Friday, August 30, 2013

Rubbing Hotei’s belly for luck and money

The custom of rubbing Hotei’s belly to procure prosperity and good fortune had its origin in pain! It happened one day that Hotei in his sleep had exposed his belly to the cold air and turning of a sudden in his sleep he caused a muscle in his lower belly to go into a cramp. Hotei had no medicine in his sack to treat the painful affliction, and to buy it would cost a lot of money. All he could do was rub his lower abdomen to keep it warm and try to soothe the muscle as best he could. It was while clutching his tummy that he arrived at a village and the villagers welcomed him happily but soon noticed that he was in pain. Instead of plying Hotei with delicacies as it was wonted it was resolved by the villagers to take up a collection of alms to buy from the apothecary the much-needed balm. All the villagers, including the children and visitors from faraway places contributed to the fund. A small fortune was raised quite quickly and soon the healing ointment was applied to the affected area. A great crowd was witness to this rubbing in of the healing balsam. It was necessary to rub it in well for it to be efficacious. At Hotei’s feet were stacks of coins left over from the purchase of the balm. After a while Hotei’s furrowed brow smoothed and his habitual smile returned, the pain had subsided greatly and he was relaxed once more.  Murmurs of gladness arose in the concerned throng. Ever since have gone together the rubbing of Hotei’s belly and overflowing wealth, good fortune and success.

This is a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental.

Monday, August 26, 2013

A day in the life of Hotei

One sunny day Hotei came to a small village. Now there was nothing Hotei liked so much as to give the little children sweets and trinkets to play with.  He looked in his cloth sack and – nothing! ‘How can this be? I was sure I had something,’ Hotei thought. The children were going to be disappointed. This thought saddened him. He must not let that happen but what could he do or what could he think of to prevent unhappy, sad faces? Should he even venture into the village empty-handed? So, it was that Hotei turned abruptly on his heels, his belly wobbled as he did so, and started back on the path he had been following for many months.

It was not long after this that he met a monk on the dusty road who recognized the illustrious wanderer and saw his chance to ask him some exacting questions. Hotei knew what was coming and smiled a very happy, knowing smile, and awaited the question. ‘What is the meaning of zen?’ the monk inquired, perhaps even thinking that he would be the first to stump the master. Hotei merely dropped his bundle to the ground without uttering a word. Seeing no verbal answer was forthcoming the monk ventured another poser, ‘How does one realize zen?’ Hotei retrieved his belongings from the ground and went on his way.

It was his custom to charge a penny’s worth from those practicing zen, be they lay or monk, for any preachment he might make but on this occasion it was not warranted. Still, he thought how he might scrape enough coins together to buy some sweets for the children of the village he had to avoid for the time being. He was sure an opportunity would come: people delighted in sermons and words, and they were of great benefit to others.

Tired from so much walking Hotei rested under a large shady tree on the roadside. Other travellers had put together a crude stone table and seats so he was thankful he didn’t have to sit on the ground. He looked into his sack and retrieved a morsel of rice cake and nibbled on it. Now you might wonder how such spare dining could result in so ample a waistline as he so obviously possessed. Some believe his appearance was a form of  supernatural disguise to prevent people from assessing him on his erstwhile good looks but it’s more likely the welcoming feasts at almost all the villages he passed through were the real cause of his having put on so much weight. Still, for all that he was quite fit from all the walking and could move as nimbly as any man should it be required of him; for example, if he quickly had to get out of the way of a rushing carriage.

He admired the tree under which he was sitting – it put him in mind of the tree under which the founder of Buddhism had so long ago first attained enlightenment. Hotei had a special fondness for trees. He really could sit for hours in contemplation of the beauteous trees he encountered on his travels, and in fact, he often did. His water bottle was nearly empty and it was time to find a stream to replenish his supply. He got up and walked until he came to a stone bridge. Before crossing it he went to the river’s edge and filled up his water bottle, then he returned to the bridge to cross it but lo and behold there was a creature there that blocked his way. It looked fierce and wore a nasty expression. ‘Er, may I pass?’ inquired Hotei.

‘You may not unless you pay the toll!’ it demanded.
‘What is the toll?’ asked Hotei.
‘500!’ the clawed hand of the half-human half-monster gestured.
‘500!’ blurted Hotei.
‘Yes, or 300 and 2 rice cakes.’
‘I don’t have anything right now,’ Hotei explained.
‘Then you cannot pass!’ the creature retorted.
Normally a very happy person Hotei felt a tinge of unhappy confusion. He could not go forward since he had no money and he could not go back to the village children empty-handed. It was useless to explain this to this hard-hearted savage-looking thing. He had no choice but to turn around and head in the direction of the village again.But he thought - happy once more - perhaps I will encounter some people on the road with charitable natures?

