Posted in Daily, Family and Society, Life, poetry, Quotes, Random Thoughts

Little…but Add Up

“Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.” George Eliot

After the long two hour commute was dragged to three hours by being held up in the traffic, the mental list of “things to do” kept on going longer than the usual. Consequently while walking into home after doing the daily grocery shopping, instead of the expected mess in the kitchen, it was a pleasant surprise to witness the orderliness at the domestic front. With my “better half” in charge, the kids had instructed me to put my feet and to enjoy the hot steaming cup of Joe. Though eventually the domestic front had to be tackled, the few minutes of silence and solitude improved the frame of mind.

“The small things of life were often so much bigger than the great things . . . the trivial pleasure like cooking, one’s home, little poems especially sad ones, solitary walks, funny things seen and overheard.” Barbara Pym

One never realizes the importance of the little events of the day that stay etched in the mind. The recollections turn up at the most unusual moments. For the inner strength during difficult moments, the support when the temporary setbacks mount up and the drive to go ahead, all have few of their rots in the little moments of life, which now become among the treasured memories of happiness to give comfort and light for the rainy days.

“It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important.” Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes

The Little Things
Mary Dawson Hughes

It really is the little things
That mean the most of all…
The “let me help you with that” things
That may seem very small
The “I’ll be glad to do it” things
That make your cares much lighter,
The “laugh with me, it’s funny” things
That make your outlook brighter…

The “never mind the trouble” things,
The “yes, I understand,”
The interest and encouragement
In everything you’ve planned
It really is the little things,
The friendly word or smile,
That add such happiness to life
And make it more worth while.

Posted in Daily, Life, Stories Around the World

Plant the Right Seed

To stick to one’s own internal policy is never easy, especially in the modern world where the temptations are too strong and the lure to be “the important one” quite potent. Which is why when any event or project happens; versions vary a lot, the outcome goes tangentially way off the expected on the downward spiral and tensions cause plenty unrest. In short, somewhere along the way of growth, success, achievement and modernism; the core principles of integrity, respect, honour, kindness and humaneness have been lost. While each one pursues their own versions of truth; eventually the masks will fall off and the bare bones of evidences will expose themselves. By then, if the path travelled is on the right grounds, one can safely move ahead with integrity and above all, peace of mind.

“Integrity is telling myself the truth. And honesty is telling the truth to other people.” Spencer Johnson

“The emperor grew old in one eastern country and realized that it was time to choose a successor. But instead of nominating a successor from among one of his assistants or his heirs, he decided to choose something else. All the young people who only lived in the empire, he asked to come together in one day. When everyone gathered together, the emperor addressed the young people with these words: “I am already old, it’s time for me to resign. We need to choose the next emperor. I decided to choose one of you. ”
The children of the emperor were shocked! But the emperor continued. “Today I am going to give each of you one seed. These are seeds of very special plants. I want you to sow the seeds, pour water on them, and a year later, starting today, you must return here to grow from these seeds. Then I will compare the plants you bring, and the one I choose will be the next emperor! ”

One young man named Ling was also at the emperor’s reception that day, and he, like the others, received the seeds. He went home and anxiously told his mother about everything that had happened in the palace. Mama Ling helped the young man pick up the pot and soil for the plant, he sowed the seed and poured it. Every day he watered him, looked after him and watched if the sprouts appeared. After about three weeks, other young people started talking about their seeds and plants, which began to grow. Ling continued to check his seed, but nothing grew. It took another 3 weeks, then 4 weeks, then 5 weeks … However, nothing grew in Ling’s pot. While all the other young people were talking about their plants, about how fast they grow, Ling didn’t have anything, and he felt like a loser. Half a year has passed, but even a tiny sprout did not appear in Ling’s pot. With bitterness in his heart, he was forced to admit to himself that he had ruined his seed. However, Ling said nothing to his friends. He simply continued to wait, in the depths of his soul hoping that his seed would grow.

Finally, the year ended, and young people from all over the empire brought their plants to the emperor for testing. At first Ling told his mother that he was not going to carry an empty pot to the palace. But his mother advised the young man to be honest, to tell how everything happened, and although Ling felt devastated, in his heart he knew that his mother was right. He took his empty pot and went to the palace. Coming to the emperor, Ling was amazed at the variety of plants grown by other young people. They were beautiful, varied in shape and size. Ling put the empty pot on the floor and everyone started laughing at him. Some felt sorry for him, and they simply said: “Hey, well, that I tried.” Then the emperor entered the hall and greeted the young people. Ling tried to hide behind the backs of others.

