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,

“…….. 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

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

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

Navigate From Within

“Life is like a game of cards. The hand you are dealt is determinism; the way you play it is free will.” Jawaharlal Nehru

One of the advantages of chance meetings with old friends, colleagues or neighbours when one has time on their hands, is the quick catch up session followed by exchange of news as well contact details. In that short time, information is passed about common acquaintances who have moved on, made changes or are still there. For those who have done better, we often compare ourselves to them. For those who have done worse, we acknowledge that their life has taken a different turn and at times, blame fate. What we almost always fail to realize is that, commenting about others progress (whether one wants to or not) never really makes a difference, for each holds their own destiny in their hand.

“Lots of folks confuse bad management with destiny.” Kin Hubbard

Destiny, has been one of the concepts that man prefers to fall back on, when things never go the way planned. Post any setback, the reactions range from blame those around one to the sequence of events, circumstances and so on and so forth; everything but the person alone. The drawback of such a cycle, is that, once started it is difficult to break it. Moreover, the tendency to always indulge in the cycle of acts persists.

“Everywhere man blames nature and fate, yet his fate is mostly but the echo of his character and passions, his mistakes and weaknesses.” Democritus

Another way that man deals with setbacks is to hire “services” that offer to point out the right time as per mathematical, astrological, zodiac or other elemental methods of calculation. Little does one realize, that plans, setbacks, success and failure all lies within one person, their reaction to sequence of events in relation to their plans, dreams and hopes in life. Destiny, success, hard work, plans, hope and achievement all starts within. One decides wisely for oneself; knowing their own limitations, merits and lapses.

“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

To face destiny and achieve success requires one to introspective, willing to learn and observe from own as well as others’ lives. By blinding the eyes of the mind, the path taken will always be wrought with weeds of trouble, failures and uncertainties. To stay strong, one has to believe that they can navigate, as long as one knows how, where and what to look for. Man always has the discernment to make plans and tune destiny to work in one’s favour, provided one always believes in themselves, knows oneself with flaws, strength and all.

“If we would see the color of our future, we must look for it in our present; if we would gaze on the star of our destiny, we must look for it in our hearts.”
Canon Farra

The Warrior’s Destiny

A great Japanese warrior named Nobunaga was going to war with a fierce enemy with only one-tenth the number of men the opposition commanded. He knew that he could win the fight with a well planned strategy, but his soldiers were in doubt. On the way the leader stopped at a Shinto shrine and told his men: “After my visit to the shrine I will toss a coin. If the head comes, we will win; if tails, we will lose. Destiny holds us in her hand.” Nobunaga entered the shrine and offered his prayers. Then he came forth and tossed a coin in front of his men. Heads appeared. The soldiers were filled with confident and were eager to win the battle.
“No one can change the hand of destiny,” one of his attendants told him after the battle.
“Indeed not,” said Nobunaga and showed the coin which was doubled with heads on the both side.

“ Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.” William Jennings Bryan

Posted in Daily, Family and Society, Life, Personal Musings, poetry, Quotes

Power of the “Little Things”

“Success in life is founded upon attention to the small things rather than to the large things; to the every day things nearest to us rather than to the things that are remote and uncommon.” Booker T. Washington

Of the many attributes that binds man, family, friends, community and neighbourhood in general, is the art of paying attention. Simply put, the secret of happiness, love, respect and kindness have a common subset of “attention”.

“Give whatever you are doing and whoever you are with the gift of your attention.” Jim Rohn

Excellence at work or the chosen field, lies in the art of doing it well and as per the targets or goals set. All this would be void without due attention being paid to each and every aspect.

Time spent for family and children can be sought only when attention is paid to what may seem trifle things, but can make the daily grind seem lighter. For instance, putting the breakfast dishes in the sink, putting toys on the play corner only, soiled clothes in the cloth basket (not on the floor) may seem trivial, but when done properly echoes to the other person that one does care.

Patiently listening to a colleague’s woes. Forgotten calls replied when possible. Due help given whenever possible, especially when requested. Being around for hospital visits with parents, as they grow old. Though these may seem trivial at that moment; for the other person it means big.

“Attention is vitality. It connects you with others. It makes you eager. Stay eager.” Susan Sontag

As far as family, friends and loved ones go; actions do speak louder than words. The essence of love, respect and kindness isn’t reflected in the big things, but the small things of life, that really matter the most. To seek happiness of home, family, friends or community is in the individual minutes of small, quickly forgettable pleasures of a hugs, smiles, kind look, heartfelt compliment and countless small, but kind thoughts and sincere feelings, all arising when one pays due attention to those who around them. Love, kindness, joy and peace also need their daily bread.

“I love you” in the family vocabulary.
Sounds in other kind words:
“I will hang the linen myself on the balcony”,
“Let’s go on a holiday to the dacha to mother”.

