Monday, January 04, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 1/4/16
“As I walked out the door to my freedom I knew if I did not leave all the anger, hatred and bitterness behind that I would still be in prison.”  (Nelson Mandela)  As we walk into the New Year, it would be well to follow Mandela’s example and leave behind that which has kept us from being the best that we can be.  It is possible to let the past be the past and to live life in a new way.  Let that be our resolve.    ;-)  Jack

FROM HONEST JOHN:  Always learn from the past.   Try not to let it choke you but instead to free you up for a wiser today and tomorrow.====JACK:  "You gotta know when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em."  You gotta know what part of the past to hold on to...and what part to discard.  It's not always an easy lesson to learn.====JOHN:  I don't think you have "to hold on to" any part of the past.   You have to learn from it.    Just reading SPQR by Mary Beard.  (I recommend it) .,.much to learn from Rome's experience...especially about income inequality.====JACK:  Of course, it is good to learn from the past, the good and the bad.  I also "enjoy" remembering the past, just for the fun of it.

FROM HY YO SILVER:  Appropriate timing. Very smart.====JACK:  Think of what Mandela accomplished when he chose to "walk away."  ...first non-white President of South Africa...ending of apartheid...Nobel Peace Prize.  Why is it that so many of us can't "let go?"====HY YO:  You are so spot-on, you have no idea.====JACK:  Could it be the Spirit of G-d?

FROM BS IN ENGLAND:  Thank you so much for those winning words today.  I am facing attending the funeral of one of A's cousins this week, representing her.  I'm  sure her brother and sister will be there, who have been more than unkind to me. They do not visit or even send cards. I am  in contact with the cousin's family so I  will attend and hold my head high.     I did not cause A's condition and will walk beside her through  this terrible  disease. No matter what!====JACK:  It's not easy to let go of anger, hatred, bitterness...But, it's been shown that it's better for us--physically, as well as mentally and spiritually.  Later this week Winning Words will advise  that it's better to err on the side of kindness.

FROM TARMART REV:  Yes, Sir! That will be my resolve! "Free at last; free at last; thank God Almighty we are free at last!”====JACK:  Yes, sir!  MLK Jr saw the the value of walking away from "a fight" peacefully.  And it was called a "Freedom March."

FROM CB:  Thank you again, Jack for words that help me to live my life in better ways.====JACK:  They're called "Winning Words," because I choose them (most of the time), thinking that they can help the readers live a better life.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  ...And what discipline that must have taken for him!  We probably can't begin to imagine!  As Mahatma Gandhi observed, "The weak can never forgive.  Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong."  The world is often not a kind place, which we learn even as children, and which we try to help our own children understand and deal with in a positive way. What an inspiration Mr. Mandela still is!====JACK:  Three examples of Mandela's forgiveness.  1) Had lunch with a man who tried to have him killed.  2) Invited a prison guard to his inauguration as President.  3) Asked a former jailer to dine with him, marking the 20th anniversary of his release from prison.

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  Mandela's words express an underlying spirit of forgiveness, a decision to eliminate the option of hate and revenge.  Doing that clears the mind to concentrate on some serious objectives in life.  At the end of WW2, one of the sailors who had fought in the Pacific, came home and married my sister.  We heard from him how the Japanese had sunk two of the ships on which he served, bringing him close to death.  Despite those incidents, he had a cheerful, positive attitude, and was determined to have an accomplished life.  He contributed a lot as a member of our family.  I asked him once, why he had no ill will against those who had tried to destroy him and his navy buddies during wartime, and he told me essentially what Mandela said.  My brother-in-law realized that holding on to anger and bitterness would be like carrying on the war, so he was determined to put that behind him.====JACK:  The "creed" of the Optimist Club reads, in part:  "Promise forget the mistakes of the past and to press on to the greater achievements of the future."  Evidently he has been able to do that.

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