And under the very tree he had rested at earlier on that day he spied from a distance that there were a few people gathered. He rejoiced and quickened his pace. Soon he was among them and they were pleased to see him and offered him food and drink. There were even a few children with their parents and the children pressed close upon him basking in his friendly radiance and he delighted in speaking with them about things that would usually have their parents’ ears close ere long. He had no sweets for them but they didn’t seem to mind and so he took heart that the village children might be the same. All was working out so well he found himself laughing happily out loud which made the children laugh too, and even their parents laughed and a merry time was had by all even as the sun was setting and the fires were lit for the night.

This is a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


Definition of Quoteitis: satiety in the reading of quotations.

Squa tront! Spa fon!

EC Comics fans – you are my brothers!
Long live EC!

Seeing stuff you rather wish you hadn’t seen

With regard to the adult content on the web one can apply filters to reduce the amount of explicitness you’re exposed to but nowhere is there a button for a moral filter.

 “If thou would’st not Sin, don’t Desire; and if thou would’st not Lust, don’t Embrace the Temptation: No, not look at it, nor think of it.”
William Penn in ‘Some Fruits of Solitude’

A few words on loss

 There are minor griefs such as the loss of a girlfriend or boyfriend, and major griefs such as the death of a relation or friend. These words mostly apply to both.

“Mourn for a period and then return to life. Do not let grief put you into an early grave.”
[Old Testament]

“Lose yourself in action lest ye wither in despair.”

“Let joy catch you unawares.”

“I’ll never get over the death of my son  – I never should.”

“All the pain of the loss can come back to haunt you at any time.”

“Giving all your love to someone is no guarantee that they’ll love you in return.”

“If you love something, let it go; if it comes back to you, it was love; if not, it was never meant to be.”

“It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved.”
[Tennyson, Alfred Lord]

Sorrow is of the black wolf in us. But it seems there’s more to the story of the black and white wolf:

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life:
“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.” It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf will win?”
You might heard the story ends like this: The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
In the Cherokee world, however, the story ends this way:
The old Cherokee simply replied, “If you feed them right, they both win.” and the story goes on: 
“You see, if I only choose to feed the white wolf, the black one will be hiding around every corner waiting for me to become distracted or weak and jump to get the attention he craves. He will always be angry and always fighting the white wolf. But if I acknowledge him, he is happy and the white wolf is happy and we all win. For the black wolf has many qualities – tenacity, courage, fearlessness, strong-willed and great strategic thinking – that I have need of at times and that the white wolf lacks. But the white wolf has compassion, caring, strength and the ability to recognize what is in the best interest of all.
"You see, son, the white wolf needs the black wolf at his side. To feed only one would starve the other and they will become uncontrollable. To feed and care for both means they will serve you well and do nothing that is not a part of something greater, something good, something of life. Feed them both and there will be no more internal struggle for your attention. And when there is no battle inside, you can listen to the voices of deeper knowing that will guide you in choosing what is right in every circumstance. Peace, my son, is the Cherokee mission in life. A man or a woman who has peace inside has everything. A man or a woman who is pulled apart by the war inside him or her has nothing.
"How you choose to interact with the opposing forces within you will determine your life. Starve one or the other or guide them both.”
–Cherokee Story

"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
Psalm 34:18

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

On being rebuffed

“Every soft feeling for another has, thus far, become a bruise.”
Donn Ingle

"Love unrequited, robs me of me rest,
Love, hopeless love, my ardent soul encumbers,
Love, nightmare-like, lies heavy on me chest,
And weaves itself into my midnight slumbers."
This is the beginning of The Lord Chancellor's Nightmare song from Gilbert & Sullivan's Iolanthe.

“Rejection is God’s protection.”
[widely quoted on the web.]

"God keeps us safely within His will."

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Know your worth!

"Actions are the only way in which love can be shown; actions are the only way in which love can be known."
[Source was a manual on how to live or love, can't remember author unfortch.]

"If they're not gonzo about me then I'm gonzo!"
[Source was a small inspirational book, the title of which escapes me.]

