Good Friday morning!
At this moment of last year, we were greatly saddened by a number of dead and missing people caused by catastrophic floods. An uncountable number of people became homeless or lost their fortune by the cruel raid of flood. Our eyes were glued to the TV in fear that the Han River might be inundated. The monsoon season this year is, however, not so severe as before. So far, so good.
Along with the start of summer vacation, some people put their kids in an overseas summer camp while others helped their kids register at a local English village to learn English. Accordingly, summer vacation is nowhere for Korean children. Should children be allowed to enjoy their childhood and not be expected to work hard the whole year around?
More importantly, children of digital age have obviously become alienated from the natural world, with disastrous implications not only for their physical fitness but also for their mental and spiritual health. Kids today can tell us lots of things about the Amazon rain forest but they can’t tell us the last time they lay out in the woods and watched leaves move. This means their relationship with nature is intellectualized without getting actualized. It’s one thing to read about a frog, it’s another to hold it in their hands and feel its life.
I remember what Meg Whitman, CEO of eBay and one of the world’s most influential businesspersons, said in her interview with Business Week. A three-month camping trip in Alaska with her mother, who is a homemaker but a free-spirited and adventurous soul, her family friend, and eight other children at age six helped her build up strong backbone. When they became restless and unruly, her mother made them all get out of the camper and run ahead while she followed close behind. Kids grow by rubbing shoulders with their parents and siblings in the wilderness.
Now isn’t it time to take family getaways in nature like sleeping under the stars at night on a campground, hiking, building sand-castles at the beach, snorkeling in crystal clear water, taking our family back in time by visiting historic sites and so on?
Last but surely not least, I feel sorry for grapefruit growers but if you love your ladies such as wife, girlfriend, daughters and so forth, advise them to refrain from eating grapefruit even small amounts every day because it could raise the risk of developing breast cancer. A report in the British Journal of Cancer arrived at a conclusion, after studying 50,000 post-menopausal women, that grapefruit boosts the level of estrogen, the hormone associated with a higher risk of breast cancer.
Have a joyful weekend, you all!
A young man learns what's most important in life from the guy next door.
It had been some time since Jack had seen the old man. College, girls, career, and life itself got in the way. In fact, Jack moved clear across the country in pursuit of his dreams.
There, in the rush of his busy life, Jack had little time to think about the past and often no time to spend with those important to him. He was working on his future, and nothing could stop him.
Over the phone, his mother told him, “Mr. Belser died last night. The funeral is Wednesday.”Memories flashed through his mind like an old newsreel as he sat quietly remembering his childhood days.
“Jack, did you hear me?”
“Oh, sorry, Mom. Yes, I heard you. It’s been so long since I thought of him. I’m sorry, but I honestly thought he died years ago,” Jack said.
“Well, he didn’t forget you. Every time I saw him he’d ask how you were doing. He’d reminisce about the many days you spent over ‘his side of the fence’ as he put it,” Mom told him.
“I loved that old house he lived in,” Jack said.
“You know, Jack, after your father died, Mr. Belser stepped in to make sure you had a man’s influence in your life,” she said.
“He’s the one who taught me carpentry,” he said. “I wouldn't be in this business if it weren't for him. He spent a lot of time teaching me things he thought were important ... Mom, I'll be there for the funeral,” Jack said.
As busy as he was, he kept his word. Jack caught the next flight to his hometown. Mr. Belser’s funeral was small and uneventful. He had no children of his own, and most of his relatives had passed away.
The night before he had to return home, Jack and his Mom stopped by to see the old house next door one more time.
Standing in the doorway, Jack paused for a moment. It was like crossing over into another dimension, a leap through space and time. The house was exactly as he remembered. Every step held memories. Every picture, every piece of furniture ... Jack stopped suddenly.
“What’s wrong, Jack?” his Mom asked.
“The box is gone,” he said.
“What box?” Mom asked.
“There was a small gold box that he kept locked on top of his desk. I must have asked him a thousand times what was inside. All he’d ever tell me was the thing he valued most,” Jack said.
It was gone. Everything about the house was exactly how Jack remembered it, except for the box. He figured someone from the Belser family had taken it.
“Now I'll never know what was so valuable to him,” Jack said. “I better get some sleep. I have an early flight home, Mom.”
It had been about two weeks since Mr. Belser died. Returning home from work one day Jack discovered a note in his mailbox. “Signature required on a package. No one at home. Please stop by the main post office within the next three days,” the note read.
Early the next day Jack retrieved the package. The small box was old and looked like it had been mailed a hundred years ago. The handwriting was difficult to read, but the return address caught his attention. “Mr. Harold Belser” it read. Jack took the box out to his car and ripped open the package. There inside was the gold box and an envelope. Jack's hands shook as he read the note inside.
