Minggu, 30 November 2008

Christmas Magic

The holiday season brings with it a time to gather together and share stories. Many people reflect upon family, others about gifts, and some about gratefulness. Mine is a collection of all three.

When I was a young boy of 8 years old, I witnessed a professional magician perform miracles before my very eyes. I enjoyed the show so much my parents bought me an Authentic Magic Set for Christmas that year. That very afternoon, I hurriedly learned my first trick. It was the amazing feat of having small authentic felt balls pass through solid authentic plastic cups - just like on TV.

I raced downstairs to the kitchen to perform my first miracle for my family. My brother and sister were too busy with their own toys, and my father was next door helping the neighbors with an electrical problem, but my mother happily stopped doing the dishes and became my authentic audience of one.

I remembered the instructions perfectly, and when the felt ball magically appeared under the cup, my mother rose to her feet in astonishment and applause! Before booking my flight to Vegas, I thought I'd do one more free show for my father and our neighbors.

Through the freshly fallen snow, I ran without a coat or even a magic cape, from our back door to theirs. I found the two frustrated fathers in the family room surrounded by wires and bulbs. They obviously needed a diversion - magic. I called them over to the center of the room, and told them to, "Prepare to be amazed!"

While setting up my cups and balls on the coffee table, I explained, using the authentic banter from my direction booklet, how I was about to mesmerize them by making the felt balls pass directly through the sturdy plastic cups. With a professional flourish, I scooped up the first cup and ball, and they stopped me. "What about the ball you hid under the 3rd cup?" they said.

I was stunned. My powers of prestidigitation were gone. I was more than embarrassed. I was crushed.

They quickly got back to work on the pressing problem of malfunctioning Christmas lights. I gathered my authentic supplies and left.

As I slowly trudged back home replaying everything in my mind, I couldn't figure out what had gone so wrong. I mean, I performed this trick flawlessly just minutes earlier. My mother had no idea how the ball - then it hit me. I did the exact same trick, with exact same lack of skill for my mother. She HAD to see the same mistake. She KNEW the ball was under that cup all along. But, like she always did, she cared enough to make that moment about me instead of her.

I was stunned. The power of love welled inside me. I was more than happy - I was grateful.

The circle of life continues to roll on. This Christmas, my son will receive his first magic set. And while I know there will be lights that won't work and dishes to clean, I'm prepared to be amazed!

Today all over the United States family and friends are coming together to celebrate a day of Thanksgiving. Although a Canadian, I too will take time to reflect on the things for which I am grateful.especially remembering those individuals who have helped shape my life.

Dr. C. Harry Roder was one of those individuals, and yesterday I received a call that he had left us - Harry was 82. Dr. Roder was one of the people who truly had a profound impact on my life. He and five other men were actually responsible for helping me move on to the right road and to a bright future. When I think of these great individuals, I have such a deep feeling of gratitude that it is difficult to put my feelings into words. You see the change that Dr. Roder caused to take place in me was dramatic.

Speaking with my business partner, Paul Martinelli, he asked me what Harry was like. I explained that in all the years I have been in this business he was without question the greatest teacher I have ever known. Dr. John Mike, a psychiatrist in Florida, once said that I taught him more about the mind in one year, than he had learned in four years of medical school and five years of psychiatric training. I explained that I merely taught him what Dr. Roder taught me.

Harry's lessons were so clear that he left no questions in the mind of his audience. He took one of the most complicated subjects known to man, the working of the mind and reduced it to easy understandable lessons. Dr. Roder changed the lives of literally thousands of people, however when his teachings were extended through his students, he in effect raised the consciousness of millions, all of whom would be very thankful for the life and teachings of Dr. Roder

I felt a real loss when I heard of Harry's passing. It was like an empty feeling inside and yet I felt so thankful that I had known him. As I look back to the point where the change began to take place in my life, and I think of Harry, I'm reminded of the lyrics from one of Aretha Franklin's songs "when my soul was in the lost and found, you came along to claim it."

You might take a few minutes today - regardless of what country you are in and do as those in the United States are doing - give thanks for the good that you have in your life.

Today, I will be giving thanks to those individuals who have shaped my life and especially to Dr. Roder. Good bye Harry and keep going.

