Posted in Christian, Daily, Family and Society, Musique, Reflections, Uncategorized

Through Uncertain Times

“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.” Corrie Ten Boom

As I was stacking up the old newspapers for recycling; amidst them was last year’s calendar. With the accompanying monthly pictures being beautiful, I hadn’t discarded it but kept it aside to cut them out. With the pending task being accomplished, I leafed through the months and the tiny notes along the dates. “School reopening”, doctors’ appointment, “sports’ dates”, local functions aref ew of the many red or green inked circles that were scattered through the year.

“For who is God except the Lord? Who but our God is a solid rock? God is my strong fortress, and he makes my way perfect.” 2 Samuel 22:33

Looking back, I felt blessed by His Grace and the countless ways He had kept watch over us and the daily happenings. At times, the feeling of wonder strikes as one realizes long after the difficult situations were over, how God had stood over our lives, guiding us with His Hand and by His Word. The relocation to a new place of work, new school year, family weddings and many more; all the big events within the family were felt big and difficult in those days; but went smooth largely due to His Grace and Blessings.

“I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God’s hands, that I still possess.” Martin Luther

Many a time, some of the changes in life may be forced. An unforeseen work related transfer, opportunity to pursue higher studies, ill health and the like. Though decisions are made, they mayn’t work out. Yet once we place it in His Hands and be prepared to do things as they come; then things start falling into place and happening at the right time. Eventually when the obstacle had been crossed, one realizes the true magnificence of His Grace, His Power and His Love. Man being man mayn’t foresee many things. How much more better it would be ], when we put everything in His Hands, put in our efforts and await His Will to show us the way.

“And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” Colossians 1:17

“….I am one of those who are determined to go to the end.
I will not slow down the pace, I will not look back, but I will praise Christ.
I will not give up, do not shut up,
Do not weaken and do not burn.
I will not finish praying, with Christ I stand.

I am one of those who firmly decided to go to the end.
I can not stop, do not buy, do not hold.
And when He comes to pick up his own, he will recognize me,
Because I am one of those who have come to the end.

And if the salt loses its power that will replace it?
And lit a candle, do not put it under a vessel.
Here I am before You, use me for Your glory
On earth, Jesus, let Thy will be done

Olga Yatsenko ( few lines of Poetry/lyrics of “Till the End”, translated to English)

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

Circles, Time and Again…

“I drop kindness pebbles in still water everyday, and I watch the effect they have on other people’s lives. My favorite kindness pebbles are compliments. Drop a compliment and watch the ripple affect that it has in your life.” John A Passaro

Amidst the melee of living the modern life, very often one never stops to think of the far reaching impact of one’s actions, words and thoughts. Little does one realize that when one is really happy, it blooms from within silently triggering the “blooming effect” in those around them. Similarly with kindness. A single kind thought stems the anger or unrest growing within. That stemmed unrest is instead transformed to kind words, starting off a chain reaction that may or mayn’t end with the initiator. Although it mayn’t end in a full circle, the peaceful and mental calm that kindness leaves behind is worth the effort taken to practise a little bit of kindness daily.

“Don’t look to others to give you happiness. Grow it within yourself and share it with the world around you. Bets are, if you give a bit of your happiness to the world, it will begin a ripple effect, and who knows how many other people you can help. It’s never too late to decide that your happiness (or whatever it is that you want) is yours to create and not the other way around.” Leigh Hershkovich

Time and time again, the existence of few laws of life that withstands the test of time has been proven. Among them, is the law of kindness; which like the ripples of a pebble dropped into water has consequences far reaching even after the initial ripple has faded away. The more one practises creating the “good ripples”, the more one experiences life to its’ fullest with the best moments that the latter offers.

“The help we give to others creates the ripple of good feeling we give to ourselves.” Gina Greenlee

Once in a woman’s apartment a cactus bloomed. Prior to this, it was four years old, stuck on the windowsill, like a gloomy and unshaven janitor and suddenly such a surprise. In pleasant thoughts about a blooming cactus, she accidentally stepped on the foot of a gloomy man in the subway. She didn’t scream her remark as usual with an offended look. But smiled:
“Do not be angry with me, please, I had nothing to hold on to; if you like, you can step on my foot and we will be quits.” The grim man swallowed what he was going to voice about her. Then he went to his station and bought a newspaper. Instead of haggling the saleswoman, confused with the calculation of delivery or calling her stupid, he said to her: ” It’s okay, count again, I am not good at math either early in the morning.”
The saleswoman, who did not expect such a response, was deeply moved and gave free of charge two old magazines and a whole pile of old newspapers to an old man, a pensioner who was a regular customer, fond of reading but buying only one cheap newspaper every day.

