Monday, May 13, 2013

Family Traditions

Public Speaking, Toasts and Orations
Traditions, weddings, celebrations, annual remembrances all point to family get-togethers.  Times when generations can meet, compare notes about today, recollect past occasions and mile marks and speculate about the future.
Recently, a cousin was in town from the big city.  It was enough of a reason for us to gather for an impromptu birthday party.  At many of these events, somebody gets up and starts waxing away!  To prime the topics, my uncle's gift book from 1974 was brought out, the treasure chest.  This book compiles nuggets of wisdom gathered over time from 2500 years of written wisdom.   There was a summary sheet that listed some of my uncle's favorite quips. 
As I reviewed them, I could see my uncle in the meaning, but interestingly, I could see myself.  It was a testimony to the nature of the connections established by strong bonds. 
Take care of the means and the ends will take care of itself.  M. Gandhi
The genius of a good leader is to leave the behind him a situation which common sense, without the grace of genius, can deal with successfully.  W. Lippmann
A failure is a man who has blundered, but is not able to cash in on the experience.  E. Hubbard
Jumping to conclusions seldom leads to happy landings.
Reformers are those that educate people to appreciate what they need.
A great part of courage is the courage of having done the thing before.  R.W. Emerson
There is no more miserable human being than one in whom nothing is habitual but indecision.  W. James
Thoughts are but drams, till their effects can be tried. W. Shakespeare
When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.  C. Reade
Deliberating is not delaying.  Ecclesiastics
Let no man presume to give advice to others that he has not first given counsel to himself.  Seneca
He who praises everybody, praises nobody.  I. Johnson
Strengthen me by sympathizing with my strengths not my weakness.  B. Alcott
As I transfer these quotes from hand written cursive script to my iPad, I see wisdom. I can imagine my uncle using them as daily affirmations.  I imagine his quest to find truth and trace the path from cairn to cairn. I am also convicted of my own shortcomings, failures and character flaws.  Yet I am reminded to persist.  I am encouraged to find success and strive for constant improvement.  I am driven to push myself to a breaking point.
How can I be a better member of my family?  What does my work setting need for me to do differently?  How can I take better physical, mental and spiritual health of myself?  What does society, the environment and our civilization require of me? What legacy, if any, will I leave behind?
The above quotes are hand written on plain white paper, the first two pages of six, condensed from a publication of 250 total pages.  Are they the best? No.  Do they contain any extra wisdom? No.  They were chosen for their own merit, but still ring true!

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