Choice, Our Strength Or Weakness

You can be happy and content or unhappy and miserable. The choice is yours. You are, what you choose.

Are you surprised that you have this power? Did you think that “things” just happen, or that your life is completely predetermined? In reality, your happiness or unhappiness is determined by whether you are under the influence of a positive or negative mental attitude. And which attitude you have is your choice.

Our power of choice can be our strength or it can be our weakness.  It all depends on the choices we make. The RIGHT choices are our strength. They bring happiness, health, and an enjoyable, productive life. The WRONG choices are our weakness. They bring misery, sickness, and a depressing, aimless life.

We can, through our conscious mind, control our emotions and feelings, if we choose to do so. Our thoughts, are the one thing we possess, over which we alone have complete control, through choice. Our feelings and emotions come from our thoughts.

You must understand the incredible power of your mind for strength or weakness. Your power of choice makes the difference. It is the thoughts and concepts in your mind that make you happy or miserable. You, and you alone, choose what thoughts will occupy your mind.

Your choices form your philosophy of life. One of the most important choices should be the enjoyment of life. Because if you don’t knowhow to enjoy life, you’re going to be a burden to yourself and to others.

You are the product of your heredity, environment, physical body, conscious and subconscious mind and experiences. You have the power of choice, in which you can affect, use, control, or harmonize with all of the above. So you are, also, the product of your choices.

Be it physically, mentally, or emotionally, we have choices to make. Your whole being, who you are, your identity, stem from what choices you make.

Physically, you can choose to be optimistic  and relax and be healthy. Or you can choose to race your human motor and clog it up with fear thoughts leading to a breakdown.

Mentally, you must choose the right thoughts. You must put good quality thoughts in your mind. This will give you a contented mind. You will be able to think clearly.

Emotionally, when you make the right choices, such as optimism, positivity, and purposeful living, you will feel good and your emotions will work for you.

Make the wrong choices, such as worry or fear, you are misusing your emotions and they will work against you.

So, why use your power of choice to make yourself weak, miserable, and sick? This misuse of your power will only make you ineffective in dealing with life.

Why not use your power of choice to make yourself strong, happy and healthy? Use your power  to cultivate your own beautiful garden in life.

Strength or weakness, the CHOICE is yours.

Crime Punishment?

This is a hypothetical case of a “John Doe”. But, things like this do happen!

I’ve always felt that in many cases our society’s legal system molly-coddles criminals. But with this John Doe case it proves that it’s not always so.

John Doe was a small fellow, about 5 feet, 5 inches tall and 125 pounds, actually he was emaciated. At 50 years old he had not much luck in his life, in fact, it seemed like life had passed him by.

But, he was a criminal, even though he didn’t look like one. Looks are deceiving and John was a thief.

He lived in a run down, four- room bungalow on the north side of Chicago, with his dog.

Now, he wasn’t always a thief, circumstances made him one. He had a part-time job at a supermarket stacking shelves, but he had trouble making ends meet.

He tried hard to keep a roof over his head, clothes on his back, food in his stomach and a few scraps for his dog. He inherited the bungalow from his late mother, but he still had bills to pay. He rotated his bills, because he couldn’t pay all of them every month.

This particular month he was six months behind in his water bill. So the water company turned off his water.

John had asthma, which he had an inhaler for. This was the reason why he only worked part-time.

John figured out how to turn his water back on. But, that made him a criminal, he was stealing water because he wasn’t paying for it. His motive for this crime was thirst and the desire for a bath.

Eventually, this crime was discovered and the cops came to take John away.

His bond was set at $500. To someone who had to steal water that’s a fortune.

When John was jailed, his inhaler was taken away because inmates had to be stripped of all personal possessions.

So, on the third night of John’s incarceration he had an asthma attack. Nobody heard him gasping for breath. He was dead in his cell by morning.

Some criminals don’t get easy treatment. You have to admit death by choking is a severe punishment for stealing some water.

