VALUE STORIES
What value defines you?

We all try to live by many different values, but usually one of them stands out a little more than the others... Is your value love? grit? giving back? What value defines you?

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CARING
STRANDED In June of 1999 I had taken my father (76 years old, I was 45 and a sedentary software tester) out for a trip in the Utah west desert. In the early evening on a dirt road to a fossil quarry we hit a rock and punctured our transmission pan. Without fluid, the car came to a stop and we were stranded. After...
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TEACHING BY EXAMPLE
A CUP OF COFFEE My life began similarly to most of the kids in my family, with a mother who did the best she could before the father screwed up enough times and she left. That's the way it is in my family, you grow up not knowing what a father is and no one is there to teach you. Consequently, I developed the usual problems...
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HELPING OTHERS
THE ESCALATOR I was returning from another business trip, heading to my car. A five-year-old boy stood at the top of the escalator. At first, I thought he was just playing, but as I got closer, I realized his Mom was half-way down the escalator. She thought he was right behind her and his little sister. When she turned around...
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REACHING OUT
TOUCHING ONE LIFE I volunteered with the Challenger League, a baseball team for young adults with physical disabilities. One day, a young man hit a home run and we ran around the bases - nothing unusual. However, it was unusually quiet in the stands. Later, I was told that this young man was autistic and didn't like people...
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MAKING A DIFFERENCE
A THANKSGIVING REMEMBRANCE My paternal grandmother lived with us. She would sit in the porch swing and I would stand behind her and brush her beautiful long gray hair. As I brushed her hair she would tell me her two favorite stories from the Bible. The only thing better was when she would have me snuggle up close to her in the swing as she...
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HELPING OTHERS
THE ALOOF FAMILY We were standing next to my old car, out of gas and out of money. It was three miles to home and five miles to the nearest gas station; the temperature was over 100 degrees. My ten-year-old daughter was trying to tell me not to worry, we can take the groceries and walk home, but after the walk through the store,...
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REACHING OUT
THE DAY WE BECAME FRIENDS She was new to my school and we despised each other for the first year. Looking back on it now, I think it was only because we were so alike. After a horrible day, I sat on the ground crying when I saw someone sit down next to me. I wasn't sure of who it was at first. It was the girl that I hated. But, she held...
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GRATITUDE
UNWILLING STUDENT I love it at night. It's peaceful. And when it cools down I sometimes do some ironing. I don't really care for it. I work full time and too busy for most housework. I remember the old woman who taught me to iron. I was about 15 and somehow got a live-in job taking care of a woman who had been an able-bodied,...
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GRATITUDE
THE STRANGERS WHO CARED It was to be our second Christmas in Germany and we decided to avoid the naked tree problem that we had the year before. We tried ordering an artificial tree from the States, only to learn that the packaging was too big to send through the A.P.O. mail system. We then wrote to my father, and he agreed to purchase...
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HELPING OTHERS
DO UNTO OTHERS My mother through her fine example instilled within me the desire to help others. She taught me to notice those who others ignore. She was compassionate. The railroad tracks were within a mile of our house. "Beggers" and "Bums" (as they were known) frequently would knock on the doors in our neighborhood in the...
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REACHING OUT
LEARNING A VALUABLE LESSON From my seat in the van, the rows of tomato plants looked like neatly laid pick-up-sticks. It was harvest time near Quincy, Florida, picking season for hundreds of migrant workers. With a team of youth, I was ready to spend a week renovating an old church and community center. Yet after that week of labor, my...
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GRATITUDE
MY LITTLE DETERMINATION I was seventeen, pregnant and scared there was no help that was going to come from the father. And I still had to graduate high school. My mother and father had lost all hope in me in graduating or even being a mother. That year I found my strength through my child. After 15 hours of labor she was here and I...
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TEACHING BY EXAMPLE
TURN THE CORNER When I was twenty, I won a statewide pageant. Along with the scholarship came the opportunity to be a guest in other pageants and parades, and also to compete for the national title. I felt so happy and blessed each time I read another news clipping about my reign. I was so proud of the gown I'd designed and I...
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HELPING OTHERS
ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT In 1969 I was a young girl working in the big city. I was from a small town in Ontario and had just moved to Toronto about five weeks earlier. It was one week before Christmas and I was going home on the streetcar, the last one of the evening. I remember looking at my paycheque and asking myself how it was...
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OVERCOMING
DIALYSIS DOES NOT HAVE TO BE THE END Twenty years ago I was treated with an antibiotic that damaged my kidneys. Within a couple of years of the antibiotics it was necessary for me to have dialysis treatments. After a couple of years my husband and I were trained to do the hemodialysis treatments and were able to perform them every other night at...
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