Character


Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded–here and there, now and then–are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.

This is known as “bad luck.”

—  Robert Heinlein, in “Time Enough for Love,” 1973

 

This is very cool (even if one is not a Steeler’s fan):

Pittsburgh Steelers cafeteria worker Maurice Matthews received the gift of a 1999 Mercedes-Benz SL500. The gift was given by Steelers secondary coach Ray Horton to Matthews for $20 on the coach’s last day of work.

Horton dropped the news on Matthews by asking the food service employee, who would repeatedly ask to take his Benz for a ride, if he could borrow all the money he had. Since the two were reportedly close, Matthews gave Horton his only $20, which became the asking price for the droptop. Not too shabby, especially considering the book value on the 64,000 mile Benz is somewhere around $18k.

Did you ever wonder why we capitalize the word “I” but do not capitalize other pronouns, not even “we”?

This practice vexed the poet-preacher Henry Van Dyke nearly a century ago, and he came up with an interesting explanation.

English is the only major language to capitalize its first-person singular pronoun.

“How monumentally imposing is that upper case ‘I’!” wrote Henry Van Dyke in 1920. “If a writer is egoistic the capitals stretch across his page like a colonnade. When he writes ‘we,’ he descends to the lower case.

“But this orthographic solipsism, mark you, is shared by Americans, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders,–all who use the English tongue. It is therefore not to be set down to insularity, but to individualism,–a stark, ineradicable, valuable quality of these various folks whose thoughts and feelings have been nourished by the same language.”

 

Moral progress in history lies not so much in the improvement of the moral code as in the enlargement of the area within which it is applied.

— Will Durant, Our Oriental Heritage, p. 101

I doubt I could do this:

A mother whose only child was shot dead has shown the ultimate forgiveness – by inviting her son’s killer to live next door.

Mary Johnson, 59, now lives in the apartment adjoining the home of 34-year-old Oshea Israel and they share a porch.

In February 1993, Mrs Johnson’s son, Laramiun Byrd, 20, was shot in the head by 16-year-old Israel after an argument at a party in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Israel, who was involved with drugs and gangs, was tried as an adult and sentenced to 25 and a half years. He served 17 before being released.

 

She sought a relationship with him:

Then just a few years ago, the 59-year-old teacher and devout Christian, asked if she could meet Israel at Minnesota’s Stillwater state prison.

She said she felt compelled to see if there was a way in which she could forgive her son’s killer.

At first he refused but then nine months later, changed his mind. Israel said he was shocked by the fact she wanted to meet him.

He said: ‘I believe the first thing she said to me was, ”Look, you don’t know me. I don’t know you. Let’s just start with right now.”

‘And I was befuddled myself.’

The pair met regularly after that. When Israel was released from prison around 18 months ago, Mrs Johnson introduced him to her landlord – who with her blessing, invited Israel to move into the building.

What a woman!
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2000704/Woman-shows-incredible-mercy-sons-killer-moves-door.html#ixzz1P6Yh4r3g

Several compelling statistics remind us to be thankful that we are Americans.

http://www.fubiz.net/2011/05/25/village-of-100-people/#more-160757

The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up.”

Paul Valery, French poet

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