A contented old man went home with an armful of newspapers and magazines. Having met a neighbor from the upper floor, he didn’t give her a daily talk on the topic: “your child is stomping around the apartment like an elephant and is preventing rest, it is necessary to bring up better”, but he looked and said: “Your daughter has grown. I don’t understand whom she is more like you or her father, but she will definitely be a fine lady.” The neighbor took the child to the garden, went to work at the reception and did not shout at the senseless grandmother who had signed up for an appointment with the doctor for yesterday, but came today. Instead she said,” Come on, don’t be upset, I also sometimes forget my schedule. You can sit for a minute, and I will check with the doctor the visit for now.” Having received an appointment, the grandmother did not demand that she be given a very effective, but inexpensive medicine that can instantly help cure the disease; threatening in case of refusal to write complaints to all public bodies or media but sighed and said: – “I am not completely out of my mind. I understand that old age cannot be cured, but can you forgive me, doctor, for dragging myself to you all the time. ”

And the doctor walking home in the evening, suddenly remembered his grandmother and felt sorry for her. He suddenly thought that life in its usual rush flies by, and, giving in to a sudden impulse, stopped at the nearest supermarket, bought a bouquet of flowers, a cake with cream roses and went the other way. He drove up to a house, climbed to the third floor and knocked on the door. “I’ve been thinking, about time and you. I bought you a cake, but I accidentally put my briefcase on it. I hope this is not a bad thing, because it will not affect the taste. I also bought you flowers, but they also got a little crushed by the same portfolio. Maybe they can be saved ?” “That will be alright,” the woman replied, “we will reanimate them. And I have news. Just imagine, I woke up today, I looked at the window, and my cactus has bloomed. See? ” (Source: vk.com, translated to English)

“Our power lies in our small daily choices, one after another, to create eternal ripples of a life well lived.” Mollie Marti

Posted in Family and Society, Life, Personal Musings, poetry, Quotes, Reflections, Work

The “Changed Faces”

If you were deceived by life,
Don’t feel dismal, don’t get mad!
Be at ease and don’t feel sad:
The days of joy will soon arrive!
The heart can’t wait for this to pass;
The present is depressing here:
All is fleeting rather fast;
That which passes will be dear.
-Alexander Pushkin (1825)

Change in life, happens like water; more so when people are involved. The continuous flow of water or the sudden gush with or without a block in the regular course; taking the shape of the vessel it belongs to and tasteless but blending its flavours from the source till the other end; the nature of people runs along similar lines. Especially the latter, which maybe as predictable as the flow and nature of water or even the wind.

“It happens to everyone as they grow up. You find out who you are and what you want, and then you realize that people you’ve known forever don’t see things the way you do. So you keep the wonderful memories, but find yourself moving on.” Nicholas Sparks

Reviewing across the various phases in life, many of us may have encountered at some point of time or other, people who were once close acquaintances become distant or avoidant; or the ones who were “less friendly” stepping in with a helping hand or forging new bonds in the later years. Such is the nature of man in general. People change, so do perspectives and perceptions. While for some the fault may be ours or on the other side; sometimes the distance may just happen. Bridging the gap maybe too late; at times a non achievable feat, no matter how much one may try.

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

As the “faces” change, one of the hardest part is accepting the “blow”, while at the same time, trying one’s best to not bear deep seated grudges or hatred within. Being human, feeling hate, regret, disappointment among the many emotions is normal and natural. Yet staying in the same rut or frame of mind will prove detrimental in the short as well as the long run. People will change, each of us will be subject to change in our lives. Few times we may be at the receiving end of “changed faces”, while other times we may at the “giving” end. No matter how the “changing faces” maybe; moving on in the right manner is what matters the most. For life with her lessons, gives us memories and moments to cherish, learn from as well as mature for the better tomorrow.

