Just to see what would happen, on the twins' birthday their father loaded the pessimist's room with every imaginable toy and game. The optimist's room he loaded with horse manure. That night the father passed by the pessimist's room and found him sitting amid his new gifts crying bitterly. "Why are you crying?" the father asked. "Because my friends will be jealous, I'll have to read all these instructions before I can do anything with this stuff, I'll constantly need batteries, and my toys will eventually get broken," answered the pessimist twin.

Passing the optimist twin's room, the father found him dancing for joy in the pile of manure. "What are you so happy about?" he asked. To which his optimist twin replied, "There's got to be a pony in here somewhere!

I read the Little Johnny joke in the , an email subscribtion I get from . When I was doing my research for Prayables back in December, I stumbled upon his website and admired the tagline: “The worldwide prayer place, welcoming all faiths, excluding no one.” Although it is clearly a Christian site; (it’s called ) as a Jew, I can get past the references to Jesus Christ by simply using “God” instead. The prayers, affirmations, meditations and even jokes I receive are a great spiritual pick-me-up and I pray with it every day.

The second joke, about the twins, comes from a Jewish Orthodox Rabbi in my hometown. He includes a joke with the on Fridays and I use the newsletter to study and enjoy the joke-of-the-week.

Both are men of faith. They are spiritual leaders who use humor, technology and marketing in their community outreach. Are they so different? Sure, Reverend Chenowith has a good 40 years or so on the young Rabbi. They would definitely have differences of opinion on who will show up on Redemption Day; but on the need for all of humanity to praise, labor and love– I suggest they would agree. How can we embrace the best that different faith perspectives have to offer, without compromising our own values? In business, education, and public service, professionals routinely exchange best practices. Why not do the same across denominations in religious communities? Start with you. Learn from others who are doing something different. You don’t have to lose your identity by trying something new.  

Please remind me that my heart
has only four chambers.
Scant room for such squatters
as grudges, slights, pettiness.
If I carry around baggage from the past,
there isn't room for blessings unbounded.

Help me to disarm unilaterally,
so it isn't possible to engage
in anything but joy.
So I turn over my weapons to You.
Help me be serene in a world with
such oxymorons as peace-keeping missiles.
Help me release my faith: World peace is possible.
My peace is here.

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