HALFWAY THERE

“I don’t need anyone to make a fool out of me. “I’m doing all right by myself.”

Groucho Marx

 

Starting college as a theatre major, I won a leading role in a play called, The Girls in 509.” I was thrilled my “show biz ship” had come in! I was going to be a star. I didn’t just learn my lines. I lived them. I breathed them. I had them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I took them to bed, the bathroom, and all stops in between. I was ready.

The days of rehearsal seemed to sprout wings and fly. The night before our opening, an invited audience from the Boy’s Industrial School. Tough crowd. If I could make these kids laugh, I knew I could do the same for the general public the following night.

The curtain went up. Everything was going great. The audience was laughing in all the right places.

I was ready to give them a passing grade until we came to one scene near the end of the play. What I was saying was not supposed to be funny, but the audience was laughing anyway. Why? I didn’t have a clue. When the action shifted to another part of the stage, the mystery was solved. The actress beside me whispered, “You zipper is down.” OOPS!

Prior to this scene, I had only one minute for a costume change. The pants I was changing into were too long. The legs were hemmed. As I was pulling them on my toe got caught in the hem, tearing it apart. Trying to make a quick repair by tucking them under, I forgot to pull up my zipper.

I haven’t been cast in a play for a while, but that hasn’t stopped me from playing the part of a fool on a regular basis. Have you ever flashed a big smile at that special someone only to discover later broccoli, and a long list of other items from the menu were stuck in your teeth. I have. OOPS!

One night in desperation I dialed the phone.

A female voice said, “Hello.”

I said, “This is Jerry Snider. I live at 1867 Covington Court – Apartment 37. My furnace is making a weird sound. Karep…karep…karep…chah…chah…chah… it’s not putting out any heat. Can you send someone over before it explodes?”

The kind lady told me she was sorry about my furnace, hoped it would not explode and regretted not being able to send someone over. That was because I had dialed the wrong number for apartment maintenance. I had dialed a private number. OOPS

If you’re human. Every now and then you will slip, stumble, and spill. You’re going to laugh about it later. Why wait? Laugh about it now. Don’t worry about the people laughing at you. Tomorrow it’s their turn to fumble.

Comedian Victor Borge said, “The shortest distance between two people is laughter.”

If you can laugh at yourself, you’re half was there.

 

Visit me at www.buddybloomwildflower.com

 

 

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TRAVEL TIP

“Don’t carry a grudge.

While you’re carrying the grudge the other guy’s out dancing.”

Buddy Hackett, comedian

 

Permit me to quote my 12th grade English teacher, Mrs. Schiff, who one afternoon made this promise to our class.

“You will be tricked, trapped, and bamboozled.”

Forty-six years after graduating from high school, I’ll be the first to tell you Mrs. Schiff was right.

I did get tricked.

I did get trapped.

I did get bamboozled.

Not just once but a whole bunch of times.

Life is not fair. Read the paper, watch television, or listen to the radio news – it’s no secret that we humans are pretty good at doing some terrible things to each other. You might as well paint a target on the seat of your pants because people are going to kick you in the pants. Mrs. Schiff told us the truth, but I’m only going to give her a grade of B- because she didn’t tell the whole truth.

Forgiveness is necessary every time you get tricked, trapped, and bamboozled. That’s the part she left out. Maybe she didn’t tell us that part because the lesson had to be learned at the famous “School of Hard Knocks.”

I have been hurt and needed to forgive people.

I have also been the one who did the hurting and needed to be forgiven.

Reminding myself of the “Need to Be” has made the “Need To” easier.

Forgiveness in no way justifies the cruel things people do to each other. You may never get the answer to, “Why me?” or “Why this?”

You will, however, always have the answer to, “What now?”

Hate or heal.

During the early stages of World War II, the Japanese invaded the Philippine Islands. At a place called The Bataan Peninsula, they took 76,000 Philippine and American prisoners. During what became known as, “The Bataan Death March” the Japanese tortured these men in unspeakable ways. Over a third of them never survived the ordeal.

