Wednesday, May 24, 2017

“Wisdom begins in wonder.” - Socrates

From “The Human Condition: A User’s Manual” by Arnold Kunst
I take great delight in the free expressions of my children as they unfold - life-long blossoms exhibiting ever-new wonders, each a universe as multifarious and beautiful as any external universe they grace with their wondering attention. Innocent, thorough, simple - each of them a god, as Emerson says somewhere, playing the fool.

“Forgiveness is giving up the idea of a better past.” – Ricardo Ferrari

From “Lincoln 365,” by Arnold Kunst:
May 24
'I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice.'
- Abraham Lincoln

'Not to forgive is to be imprisoned by the past, by old grievances that do not permit life to proceed with new business. Not to forgive is to be locked into a sequence of act and response, of outrage and revenge, tit for tat, escalating always. The present is endlessly overwhelmed and devoured by the past.'
- Lance Morrow

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

“As long as you’re learning you’re not old.” - Anonymous

From “The Human Condition: A User’s Manual” by Arnold Kunst
You and I are meant to adjust to new demands/choices/opportunities with the pliability of a goalie in a soccer match, tingling with all the excitement of life itself, darting at a milli-second’s notice to avert a goal.

“Life is tough, but it’s tougher when you’re stupid.” – Anonymous

From “Lincoln 365,” by Arnold Kunst:
May 23
The following editorial appeared in The Atlanta Confederacy just before the election of 1860, just before what looked like the formation of a thing called the Confederate States of America; 'let the consequences be what they may - whether the Potomac is crimsoned in human gore, and Pennsylvania Avenue is paved ten fathoms deep with mangled bodies, or whether the last vestige of liberty is swept from the face of the American continent, the South will never submit to such humiliation and degradation as the inauguration of Abraham Lincoln.'

'Every absurdity has a champion to defend it, for error is always talkative.'
- Oliver Goldsmith

Monday, May 22, 2017

Let me at 'em!

From “The Human Condition: A User’s Manual” by Arnold Kunst
In 20, 30, 50 years the bloom of youth will have more than faded. There will be parts of my anatomy which, however firm now, will be sagging then. When I lift my arm off the table the part in the middle will leave last. My face may look like a prune, my thighs like congealed cottage cheese. Despite all that, I intend to emulate the playwright Samuel Beckett who said he wouldn't shed the ailments of old age for the vigor of youth even if he could - "not with the fire in me now."

Honesty is the best policy.

From “Lincoln 365,” by Arnold Kunst:
May 22
Lincoln advised a young man about becoming a lawyer that he 'resolve to be honest at all events; and if in your own judgment you cannot be an honest lawyer resolve to be honest without being a lawyer.'

'A horse of good breeding is not dishonored by his saddle.'
- Anonymous

Sunday, May 21, 2017

"Living vicariously is as silly as eating vicariously." - Arnold Kunst

From “The Human Condition: A User’s Manual” by Arnold Kunst
I do not believe in vicarious living.

“Fate loves the fearless.” - Anonymous

From “Lincoln 365,” by Arnold Kunst:
May 21
'...and that government of the people by the people for the people shall not perish from the earth.'
- Abraham Lincoln

‘The fishermen know the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore.’
- Vincent van Gough

Saturday, May 20, 2017

“Do or do not; there is no try.” - Yhoda

From “The Human Condition: A User’s Manual” by Arnold Kunst
Heaven isn't made of plastic, $1.98 at Wal-Mart. The good news is, it's free for the taking. The bad news is, we've got to be prepared to take hell first, for it's only yours once you're prepared to gird your loins and storm the battlements.

“Beware the half truth; you may have siezed the wrong half.” - Anonymous

From “Lincoln 365,” by Arnold Kunst:
May 20
'I am a patient man - always willing to forgive on the Christian terms of repentance; and also to give ample time for repentance. Still I must save this government if possible.'
- Abraham Lincoln

‘Beware the fury of a patient man.’
- Publius Syrus

Friday, May 19, 2017

“The job of an educator is to teach students to see the vitality in themselves.” – Joseph Campbell

From “The Human Condition: A User’s Manual” by Arnold Kunst
I am called upon to jettison small-mindedness.

“The very ink with which history ios written is merely fluid prejudice.” – Mark Twain

From “Lincoln 365,” by Arnold Kunst:
May 19
During the 40 years from 1880 to 1920 roughly 4,000 former slaves or children of former slaves were lynched in the United States, most of them in the South.

'Better than a thousand hollow words is one word that brings peace.'
- Buddha

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Thank more, receive more.