"The door must be opened by the willing hand, ere the foot of Love will cross the threshold."
[George MacDonald in C.S. Lewis' George MacDonald: An Anthology. First published in 1946.]

Every day of your life is a special occasion!

Our priest told us this story a while back. One day a man bought his wife a beautiful cashmere sweater. The wife his it deep in her cupboard. She wore her cheaper jerseys instead. Her husband remonstrated with her, asking her why she never wore the sweater he had bought her. She said, 'I'm saving it for a special occasion.' Then one day this woman died and her  husband was going through her things looking for something smart in which to dress his wife for her casket. He found the sweater. At the funeral everyone looking upon the woman in her open casket could see she was dressed in the most beautiful garments including a cashmere sweater.

What is the moral of the story?
"Never save anything for a special occasion- every day of your of your life is a special occasion!"
[Of course, this  doesn't mean you go and jump into bed with someone asap. You gotta do all the right things not the wrong things. If you do the wrong things you'll probably find life will continue and you'll have to deal with the consequences]

On a related note, and also from this same priest:

"Do not delay anything which will bring laughter and joy into your life, and into the lives of others."

"Live as you have never lived before and love as you have never loved before. Don't own it as your own property (the love comes from God) and don't try too hard (loving) when you're trying too hard." 

Sometimes we try too hard and the love is forced or almost fake, if you will. You want to love the person - great! Don't try too hard, though : )

Saturday, August 10, 2013


it's said and sung: 'life is life.'
life is very confusing sometimes
life is pretty amazing sometimes
life sucks a lot of the time
life is bad news most of the time
life is a mystery to some
life is interesting and fun to explore to some
life ends too soon, it's said
life goes on and on but
life is short
'Life is a breath,' the Buddha said.
Wisdom great I've read and read,
some think wine and women are its best use;
others, many, hope for greater moose!
Life is plain crazy too!
Life - time to do something else.
Enjoy your life; I hope it's not filled with too much strife.

About a million things not said here about life: #999 999: Life is simple and complex.

Homely looks and bad complexion


  • SONG — FREDERIC: Oh, is there not one maiden breast
Oh, is there not one maiden here
Whose homely face and bad complexion
Have caused all hope to disappear
Of ever winning man's affection?
Of such a one, if such there be,
I swear by Heaven's arch above you,
If you will cast your eyes on me,
However plain you be, I'll love you,
However plain you be,
If you will cast your eyes on me,
However plain you be I'll love you,
I'll love you, I'll love, I'll love you!
from Gilbert & Sullivan's 'The Pirates of Penzance'


Thursday, August 8, 2013

Scary bedtime story #2

There was a bear, a big bear that knew how to scare. One day the bear attacked a man who was very scared but the bear didn’t kill him, only hurt him very badly. The man was scared for a long time afterwards and didn’t go back into the woods where the bear was still hiding. But when the man was better and braver he went back into the woods. This time there was no scary bear anywhere and he was glad but he knew next time the bear could be very near and he would have to leave very quickly so that he wouldn’t be hurt again or worse. It’s not a good idea to go where there are big scary bears that can hurt you or worse. You’ve got to be very careful in this world because bad things can happen anywhere, not just in the woods with a bear but in the city or the suburbs – anywhere – and mostly the scariest things are people who want to steal or kill you or hurt you, usually for no good reason. If it happens to you or to me I hope we get better and braver like the man who was attacked by a bear. He doesn’t really blame the bear because bears are wild and he was kind of in their territory and maybe he scared the bear and a scared bear will attack anything. But it’s much harder not to blame people because people aren’t supposed to be wild and people don’t really scare that easily most of the time and even if you scared them they don’t just attack – at least, I think they don’t. People don’t really have an excuse like the bear when they do bad things to other people or animals or forests or sea animals. I wish I were as strong as the bear then maybe bad people would think twice before trying to hurt me. Be as careful as you can be, and try not to be too afraid of bad people and big bears. I don’t know what else to do or tell you. So, good night, sleep tight, and don’t let the bear bugs bite!

[This story is dedicated to those who have been hurt by animals.]

This is a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental.

Flight of the ‘Javelin’

After ten grueling years Professor Stone had finally succeeded in building a saucer-shaped craft capable of flight or motion in all environments: space, sea or sky. The force-field surrounding the craft, and generated by it, nullified the effects of gravity on anything inside the force-bubble. The saucer also possessed inertial-dampening devices which meant that the pilots and occupants could accelerate and decelerate at tremendous speeds without feeling the shock of tremendous forces on their own bodies – shocks which could kill.