Bob Proctor
Author and Speaker

Inter di Grup B
Main Jelek, Kalah, Lolos!

Luar biasa, Inter! Perjalanan I Nerazzurri musim ini benar-benar di luar akal sehat. Dengan penampilan pas-pasan, La Beneamata sanggup memuncaki Serie A.

Di Liga Champion lebih gila lagi. Sebuah permainan jelek dan kekalahan memalukan di Giuseppe Meazza tetap membawa Inter meraih tiket lolos ke fase knock-out!

Rabu (26/11), Inter kalah 0-1 di tangan Panathinaikos. Ini kejutan mengingat pelatih Jose Mourinho menurunkan tim yang hampir sama dengan skuad penakluk Juventus di laga derby d'Italia empat hari sebelumnya.

Tim ini ternyata gagal mengulangi performa di derby itu. Kalah dalam penguasaan bola (48% berbanding 52%) dan hanya 24% tembakannya tepat sasaran, Inter dihukum gol Jose Sarriegi di menit ke-69.

Tidak cuma Interisti di San Siro yang menyiuli timnya sendiri. Mourinho pun marah. "Tujuh atau delapan pemain hari ini memiliki kaki yang berat dan pikiran yang lambat. Inter tidak boleh kalah dari Panathinaikos di kandang sendiri," kata Mourinho seperti dikutip Football Italia.

Mourinho pantas murka karena bukan sekali ini saja timnya bermain jelek. Inter tercatat hanya tampil bagus satu kali di Liga Champion musim ini, yaitu ketika menang 2-0 atas Panathinaikos di matchday 1.

Untungnya kekalahan di matchday 5 ini tetap membawa Tim Biru-Hitam lolos ke 16 besar. Pada pertandingan lain, Anorthosis ditahan Werder Bremen 2-2. Saat ini Inter masih memimpin klasemen Grup B dengan 8 poin disusul Panathinaikos (7) dan Anorthosis (6).

Inter dipastikan meraih tiket ke perdelapanfinal karena Panathinaikos akan bertemu Anorthosis di matchday terakhir. Hanya salah satu di antara mereka yang bisa finis di atas I Nerazzurri. Paling jelek Inter akan menjadi runner-up.

Di matchday terakhir nanti, Inter tidak perlu menang di kandang Werder Bremen untuk menjadi juara Grup B. Hasil imbang pun cukup asal Panathinaikos tidak mengalahkan Anorthosis.

"Saya akan jujur. Inter bisa melaju di Liga Champion karena keberuntungan. Kami tidak pantas pulang ke rumah dengan puas walaupun bisa memastikan diri lolos ke 16 besar," imbuh Mourinho.

Di Grup D, Atletico Madrid dan Liverpool sama-sama memastikan diri meraih tiket ke fase knock-out. Mereka masing-masing mengalahkan PSV Eindhoven 2-1 dan Marseille 1-0. Di matchday terakhir, kedua tim ini tinggal mencari siapa yang akan menjadi juara grup. Saat ini Atletico ada di atas Liverpool dengan keunggulan selisih gol. (wid)

66 Laga Di Eropa
Rafa Cetak Rekor

Ada yang spesial dalam laga Liverpool kontra Marseille di matchday 5 Liga Champion, Rabu (26/11). Di pertandingan ini manajer Rafael Benitez mencetak rekor baru bagi Liverpool.

Rafa mencatatkan diri sebagai manajer The Reds dengan jumlah penampilan terbanyak di kompetisi Eropa (66 pertandingan). Tak hanya itu, catatan tersebut juga mengalahkan rekor berusia 34 tahun milik Bill Shankly!

Tentu torehan ini tidak main-main mengingat Shankly, yang melatih Liverpool pada 1959-1974, adalah sosok yang membangun fondasi kejayaan Liverpool di Eropa sebelum dilanjutkan Bob Paisley dan Joe Fagan.

“Saya tidak mau membandingkan diri dengan Shankly karena apa yang ia lakukan sangat besar pengaruhnya untuk klub ini. Ia mengubah banyak hal dan membangun dasar kekaisaran Liverpool,” ujar Benitez seperti dikutip Mirror.

“Ambisi saya saat ini hanya ingin membawa Liverpool meraih trofi setiap tahun,” cetus Benitez. (cw-5)

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