From “The Human Condition: A User’s Manual” by Arnold Kunst
Everything that is has at its disposal more than enough of everything it needs to reach its full potential, and then some. Such is the perceptible echo of an abundantly generous, loving God.

Teamwork: divide the task, multiply the success.

From “Lincoln 365,” by Arnold Kunst:
  May 18 When Grant was appointed head of all 860,000 Union troops in 1864, he devised a plan to attack all Confederate forces simultaneously: the Army of the Potomac would attack Lee in Virginia without let-up; Sherman would slash eastward through Georgia to the sea; Banks would attack northward through Mobile joining with Sherman in the Deep South. Lincoln had finally found his man, someone to execute a strategy he knew could not fail. Happily he observed, ‘those not skinning can hold a leg.’   ‘There is no “I” in “teamwork.”’ - Anonymous  

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

“Fear has its uses but cowardice has none.” – Mahatma Gandhi

From “The Human Condition: A User’s Manual” by Arnold Kunst
Don't kid yourself: if this year is a carbon copy of last year, you're dying by inches.

"'Impossible' is 'I'm possible' in disguise." - Arnold Kunst

From “Lincoln 365,” by Arnold Kunst:
May 17
Blacks in colonial America were far more influential than is commonly supposed. According to Lincoln, in five of the original thirteen states – Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey and North Carolina - free Negroes had the right to vote. They undoubtedly played a part in the ratification of the Constitution and certainly were included in the preamble 'we the people.'

‘Your progress is guaranteed insofar as you start out with, and continue to maintain, a clear view of the obstacles.'
- Arnold Kunst

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

I will honor Christmas in my heart and try to keep it all the year.” - Ebenezer Scrooge

From “The Human Condition: A User’s Manual” by Arnold Kunst
Don't go goofy on Keeping Track Of The Bottom Line. There's the story of Pooh Bear counting his pots of honey. "Thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, six-" and all of a sudden Rabbit bursts in upon him and distracts him. Pooh, of course, says, "Oh bother, now I'll have to start counting all over again!" And Rabbit replies, with more wisdom than he probably realizes, "If it's that important, call it twenty; what difference does it make?" What difference, indeed?! That's the real bottom line. After all, life is meant to be lived, not calibrated.

Self-control ultimately leads to emotional detachment and to peace of mind.

From “Lincoln 365,” by Arnold Kunst:
May 16
'I have borne a laborious and in some respects to myself, painful part in the contest. Through all I have neither assailed nor wrestled with any part of the Constitution.'
- Abraham Lincoln

'There's no substitute for the person with a properly formed sense of values.'
- Anonymous

Monday, May 15, 2017

“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” –John C. Maxwell

 From “The Human Condition: A User’s Manual” by Arnold Kunst
Don’t ever underestimate the power and breadth of your leading. Whether you like it or not, whether you realize it or not, you’re being watched – pretty much from all sides, pretty much at all times. Maybe with the unparalleled unobtrusiveness and uncanny accuracy of an oh, so quiet child who drinks in what his idol of a father/sister/uncle/mother is, filtering out the froth of what he/she says. Just like you did when you were a kid.  Let’s assume you believe in the primacy of Scripture: trust me,they may well read Scripture in no other place but in the person you are.

“Humility is not thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less.” –C. S. Lewis

From “Lincoln 365,” by Arnold Kunst:
May 15
'When southern people tell us they are no more responsible for the origin of slavery than we, I acknowledge the fact. When it is said that the institution exists and that it is very difficult to get rid of it in any satisfactory way, I can understand and appreciate the saying. I surely will not blame them for not doing what I should not know how to do myself.'
- Abraham Lincoln

‘Grow comfortable with the phrase, “I could be wrong, but...” Your elbow won’t fall off.’
- Arnold Kunst

Sunday, May 14, 2017

“The path to success is to take massive, determined action.” – Tony Robbins

From “The Human Condition: A User’s Manual” by Arnold Kunst
The miracle of moving some mountain always must begin with an aggressive decision to move the mountain. And no matter how immense the mountain to be moved, no matter how dramatic its ultimate movement, the real miracle is in that initial decision, for if a man can move himself, there is no other miracle more miraculous.