I know of two who did. A friend told me that his father had been one of the soldiers who had endured this living Hell. Although he lived to be 65, a day never passed that he didn’t vocalize his hate for the Japanese. Until his last breath, bitterness ruled his day.

On the other hand, I read in the newspaper about another man who lived through that same Hell. In what had to be the ultimate act of forgiveness, he was now the proud owner of a Toyota dealership – selling cars made by the Japanese.

Now here’s a travel tip for your lie’s journey. The luggage labeled hate, resentment, and anger is too heavy to carry. Do whatever it takes, be it help from a social worker or group – leave it behind. Take along the suitcase marked FORGIVENESS and you stand a much better chance of enjoying the trip.

 

“For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly father will forgive you.”

 Matthew 6:14

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  WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

“Make no little plans; They have no magic to stir men’s blood…

Make big plans, aim high in hope and work.”

Daniel H. Burnham, architect

 

I heard a story about a lawyer who was cross-examining a little old lady in a robbery case. He tried to take advantage of the fact her eyesight was probably not the greatest.

“Would you please tell the court your age,” he asked her.

“I’m eighty two years old,” the little old lady replied.

“Have you ever worn glasses,”  the lawyer continued.

“I carry a pair in my purse, but I hardly ever need them,” she replied.

“Is that right?” the lawyer said. “How far away from the scene of the crime were you standing?”

“I was down the street maybe sixty or seventy yards,” she told him.

The lawyer said, “Are you sure you can see things clearly that far away?”

“Absolutely,” she said. “We’re 240,000 miles from the moon, and on a clear night I can see it just fine.”

How far can you see?

I’m not talking about your eyesight. I’m talking about your vision. There is a difference. Think about it.

Eleanor Roosevelt said, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

A common question for most job interviews is, “What do you want to be doing five years from now?”

Do you know?

Once upon a time a teacher was giving his class a lesson on the circulation of blood. He said to his students, “Is it true that if I stood on my head all the blood would rush to it and I would turn red in the face?”

Everyone in the class enthusiastically answered, “Yes!” the teacher continued, “When I’m standing upright in an ordinary position why doesn’t the blood rush to my feet?”

After a long silence, a student offered this explanation.

“Because your feet ain’t empty.”

That’s the way it is for most folks when it comes to setting goals and planning for the future. Their heads are empty.

Someone recently pointed out to me that the greatest wealth in the world is not located in oil fields or bank vaults. It’s located in cemeteries because so many people die without using their gifts. God has a lot to do. I’m sure he would appreciate a little help.

Emerson wrote, “…To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”

Do you want to find yourself sitting in a rocking chair near the end of your life saying, “I wished I would have…or I’m glad I did…”

 

What Are You Waiting for?

Visit me at  buddybloomwildflower.com                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

 

                                                                                                                                                                             

WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

“Make no little plans; They have no magic to stir men’s blood…

Make big plans, aim high in hope and work.”

Daniel H. Burnham, architect

I heard a story about a lawyer who was cross-examining a little old lady in a robbery case. He tried to take advantage of the fact her eyesight was probably not the greatest.

“Would you please tell the court your age,” he asked her.

“I’m eighty two years old,” the little old lady replied.

“Have you ever worn glasses,”  the lawyer continued.

“I carry a pair in my purse, but I hardly ever need them,” she replied.

“Is that right?” the lawyer said. “How far away from the scene of the crime were you standing?”

“I was down the street maybe sixty or seventy yards,” she told him.

The lawyer said, “Are you sure you can see things clearly that far away?”

“Absolutely,” she said. “We’re 240,000 miles from the moon, and on a clear night I can see it just fine.”

How far can you see?

I’m not talking about your eyesight. I’m talking about your vision. There is a difference. Think about it.

