The Most Interesting People Who Live Life: 250 Anecdotes
by David Bruce
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Some samples: 1) Céline Dion grew up in a large family—she has 13 brothers and sisters. Her parents, Théresè and Adhémar, worked hard to support the family. They wanted to raise their children in a rural setting, so they decided to buy land in the country. Instead of spending 40 cents for bus fare, her father walked to and from work, and then he added the 40 cents to the family savings. Eventually, they bought land, but not a house. No problem. They built one. Although she was pregnant, Céline’s mother climbed up a ladder and hammered nails in the roof. Céline started entertaining her family at age four, standing on the table and using a fork or a spoon as a pretend microphone. In 1973, her brother Michel got married, and Céline, who was then five years old, entertained by singing. Even then, she was good. With so many people in the family, the kids had to do chores. For example, everyone in the family washed his or own dinner plates. To reduce the number of dishes they had to do, sometimes they would eat dinner, and then turn the dinner plates upside down so that they could use them as dessert plates, too. 2) Two men who were engaged in a dispute came to R’ Avraham Yitzchak of Karlitch and asked him to make a ruling. For hours, the two men presented their cases, making argument after argument. After they had finished speaking, he quickly made his ruling, which the two men accepted, and the two men departed as friends. Afterwards, R’ Avraham Yitzchak was asked why he had listened for hours to arguments when the case was simple. He said, “Had I cut them off before each had his full say, neither of them would have been satisfied. Both would have felt that an injustice had been done. After I gave them all that time to say everything they had to say, they felt that justice was done, and they accepted the verdict gladly.” 3) Emperor Sing-un’s country was on the verge of war. The emperor prepared his country as much as possible by training soldiers, storing supplies, and stockpiling food, and then he asked Buddhist priest Si-tien for advice about waging war. Si-tien advised, “Go, and watch carefully the matches between heavyweight wrestlers and heavyweight boxers.” Emperor Sing-un asked, “Why heavyweights?” Si-tien replied, “They hit seldom, but with much consequence.”
- David Bruce, November 2011
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