“You collect people to take with you. Some people change, other people don’t… it’s wonderful because I’ve met some incredible friends.” Imogen Poots

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

“Just Some Time”

“Love your family. Spend time, be kind & serve one another. Make no room for regrets. Tomorrow is not promised & today is short.” Unknown

Even after long hours at work and tackling the chores at home; the only thing that satisfies my children is time spent with them alone. From reading to them, simply sitting together in the lawn or watching the traffic together from the bench; all they want is time spent without any activities, gadgets, interference or constraints at that moment. The younger they are, they crave for such moments.

“Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.” Regina Brett

Although lifestyle today offers innumerable comforts, one thing that still is never sufficient is time. The root struggle in handling time is dividing it between work, family and for self. Being a family, as far as children are concerned, no amount of gadgets, toys, books or cartoons can substitute their bonding time with siblings and parents. Constant negligence and lack of the latter can lead to dependence on the former, which can have lasting implications on the education, personality as well as psychological traits of the child.

“ At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict, or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child, a parent.” Barbara Bush

Looking back to our childhood from the present today, the memories of fun, trips and experiences with parents, siblings, cousins, family and friends is what makes the hard and unhappy moments of today better. Besides these childhood memories and experiences to an extent, are what shaped us to the person of today. On reflecting, what matters more than worldly good or presents as well as gifts, is quality time with loved ones.

“If you want your children to turn out well, spend twice as much time with them and half as much money.” Abigail Van Buren

The acts of today, reflects in the future of tomorrow. No matter how busy working parents or guardians are, spending just ten minutes with their children makes all the difference in the world to them. Children always light up the adult lives, with their innocence, joyous nature and selfless thinking. The change in their behaviour and attitude is a reflection of the love that they perceive. Too much or too little of love, care and attention is dangerous. Remembering our childhood moments and experiences will aid us in making the childhood of our own children memorable.

“ Your children can be around you all day, but if you don’t spend quality time with them and you don’t pay attention to them and talk to them and listen to them, it doesn’t matter that they’re just around you.” Brandy Norwood

Once, a man returned home late from work, as always, tired and twitching, and saw that a five-year-old son was waiting for him at the door. “Dad, how much do you get? ” “That is none of your business!,” the father was indignant.”Why do you need it? “
– I just want to know. Please tell me how much you get per hour?
– Well, 100 rubles. Why?
“Dad …” the son looked up at him with very serious eyes. Dad, can you borrow me 50?
“You asked only so that I could give you money for some stupid toy?”, he shouted. “Immediately march to your room and go to bed! You can not be such an egoist! I work all day, I get tired, and you behave yourself so stupidly.”
The kid quietly went to his room and closed the door behind him. And his father continued to stand in the doorway and get angry at his son’s requests. But after a while he calmed down and began to reason sensibly: “Maybe he really needs to buy something very important.” When he entered the nursery, his son was already in bed.
– You are not sleeping, son? – he asked.
– No, Dad. Just lying down, answered the boy.
“I seem to be too rude to you,” said the father. “I had a hard day, and I just broke. Forgive me. Here, hold the money you asked for.”
The boy sat up in bed and smiled.
– Oh, father, thanks! he exclaimed happily.

Then he climbed under the pillow and took out some more crumpled banknotes. His father, seeing that the child already had money, became angry again. And the kid put all the money together, and carefully counted the bills, and then looked at his father again.
– Why did you ask for money if you already have it? – grumbled his father.
– Because I had not enough. But now I just have enough, – the child replied.
– Dad, there are exactly one hundred. Can I buy one hour of your time? Please come back tomorrow from work early, I want you to have dinner with us.

Moral: I just wanted to remind you that our life is too short to spend it at work. We should not allow it to flow through our fingers, and not give at least a tiny piece of it to those who really love us — our closest people. If we are not tomorrow, our company will very quickly replace us with someone else. And only for family and friends it will be a really big loss, which they will remember all their life. Think about it, because we spend much more time working than family.
Source: vk.com (translated to english)

“ I don’t think quantity time is as special as quality time with your family.”  Reba McEntire

Posted in Family and Society, Life, Personal Musings, poetry, Work

Amidst the “Dark Clouds”

“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.” Rabindranath Tagore

With summer skies slowly fading away to the rains, the time for quiet reflections indoors when “the pitter-patter” of rain starts outside. Add to it the melee of children and keeping them occupied indoors is no easy task. With the rains on full swing, the childhood memories of making paper boats, splashing into puddles, getting wet as well as schools getting cancelled due to the downpour were the routine that comes to mind.