I don’t know what happened to his dog.

Senior Citizen Fun

It was summer in Chicago, and that meant softball season. I was strolling down the street, minding my own business, when I bumped into my friend , Slick. We were buddies for fifty years, now we were both retired.

He was in his softball uniform. Now there was a time in Chicago when almost every tavern had their own softball team in a local league.

“How do I look?” Slick asked.

“You look ridiculous! Look at yourself, a red shirt covering your stooped back and scrawny chest, with the name, “Dave’s Tavern” emblazoned across it in large blue letters.”

“I like the colours.”

“But, look at your sagging paunch going over your red softball trousers. Look at your drooping grey athletic socks around your bony ankles, and what’s that hole in your softball shoe for?”

“I had to cut a hole in it because I got a corn. That’s why I slide head first into the bases. I don’t have corns on my ears.”

“I think your softball days are over.”


I shook my head.

“Well, look at yourself. Your hair, what’s left of it, is white. You have bags under your eyes, your face is wrinkly, your body looks like ET’s and you run like a fat duck.”

“Well, you don’t look like “Mr. America” either,” he countered.

“True, but I don’t run around a dusty softball field, pretending I’m a kid again. Give it up, Slick, act your age.”

“If I don’t play softball, what will I do all summer?”

Slick looked forlorn, and I was sad for him.

“Remember how we used to look for junk in the back alleys and the stuff we found, we would take to the junk shop. We got enough money for an ice cream sundae at the diner.”

Slick just stared at me.

“The junk shop is an apartment building now. The diner is a gas station. We were kids then. Now we would look like suspicious characters.”

Slick had a faraway look in his eyes.

“I remember the fun we had collecting glass bottles for the deposit. It’s all cans and plastic now.”

I nodded my head in forced agreement.

Slick picked up his old scratched softball bat and his six-pack of beer and said:

“I gotta go. The games gonna start.”

He turned around and looked at me, dressed in my button-down shirt, striped tie, single-breasted suit, and shiny two-toned shoes and said:

“You know, YOU look kind of ridiculous yourself!”

Find Yourself

You are unique. You are important. You are the only person who can bring yourself happiness. You are the only person who can find your talents and your purpose in life. You are the only person who CAN FIND YOURSELF!

Your purpose then, in finding yourself, is to meet life the best you can and enjoy it.

First, you must try to discover and develop the talents that you possess. The talent is there, it is in you, the problem is to discover it and dig it out.

Everyone has some talent, some ability to do some one thing or things very well. Few people make full use of their talents. You need to analyse yourself, to see yourself objectively, and to see possibilities in yourself. You will find your talents through intelligent application of your inner resources to the fields for which you are fitted.

Second, after you have found your talents, you need to have a sense of purpose in life, otherwise you will have a feeling of emptiness.

What is a sense of purpose? It’s your feelings of worthiness, aliveness and significance as a unique human being, it is your real reason for being here in the first place. It’s an internal feeling.

So, a sense of purpose can be achieved by matching up everything you do daily, with a feeling of importance and personal mission. A mantra you could use:

“ I am going to feel complete and fulfilled in my life because I am unique and worth it.”

Third, don’t settle for less than you could be. You can become anything you choose. You should think you are as important as any human who has ever lived before you.

And finally, it is never too late to change your position in life, be you middle-aged or old. True, some achievements require a certain length of time to accomplish and a certain amount of effort. But, while you may have missed out on many opportunities in life, you can adjust yourself to the circumstances that surround you and get more out of life than you have thought possible. Try to grow every day.

So, to find yourself, and you can, you have to give yourself a great deal of personal attention. Your life is yours to make of it what you will. But you have to find yourself and be yourself. Don’t allow others or any force of circumstances to keep you from doing the things you want most to do, for there, is where your success lies.


PS-And don’t forget to appreciate the worth of others, this will give you a balanced view of life.

