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+ 310 There are no big problems, there are just a lot of little problems. Henry Ford

+ 337 Customers need to be given control of their own data-not being tied into a certain manufacturer so that when there are problems they are always obliged to go back to them. Tim Berners-Lee

+ 317 If you are not on the web, you will have problems accessing services. Tim Berners-Lee

+ 359 I look at Google and think they have a strong academic culture. Elegant solutions to complex problems. Mark Zuckerberg

+ 307 Solving big problems is easier than solving little problems. Sergey Brin

+ 343 It just doesn't occur to an American that someone else will solve their problems. Americans take pride in solving problems for themselves. And if we fail, we get back up and try again. It's what we do. It's who we are. Mitch McConnell

+ 264 I simply think things through, and I look at problems. One thing I pride myself on is the ability to connect unconnected thoughts and come up with new, unique thoughts. Bode Miller

+ 239 Talking about our problems is our greatest addiction. Break the habit. Talk about your joys.

+ 321 A capacity, and taste, for reading, gives access to whatever has already been discovered by others. It is the key, or one of the keys, to the already solved problems. And not only so. It gives a relish, and facility, for successfully pursuing the unsolved ones. Abraham Lincoln

+ 316 There is no good reason why we should fear the future, but there is every reason why we should face it seriously, neither hiding from ourselves the gravity of the problems before us nor fearing to approach these problems with the unbending, unflinching purpose to solve them aright. Theodore Roosevelt

+ 235 Most of the problems a President has to face have their roots in the past. Harry S. Truman

+ 243 The basic problems facing the world today are not susceptible to a military solution. John F. Kennedy

+ 280 Brazil has rediscovered itself, and this rediscovery is being expressed in its people's enthusiasm and their desire to mobilize to face the huge problems that lie ahead of us. Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva

+ 247 All birds find shelter during a rain. But Eagle avoids rain by flying above the Clouds. Problems are common, but attitude makes the difference!

+ 395 Why does this magnificent applied science which saves work and makes life easier bring us so little happiness? The simple answer runs: Because we have not yet learned to make sensible use of it. In war it serves that we may poison and mutilate each other. In peace it has made our lives hurried and uncertain. Instead of freeing us in great measure from spiritually exhausting labor, it has made men into slaves of machinery, who for the most part complete their monotonous long day's work with disgust and must continually tremble for their poor rations. ... It is not enough that you should understand about applied science in order that your work may increase man's blessings. Concern for the man himself and his fate must always form the chief interest of all technical endeavours; concern for the great unsolved problems of the organization of labor and the distribution of goods in order that the creations of our mind shall be a blessing and not a curse to mankind. Never forget this in the midst of your diagrams and equations. Albert Einstein

+ 378 How it happened that I in particular discovered the relativity theory, it seemed to lie in the following circumstance. The normal adult never bothers his head about space-time problems. Everything there is to be thought about it, in his opinion, has already been done in early childhood. I, on the contrary, developed so slowly that I only began to wonder about space and time when I was already grown up. In consequence I probed deeper into the problem than an ordinary child would have done. Albert Einstein

+ 288 Clarity about the aims and problems of socialism is of greatest significance in our age of transition. Albert Einstein

+ 215 Over thinking creates problems that were never there.

+ 241 It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer. Albert Einstein

+ 246 Everyone has problems. Some people are just better at hiding them than others.

+ 242 A lot of problems would disappear if we talked to each other instead of about each other.

+ 270 Stop talking about your problems and start thinking about solutions.

+ 269 Be careful who you trust and tell your problems to. Everyone who smiles at you is not your friend.

+ 260 Concentrate on your strengths instead of your weaknesses, on your powers instead of your problems. Paul J. Meyer

+ 258 Best friends are people who make your problems their problems, just so you don’t have to go through them alone.

+ 183 A writer doesn't solve problems. He allows them to emerge. Friedrich Durrenmatt

+ 247 It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes. Douglas Adams

+ 320 I want to make it clear that my intention of presenting this information is to demonstrate that thoughts, intentions, prayer and other units of consciousness can directly influence our physical material world. Consciousness can be a big factor in creating change on the planet. Sending thoughts of love, healing intent, prayer, good intention, and more can have a powerful influence on what you are directing those feelings towards. Fukushima for example, if a mass amount of people send their thoughts and good intention to our waters, we can help mitigate the situation. These concepts can be used on a mass scale as one human race with one intent in their hearts, for multiple problems, as well as individual situations in our own lives. When our consciousness starts to merge into one as a collective, and we all start to see through the same eyes, we will begin to transform the world around us. I believe we are currently in this process.

