Neat Thoughts Page

- The author is indicated when known -

If you've been laid off, this is why...
- author unknown


The Marketing Departments of two rival American and Japanese Companies decided to hold a boat race. Both teams practiced hard and long to reach their peak performance levels until both teams felt they were ready to demonstrate their prowess.

The big day arrived, and the Japanese won by a mile. The American team was discouraged by the loss. Morale sagged. Corporate management decided that the reason for the crushing defeat had to be found, so they hired a consultant to investigate the problem and recommend corrective action.

The consultant's finding: The Japanese team had eight people rowing and one person steering; the American team had one person rowing and eight people steering. After a year of additional study and millions spent analyzing the problem, the consultant firm concluded that too many people were steering and not enough people were rowing on the American team.

So as race day neared again the following year, the American team's management structure was completely reorganized. The new structure: four steering managers, three area steering managers, and a new performance review system for the person rowing the boat to provide work incentive.

Again the big day dawned, the race began, and the Japanese team won by TWO miles. Humiliated, the American corporation laid off the rower for poor performance and gave the managers a bonus for discovering the problem.

21 Things to Remember
- author unknown


1.  No one can ruin your day without YOUR permission.
2.  Most people will be about as happy as they decide to be.
3.  Others can stop you temporarily, but only you can do it permanently.

4.  Whatever you are willing to put up with, is exactly what you will have.
5.  Success stops when you do.
6.  When your ship comes in...make sure you are willing to unload it.

7.  You will never "have it all together."
8.  Life is a journey...not a destination.  Enjoy the trip!
9.  The biggest lie on the planet: "When I get what I want, I will be happy."

10. The best way to escape your problem is to solve it.
11. I've learned that ultimately, 'takers' lose and 'givers' win.
12. Life's precious moments don't have value, unless they're shared.

13.  If you don't start, it's certain you won't arrive.
14.  We often fear the thing we want the most.
15.  He or she who laughs....lasts!

16.   Yesterday was the deadline for all complaints.
17.   Look for opportunities...not guarantees.
18.   Life is what's coming...not what was.

19.   Success is getting up one more time.
20.   Now is the most interesting time of all.
21.   When things go wrong...don't go with them.

Creator's Message To Woman...
- author unknown


When I created the heavens and the Earth,
I spoke them into being.

When I created man, I formed him and breathed life into his nostrils.
But you, woman, I fashioned after I breathed the breath of life
into man because your nostrils are too delicate.

I allowed a deep sleep to come over him
so I could patiently and perfectly fashion you.
Man was put to sleep so that he could not interfere with the creativity.

From one bone I fashioned you.
I chose the bone that protects man's life.
I chose the rib, which protects his heart and lungs
and supports him, as you are meant to do.

Around this one bone I shaped you.
I modeled you. I created you perfectly and beautifully.
Your characteristics are as the rib,
strong yet delicate and fragile.

You provide protection for the most delicate organ in man, his heart.
His heart is the center of his being; his lungs hold the breath of life.
The rib cage will allow itself to be broken before it will allow damage
to the heart.

Support man as the rib cage supports the body.
You were not taken from his feet, to be under him,
nor were you taken from his head, to be above him.
You were taken from his side, to stand beside him
and be held close to his side.

You are my perfect angel. You are my beautiful little girl.
You have grown to be a splendid woman of excellence,
and my eyes fill when I see the virtues in your heart.

Your eyes - don't change them.
Your lips - how lovely when they part in prayer.
Your nose, so perfect in form, your hands so gentle to touch.

I've caressed your face in your deepest sleep;
I've held your heart close to mine.
Of all that lives and breathes, you are the most like me.

Adam walked with me in the cool of the day and yet he was lonely.
He could not see me or touch me. He could only feel me.
So everything I wanted Adam to share and experience with me,
I fashioned in you: my holiness, my strength,
my purity, my love, my protection and support.

You are special because you are the extension of me.
Man represents my image - woman, my emotions.
Together, you represent the totality of God.