There’s No Place Like Chicago

I was relaxing at my local watering hole, when my drinking buddy on the next stool spoke:

“Why are we sitting here?”

“What do you mean? We’re here to drink 90-proof antifreeze because it’s cold outside.”

My buddy stared at me.

“No, I mean why are we in Chicago?”

Now, I did the staring at him.

“We’re in Chicago because we live and work here. We are Chicagoans.”

“But the weather is miserable. I hate it.”

“You don’t like Chicago?”

“Every winter I hate it.”

“How long have you felt this way?”

I signaled the bartender for another round of drinks.

“I’ve felt like this all my life. That’s why I blame my grandfather.”

“Your grandfather?”

“Yes, because when he came to this country he got off the train at Chicago.”

“But that’s silly.”

“No it isn’t, if it wasn’t for him, I could have been born in California, and I could have been a Hollywood type of guy.”

“You wouldn’t want that,” I smiled.

“Why not? Warm weather and bikini clad dames all year long. It beats this cold weather we have here four months of the year.”

“You don’t want to live in California. They have mud slides and earthquakes.”

My buddy looked very pensive for a couple of minutes.

“Then I could go some place else.”

“Like where?”

“Maybe down south, like Florida.”

“Florida? You don’t want to live with all those old retired pensioners wearing loud colored clothes, and bent over walking with canes and crutches.”

“Florida doesn’t have earthquakes.”

“No, they have hurricanes.”

My buddy looked confused.

“Maybe Arizona and hot places like that.”

“You go there and every morning you’ll have to shake your shoes for lizards, snakes and all manner of insects. Also there are Indians there. You never know when they will start scalping again.”

“Then, I’m stuck here in Chicago with you. I hope you freeze before I do.”

“Not if we keep doing what we’re doing now.”

We both laughed and I shouted:

“Bartender, more antifreeze.”


“Avon Calling”

My friend, who shall remain nameless, a big bloke, six foot, four inches tall and two hundred and forty pounds, will never forget the time he heard the immortal words, “Avon calling”.

His kid sister, was sixteen at the time, and had a part-time job selling Avon products.

One day, the Avon supervisor telephoned the kid sister and said she was coming over to give her some sales books because she hadn’t been selling much.

So she waited, but no Avon lady. She had a dentist appointment so she left, slamming the front door but it jumped open again.

My friend was home at the time, but he was ignorant of his sister’s Avon lady coming over.

After awhile the Avon super showed up, rang the bell, nobody answered. My friend was in the shower.

Seeing the door was ajar, the Avon lady let herself in. This was a mistake. My friend and his sister had a cat with a vicious nature.

The cat jumped out and scratched the lady as she walked through the house. She screamed and ran into the first door she spotted, it turned out to be the downstairs shower room.

My friend, behind the shower door, heard a noise. He opened the shower door and there staring at this naked giant, was the Avon super. She was frozen to the spot.

He shouted, “Who are you?”

“Avon calling. I’m the Avon lady,” she stammered.

She was mesmerized by his huge body.

My friend thought she must be a complete loony.

“Avon lady! What are you doing in my bathroom?”

“I was scratched by your cat and I’m hiding.”

“What do you want me to do?” he shouted.

“Do something about your cat.”

He grabbled a towel and put it around his middle, even though it was a little late for modesty.

He cornered the raging beast and the Avon lady was out the door to seek medical treatment.

A week later, my friend received a letter from the lady’s lawyer and shrink, saying the whole experience had caused her great trauma. She wanted compensation.

Well, I don’t know about her trauma, but it certainly didn’t do much good for my friend’s nerves either. For him it was “Psycho” revisited without the blood!


Why Be A Writer?

Because you have to think of your feet and your identity.


What inspired me to write? That question was posed to me on my seventieth birthday by my cousin. Fifty years ago I had a problem with my feet and my identity. The questions that haunted me were: Who am I? Where am I going? Do I belong? Why do my feet ache so much?