Professor Stone was eager to do a full test flight of his invention as soon as weather conditions permitted. He waited for a bright, sunny day with few or no clouds. Only a day later was there just such a day. He wasted little time and donned his helmet and strapped on a parachute. He entered through the top of the craft through a hatch which he sealed behind him. Within the saucer-shaped vehicle in the torus surrounding the centre were control stations and even 2 bunks which the professor had placed inside on a whimsy. He seated himself at the pilot’s station on a comfortable office chair. He booted up the computer and began initializing the ship’s power core for immediate launch. The central force-field generator hummed into life and made the ship throb with the energies that were building up in it. Soon, an indicator showed maximum and all that needed to be done was to press Enter and a powerful, gravity-erasing field would encompass the ship and increase in strength. The ship would slowly float free of gradually retracting moorings.

By tweaking this field and allowing just so much gravitational energy to influence it, he could steer the ship in any direction he chose. Excitedly, his finger was poised over the Enter button. Then, aloud, he counted down from 10. On reaching zero he pressed Enter – a schematic on the screen before him showed a circle about a graphic of his saucer. Alongside it percentage numbers were shown increasing. Soon, he felt a butterfly sensation as the saucer floated freely in space.

He opened the electronic doors of his refitted barn, then on the touch-screen pad he pressed the up arrow which was responsible for forward motion. The craft slid forward noiselessly and much faster than he had anticipated so that it fairly shot out of the barn - a group of Fir trees grew alarmingly larger on the far side of the main house. He quickly pressed the stop button and the ship stopped immediately. Then he adjusted the speed to a comfortable level and resumed the test flight. He keyed in a 30 degree climb and pressed the up arrow again. The ship moved up into the open sky at a 30 degree angle.

Leveling out at 500 feet, through a porthole obtained from a bathyscaph, he could see blue skies and wisps of cloud streaming past. On his viewscreen which enabled him to have comprehensive video views via cameras located in a circle on the craft he saw the same scenery. He decided to increase speed and put the craft through its paces. The wisps of cloud seemed to be streaking by at a much faster rate; inside, of course, he felt as though he were at a standstill – he had no sense of forward motion at all. Perhaps, he though he should allow some sensation of motion to affect the occupants? After about 20 minutes of flying he decided he’d best turn back. It wasn’t a question of running out of fuel or power – he had a virtually inexhaustible supply but he was satisfied with the success of this maiden voyage. Still, he was tempted to take her up into space but he felt he should analyze the performance data and make sure there were no obstacles to a smooth trip into space. Also, he thought it would be wise to pack a lunch and to install that chemical toilet that he had put off doing for so long.

He smiled when he thought he had yet to name the ship properly. He referred to it as UFO1 in his notes but now he felt she deserved a more poetic name. He thought a short while and came up with ‘Javelin’. It would do. ‘Time to take Javelin home, folks,’ he said aloud though he was alone on board.

He reversed the direction of the ship and began cruising home to his ranch. He had almost lapsed into a pleasurable reverie involving sipping a blue cream soda on the porch congratulating himself on a job well done, when an alarm sounded loudly. It was a radar alert warning of a potential collision with airborne or immobile objects located on the ground such as a tower or high building. But there were no tall buildings here so it must be a low-flying plane. He hurriedly looked through the porthole – nothing. Then he shifted his attention to the viewscreen – nothing. He manipulated the viewscreen controls, flipped through each camera in turn – there!

There behind him, coming up fast, a plane. He zoomed in – it wasn’t a plane! It was a flying disc – another saucer! Could someone else have invented one just like his – what were the odds of that and even more astronomically what were the odds that this person would be flying here and now while he was conducting his test flight? No! It beggared belief. It was either some government craft that had detected him or a bona fide extraterrestrial. But would the government dispatch a saucer-shaped vehicle to investigate him or would they not do as they always had done – and dispatch F14s?

He had not installed a radio as yet so there was no way to communicate with the fast-approaching craft. He instinctively or unthinkingly increased his speed. He looked at the viewscreen – it appeared to be gaining. It was fast! It appeared to be made of a whitish metal like magnesium or aluminium. He decided not to run. He pressed stop and waited breathlessly for the scant seconds it would take for the pursuer to catch up to him. Then the viewscreen loomed large with the silvery craft. He hoped it wasn’t hostile. It had not fired upon him so that was good, he thought. It appeared to begin circling him, and he felt the hairs on his nape prickle and stand to attention – perhaps he was being scanned or he was reacting fearfully? But he had no time to ascertain which when as suddenly as it began the craft pulsed into an acceleration from his position – it appeared vanishingly small in his viewscreen and then it was gone. 