“Upon my death, please forward this box and its contents to Jack Bennett. It’s the thing I valued most in my life.” A small key was taped to the letter. His heart racing, as tears filling his eyes, Jack carefully unlocked the box. There inside he found a beautiful gold pocket watch. Running his fingers slowly over the finely etched casing, he unlatched the cover. Inside he found these words engraved: “Jack, thanks for your time! ? Harold Belser.”
“The thing he valued most ... was ... my time.”
Jack held the watch for a few minutes, then called his office and cleared his appointments for the next two days. “Why?” Janet, his assistant asked. “I need some time to spend with my son,” he said. “Oh, by the way, Janet ... thanks for your time!”
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away. Time has a way of getting away from all of us ... TAKE THE TIME ... NOW.
[Humor That Moved Police]
A policeman got out of his car and the lad who he'd stopped for speeding rolled down his window.
“I’ve been waiting for you all day,” the policeman said.
The lad replied, “Well, I got here as fast as I could.”
When the policeman finally stopped laughing, he sent the lad on his way without a ticket. True story.
꿈 같은 휴가
지난해 이맘때에는 대홍수로 인해 많은 사람들이 죽고 행방불명이 되어 우리는 매우 가슴 아파했습니다. 잔혹하게 밀어닥친 홍수로 셀 수 없이 많은 사람들이 집을 잃거나 재산을 잃었습니다. 행여 한강이 범람할까 두려워 우리는 티브이에서 눈을 떼지 못했지요. 그러나, 금년도 장마는 예전만큼 심하지 않습니다. 아직까지는 괜찮습니다.
여름 방학의 시작과 더불어 아이들이 영어를 배울 수 있도록 어떤 사람들은 아이들을 해외 여름 영어캠프에 집어 넣고, 어떤 사람들은 아이들을 국내 영어 마을에 등록시켰습니다. 그래서, 한국 어린이들에겐 여름 방학이 없습니다. 아이들이 어린 시절을 즐기도록 하고, 일년 내내 열심히 공부만 하는 건 그만두게 하지 않으면 안될까요?
보다 중요한 것은 디지털 시대의 어린이들은 확실히 자연세계로부터 멀어졌으며, 이것은 어린이들의 육체적 건강뿐만 아니라 정신적 건강에도 나쁜 영향을 미치게 된다는 것입니다. 오늘날 아이들은 아마존 우림 지대에 관하여 많이 알고 있기는 하나, 그들이 숲 속에 누워 나뭇잎이 움직이는 것을 마지막으로 본 때가 언제였던지 모릅니다. 즉, 아이들과 자연의 관계는 실제적이지 않고 머릿속에만 머무르고 있는 것입니다. 개구리에 관한 글을 읽는 것과 개구리를 두 손에 쥐고 개구리의 생명을 느껴보는 것은 다릅니다.
이베이의 CEO며 세계에서 가장 영향력이 큰 사업가 가운데 한 사람인 메그 위트먼이 비지네스 위크와 인터뷰에서 한 말이 기억납니다. 가정주부이지만 자유주의적이고 모험적이었던 인물이었던 어머니와 가족간 친구인 분과 8명의 다른 애들과 함께 6살 때 갔던 삼개월간의 알라스카 캠핑 여행으로 그녀는 강인한 의지력을 키울 수 있었답니다. 아이들이 캠핑차 안에서 가만 있지 않고 말을 듣지 않자 그녀의 어머니는 아이들 모두를 차에서 내리게 한 뒤 바로 뒤에서 차로 따라가면서 아이들을 차 앞에서 뛰도록 했습니다. 아이들이란 부모, 형제자매들과 함께 자연 속에서 스킨쉽을 가지면서 자라는 것이지요.
밤에 캠핑장에서 별을 이고 자거나, 하이킹을 하거나, 바닷가에서 모래성을 쌓거나, 수정같이 투명한 바다에서 스노클링을 하거나, 역사 유적지를 방문하여 가족을 과거로 데리고 가는 등 이제 자연 속으로 가족 여행을 떠날 때가 아닐까요?
끝으로, 그레이프 프룻 재배농가들에게는 미안하지만, 여러분이 아내나 여자 친구, 딸 등 여러분의 여인들을 사랑한다면, 그레이프 프룻을 먹으면 유방암이 생길 위험이 커지므로 비록 적은 양일지라도 매일 그레이프 프룻을 먹는 것을 삼가하라고 권하십시요. “영국 암 저널”지 보고로는 5만 명의 폐경기 부인들을 살펴본 결과 그레이프 프룻은 유방암 발생 위험 증가와 관련이 있는 호르몬인 에스트로겐 수치를 증가시킨다는 결론을 얻었답니다.
여러분 모두, 즐거운 주말 보내시기 바랍니다!
한 젊은이가 옆집 사람으로부터 인생에서 무엇이 가장 중요한지를 배우게 됩니다.