+ 256 There are children playing in the streets who could solve some of my top problems in physics, because they have modes of sensory perception that I lost long ago. Robert Oppenheimer

+ 204 There are no problems, only opportunities for growth. Rebbetzin Dena Weinberg

+ 261 Evil people’s lives are like paths covered with thorns and traps. People who guard themselves don’t have such problems. Mishlei 22:5

+ 282 The people who built Silicon Valley were engineers. They learned business, they learned a lot of different things, but they had a real belief that humans, if they worked hard with other creative, smart people, could solve most of humankind's problems. I believe that very much. Steve Jobs — Wired. 1996

+ 261 Each year has been so robust with problems and successes and learning experiences and human experiences that a year is a lifetime at Apple. Pixar is the most technically advanced creative company; Apple is the most creatively advanced technical company. Steve Jobs — Fortune, 2005

+ 296 Apple is a $30 billion company, yet we've got less than 30 major products. I don't know if that's ever been done before. If you go out and ask people what's wrong with computers today, they'll tell you they're really complicated, they have a zillion cables coming out of the back, they're really big and noisy, they're really ugly, and they take forever to get on the Internet. And so we tried to set out to fix those problems with products like the iMac. Steve Jobs — CNA, 1999

+ 202 Don't tell Ganesha how big your problems are tell your problems how big your Ganesha.

+ 362 So we find that the three possible solutions of the great problem of increasing human energy are answered by the three words: food, peace, work. Many a year I have thought and pondered, lost myself in speculations and theories, considering man as a mass moved by a force, viewing his inexplicable movement in the light of a mechanical one, and applying the simple principles of mechanics to the analysis of the same until I arrived at these solutions, only to realize that they were taught to me in my early childhood. These three words sound the key-notes of the Christian religion. Their scientific meaning and purpose now clear to me: food to increase the mass, peace to diminish the retarding force, and work to increase the force accelerating human movement. These are the only three solutions which are possible of that great problem, and all of them have one object, one end, namely, to increase human energy. When we recognize this, we cannot help wondering how profoundly wise and scientific and how immensely practical the Christian religion is, and in what a marked contrast it stands in this respect to other religions. It is unmistakably the result of practical experiment and scientific observation which have extended through the ages, while other religions seem to be the outcome of merely abstract reasoning. Work, untiring effort, useful and accumulative, with periods of rest and recuperation aiming at higher efficiency, is its chief and ever-recurring command. Thus we are inspired both by Christianity and Science to do our utmost toward increasing the performance of mankind. This most important of human problems I shall now specifically consider. Nikola Tesla

+ 204 Be grateful for what you have and stop complaining - it bores everybody else, does you no good, and doesn't solve any problems. Zig Ziglar

+ 168 Talking about our problems is our greatest addiction. Break the habit. Talk about your joys.

+ 104 One of the key problems today is that politics is such a disgrace, good people don't go into government. Donald Trump

+ 112 The problems we face now - poverty and violence at home, war and destruction abroad - will last only as long as we continue relying on the same politicians who created them in the first place. Donald Trump

+ 97 When I see the crumbling roads and bridges, or the dilapidated airports, or the factories moving overseas to Mexico, or to other countries, I know these problems can all be fixed, but not by Hillary Clinton - only by me. Donald Trump

+ 89 When I see the crumbling roads and bridges, or the dilapidated airports, or the factories moving overseas to Mexico, or to other countries, I know these problems can all be fixed, but not by Hillary Clinton - only by me. Donald Trump

+ 92 The U.S. has become a dumping ground for everybody else's problems. Donald Trump

+ 67 Problems are not stop signs, they are guidelines. Robert H. Schuller

+ 86 In a relationship the way to overcome problems, is to focus our attention on higher principles that can help us transcend them.

