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Archive for the ‘Beautiful’ Category

Go ALL in

As I left for work today, I was struck by yet another lesson that my daughter has now taught me. She has just turned two years old and is an absolute terror and an absolute blessing all rolled into one beautiful little girl. Yes, I am biased but I am allowed to be.

She has grasped the concept of daddy going work quite quickly. This week she has had a few days at home with mom and has walked to the car with me to say goodbye.

This morning she walked out and started waving goodbye. When I say she waved – it was possibly the most enthusiastic wave ever! It started as a single handed wave. It finished as double handed full bodied wave. Her entire body was being put into the wave to express her saying goodbye. Very difficult to leave when she is being so cute.

How many times do you do things with the enthusiasm of a child? Unfortunately, you tend to what is necessary and expected of you so you can do something else. So take the lesson from the “little ones” of the world and live entirely and 100% in the now.

Jump in with both feet.

Give a body wobbling double handed wave.

Go ALL in ALL the time.

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Good morning said a woman as she walked up to the man sitting on ground.

The man slowly looked up. This was a woman clearly accustomed to the finer things of life. Her coat was new.. She looked like she had never missed a meal in her life.His first thought was that she wanted to make fun of him, like so many others had done before.. “Leave me alone,” he growled.

To his amazement, the woman continued standing. She was smiling her even white teeth displayed in dazzling rows.
“Are you hungry?” she asked.
“No,” he answered sarcastically.
“I’ve just come from dining with the president. Now go away.”

The woman’s smile became even broader. Suddenly the man felt a gentle hand under his arm.
“What are you doing, lady?” the man asked angrily.
“I said to leave me alone. Just then a policeman came up.
“Is there any problem, ma’am?” he asked.
“No problem here, officer,” the woman answered. “I’m just trying to get this man to his feet. Will you help me?”

The officer scratched his head. “That’s old Jack. He’s been a fixture around here for a couple of years. What do you want with him?”

“See that cafeteria over there?” she asked. “I’m going to get him something to eat and get him out of the cold for awhile.””Are you crazy, lady?” the homeless man resisted.

“I don’t want to go in there!” Then he felt strong hands grab his other arm and lift him up. “Let me go, officer. I didn’t do anything.”

“This is a good deal for you, Jack” the officer answered. “Don’t blow it.
“Finally, and with some difficulty, the woman and the police officer got Jack into the cafeteria and sat him at a table in a remote corner.
It was the middle of the morning, so most of the breakfast crowd had already left and the lunch bunch had not yet arrived.
The manager strode across the cafeteria and stood by his table. “What’s going on here, officer?” he asked. “What is all this, is this man in trouble?”
“This lady brought this man in here to be fed,” the policeman answered.

“Not in here!” the manager replied angrily. “Having a person like that here is bad for business..
“Old Jack smiled a toothless grin. “See, lady. I told you so. Now if you’ll let me go. I didn’t want to come here in the first place.
“The woman turned to the cafeteria manager and smiled.

“Sir, are you familiar with Eddy and Associates, the banking firm down the street?”
“Of course I am,” the manager answered impatiently. “They hold their weekly meetings in one of my banquet rooms.”
“And do you make a godly amount of money providing food at these weekly meetings?”
“What business is that of yours?
“I, sir, am Penelope Eddy, president and CEO of the company.”

“Oh.”

The woman smiled again. “I thought that might make a difference.” She glanced at the cop who was busy stifling a giggle.
“Would you like to join us in a cup of coffee and a meal, officer?”
“No thanks, ma’am,” the officer replied. “I’m on duty.”

“Then, perhaps, a cup of coffee to go?”
“Yes, maam. That would be very nice.
“The cafeteria manager turned on his heel, “I’ll get your coffee for you right away, officer.

“The officer watched him walk away. “You certainly put him in his place,” he said.”That was not my intent. Believe it or not, I have a reason for all this.
“She sat down at the table across from her amazed dinner guest. She stared at him intently..
“Jack, do you remember me?”Old Jack searched her face with his old, rheumy eyes. “I think so, I mean you do look familiar.”

“I’m a little older perhaps,” she said. “Maybe I’ve even filled out more than in my younger days when you worked here, and I came through that very door, cold and hungry.”

“Ma’am?” the officer said questioningly. He couldn’t believe that such a magnificently turned out woman could ever have been hungry.

“I was just out of college,” the woman began. “I had come to the city looking for a job, but I couldn’t find anything. Finally I was down to my last few cents and had been kicked out of my apartment. I walked the streets for days. It was February and I was cold and nearly starving. I saw this place and walked in on the off chance that I could get something to eat.
“Jack lit up with a smile.

“Now I remember,” he said.. “I was behind the serving counter. You came up and asked me if you could work for something to eat. I said that it was against company policy.”

“I know,” the woman continued. “Then you made me the biggest roast beef sandwich that I had ever seen, gave me a cup of coffee, and told me to go over to a corner table and enjoy it. I was afraid that you would get into trouble.

Then, when I looked over and saw you put the price of my food in the cash register, I knew then that everything would be all right.”
“So you started your own business?” Old Jack said.

“I got a job that very afternoon. I worked my way up. Eventually I started my own business that, with the help of God, prospered.” She opened her purse and pulled out a business card.

“When you are finished here, I want you to pay a visit to a Mr. Lyons…He’s the personnel director of my company. I’ll go talk to him now and I’m certain he’ll find something for you to do around the office.”

