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Happy Day of Giving Thanks 2019

November 27, 2019

We so quickly and casually say “Happy Thanksgiving” that we often miss and forget that it’s a day for actually giving Thanks. Of course, so is every day and we begin everyday with Thanks.

What are you Thankful for?

Who are you Thankful for?  Thank them!

Thank You for being a friend of Fred Fox, Spinning Rabbi

Humpty Upty*

November 17, 2019

*An oldie but goodie, that a reader recently brought to my attention, so I’m reposting it with some addition

“Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.” – Mother Goose

Why couldn’t all the king’s horses and all the king’s men put Humpty back together again?

First, Humpty had to want to be put back together again.  Secondly, and most importantly, only Humpty could put himself back together again.

Everyone else could lend a supporting hand, an uplifting hand, be a cheerleading section, but it was all up to Humpty.  Humpty could continue to be a Dumpty, or he could choose to be an Upty!!

When we realize, believe, and continually remind ourselves that each of our lives have value, that we are here for a specific purpose and mission, then being an Upty becomes easier.

We all sometimes stumble, we all sometimes fall, and we all sometimes get knocked down.  What you do when that happens determines where you go and you determine the determining.

“Why do we fall- so we can learn to pick ourselves up.” –  from Batman Begins

“The righteous may fall seven times, but they always rise again.” – King Solomon Proverbs

If you were a boxer and got knocked to the mat, you might say to yourself (consciously or un) “if I stay down I can’t get hit again”.  That is the self-preservation instinct born of fear, protecting you from getting hurt again.  The odds of winning are zero if you choose to stay down.

The ultimate self-preservation instinct should be to get back up in order to fight for the life you want.  How much do you desire that life?  How hard are you willing to fight for it?

 “Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” – George Addair

Know that you will fall or get knocked down again.  Accept that and understand that it’s part of preparing and learning.  The trick is to train, learn, and prepare yourself so that each time, you not only get back up, but you get back up quicker.

 Be Good Do Good Think Good


Another Lesson From The Butterfly

November 3, 2019

Here is another lesson from the butterfly.  See the previous post for the first ones

There is a story that when John James Audubon was a boy, he saw a budding butterfly that had just transformed from a caterpillar in it’s cocoon.  It looked to him as though the butterfly was struggling to get out and was in pain.  So he snipped the cocoon in order to make a larger opening.  Soon the butterfly emerged.  Sadly, one of it’s wings was deformed, so it couldn’t properly fly.

This teaches us that it was in the struggle that a butterfly becomes fully formed and strong enough to be what it’s meant to be.

Sound Familiar?

You, me, and all of us have had struggles, or are having some now, and yes there will most likely be more.  Just like the butterfly, it is through those struggles that we can get stronger.  It is getting through to the other end, that we get stronger and can fly.

If you adopt the belief and attitude that the struggles presented to you are challenges meant to make you stronger, they will do just that when you push through the cocoon.

The difference between you and the butterfly is choice.  The butterfly does not have a choice, you do.  What you choose to do with the struggle determines whether you come out of your cocoon ready to fly.

There is light at the end of the tunnel, and there is life at the end of the cocoon.

Be Good Do Good Think Good

A Man and a Butterfly

October 17, 2019

One beautiful day, a man was sitting on a bench when a butterfly landed on his arm.  The man marveled at the beautiful butterfly.  He believed that everything happens for a reason, even a seemingly small thing such as the butterfly landing on his arm.  He wondered what was the reason for this?  What was he to learn from this?  So he said hello to the butterfly and it responded.

He asked the butterfly “what is it like to be a butterfly?”.   “It is wonderful”, the butterfly said.  I fly around wherever I want.  I hear everyone say how beautiful I am.  When I land on someone, they don’t try to swat me off like a bee.  They are happy to see me and I put a smile on their face.  I’m really very happy to be a butterfly.”  The man said “that really does sound wonderful.”

The butterfly went on to say, “Let me tell you a secret.  When I was a caterpillar, for what seemed like an eternity, all I did was crawl around looking for food or shelter.  Life didn’t seem to have any purpose or meaning.  I heard about becoming a butterfly and even though I wanted change, I was scared.  I had become comfortable with what I was and was scared of something so very new.  I was comfortable with the known and fearful of the unknown.  Now I look back and I am so happy to have become the butterfly that I am and was meant to be”.

The man never forgot what the butterfly told him.  He let it be a constant reminder for him to be like the butterfly.  To change and grow and grow.  To also fly and anyone he landed on, he would make sure that when he left them, he left them with a smile on their face.