“And when it rains on your parade, look up rather than down. Without the rain, there would be no rainbow.” Gilbert K. Chesterton

Fast forward to the present day, for the “adult” rains bring forth an inner dread. Although the smell of fresh earth haunts the adult mind and memories, it is buried under the hassles of getting to work on time, the commute and the traffic, the dirty marks on the kitchen floors, clothes perpetually wet and children mud stained; rains although are necessary for the fields and crops, the adult mind prays only for a healthy dose for a short time. What the “adult” fails to realise is that, perspectives do matter. Rains can be made a hassle or as fun depending on how one blends it into one’s framework of mind.

“Into each life some rain must fall.” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

For happiness to be squelched, there are innumerable things. On the other hand, in the same scenario and same situation, change of one’s attitude, approach and perspective makes all the difference in finding happiness, losing the stress and being at peace. One needs a bit of everything in life to enjoy, a bit of rain and summer skies, a little of cold winds and snow as well as the essence of spring time air. Same is the case with joys, sorrows, happiness, failures and success. Staying on the same page, time frame or waves of success brings no challenge or sense of accomplishment and contentment in the day. To find the happiness; experiences of joys, fear, trouble, success, sorrows, kindness, love as well as failure help us appreciate the good and best things that life, time and memories wash up onto our shores.

“Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.” Ashley Smith

There is the silly elation,
The garden the windows look on!
Soundless sunset reflection
Swims in the pool, like a swan.

Greetings, golden serenity,
Shadows of trees, black as tar!
Crows on the roof, in sincerity,
Hold vespers in praise of the star.

Timidly over the garden
Where the guelder- rose springs,
A girl in a snow white garment
A beautiful melody sings.

Like a blue gown
Cold from the meadow sweeps …
Happiness, sweet silly feeling!
Virginal blush of the cheeks!

Sergey Yesenin (1918)

“Sometimes we should express our gratitude for the small and simple things like the scent of the rain, the taste of your favorite food, or the sound of a loved one’s voice.” Joseph B. Wirthlin

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

From “Being Helped” to “Helping”

“Those who are the happiest are those who do the most for others.” Booker T. Washington

Raising children is never easy. From the first child, parents or guardians have to devise a system which encompasses love, teaching, helping and guiding them to live a life rich in love, joy, of right values and principles. From infancy to toddler-hood, being too small to do the simple things like brushing their teeth, the morning routine, tying laces or filling a glass of water; these are done by elders, adults or even the bigger children. Yet along the way as they grow older, at times, the coddling doesn’t stop. When an adult puts on shoes for a healthy seven year old, something has gone wrong somewhere. When a healthy ten year old child refuses to make their bed, put their toys away or need to be fed their breakfast; the “coddling” may be a little overdone.

“You will discover that you have two hands. One is for helping yourself and the other is for helping others.” Audrey Hepburn

Every child needs their space to grow. Once they are let to do s, only then will they develop and learn to think. Basic life skills are necessary for any child. They start young, from being able to put on their shoes themselves, to dressing themselves and helping small in the household. When a child from school refuses to note their father’s tired face and demand to go out for shopping a new toy; alterations and right changes have to be made in the set routine to ensure that these children grow up to responsible and develop humaneness fr the society of tomorrow.

“Never get tired of doing little things for others, sometimes those little things occupy the biggest parts of their hearts.”  Unknown

As children are taught to help in the simple things of life, they bloom internally and learn to gain joy on helping others. Rightly said that, “Charity begins at home”; what these young minds learn, observe and undergo in their childhood are carried over to their adulthood and eventually, these same teachings, principles and feelings are carried down over to the generations that they raise. There’s an interesting post from one of my social network pages (translated to English), that goes on to show how children can be taught as “What can we do for you ?”