She smiled. “I think he might even find the funds to give you a little advance so that you can buy some clothes and get a place to live until you get on your feet.
If you ever need anything, my door is always opened to you.
“There were tears in the old man’s eyes. “How can I ever thank you?” he said. “Don’t thank me,” the woman answered. “To God goes the glory. Thank Jesus. He led me to you.

“Outside the cafeteria, the officer and the woman paused at the entrance before going their separate ways.

“Thank you for all your help, officer,” she said.
“On the contrary, Ms. Eddy,” he answered. “Thank you. I saw a miracle today, something that I will never forget.

And..And thank you for the coffee.

LIVE WELL, LOVE MUCH, LAUGH OFTEN

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We never really grow up do we? The difficulties of a child and adults are very similar. They do not get any more difficult and in fact they probably get easier!
What am I talking about?
Currently my daughter is learning to crawl. At first she had no clue how to do it or where to start. As the days went past, she experimented and started to get the basics right. She did face plant a few times but that’s par for the course! I then got a message from my mom to say she is crawling to get things. She now is able to crawl around very basically but the progression is there. The more she praised by the people around her the faster she learns and the more she tries. Those people are also there to catch her as she falls or to pick her up and wipe the tears away (or take her to the hospital).

We are exactly the same just different! Take anything you have started for example. You start out clueless but with a few “face plants” and some time, progress is made and soon we are crawling then walking and finally running.

Make sure you have a good support structure to cheer you on and also to catch you before you face plant!

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I am South African and have lived in Durban, South Africa all my life. I love this country. Whatever you have read about South African history is probably not great and inspiring and I wholly agree. I am fortunate enough to be of an age that did not really feel the full force of the apartheid era and the massive wrong events that occurred.

Having said that, one very important life lesson that living in this country during the post apartheid era, is the fact that every colour of skin is exactly the same. I have grown up in a church that was multi-cultural from before I was born. The upbringing I was taught at church was re-inforced when South Africa started changing in 1992 and officially in 1994. I was able to look at all colours as people and not as a ‘white’ or ‘black’ or ‘indian’ person. This has been instrumental in my life. It is now a way of life to speak to all people everywhere I go and work regardless of pay grade or colour.

This thinking had to be taught to me but is natural in children in this country now. this is an amazing lesson that every person on this planet can learn from. just under 2 year ago, my in-laws maid had a baby girl and a couple days later their first grand child (my niece) arrived. The maid brought the girl to work for the first little bit and they got to know each other a bit. 2 years later, the maid brought her little girl to play and they played for a full day, without question of colour or background or anything. they created havoc and chaos and loved it!

This was also highlighted in an earlier guest post on this blog “A Smile is the same in every language” 

When does colour start to matter to them? Why should it ever matter?

Personally, I think it should never matter. I think you should be valued on who you are as a person and not the colour of your skin or social standing. I am against the promotion of ‘people of colour’ just as much as I am against ‘white’ people being promoted because of their skin. IT IS WRONG! If the person has the credentials then they should get the job.
All people have bigger problems to worry about than the colour of each others skin.

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Over the lat couple of weeks, our lives have changed forever. The arrival of our first child, Makayla, was amazing. It all happen so fast but thats another story. Due to having an emergency C – Section, my wife was in the hospital for 6 days recovering. This was a very tough time for me but I tried to be there as much as possible.

What made the time even tougher was that I got handed a notice of anticipated retrenchment. This obviously made work very difficult. The silver lining to the tough time at work was that with everything that was going on outside work and the fact that I am have a family now, made the tough time at work seem insignificant. All the little things that would normally grate me and make me angry, now were being laughed off as not important.

I am not saying that the problems at work were not important. I was giving 100% at work and always will but, there are now better things to worry about. The order of significance for the problem I face daily, has been completely rearranged forever.

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I woke up this morning with a plan. I would leave home early, taking my wife to work and cycle home from toti (about 40 km of very nice cycling). Before that, I would stop in at the motor licensing place to change ownership of a motor vehicle as well as a stop at my wife’s cousin to discuss an awesome website he is designing. Wow! What a plan for a good day.

Well, someone has got a sense of humour and likes messing with my plans! I woke up this morning to rain and some howling wind. No cycling. I have to say I get grumpy if I plan to exercise and then do not. We head off to toti to take my wife to work and it was a pleasant trip. I dropped Carrie off, had a cup of coffee and headed to the licensing place. The wrong place! Doh! I get to the right place and they are short staffed and cannot serve me because they are doing two jobs. Get helped eventually. Head from there to Brads place – he is not there yet. Doh! Meanwhile, the sun had come out and the wind died down to a breeze. Doh!

My glorious plan for the day down the tubes. Now I am a serious grumpy bum – correct! You must say you would be if your days plan were completely derailed like that. What happened to my mood and attitude today? This where I made a choice. Today’ it was a conscious choice. I had to decide on the path I was going to take. I could take the road of disappointment and anger about how my day being derailed. I could however, make the decision to look for the silver linings and focus on the positives of what actually happens.

The day was actually very fruitful despite some hiccups. Every day and every moment you always have a choice. You may think you do not have a choice but you always do. Sometimes the choice will not be easy though. Life is not always easy and the choices can be difficult. The bottom line here is: you have a choice!

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Ups and downs. Rough patches and awesome experiences. They are all part of life and living. If you do not experience the lows – you could never enjoy the highs. They are called emotions and that is what makes life great.
A recent blog post by a popular sharks rugby supporter, after the Sharks had lost a Super 15

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