来源：学习报告 发布时间：2020-11-25 点击：
I looked at my beautiful Christmas tree and sighed. It was time. The New Year was a week old and my tree still stood in the corner of our room with its collection of memories proudly displayed in a shower of colorful lights. I'd procrastinated long enough.
I got up, went to the garage and hauled all the boxes into the room. The garland was the first to come down. The tree looked naked already. I took the large ornaments off next. They made a large pile on our bed. An hour later, our bed was covered with Christmas memories. Each pile contained an ornament along with its matching brothers and sisters from sets purchased many years ago.
I prepared the boxes and carefully placed ornaments in their protective packaging, pausing every few minutes to admire a favorite. "Hey, little Santa!" I held the Santa from my childhood. "Thanks for being my friend for almost fifty years." He was a little ragged but still gives me a flood of wonderful memories. —Until next year, my dear friend."
There was a collection of handmade ones. My children made in their first years of school, more than twenty years ago. Made by tiny hands, they are far from perfect in design, but every year they go on my memory tree — memories of young giggles on Christmas morning and a smiling face when they handed them to me when I came home from work. "Look what we made, Daddy!"
"Oh! It is beautiful. Let's find a special spot on the tree for it." Every year since, they are displayed.
A few hours after I started, the filled boxes were back in the garage, the room was vacuumed and I sat staring at a barren corner. The room seemed so empty. It took me two days of work to assemble and decorate my tree, but only a few hours to take it apart.
My tree is a good marriage or a great friendship. Like the tree, they take a long time to assemble and decorate with memories, but can be torn down quickly. All it takes is an unkind word or a thoughtless act, and what once stood proudly in the glow of love comes tumbling down.
Every year I have to put my tree away, but not my marriage or friendships. I take great care of those. They get to glow in the corner of my life for as long as I live. I get to analyze my tree and find memories for a few weeks every year. I can do the same with the loves in my life every day. When I held the Santa, a flood of wonderful memories returned. The same happens when I hold my wife or see the smile of a friend across the room.
Take great care of your friendships and your marriage. Once they come down, they aren't as easy to put back together as a Christmas tree, if at all. Stand them in that special spot in the corner of your heart and admire their glow.
One day, an acquaintance met Socrates and said, "Do you know what I just heard about your friend?"
"Hold on a minute," Socrates replied. "Before you talk to me about my friend, it might be a good idea to take a moment and filter what you're going to say. That's why I call it the triple-filter test. The first filter is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?"
"Well, no," the man said, "actually I just heard about it and..."
"All right," said Socrates. "So you don't really know if it's true or not. Now, let's try the second filter, the filter of Goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about my friend something good?"
"No, on the contrary..."
"So," Socrates continued, "you want to tell me something bad about my friend, but you're not certain it's true. You may still pass the test though, because there's one filter left—the filter of Usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about my friend going to be useful to me?"
"No, not really."
"Well," concluded Socrates, "if what you want to tell me is neither true, nor good, nor even useful, why tell it to me at all?"
I have heard the story of such a religion.
Once upon a time, there is a Health and leprosy patients, the disease nearly 40 years, has been lying on the roadside, he said, referring to such people to have the magic of the pool edge. But he lay there nearly 40 years. Still not to the pool half goal.
One day, God met him and asked: "Sir, you have to not be healing, the lifting of the disease?"
Leprosy patients that said: "Of course! Sinister but good people, they are after nothing but themselves, will not help me."
Hearing God, again, he said: "Would you like to be the treatment?"
"We should, of course, to you! But waiting for me to climb over the past, the water dried up."
God listened to the leprosy patients, then after a little angry, ask him once: "You should not be healing in the end?"
He said: "To!"
God replied: "Well, you now stand up on their side to come to the pool, do not always find some reason can not be completed for their own defense."
Upon hearing this, and that leprosy patients are deeply ashamed and immediately stood up and went to the water edge, containing the heart of God with his hands a few water to drink. Twinkling of an eye, his struggle for nearly 40 years of leprosy even better!
As a teenager，I felt I was always letting people down. I was rebellious1 out-side，but I wanted to be liked inside.
Once I left home to hitch-hike2 to California with my friend Penelope. The trip wasn’t easy，and there were many times I didn’t feel safe. One situation in particular kept me grateful to still be alive. When I returned home，I was different，not so outwardly sure of myself.
I was happy to be home. But then I noticed that Penelope，who was staying with us，was wearing my clothes. And my family seemed to like her better than me. I wondered if I would be missed if I weren’t there. I told my mom，and she explained that though Penelope was a lovely girl，no one could replace me. I pointed out，“She is more patient and is neater than I have ever been.” My mom said these were wonderful qualities，but I was the only person who could fill my role. She made me realize that even with my faults—and there were many-I was a loved member of the family who couldn’t be replaced.
I became a searcher，wanting to find out who I was and what made me unique. My view of myself was changing. I wanted a solid base to start from. I started to resist3 pressure to act in ways that I didn’t like any more，and I was delighted by who I really was. I came to feel much more sure that no one can ever take my place.
Each of us holds a unique place in the world. You are special，no matter what others say or what you may think. So forget about being replaced. You can’t be.
My aunt died back in about 2003. She was eighty-four and so was my uncle. When she passed he was devastated. They had been married for over 60 years. We expected him to pass on quickly after she died. He attended his church more frequently and his mourning was nearly unbearable to witness. His only daughter lived clear across the country so he had only the rest of the extended family and church family to comfort him.
My cousin talked him into selling the house that he and my aunt had built together about twenty-five years before. It was very hard to part with the home they built together. He was going to move into an apartment, but at the last moment, my cousin and he saw a new house for sale, that was close to his business. She helped him buy furniture and a flat screen television. He had not watched television for years because of his religion. He was like a kid with a new toy but still grieved horribly for my aunt.
One day he called my cousin who was living in Texas and told her that he reconnected with a lady from a church that he and my aunt went to forty years previously. She played piano and his church was looking for new music. Her husband had died about seven years previously. He said he just wanted someone to go out to dinner with and spend time with. We were happy for them but had no idea how it would turn out. They were both almost eighty-seven years old.
They were like lovebirds and spent as much time together as they could. They both had one child each, she a son, he a daughter. She had a house that her father built for her when she got married to her first husband. She was content there.
The other fly in the ointment was that they were both very busy people. They both still worked! They were in their mid-eighties and both had their own family businesses. She worked for her son who took over the family business and he had his own business.
The clash in their relationship came when they neither wanted to leave their respective churches. She went to her Baptist church that she had attended for many years and he went to his, which was a Pentecostal. They decided to remain friends but nothing more. He was broken-hearted, but felt that his religion was the only way. She didn’t want to leave her church and didn’t like the extreme of his.
Before too long they realized that they did not want to be apart. They would find a new church together. They planned to marry. When he took her to a jewelry store and bought her a diamond, the employees were so impressed that they had a big write up in our own local paper, "'The Truth' for Valentines' Day." They prepared for their wedding. They moved the wedding date up because neither wanted to wait any longer to "be together," and it was not proper to "be together" without being married.
They got married in her house, where they decided they would live. It was such a beautiful refreshing thing to see, two people who you would have thought had pretty much lived their lives, were beginning a new one together. I have never seen my uncle happier. He is still in love and she loves him as much as he loves her.