Tag Archives: craft

Determination and Persistence


Determination and Persistence

This is a real life story of engineer John Roebling building the Brooklyn Bridge in New York, USA back in 1870. The bridge was completed in 1883, after 13 years.

In 1883, a creative engineer named John Roebling was inspired by an idea to build a spectacular bridge connecting New York with the Long Island. However bridge building experts throughout the world thought that this was an impossible feat and told Roebling to forget the idea. It just could not be done. It was not practical. It had never been done before.

Roebling could not ignore the vision he had in his mind of this bridge. He thought about it all the time and he knew deep in his heart that it could be done. He just had to share the dream with someone else. After much discussion and persuasion he managed to convince his son Washington, an up and coming engineer, that the bridge in fact could be built.

Working together for the first time, the father and son developed concepts of how it could be accomplished and how the obstacles could be overcome. With great excitement and inspiration, and the headiness of a wild challenge before them, they hired their crew and began to build their dream bridge.

The project started well, but when it was only a few months underway a tragic accident on the site took the life of John Roebling. Washington was also injured and left with a certain amount of brain damage, which resulted in him not being able to talk or walk.

“We told them so.” “Crazy men and their crazy dreams.” “It’s foolish to chase wild visions.”

Everyone had a negative comment to make and felt that the project should be scrapped since the Roeblings were the only ones who knew how the bridge could be built.

In spite of his handicap Washington was never discouraged and still had a burning desire to complete the bridge and his mind was still as sharp as ever. He tried to inspire and pass on his enthusiasm to some of his friends, but they were too daunted by the task.

As he lay on his bed in his hospital room, with the sunlight streaming through the windows, a gentle breeze blew the flimsy white curtains apart and he was able to see the sky and the tops of the trees outside for just a moment.

It seemed that there was a message for him not to give up. Suddenly an idea hit him. All he could do was move one finger and he decided to make the best use of it. By moving this, he slowly developed a code of communication with his wife.

He touched his wife’s arm with that finger, indicating to her that he wanted her to call the engineers again. Then he used the same method of tapping her arm to tell the engineers what to do. It seemed foolish but the project was under way again.

For 13 years Washington tapped out his instructions with his finger on his wife’s arm, until the bridge was finally completed. Today the spectacular Brooklyn Bridge stands in all its glory as a tribute to the triumph of one man’s indomitable spirit and his determination not to be defeated by circumstances. It is also a tribute to the engineers and their team work, and to their faith in a man who was considered mad by half the world. It stands too as a tangible monument to the love and devotion of his wife who for 13 long years patiently decoded the messages of her husband and told the engineers what to do.

Perhaps this is one of the best examples of a never-say-die attitude that overcomes a terrible physical handicap and achieves an impossible goal.

Often when we face obstacles in our day-to-day life, our hurdles seem very small in comparison to what many others have to face. The Brooklyn Bridge shows us that dreams that seem impossible can be realised with determination and persistence, no matter what the odds are.

From: academictips.org.


Hospital window

Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room’s only window. The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back. The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation.

Every afternoon when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window.

The man in the other bed began to live for those one hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the world outside.

The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.

As the man by the window described all this in exquisite detail, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene.

One warm afternoon the man by the window described a parade passing by.

Although the other man couldn’t hear the band – he could see it. In his mind’s eye as the gentleman by th! e window portrayed it with descriptive words.

Days and weeks passed.

One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep. She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away.

As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.

Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the real world outside.

He strained to slowly turn to look out the window beside the bed.

It faced a blank wall. The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this window

The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall.

She said, “Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you.”

From: academictips.org


The Art Of Kindness



The Lost Art of Kindness


An Open Letter to all the Human Beings Out There. No specific age, no specific gender, no specific race, no specific sexual orientation, no specific religion, no specific socioeconomic status. No, just…humans. There’s an epidemic in our culture these days and it is really disheartening.

Most of it is unwarranted and unprovoked. Most of it hides behind a cloak of anonymity in the social networking universe which has engulfed our generation. Some humans are hurt repeatedly for years without even being able to recognize their attacker if they passed them on the street. I am not talking about a specific hate crime here. I am talking about a crime we are all both subjected to and part of at the same time. I am talking about human-on-human crime. As a race, we humans have this uncanny ability to be mean. Plain and simple…meanness is our epidemic, and people are suffering every day.

