Things to Ponder For the Soul
Poetry and Verse
ON FALLING IN LOVE
Sprinting is easy, especially with youthful lungs and limbs; an artistic career, however, is a long-distance run.
12. The Mystery of Stalin's Death
Was he killed because he was about to plunge the Soviet Union into a war its people were in no position to fight?
11. Mozart Redeems My Mediocrity
It is realizing that I will never be the equal of Mozart that allows me to sit back and enjoy what he has bequeathed to me.
10. The Meaning of Campaign Promises
You never know who they will become once they move into the insular, heady womb of the White House or how they will be buffeted by the caprice of history, and the randomness of crises.
9. Dividing 17 Mules
A Missouri farmer left 17 mules to his three sons. How to divide them?
8. Knowing History and Knowing Who We Are
Nobody lived in the past. Jefferson, Adams, Washington lived in their own present, just as we do in ours.
7. Gerald Ford at 90 Reflects on the Presidency
Staff members are not elected by the people and "their arrogance and abuse of power can be . . ."
6. The Limits of Power
An actual radio conversation between a U.S. naval vessel and Canadian authorities off the coast of Newfoundland.
5. The Captain Was Sober All Day
"The statement is perfectly true, and that is all that matters."
4. What the Experts Said
"The automobile has practically reached the limit of its development; during the past year no improvements have been introduced."
3. One-Hour Life History
Writing a life history sounds like a monumental task, but it can be done in an hour. Here is one way to begin:
2. Classical vs. Popular Music
If you've encountered a piece of classical music that you loved, then you know more than you think you do.
1. And You Have the Nerve to Call Me Colored!
When you're born, you're pink, When you're sick, you're green, When you're cold, you go blue.
Ideas that have dominated public education in America have worked against you, against your teachers, and against our country.
11. Moral Relativism
If I like fancying Henry VIII to have been a disguised Indian, I am not in opposition to someone who enjoys fancying him to have been Chinese. But sometimes we must draw a line and take a stand.
10. Morality and the Maintenance of Liberty
A great counterfeit of freedom is supposed liberation from morality and responsibility. Government by the people requires a people who can preserve the conditions of liberty. When they become slaves to their appetites and passions, they will surely lose it.
9. A Provocative Prayer
Everyone was expecting the usual generalities, but this is what they heard:
8. Happy Anniversary for Millions Never Born
Why is it so repugnant to accept that we may have been wrong in our initial embrace of abortion?
7. Civilization on the Brink
We will have thrown away many of the very things that made our civilization so dominant, prosperous and successful.
6. Turning the Tables on Abortion
"Have an abortion," the woman said. "That child would have a very poor quality of life." James responded, "That child was me!"
5. Abortion and the Conscience of the Nation
Some unborn children survive the late-term abortions the Supreme Court has made legal.
4. A worthy aspiration for most humans: To be like your own dog
Their silly, happy, goofy grins capture that blissful, joyful essence of all that is dog.
3. A Loss for Words
I'm just afraid that language is evolving toward ambiguity and vagueness. I'm like, whatever.
2. Don't Embellish the National Anthem
The national anthem shouldn't be treated like a rock song, a screaming gospel showcase or a grandstand for vocal gymnastics.
1. The Paradox of Our Time
We have more labor saving devices - but work longer hours.
When you attribute positive or negative traits to someone else, the listener will often attribute those same traits to you.
10. Helping the Bereaved
This guide suggests the kinds of attitudes, words, and acts which are truly helpful.
9. On Losing a Pet
Your grandmother wasn't wagging her tail when you came home, and she didn't sleep curled up on your bed.
8. What Others Aren't Thinking About You
People tend to overestimate the extent to which their actions are noted by others.
7. The Incompetent are Blissfully Self-assured
The skills required for competence are often the same skills necessary to recognize competence in the first place.
6. The Four Modes of Marriage
From "Institutional Marriage" for raising children and families, to "Modern Covenant Marriage," where your spouse's well-being matters the most.
5. The Creative Person
Peculiarly gifted in seeing the gap between what is and what could be - and a certain measure of detatchment from what actually is.
4. Eudamonia, the Good Life
An abiding sense of flow, where time stops, self-consciousness is blocked and you're one with the music.
3. Celebrity: Acquired Situational Narcissism
Celebrities experience arrested development. Nowadays in the celebrity nuthouse, the inmates are running the asylum.
2. Top Reasons Why Marriages Struggle
A whole different kind of love should evolve, based on doing things for and with each other, not on what you can get from the relationship.
1. Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts
I do something that I should not have done, and this troubles me. So, I tell myself the act was justified all along. Then, just to prove that, I do it even more.