“There are three constants in life . . . change, choice and principles.” Stephen Covey

“Well done! What magnificent plants, trees and flowers you have grown, ”said the emperor,“ Today one of you will be appointed emperor! ”Suddenly, in the depths of the hall, the emperor noticed Ling and his empty pot. He ordered the guard to lead him forward. Ling was terrified. “The emperor knows that I am a loser!” – he thought. “Maybe he will order me to be executed?” The guards brought Ling forward, and the emperor asked him his name. “My name is Ling,” he answered timidly. Everyone laughed. The emperor asked everyone to calm down, and then looked at Ling, and declared: “Here is your new emperor! His name is Ling! ”

Ling could not believe his ears. After all, he could not even grow his seed. How could he have been chosen by the new emperor?

Then the emperor said: “Exactly a year ago, I distributed the seeds to all those present here. I ordered you to take the seeds, plant them, water them, and come back to me today. But I gave you all the boiled seeds that could not germinate. All of you, with the exception of Ling, brought me trees, plants and flowers. When you realized that the seed would not grow, you replaced the seed that I gave you. Ling was the only one whose courage and honesty was enough to bring me a pot with my seed. That is why he will be the new emperor! ”

“As I have said, the first thing is to be honest with yourself. You can never have an impact on society if you have not changed yourself. Great peacemakers are all people of integrity, of honesty, but humility.” Nelson Mandela

Posted in Daily, Life, poetry, Quotes, Random Thoughts

Silent to Listen

“We went down into the silent garden. Dawn is the time when nothing breathes, the hour of silence. Everything is transfixed, only the light moves.” Leonora Carrington

With rising rays bringing forth the day, when the world around is absent of the daily noise from the street, appliances and speech; the music of nature can be heard. From the distant chirping of the birds to the quiet flutter of the leaves, fall of the coloured leaves and the fleeing swish of the patio curtains by the wandering breeze; all highlight how many things can be heard when the fruitless chatter ceases and one learns to listen.

“I tried to discover, in the rumor of forests and waves, words that other men could not hear, and I pricked up my ears to listen to the revelation of their harmony.” Gustave Flaubert

Reflecting back, there may be many instances when one may have lost out on not really listening. Missed notes during meetings or sessions, wrong information imparted, silent indicators to the tenuousness of relationships and worse, misinterpretations as a consequence of the impatience attached to listening and the constant hurry. On the other hand, there have been occasions wherein one keeps silent when the right words would have been necessary to set things right. The pans on the balance may swing on either side.

Yet many are on the chase, than learning to listen, learn from the silence and live the dream. As one ages, the realization that the constant run may cause one to miss out on what has been there along the road. By the time, one realizes that we do need to stop at the right rest points to rejuvenate; the path travelled may have gone too far away from the right course. While the old bones try to remap their course and regain the silence to refresh; the younger ones should learn to appreciate their silent sources at hand, which help one to grow, rejuvenate and learn from the yesteryear.

“Silence is a source of Great Strength.” Lao Tzu

Learn To Be Quiet
You need not do anything.
Remain sitting at your table and listen.
You need not even listen, just wait.
You need not even wait,
just learn to be quiet, still and solitary.
And the world will freely offer itself to you unmasked.
It has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.
– Franz Kafka

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

Colours Across the Path

“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.” F. Scott Fitzgerald

Being in the tropics, the time of fall isn’t as colourful as the temperate areas. Though the winds and the rain against the mosaic of colours still mark the season of autumn. Collecting the leaves for my toddler’s scrapbook is never a job too tedious or tiring. Coming across each leaf with their own shape and colours, even though dead, each leaf has their own beauty and story to say.

“If only humans could die like the autumn leaves, with a splash of beauty and the promise of another season.” Shana Chartier

Each leaf has a story of their origin through spring, summer and travel across the wind. Each leaf may have seen the good and the bad. Some leaves may have been the vibrant green placed amongst the fragrance of flowers, while others may have been subject to the town air, of dust and grime. Despite the changes, they follow their course and change their tunes as per the season. No leaf stays the same. Like us, each leaf is subject to change and tune their travel as per the requirement of the elements, never losing out on their initial spark. Little wonder then, that even towards the end of their journey and back to being a part of the earth; they colour the lives around them, bringing joy to the faces and lives around them.

“Leaves grow old gracefully, bring such joy in their last lingering days. How vibrant and bright is their final flurry of life.” Karen Gibbs

An Autumn Leaf
Immanual Joseph

Yesterday, I was the mist of the waterfall
Tomorrow I will be a raindrop
Racing toward my destiny
But today I am the cloud
Floating amidst the mountain peaks
The hangman’s noose is empty
For I am life
I cannot be destroyed
The winds of adversity
Buffet and mould me
Yet I float free
I am freedom
The bird that flits happily
Among olive trees
I am the wind of the evergreen glades
I am boundless
Without secrets, without fear
I am love
The red ferns on mossy grass
I am Now
This hour, eternity
I know no beginning or end
I cannot be destroyed.

