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“Home is a place where we laugh the most, and are loved the best.” (from a Christmas card, with no credits given.

“Home is a place where we laugh the most, and are loved the best.”

(from a Christmas card, with no credits given.)

Another hazard of plastic cards:

A department of Agriculture representative stopped at a farm and told the farmer, “I’m here to inspect your farm.”

The farmer pointed to one field and said, pointing, “OK, but you’d better not go in that field.”

The bureaucrat replied in his best so-there bureaucratese, “I have the authority of the Canadian government with me. See this plastic card I am allowed to go wherever I wish on agricultural land.”

The farmer nodded, and went about his chores.

A short time later the farmer heard loud screams and saw the agricultural expert running for the fence, with his prize bull in hot pursuit.

The farmer yelled his best advice to the bureaucrat, “Show him your card!”

“Hell hath no fury like a bureaucrat scorned.” (Milton Friedman)

Farmers too, eh, Mr. Friedman?

The show must go on …

Flipping through the pages of a friendly book, I stumbled on a story I’d missed, forgotten or both.

Harry Golden was editor and publisher of a newspaper called The Carolina Israelite. He put some of his newspaper writings into a book titled Only in America.

He had a novel approach to his newspaper’s content and layout. He wrote items as the muse dictated and threw them into a wooden barrel. Come time to publish, he reached into his barrel and the pieces were printed in the sequence they came from the barrel, until he had the number of pages he thought were enough for that issue. It was a newspaper sought by people in high and low places around the world.

Leading into this story he wrote, “I believe this business of the show must go on has been overdone a bit as it concerns the acting profession. Not that I doubt the truth behind this tradition, and I applaud them, but I do not applaud actors alone. I applaud people. All people, life itself. Everybody goes out on stage with sorrow in his heart.

“I am indebted to Dr. Frank Kingdon for my interest in the poetry of Sir Rabindranath Tagore. The great Hindu poet tells us a story in exquisite poetry:

“His servant did not come in on time. Like so many philosophers and poets, Tagore was helpless when it came to the less important things in life, his personal wants, his clothes, his breakfast, and tidying up the place.

“An hour went by, and Tagore was getting madder by the minute. He thought of all sort of punishments for the man. Three hours later, Tagore not longer thought of punishment. He’d discharge the man without any further ado, get rid of him, turn him out.

“Finally the man showed up. It was midday. Without a word the servant proceeded with his duties as though nothing had happened. He picked up his master’s clothes, set to making breakfast, and started cleaning up.

“Tagore watched this performance with mounting rage. Finally he said, ‘Drop everything and get out!’

“The man however, continued sweeping and after another few moments, with quiet dignity he said, ‘My little girl died last night.’ The show must go on.”

Golden’s book was first published in 1944. Eight reprints followed to keep up with demand.

Despite the book title, his writings are human-interest pieces, which are topical and timeless and as rare as hen’s teeth in our media today.

Minds are like parachutes. They only function when open.

(Thomas Dewar)

A tip of the hat to open minds. Are they as rare as hen’s teeth in today’s world too? Watching and reading world news we’d be forgiven for thinking so. The milk of human kindness is alive and well, it just takes the others longer to learn that people never add to their stature by treading on other people. They’re just the ones who get all the publicity.