So man - treat woman well.
Love her, respect her, for she is fragile.
In hurting her, you hurt me.

What you do to her, you do to me.  
In crushing her, you only damage your own heart,
the heart of your Father, and the heart of her Father.

Woman, support man.

In humility, show him the power of emotion I have given you.
In gentle quietness show your strength.
In love, show him that you are the rib that protects his inner self.

If You Stand Very Still
- author unknown


If you stand very still in the heart of the woods,
you will hear many wonderful things
the snap of a twig and the wind in the trees
and whir of invisible wings,

If you stand very still in the turmoil of life and
wait for the voice from within
 you will be led down the quiet pathways of wisdom and peace
in a mad world of chaos and din.

If you stand very still and hold to your faith
you will get all the help that you ask.
You will draw from the silence the things that you need
 hope and courage and strength for your task.

Cherished Friend
- author unknown


When my life is filled with confusion,
you help me see what is important.
When each problem seems so overwhelming,
you are there to help share the load.
When I think of the word friend,
I think of you.
Cherished Friend

God must have known there would be times
We'd need a word of cheer
Someone to praise a triumph
Or brush away a tear.

He must have known we'd need to share
The joy of "little things"
In order to appreciate
The happiness life brings.

I think he knew our troubled hearts
Would sometimes throb with pain
At trials and misfortunes
Or some goals we can't attain.

He knew we'd need the comfort
Of an understanding heart
To give us strength and courage
To make a fresh, new start.

He knew we'd need companionship
And so God answered the heart's great need
With a Cherished you.

(From someone's web page, called "Cherished Friend")

Hard to Believe A Scant 100 Years Ago...
- author unknown


The average life expectancy in the United States was forty-seven.
Only 14 percent of the homes in the United States had a bathtub.
Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone.
A three minute call from Denver to New York City cost eleven dollars.
There were only 8,000 cars in the US and only 144 miles of paved roads.
The maximum speed limit in most cities was ten mph.

Alabama, Mississippi, Iowa, and Tennessee were each more heavily populated than California. With a mere 1.4 million residents, California was only the twenty-first most populous state in the Union.
The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower.
The average wage in the U.S. was twenty-two cents an hour.
The average U.S. worker made between $200 and $400 per year.
A competent accountant could expect to earn $2000 per year,
a dentist $2500 per year, a veterinarian between $1500 and $4000 per year,
and a mechanical engineer about $5000 per year.
More than 95 percent of all births in the United States took place at home.
Ninety percent of all U.S. physicians had no college education. Instead, they attended medical schools, many of which were condemned in the press and by the government as "substandard."
Sugar cost four cents a pound.  Eggs were fourteen cents a dozen.
Coffee cost fifteen cents a pound.
Most women only washed their hair once a month
and used borax or egg yolks for shampoo.
Canada passed a law prohibiting poor people from entering the country
for any reason, either as travelers or immigrants.
The five leading causes of death in the U.S.  were:
  1.  Pneumonia and influenza
  2.  Tuberculosis
  3.  Diarrhea
  4.  Heart disease
  5.  Stroke

The American flag had 45 stars.  Arizona, Oklahoma, New Mexico,
Hawaii, and Alaska hadn't been admitted to the Union yet.
Drive-by-shootings -- in which teenage boys galloped down the street on horses and started randomly shooting at houses, carriages, or anything else that caught their fancy -- were an ongoing problem in Denver and other cities in the West.
The population of Las Vegas, Nevada was thirty.  The remote desert community was inhabited by only a handful of ranchers and their families.
Plutonium, insulin, and antibiotics hadn't been discovered yet. Scotch tape, crossword puzzles, canned beer, and iced tea hadn't been invented.
There was no Mother's Day or Father's Day.
One in ten U.S. adults couldn't read or write.  Only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from high school.
Some medical authorities warned that professional seamstresses were apt to become sexually aroused by the steady rhythm, hour after hour, of the sewing machine's foot pedals.  They recommended slipping bromide -- which was thought to diminish sexual desire -- into the woman's drinking water.
Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at corner drugstores.  According to one pharmacist, "Heroin clears the complexion, gives buoyancy to the mind, regulates the stomach and the bowels, and is, in fact, a perfect guardian of health.
Coca-Cola contained cocaine instead of caffeine.
Punch card data processing had recently been developed, and early predecessors of the modern computer were used for the first time by the government to help compile the 1900 census.
Eighteen percent of households in the United States had at least one full-time servant or domestic.
There were about 230 reported murders in the U.S. annually.

