Posted in Daily, Family and Society, Personal Musings, poetry, Reflections

To Hold On

“Life consists not in holding good cards but in playing those you hold well.” Josh Billings

Experiencing the exhilaration of doing something right in the face of silent opposition, underhand criticism or open disapproval is something to remember. Each one of us may have experienced this feeling at some point of time. From the right career choice to change of employment; settling down and establishing their own roots to even the choice of school for own children. Living in the day, today everybody is entitled to their thoughts and comments. Yet the art of living today, lies in knowing what to hold onto, when to hold on to and when it is the right time for a change.

“Just dream big. Go for it. There’s nothing holding you back. You can have ups and downs, but if you believe in something, keep the faith; keep fighting. And don’t let people put you down.” Geraint Thomas

Moments of self doubt, despair and insecurities lie within each one of us. Sometimes it may be evident, other times brimming at the surface or hiding silently beneath. Overcoming all those occasions lie in holding on to their own root beliefs, dreams and practicalities. Knowing that convincing another is to be done only when required. In fact it took years for the layman to believe that the earth was round, although the idea of spherical earth had appeared in the Greek philosophy with documentations of Pythagoras (6th century BC). If such a simple though took years to be approved from then by the mass public, convincing the whole world around one would result in lost time and opportunities. Hold on to own true self and things will work out.

“Moments never stay, whether or not you ask them, they do not care, no moment cares, and the ones you wish could stretch out like a hammock for you to lie in, well, those moments leave the quickest and take everything good with them, little burglars, those moments, those hours, those days you loved the most.” Catherine Lacey, Nobody Is Ever Missing

Hold On…
A Pueblo Indian Prayer

Hold on to what is good,
even if it’s a handful of earth.

Hold on to what you believe,
even if it’s a tree that stands by itself.

Hold on to what you must do,
even if it’s a long way from here.

Hold on to your life,
even if it’s easier to let go.

Hold on to my hand,
even if I’ve gone away from you.

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Posted in Daily, Family and Society, poetry, Quotes, Reflections, Stories Around the World

Sliver of Hope

“Once you choose hope, anything’s possible.” Christopher Reeve

While awaiting scholarship and university acceptance for higher studies, volunteering in the cancer ward at the city hospital for brownie points was one of my interim jobs. The experience during those three short months was enlightening and had a paramount influence in the later years of my life. Seeing the faces of different years, from the young adult to the elderly as they underwent the various stages of their treatment be it chemo or radiation or both had a wide range of emotions running across them. While there was disbelief, despair and regret at the initial phases it was the acceptance, hope and the will to survive that had surfaced as the treatment progressed. Although some responded and some didn’t, it was the will to try and the hope for better tomorrow that gave the will to live today.

“It is because of hope that you suffer. It is through hope that you’ll change things.” Maxime Lagacé

Carrying those memories towards the later years of life, one gears up to face setbacks and disappointments of life with perseverance and will to go on. What drives the person in the face of all odds, is the promise and hope of the future. In fact, hope is really a special, wonderful and marvellous gift from God, Time and Faith. Although hope may vary, bend around the corners, twists to a very thin segment and hides from plain sight, it never breaks or vanishes as long as one never forgets it. When the darkness, doubt and despair set in; it is hope that sustains one, giving a reason to go on, courage to let go and move ahead. Instead of giving up or sinking down, it is hope that helps one to stay afloat and survive.

“I dwell in possibility.” Emily Dickinson

While one needs to sustain and nurture hope to get out of tough times; sitting simply and twiddling doesn’t help. Instead combine fortitude, strength and courage with a heavy dose of knowledge, foresight, will and hope to go ahead and face the situation. Although one hopes for the best, preparation for the worst scenario should be made. Refresh the hope and the will to survive, then event he darkest corner would light up.

“May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.” Nelson Mandela

If you can look at the sunset and smile, and find beauty in the colours of a small flower, then you still have hope.
If you can find pleasure in the movement of a butterfly, and if the smile of a child can still warm your heart, then you still have hope.
If you can see the good in other people, and if the rain breaking on a roof top can still lull you to sleep, then you still have hope.
If the sight of a rainbow still makes you stop and stare in wonder, and if the soft fur of a favoured pet still feels pleasant under your fingertips, then you still have hope.
If you meet new people with a trace of excitement and optimism, and if you give people the benefit of the doubt, then you still have hope.
If you still offer your hand in friendship to others that have touched your life, and if receiving an unexpected card or letter still brings a pleasant surprise, then you still have hope.
If the suffering of others still fills you with pain and frustration, and if you refuse to let a friendship die, or accept that it must end, then you still have hope.
If you look forward to a time or place of quiet and reflection, and if you still watch love stories or want the endings to be happy, then you still have hope.
If you can look to the past and smile, and when faced with the bad, when told everything is futile, you can still look up and end the conversation with the phrase … ‘yes, but ….’ Then you still have hope. (Source: vk.com)