“If you can’t be positive, then at least be quiet.” [Joel Osteen]

From “Lincoln 365,” by Arnold Kunst:
May 14
'I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for that day.'
- Abraham Lincoln

‘All human wisdom is summed up in two words – “wait” and “hope.”’
- Alexandre Dumas

"At my age 'getting lucky' means finding my car in the parking lot." [Anonymous]

"At my age 'getting lucky' means finding my car in the parking lot." [Anonymous]From “Lincoln 365,” by Arnold Kunst:
May 13
'I am a success today because I had a friend who believed in me and I didn't have the heart to let him down.'
- Abraham Lincoln

‘An honest man is always a child.’
- Socrates

Friday, May 12, 2017

“The opposite of depression is not happiness but vitality.” [Andrew Solomon]

“The opposite of depression is not happiness but vitality.” [Andrew Solomon]
From “The Human Condition: A User’s Manual” by Arnold Kunst
The loser goes at life like someone poking the thing with a stick to see if it’s really alive.
The winner goes at life like there’s no tomorrow.

You and I should get aq eulogy like this when WE die!

From “Lincoln 365,” by Arnold Kunst:
May 12
Horace Greeley, the editor of the New York Tribune, had on many occasions attacked the Lincoln administration for any number of reasons. But on Lincoln's death he wrote arguably the most prescient obituary of Abraham Lincoln ever penned, one that any of us might justifiably long for: 'He was not a born king of men but a child of the common people who made himself a great persuader, therefore a leader, by dint of firm resolve, patient effort, and dogged perseverance. He slowly won his way to eminence and fame by doing the work that lay next to him - doing it with all his growing might - doing it as well as he could, and learning by his failure, when failure was encountered, how to do it better. He was open to all impressions and influences and gladly profited by the teaching of events and circumstances, no matter how adverse or unwelcome. There was probably no year of his life when he was not a wiser, cooler, and better man than he had been the year proceeding.'

'You have been called to greatness. Honoring the dictates of that greatness will require years of dedication, long hard work, probably jealousy and misunderstanding, maybe even active hostility. But that's what you were built for. You can, of course, turn your back on that same destiny, but be warned: you do so at your own peril.'
- Arnold Kunst

Thursday, May 11, 2017

“A society that has more justice is a society that needs less charity.” [Ralph Nader]

From “Lincoln 365,” by Arnold Kunst:
May 11
In January 1835 Lincoln’s business partner died 'on short notice' leaving him responsible for their joint obligations to a total of $1,100, an enormous sum for those days. Lincoln called it the National Debt, and rather than declare bankruptcy he took 10 years to clear that debt.

'One acid, infallible test of your maturity is your ability to hold necessary tension until the circumstances are ripe for the release of that tension.'
- Arnold Kunst

“Your character is who you are; your reputation is who people think you are.” [Anonymous]

From “Lincoln 365,” by Arnold Kunst:
May 10
'We should be too big to take offense and too noble to give it.' 
- Abraham Lincoln
'Anger is rage gone wrong. Rage gone right is the building block of all individual and social accomplishment. It is the dynamo at the very core of civilization.' 
- Arnold Kunst

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

“The final forming of a person’s character lies in their own hands.” [Anne Frank]

From “The Human Condition: A User’s Manual” by Arnold Kunst
I don’t begin life as a man of convictions. I begin like a frisky puppy bumping into a series of hunches which I play with, which I try on for size. Some get discarded rather early. [No, I’m NOT going to become an astronaut – what’s next?] After I’ve worn one or another of the hunches long enough, they become habits. And when life requires, as life invariably will, I will choose to pay the price for a select few of them, maybe even a terrible price. And in the process I will become a man of convictions.

“A sense of humor is just common sense dancing.” [William James]

From “Lincoln 365,” by Arnold Kunst:
May 9
When Lincoln ran for congress in 1846 his Democratic opponent was a fire-and-brimstone preacher named Peter Cartwright. The story goes that during the course of the campaign Lincoln went to one of Cartwright's services. At one point during the service Preacher Cartwright asked that all who desired to give their lives to God and go to heaven should stand. Of course everyone stood up. Except Lincoln. He then asked those who did not wish to go to hell to stand. At this point everyone stood up. Except Lincoln. Cartwright of course was sensitive to the fact that Lincoln was in the congregation. He then pointedly asked, ‘Mr. Lincoln, if you didn't stand in answer to either question where exactly do you intend to go?’ Lincoln replied: ‘I came here as a respectful listener. I did not know that I was to be singled out by Brother Cartwright. I believe in treating religious matters with due solemnity. I admit that the questions propounded by Brother Cartwright are of great importance. I did not feel called upon to answer as the rest did. Brother Cartwright asks me directly where I am going. I desire to reply with equal directness. I am going to Congress.’
'Life is a festival only to the wise. Seen from the nook and chimney side of prudence it wears a ragged and dangerous front.' 
- Ralph Waldo Emerson