Inspiring Stories of Love, Healing, & Empowerment
Issue Number 34
Welcome to Inspirations! Global Community For All sends out this e-zine filled with short, inspiring stories of love, healing, and empowerment once every three months. We share these wonderfully inspiring stories to encourage and inspire each other to be the best we can be each day of our lives. Thanks for joining us, and may these words inspire us to ever deepen our commitment to love, heal, and empower; to open to divine guidance; and to choose what's best for all.
The four inspiring stories for this issue are:
From Hopelessly Crippled to the World's Fastest Miler – Burt Dubin
Joint Israeli-Palestinian Expedition Conquers Antarctic Mountain – PBS, AP
Grandfather's Wisdom – Author Unknown
Simple Keys to a Fuller Life – Fred Burks
From Hopelessly Crippled to the World's Fastest Miler
– Burt Dubin
http://www.steppingstones.edu.sg/Other Stories/The Power of determination.htm
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!
Note: To verify this amazing true story, see the Glenn Cunningham article on the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame's website at http://www.kshof.org/hof-profiles.cfm?record_id=12 Cunningham was inducted into the National Track and Field Hall of Fame in 1974.
Joint Israeli-Palestinian Expedition Conquers Antarctic Mountain
PBS, Associated Press
Note: Though this news is two years old, it is an inspiring example of the many continuing efforts of courageous, outstanding Israelis and Palestinians to look beyond their differences and work together towards a better world for all of us.
http://www.pbs.org/weta/washingtonweek/voices/200502/0217world0.html - PBS article Feb. 17, 2005
Expedition lecture at Northwestern U. used as tool for Middle East peace
EVANSTON, Ill. — "Having four Palestinians and four Israelis together on a mountain in Antarctica sounds like the beginning of a joke," said Doron Erel in a speech about an expedition promoting peace between the Jewish and Muslim communities. "I guess the punch line is that it was real."
Erel, an Israeli, recounted his Antarctic adventure with four Palestinians and three other Israelis. They climbed a mountain and named it the Mountain of Israeli-Palestinian Friendship. Students for Israel, Muslim-Cultural Students Association, Hillel Cultural Life and the student group Peace of Mind sponsored the hour-long presentation Wednesday. Speaking to about 40 students at Norris University Center, Erel presented slides from the trip as well as the first minutes of a documentary that was filmed during the 40-day trek.
The goal of the expedition was to show that Israelis and Palestinians could work as a team by climbing an unnamed mountain and then pronouncing it as the first step in a journey to end violence in the Middle East.
Despite the participants' efforts to heal religious divisions, political disagreements arose within the group. But in the end, they were able to better see the other side's point of view. During the group's political discussions, members agreed that peace is achievable if people are willing to listen. "We cannot sit and wait for the government to do work for us," Erel said. "Peace can only be made by the people, not the government."
Associated Press article - Jan. 21, 2004
Joint Israeli-Palestinian Expedition Conquers Antarctic Mountain
SANTIAGO, Chile - (AP) -- Eight Palestinians and Israelis on Thursday climbed an unconquered Antarctic mountain to prove that "our people can and deserve to live together in peace and friendship.'' 'We have named it `Mountain of Israeli-Palestinian Friendship,' '' expedition leader Heskel Nathanial said by satellite telephone from the peak of the snow-capped, windy 2,770-foot mountain near the Bruce plateau in Antarctica.
''By reaching its summit, we have proved that Palestinians and Israelis can cooperate with one another with mutual respect and trust,'' Nathaniel said, reading from a statement agreed upon by the four Jews and four Arabs. "Despite the deep differences that exist between us we have shown that we can carry on a sincere and meaningful dialogue," the statement added. "We join together in rejecting the use of violence in the solution of our problems and hereby declare that our people can and deserve to live together in peace and friendship."
The expedition, which includes two women, departed in a rented British yacht on Jan. 1 from Puerto Williams, a Chilean Navy base on the southern shore of the Beagle channel, 2,050 miles south of Santiago. The group reached Antarctica after sailing 600 miles through some of the world's most dangerous waters. Then they trekked for a week on Antarctic soil to the foot of the mountain. Nathaniel said they would remain briefly at the summit and then begin their descent. Two of the Palestinians on the expedition spent time in Israeli prisons -- one for attacking Israeli soldiers and another who was accused of terrorism. Two of the Israelis are former members of an elite commando unit.
Official website for the "Breaking the Ice" journey, including a short video and other inspiring information
Grandfather's Wisdom – Author Unknown
An American Indian grandfather was talking to his beloved grandson about his feelings:
Grandfather: "I have two wolves fighting in my heart.
One wolf is the vengeful, angry, violent one.
The other wolf is the loving, compassionate one."
Grandson: "Which wolf will win the fight in your heart, Grandfather?"
Grandfather: "The one that I feed."
Simple Keys to a Fuller Life–Fred Burks
Note: The below principles were the original inspiration for the formation of Global Community for All
What's Best for All
The Power of Choice. Every one of us makes hundreds of choices every day. Every choice we make has an impact on our lives. Even insignificant choices can affect what we experience and how we feel. When hunger strikes, we can reach for a healthy, nutritious snack, or we can choose the sugar high of junk food. The more important the decision, the more profound its effect. For instance, do I choose to be passive, or do I set clear intentions and create what I want in my life? And how do I act towards that person who treated me badly? Every choice we make, however big or small, affects us in some way.
How Do You Make Choices? If you are interested in living a richer, fuller life, there is a foundation upon which you can base all of your decisions which can make life better not only for you, but also for all around you. This foundation is to choose based on what's best for all of us. Imagine a world where every parent, spouse, friend, teacher, businessperson, and politician truly did their best to choose what's best for all involved in every decision they made. We would certainly live in a much more caring, supportive world.
It's the Intention. "But how do I know what is really best?" you might ask. The answer is simple. It doesn't matter. What matters is not the choice you make, but rather the intention behind your choice. What matters is that whatever decision you make, you are clear in your intention of choosing based on what's best for all. If it later turns out that you made what appears to have been a bad choice, there's no need for guilt. Knowing that you did your best to choose with a sincere desire for what's best for all, your conscience stays clear and open. This then allows you to more easily learn from your mistakes, and to live with a clear heart and mind.
What's Best for Me, Too! Choosing what's best does not mean you have to always sacrifice yourself for others. An overly exhausted mother can lose her temper easily. Some time off for this mother might seem selfish, yet in the long run, it can help her to be a better mother to her children. So as we move through each day of our lives, let us remember to include ourselves as we do our best to choose what's best for all of us.
Many Meanings for Divine. Guidance can come from many sources. Yet by opening to guidance from the divine, we open to the support of powerful forces greater than ourselves. The divine has different meanings for different people, whether it be God, Creator, Jehovah, Allah, or Great Spirit. Yet even if you don't believe in these, consider the possibility that there is a very wise part of yourself—a higher self or a deeper self—which can provide you with guidance. What is important is that we open to this presence, however we choose to define the divine, and that we consciously invite this powerful guidance into our daily lives.
All Requests Only if it's Best. When seeking divine guidance with a specific result, be sure to end with "only if this is what's best for all." There are times when what's best is not what's easiest or most enjoyable. Sometimes unwanted or unexpected challenges, difficult situations, and even pain can teach us important lessons that in the long run help us to enjoy life more fully. When we choose to see all experiences as gifts from the divine and opportunities for growth and understanding, we open to a deeper level of divine guidance.
Acceptance and Understanding
Our Core Essence. Deep down we are all beautiful beings worthy of love and support. The sweet innocence of babies and young children is a clear example of this. Yet for most of us, the shining essence with which we came into this life became obscured over the years as our family and others were unable to give us the kind of unconditional love and support we so craved. As children, when we were repeatedly told that we were not good enough or were punished just for being who we are, thick layers of confusion and doubt developed, clouding our divine essence. Layers of fear and insecurity were woven into our personalities.
The Mask. By the time we are grown, most of us have developed a protective mask or persona to hide these layers of fear and insecurity from others, and at times even from ourselves. Outwardly we might appear happy or content, yet on the inside most of us to varying degrees feel unhappy with who we are. Yet beneath it all, that shining essence is still there. No matter how much we may have forgotten, no matter how thick those overshadowing layers may be, our beautiful core essence is and has always been there.
Accepting and Understanding Myself. By choosing to accept and understand all of who you are—both your deep shining essence and the layers of dark clouds within—you can invite that beautiful inner essence to shine through the clouds and to shine again in your life. When fears, dark thoughts, or difficult emotions arise, first choose to accept that they that they are there. Then work towards understanding these dark clouds and where they came from. Ask for divine guidance as you explore and transform these dark places.
Courage. It takes courage to accept and work to understand our fears and weaknesses. Yet by doing our best to be fully ourselves in all our strengths and weaknesses, our relationships can grow richer, deeper, and more meaningful. This may be challenging, as some people are unable or unwilling to accept certain parts of us. Yet as those around us see us becoming more real and honest with them, they may also be inspired to be more real and honest with us. Thus, instead of continually avoiding or denying those clouds or dark layers in both ourselves and others, we open to a deeper, more authentic way of living and of relating to others.
Accepting and Understanding Others. As you develop greater acceptance and understanding of yourself, you will notice that others, too, have lost touch with their shining core essence. As you work to accept and understand yourself, it is most important that you choose also to give this gift to those around you. Acceptance of what is, coupled with understanding of what we can change and what we cannot, allows us to find the courage to be all that we can be, and to empower others in doing the same.
Love and Empowerment
Let me start with myself. I will do my best to love and empower myself to be the best I can be every day of my life. By making this commitment to yourself, it becomes easier to love and empower those around you. But do you really want to give this gift to all other people? What if you really don't like someone? In this case, you can remind yourself that it is usually a person's personality that you don't like—the mask or dark clouds blocking their deeper essence. Remember that beneath the mask is a shining divine essence. While acknowledging those parts you don't like, do your best to empower the shining being hidden beneath the mask or personality that you don't like. You can choose to love and empower the divine spark within all.
Negative Judgment. Judging someone to be bad as a person does not empower or inspire anyone to be a better person. When you find yourself feeling negative judgment, first acknowledge the part of you that wants to judge—the part that wants to be right or better than others. Then do your best to learn from your judgment and let it go. Open to finding first acceptance, and then understanding and love both for your own divine essence and for that of the person you judged. Choose to let your last thought always be that of love.
Stopping harm. What if someone does something that is clearly wrong, or is causing harm? In this case, be firm and take whatever action you feel is best to stop harm. Enforcing a serious consequence with someone who has acted grossly out of self-interest may be the most loving, empowering action you can take. Yet even as you take action, open to seeing the inner turmoil that causes people to do harm. You can act from a place of love and support, even while firmly stopping someone from doing wrong or causing harm. Through choosing to see beneath all of the pain, suffering, and hatred, and to recognize and connect with the divine essence within even those who would do us harm, not only do we heal the world, we heal ourselves.
Imagine... Imagine for a moment a world where all people truly did their best to love and empower each other. Imagine if a significant number of the people on this planet truly did their best to live by these simple keys. You can choose to become one of those people right now. You can choose to make your life and our world a better place. It is fully possible. There are people of all races, religions, and beliefs around the globe already committed to living by these or similar ideals. Let us then choose with an open mind and heart to add to their numbers. Let us choose every day of our lives to do what's best for all, to open to divine guidance, to accept and understand, and to love and empower ourselves and all around us to be the best that we can be.
For the full, eight-page version of Simple Keys: www.weboflove.org/keystolife
All the darkness of the world cannot put out the light of a single candle.
Thanks for sharing in these inspiring stories with us. We wish you lots of love, inspiration, and all the very best in the months ahead.
www.momentoflove.org - Every person in the world has a heart
www.personalgrowthcourses.net - Dynamic online courses powerfully expand your horizons
www.WantToKnow.info - Reliable, verifiable information on major cover-ups
www.weboflove.org - Strengthening the Web of Love that interconnects us all