The Price of a Miracle

Sally was only eight years old when she heard Mommy and Daddy 
talking about  her little brother, Georgi.  He was very sick 
and they had done everything they could afford to save his life.  
Only a very expensive surgery could help him now and that was 
out of the financial question. She heard Daddy say it with a 
whispered desperation, "Only a miracle can save him now."

Sally went to her bedroom and pulled her piggybank from its 
hiding place in the closet. She shook all the change out on 
the floor and counted it carefully. Three times. The total had 
to be exactly perfect. No chance here for mistakes.

Tying the coins up in a cold-weather-kerchief, she slipped out 
of the apartment and made her way to the corner drug store. 
She waited patiently for the pharmacist to give her attention... 
but he was too busy talking to another man to be bothered by 
an eight-year-old. Sally twisted her feet to make a scuffing 
noise. She cleared her throat. No good. Finally she took a 
quarter from its hiding place and banged it on the glass 
counter. That did it!  

"And what do you want?" the pharmacist asked in an annoyed 
tone of voice. "I'm talking to my brother."  

"Well, I want to talk to you about my brother,"  Sally answered 
back in the same annoyed tone. 
"He's sick . . . and I want to buy a miracle."  

"I beg your pardon," said the pharmacist.  

"My Daddy says only a miracle can save him now . . . so how much 
does a miracle cost?"

"We don't sell miracles here, little girl.  I can't help you."  

"Listen, I have the money to pay for it. Just tell me how 
much it costs."

The well-dressed man stooped down and asked, "What kind of a 
miracle does you brother need?"  

"I don't know," Sally answered.  A tear started down her cheek.  
"I just know he's really sick and Mommy says he needs an 
operation. But my folks can't pay for it . . . so I have my 
money."  

"How much do you have?" asked the well-dressed man.  

"A dollar and eleven cents," Sally answered proudly.  
"And it's all the money I have in the world."

"Well, what a coincidence," smiled the well-dressed man.  
"A dollar and eleven cents . . . the exact price of a miracle 
to save a little brother." 
He took her money in one hand and with the other hand he 
grasped her mitten and said "Take me to where you live.  
I want to see your brother and meet your parents."

That well-dressed man was Dr. Carlton Armstrong, renowned 
surgeon, specializing in solving Georgi's malady. The operation 
was completed, without charge and it wasn't long until Georgi 
was home again and doing well.

Mommy and Daddy were happily talking about the chain of events 
that had led them to this place. "That surgery," Mommy whispered.  
"It's like a miracle. I wonder how much it would have cost?"

Sally smiled to herself.  She knew exactly how much a miracle 
cost... one dollar and eleven cents... plus the faith of a 
little child.

 ~Author Unknown~

12 Quiet Rituals of Enormously Successful Humans

The result of enormous success is often pretty noisy – lots of people talking, writing and sharing stories about it.  The actual process of achieving enormous success, on the other hand, is far more discreet.  But it’s this process that happens quietly, behind-the-scenes, that makes all the difference in the world.

HERE are twelve things the most successful people we know do quietly and diligently.

Achieve Total Fitness

What is Total Fitness? We tend to think of it as hitting the gym and getting that killer workout. Or getting that great morning run in before work. Then add in a healthy eating regimen. Now we’ve arrived, right? Actually, there is much more to leading a totally fit lifestyle. There are four components to a comprehensive approach: physical, mental, social and spiritual. It is the balance of these four that lead to wellness, happiness and productivity.

Physical fitness means leading a healthy lifestyle that includes exercise, rest and nutrition.

“Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.” – John F. Kennedy

Mental fitness requires effective coping skills, a strong self-image and a positive approach to life. People who are mentally fit demonstrate self-control and make good choices.

“There are no dead ends in life, only dead end thinking.” – Orin Woodward

Social fitness means having a strong sense of belonging and connection to the people around you. It’s being able to develop and maintain trusted, valued relationships that are personally fulfilling and provide a safe place to exchange ideas, views and experiences.

“The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.”           – C.G. Jung

Spiritual fitness is about having a sense of purpose and meaning in one’s life. It’s about strengthening the set of beliefs, principles or values that give someone a sense of well-being, hope and the will to keep going.

“Your beliefs become your thoughts, 
Your thoughts become your words, 
Your words become your actions, 
Your actions become your habits, 
Your habits become your values, 
Your values become your destiny.”
– Mahatma Gandhi

Rick, July 2, 2014

Searching for Deeper Water

“I used to sit on the banks with a raft and watch the water roll lazily by. One day I pushed my raft into the shallows of the water and found the water moved swifter than I thought. My raft was actually a boat. Then, after some time, I rowed my little boat into deeper water. There were great storms, mighty winds, tremendous waves, and sometimes I felt so alone. But I have noticed my little rowboat is now a mighty ship manned by my friends and loved ones; and beautiful calm seas, warm sunny days, and nights filled with comfortable dreams always double after a storm. Now, I could never go back and sit on the bank. In fact, I search for deeper water. Such is life when lived.”

B. D. Gulledge

What is Deeper Water?

Over the past several years I have enjoyed posting to my blog On Topic. Each day as I post articles, photos, quotes and reblogs, I try to share my thoughts of the Deeper Water theme portrayed by B.D. Gulledge. Unfortunately, all I have found on how the author defines deeper water is contained within his narrative. Although his quote has been a favorite of mine for the past decade, and has been reposted countless times on the internet and in numerous published works, I’ve never been able to find any biographical information on the author. Perhaps someone reading this will be able to help here?

Your personal interpretation of his theme will ultimately depend on your experiences, core values and passions. As a reasoned optimist at heart I admire Gulledge’s quote. I revisit it constantly in my daily life approach. And here is how I seek deeper water:

  1. Seek Challenges: After 22 years in numerous army assignments, after being a business owner and employee, I still have a passion for new challenges. Whether they be professional or physical, I love them. An old and often quoted english proverb, “A smooth sea never made a skillful sailor,” states it so well. It is the hardships and challenges I have faced and any successes that have come my way that motivate me.
  2. Seek Personal Growth: I know I have to grow everyday to be a better me, a better husband, a better leader. I have to continue to learn through education and being receptive to new concepts, ideas and opinions.
  3. Seek Responsibility: As with every soldier,this was ingrained into my very fiber early in my army career. It applies equally to greater levels of leadership or taking responsibility for my actions and decisions.
  4. Seek Meaning: I like to refer to this as Spiritual FitnessIt is about having a sense of purpose and meaning in my life. It’s about strengthening the set of beliefs, principles or values that give me a sense of well-being, hope and the will to keep going.
  5. Seek Relationships: Gulledge portrayed the importance of relationships so perfectly in his narrative. I want my friends and loved ones to share this voyage with me!
  6. Seek Relaxation: We’re all familiar with the “work hard, play hard” concept. It’s all about a life balance. I am an advocate of a slight modification – work hard, relax hard. After facing my daily challenges and responsibilities, I, like Gulledge, relish …”beautiful calm seas, warm sunny days, and nights filled with comfortable dreams.”

So each day I set a course for my own deeper water. In what direction and where is your ship sailing?