+ 125 Unhappiness and dissatisfaction with life are common themes in the American culture today. Folks sometimes mistake my meaning when I say, “You have the freedom of choice and the ability to create your best life”, because they all too often rush to drop everything that is weighing them down. They quit the job, ditch the unhappy marriage, cut out negative friends and family, get out of Dodge, etc. I do not advocate such hastiness; in fact, I believe that rash decision-making leads to more problems further down the road. Another unsatisfying job manifests; another unhappy relationship results. These people want a new environment, yet the same negative energy always seems to occupy it. This is because transformation is all about the internal shift, not the external. Any blame placed on outside sources for our unhappiness will forever perpetuate that unhappiness. Pointing the finger is giving away your power of choice and the ability to create our best life. We choose: “That person is making me unhappy” vs. “I make myself happy.” When you are in unhappy times of lack and feelings of separation – great! Sit there and be with it. Find ways to be content with little. Find ways to be happy with your Self. As we reflect on the lives of mystics past and present, it is not the things they possess or the relationships they share that bring them enlightenment – their light is within. The same light can bring us unwavering happiness (joy). Love, Peace, Joy – these three things all come from within and have an unwavering flame – life source – that is not dependent on the conditions of the outside world. This knowing is the power and wisdom that the mystics teach us that we are all capable of achieving. When I say, “You have the freedom of choice and the ability to create your best life”, I am not referring to external conditions; I am referring to the choice you have to look inward and discover the ability to transform the lead of the soul into gold. Transformation is an inner journey of the soul. Why? Because, as we mentioned above, wherever we go, ourselves go with us. Thus, quitting the job, dumping relationships, etc. will not make us happy because we have forgotten the key factor that makes or breaks our happiness: ourselves. When we find, create, and maintain peace, joy, and love within ourselves, we then gain the ability to embrace the external world with the same emotions, perspective, and vibration. This ability is a form of enlightenment. It is the modern man’s enlightenment that transforms an unsatisfying life into one of fulfillment. Alaric Hutchinson, Living Peace

+ 100 Convex and discrete geometry were developed to solve problems in number theory and functional analysis but now are pursued with an eye on applications in optimization and computer science.

+ 321 Just for fun I recently asked Erin, “Now that the kids are in summer school, don’t you think it’s about time you went out and got yourself a job?  I hate seeing you wallow in unemployment for so long.” She smiled and said, “Wow.  I have been unemployed a really long time.  That’s weird…  I like it!”

Neither of us have had jobs since the ’90s (my only job was in 1992), so we’ve been self-employed for quite a while.  In our household it’s a running joke for one of us to say to the other, “Maybe you should get a job, derelict!” It’s like the scene in The Three Stooges where Moe tells Curly to get a job, and Curly backs away, saying, “No, please… not that!  Anything but that!” It’s funny that when people reach a certain age, such as after graduating college, they assume it’s time to go out and get a job.  But like many things the masses do, just because everyone does it doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.  In fact, if you’re reasonably intelligent, getting a job is one of the worst things you can do to support yourself.  There are far better ways to make a living than selling yourself into indentured servitude.

Here are some reasons you should do everything in your power to avoid getting a job:

1. Income for dummies.

Getting a job and trading your time for money may seem like a good idea.  There’s only one problem with it.  It’s stupid!  It’s the stupidest way you can possibly generate income!  This is truly income for dummies.

Why is getting a job so dumb?  Because you only get paid when you’re working.  Don’t you see a problem with that, or have you been so thoroughly brainwashed into thinking it’s reasonable and intelligent to only earn income when you’re working?  Have you never considered that it might be better to be paid even when you’re not working?  Who taught you that you could only earn income while working?  Some other brainwashed employee perhaps?

Don’t you think your life would be much easier if you got paid while you were eating, sleeping, and playing with the kids too?  Why not get paid 24/7?  Get paid whether you work or not.  Don’t your plants grow even when you aren’t tending to them?  Why not your bank account? Who cares how many hours you work?  Only a handful of people on this entire planet care how much time you spend at the office.  Most of us won’t even notice whether you work 6 hours a week or 60.  But if you have something of value to provide that matters to us, a number of us will be happy to pull out our wallets and pay you for it.  We don’t care about your time — we only care enough to pay for the value we receive.  Do you really care how long it took me to write this article?  Would you pay me twice as much if it took me 6 hours vs. only 3?

Non-dummies often start out on the traditional income for dummies path.  So don’t feel bad if you’re just now realizing you’ve been suckered.  Non-dummies eventually realize that trading time for money is indeed extremely dumb and that there must be a better way.  And of course there is a better way.  The key is to de-couple your value from your time. Smart people build systems that generate income 24/7, especially passive income.  This can include starting a business, building a web site, becoming an investor, or generating royalty income from creative work.  The system delivers the ongoing value to people and generates income from it, and once it’s in motion, it runs continuously whether you tend to it or not.  From that moment on, the bulk of your time can be invested in increasing your income (by refining your system or spawning new ones) instead of merely maintaining your income.

