 years old says:  "Take me somewhere special once in a while, by myself, without my sister."  As the oldest of four children, I think the only time I ever got to do something by myself with one or both parents was before the others came along or the doctor's office.  Now, I was young A LONG TIME AGO, but I remember wishing for just a little time alone with the adults in my life.  No doubt, that's why Grandma's house was so special! 

We all need to know that we are important to the people closest to us.  We need to know that we're not lost in the shuffle of day-to-day life.  I have a friend who has Saturday morning breakfast with his daughter every week, without fail, just the two of them.  It's always at McDonald's so it's not a big drain on the pocketbook, but it's time well spent showing his daughter just how important she is to him.

Laura says:  "Let the house be peaceful."  Out of the mouths of babes!  Sometimes our homes become just the place where we stop long enough to sleep a little bit and prepare for the next day.  I would suggest that our houses, our homes, are meant to be our refuge from the rest of the world.  They are the places wherein we can rejuvenate ourselves and each other; to be "filled up again" to face the world.  If our houses are not filled with peace, then where do we find that calming spirit?  I'll never forget coming home in the evening.  Supper (we had supper, not dinner--that was at noon) was ALWAYS at 6:00 P.M.  We were all there, together.  After supper was homework and television--together!  We only had one tv so we had to watch what we could agree on--or what our parents said we would watch.  It was peaceful, it was relaxing, it was safe!  Children need to know that "all is right with the world," their world.  We, as their parents, create that peaceful, safety net for them.

Frank, age 10, says, "Sometimes can you play with me instead of saying no?"  When was the last time you stopped what you were doing and gave 100% of yourself to your child?  Nothing says "I love you" more than your undivided attention.  It doesn't have to be for long periods of time.  Just give a little bit of your whole self to your child and you might find that you enjoy it so much you want to do it more often!  You both win here!  He'll be happy and confident in your love and you'll feel great about the relationship you're building with your child!  Super!

Ryan, age 10, says, "I love it when I'm considered as a wonderful kid."  Does your child know that he is wonderful?  How does he/she know it if you don't tell them through your words and actions?  It doesn't take long...only a few minutes of your time each day, but what a difference it will make in your child's life!  Just think about that someone in your own life who made you feel special or important.  Remember that feeling!  Now give that gift to your own child.

Jeanette, age 10 years old, says, "Keep your promises better."  Are you listening, people?!
We adults sometimes forget that when we tell our children that we will do something or that we'll make something happen, it is imperative that we do it.  Our children learn by our example:
  • Almost 90% of what children learn comes from observing their parents
  • Only 10% of what children learn comes from what we tell them with our words
So, if we want our children to learn to keep their word, the value of integrity and honor, we have to lead by example.  It's not possible 100% of the time to keep promises, we know that.  But it's important to take a look and ask ourselves, "Is it a priority of mine, to be sure to keep my promises to my kids?"  Jeanette, and most other kids, will tell you that it had better be!

Credit: Free images from acobox.com

Amanda, age 10, says, "tell me what I did Right."  Wow!  There's some good advice!  As parents and teachers (adults in general) we oftentimes forget what it's like to be young.  We assume that children/youth know how to do things and don't think about the fact that MAYBE they don't know and are afraid to ask us.  Then we become upset with them because they don't do what we asked or intended.  We get caught in this loop of finding fault, instead of seeing what they did right or well.  Did you know that it takes 7 positive statements to undo 1 negative?

So the next time you catch yourself telling your child or young person what they did wrong, ask yourself, "How many "rights" have I told them about today?"  It's just as easy to catch the good stuff as it is the bad.
Thanks, Amanda, for the reminder!

I Am A Teacher
I am a teacher. I have been teaching in some way for 35 years.  I have taught very young children, I have taught middle school and high school age young folks, and I have taught adults.  I have taught all subjects.  I have taught one subject.  I LOVE teaching, but more than that, I LOVE learning.  Here's a list of some things I've learned from the youngest students over the years:
  1. "Encourage me" 
  2. "Have convdents in me" 
  3. "Listen to me when I am talking" 
  4. "When I'm down, raise me up" 
  5. "Love me like you've never loved anyone before"
  6. "Keep your promises better"
  7. "Snugel me up in your arms"
  8. "Love me for what I am"
  9. "Treat me like you treat your customers"
  10. "Say "I love you," once in a while, not just when I'm leaving for school"
OK.  These really came from the book "always kiss me good night by 147 kids who know," compiled by J.S. Salt, but they are feelings I have heard many, many times over from the children and young people I have worked with.       

 Just something to think about today.

No comments: