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Ben Whisman

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Lessons From Penguins

Copyright © By Ben Whisman. All Rights Reserved.

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Life can be cold, but it’s warmer with friends.

You need to be with others who care, to live your life to the fullest. Don’t try to go it alone. Join them and share who you are.

Out of all the penguins in the world, there is one for you now, and there will be another when you need him or her.

If someone pushes you, squawk a bit, but maybe it was an accident and he’s just trying to get by.

If someone really pushes you, either let him have it or... let him HAVE it! Just make sure which is more important to you: Losing someTHING or losing someONE. -- Sometimes, you have to fight to keep it. But sometimes, you don’t need it as much as he does. Know which is which, and be willing to give a little. It might be important later, when you need something (or someone) too.

Hang out with your friends, and look out for each other.

Look for that special someone. You never know when they might come by.

When you find that someone, show him or her you how much you care.

When you make love, pay extra attention to each other. You’ll enjoy each other more. This is as much fun as it is serious. Being a friend is as important to a partner as being a lover. You aren’t being much of a lover if you don’t show the other penguin how much you care.

Be a good father or mother. Spend time with your child and show him or her that you care. Your child must learn to care, if he or she will grow up to do more than merely survive.

Be a good partner. Your partner and your child depend on them being able to trust you. If they can’t, you won’t survive when you need them.

Everybody needs a little fun now and then. Even when you’re freezing your tail off, it’s good to play with your buddies.

Life goes on, even when a penguin you love does not make it. The other penguins still need you, and someone will love you. Although you feel all alone now, there are other penguins around you. When you’re ready, you’ll share your warmth with them, and they will share their warmth with you. Life begins anew, every day. May there always be another penguin to remind you, if you forget this.

It is not your fault if you stumble. Get up and try again. Or crawl on your belly if you must. Someone will likely give you a lift when you need it. When you see a friend who’s down, give them a lift. You never know when the other penguin might need you, or when you might need them, because everybody stumbles, sooner or later, and often.

It’s important to look your best. It isn’t too proud to show confidence and look good and like yourself. But don’t worry if you don’t look too handsome. The other penguins all look kinda funny in their birthday suits too.

Some days, all you get is sleet and snow in your face, and it seems like the big, uncaring critters all want to eat you. Swim fast, but try to stick with your friends, because together, you’re bigger than the scary, hungry critters and the harshest weather combined.

OK, so you say life’s a beach and a pain in the ice. Fine. Migrate. Surprise! It’s cold there too. -- What do you do, then? Quit squawking. Everybody else is freezing his family jewels off on this beach too. -- Work hard and play hard and love hard. (Oh, you know what I mean, don’t be so uptight.)

Every once in a while -- Put up your umbrella, throw down your towel, slap on some suntan lotion, and dance, fool, dance. If you can’t dance, fake it. Everybody else is waving his flippers and waddling, so why not?

You never know when the next penguin is gonna dance into your life with the suntan oil. So be prepared. -- Just remember, if it’s for real, it’s a commitment to that penguin for a good long time. Relax, the suntan oil might feel good.

Life isn’t always a party. It takes real work to make a partnership work, no matter what you’re trying to do.

If you share the work, somebody can afford to get groceries for everybody, not to mention that suntan oil you were likin’, and pretty soon, you can take a break too.

Stick together and take turns braving the storms. You’ll all do better that way. When one of you shoulders the storm, shelter the other in the safest center, where it’s warm and dry, surrounded by his friends. Then, when it’s time, return the favor.

You may have to go a long way without food or shelter, in order to get what you and those you care about need. They may have to go without too. But there is food and shelter available, and there will be friends along the way to help you all.

Every child is the promise of a better future. Protect all children, even those who aren’t yours, but don’t prevent them from learning about the world, braving its risks, and enjoying its pleasures. How else will they know how to act when it is their turn to lead the group, or when it is their turn to take care of YOU?

Once, long ago, the bleakest place in the world was a beautiful garden. The barren place may be temporary or it may stay a long time. Be stubborn and hardy, find a better place, and keep it growing and healthy. There is a larger garden and waterhole, a bigger beach and ocean and sky. All penguins must live in that larger place, or all penguins will not survive. Take care of the world around you, and take care of each other.

If you see someone who looks like a penguin, he might be friendly or he might not, but give him a chance, before you run like hell, either toward him or away.

It doesn’t matter if the other guy is your kind of penguin. He shares the same beach as you. He’s your neighbor, and he’s trying to raise his family and hang out with his friends, just the same as you. Help him out. It’s not just being nice. Chances are, if he’s fighting something, it could be out to get you next. So help your neighbor the other kind of penguin to live next to you in peace, even if sometimes, he and his kids get loud, rowdy, and live strange ways.

Mama works hard to bring home the groceries too. Papa stays on the job so mama and junior will be safe at home. Mama and Papa may do different jobs or they may swap. Don’t forget both are needed, so junior grows up well and has a good home.

Every child wants to play. Every child wants friends to play with. Make sure they have both, so they grow up their strongest.

You may be clumsy on land, but you fly in the water. Everyone has a natural element, something he’s good at, even if he falls on his face in others.

The heavens are alive with bright and beautiful possibilities, in the darkest hours unseen. While the world below seems lost in hopeless, endless storms, a warmer, brighter future is ahead, with the promise of happiness and fulfillment.

Those who feed off of others take two lives, not just one: The penguin they prey upon, and the one who depends on that penguin.

Sure, the seal is a bully, but he has to live on the beach and in the water, just the same as you. He isn’t always out to get you. Even he has enemies, the giants of the deep ocean, and those are equally a threat to you as to the seal. Therefore, let the seal live in peace when you can, and he will do the same when he can.

We face the unknown every day, vulnerable or strong, experienced or clueless. Face it cheerfully. You might as well. It’s more fun, at least.

Being mad at the world uses up too much energy. Use your anger’s energy when you need it, to do what’s right.

When you’re sad, lean on a shoulder and let your friends huddle around you and hug you close.

Laughter will confound those who want to cause fear and hurt.

The pangs of birth come in the midst of dawn or dusk, day or night alike.

Dying is not about losing here. It’s about gaining over there.

Our body is like an eggshell. When it cracks open, our spirit finds a new life outside. But we will find that soon enough. It is better not to leave the egg too early, before it is time.

Some of us are impatient to be reborn. It is not a fault to try to find our way early. We’re all looking for a new life, sooner or later.

When you see the one you love return, it’s a big deal! Sing and jump around! When you are together again, hug each other close and pay attention. Then give all you can to make each other happy and healthy.

When you see your new child, stop and pay special attention. Caress them and take time for them, so that when you are gone, they will be glad for your return.

Be a good father. Be patient with your child and take good care of him or her. Give all you can. You can always get more.

Be a good neighbor. Help take care of the neighbor’s kids. Those kids will remember you some day. You want to be the neighbor that brings a smile to their faces, and not a frown or the puzzled lack of recognition. You never know when helping the neighbors and their kids will help you and your kids, in the long run.

When you’re a dad, you stay up to take care of your child and be with him or her. When you must work, you trade off with your mate, the mom. When you’re a mom, you stay up to take care of your child and be with him or her. When you must work, you trade off with your mate, the dad. The only difference is the style of the equipment and the style of the care. Neither is less important.

A child grows strongest when there is sunshine, good food, warm bodies for comfort and love, lots of other children and adults for friendships, and things around to learn about.

Defend your neighbor’s children and your own, as equals. Defend the parents as if they were your family. Your neighbor’s children and yours are going to be together, so treat them like family.

Make sure, in your zeal that you don’t teach a child the wrong lesson, or prevent him or her from learning for themselves.

You cannot know what the future will bring, good or bad. Show your love whenever you can.