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WITandWISDOM(tm) - August 27, 2001
If you are willing to admit you are wrong when you are wrong, you are all right. - Author Unknown
Source: Bits & Pieces, November 12, 1992, Copyright (c) Economic Press, Inc., http://www.epinc.com
~~~~~~~ SPECIAL THOUGHTS:
Some years ago two brothers in their early thirties owned a medium-sized manufacturing company. The company had been started by their grandfather, and the two had inherited it from their father upon his death some five years before.
Since the two young men had taken over the firm, business had gradually gotten worse. Now, if they were to get things back to normal, they needed about $250,000 for operating expenses. With that money they could turn things around.
Accordingly, they approached their local banker, an elderly man who knew both the firm and the family. They explained their situation to him, and stated their needs.
"I have done business with both your father and your grandfather," the banker said. "When your grandfather died your company led the industry."
"Yes, we know," said one young man, "and if you will grant us this loan for operating expenses, we'll lead the industry again."
"But," objected the banker, "when your company was leading the industry 40 years ago, where was George Weber, whose company leads the industry now?"
"Oh, he was a mechanic who started up on his own about that time," explained one of the brothers. "I must say he certainly has made a success."
"Yes, he has," said the banker, "and he did not have $250,000 to operate on, even from a standing start. He started from scratch. His business has come up in the industry while yours has been going downhill. Yet, by your own admission, your company had a great deal of money during this very time when Weber had none. With all your money you lost ground. With all his shortage of cash he gained on you and overtook you.
"Obviously, gentlemen, money is not what it takes to make a success in your industry," continued the banker. "Where did your company's spare capital disappear to? How did you lose your customers to Weber? What is the matter with the way you two, and your father before you, have managed your company?"
The elderly banker knew the answers to those questions, and he was a shrewd judge of character. He knew that people often fool themselves. They talk about their difficulties as financial problems when actually the problem is within themselves.
He also knew that the father of the two boys had been something of a playboy, spending money freely, taking long vacations, and not attending to business. By asking these harsh questions, he was trying to get the two young men to take stock of themselves.
The two, rather easygoing young men, were shocked when the banker turned them down. They tried other banks with the same result. Finally, they were forced to face the truth. If they were to save the business, they must do it themselves.
And save it they did. They made it back to the top, though the climb back was anything but easy. It took long hours of hard work, scraping by, cutting expenses - especially their own salaries - and, most of all, a change of attitude on their part.
Eventually they took the elderly banker to lunch. They wanted to thank him. "You know," they told him, "when you turned us down for that loan - well, it was the best thing that ever happened to us!"
Source: Bits & Pieces, February 1, 1996, Copyright (c) Economic Press, Inc., http://www.epinc.com
~~~~~~~ THIS & THAT:
When You Don't Know What to Say
Part 2 of 7 [Aug 17, 27, Sep 7, 17, 27, Oct 8, 18]
Following questions and answers were collated from British GCSE exams (16 year olds)!
Q: Explain one of the processes by which water can be made safe to drink.
A: Flirtation makes water safe to drink because it removes large pollutants like grit, sand, dead sheep and canoeists.
Q: How is dew formed?
A: The sun shines down on the leaves and makes them perspire.
Q: What causes the tides in the oceans?
A: The tides are a fight between the Earth and the Moon. All water tends to flow towards the moon, because there is no water on the moon, and nature abhors a vacuum. I forget where the sun joins in this fight.
Q: What guarantees may a mortgage company insist on?
A: If you are buying a house, they will insist you are well endowed.
Q: What are steroids?
A: Things for keeping carpets still on the stairs.
Q: What happens to your body as you age?
A: When you get old, so do your bowels and you get intercontinental.
Source: Clean Hewmor, clean-hewmor- email@example.com
~~~~~~~ KEEP SMILING:
Little Johnny had been to a birthday party at a friend's house.
Knowing Little Johnny's sweet tooth his mother looked straight into his eyes and scolded, "I hope you didn't ask for a second piece of cake."
"No," replied Little Johnny. "I only asked Mrs. Smith for the recipe so you could make some like it, and she gave me two more pieces on her own."
Source: Kitty's Daily Mews, Copyright (c) 1997- 2001 All rights reserved worldwide, http://www.katscratch.com/
HOW BIG IS THE UNIVERSE?
By Kim Allan Johnson, firstname.lastname@example.org
Part 1 of 3 [Aug 27, 28, 29]
In our imagination, let's suppose that I plan to take an incredible journey as an amateur astronaut. I blast off in a roar of flame, and within minutes I'm circling the earth. Anxious to visit the stars, I steer out of orbit and push the throttle ahead to the maximum of 25,000 miles per hour, the same speed as the astronauts who went to the moon.
Weeks and months roll by, doing endless crossword puzzles and knitting python-sized scarves. Surprisingly, after fifteen years of travel, I'm only at planet Pluto.(1) Major frustration sets in. All this time and I'm only at the outer edge of our own puny solar system. I radio NASA. "Hello, Houston Space Center. Johnson here. I'm supposed to be exploring interstellar space, but I may have to scale back my plans. I guess I'll just stay within our own galaxy. Tell me, how many more months until I get to the very nearest star beyond our sun. Alpha Centauri?" Houston radios back, "Bad news, sir. That should take you a little over 100,000 years, give or take a few decades." Suddenly I feel extremely small and make a hasty U-turn for home. Everything in space is big and far, beyond comprehending.
. . . continued tomorrow.
(1) Herbert Friedman, The Amazing Universe (Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society, 1975), 32.
Source: The Gift, by Kim Allan Johnson, Copyright (c) 2000, Pacific Press Publishing Association, ISBN 0816317682, http://isbn.nu/0816317682/price or http://www.adventistbookcenter.com
Submitted by Al Stober