“A bell’s not a bell ’til you ring it, a song’s not a song ’til you sing it, love in your heart wasn’t put there to stay, love isn’t love ’til you give it away!”

Oscar Hammerstein ll, lyricist and theatrical producer

There is a bench next to the parking lot at the public library where I’m a frequent visitor. The bench has been there as long as I can remember. From time to time someone will sit on it, no big deal.

That’s the job of a bench at least the way I understand it. But one day, not long ago, the bench I’m talking about turned into magic.

I left the library having accomplished my mission of reading the latest issue of Runner’s World.

As I was getting into my car, I noticed a tiny white box sitting on the bench. When I picked it up and took the lid off, I found a glass heart along with a note that read, “To the lucky person who finds this know that you are loved, appreciated, and important.”

At home I shared the new found treasure with my wife. After keeping it for a night, I decided to add a note of my own and return the gift to the bench where I found it. My hope is whoever found it next felt the same magic I did, added a note of their own, then returned it to the bench for another person to discover. And if this ritual catches on, very soon the tiny box with a heart and a stack of love notes will find it’s way around the world.

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With a little imagination we can all become tiny boxes like the one I found.  As the old adage goes, “Everyone brightens up a room, some by coming in and others by leaving.” You and I clearly have a choice which of these two we want to be. And the good news is it’s not all that complicated to make folks glad they met you. You have a smile, why not use it. And the words please and thank you never go out of style.

Being just a little bit silly can sometimes brighten someone’s day.

Rather than complain to the cashier at the gas station about the price of fuel, I said, “Give me twenty five coconuts on pump number five.” A week later on my next visit I said, “Twenty-five snowballs on number seven, please.” The third time around it was, “Twenty-five Eskimo pies on number two.” And on my last visit I asked for twenty-five pounds of polar bear poop. Now the cashier starts laughing as soon as she sees me.  It’s always good to hear her say,  “Thank you for making my day.” This probably won’t land me in any hall of fame but I bet I’m her favorite customer.

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“Love is the flower you’ve got to let grow.”

John Lennon



“You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don’t try.”

 Beverly Sills, America’s Queen of Opera


“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

I bet when you were a kid someone asked you that question. If you grew up and accomplished your goal to do and be what you wanted, congratulations. If you didn’t, what are you waiting for?

Every clock and every calendar stopped when I was 18 years old. I was in the Marines and far from home. It seemed like I would be stuck there forever. Now I’m 64. My daughter is 40. And I don’t know what happened. After my 21st birthday and my discharge from the Marines the same clock and calendar that moved like a snail took off like a rocket.

Someone said, “Life is like a roll of toilet paper, the closer you get to the end the faster it goes.”

I heard about a man who came home from work and found the little boy from next door digging a hole in the front yard.

The man said, “What are you doing?”

The little boy explained that his goldfish died so he had to bury it.

“That looks like an awfully big hole to bury a goldfish,” the man said.

“Yes, I know,” the little boy said, “but my goldfish is inside your cat.”

Did you let the fear of failure bury your dreams?

Funny man George Burns remarked, “I’d rather be a failure at something I enjoy than a success at something I hate.”

Maybe it’s not too late to dust off your ambition and give it one more try. A friend of mine pointed out to me that the only difference between here and there is the letter T and the letter T stands for TRY.

Do you want to be sitting in your rocking chair saying, “I wished I had done this, that or whatever.”

My guess is no.

“You’re too old and too fat.”

That’s what most of the world said to George Foreman when he announced he was making a comeback ten years after losing the Heavyweight Boxing Championship. George heard what they were saying, but it didn’t seem to bother him. When they made fun of him he laughed along with them. And ten years later their laughter turned to cheers when George became the oldest man ever to win the title.

Maybe it’s time for you to make a comeback.

Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, author of the best-selling book The Power of Positive Thinking said,

“People become really quite remarkable when they start thinking that they can do things. When they believe in themselves they have the first secret of success.”

So live your dreams. Believe in yourself and whatever it is you want to do or be – remember the clock is running. The right time is now.


“All things are possible to him that believeth.”

Mark 9:23

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