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The pencil maker

December 4, 2011
By John Sheda , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Black Friday! Cyber Monday! What will be the next day to bite the dust to "Commercialization?" Wacky Wednesday? Super-Duper Saturday? My gosh, isn't this just crazy. Did you hear about the lady who sprayed other shoppers with pepper spray while shopping somewhere? My goodness, what's this world coming to? I told Deb not to ever do that again. Just kidding, dear!! Anyway, this week and for the next several weeks leading up to Christmas, we're just going to enjoy a "feel-good" kind of story here in "The Way I See It." Is that ok? Today's story is simply called "The Pencil Maker."

Once upon a time there was this certain Pencil Maker. He made pencils. Pencils of every shape, color and design. He took great pride in his pencils. After making a pencil and before putting the pencil in the pencil box, he held it up and gave the pencil some advice. "There are five things you need to know," he told the pencil. "Before I send you into the world, I want you to always remember these five things. Never forget them, live by them and you will become a great and mighty pencil." Here are the five pieces of advice he gave each pencil.

"Number one. You will be able to do many great things in your lifetime, but only if you allow yourself to be guided and held in someone's hand. Be careful who whose hand you allow yourself to be held and guided by. The hand guiding you will shape your entire life.

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Number two. From time to time you will need sharpening to make you a better pencil. This sharpening may be painful from time to time. Allow yourself to be sharpened, learn from the experience and you will see that your mark in life will be clear and defined for everyone to see and appreciate.

Number three. You are not perfect. I did the very best I could but you will make mistakes every now and then. This is why I placed something called an eraser on one end of you. Be wise enough to use it when you make a mistake. You see, every mistake you make can be corrected if you make the effort to correct it.

Number four. I made many different kinds of pencils. Different colors, different shapes, different sizes. However, the most important part of you is what is on the inside. Don't ever, ever forget that.

Number five. And finally, remember that on every surface you are used on, you will leave some kind of mark. Make sure it's a good mark, a positive mark. And keep making marks all the way to the end. Continue to leave your mark."

Now as you read the advice the old Pencil Maker gave each of his pencils, can you see how you can apply each one of these five pieces of advice to your own life?

As we approach Christmas and the end of 2011, let each one of us take some time to evaluate and re-evaluate our own lives. This Christmas, take some time to remember someone close to you and help make their Christmas one of the best ever. As Tiny Tim says, "God Bless Us, Everyone."

That's The Way I See it. Let me know how you see it at or call me at 319.334.4117



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