“Hope is a good thing, maybe even the best of things, and good things never die.” Andy Dufresne (Shawshank Redemption)

Posted in Daily, Family and Society, Life, Reflections, Stories Around the World, Work

Of too Bad or Too Good

It was a beautiful morning and as a large family we were heading out for a weekend getaway few towns away. What was supposed to be a three hour journey became a five hour one; not primarily due to the frequent stops for breakfast or drive breaks but as a courtesy of flat tire, a broken jack and water logged areas on the way. Although the delay was significant, the dark clouds of anger were kept at bay and heavy dose of optimism were sprinkled by both sets of grandparents. Finally on reaching the cabin, contemplating on the events of the morning; endless blame could have been laid on the spouses or nature, unfortunate timing and other equivalent terminology of “bad luck”. Instead problems were tackled as they came along and the mood of the day remained lighthearted.

“Each player must accept the cards life deals him or her: but once they are in hand, he or she alone must decide how to play the cards in order to win the game.” Voltaire

Looking back on the day-to-day life, there will be countless situations wherein one may encounter negative emotions and minor setbacks, either in the daily routine or when starting off something new. At times, one tends to over-analyze each and every deemed “ill luck” instead of going ahead and taking life as it approaches. Giving unnecessary importance to the emotions of that moment, instead of reacting to them with practicality tends to turn the best moments and right opportunities to missed ones.

“Concern yourself more with accepting responsibility than with assigning blame. Let the possibilities inspire you more than the obstacles discourage you.” Ralph Marston

Although everything in life that happens has a purpose or meaning; getting trapped by the emotions of event results in far more negative effects than positive ones. Instead as Tao had said, one defines good or bad in relation to how one approaches it. All the unfortunate events have a silver lining, once we remove the black cover covering it. Instead of listening perpetually to the voices around oneself, use the inner voice and optimism to tackle each “unfortunate and lucky” moments that life has in store for each one of us. Each one of us have the sole responsibility of deciding whether to let the ill luck run its course in free fall or face the bad as they come and use it to tackle tomorrow and make the latter better than the yesterday.

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” Viktor Frankl

One day while working out in the fields the farmer’s son fell and broke his leg. The villagers came to the farm and said, ‘My, that’s a great misfortune. Your son has broken his leg: now he can’t help you in the fields.’ The farmer said, ‘It is neither a fortune nor a misfortune.’
A day later, the government troops came to the village looking for young men to conscript into the army. They had to leave the boy behind because his leg was broken. Again, the villagers came to the farm and said, ‘My, that’s a great fortune.’ The farmer replied, ‘It is neither a fortune nor a misfortune.’
Then one day the farmer’s only horse jumped the fence and ran away. The villagers came to the farm and said, ‘What a great misfortune that your horse has run away.’ The farmer said, ‘It is neither a fortune nor a misfortune.’ Two or three days later, the horse came back with a dozen wild horses following behind him. The villagers came to him and said, ‘It’s a great fortune that your horse came back with twelve others.’
The farmer replied, ‘It is neither a fortune nor a misfortune.’
As the teaching of the Tao goes, “nothing is long or short, hot or cold, good or bad.”
– Lesson from The TAO TE CHING written by Lao Tzu

“Find joy in everything you choose to do. Every job, relationship, home… it’s your responsibility to love it, or change it.” Chuck Palahniuk

Posted in Christian, Daily, Family and Society, Random Thoughts

Treasured Hopes

“O give thanks unto the God of heaven: for his mercy endureth for ever.” Psalm 136:26

Despite the busy schedule of the week, one of the most looked forward to event is the “weekend”. For some of us, it involves going out of town, meeting with old friends and family and the like. Whereas for some of us, weekends are meant to be “in the social framework”, or to withdraw from the modern day to some quiet “lone time”. Whichever way it may be, one needs a break from the regular week to recharge and refresh. From my personal experience, one of the best ways to relax and let the worries take of themselves, is by reverting back to nature.

“The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17

Imagine when that blissful weekend is gatecrashed by an emergency meeting, unplanned event or similar. With hopes dashed, one gears up for sorting out the sudden change. In times like these, it is the treasure chest of memories that one delves into and recharges themselves. This treasure chest is not made by simply earning or doing big, but by collecting small moments as memories to cherish. In fact, not just the weekend, but each day is made up of minute memorable events, which when thought retrospectively, bring a smile on the tired faces. To collect them, requires us to take a pause and breathe once in a while. During the silent quest to make something of our lives, each one of us need to learn to live by the moment.

