LAST WORDS

Alice Kahana, an artist living in Houston, has a painful and vivid memory of her journey to Auschwitz as a fifteen-year-old girl. On the way, she became separated from her parents and found herself in charge of her little eight-year-old brother. When the boxcar arrived, she looked down and saw that the boy was missing a shoe . “Why are you so stupid !” she shouted at him, the way older sisters are inclined to do so. “Can’t you keep track of your things?”

This is nothing out of the ordinary except that those were the last words that passed between them, for they were herded into different cars and she never saw him again.

Nearly half a century later, Alice Kahana is still living by a distinction that was conceived in that maelstrom. She vowed not to say anything that could not stand as the last thing she ever said.

Source: Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander,
The Art of Possibility
(New York: Penguin Books, 2000) page 174

CONSIDER THIS

  • Be sure to taste your words before you spit them out.
  • Raise your words, not your voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.

ONE GIVES WHAT ONE HAS

Amanda was handed a beautifully wrapped gift box by her maid. To Amanda’s surprise the box contained a big piece of cow dung. The sender was a well known enemy of the family. In turn Amanda asked the maid to send her enemy a bouquet of a dozen, fresh long-stemmed roses.

The simple accompanying note read: “One gives what one has.”

Source | Inspired by a scene in a telenovela

CONSIDER THIS

A common Latin expression reads, “Nemo dat quod non habet,” which translates as “You cannot give what you do not have”.  I suppose the inverse is equally true: we can only give what we have in us to give.

What traits and characteristics are you planting, cultivating, nurturing and nourishing with consistency? Remember: what you cultivate within is the gift you have to offer.

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