Eleanor Roosevelt said, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

A common question for most job interviews is, “What do you want to be doing five years from now?”

Do you know?

Once upon a time a teacher was giving his class a lesson on the circulation of blood. He said to his students, “Is it true that if I stood on my head all the blood would rush to it and I would turn red in the face?”

Everyone in the class enthusiastically answered, “Yes!” the teacher continued, “When I’m standing upright in an ordinary position why doesn’t the blood rush to my feet?”

After a long silence, a student offered this explanation.

“Because your feet ain’t empty.”

That’s the way it is for most folks when it comes to setting goals and planning for the future. Their heads are empty.

Someone recently pointed out to me that the greatest wealth in the world is not located in oil fields or bank vaults. It’s located in cemeteries because so many people die without using their gifts. God has a lot to do. I’m sure he would appreciate a little help.

Emerson wrote, “…To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”

Do you want to find yourself sitting in a rocking chair near the end of your life saying, “I wished I would have…or I’m glad I did…”

 

What Are You Waiting for? 

Visit me at http://www.buddybloomwildflower.com                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

 

                                                                                                                                                                             

  WOODY WAS RIGHT

“You can make more friends in two months by becoming more interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get people interested in you.”

Dale Carnegie, writer and lecturer

I’m from Columbus, Ohio. It’s a town that seems to eat, breath, and sleep Ohio State Buckeye Football. Woody Hayes was head coach for the team from 1951 to 1978. He died in 1987. Other people have assumed leadership of the team, but for many fans, Woody is still the man in charge.

In a 28 year career at Ohio State, Woody created a long list of accomplishments. He won five national titles, 13 Big Ten championships and led the Buckeyes to 11 bowl games. Under his command, the team played in the Rose Bowl eight times. Four of his teams went undefeated and another five lost only once. He was twice honored, “Coach of the Year.”

Woody also rolled up a big score when it came to counting fans. For 21 out of the 28 years he was in charge, the school lead the nation in-game attendance. For the other seven, they ran a close second. He had a passion for military history and when he wasn’t coaching players on the field, he was helping them in the classroom. The graduation rate of his athletes was as important to him as winning a game.

His personal creed was also the title of a book he wrote, You Win With People.

His talent on the playing field made him famous. His love for people made him a legend. Bringing with him as many players as possible, he spent countless hours visiting children in the hospital and helping the handicapped. He made several trips to Vietnam. When he found a soldier from Ohio, he would connect with their family upon his return home. Business people and politicians sought his endorsement. They still do. The Ohio State University Trademark and Licensing Service is frequently asked for permission to use his image or name on products such as T-shirts, ball caps, mugs, plates, puzzles, and pictures.

Woody was right. You win with people. Just ask Matt Berlin. He was in a bowling alley and on his way to rolling a perfect game. As he prepared to roll the 12th and final ball required to accomplish his goal, there was a power failure. The alley went black. Fifty minutes later the lights were still out. Matt recruited a half-dozen of his friends, provided them with flashlights and carefully positioned them along the alley. The ball left his hand, the lights swung and the pins toppled. A perfect game.

James Thurber wrote, “There are two kinds of light – the glow that illumines, and the glare that obscures.”

Which one are you?

You win with people – if we take turns holding the light for each other than we all win.

 

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LESSON FROM THE DUKE

“Courage is being scared to death…and saddling up anyway.”

 John Wayne, actor

 

Once upon a time The Ohio State Football team had a mammoth player called, The Pancake.” he was given that title because everything that got in his way ended up, you guessed it, “Flat as a pancake.”

Since time began, all great philosophers have come to the same conclusion, “No matter how flat you make a pancake, it still has two sides.”

Those great philosophers also agree it doesn’t matter how tall you are, how much money you have in the bank, who your friends are, where you went to school, or what kind of car you drive –  without a trace of discrimination, life will pull your name out of the hat and squash you and your dreams – “Flat as a pancake.” It’s part of the trade-off for life on this planet.

