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Unconditional Love

I was in a local grocery store the other day when suddenly I heard the sound of breaking glass behind me. I turned around to see what had happened. A young mother had turned away from her shopping cart for a second to look in one of the freezers.

That second was all it took for her growing, baby boy to test out his newfound ability to grab and lift things from his seat in the cart. Unfortunately, the big jar of spaghetti sauce was more than he could handle.

I smiled when I walked back to help and saw the look of utter surprise on his face. His arms were still outstretched where the jar had been a few seconds before. On the floor below the puddle of red was slowly oozing across the aisle.

After making sure that both Mom and baby were alright, I headed down the aisle to get help from a store employee. As I glanced back at them, though, I saw something that truly warmed my heart.

The baby had finally taken his eyes off the shattered jar and looked up at his Mom. Instead of scolding him or even giving him an angry look she smiled down at him with eyes full of gentle understanding and unconditional love.

Her tender gaze and kind smile never changed, not even when a friend gave her some good-natured teasing about the mess. I knew then that this Mom was going to give her son a lifetime full of laughter and love.

I think that God must smile down on us with that same look at times. We are His beloved Children and yet as hard as we try, we often make a mess of things, too.

We want to learn to love. Still, we stumble, we fall, we let important things slip through our fingers, and even break a few hearts along the way. God never gives up on us, however. He forgives us and fills our hearts, souls, and lives with His gentle understanding and unconditional love.

May we learn to love each other as He loves us. May we all learn to live our lives in joy, laughter, love, and understanding.

~ Written by Joseph J. Mazzella and used with permission. Joe is both a sensitive and loving person as well as an insightful writer. His website is well worth the visit at ~

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A Room with a View

Two men who were both seriously ill occupied the same hospital room. One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room’s only window. The other man had to spend his time flat on his back.

The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation. Every afternoon when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window.

The man in the other bed began to live for those one-hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the world outside. He came to know the window overlooked a park with a lovely lake.

Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young couples walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.

As the man by the window described all this in exquisite detail, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene. One warm afternoon the man by the window described a parade passing by.

Although the other man couldn’t hear the band – he could see it. In his mind’s eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words.

One morning, the nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window who had died peacefully in his sleep. She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away.

As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.

Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the real world outside. He strained to slowly turn to look out the window beside the bed.

It faced a blank wall.

The man asked the nurse why his deceased roommate had always described such wonderful things outside this window.

She said, “He always knew how much you enjoyed and where encouraged by the beauty outside the window.”

Take a look. What can you do – right now – to put a smile on someone’s face and make them feel a little bit more happy. Will you? Now?

Thank you. The world is now a little bit more loving 🙂

~ Author Unknown .. plus a little help from Sandy ~

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Are You Serious?

When I entered the business world I had a goal. A goal to make a lot of money. I succeeded and thought I was rich. Yay. Success !!!

But then soon – all too soon – I found out there was more to the story. What Rockefeller and Kennedy knew and taught their kids is once you have it, the rest of the story is to keep it.

New Year’s Resolutions are like this. To make goals to change our lives is just the first half of the story. Antoine de Saint-Exupry stated it well: “A goal without a plan is just a wish.”

Am I serious? I am now making my New Year’s Resolutions. One is the goal I had a long time ago when I entered the business world, to make a good amount of money. For me. For my family. For others to help build their lives. But I know it is just a wish if I don’t create a firm plan to make it happen.

A plan that is concrete. That identifies exactly what I need to do and break it down step by step. To monitor these “baby steps” a day, a week, a month at a time and make changes in my path as wisdom and patience dictates.

There is a old cliché that says this well: “Plan our work and work our plan.”

I am serious. I plan to change my life in 2018.

Are you serious? Will you make goals and put them in a drawer? Or will you keep your goals on the table? Focusing on them and making them a reality step by step.

Let’s change our lives in 2018. Do it for us. Do it for our family. Do it for others to help them build their lives !!

~ The author is C. F. Sandy Pofahl ~

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Spitzer vs. Reagan

Eliot Spitzer, former Governor of New York, offers such a sad illustration of the opposite of humility. As I have discussed this tragedy with friends on Wall Street and others, I hear an interesting theme repeated regularly.

Most are not troubled by his actual bad behavior but rather by the contradiction of his behavior given Spitzer’s crusading style and judgmental actions toward others. The former Governor railed against corporate evil doers and even spoke out against prostitution rings. He referred to himself as a ‘steamroller’ and threatened to take down any and all who stood in his way.

My friend and mentor, John Whitehead, experienced the wrath of Mr. Spitzer in an unpleasant exchange. Whitehead, former co-chairman of Goldman Sachs among his many accomplishments, stood alone on Wall Street for his integrity and kindness. The fact that Spitzer would attack and threaten John for urging the prosecutor to be measured and careful lest he destroy good companies and reputations, tells much about Spitzer.

As a young White House staffer during the Reagan years, I found myself one day in a smallish room off of the oval office. Present along with President Reagan were the troika, Chief of Staff James Baker, former attorney General Edwin Meese and the late Michael Deaver, head of White House Communications, and for some inexplicable reason, I was there.

What struck me most profoundly about that hour was the kindness and lack of judgment of President Reagan. Anytime one of his political enemies, such as Senator Kennedy, was mentioned in some less than flattering way, the President would strongly speak up and point out their virtues and fine traits, and in Kennedy’s case, how that remarkable family had suffered.

I counted at least four times that he acted so nobly. I wandered back to my office with the thought in my mind,

‘I want to be like that.’

The Spitzer moments offer a teachable opportunity for me. May I look within, change myself first. Our nation is a contradiction on so many levels. One that jumps out is that fact that we are the most permissive society ever, and yet we are the most judgmental.

Change must begin with me. The bar is high. Judge not, lest you be judged. A lot to think about.

Thanks, Eliot, for the reminder.

~ The author is J. Douglas Holladay who was a general partner in Park Avenue Equity Partners, LP and a Senior Fellow of the Case Foundation. Prior to Park Avenue he was a senior officer with Goldman, Sachs and Company and prior to this he held senior positions in both the State Department and the White House. ~

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“The Game of Life”

A young boy enters a barber shop and the barber whispers to his customer, “This is the dumbest kid in the world. Watch while I prove it to you.”

The barber puts a dollar bill in one hand and two quarters in the other, then calls the boy over and asks,

“Which do you want, son?”

The boy takes the two quarters and leaves.

“What did I tell you?” said the barber. “That kid never learns!”

After the customer leaves the barber shop, he sees the same young boy coming out of the ice cream store with his newly purchased ice cream cone.

“Hey, son! May I ask you a question? Why did you take the two quarters instead of the dollar bill?”

The boy licked his cone and replied,

“Because the day I take the dollar, the game’s over.”

~ Author Unknown ~

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