Human-on-human crime has not been swept under the rug. Certain pains have been categorized with others and activist groups have been formed in hopes to bring to light the damage and emotional pain being committed by humans, to humans. The most recent organization to come to my attention is The Kind Campaign, which is an internationally recognized movement, documentary and school program based upon the powerful belief in kindness that brings awareness and healing to the negative and lasting effects of girl-against-girl crime. The Kind Campaign, along with other organizations, have made major strides to shed light on how bad things have truly gotten behind the keys of a message board as well as on the streets and in the classrooms across America.

In my opinion, at the bottom of all of these crimes, regardless of their different wrapping, is this: humans can be superiorly mean. Humans can be downright cruel. For years my mother would try to make me feel better and tell me the girls who tormented me in middle school were “jealous” and “insecure” and that was why they victimized me in the lunch room. I love my mother, but she was wrong. Sometimes this meanness has nothing to do with their insecurities or lives…sometimes, people are just mean. Much like coldblooded murder, there can very well be coldblooded meanness. Unprovoked, unwarranted meanness.

Now, when I attended middle and high school, things were different. There was no real anonymity. I knew which girls wanted to see me cry. I sat next to them in class. They would sign their names, first and last, on their mean notes to me in-between periods. These days it’s different. Like most diseases, human-on-human crime over time has become stronger and has mutated into something we know exists, but are still not sure how to fight successfully.

It’s scary nowadays. This world of anonymity has brought with it no sense of accountability for words being said. So, in turn, the words get sharper and more pointed, and they pierce the victim deeper.

There are some people who would rather die at the age of 13 than live their life. How sad is that? They want to die before they even have really begun to live. This is how mean humans have become. Kids with bedtimes and babysitters are having real suicidal thoughts when this is supposed to be the most carefree time of their lives. Instead of their parents seeing them grow up into young adults, some are cutting their children down from the rope they find their child hanging from in their bedroom closet.

Regardless of the target group, human-on-human crime in general needs to stop. It is causing irrevocable destruction to lives and mental well-beings. And for what? What pleasure do we get out of hurting another person? I am no saint. I have been a victim, yes, but I have been on the other side of the hurtful whisper as well – I have hurt people I simply can’t live without- but I have done more good than bad in this life, and I make an honest effort to try to do good every day.

My middle school days are far behind me. I have wonderful friends and a ridiculously close family. However, just recently, I have once again become a target of someone’s unwarranted meanness. Unlike most attacks these days, I know who my attacker is. I once considered him a good friend.

I turned 27 this year and I found myself in a really bad space. While everyone around me wanted to celebrate my life on my birthday, I found myself, for the first time ever, wondering if the world would be a better place without me. I find myself coming across his internet bashings and wondering why I am still dealing with this as I am closing-in on my 30’s. I find myself wondering if the world would be a better place without the humans who purposely do harm to other humans. The answer is no, the world would not be a better place without these people. It would be a better place, though, if those people were a little bit nicer.

On average, as a species, we get a measly 79 years on this planet. If we are lucky. Do you realize how short that is in the scheme of things? And though our time here is limited, we have the ability to inflict pain and damage. Wouldn’t you want to “inflict” empowerment instead?

Battling human-on-human crime with kindness is an uphill battle. We may be just as far in as we will ever be out. I am sure that even as I am writing this there are people still being hurt by words, people crying themselves to sleep, people hating on this letter. I believe that as much as we are the problem, we can also be the solution. Meanness is an epidemic and it is unraveling the chances of us living a supremely fulfilled life.

I ask that you share this open letter if you are going to make a conscious effort each day to be a little bit nicer. Share this open letter if you will make an honest effort to do something as simple as just “shaking it off” when the barista in the morning messes up your morning coffee. Share this open letter if instead of using the internet to hurt someone, you will use it to empower people and share the beautiful things in your life.

Life is short – spend your time here wisely. And just be nice to people.



Alicia Cook

From: www.values.com