This web site is an example of such a system.  At the time of this writing, it generates about $9000 a month in income for me (update: $40,000 a month as of 10/31/06), and it isn’t my only income stream either.  I write each article just once (fixed time investment), and people can extract value from them year after year.  The web server delivers the value, and other systems (most of which I didn’t even build and don’t even understand) collect income and deposit it automatically into my bank account.  It’s not perfectly passive, but I love writing and would do it for free anyway.  But of course it cost me a lot of money to launch this business, right?  Um, yeah, $9 is an awful lot these days (to register the domain name).  Everything after that was profit. Sure it takes some upfront time and effort to design and implement your own income-generating systems.  But you don’t have to reinvent the wheel — feel free to use existing systems like ad networks and affiliate programs.  Once you get going, you won’t have to work so many hours to support yourself.  Wouldn’t it be nice to be out having dinner with your spouse, knowing that while you’re eating, you’re earning money?  If you want to keep working long hours because you enjoy it, go right ahead.  If you want to sit around doing nothing, feel free.  As long as your system continues delivering value to others, you’ll keep getting paid whether you’re working or not.

Your local bookstore is filled with books containing workable systems others have already designed, tested, and debugged.  Nobody is born knowing how to start a business or generate investment income, but you can easily learn it.  How long it takes you to figure it out is irrelevant because the time is going to pass anyway.  You might as well emerge at some future point as the owner of income-generating systems as opposed to a lifelong wage slave.  This isn’t all or nothing.  If your system only generates a few hundred dollars a month, that’s a significant step in the right direction.

2. Limited experience.

You might think it’s important to get a job to gain experience.  But that’s like saying you should play golf to get experience playing golf.  You gain experience from living, regardless of whether you have a job or not.  A job only gives you experience at that job, but you gain “experience” doing just about anything, so that’s no real benefit at all.  Sit around doing nothing for a couple years, and you can call yourself an experienced meditator, philosopher, or politician.

The problem with getting experience from a job is that you usually just repeat the same limited experience over and over.  You learn a lot in the beginning and then stagnate.  This forces you to miss other experiences that would be much more valuable.  And if your limited skill set ever becomes obsolete, then your experience won’t be worth squat.  In fact, ask yourself what the experience you’re gaining right now will be worth in 20-30 years.  Will your job even exist then?

Consider this.  Which experience would you rather gain?  The knowledge of how to do a specific job really well — one that you can only monetize by trading your time for money — or the knowledge of how to enjoy financial abundance for the rest of your life without ever needing a job again?  Now I don’t know about you, but I’d rather have the latter experience.  That seems a lot more useful in the real world, wouldn’t you say?

3. Lifelong domestication.

Getting a job is like enrolling in a human domestication program.  You learn how to be a good pet.

Look around you.  Really look.  What do you see?  Are these the surroundings of a free human being?  Or are you living in a cage for unconscious animals?  Have you fallen in love with the color beige? How’s your obedience training coming along?  Does your master reward your good behavior?  Do you get disciplined if you fail to obey your master’s commands?

Is there any spark of free will left inside you?  Or has your conditioning made you a pet for life? Humans are not meant to be raised in cages.  You poor thing…

4. Too many mouths to feed.

Employee income is the most heavily taxed there is.  In the USA you can expect that about half your salary will go to taxes.  The tax system is designed to disguise how much you’re really giving up because some of those taxes are paid by your employer, and some are deducted from your paycheck.  But you can bet that from your employer’s perspective, all of those taxes are considered part of your pay, as well as any other compensation you receive such as benefits.  Even the rent for the office space you consume is considered, so you must generate that much more value to cover it.  You might feel supported by your corporate environment, but keep in mind that you’re the one paying for it. Another chunk of your income goes to owners and investors.  That’s a lot of mouths to feed. It isn’t hard to understand why employees pay the most in taxes relative to their income.  After all, who has more control over the tax system?  Business owners and investors or employees? You only get paid a fraction of the real value you generate.  Your real salary may be more than triple what you’re paid, but most of that money you’ll never see.  It goes straight into other people’s pockets. What a generous person you are!

5. Way too risky.

Many employees believe getting a job is the safest and most secure way to support themselves. Morons.

Social conditioning is amazing.  It’s so good it can even make people believe the exact opposite of the truth. Does putting yourself in a position where someone else can turn off all your income just by saying two words (“You’re fired”) sound like a safe and secure situation to you?  Does having only one income stream honestly sound more secure than having 10?

