Friday, June 29, 2012

Things you might not know about Thomas Jefferson

I have an old book called 40 Presidents Facts and Fun that tells little known facts and stories about the Presidents. The book shows not only how intelligent Thomas Jefferson was - something we all know - but this particular story tells about how resourceful he was too. The authors - Joan Bumann and John Patterson - who compiled this book - starts out the coverage of Jefferson by saying that he was told by his father to take a gun and go into the woods and learn to hunt. The ten year old former President came upon a wild turkey trapped in a pen - which he promptly shot and threw over his shoulder to present to his father. It may or may not be commom knowledge that Thomas Jefferson had a pet mockingbird that he called Bill - and while it was his companion in Jefferson's study - he taught it to peck food out of our third President's mouth. But what I like best - was a fact not found in this book - and that is that Thomas Jefferson established the tradition of shaking hands with people - rather than the habit they were in of bowing to Washington and Adams. And my hat is off to Thomas Jefferson - who according to my little book - is considered a People's President. We could use him about now - don't you think?

Friday, June 15, 2012

giving it the old college try

I copied down a quote that reads: ~~~~~The tragedy of man is that he can conceive self-perfection but cannot achieve it.~~~~~ It's like being a perfectionist - when we want everything and everyone to be perfect - but it's just not - including ourselves. And it is like Thomas Jefferson said so famously - The Pursuit Of Happiness. We spend our lives trying to find happiness - like Chris Gardner in The movie The Pursuit of Happyness - and we never quite find it - although we may find a sort a happiness along the way. But much is sacrificed trying to acheive it.~~~~~The author of that quote is a man by name of Reinhold Niebuhr - Who also wrote this: God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the thnigs I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.~~ Living one day at a time;~~~Accepting hardship as the pathway to peace.~~~Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it;~~~Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His will;~~~That I will be reasonably happy in this life, ~~~And supremely happy with Him forever in the next. Or as Emily Dickinson so aptly put it - and she knows how to put things:I shall know why, when time is over,~~~And I have ceased to wonder why;~~~Christ will explain each separate anguish ~~~In the fair schoolroom of the sky.~~~He will tell me what Peter promised,~~~And I, for wonder at his woe, I shall forget the drop of anguish~~~That scalds me now, that scalds me now.~~~~~~~~Isn't she great - folks. That's what I call FAITH.