The Village Blacksmith
By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Under a spreading chestnut-tree The village smithy stands;
the smith, a mighty man is he, With large and sinewy hands;

And the muscles of his brawny arms Are strong as iron bands.
His hair is crisp, and black, and long. his face is like the tan;

His brow is wet with honest sweat, He earns whate'er he can,
And looks the whole world in the face, For he owes not any man.
Week in , week out, from morn till night. You can hear his bellows blow;

You can hear him swing his heavy sledge With measured beat and slow,
Like a sexton ringing the village bell, When the evening sun is low.
And children coming home from school. Look in at the open door;

They love to see the flaming forge, And hear the bellows roar,
And catch the burning sparks that fly Like chaff from a threshing floor,
He goes on Sunday to the church, And sits among his boys;

He hears the parson pray and preach, He hears his daughter's voice,
Singing in the village choir, And it makes his heart rejoice.
It sounds to him like her mother's voice, Singing in Paradise!
He needs must think of her once more, How in the grave she lies;

And with his hard, rough hand he wipes A tear out of his eyes.
Toiling,-rejoicing, -sorrowing, Onward through life he goes;

Each morning sees some task begin, Each evening sees its close;
Something attempted, something done. Has earned a night's repose.
Thanks, thanks to thee, my worthy friend, For the lesson thou hast taught!

Thus at the flaming forge of life Our fortunes must be wrought;

This Is Very Frightening:
The people who are starting college this fall
across the nation were born in 1980.

- author unknown


They have no meaningful recollection of the Reagan Era and probably did not know he had ever been shot.

They were prepubescent when the Persian Gulf War was waged.  Black
Monday 1987 is as significant to them as the Great Depression.

There has been only one Pope.

They were 11 when the Soviet Union broke apart and do not remember the Cold War.

They have never feared a nuclear war.

They are too young to remember the space shuttle blowing up.

Tianamen Square means nothing to them.

Their lifetime has always included AIDS.

Bottle caps have always been screw off and plastic.

Atari predates them, as do vinyl albums.

The expression "you sound like a broken record" means
nothing to them.

They have never owned a record player.

They have likely never played Pac Man and have never
heard of Pong.

They may have never heard of an 8-track.

The Compact Disc was introduced when they were 1 year old.

As far as they know, stamps have always cost about 33 cents.

They have always had an answering machine.

Most have never seen a TV set with only 13 channels,
nor have they seen a black-and-white TV.

They have always had cable.

There has always been VCR's, but they have no idea what BETA is.

They cannot fathom not having a remote control.

They were born the year that Walkmen were introduced by Sony.

Roller-skating has always meant inline for them.

Jay Leno has always been on the Tonight Show.

They have no idea when or why Jordache jeans were cool.

Popcorn has always been cooked in the microwave.

They have never seen Larry Bird play.

They never took a swim and thought about Jaws biting a leg off.

The Vietnam War is as ancient history to them as WWI,
WWII and the Civil War.

They have no idea that Americans were ever held hostage in Iran.

They can't imagine what hard contact lenses are.

They don't know who Mork was or where he was from.

They never heard:
                "Where's the beef"
                         "I'd walk a mile for a Camel"
                                   or ... "de plane, de plane!"

They do not care who shot J.R. and have no idea who J.R. is.

That the Titanic was found. They thought we always knew
where it was.

Michael Jackson has always been white.

Kansas, Chicago, Boston, America, and Alabama are places,
not groups.

McDonald's never came in Styrofoam containers.

