Dying Man’s Journal – appreciate every day, every one and every thing

December 24, 2015

Received a Christmas card from one of Vi’s cousins. Besides the normal greetings it has the following message.
It is so powerful. I remembered having posted sometime back but think is is worth putting up again. Especially at this time of year. Help us appreciate family time and all the blessings we have in our lives.

3900 Saturdays

The older I get, the more I enjoy Saturday mornings. Perhaps it’s the quiet solitude that comes with being the first to rise, or maybe it’s the unbounded joy of not having to be at work. Either way, the first few hours of a Saturday morning are most enjoyable. A few weeks ago, I was shuffling toward the garage with a steaming cup of coffee in one
hand and the morning paper in the other. What began as a typical Saturday morning turned into one of those lessons that life seems to hand you from time to time. Let me tell you about it:
I turned the dial up into the phone portion of the band on my ham radio in order to listen to a Saturday morning swap net. Along the way,
I came across an older sounding chap, with a tremendous signal and a golden voice. You know the kind; he sounded like he should be in the broadcasting business. He was telling whomever he was talking with something about “a thousand marbles.” I was intrigued and stopped to listen to what he had to say.

“Well, Tom, it sure sounds like you’re busy with your job. I’m sure they pay you well but it’s a shame you have to be away from home and your family so much. Hard to believe a young fellow should have to work sixty or seventy hours a week to make ends meet. It’s too bad you missed your daughter’s “dance recital” he continued. “Let me tell you something that has helped me keep my own priorities.” And that’s when he began to explain his theory of a “thousand marbles.”

“You see, I sat down one day and did a little arithmetic. The average person lives about seventy-five years. I know, some live more and some live less, but on average, folks live about seventy-five years. “Now then, I multiplied 75 times 52 and I came up with 3900, which is the number of Saturdays that the average person has in their entire
lifetime. Now, stick with me, Tom, I’m getting to the important part.
It took me until I was fifty-five years old to think about all this in any detail”, he went on, “and by that time I had lived through over twenty-eight hundred Saturdays.” “I got to thinking that if I lived to be seventy-five, I only had about a thousand of them left to enjoy. So I went to a toy store and bought every single marble they had. I ended up having to visit three toy stores to round up 1000 marbles I took them home and put them inside a large, clear plastic container right here in the shack next to my gear.”

“Every Saturday since then, I have taken one marble out and thrown it away. I found that by watching the marbles diminish, I focused more
on the really important things in life. There’s nothing like watching your time here on this earth run out to help get your priorities straight.”

“Now let me tell you one last thing before I sign off with you and take my lovely wife out for breakfast. This morning, I took the very last
marble out of the container. I figure that if I make it until next Saturday then I have been given a little extra time.. And the one thing we can all use is a little more time.”

“It was nice to meet you Tom, I hope you spend more time with your family, and I hope to meet you again here on the band This is a 75 Year
old Man, K9NZQ, clear and going QRT, good morning!”

You could have heard a pin drop on the band when this fellow signed off. I guess he gave us all a lot to think about. I had planned to work on the antenna that morning, and then I was going to meet up with a few hams to work on the next club newsletter.

Instead, I went upstairs and woke my wife up with a kiss. “C’mon honey, I’m taking you and the kids to breakfast.” “What brought this on?” she asked with a smile “Oh, nothing special, it’s just been a long time since we spent a Saturday together with the kids. And hey, can we stop at a toy store while we’re out? I need to buy some marbles.

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Dying Man’s Journal – join me with acts of kindness

December 21, 2015

Every year, must be about 10 years or so now. I have come here on the blog and flat out asked for birthday gifts. Well my birthday somehow snuck right past me. But, here I am asking for gifts anyway.
Years ago I added a page to the blog. Across the top of the screen you will see a row of titles. Each being the title to a different page addition.
Today I ask all to click on the page titled “Spirit within me” commit to and join my little club.
Below, I have copied the content of the page. But please go to the page and join in.

I invite all to join together with me. A group of friends doing our part to make the lives of others better. With every act of kindness, we do in fact make the world a little bit better. We do this simply because we can, because we care about others, all others people all people, we care about the world.

I once heard what I consider to be a very good definition of insanity: “Doing the same thing, in the same way over and over again and still being upset or disappointed when the results come out unchanged.” This applies to our very lives, if we day after day continue to do the same thing, in the same way, how can we expect there to be any change. Change of any sort must begin from within, within each and everyone of us. As people change, so will the world.

I invite and encourage all to join my very non-exclusive group of friends. All are welcome, no restrictions of any kind.. So in that regard I have set up this new page title “Spirit within me”. The word “me” should be read as applying to each individual and definitely not me, as in Bill. It represents the spirit contained with each of you. I hope people will join in and take membership in the group as a serious commitment.

OK, what is the group about. It is just a group of friends joining together to try in any small way to bring about changes within themselves, within the lives of others and ultimately to the world.

Is there a cost to belong to this group? YES, but not a monetary cost. The cost is something much more precious that mere money. The cost is spending some of your precious time. How much time? Five minutes a week. I don’t care how busy anyone’s life is, there is no one that can honestly say they couldn’t squeeze in 5 minutes a week. How is that 5 minutes of precious time to be spent? Actively looking for and performing an extra act of kindness. It is to be preformed for another, to whom doesn’t matter, the size of the act doesn’t matter. What matters is that we all take the time, even just 5 minutes a week to look for a way to perform an act of kindness.

Second, requirement. If any thanks is offered we decline to accept it. Instead state only that the only thanks you require or request is that this person, repay you by passing on another act of kindness be passed on to yet another. Think of the ripples we are creating.

Benefits, unlimited, gained from the peace and love to be contained within our hearts. That warm fuzzy feeling that comes from knowing I did something good, not because I had to but simply because I wanted to.