Your “Pancake Experience” may come in the form of an accident, illness, financial setback, broken relationship, drug addiction or war. It could be all the above or a whole lot more. The point is, it will happen. When it does, remember those great philosophers, “A pancake always has two sides.”

You can flip it to whichever side you choose. The spatula is in your hand. You can make the experience work for you. It can make you smarter and stronger. Your other choice is to let that same experience make you bitter, angry, and even flatter.

Enter John Wayne known as “The Duke.” With the magic of video, he rides on. Forty years after his death, you’ll still find his name on the list of favorite actors. He was tough. His image is often the yardstick used to measure manhood. On my first day of boot camp in the Marines, the platoon lined up to meet our drill instructors.

“How many John Waynes do we have here?” Gunnery Sergeant Newman wanted to know. “We want more John Waynes not Gomer Pyles.”

The Searchers is one of favorite films staring John Wayne. In one scene, “The Duke” offers some sage advice. His family has been killed by Indians. At the funeral, the preacher drones on and on. John Wayne, ready to go after the Indians, interrupts the service with these immortal words, “Put an amen to it.”

Then he rides off to fight the good fight. That’s the lesson. “Put an amen to it.” “Amen to what?” you say.

Remember that pancake experience. You’re hurt. You’re lonely. You’re sick. You’re tired. You’re broken. That’s okay. Be those things. Grief is important. Don’t deny it. That side of the pancake has to cook too. Would you sit down to a breakfast of pancakes that had only been cooked on one side? My guess is no.

There is a time to cry. There is also a time to flip the pancake. “Put an amen to the hurt.”

Life is waiting. Saddle up your horse. Fight the good fight.

 

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FIND IT AND USE IT

“If you are not doing what you love, you are wasting your time.”

 Billy Joel, musician

 

Guess who I car pooled with this week?

Waylon Jennings.

Yes, I know he passed away in 2002.

By way of “Books on Tape” Waylon told me his life story.

I heard about his friendship with the legendary rock and roller, Buddy Holly. I heard about his problems with drugs and the dark days in Nashville when he was searching for acceptance. I heard about the poverty of his early years and of love lost and love found. He also told me about the cotton fields of Littlefield, Texas.

His whole family had to pull cotton. The work started at four in the morning. It was hot. It was dirty.

It was three-quarters of a mile down the row to get a drink of water. Hunched over, gnats in his eyes, dodging snakes, back aching – he hated it. But it was in that cotton field that Waylon Jennings’s star began to rise.

“You know there is nothing I’ve ever heard in my life as mournful as the whistle of an old freight train in the distance when you’re kneeling down in a field. It sounds like death.

Now I’d be in the cotton patch, dragging a 12 foot sack about half full, kicking dirt clods in there to make it weigh more and I’d hear that lonesome old howl. It goes right through you. I was sure that train was on its way to somewhere and I wasn’t on it. I knew there was a better way somewhere. I didn’t know where, but all I had to do was go looking for it. The last time I was pulling cotton, I was 16. I said, ‘I didn’t plant this shit and I ain’t gonna pull it up no more.’ And I quit. I left that sack right in that field. It may be there to this day as far as I know.”  – Waylon Jennings (Time-Warner Audio 1998)

Did success come to Waylon Jennings the same day he left the cotton field?

No, and not the next day either. Leaving that bag lying in the field and walking away was only the beginning. He worked a lot of jobs. He made mistakes. He moved on. He followed his dream. It was not an easy road but he knew it was the right road. In time, his records found their way to the top of the charts. He was a success. He was a star. He was a country music legend.

If you’re happy pulling cotton, shining shoes, or making doughnuts – by all means keep at it.

If you feel there is something else, the world is waiting. Better throw down that cotton sack and get at it.

Listen to your heart.

Find that gift.

Use It.

 

 Visit me at www.buddybloomwildflower.com