Posted in Life, Quotes, Personal Musings, Stories Around the World, Work

Of Criticism and Growth

“The greatest success is by helping others succeed and grow”. Gregory Scott Reid

Daily meetings, brain storming sessions, weekly to monthly audits and assessments are just a few of the many routines that become a part of the working hours. Besides the stress of getting prepared for these meetings is the onslaught of criticism that often comes along with them. Many a time, the harsh words, though said for improvement on the whole, have the potential to ruin not just the mood for the day or the project, but also destroy the cordiality and communication between colleagues.

“Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man’s growth without destroying his roots.” Frank A. Clark

An open two edged sword is criticism; for it has both the power and potential, to create as well as destroy, even if done with the best intentions at heart, albeit a poor deliverance. To grow, one needs to know the better way of doing things as well as new methods. Fresh perspectives are often given when viewed from far, or when heard from a fresh viewpoints. Criticism is needed to grow and flourish; but certain practicalities need to be kept in mind when dealing with them.

“Every human being is entitled to courtesy and consideration. Constructive criticism is not only to be expected but sought.” Margaret Chase Smith

For the criticizers, learning to objective, non-biased, fair and practical, removing undesirable or malicious personal intentions from the root, while thinking to criticize. There are always different ways to say the same thing. For instance, “Although the planning is good, there are few gray areas that may not help it to work out” sounds better than “this plan is preposterous“. While truth is truth, “practical be practically feasible” and “direct-to-the-point sayees” not sugar-coat their words; there are ways to be gentle, direct, kind as well as truthful, without being hurtful, malicious or derive pleasure from the downfall of others. After all what goes around, comes round and back to the initiator in the long run.

“I criticize by creation, not by finding fault.” Marcus Tullius Cicero

On the receiving end, learning to accept and discard the right words, objectives, advice or plans are equally important in improving the self in the long run. In order to experience growth and progress; one needs to improvise, remove possible errors and initiate changes at the right time. All these and more can be made by accepting fresh perspectives, once in a while. Criticism will always come no matter what. It’s up to oneself to show the right attitude and deal with the words, actions and deeds that one may come across, especially at the work front. As a matter fact, stone are thrown only at trees bearing fruit.

“Stay positive and happy. Work hard and don’t give up hope. Be open to criticism and keep learning. Surround yourself with happy, warm and genuine people.” Tena Desae

Many years ago there were a group of brilliant young men at the University of Wisconsin. The group of men seemed to have an amazing creative literary talent and were extraordinary in their ability to put their literary skills to its best use. These promising young men met regularly to read and critique each other’s literary works. These men were merciless while they criticized one another. They dissected the most minute of the expressions and offered tough and even mean criticism to each others work. Their meeting sessions became arenas of literary criticism and the members of this exclusive club called themselves the “Stranglers.”

Not to be excluded to the opportunity to level up there literary skills, the women of literary interest in the university started a club of their own, one comparable to Stranglers. The members called themselves the “ Wranglers.” The member of the lub too presented their literary pieces in front of each another. But the feedback from the members were much more softer, more positive and more encouraging. Every effort from a member, even the most feeble one, was encouraged by all.

After twenty years, a university alumnus was doing a study of his classmates’ career when he noticed a huge difference in the literary accomplishments of the Stranglers and the Wranglers. Among all the brilliant young men in the strangler, none had made any significant literary achievement. But the Wranglers had several successful writers and some renowned national literary talents. The talent and the education between the two groups were almost the same. There were not much difference. The Stranglers strangled each other while the Wranglers gave each other a lift. The stranglers created atmosphere of contention and self doubt while the Wranglers brought out the best in each other. (Source: vk. com)

“If we had no faults we should not take so much pleasure in noting those of others.” François de La Rochefoucauld

 

Advertisements
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 Daily, Life, Personal Musings, Stories Around the World

Quest for “Essence” of Life

“If we don’t feel love within our own selves, then do wealth and success matter as much?” – Lewis Howes (School of Greatness podcast)

Entering into the final year of school, my niece had been asking about advice for further education and career guidance. While exploring various choices and options, what brought to mind was the similar situation faced earlier in life. Looking down the lane, one eventually realizes that one needs to follow their dreams in order to find inner content. Success and wealth depends on how one defines it, but without love in life, the latter becomes a big meaningless journey.

“Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone – we find it with another.” Thomas Merton

For basic comfort and necessities, no matter how educated one may be; at the end what really matters is bread and butter as well as shelter, sleep and someone to share this life with. All success achieved or wealth earned will be futile if one has nobody to open up to or spend some time with. No doubt, wealth and success have their own worth and are indeed a necessary part of life. Yet if one was to welcome them, shunning out basic humaneness and kindness that love for humanity brings along with it; both wealth and success may have a fruitless run, either in the present generation or the next.

“The foundation stones for a balanced success are honesty, character, integrity, faith, love and loyalty.” Zig Ziglar

Love, Wealth and Success
Author Unknown

A woman came out of her house and saw three old men with long white beards sitting in her front yard. She did not recognize them. She said, “I don’t think I know you, but you must be hungry. Please come in and have something to eat.”
“Is the man of the house home?” they asked. “No”, she said. “He’s out.” “Then we cannot come in”, they replied.
In the evening when her husband came home, she told him what had happened. “Go tell them I am home and invite them in,” he said. The woman went out and invited the men in. “We do not go into a house together,” they replied. “Why is that?” she wanted to know. One of the old men explained: “His name is Wealth,” he said pointing to one of his friends, and said pointing to another one, “He is Success, and I am Love.” Then he added, “Now go in and discuss with your husband which one of us you want in your home.”
The woman went in and told her husband what was said. Her husband was overjoyed. “How nice!” he said. “Since that is the case, let us invite Wealth. Let him come and fill our home with wealth!” His wife disagreed. “My dear, why don’t we invite Success?” Their daughter-in-law was listening from the other corner of the house. She jumped in with her own suggestion: “Would it not be better to invite Love? Our home will then be filled with love!”

“Let us heed our daughter-in-law’s advice,” said the husband to his wife. “Go out and invite Love to be our guest.” The woman went out and asked the three old men, “Which one of you is Love? Please come in and be our guest.” Love got up and started walking toward the house. The other two also got up and followed him.

Surprised, the lady asked Wealth and Success: “I only invited Love, why are you coming in?” The old men replied together: “If you had invited Wealth or Success, the other two of us would’ve stayed out, but since you invited Love, wherever He goes, we go with him. Wherever there is Love, there is also Wealth and Success!”

Posted in Christian, Daily, Life, Personal Musings, poetry

Thy Will be Done

“Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long. He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way.” (Psalm 25:4—5,9)

Following the principles of the Christian Faith, family prayer is an essential part of the daily life. On praying aloud with children in the family; for a toddler to understand elaborate words may be difficult. For the little ones, to comprehend the concept of Christ and His Sacrifice may be difficult, but they deeply feel the love of God and His Kindness. On reading passages from the Bible, they’re engaged in the story and the events that unfolded. Yet while praying together, keeping it short and simple is easy for them to learn and understand the essence of Christian Faith.

“Whoever gives thought to the word will discover good, and blessed is he who trusts in the LORD.” (Proverbs 16:20)

While teaching the little ones to pray before they sleep, the Love of Christ, God’s Grace as well as the protection of the Holy Spirit is said as a part of their prayers. however complete submission to God’s Will and His Role in the Christian need not be echoed by elaborate words but as simple words as , “Lord let it all be as by thy Will”. Prayer from the heart doesn’t demand nor does it ask for concessions. To pray from the heart with complete surrender putting their worries into His Hands, repenting for the wrongs, trusting His Will and His immense Grace to make things go as per His Plan, is not easy to practise; yet much is the power of true prayer.

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”(1 Thessalonians 5:16–18)

God, Here Is Bill

Simple and poor
The old negro prayed to God.
Husky bass he firmer
Only three words. “God, here, Bill,”

Pastor John with him for a long time struggled
to pray he studied,
to a beautiful saying,
Not just:. “God, here Bill”

Negro hours on his knees
slalom Creator Thanksgiving
but prayer is offered
as succinctly: “God, here, Bill,”

His life has come to a close,
and in the hospital room
he for the poor hit.
Pastor John to it went.

But once it was clear
that the empty bunk Bill.
the pastor politely asked
patients: “And where is Bill?”

The whole hospital room,
Quietly embraced with joy,
Bloomed like a May garden.
And the patient said:

“Oh, Bill, our saint, believe me.
In the morning, before the death
of Tycho, the last effort
to pray,” God, here, Bill. “

The entire chamber followed by
illuminating the bright light
as if the angelic palace.
From the Sky, a voice: “Bill, God is here.”

The pastor fell to his knees,
To praise the Creator,
But he managed to say
only three words: “God, John is here.”
-Vladimir Artemyev

(Translated to English, Source:vk.com)

“…….. your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10)

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