The idea that a job is the most secure way to generate income is just silly.  You can’t have security if you don’t have control, and employees have the least control of anyone.  If you’re an employee, then your real job title should be professional gambler.

6. Having an evil bovine master.

When you run into an idiot in the entrepreneurial world, you can turn around and head the other way.  When you run into an idiot in the corporate world, you have to turn around and say, “Sorry, boss.”

Did you know that the word boss comes from the Dutch word baas, which historically means master?  Another meaning of the word boss is “a cow or bovine.”  And in many video games, the boss is the evil dude that you have to kill at the end of a level.

So if your boss is really your evil bovine master, then what does that make you?  Nothing but a turd in the herd. Who’s your daddy?

7. Begging for money.

When you want to increase your income, do you have to sit up and beg your master for more money?  Does it feel good to be thrown some extra Scooby Snacks now and then?

Or are you free to decide how much you get paid without needing anyone’s permission but your own?

If you have a business and one customer says “no” to you, you simply say “next.”

8. An inbred social life.

Many people treat their jobs as their primary social outlet.  They hang out with the same people working in the same field.  Such incestuous relations are social dead ends.  An exciting day includes deep conversations about the company’s switch from Sparkletts to Arrowhead, the delay of Microsoft’s latest operating system, and the unexpected delivery of more Bic pens.  Consider what it would be like to go outside and talk to strangers.  Ooooh… scary!  Better stay inside where it’s safe.

If one of your co-slaves gets sold to another master, do you lose a friend?  If you work in a male-dominated field, does that mean you never get to talk to women above the rank of receptionist?  Why not decide for yourself whom to socialize with instead of letting your master decide for you?  Believe it or not, there are locations on this planet where free people congregate.  Just be wary of those jobless folk — they’re a crazy bunch!

9. Loss of freedom.

It takes a lot of effort to tame a human being into an employee.  The first thing you have to do is break the human’s independent will.  A good way to do this is to give them a weighty policy manual filled with nonsensical rules and regulations.  This leads the new employee to become more obedient, fearing that s/he could be disciplined at any minute for something incomprehensible.  Thus, the employee will likely conclude it’s safest to simply obey the master’s commands without question.  Stir in some office politics for good measure, and we’ve got a freshly minted mind slave. As part of their obedience training, employees must be taught how to dress, talk, move, and so on.  We can’t very well have employees thinking for themselves, now can we?  That would ruin everything. God forbid you should put a plant on your desk when it’s against the company policy.  Oh no, it’s the end of the world!  Cindy has a plant on her desk!  Summon the enforcers!  Send Cindy back for another round of sterility training!

Free human beings think such rules and regulations are silly of course.  The only policy they need is:  “Be smart.  Be nice.  Do what you love.  Have fun.”

10. Becoming a coward.

Have you noticed that employed people have an almost endless capacity to whine about problems at their companies?  But they don’t really want solutions — they just want to vent and make excuses why it’s all someone else’s fault.  It’s as if getting a job somehow drains all the free will out of people and turns them into spineless cowards.  If you can’t call your boss a jerk now and then without fear of getting fired, you’re no longer free.  You’ve become your master’s property.

When you work around cowards all day long, don’t you think it’s going to rub off on you?  Of course it will.  It’s only a matter of time before you sacrifice the noblest parts of your humanity on the altar of fear:  first courage… then honesty… then honor and integrity… and finally your independent will.  You sold your humanity for nothing but an illusion.  And now your greatest fear is discovering the truth of what you’ve become.

I don’t care how badly you’ve been beaten down.  It is never too late to regain your courage.  Never!

Still want a job?

If you’re currently a well-conditioned, well-behaved employee, your most likely reaction to the above will be defensiveness.  It’s all part of the conditioning.  But consider that if the above didn’t have a grain of truth to it, you wouldn’t have an emotional reaction at all.  This is only a reminder of what you already know.  You can deny your cage all you want, but the cage is still there.  Perhaps this all happened so gradually that you never noticed it until now… like a lobster enjoying a nice warm bath. If any of this makes you mad, that’s a step in the right direction.  Anger is a higher level of consciousness than apathy, so it’s a lot better than being numb all the time.  Any emotion — even confusion — is better than apathy.  If you work through your feelings instead of repressing them, you’ll soon emerge on the doorstep of courage.  And when that happens, you’ll have the will to actually do something about your situation and start living like the powerful human being you were meant to be instead of the domesticated pet you’ve been trained to be.

