Saturday, 18 February 2012

Wisdom of the World -Week 167

The Interview
Jimmy is an unemployed car mechanic. One day he got an interview. All dressed up in a neat suit and tie, he went on his way.
While waiting for a bus, he saw a man frantically kicking the tyre of his car. Obvious something was wrong; Jimmy offered to help with the problem even though it would make him late.
Jimmy fixed the problem, declined payment but accepted a lift to the interview.
Covered in grease, Jimmy was at the end of the line as the interviewer was late.
 One by one, the applicants left the interviewer’s office with gloomy looks on their faces, a sign of disappointment.
Then his name was called. The interviewer was sitting on an executive chair facing towards the office window and asked: “Do you really need to be interviewed?” Jimmy’s heart sank.
“With the way I look now, how could I possibly pass this interview?” Jimmy thought to himself.
Then the interviewer turned the chair and to Jimmy’s surprise, it was the man he helped earlier in the morning. It turned out; he was the General Manager of the company .
“Sorry I had to keep you waiting, but I was pretty sure I made the right decision of having you as part of our workforce before you even stepped into this office. I just know you’d be a trustworthy worker, congratulations.” Jimmy sat down as they shared a cup of well-deserved coffee as he landed himself a new job.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012


Let me introduce myself. My name is Valentine. I lived in Rome during the third century. That was long, long ago! At that time, Rome was ruled by an emperor named Claudius. I didn't like Emperor Claudius, and I wasn't the only one! A lot of people shared my feelings.

Claudius wanted to have a big army. He expected men to volunteer to join. Many men just did not want to fight in wars. They did not want to leave their wives and families. As you might have guessed, not many men signed up. This made Claudius furious. So what happened? He had a crazy idea. He thought that if men were not married, they would not mind joining the army. So Claudius decided not to allow any more marriages. Young people thought his new law was cruel. I thought it was preposterous! I certainly wasn't going to support that law!

Did I mention that I was a priest? One of my favorite activities was to marry couples. Even after Emperor Claudius passed his law, I kept on performing marriage ceremonies -- secretly, of course. It was really quite exciting. Imagine a small candlelit room with only the bride and groom and myself. We would whisper the words of the ceremony, listening all the while for the steps of soldiers.

One night, we did hear footsteps. It was scary! Thank goodness the couple I was marrying escaped in time. I was caught. (Not quite as light on my feet as I used to be, I guess.) I was thrown in jail and told that my punishment was death.

I tried to stay cheerful. And do you know what? Wonderful things happened. Many young people came to the jail to visit me. They threw flowers and notes up to my window. They wanted me to know that they, too, believed in love.

One of these young people was the daughter of the prison guard. Her father allowed her to visit me in the cell. Sometimes we would sit and talk for hours. She helped me to keep my spirits up. She agreed that I did the right thing by ignoring the Emperor and going ahead with the secret marriages. On the day I was to die, I left my friend a little note thanking her for her friendship and loyalty. I signed it, "Love from your Valentine."

I believe that note started the custom of exchanging love messages on Valentine's Day. It was written on the day I died, February 14, 269 A.D. Now, every year on this day, people remember. But most importantly, they think about love and friendship. And when they think of Emperor Claudius, they remember how he tried to stand in the way of love, and they laugh -- because they know that love can't be beaten!

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Wisdom of the world - Week 166

Pic:Adam Porter

When a man whose marriage was in trouble sought his advice, the Master
said, "You must learn to listen to your wife."
The man took this advice to heart and returned after a month to say that he
had learned to listen to every word his wife was saying.
Said the Master with a smile, "Now go home and listen to every word she
isn't saying."

Anthony de Mello

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