Posts Tagged ‘Prescott Valley Public Library’

Offer to help others who cannot return the favor

Wednesday, March 28th, 2018

Abraham and Tad Lincoln

“Lincoln chopped wood for widows and orphans. When he saw travelers bogged down, he stopped to help them.” Michael Burlingame, Abraham Lincoln: A Life

“Ab Trout, a poor barefooted boy, was chopping wood one cold winter day. Lincoln came up and asked what he got for the job, and what he would do for the money. Ab said, ‘One dollar’ and pointing to his naked feet said, ‘A pair of shoes.’ Abe told him to go in and warm up and he would chop a while for him. Lincoln finished the work, and told him to go buy the shoes.”  William Herndon, Herndon’s Informant’s

“Lincoln defended the son of the widow Armstrong, in a murder case. Lincoln saved her boy from the gallows. The only possession she had in the world was 40 acres of land, which she offered to give to Lincoln as payment. ‘Aunt Hannah,’ he said, ‘you took me in years ago when I was poor and homeless and you fed me and mended my clothes, and I shan’t charge you a cent now’.” Andrew Carnegie, Lincoln – The Unknown


Phil made me feel exceedingly comfortable when I first joined Toastmasters. I felt a little awkward at the meetings because I didn’t know anyone. But Phil, a longtime member, took care of that. He was always one of the first persons in the meeting room and every time I would walk in, he loudly announce, “Here’s the professor. How are things going at the university?” It made me feel exceptionally welcome, and put me at ease, even though I was not a professor, but merely a researcher, at the university. Nonetheless, I gracefully accepted the comical promotion that Phil gave to me.

Fast forward five years. Phil falls down and breaks his leg. He goes through surgery and spends weeks in rehab. I visit him virtually every day at the rehabilitation clinic. We wile away the hours chatting, playing checkers and putting puzzles together. Phil, still at the top of his game, at 95 years old, in short order makes friends with the staff and other patients.

Mental note to self: There’s a lot to learn from Phil.

My Sworn Enemy – The Thorny Bush

One of my worst enemies is a thorny bush that blocks a sidewalk which students use

Janette Scott facing down evil plants

to walk to a high school near my house.

I’m pretty sure that it is possessed by the devil. If not cut, branches with huge thorns grow through a fence and force students to walk around it or risk cuts to their arms and legs. It’s even more dangerous at night because you can’t see the branches.

Twice a year, wearing a long sleeve shirt and leather gloves, I fight back against the devil brush branches, like Janette Scott in The Day of the Triffids. I cut the branches and carefully load the large branches into the bed of my truck. The thorns can go right through my gloves, and haul them to a large trash can in the alley behind my house. The last time I did it, I accidently stepped on one of the branches and a thorn pierced through the sole of my shoe and into my foot. Yikes!

I chalk it up as a war injury in my never-ending battle with the sinister thorn bush.

The Lone Ranger

I often do house repairs for neighbors and friends who need help. I’m pretty good at it since I often repair my rental houses. Just last week, Cynthia, an older friend and former neighbor, who had just returned from mouth surgery, called and said,

“Terry, my toilet is leaking. Can you take a look at it?”

“Sure, I’ll be right over.”

I grabbed my tool box, stopped by Ace hardware to buy a toilet repair kit, and drove over to Cynthia’s house.

I ring the doorbell.

“Hi Terry. Thanks for coming.”

“You’re welcome. How’s your mouth feeling?”

“Okay, but sore. I still can’t speak too clearly yet.”

“Did you just say, ‘Okay you bore. I steal cans of peak to clean ear pets?”


“Sorry. I was just rattling your cage. Show me where the leak is.”

She leads me to the bathroom.

As I suspected, the fill valve was broken and leaking. I replaced the valve and the flange too, for good measure. It worked like new.

“Can I pay you something?”

“No thanks. I’m the Lone Ranger. Justice is the only reward I desire. If you need anything else, give me a call.”

“Okay. You helped me a lot. Thanks kemo sabe.”

I gallantly drive away with music from the William Tell Overture playing on my cd player. I feel as pleased as punch.

I often get so wrapped up in my own life that I can’t see that other people have problems too. Imagine that! Even a minimal effort on our part to help someone, can have a huge impact on another person’s life.

Love Completely Without Complete Understanding

Sometimes it’s not readily apparent how to help others, yet we can still act.

Like when my mom was near the end of her life. I feel I could have done better, but at least I always tried to be at her side when she needed me the most.

As Norman Maclean said in A River Runs Through It and Other Stories,

“Each one of us here today will at one time in our lives look upon a loved one who is in need and ask the same question: We are willing to help, but what, if anything, is needed? Either we don’t know what part of ourselves to give or, more often than not, the part we have to give is not wanted. But we can still love them – we can love completely without complete understanding.”

Upcoming Pesentations:

April 14, 2018. “Publish or Perish.” Pen to Podium Toastmasters. Hardesty Center, 1100 S. Alvernon. Tucson, AZ, 9:00 am.

June 5, 2018. “How Abraham Lincoln Used Stories to Touch Hearts, Minds and Funny Bones.” Arizona Society for Professional Hypnosis. Scottsdale Senior Community Center,1700 North Granite Reef Road, Meeting Room 7, Scottsdale, AZ, 6:30 pm.