Happily jobless

What’s the alternative to getting a job?  The alternative is to remain happily jobless for life and to generate income through other means.  Realize that you earn income by providing value — not time — so find a way to provide your best value to others, and charge a fair price for it.  One of the simplest and most accessible ways is to start your own business.  Whatever work you’d otherwise do via employment, find a way to provide that same value directly to those who will benefit most from it.  It takes a bit more time to get going, but your freedom is easily worth the initial investment of time and energy.  Then you can buy your own Scooby Snacks for a change. And of course everything you learn along the way, you can share with others to generate even more value.  So even your mistakes can be monetized.

One of the greatest fears you’ll confront is that you may not have any real value to offer others.  Maybe being an employee and getting paid by the hour is the best you can do.  Maybe you just aren’t worth that much.  That line of thinking is all just part of your conditioning.  It’s absolute nonsense.  As you begin to dump such brainwashing, you’ll soon recognize that you have the ability to provide enormous value to others and that people will gladly pay you for it.  There’s only one thing that prevents you from seeing this truth — fear.

All you really need is the courage to be yourself.  Your real value is rooted in who you are, not what you do.  The only thing you need actually do is express your real self to the world.  You’ve been told all sort of lies as to why you can’t do that.  But you’ll never know true happiness and fulfillment until you summon the courage to do it anyway.

The next time someone says to you, “Get a job,” I suggest you reply as Curly did:  “No, please… not that!  Anything but that!”  Then poke him right in the eyes.

You already know deep down that getting a job isn’t what you want.  So don’t let anyone try to tell you otherwise.  Learn to trust your inner wisdom, even if the whole world says you’re wrong and foolish for doing so.  Years from now you’ll look back and realize it was one of the best decisions you ever made.

Final thoughts

While I wouldn’t recommend starting an online business for everyone, for many people it’s one of the best ways to generate income without a job. It has certainly worked disgustingly well for me. If you’re interested in learning more about this option, please check out Build Your Own Successful Online Business for details.

About the author:

Steve Pavlina calls himself “the most intensely growth-oriented individual you will ever meet.” While sitting in a jail cell at age 19, Steve decided to dedicate his life to the pursuit of personal growth. Passionate about sharing what he learned with anyone who desires self-improvement, he has written more than 700 articles and has been featured in The New York Times, USA Today, and Self Magazine. As a result of giving away all his best ideas for free, Steve’s Website quickly became the most popular personal development site in the world, receiving more than 2 million visitors per month.

+ 123 The Prayerbook and the Villager

by Shai Agnon

Shai Agnon (winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature) told:

One time, a number of us—myself, Chaim Nachman Bialik, Eliezer Meir Lifshitz, Rabbi Simchah Asaf, Binyamin and others—entered the presence of the great Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Hacohen Kook and discussed the problems of the generation and how to rectify it.

One of the group made a speech in praise of the Torah, which ended by criticizing the many additional laws enacted by the rabbis in every generation. Rabbi Nachman rose in pain, and appeared angry. But he immediately overcame his anger, as was his holy way, and answered quietly: Hearing this has brought to mind a story.

There was once a great rabbi who happened to pass through a village. Night fell, and he had to stay there overnight. He asked the villager at whose house he was staying for a volume of the Talmud, but the villager didn’t have one. He asked for a mishnah—the villager didn’t have. He asked for an Ein Yaakov—the villager didn’t have that either.

Finally, he asked the villager, “Do you have a prayerbook?” The villager brought him an old prayerbook, which contained a commentary that the rabbi read the entire night, and which he enjoyed greatly.

The next day, the rabbi offered to pay a good price for the prayerbook, but the villager refused. The rabbi persisted: “I’ll trade it for a new prayerbook with a fine binding.” But the villager still refused.

“Why?” asked the rabbi.

The villager replied, “Rabbi, every morning when I get up I like to drink something hot, and I warm up the kettle. To make the fire catch quickly, I light a piece of paper and put it under the tinder. Since I don’t have much paper in the house, I rip a page out of the prayerbook and light that. And also, every time I want to smoke my pipe, I rip a page out of the prayerbook to light it.

“I am already an old man, but because there is so much commentary, I still haven’t come to the prayers. All the pages I’ve ripped out really aren’t the prayerbook.”

Malachim Kivnei Adam, pp. 363-65

+ 82 90% of our problems are caused by our own thoughts

+ 73 Problems are not stop signs, they are guidelines. Robert H. Schuller