Being the “grownups” of today, we need to teach our children to “help after being helped when they were small”, so that the basic values of kindness, love, humaneness and service are always carried on, in the future society.

“Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love.” Martin Luther King Jr.

Today I understood raising children correctly. The mother-in-law came to us, as always, brought a bunch of gifts to the children, as always, began her little aggressive concern:
– Let me smear you a sandwich! Let me wear you socks! Sit-sit, grandmother will wash the apple-clean-cut-lay!
As always, this is a bit annoying and even annoying for all of us. I have independent children, who clean their own sandwiches and smear apples. And then there was such a stunning stream of turbulent activity!
And a six-year-old son suddenly asked at dinner:
“Grandma, what can we do for you?”
– What? – Grandmother did not understand.
– You do so much for us! – Ilya explained, – You take care of us, care for us. So I ask, and what can WE do for YOU?
He so matured, so deliberately said it, that I felt myself at that moment, as if an angel from heaven had come down and handed me the medal for motherhood. All my pedagogical throwings, all my megawatts of energy and kilometers of nerves, piles of books on education, thousands of arms that fell, all came together today and crystallized into the phrase: “What WE can do for YOU.”
Ksenia Smyslova

“People will forget what you said, people may forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou

Posted in Family and Society, Life, Personal Musings, Quotes, Reflections, Work

When on the “Other Side”

“But here I am in July, and why am I thinking about Christmas pudding? Probably because we always pine for what we do not have. The winter seems cozy and romantic in the hell of summer, but hot beaches and sunlight are what we yearn for all winter.” Joanna Franklin Bell

While on the drive back from work, being the passenger had benefits of giving some free time to think. On reviewing the events and activities of midweek left the mind pondering on the subtle balance on the way one thinks of life. recalling to mind, the innumerable mishaps, lucky escapes, second chances as well as the problems faced and overcome both at the work front and at home, leaves one wondering if life on the other side would have been better. The notion that “grass may be greener on the other side” is there within each one of us. While we may knowingly refuse to acknowledge or promote it, similar thoughts often surface especially when one hits any hurdle, be it physical, social, emotional or mental.

“And I’d like to give my love to everybody, and let them know that the grass may look greener on the other side, but believe me, it’s just as hard to cut.” Little Richard

While it may be human to think of “the green grass on the other side “; learning to think of one’s own side as well as the fences all around one may change the way of thinking from being resentful or inner misery to one of gratitude for the blessings till now. Beside doing so, would help to improve their “own share of grass”.

Before one complains about life, think about those who have left life too early with their hopes or desires incomplete, forced but never by own free choice, leaving behind a trail of grief, regrets and sorrow.

Before listing the issues with our own children, their vices and habits; think of those who long for children but cannot have them. Even worse, think of those parents who have their family broken as a consequence of vices, disease, crime, natural disasters, accidents or events beyond their control.

Before one says words of hatred, anger or swear because of the disorder at work or at home, think about those who are less fortunate, unemployed or live on the streets. On complaining about the distance one needs to drive daily, think about those who walk the same distance on foot. When tired and weighed down or complaining about work; think about those who have been recently unemployed or left their jobs due to personal issues, or have been hunting for their education based employment for quite some time.

Gratitude or blessings that one has been showered on often goes unnoticed. One never realizes that their own lives are at times envied by others. Each one has their own share of worries, same with “every other side”.

“The grass is always greener on the other side – until you get there and see it’s AstroTurf. Symbols are never reality. Someone might have amassed material success and fame, but that doesn’t mean they’re happy. So, don’t go judging a person’s life by the cover.” Karen Salmansohn

When thinking of “the other side”, there are innumerable parameters that can be measured or weighed. One never realizes how lucky they were, unless one goes without it. Through centuries and time, life still teaches us that, while the grass may or mayn’t be green on the other side; unless one learns to appreciate and take care of the grass that one has or owns, it will too wither and die.

“Even if the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, keep to your own side; it’s where you belong. There you can plant your own grass and tend to it.”
Richelle E. Goodrich, Slaying Dragons

“I looked through others’ windows
On an enchanted earth
But out of my own window–
solitude and dearth.

And yet there is a mystery
I cannot understand–
That others through my window
See an enchanted land.”
― Jessie B. Rittenhouse