The   Four   Philanthropists

There is a story about a village which was overtaken by enemy forces. All of the warriors who inhabited the village were gathered together and imprisoned by the conquerors.

Amidst the villagers were four philanthropists who became aware of the prison conditions that their compatriots were enduring.

The first philanthropist went to the prison and said to the captors, "I understand that my brothers are without clean water. I want to take all my riches, and use them to purify the water, so that my brothers will have clean water, that they will not get sick." The captors agreed and granted the man this right. He walked away, feeling that he had fulfilled his destiny in doing this act of charity for his brothers.

The second philanthropist went to the prison, and approached the captors, saying "I understand my brothers are sleeping on rocks. I want to take all my riches, and provide bedding for the men, so they may rest comfortably in prison." The captors agreed, and the man left, feeling that he had fulfilled his purpose in aiding his brothers' plight.

The third philanthropist went to the prison, and spoke to the captors, saying "I have heard that my brothers have no food. They have only bread and water. I have a large farm, and want to harvest all my crops to see that the men have good food to eat while they are in prison." The captors agreed, and the philanthropist left, knowing he had done much good in helping his brothers in prison.

The fourth philanthropist   ~ a wise man of higher awareness ~   found the keys to the prison. One night, he slipped into the prison and freed all his brothers from their captivity.



An Adventure in Living

Michael Segal inspires everyone he meets to believe that lives can be changed and goals can be achieved through hard work and positive thinking. His noteworthy accomplishments have been featured on national television, in newspapers, and magazine articles.

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He doesn't want to be perceived as handicapped, disabled, limited or as a hero. A triumphant survivor of tragedy perhaps. Most importantly, he wants to be known as an individual who is concerned with home, families and children. Mike wishes to be known as one dedicated to community, education, and independence for all people.

He is active in creating positive social changes. The humility of Michael Segal personifies a desire to achieve success without accolades or pity.

In 1981, Mike Segal was a promising pre-med. student at the University of Texas at Austin. Unfortunately, being in the wrong place at the wrong time dramatically altered his life's dream. Mike and his girlfriend stopped at a convenience store after a late night study session. He walked inside and found himself in the midst of an armed robbery. He was immediately escorted into the freezer, assaulted, and then unmercifully shot execution-style, in the back of the head. The perpetrators believed that they had eliminated the witness to their crime, but Mike Segal survived. What they did kill was the promising career of a future surgeon. Still, they did not kill the spirit and determination of a man with a caring heart.

After Mike's unfortunate encounter with circumstance, he graduated with the highest honors from two universities, was initiated into the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society and the National Leadership Honors Society, and was featured in Newsweek Magazine. Mike appeared on the Sally Jessy Raphael program as a "Triumphant Survivor." He has received numerous other humanitarian, academic and professional honors. Mike married his high school sweetheart, is a father, and a psychotherapist. He has dedicated his life to helping others.

In December of 1998, Alexis M. Herman (Secretary of Labor and chairperson for the Presidential Task Force on the Employment of Adults with Disabilities) reported that 70% of people with disabilities are unemployed. To remove the attitudinal, academic, social, professional, and environmental barriers related to disabilities, focus must be shifted to a view of people, their abilities, and the process of integrating them into society as productive members. Encouraging independence and recognizing the resilience of those touched by challenges promotes confidence, respect, and freedom throughout society.

Eleanor Roosevelt once said, "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." This is Mike's philosophy in a nutshell. Success is multi-dimensional. Measurement of it extends beyond the boundaries of social positions, titles or monetary status. Success begins with believing such achievement is attainable for everyone, regardless of his or her circumstances. However, a person losing individuality within the confines of an impediment can rob himself or herself of an opportunity to recognize dreams.

Furthermore, prejudging a person's abilities because of an apparent difference may rob them of an opportunity for involvement and achievement.

The life of Michael Segal is a positive example of shattered dreams being salvaged, altered, and successfully rebuilt for the enrichment of his life and the betterment of society. The public is invited to hear him speak at B.S.U. on January 28, 1999, at 7:00 p.m., in the Student Union Building as part of Martin Luther King, Jr. Human Rights Celebration.

You can send an e-mail to Michael at   or you could simply click   here.

*Kristina Thompson Carrier is a B.S.U. honors student who has served on the Board of Directors for the Idaho Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.



The Old Man and the Butterfly

Once upon a time in a land far far away. There was a wonderful old man who loved everything. Animals, spiders, insects ...

One day while walking through the woods the nice old man found a cocoon. Feeling lonely he decided to take the cocoon home to watch its beautiful transformation from a funny little cocoon to a beautiful butterfly. He gently placed the cocoon on his kitchen table, and watched over it for days.

Suddenly on the seventh day the cocoon started to move. It moved frantically! The old man felt sorry for the little butterfly inside the cocoon.

He watched it struggle and struggle and struggle!

Finally the old man feeling so sorry for the cocooned butterfly rushed to its aide with a surgical scalpel and gently slit the cocoon so the butterfly could emerge. Just one slice was all it took, and the butterfly broke free from its cocoon only to wilt over in a completely motionless state.

The old man did not know what to think. Had he accidentally killed the little butterfly? No, its still moving a little bit.! Maybe its sick! Who the heck would know? He was dumbfounded, and quite perplexed! What should I do, he said. Well he felt so sorry for the little creature that he decided the best thing he could do for the butterfly was to place it gently back into its cocoon.

He did so, and placed a drop of honey on it to seal the cocoon, leaving the butterfly to nestle in its natural state.

Well, the next day he noticed that the cocoon was moving again. Wow, he said! It moved and moved and struggled and struggled. Finally the butterfly broke free from its cocoon and stretched its wings out far and wide. Big time yawn! Its beautiful wings were filled with wonderful colors! It looked around and took off! It was flying! Its so beautiful! The old man was jumping with joy! Wow!

Go Baby, Go!   And that wonderful butterfly did that just that, it flew and flew till it was almost out of the old mans sight. What a joy, he exclaimed!

But then he started to think. What did I do wrong by trying to help that beautiful little butterfly out at first?

The old man went into town. Found the library, and read every book he could on butterflies and cocoons.

Finally the answer appeared. The butterfly has to struggle and struggle while inside the cocoon. That's how it gets its strength. That's just what they are designed to overcome in order to be strong and beautiful.

Well needless to say the old man was shocked, saddened, and somewhat relieved. Now he knows the reason why they do what they do. It was only his perception that made it appear that the butterfly was having a hard time. Well from then on the old man knew that loving something sometimes means to pray for it and cheer it on!

He realized that God was wonderful, and that sometimes appearances aren't what they seem to be. That we all are beautiful butterflies, even though we have our apparent struggles in life...


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