This is a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

"Conformity is the refuge of the frightened." Dorothy Carnegie

"And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance."
[From 'The Prophet' by Kahlil Gibran]

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Bedtime story #1

Once upon a time the laughing Buddha Hotei or Budai was caught in the rain. Since he was bare-chested, his clothes in rags, he was going to catch a cold if he didn’t find shelter quickly. Being ever-blissful our fat-bellied friend laughed as he began to run. A little ways down the road he saw an inn. Soon he was inside the inn and was drying and warming himself by the fire. The innkeeper who loved wines had a small wineshop for his guests. Since Hotei was poor he knew he could not afford to spend the night at the inn, so he hoped the rain would stop or that the innkeeper wouldn’t mind if he stayed by the fireplace all night long. Fortunately, the innkeeper was a friendly soul, and had his servants bring Hotei a chair to sit beside the fire and a hot mug of soup – cream-of-tomato flavour. It was one of the best nights Hotei ever spent.

This is a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental.

Nothing is impossible

"To believe that something is impossible, is to make it so. Persevere and you will overcome all obstacles." Dandemis

"Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe it can achieve."
Jules Verne

So, it's possible then to build a flying saucer or craft that has a main method of propulsion that isn't based on rocketry or jet engines. Also, beyond ducted fans and hovercraft principles. It's a flying machine beyond helicopter or aeroplane technology. Any ideas, anyone?

Four small incidents in Erin

There was a pretty blonde Irish lass in Cork who worked in a coffee shop. One day some guy she never met before, speaking English but with a strange accent, came up to her (she was behind the counter) and warned her that the sign above the coffee shop door was loose and would doubtless fall soon if left unattended. ‘Tanks a million,’ she replied. The fellow paused – was she being a little sarcastic? She looked peeved. The man smiled inwardly (betraying a little of it outwardly too, no doubt) because she looked even prettier when she was angry. The man returned to his seat. A short while passed and then a crash! The sign had fallen to the ground – luckily no one was underneath it when it happened.

Will she remember those events, that customer? I think she’ll remember, if she does, that she was having a bad day once, when she was working in her early twenties.


It was bitterly cold – one of the harshest winters in Ireland, they said. There was a shop – a small general store, I believe ‘twas in Courtmacsherry (CĂșirt Mhic Seafraidh – pronounce that if you can!). The woman who ran the shop said to us as we were leaving with our ice creams (oh, yes! – ice cream in winter’s good!) that we should remember them. What she meant was that we should remember them in Ireland suffering from the cold when we experience once again our warm and sunny climes in our own country. I don’t think I’ll ever forget.


An electrician had been called to deal with a problem where we were staying in Courtmacsherry. The owner of the place asked if I’d lead the electrician to the source of the problem. I had to get up early to do so, and it was very cold, and overcast. A very grey day. I met the electrician, We exchanged hello’s, and as we were walking to the electrical box or metre or whatever it was that was causing the problem, he completely surprised me! What he said that astounded me was, ‘It’s a beautiful day today.’ Such simple words but I was amazed. He wasn’t joking or pulling my leg. He meant it. I almost felt like telling him he should see my country to appreciate a beautiful day but I kept silent. All I could muster was a feeble: ‘Yes, but yesterday was also beautiful.’ What a lost opportunity! What should I have said to this remarkable person? I should have said, ‘Yes, it is,’ and smiled my warmest smile.


We had to take the bus to Cork. We made a few stops to pick up people. Two young girls boarded and took their seats. My brother caught a snippet of their conversation. One of them said, ‘It’s lousy!’ My brother repeated it to me afterwards trying to say it as they said it, ‘Lowssy!’ Not even close. He was very amused by it. It’s funny how a simple phrase can make two young gals very loveable.

On the same bus a man came in by himself. I guess it was the day he had chosen to go to Cork to do some shopping – perhaps buy a book or two. It was his outing day. He was not old but no longer young either, perhaps in his late forties or early fifties. He sat down. At some point, I can’t remember precisely when, we glanced at each other. We paused. I didn’t have to say a word. He didn’t have to say a word. There was complete understanding between us. He was probably the only man in Ireland with whom I would have dearly loved to talk but it wasn’t necessary. He smiled. I must’ve smiled too. It’s rare to meet someone on the same spiritual level as you are. It’s comforting to know that you’re not alone in this world.

