Thursday, April 19, 2012


"He (Mark Twain) had been deeply impressed during his stay in England by English benevolence, by silent acts of charity that seemed characteristic of the English upper class, even of English society as a whole, especially in comparison with tightfisted American sink-or-swim individualism or American charity as self-glorification."
In a dangerously turbulent storm, the captain of the Batavia had orchestrated the rescue of 10 surviving crew members of a wrecked ship.
The Batavia's captain wanted neither praise nor publicity for fulfilling his humane duty to help others in distress, even at great risk.
So, when we do an heroic deed do we seek fame and fortune? And we feel we deserve a pat on the back?
Americans are sink-or-swim individualists. We seek self-glory for our charitable acts.
Not everyone fits into that typecast.
I have friends who have helped me and didn't want publicity.
I disdain publicity.
While going through what I thought to be a job interview, I ended up being interviewed for an article on homelessness.
Someone wanted my input and opinions but not my skills as a writer.
Shucky darns!!
So do you seek a claim for fame when you're benevolent, or do you do out of the goodness of your heart?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


"Humility is the most difficult of all virtues to achieve; nothing dies harder than the desire to think well of oneself." -- T.S. Eliot, "Shakespeare and the Stoicism of Seneca (1927).

"Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up." -- James 4:10.

If you don't humble yourself, God has a way of making you humble.
Indeed, pride goeth before the fall.
Just ask Bobby Petrino!
He was too proud to admit his guilt and he fell very hard.
I learned the hard way to humble myself.
God humbled me and now he's lifting me up.
Once I was a foolish too proud man.
I didn't heed those words of wisdom from T.S. Eliot and James, the brother of Jesus.
But thanks to friends along the way who intersected into my life in very significant ways I can survive.
Most of them prefer anonymity. But you know who you are and how you've lifted me out of my despair.
One man came up to me very sheepishly and said, "I want to help I just don't know how."
I can see clearly now because of his generosity!
One photographer wanted to take my picture and he's been a very generous friend ever since!
One lady saw me walking home in a Santa hat and she befriended me with pizza and other love offerings!
One man and his wife saw on Facebook that I needed a place to lay my head and they've been great neighbors ever since!
Thanks to my humility I've been lifted up by the generosity and love of God intersecting with those angels of mercy.
So, I'm proudly humble!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Character, integrity

"What a web we weave when we practice to deceive." -- Willie Shakespeare
Too bad Bobby Petrino didn't take a class in Shakespeare while he was devising his ingenious offensive formations.
Petrino tried one too many deceitful games en route to his helter-skelter crash from not only the Pig Trail but his career as the Razorbacks football guru.
Petrino/Bimbo-gate ended with a bang and a whimper.
The bang occurred on April Fool's Day when Petrino crashed his motorcycle and then tried to lie his way out of his predicament.
The reverberations from those foolish mistakes he made after the wreck, banged up not only his body but also his relationship with Jeff Long who had entrusted Petrino with the Razorback football program.
The whimpers came from Long as he addressed the public and the press while announcing his pain-staking decision to axe Petrino to leave the scene post-haste.
Most of us true-Red-blooded Razorback Nationalists suffered through some excruciating moments as we pondered the future of the Porker football future.
Some of my friends adamantly defended Petrino's peccadillos and said it's alright to lie if you're trying to cover up an illicit relationship.
Unfortunately, I was right when I predicted Petrino had unceremoniously sealed his own fate by his deceitful coverup.
Petrino should've learned from Tricky Dicky Nixon that coverups can get you terminated.
So, is there light at the end of this tunnel or is it an onrushing train headed for another disastrous crash?
Today as I pondered all of these thoughts I looked up in the dark clouds hovering over Fayetteville and saw one of God's wonderful creations, a beatific rainbow.
Yes, sometimes amidst life's black cloud scenarios a rainbow appears to guide us into the future.
Hopefully the Razorbacks will rally around this adversity and respond to the interim coach and win a national championship.
I'm proud of Jeff Long who kept his priorities in order and disdainfully fired Petrino for his deceitfulness.
DeAngelo Hall, a former Falcons defensive back said last weekend: "Trouble always follows him (Petrino) and it's mostly by the decisions he's made. He's a clown. I have a 10-year-old son and I would never ever send him to a college to play for a coach or a person like Petrino."
If Long had given Petrino a second chance, that attitude might've been ever prevalent in the minds of parents of recruits.
So, let's take a breath of fresh air. Say, wooo, Pig, sooie and just tell Petrino he committed sooie-cide on the Pig Trail.

Monday, April 2, 2012


Self-deprecating jokes increase humility in all walks of life.
When a clergyman pokes fun at himself, it's nice to laugh and observe that they're not all stuffy-headed.
Sometimes jokes in which the religious figure comes out on top also bring us the jollies.
A group of 20 cloistered nuns received a special gift of free tickets to a baseball game. The mother superior gave them permission to go to the gma and enjoy themselves which was a special treat to the normally cloistered environment they worked in.
So, they all sat together in one long row and bought sodas and hot dogs and popcorn and hats and noisemakers.
Soon they were rollicking and creating quite a commotion.
Behind them sat three grumpy diehard baseball fans, who became annoyed with these ebullient nuns.
One of them said loudly enough for the nuns to hear him say, "This is ridiculous! I'm going to move a few rows ahead, where there are probably only 10 nuns! Maybe then I can watch the game in peace!"
The embarrassed nuns sat quietly. But in a few minutes they were in high spirits and enjoying themselves again.
The second diehard fan says very loudly, "I'm going to move to the expensive seats. They are only five nuns there!"
The nuns were very embarrassed and sat quietly until they finally were having fun again.
Finally the third diehard fan angrily and loudly spouts off, "I'm going to the box seats! There are probably only two nuns there!"
Finally one of the nuns had lost here sense of decency and couldn't take it any longer. So, she remarked, "Why don't you go to hell? There are no nuns there!"
In his book "Between Heaven and Mirth" James Martin a Jesuit priest points out that humor and laughter in our daily lives embraces an essential truth: faith leads to joy.
Most humor is healthy and purposeful.
But like that beleaguered nun, sometimes we can only take so much and we have to speak out.