TRUE STORY: In a cemetery in Hanover, Germany, there is a grave on which were placed huge slabs of granite and marble. They were also cemented together and fastened with heavy steel clasps. It belongs to a woman who did not believe in the resurrection of the dead. She was an angry agnostic. Yet strangely, she directed in her will that her grave be made so secure that if there were a resurrection, it could not reach her. On the marker were inscribed these words: “This burial place must never be opened.” But listen to what happened. In time, a seed, covered over by the stones, began to grow. Slowly it pushed its way through the soil and out from beneath them. Over time, as the trunk enlarged, the great slabs were gradually shifted so that the steel clasps were wrenched from their sockets. A tiny seed had become a tree that had pushed aside the stones. Boy is she going to be in for a big surprise!
Along my way through life I have learned that when you don’t understand someone, you can make them feel alone, frustrated, and resentful.
TRUE STORY: There was a wealthy couple, of whom one day the husband had passed away. The wife was trying to get their son to take over the family business, but the son refused. In exasperation she took him to a psychologist. So he was asked why he wouldn’t take the position. The young man said, “Well, you don’t know my father. All my life he told me that he was teaching me self-reliance. He never once encouraged me. He said it would make me tough. Many days during my childhood, my Dad would play catch with me. He would throw me ten balls in a row. Every day … the 8, 9, or 10th ball, he would give me a bad throw on purpose. Dad said it would make me tough. But all my life I couldn’t please him. All my life I couldn’t measure up. I just don’t have the confidence. I just know that my dad would not be pleased, no matter what I did. Thank God that is not the way I was raised.
TRUE STORY: It’s not really how you start out that matters. It does matter how you finish. The teachers of Thomas Edison once told his parents, “He seems too stupid to learn.” Walt Disney, as a young man, was fired by a newspaper. They said he didn’t have any good ideas.