Torturing rats or rabbits wouldn't be so easy if you looked into their eyes and recognized a fellow being who feels pain and fear like you would.
15. Hounds Heal Hearts
Anxiety levels fell 24 percent and stress hormone rates fell 17 percent. Pulmonary pressures dropped 10 percent.
14. Findings: Some People More Sensitive to Pain
This can be a problem for doctors when deciding treatment.
13. It's All So Ovibous
It deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteers are in the rghit pclae.
12. Laughter Keeps Blood Flowing Through Arteries
Laughter seems to cause the inner lining of blood vessels to relax or expand, increasing blood flow. Mental stress causes the opposite.
11. U.S. Teen-Agers Need More Rest, Researchers Say
American teen-agers are getting far less sleep than they need, and their health, behavior and academic performance are suffering as a result.
10. There's Just 1 Race of People, Say Experts: Human
Race has nothing to do with science and everything to do with society.
9. The Aging of the Human Brain
"Somehow I have more confidence than I had before. I can trust instincts and hunches in ways I didn't used to."
8. Is Your Brain Male or Female?
The female brain favors empathy, and the male brain favors understanding and building systems. There is also the "balanced brain."
7. Teens' Brains Lack in Ability for Sound Judgment
One of the last parts of the brain to mature is the very part responsible for self-control, judgment, emotional regulation, organization and planning.
6. Inside the Teenage Brain
"If we were to compare the teenage brain to an automobile, it's as if the gas pedal is to the floor, and there are no brakes."
5. Astronomers Spy 10 Billion Trillion Trillion-Carat Diamond
If anyone's ever promised you the sun, the moon and the stars, tell 'em you'll settle for this hunk of celestial bling. It's an estimated 2,500 miles across.
4. Animals Called 'Bundles of Emotion'
Arguments that animals don't feel fear and grief are like old ideas that African slaves "don't feel pain like white men," or that women weren't smart enough to vote.
3. Do Fish Feel Pain?
Fish have 58 pain receptors around the mouth and actually react at lower levels of pain stimulation then humans, perhaps because their skin is more easily damaged.
2. How DNA Proves God Made All Creatures
Now we know that the earliest living cells all had this incredibly complex DNA coding in them.
1. A Walk Across the Universe
On this scale, the Milky Way Galaxy is about the size of a dime.
Anybody but a statesman could reduce these armaments so that even the Savior could come down and walk on the seas, without being chased by Christian battleships.
16. Mark Twain on Civilizations
It has invented a thousand useless luxuries, and turned them into necessities; it has created a thousand vicious appetites and satisfies none of them.
15. Mark Twain on War
O Lord, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds; We ask it, in the spirit of love.
14. Turning 50
Don't assume malice for what thoughtlessness can explain.
13. Spending Time Alone
Smart people spend time alone, allowing all their God-given intuition to work its unlogical magic.
12. Disciplining Children
Parents who want their kids to be "free," and never set limits, are teaching them that there is nowhere they're safe.
11. The Gift of Sight
Helen Keller's comment on a girl who had just taken a walk in the woods and observed "nothing in particular".
10. Death, the Great Equalizer
When I see great rivals lying side by side in death, I reflect on the little competitions, factions, and debates of mankind.
9. Extremist Positions
The problems of real life are difficult to understand and don't lend themselves to easy solutions.
8. A Life of Action
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, never to those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.
7. Counter-Culture Parenting
Once the chorus of cultural values was full of ministers, teachers, leaders. Now it's violent cartoon characters, rappers, and celebrities selling sneakers.
6. Generous People
How delightful is the company of generous people. People of small caliber are always carping.
Inexperience is a quality of the human condition.
A great military leader makes his own army a willing extension of himself.
3. Summer Time
Time in fact is the whole point and purpose of summer.
2. Our Deepest Fear
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
1. The Babies of 1809
We may well ask which of the battles of 1809 mattered more than the babies of 1809.
"You can become so rich that you can spend all the rest of your days sitting on this beach, looking at the sunset!"
3. The Love Test
The true nature of a heart is seen in its response to the unattractive.
2. Teddy Stoddard
You never can tell what type of impact you may make on another's life by your actions or lack of action.
1. Nelson Mandela's Lesson
"They have had me for 27 years. If I keep hating them, they will still have me. I wanted to be free, and so I let it go."
This story is true though crudely told. I was the man in this case. I stood knee-deep in snow and cold And the hot tears burned my face.
2. Stray Cat
Oh, what unhappy twist of fate Has brought you homeless to my gate?
1. Now I Sit Me Down In School
If scripture now the class recites, It violates the Bill of Rights. And anytime my head I bow Becomes a federal matter now.