“The last dead leaves of fall crackled underfoot, winter-crisp.” Neil Gaiman

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

As they Bloom

“There are so many ways to be brave in this world. Sometimes bravery involves laying down your life for something bigger than yourself, or for someone else. Sometimes it involves giving up everything you have ever known, or everyone you have ever loved, for the sake of something greater. But sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes it is nothing more than gritting your teeth through pain, and the work of every day, the slow walk toward a better life. That is the sort of bravery I must have now.” Veronica Roth

Last evening in lieu of a small thank you meeting being organized, arrangements were being made and the event went as planned. The next day, saw many being greeted by the vases were filled with flowers of yesterday, with their freshness still intact. For once, the atmosphere was brightened by their beauty and their grace. Though over a few days, they wane off and lose their initial sparkle, the memories of their beauty still linger on.

“A life filled with complete certainty is absurdity.” Maxime Lagacé

Life, on the whole, echoes the moments of flowers in bits and pieces. Over unexpected elements, finding the sunshine rays and the available resources, to grow and bring forth their colours. Though the uncertainty of their survival looms high, whether they being plucked or not, the fodder for the animals and so on, it doesn’t prevent them from colouring the world around them. Such that, their grace and beauty brings forth a smile even on the most dull and tired faces. To be like them, is not difficult but hard, depending on own will and inner peace. When one tries to imbibe and live as the grace of the flowers, then the beauty of life will increase by manifold.

“You can be anything you want to be, do anything you set out to accomplish if you hold that desire with singleness of purpose.” Abraham Lincoln

The Grace Of Flowers
Sue Coppernoll

Gladiolas in a white vase,
their magenta faces shining
in early morning light
streaming through a windowpane
speckled with last night’s raindrops,
bring me to wakefulness,
adoration, and hope.

Another volley of blossom
unfolds atop their stems,
assuring me that on the morrow
I shall yet have their company.

Breathing gratitude,
I pour cool water from a crystal pitcher
into the vase with a devout prayer:
“May my life also unfold in radiance and in beauty.”

I return the flowers
to a corner of the hearth,
knowing I am ready, now,
for what the day may bring.

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

Beyond the Odds

Thomas Edison tried two thousand different materials in search of a filament for the light bulb. When none worked satisfactorily, his assistant complained, “All our work is in vain. We have learned nothing.” Edison replied very confidently, “Oh, we have come a long way and we have learned a lot. We know that there are two thousand elements which we cannot use to make a good light bulb.”

“You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.” Dr. Seuss

It wouldn’t be just the assistant of Edison alone felt defeated, but thousands of like minded innovators and entrepreneurs who would have had similar feelings during their line of work. While working out their dreams and designs, many a time the negativism felt would have to be replaced with practical optimism for things to succeed. What would have been the outcome if they were still stuck in the crypts of negativity ? While the obvious was that they may have lost out on their invention; the reality is that they may lost out on their dream.

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.” Eleanor Roosevelt

Every experience has something to teach each one of us. Being human, one is bound to make mistakes, feel low during the time of repeated setbacks, open criticism and rejection. Coming out of those dumps is what makes the difference for each one of us. Life is all about growth and finding new shores. Find the realistic optimistic side of each failures or setback. Use them as stones to rebuild the dream and finally one would achieve it over the course of time.

“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” Henry David Thoreau

Posted in Life, Personal Musings, poetry, Quotes

No Matter When

“Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” John Wooden

Finishing culinary school, my cousin had longed to start off her own deli primarily as she was fond of baking and making delicacies than continuing as a chef. While she had got a job for the initial few months, with family and personal responsibilities, her own plans were put on hold. Fast forwarding to when both children had reached middle school, she had started off small with baked goods from home. As of now, the dream of her own bakery is slowly taking shape with the inauguration happening soon. What amazed me about her spirit is the willingness to wait but not to lose out on her inner belief about her dream.

“To accomplish great things we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.” Anatole France 

Many a time, we may have faced similar scenarios where in the cherished dreams are put on hold. As they get rusted and broken down over time, looking back leaves a sense of dejection which may be masked at times or not. The truth is we can do it, as long as we believe we can do it against all odds. For the soul that longs to learn the piano, or drive that truck or be a part of a musical, it is never late to try on’s hand as long one believes that they can. Any dream close to the heart, no matter how small should be given a try. For these dreams are the ones that help when the going gets tough and gives the drive in those moments to help see daylight.

“Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.” Earl Nightingale

To Believe…
Author Unknown

To believe is to know that every day
is a new beginning.
It is to trust that miracles happen,
and dreams really do come true.
To believe is to see angels dancing among the clouds,
To know the wonder of a stardust sky
and the wisdom of the man in the moon.
To believe is to know the value of a nurturing heart,
The innocence of a child’s eyes
and the beauty of an aging hand,
for it is through their teachings we learn to love.
To believe is to find the strength
and courage that lies within us.
When it is time to pick up the pieces and begin again.
To believe is to know we are not alone,
That life is a gift and this is our time to cherish it.
To believe is to know that wonderful surprises
are just waiting to happen,
And all our hopes and dreams are within reach.
If only we believe.