 Be Good Do Good Think Good

I Can See Clearly Now*

September 10, 2019

Here is a cute story that will probably give you a chuckle.  It might also cause you to think about whether you are guilty of this.  We all are, at least a little, at least sometimes

A young couple moves into a new neighborhood.
The next morning while they are eating breakfast,
the young woman sees her neighbor hanging the wash outside.
“That laundry is not very clean” she said,
“She doesn’t know how to wash correctly.
Perhaps she needs better laundry soap.”

Her husband looked on, but remained silent.  Every time her neighbor would hang her wash to dry,
the young woman would make the same comments.

About one month later, the woman was surprised to see a
nice clean wash on the line and said to her husband,

“Look, she has learned how to wash correctly.
I wonder who taught her this”

The husband said, “I got up early this morning and cleaned our windows”.**

“We don’t always see things as they are, we see things as we are” Anais Nin

May we all remember to always keep our windows clean.

Then, sing along with me, “I can see clearly now…….

Be Good Do Good Think Good

*title of song originally done by Johnny Nash

** I wish I knew the source f this story, so that I could give proper attribution

“I Don’t Feel Like It”*

August 27, 2019

Do you suffer from “I don’t feel like it -itus”?  Here is a cure for whenever it gets in the way.

You know you should get some exercise but you don’t feel like it.  You have a list of excuses to choose from

“I didn’t sleep well.”

” I had a fight with my significant other.”

“I had a bad day at the office.”

Etcetera. ecetera….You know that exercise is good for you.  You know from experience that when you exercised, you always feel better afterwards. So it’s important to make that extra effort to exercise. Making that extra effort is now part of the workout. It’s as though you began with some heavy lifting. You have trained yourself to overcome an emotion that stands in the way of your progress and growth.

Kabbalists speak of “Head over Heart.” The head is above the heart, so that metaphorically the head should overrule the heart. The head represents the intellect that knows what is right to do. The heart represents the emotions which are often impulsive and when acted upon alone, sends us off the path of our improvement and growth. Ideally, eventually the head and heart will find a balance to work together.  Until we find that balance we should let the head overrule.

Beyond exercise, which is for ourselves, the same head over heart approach applies to our dealings with others. Too often we are not as kind, compassionate, or charitable, because at that moment we “don’t feel like it.”

When we are feeling up and in a good mood, it’s easy to be giving. Giving of ourselves is hardest, just like exercise, when we’re not in the mood.  Just like exercise, that is precisely the time to make that extra effort, knowing that it’s the good and right thing to do, and that you will feel better afterwards.

Eventually, using that knowledge, it will become easier and easier to automatically do the right thing.  So whenever you find yourself saying “I don’t feel like it,” tell yourself that that’s all the more reason to do it.

Doing good always makes you feel good

“There is no better exercise for your heart, than reaching down and helping to lift someone up.” – Bernard Meltzer

With that in mind, keep this in mind

“The greatest reward for doing is the opportunity to do more.” –  Dr. Jonas Salk

Be Good Do Good Think Good

*An “Oldie but Goodie” updated

Grateful To Be A Witness

July 30, 2019

This is a story of a special moment that I recently witnessed while driving.

I was stopped at a red light, with one car ahead of me.  Suddenly, an elderly man gets out of the front passenger seat of the car in front of me. He leaves the door open, and walks away to the left.  I wonder, what is he doing, why didn’t he close the door, what’s going to happen when the light turns green?

What would you think.  Would you get angry, because this could hold up traffic and you might be stuck there.  Or, would you stay calm and patiently await the outcome.

After nearly a minute of wondering and watching him walk slowly across two lanes, I now see him at the corner.   Wow, I now see him beginning to assist a blind woman with a cane cross the street.  He walks her all the way across four lanes, even as lights change, motioning for cars to wait.  Then he returns to the car and gets in.

What a powerful reminder of what it means to do for another.  He didn’t know her.  She didn’t ask for help.  Walking was a little difficult for him.  He wasn’t concerned about the cars behind him.  His only concern was helping another.

Everything happens for a reason.  She was presented to him so that he could do a good.  I was there to witness this act, so that  given the opportunity I would remember .  Those opportunities are presented to us all the time.

What can we learn from this

Be patient

Don’t assume or jump to conclusions

When presented with a similar opportunity, remember this man and follow his example

Being a witness to this true act of kindness is something I am grateful for.

Be Good Do Good Think Good


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