“And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.” 1 John 4:16

I Hope You Do!

I hope you woke up this morning with a big smile on your face
I hope the sun is shining just for you
and the birds are singing their very best songs…

I hope your coffee is hot and tastes just right
and the cats are purring contentedly, and the mailman waves a
cheery hello and there are no bills in the mailbox…

I hope just everything goes your way …
I hope everything is well with your world,
a place for everything and everything in it’s place…

I hope you can enjoy all you do and you are
complimented on the way
you look and you can laugh
and talk and share to your heart’s content

I hope you have all you wish for yourself and those dear to you,
and all your dreams come true…

At the end of the day
I wish you a perfect moon shining just for you,
a snug and cozy bed with the softest of pillows
and I hope you sleep like a lamb with a smile on your face…

I hope you have a perfect end to the perfect day
and I hope that every day is just as wonderful in it’s own way
I hope your day is … filled with love!
-Author Unknown

Posted in Daily, Family and Society, Personal Musings, Stories Around the World, Work

Sing the Song, Paint the Picture

“You were given your gift for the joy you may give in return.” Cornelius Elmore Addison

During the earlier years of childhood, painting was a hobby and an art at which my sibling had excelled in. Her talent was exploited at most events at both school, church and college level. Yet over the years, it had taken a backseat initially due to the working hours, then later as family and home took over. Of recent, the creeping dissatisfaction and unrest within was silenced by her return to the canvas, oil, paints and brushes. Thinking back, the heart is most happy when it gets to do what one loves and does best.

“Hide not your talents. They for use were made. What’s a sundial in the shade?” Benjamin Franklin

Each one of us have been given different, interesting and beautiful talents. While some may help us earn the regular bread and butter daily; the other talents mayn’t be so. Yet even the innate creative and talented side gets silenced for long, then the unrest begins slowly building up within, reaching to the boiling and overflow point at the later stage. Whether the talent be at simple music, embroidery, poetry, cooking or the garden; time taken with them will soothe the mental unrest and settle the negative emotions that one will sooner or later experience in life.

“Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best.” Henry Van Dyke

An enchanting story about violinist Fritz Kreisler tells how he once came across a beautiful instrument he wanted to acquire. When he finally raised the money for the violin, he returned to buy it and learned that it had already been sold to a collector.  He went to the new owner’s home in order to try to persuade him to sell the violin. But the collector said it was one of his prized possessions and he could not let it go. The disappointed Kreisler turned to leave, but then asked a favour. ‘May I play the instrument once more before it is consigned to silence?’ Permission was granted and the great musician began to play. The violin sang out a quality of music so beautiful that the collector himself could only listen in wonderment. ‘I have no right to keep that to myself,’ he said after the musician finished. ‘The violin is yours, Mr. Kreisler. Take it into world, and let people hear it.’

“What I think we need to do is infuse everyday and every action with the kind of values we hope will be in the future, with kindness, with nurturing, with dreams, ambition, using your talents, not resorting to violence, other forms of conflict resolution, with humor, with poetry, with music.” Gloria Steinem

While life is indeed a journey, it involves the use of the special gifts given or hidden within each of us. The world needs all of the people. Whether the primary work is at business, teaching, in science or health, administration and so on; using the given gifts or skill is necessary in order to maintain the mental and emotional balance. While the gift may not sustain as far as the monetary security is concerned, it will help us balance the busy schedules and the hectic lives that one lives. At the end of the day, inner happiness is not just in the abilities, but also the knowing that one’s life has been lived to the fullest, doing what one loves at some point whenever and where ever they can.

“Life is a journey.  Part of that journey is not just using your talents, but trying to decide what is your gift and then directing your talents to support your gift so you can soar to new heights.” Daniel Burrus

Posted in Daily, Family and Society, Life, Quotes, Reflections, Stories Around the World

The Light from Within

“The moments when you have really lived are the moments when you have done things in the spirit of love.” Henry Drummond

Like the past years, the extended family had gathered together for the memorial of our grandfather. Although it has been more than five years, it just feels like yesterday when he used to sit with the newspaper on the patio with all of the children gathered around him as he used to narrate stories and spin the tales of legends. While the children miss him especially the fishing days, playing chess or simply going for long countryside walks; being adults it is the words of advice and quiet assurance that is being missed. Even though five years have gone, there would always be a void in the heart. At times, the gentle evening breeze or quiet afternoon rain brings the feel of his presence.

