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Wineka: Safrit spreads words of wisdom

What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; What we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.
ó Albert Pike
When the stock market tanked and the economy went sour, Johnny Safrit sought out messages of hope, joy and serenity ó things to counter all the doom and gloom he and his friends kept hearing.
Safrit came across a motivational video with quotes that were especially meaningful for him. He wrote down the passages, typed them into a Word document on his computer and wound up e-mailing the quotes to himself as daily reminders.
“They were just little things that would help me stay in the now, so to speak,” says Safrit, owner of a successful landscape construction business for more than 30 years. “They put my priorities in order.”
There are two ways to live: You can live as if nothing is a miracle, or you can live as if everything is a miracle.
ó Albert Einstein
Safrit found himself looking forward to his “Thought for the Day.” He figured they might help others, too, in getting their mind straight on what the important things really are.
Safrit carries a straightforward philosophy about life that matches the quotes. “We are what we think about,” he says. Starting his mornings with something simple, yet thought-provoking gave him important fuel for the rest of the day.
Through e-mails, he began sharing his daily quotes with friends, including members of his Sunday School class at First Presbyterian Church. They told others, who asked Safrit to include them on his list. Many people who received the Thought for the Day also forwarded it on to their friends.
“One thing led to another,” Safrit says. Now if he hasn’t posted his Thought for the Day by a certain time each morning, people are calling or e-mailing him asking where it is.
The rear-view mirror is always cleaner than the windshield.
ó Warren Buffett
Safrit quietly created something that would be missed if it no longer existed. It’s likely that a couple hundred people in Salisbury are now receiving his daily e-mails. He sends his Thought for the Day to 118 people directly, and many of those people forward the quotes to their list of friends.
At first, Safrit worried that he would never have the supply of quotes he needed to sustain his “thoughts” for a long time.
“Pretty soon, they were coming from everywhere,” he says, fulfilling one of his beliefs (and quotes) that “what you concentrate on, you attract.”
People sent him their favorite passages. He also wrote down things he read in books, magazines and newspapers.
Some of the quotes he has used even came from friends, such as Ketti Overcash, who said, “Do unto others as if you were the others.”
Safrit now has nine computer folders, each with multiple pages that are full of quotes he will be using in the days, weeks, months and probably years to come.
Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be.
ó John Wooden
The quotes are usually one or two sentences and can be read in a flash.
They represent poets, presidents, philosophers, scientists, high priests, humorists, businessmen, writers, artists, statesmen, anthropologists, motivational speakers, futurists, coaches, unknowns and, again, friends.
Safrit takes more time than you might imagine in deciding which quote to use every day. He studies some of the lines for so long that he begins thinking they’re not too good.
“The one that may not have so much meaning to me is one I might get the most comments on,” he says.
Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
ó Dalai Lama
Safrit has a knack for retaining many of the pearls he sends out into Salisbury’s cyberspace. He easily sprinkles his conversations with them.
“The difference between a flower and a weed is a judgment,” he says.
Or, “Choice, not chance, determines your destiny.”
“If you tell the truth,” he says, “you don’t have to remember anything.”
Safrit believes strongly in friendships. In the end, what else does a person leave behind? Friendships are all a person can take with him, Safrit says.
“I have never seen a hearse pulling a U-Haul,” he adds.
One of the most beautiful compensations in life is that no man can help another without helping himself.
ó Ralph Waldo Emerson
With these quotes, Safrit says, he’s merely trying to enrich people and bring them happiness and joy ó a way to thank the friends who have been there for him all of his life.
He says his Thought for the Day went out initially to people who were important to him. Those folks showed it to people paramount in their lives.
“And here we are talking on the phone,” Safrit told me.
The real measure of your wealth is how much you would be worth if you lost all your money.
ó Author unknown
I’m not a great person for remembering things. Tell me a joke, and I will have forgotten it by the next day.
I’ve also never been one affected strongly by inspirational messages. You won’t find me at a Dale Carnegie course or reading Norman Vincent Peale’s “The Power of Positive Thinking.”
But here I am, one of those people receiving Safrit’s “Thought for the Day.”
I always stop to read it.
The things I’m generally taking away from the quotes are have your priorities straight, cherish your friends, live for today, stop worrying so much, don’t be afraid to fail, be willing to change and generosity and humility are good things.
Thoughts to live by. Merry Christmas.
Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.
ó Mark Twain

Other ëThoughts for the Dayí

Here are other examples of Johnny Safritís ěThought for the Day:î
Things that matter most must never be at the mercy of things that matter least.
ó Goethe
Humility is not thinking less of yourself ó it is thinking of yourself less.
ó Author unknown
The best thing about the future is that it comes only one day at a time.
ó Abraham Lincoln
Do something. If it works, do more of it. If it doesnít, do something else.
ó Franklin D. Roosevelt
Life is what we make it. Always has been. Always will be.
ó Anna Mary ěGrandmaî Moses
Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.
ó Henry Ford
Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass. Itís about learning how to dance in the rain.
ó Anonymous
Live as if you were to die tomorrow; Learn as if you were to live forever.
ó Mahatma Gandhi
If you wait until you see the robin, spring will be over.
ó Warren Buffett
The longer we dwell on our misfortunes the greater their power to harm us.
ó Voltaire
Following the course of least resistance makes for crooked rivers and crooked men.
ó Lanny Henninger

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