Friday, August 2, 2013

taking the time to look at home

Imagine the day, if it ever comes, when we, from afar, contemplate the majesty of our own galaxy.
Then, knowing we could gaze forever at the spectacle, with awe growing greater as we look; we turn to our duties elsewhere on the ship.

special group

Thursday, August 1, 2013


  1. A dinosaur park or museum nearby.
  2.  Life-size Easter Island heads (moai) at my local park.
  3. A personal flying machine.
  4. Universal free internet.
  5. Universal free medical.
  6. For classical music to come back into vogue

Pollyanna prejudice or really too schmaltzy?

I have been accused that my piece on why you should read Pollyanna is too schmaltzy and too full of ‘I’s. This is an attempt to redress that.

I will endeavour to write (and be):
like a basilisk or common lizard basking,
like an ibis on one leg, beak buried in its breast,
like maple syrup but not golden syrup.

The reason why you should read ‘Pollyanna’ and ‘Pollyanna Grows up’ by Eleanor H. Porter, is because they are well-written, entertaining works of fiction, with an original take on optimism.


Why you should read Pollyanna.

 The Pollyanna Tonic

“I have never believed that we ought to deny discomfort and pain and evil; I have merely thought that it is far better to greet the unknown with a cheer.”

“Pollyanna does not pretend everything is sugar-coated goodness but she is positively determined to find the good in every situation.”

Both quotes above are by Eleanor H. Porter who wrote the first two Pollyanna books, known as the ‘Glad Books’ because ‘glad’ is Pollyanna’s favourite word. The first book was published in 1913, and was simply titled Pollyanna, the sequel followed in 1915 and was titled Pollyanna grows Up.

In the books (and movies) you will find out about a radical idea or way of looking at life that is called The Glad Game. Simply put it entails finding something about everything to be glad about. It may not be such a new idea. Optimism has always been around it could be argued, just as its opposite, Pessimism has been. Still, it is a highly original take on optimism, and a very practical tool besides.

My chief interests are the two books and the 1960 film for which Hayley Mills won an honorary Academy Award for her performance as Pollyanna Whittier.

My chief desire in writing this is that everyone should read these 2 wonderful books, at the least. That is the real tonic; anything I may say here is simply to get you to read those and to find that positive outlook, that cheerfulness in the face of adversity which can help transform our lives and those of others for the better.

Nowadays classics are not children’s first choice in reading matter so it’s up to parents and friends to encourage the reading of the classics, even though they might be a bit more demanding at times (keep a good dictionary handy).

That pain and suffering exists and is inescapable for any human being is a given. I am not proposing, see Eleanor H. Porter’s quotes above, that we should try and escape or run away from suffering; nor that we should seek it out either for that matter but that the trials that we are going to have to go through inevitably can be a means for our growth and betterment, spiritually-speaking.

That being cheerful in the face of adversity is indeed a tall order is not going to be disputed by me. To be cheerful in general is actually difficult and rare. To be so when all you want to do is swap bodies with someone healthier is a far more demanding exercise, and is in my opinion ultimately impossible without divine assistance.
I do not wish to dwell too much on religious or spiritual matters. They are of utmost importance but it is not my desire to produce a religious work in the Christian tradition. There are also so many views and philosophies from all religions that are highly beneficial that in the end an eclectic piece of writing is going to be the outcome of my efforts.

I am reaching for something a bit more elusive, I think. I want to make you see something that’ll change your life; that’ll mean you’ll never worry again…ever again.
To get ‘there’ you must first be willing; then you’ve got to do the reading; then you’ve got to put what you read into practice. Then you’ve got to persevere when it seems that it’s not going to work, that it’s an impossible thing to expect of anyone. Then you’ve got to spend the rest of your life developing mastery. You’ll probably never reach perfection but it’s demanded that you keep on trying for it, and never give up. You will pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and carry on. And I can promise you that you will change, that you will be stronger and you will know joy and content. You will have changed beyond what you thought possible when you first started out. It is God and His grace that is responsible for this transformation. I must give credit where it is due.

If you can’t find the books they are available at Project Gutenberg: for free.

You know it's love when...

"You know it's love when all you want is for that person to be happy, even if you're not part of their happiness."

"But you hope that they choose you to be a part of their happiness."

[don’t know who authors are.]