When There’s Work to Be Done

This story reminds me of how it can feel getting ready for the holidays.
While driving in the snow, a traveler slid on a patch of ice and drove their car off the road and into a steep snow bank near a farm. The farmer who had seen the car veer off the road, came with his horse to help pull the car out of the snow.

The farmer announced, “The horse’s name is Dakota!”

He hitched the horse to the car and shouted, “Come on Ranger, Pull!” The horse didn’t move.

The farmer then yelled, “Come on Lady, Pull!” Again, the horse didn’t move.

Once more the farmer commanded, “Come on Sundance, Pull!” Nothing happened.

The farmer then said, “Come on Dakota, Pull!” And the horse moved and dragged the car out from the pile of snow.

The driver thanked the farmer, but being somewhat puzzled said, “You called the horse three times by the wrong name. Why did you do that?”

The farmer laughed and said, “Oh, Dakota is a blind old horse, if he thought he was the only one pulling, he wouldn’t even try!”

Most people I know are busy this time of year and it often feels like we are the only one pushing and pulling to get everything done. Just a quick reminder that you are not alone and everything you are doing will be appreciated.

Do You Have Enough To Share

Olivia spent her fall break working with a charity that built housing in developing countries. During one project, a few children from a nearby village visited the volunteer’s camp. One boy, Elijah, had especially endeared himself to the workers. He was always cheerful and always eager to help in whatever way he could.

Olivia noticed that Elijah wore the same shirt every day, so she rummaged through boxes of donated clothing until she found three almost new shirts for Elijah. They’d be a little big on him, but he could grow into them.

Olivia gave Elijah the clothing. In return, Elijah gave Olivia a big hug and a broad smile before he ran off.

The next day, Olivia noticed two older boys, each wearing one of the shirts given to Elijah. She worried that Elijah had been bullied out of his gifts. When she finally saw the little boy, she said, “Those gifts were for you, Elijah, so you’d have a change of clothes.”

The youngster replied, “But Ms. Olivia, you gave me so many!”

Olivia realized that you don’t need to have a lot in order to share – just a heart and a mind open enough to see other people’s needs.

An Entrepreneurial Halloween Story

After being a public servant for 30 years with the Department of Water and Power, Tony Dighera retired and bought a small organic farm, which he named Cinagro farms. Cinagro is organic spelled backwards, perhaps a hint that this is an innovative organic farm.

Soon after starting his farm, Dighera read a story about square watermelons coming out of Japan. Intrigued, he devoted a small plot of land to experimenting with shaping produce. He succeeded in growing perfectly square, and then heart-shaped, watermelons. Then he did something truly amazing.

Dighera was turning his attention from watermelons to pumpkins, and gradually an idea took shape. Since he understood the basics of shaping produce, he wanted to take the concept much further. Four years and $400,000 later, he finally perfected a way to grow molded (not moldy) pumpkins. The result? These crazy Frankestein

Be Thankful

These words from an unknown poet remind me to be thankful on Thanksgiving and all the other days, too.

Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire.
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?

Be thankful when you don’t know something,
for it gives you the opportunity to learn.

Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times, you grow.

Be thankful for your limitations,
because they give you opportunities for improvement.

Be thankful for each new challenge,
because it will build your strength and character.

Be thankful for your mistakes.
They will teach you valuable lessons.

Be thankful when you’re tired and weary,
because it means you’ve made a difference.

It’s easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are also thankful for the setbacks.

Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles, and they can become your blessings.

I love the thought that Thanksgiving is less of a meal and more of a mindset. May your Thanksgiving be filled with friends, family, love and all that is important to you.

Lost and Found

Mohandas Gandhi, the often-quoted Indian statesman became known for peace-making and non-violent communication. Gandhi would be the first to say, “It is not that I am incapable of anger, for instance; but I succeed almost on all occasions to keep my feelings under control.”

One day while boarding a train with fellow passengers, Gandhi’s shoe fell from his foot and disappeared in the gap between the train and platform. Unable to retrieve it, he took off his other shoe and threw it at the now lost shoe. Responding to the astonished faces of his fellow travelers, Gandhi explained that a poor person who finds a single shoe is no better off – what’s helpful is finding a pair.

This is a reminder of the benefit of letting go of resources that can no longer serve you, yet may be of tremendous value to others.