October 20, 2018. How Abraham Lincoln Used Stories to Touch Hearts, Minds and Funny BonesPrescott Valley Public Library (7401 E. Civic Circle), 1:00 – 2:00 pm. Prescott, AZ.



Amazon Link


Related Links

Like Abe Lincoln, Be Prepared with a “Quip” or a Bit of Humor

Emulate Abraham Lincoln: Make Each Day Count

The “Secret” Daily Affirmations of Abraham Lincoln

Always greet everyone, no matter what they look like

Employ an Affable Lincolnesque Persona

Be a Generous Listener, as Abe Lincoln Was

Deflect Criticism with Self-deprecating Humor

Always Say “Yes”

Be a Master of Disaster – Ponder the big picture

Nourish humor and tell stories, so people say — “I felt like I had known him/her my whole life and we had long been friends.”

Awaken the Sleeping Giant Within – The Abe Lincoln Way

Emulate Abraham Lincoln: Make Each Day Count

Sunday, January 29th, 2017


Dr. Josh Axe, author of Eat Dirt, states the reason that most people have toxins leak from their gut into their blood supply, is because of stress. It’s compelling that the number one reason for having a leaky gut is not related to any diet or physical ailment, but rather to how we think!

Psychologist William James observed, “The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.” I don’t know if Abraham Lincoln had a leaky gut, but I do know that he chose his thoughts carefully.

Embrace Your Secret Identity

The key to success in allowing Abraham Lincoln to channel through you, is to be prepared. Imagine the things that will happen to you throughout the day and imagine plugging in your quips and anecdotes ahead of time. Just as Bruce Wayne could switch into his Batman persona, we can switch into our Abraham Lincoln persona when the occasion calls for it.

If you wait to respond on the spur of the moment, then it’s too late. The moment will pass you by, like a speeding train. Have your brain primed to respond, like a loaded gun, then just pull the trigger and fire your quip.

We can never control our circumstances random events that happen to us, but we can have complete control over our observations about the vicissitudes of life. Our quips and stories permit us to filter life’s challenges and to frame them in a way that we allow ourselves to be victorious over them. If we respond to adversity with a smile and an insightful remark, we can never be defeated.

I believe there are two lessons to be learned from emulating Abraham Lincoln:

1) We can accomplish anything if we assume the right personality. Just as if we wish to cross the ocean, we pick the strongest vessel which we know will get us through to our destination.

2) We don’t need to reinvent the wheel. By assuming the same character traits that worked for Lincoln, we too can become the leader, the entrepreneur, the teacher, or any other type of person that we aspire to be. We have the dream and Abraham Lincoln provides the means.

Put Life’s Experiences Under a Microscope

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “You must live in the present . . . find eternity in every moment.”

To really live in the present and find eternity in every moment, we have to truly focus on the things that happens to us each day. We must listen to each word we hear and parse each word we say. No matter what else is true, we know beyond all other truth that we only live in the present. (Except when we come “back from future,” as I will discuss in a later post.) If we don’t cherish what we have right now before us, we have nothing.

The beauty of following Lincoln’s system is that it literally allows us to capture the essence of every day. By anticipating what will happen and preplanning how we will respond to our experiences for that day, we are more likely to stay focused on living in the present. Later, when we evaluate how we performed at the end of each day, we discover the illumination and insight, “eureka moments” if you will, in our daily experiences.

Capture Lightning in a Bottle

Here’s where the power is. When you write it down, you double your experience. When you convert your experience into a story, you triple your experience, and it spreads in concentric circles to brighten the lives of countless others. The initial experience takes on a life of its own.

Upcoming Presentations:

Feb. 4, 2017. Competitive Edge Toastmasters. How To Be a Published Author. Hardesty Center 1100 S Alvernon Way, 8:00 am. Tucson, AZ.
March 18, 2017. Tall Tales Speech Contest, Catalina Area 3, Toastmasters. Tucson Ward 2 Office, 7575 E. Speedway, Tucson, AZ.
October 20, 2018. How Abraham Lincoln Used Stories to Touch Hearts, Minds and Funny Bones. Prescott Valley Public Library (7401 E. Civic Circle), 1:00 – 2:00 pm. Prescott, AZ.

Related Posts:

Always greet everyone, no matter what they look like

The “Secret” Daily Affirmations of Abraham Lincoln

Yard Sales, Heroic Cats and Zombies

Overcome obstacles and doubts by doing more than anyone expected

Give yourself permission to feel frustration, then relax and let it go #tmoy #storytelling

A feather is better than a hammer to win an argument #tmoy #storytelling

Don’t let pride stand in the way a brighter future

Use warm memories to replace negative thoughts

A Light Heart Lives Long #EurekaMoments 6

Act Out Characters to Make a Story Sizzle (video)

Turn frustration into creative energy #LifeLesson 7

Disarm Hostility with Friendliness #LifeLesson 8

You Only Live Twice – Life Provides Second Chances LL #9

Donald Trump vs. Abe Lincoln – #LifeLesson10 

Failures Can Be Transformed into Strength – #LifeLesson 11

Is it better to remain silent, or to speak up and confirm you’re an idiot? LifeLesson #12

Convert Affliction to Anecdote – Utilizing the Stories from Your Hero’s Journey

Virtue Is Its Own Reward

Boldness had Genius, Power and Magic In It

Like Abe Lincoln, Be Prepared with a “Quip” or a Bit of Humor

Be a Generous Listener, as Abe Lincoln Was