“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” Desmond Tutu

Coming from a large family, there was always an endless lists of tasks for him to be done. From managing the farm to being a teacher, there was something to occupy his mind. During my childhood years, he used to busy running the farm. Despite all the important details to attend to, there was always time for him to spend with a tomboy who wanted to drive the tractor, fish or climb over to the loft, ride the horse, milk cows than play with dolls. For a busy person, those tiny grubby hands were no trouble. More than the gifts bestowed; through his time, he had showered love and joy which were treasured and comforting for the later years of adolescence, adulthood and life in general.

“You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.” John Bunyon

There is an aura about some people that although one mayn’t have spend a lot of time with them, still leave a comforting feel when those memories are refreshed. Just like the eyes speak of the soul, so does the character, kindness and love radiated by the ambiance around any person speak volumes. One sees a lot of this in the lives of people around them. Those apparently uneventful moments leave a distinct impression that brings fresh hope during the storms of life. As the story about what the eyes of a young man told, this powerful (maybe apocryphal) tale tells a lot about what the soul and mind of a person is, as reflected through his eyes and by the feel around him. No matter how much one of philanthropy one does, what is held within radiated itself outside. At the end of the day, the riches that life has to offer comes not just from the fruits of persistence and perseverance, but also from the love which is what nourishes the soul. Whether our lives reflects the richness of the soul or that of the worldly sheen, is up to one alone.

“Love, hope, fear, faith – these make humanity; These are its sign and note and character.” Robert Browning

Many years ago an old man stood on a Virginia riverbank. He was waiting to cross the river and, since it was bitterly cold and there were no bridges, he was hoping to get a ride across on horseback. After a lengthy wait he spotted a group of horsemen approaching. He let the first one pass, then the second, third, fourth and fifth. One rider remained. As he drew abreast, the old man looked him in the eye and said, ‘Sir, would you give me a ride across the river?’ The rider immediately replied, ‘Certainly.’ Once across the river, the old man slid to the ground. ‘Sir,’ the rider said before leaving. ‘I could not help but notice that you permitted all the other men to pass without asking for a ride. Then, when I drew abreast, you immediately asked me to carry you across. I am curious as to why you didn’t ask them and you did ask me.’ The old man quietly responded, ‘I looked into their eyes and could see no love and knew in my own heart it would be useless to ask for a ride. But when I looked into your eyes, I saw compassion, love and the willingness to help. I knew you would be glad to give me a ride across the river.’ The rider was touched. ‘I’m grateful for what you are saying,’ he said. ‘I appreciate it very much.’ With that, Thomas Jefferson turned and rode off to the White House.
By Steve Goodier

“Be a good human being, a warm hearted, affectionate person. That is my fundamental belief.” Dalai Lama

Posted in Daily, Family and Society, Life, poetry, Stories Around the World, Work

Stay On through the Storm

“The phoenix must burn to emerge.”  Janet Fitch

During the recent economy crisis few years ago, many employees were laid off, forced to look into new or different income options. Organizations and companies were forced to overhaul and find alternative measures to stay afloat with a basic profit as well as meet the expenditure and salaried pay roll. On the whole it was a messy time. Some lost, some gained, many survived. Few years from then on, a chance meeting with few of the friends of those days, saw some settled in a much better environment now as compared to then; while others have just survived. The enlightening thought was that they had tried but never gave up.

“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.” Michael Jordan

All of us have had our own ups and downs in life. While it’s easier to pack up bags and leave the responsibility of life in the hands of the other or the state, especially when children and family are concerned; it mayn’t be the right solution or wise decision to make. Staying on and trying again makes all the difference.

“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.” J. K. Rowling

Every successful person has their own set of failures. On the surface, it may seem that one has it all, but the reality may be something totally different. Life is all about handling the twists and turns. Straight roads are nevr fun while going for long drives. Instead curvy roads have always something to look out for around the bend, which may be the beginning of a brand new start. Chase the dreams, strive to be the best at what one engages in whether by choice or necessity and stay grounded in reality with the vision ahead. As the mind contemplates, it may be easier to step back, but no ship ever explores new lands by always staying docked.

“In any given moment we have two options: to step forward into growth or step back into safety.” Abraham Maslow

Stick To It
When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill.
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile but you have to sigh.
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As everyone of us sometimes learns.
And many a fellow turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out.
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow,
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man.
Often the struggler has given up,
When he might have captured the victor’s cup.
And he learned too late when the night came down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out,
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt.
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems afar.
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit,
It’s when things seem worst that you mustn’t quit.

Author Unknown