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WITandWISDOM(tm) - December 3, 2003
It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can do only a little. - Sydney Smith
~~~~~~~ SPECIAL THOUGHTS:
My kids and I had lunch in the mall today.
It was packed. The tables were crowded and the cleaners, in their blue uniforms, were busily emptying trash cans and wiping down tables.
To me though, as to almost everyone else, they were just part of the invisible background - until our lives interacted and I learned a lesson and observed another.
My nine year-old daughter suddenly dropped her extra large Pepsi - leaving a huge puddle of sticky drink and ice cubes on the floor.
Now I needed a cleaner fast - so my world instantly collided with theirs.
A guy in blue was nearby. I waved at him to come over. He avoided my eyes and turned his back - carrying on fiddling aimlessly with a plastic bag.
A voice at my elbow said, "How can I help you sir?" It belonged to a different cleaner.
I apologized profusely and showed him the mess.
"No problem," he said as he went to work mopping it all up.
"I'm really sorry to cause you extra work - you've got enough to do."
Then he said something very profound.
"It's really no problem, sir. When you take a job there are always good bits and bad bits. But if you don't try to enjoy the bad bits you probably won't be around for the good ones."
Source: The Harry Pound Company,
~~~~~~~ THIS & THAT:
Dave Aufrance, a missionary in Hongkong, talks about languages . . .
I've embarrassed myself a number of different times in Cantonese. It's easy to do because it's a tonal language. In Cantonese there are seven tones that we learn. They are high-level, high-falling and a high-rising, mid-level, falling and rising, and a low-level tone. Any one word likely has all seven tones, and a different tone gives it a completely different meaning. For example, when the word jyu (pronounced a bit like "Jew") is said with a high-rising sound it means "Lord". Said with a high falling sound, it means "pig." Wow, can one get in trouble there! Or I can say "For God so loves the Westerner" instead of "For God so loves the world" with only one slight tonal difference ("sai" said with a high-falling tone rather than a mid-level one on the third word).
In addition, most all words, pronounced in the same way with the same tone, can have different meanings. One has to hear the word in context to know what the speaker is saying.
One time I wanted to say the word "deacon" ("jap sih", high-level and low-falling tones respectively). Instead I said "jap sih", with a high-level and low-rising tones. That means to "pick up poop". Oooh, did I step in that one!
After church one Sunday, sitting around the table having lunch with some of the people from the church, I combined two words, one English and one Chinese. Because of the family nature of the "Fodder", I can't even tell you what I said. The girl beside me heard it and rice came flying out of her mouth. Fortunately she was just laughing, and realized that I did not have a clue what I had just said. No one at the table would tell me what I had said. I had to go to school the next day and ask one of my colleagues what it was. So life can be interesting, to say the least, when it comes to languages.
Dave Aufrance produces Monday Fodder.
Source: Monday Fodder mailto:email@example.com?subject=Subscribe_Monday_Fodder
~~~~~~~ KEEP SMILING:
When I was growing up we had a wonderful minister at the Brookville (IN) Methodist Church. Rev. Wesley Fink had an unusual background in that he was trained at Baptist schools because they were close to his home but became a Methodist preacher because of his family background. After he retired, he was picked by two small congregations who threw in their lots together because neither one could not afford a full-time minister. One was a Baptist church and the other a Methodist. When asked about it, Brother Fink got this gleam in his eye and said: "Great things are happening. We took the Methodist fire and the Baptist water and we're getting up steam for the Lord."
Submitted by R. P. Cly
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