WE ARE CONSTANTLY reminded that there is a fundamental difference between the citizens of our country and the politicians who run it. With that in mind, you might enjoy this story titled “The Haircut.” It wouldn’t be so funny if it wasn’t true.

The theme of this story is blessed are those that can give without remembering and take without forgetting.

One day, a florist went to a barber for a haircut. After the cut, he asked about his bill and the barber replied “I cannot accept money from you, I’m doing community service this week.” The florist was pleased and left the shop.

When the barber went to open his shop the next morning, there was a “thank you” card and a dozen roses waiting for him at his door.

Later, a cop comes in for a haircut and when he tried to pay his bill, the barber again replied “I cannot accept money from you, I’m doing community service this week.” The cop was happy and left the shop.

The next morning, when the barber went to open up, there was a “thank you” card and a dozen donuts waiting for him at his door.

Then, a congressman came in for a haircut and when he went to pay his bill, the barber again replied “I cannot accept money from you. I’m doing community service this week.” The congressman was very happy and left the shop.

The next morning, when the barber went to open up, there were a dozen congressmen lined up waiting for a free haircut.



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THE LATE, great newspaper-TV-radio personality Paul Harvey always said “Successful people have one thing in common: they all practice positive thinking.

“The world is comprised in large part by two kinds of people,” said Harvey. “Those who say it can’t be done, and those who go ahead and do it anyway.”

Here are Harvey’s keys to positive thinking from an article I clipped nearly 40 years ago.

1. Like what you do. If you don’t like it, do something else. Don’t whine or complain.

2. Wear a confident smile and have a cheerful word for those you meet. Your smile will make your day pleasant and it probably will make those you come in contact with feel a bit better about life.

3. Don’t be a sourpuss about the weather. Instead of saying it is too hot, cold, wet or dry, try saying “Isn’t it a glorious day today?!”

4. Practice positive thinking at home. Too often we waste our charm on strangers, then do nothing but complain at home.

5. Get involved in church activities. There’s nobody who can feel sorry for himself when he’s doing unto others.



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ALONG THE same lines, more than 2,000 years ago, the Roman philosopher Cicero compiled a list of what he considered to be man’s most common and serious mistakes. His list included:

— The delusion that individual advancement is made by crushing others;

— The tendency to worry about things that cannot be changed or corrected;

— Insisting that a thing is impossible because we cannot accomplish it ourselves;

— Refusing to set aside trivial preferences;

— Attempting to compel others to believe and live as we do; and

— Neglecting development and refinement of the mind.

You will notice that the second item on his list refers to worry and all of the items are as valid today as they were in Cicero’s time.

If you can understand these lessons, learn from them and conquer at least a few of them, you will enjoy a more fulfilling life. Is it possible to change human nature?



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AGE SOMETIMES equals wisdom. For example, a 63-year-old learned you should never go up a ladder with just one nail.

A 44-year-old learned she may have been part of the mess. Both of her children are gone now, but there are still crumbs on the kitchen counter and floor.

A baby boomer has learned that one sincere apology is worth more than all the roses money can buy. Another has learned that while waiting to see the doctor, she wishes she had stuck to her diet.

As someone with experience knows, if your back hurts enough, you’ll believe in anything. It’s just a fact. No matter what you do or say about anything, most people will believe you are doing it wrong.

Thomas Edison relied on a simple philosophy to guide his research. “Anything that won’t sell, I don’t want to invent,” he said. “Its sale is proof of utility and utility is success.”

With first-class postage stamps now costing 55 cents for the first ounce, it’s still true: bad news travels fast and cheap unless, of course, you mail it.