Well, when I was a child my father was a postman. He did a lot of walking from house to house. He’d come home after work and immediately soak his feet.

My uncle was a bricklayer, he always was on his feet and they ached.

When I was eighteen and fresh out of high school, I got a job in a factory moving material from machine to machine. I was always on my feet and they hurt.

I learned one thing from these jobs. They were hard on your feet and mine were flat.

So, my life’s work would have to be something that wouldn’t give me aching feet. This was one part of the inspiration.

The second part was when I went to a book signing at a local bookstore. The writer was very successful. This was his fourth blockbuster novel.

I asked him about his typical workday. He would arise, have a bit of breakfast, and write until noon. Then he and his friends would go fishing and sip tall cool ones on his cabin cruiser. On days that he didn’t feel like fishing, he would write until noon and then go and sit in an outdoor café with his friends and sip tall cool ones.

This, I thought, was a sensible way to earn a living. So, I’ll become a writer and answer my identity questions.

Who am I? I’m a writer.

Where am I going? I’m going to sit down and save my feet.

Do I belong? Yes, I will have many friends that write until noon and then sip tall cool ones.

Then the writer told me that he stood up to noon every day writing. His typewriter was on the mantel and he typed while standing.

Well, this sounded grueling to me and it certainly wouldn’t do my fallen arches any good.

“Why stand and not sit to write?” I asked.

He said he had hemorrhoids and they hurt when he sat.

Well, I then set out to become a writer. I’ve never achieved that writer’s success, but the job has never given me aching feet.

I have been compared to that writer. Well, sort of. My readers tell me that I’m a real pain in the whatcha-ma-callit!

Pie Face


Years ago, there was in Chicago, a “Pie in the Face” fad. Comedians were redoing the old pie throwing slapstick. Pies were flying everywhere.

At that time my cousin held a birthday party for his wife. It was summer time and it was held in the back garden.

He decided to have games. One of them was called, “Pie Face”. Everyone drew straws and the one that drew the shortest had to put their head through a hole in a wooden fence, and get pies thrown at their face. Lots of laughs.

My cousin’s wife drew the short straw. It just so happened, that the six guys who were throwing the pies, were baseball pitchers on the local team. These guys don’t miss the target!

Six direct hits with whipped cream pies!

Well, my cousin’s wife got so upset and nervous after that experience, she had to start seeing a psychiatrist. She never was the same again.


I told my cousin not to mess around with pie throwing anymore.

But he didn’t heed my warning. He worked as a journalist on a newspaper, and on a slow news day, he asked his readers what well known Chicagoans they thought should be hit in the face with a pie.

His readers responded by the hundreds, suggesting local celebs, politicians, actors, etc. But the most votes went to a chat show host known for his boisterous, rude, behavior .

So my cousin hired a bloke who was in the pie throwing business, part time. When the chat show host finished his program and walked out into the street, the pie man was waiting, he shoved a whipped cream mess into his face. A photographer recorded the scene and the next day it was in the newspaper.

My cousin told me the phone at his office didn’t stop ringing for days with reactions of civilized citizens who said he was an idiot and a boor.

You really couldn’t argue with them. Having somebody hit in the face with a pie wasn’t exactly an example of subtle British wit.

But it became worse, somebody found out that the guy my cousin hired was an ex-convict and a confidence man who did creative things with credit cards.

These disclosures about his past caused the pie thrower to lose his regular job and he blamed my cousin.

He threatened to sue, but he realized he wouldn’t have much of a case. So he threatened instead to bump off my cousin in true Chicago gangster style.

My poor cousin said, that given a choice, he’d rather be sued!

After awhile the whole silly thing faded away. But many people even today, ask my cousin, “How he could have done such a stupid prank with someone else’s help?”

My relation couldn’t come up with an answer, except the one given by a guy who took off all his clothes and jumped into a nettles patch.

When asked why he did it, he said, “Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time!”