Archive for June, 2008

The Law of the ‘Garbage Truck’

Posted on June 10, 2008. Filed under: Guide Posts, Light plus Weighty |

One day I hopped in a taxi and we took off for the airport. We were driving in the right lane when suddenly a car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us. My taxi driver slammed on his brakes, skidded, and missed the other car by a mere whisker. 

The driver of the other car whipped his head around and started yelling at us. My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. And I mean, he was really friendly. So I asked, ‘Why did you just do that? This guy almost ruined your car and nearly sent us to the hospital!’ This is when my taxi driver taught me what I now call, ‘The Law of the Garbage Truck.’

He explained that many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and full Of disappointment. As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it and sometimes they’ll dump it on you. Don’t take it personally. Just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. Don’t take their garbage and spread it to other people at work, at home, or on the streets.

The bottom line is that successful people do not let garbage trucks take over their day. Life’s too short to wake up in the morning with regrets, so ……….. ‘Love the people who treat you right. Pray for the ones who don’t.’

“Life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you react to it!”

Author: Unknown 

(UPDATE 1: See comment below, ‘author’ now known: David J. Pollay)

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Heroine … for All Time …

Posted on June 4, 2008. Filed under: Great Writing |

An excerpt from Carlyle’s  ‘The French Revolution’  ——-

Charlotte Corday is a girl of stately Norman figure, in her twenty fifth year, of beautiful still countenance; as on Tuesday, 9th July 1793, she takes her seat in the diligence, with a place booked for Paris. None takes  farewell of her, wishes her speedy journey. Her father will find a note left, signifying that she is going to England, that he must pardon her, and forget her.

But it is not to England that she is gone but to Paris, to the squalid room in which Marat, the all powerful instrument of the Terror, sits now in slipper bath, sore afflicted, ill of Revolution Fever – of which other malady, this History had rather not name. Excessively sick and worn; poor man with precisely eleven pence and half penny of ready money in paper; with  slipper bath, strong three foot stool for writing on, the while. “Citizen Marat, …………… I am from Caen, … the seat of the rebellion, … and wished to speak with you”.

“Be seated, mon enfant ………. Now what are the traitors doing at Caen? …….. What Deputies are there at Caen?” – Charlotte names some Deputies – “Their heads shall fall within a fortnight” , – croaks the eager Peoples’ friend, clutching his tablets to write – Barbaroux, Petion, writes he with bare shrunk arm, turning aside in his bath: Petion and Louvet, and – Charlotte has drawn her knife from the sheath; … plunges it with one sure stroke, into the writer’s heart.

When she was charged before the Revolutionary Tribunal, Charlotte Corday was beautiful and calm. “…{ killed one man”, she said, “to save a hundred thousand; …….. a villain to save innocents; …….  a savage wild beast, …..  to give repose to my country. … I was a Republican before the Revolution. ….. I never wanted energy”.  ……   The sentence of death was passed and that same  evening from the gate of the Conciergerie, to a city all on tiptoe, the fatal cart issues: …. seated on it a fair young creature, in red smock of murderess; ……. so beautiful, serene, so full of life;  ….  journying towards death,  many take off their hats, saluting reverently, for what heart but must be touched.

Others growl and howl …

The French Revolution (1789–1799) was a period of political and social upheaval in the political history of France and Europe, during which the French governmental structure, previously an absolute monarchy with feudal privileges for the aristocracy and Catholic clergy, underwent radical change to forms based on Enlightenment principles of nationalism, citizenship, and inalienable rights. Changes were accompanied by violent turmoil, including executions and repression during the Reign of Terror, and warfare involving every other major European power. Subsequent events that can be traced to the Revolution include the Napoleonic Wars, the restoration of the monarchy, and two additional revolutions as modern France took shape.

Thomas Carlyle (1795 – 1881). Scottish essayist, satirist, and historian, whose work was hugely influential during the Victorian era. The completed manuscript of the first volume of his classic ‘The French Revolution”, was accidentally burned by John Stuart Mill’s (the philosopher) maid. Carlyle wrote the second and third volumes before rewriting the first from scratch. The resulting work was filled with a passionate intensity, hitherto unknown in historical writing. In a politically charged Europe, filled with fears and hopes of revolution, Carlyle’s account of the motivations and urges that inspired the events in France seemed powerfully relevant. Carlyle’s style of writing continually stressed the immediacy of the action – often using the present tense. For Carlyle, chaotic events demanded what he called ‘heroes’ to take control over the competing forces erupting within society.

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