There has always been MTV.

They don't have a clue how to use a typewriter.

                 ... Do you feel old yet?

Some Important Lessons Life Teaches You...
- author unknown


1- Most Important Lesson

   During my second month of nursing school, our professor gave us a pop quiz.  I was a conscientious student and had breezed through the questions, until I read the last one:

 "What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?"

   Surely this was some kind of joke.  I had seen the cleaning woman several times.  She was tall, dark-haired and in her 50s, but how would I know her name? I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank. Just before class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our quiz grade. "Absolutely," said the professor. "In your careers, you will meet many people. All are significant. They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say 'hello'.  

"I've never forgotten that lesson.  I also learned her name was Dorothy.

Second Important Lesson -
Pickup in the Rain

   One night, at 11:30 PM, an older African American woman was standing on the side of an Alabama highway trying to endure a lashing rain storm. Her car had broken down and she desperately needed a ride.  Soaking wet, she decided to flag down the next car.  A young white man stopped to help her, generally unheard of in those conflict-filled 1960s.

   The man took her to Safety, helped her get assistance and put her into a taxi cab.  She seemed to be in a big hurry, but wrote down his address and thanked him.  Seven days went by and a knock came on the man's door.  To his surprise, a giant console color TV was delivered to his home.

   A special note was attached.  It read: "Thank you so much for assisting me on the highway the other night.  The rain drenched not only my clothes, but also my spirits. Then you came along.  Because of you, I was able to make it to my dying husband's bedside just before he passed away.  God bless you for helping me and unselfishly serving others."  Sincerely, Mrs.  Nat King Cole

Third Important Lesson -
Always remember those who serve you.

   In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less, a 10 year old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and sat at a table.  A waitress put a glass of
water in front of him.  "How much is an ice cream sundae?" he asked.
"Fifty cents," replied the waitress.  The little boy pulled his hand out of his
pocket and studied the coins in it.  "Well, how much is a plain dish of ice cream?" he inquired.  

   By now more people were waiting for a table and the waitress was growing impatient.  "Thirty-five cents, "she brusquely replied." The little boy again counted his coins.  "I'll have the plain ice cream," he said.  The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on the table and walked away.  The boy finished the ice cream, paid the cashier and left.  When the waitress came back, she began to cry as she wiped down  the table. There placed neatly beside the empty dish, were two nickels and five pennies ... You see, he couldn't have the sundae, because he had to have enough left to leave her a tip.

Fourth Important Lesson -
The Obstacle in Our Path

   In ancient times, a king had a boulder placed on a roadway.  Then he hid himself and watched to see if anyone would remove the huge rock.  Some
of the king's wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply walked around it.  Many loudly blamed the king for not keeping the roads clear. But none did anything about getting the stone out of the way.  

   Then a peasant came along carrying a load of vegetables.  Upon approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to move the stone to the side of the road.  After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded.
After the peasant picked up his load of vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been.  The purse contained many gold coins and a note from the king indicating that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the roadway.  

   The peasant learned what many of us never understand.  Every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve our condition.

Fifth Important Lesson -
Giving When it Counts

   Many years ago, when I worked as a volunteer at a hospital, I got to know a little girl named Liz who was suffering from a rare and serious Disease. Her only chance of recovery appeared to be a blood transfusion from her 5-year old brother, who had miraculously survived the same disease and had developed the antibodies needed to combat the illness.

   The doctor explained the situation to her little brother, and asked the little boy if he would be willing to give his blood to his sister.  I saw him hesitate for only a moment before taking a deep breath and saying, "Yes, I'll do it if it will save her."

   As the transfusion progressed, he lay in bed next to his sister and smiled, as we all did, seeing the color returning to her cheeks.  Then his face grew pale and his smile faded.  He looked up at the doctor and asked with a trembling voice, "Will I start to die right away?"

   Being young, the little boy had misunderstood the doctor; he thought he was going to have to give his sister all of his blood in order to save her. You see understanding and attitude, after all, is everything.


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