“Cool, dress warmly”,
“Let the angels lead you everywhere”,
“Didn’t work out this time? Come on bolder!”,
“Get some sleep, I will wash the dishes in a flash”.

We sometimes do not notice much, The
most important thing is not grasping the essence,
With honeyed tea served in bed,
“I love” and the native people say.

Inna Kucherova (Translated to English)

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

Words for “Tomorrow”

“There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One of these is roots, the other, wings.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

For every newborn that is born, there are numerous hopes and dreams as well as love radiating in their parents’ eyes. Each newborn has their own story behind them. While some enter a loving home from birth; few others face a home of “differences” and some even face tragedy or misfortune from the cradle on. Yet for every child or newborn; there is a prayer and wishes running in the mind of the adults that they meet, from parents to guardians as well as grandparents, relatives, neighbourhood, community and society on the whole.

“Children are not casual guests in our home. They have been loaned to us temporarily for the purpose of loving them and instilling a foundation of values on which their future lives will be built.” James Dobson

Children are the roots of the society. Without them, the very root of the social and adult existence holds no meaning once when their own time runs out. For every child of the future, boy or girl; certain pertinent lessons are learnt directly or incidentally so as to brave the future society and world on the whole.

“When you hold your baby in your arms the first time, and you think of all the things you can say and do to influence him, it’s a tremendous responsibility. What you do with him can influence not only him, but everyone he meets and not for a day or a month or a year but for time and eternity.” Rose Kennedy

Earnestly hope for every young mind to master any craft, art or any undertaking that they love, regardless of their position, background or education received; so that their own hands can always feed, cloth and shelter them.

Hope that every young mind will see at least a little world in order to stop regretting their own land, understand that since the time of the fall everything is about the same as well as know that “the grass is not always greener on the other side”. What matters more is what one does with that grass or land; water to let the “green prosper” or let it stand still to wither from the elements of time, weather and season, without care or nurture.

“Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children.” Charles R. Swindoll

Patiently learn to endure and combat physical as well as mental pain; learning to handle it and temper them such that they are dealt with in the right manner; trying in the process to not inflict the same or as little as possible to cause pain for others.

Foresee that money though a necessity of life, doesn’t bring happiness and peace along with it, if it is made the central part of lives. Money has it’s worth as long as one can use it for harmony, peace and spread kindness through it, not for the lone purpose of one’s own selfish interests or betterment. Money when shared right an just, increases it’s value more, both as materialistic realities as well as mental happiness and peace of mind. The more attached we become to money, the more collared one becomes.

“Let parents bequeath to their children not riches, but the spirit of reverence.” Plato

Keep family and fellow beings as the highest priority. Happiness lives within and is encompassed of the simple things of life. The roots lie in the strong sense of love, respect, understanding and kindness that one holds for the other. Family, community and society is a network interlocked with the other and self. When one “standing block” stumbles, it will fall on the rest to hold it up so that the roots and the foundation can be set up again. Elements of nature and time will always weather one down; but when the lattice stays strong, the mind flourishes and the land prospers. For the grid to be strong, every element matters, including own and immediate others.

Hold deep respect for knowledge, sacrifice, history as well as forefathers of the past. On arrival at any prosperous event in life, to remember with grace, dignity and respect of the sacrifices, teachings as well as advice of the elders of generations past and senior. Whether they be better or worse than us during their times or even if they have lived their ways and days different, learning to be silent and listen does a lot of personal good for now and later. Listening with respect and learn to accept and regard advice wisely. While some may have been there readily, others have imperceptibly and subtly influenced the course of events.

“To be a good father and mother requires that the parents defer many of their own needs and desires in favor of the needs of their children. As a consequence of this sacrifice, conscientious parents develop a nobility of character and learn to put into practice the selfless truths taught by the Savior Himself.” James E. Faust

Most importantly and above all, hold true to the Faith, beliefs and ideals as per His Word. Doing right is and has always been as well as will be difficult. Wrong is wrong and sin is sin, no matter the way we project, clothe or explain it. True faith is never light. It involves a lot of self effort, introspection as well as humility to work towards one’s betterment and follow the right ideals of life. Diligence, loyalty, respect, love, faith, kindness, humility and generosity are few of the fruits of the Spirit which form a part of the core fulcrum to live one’s life to the fullest.

“Educate your children to self-control, to the habit of holding passion and prejudice and evil tendencies subject to an upright and reasoning will, and you have done much to abolish misery from their future and crimes from society.” Benjamin Franklin

Every parent, guardian and elder wishes that these were few of the lessons that children learned in life; so that they grow to lead independent, wise and life rich in worthiness, fullness and remain happy. Although one underlying fact stays strong and true;what one knows one will impart. Unless as adults, we learn to do the same; how can children be taught to do better. For every child to do well; as adults, guardians, parents and society as a whole should strive to improve each day in the right way, manner and principles that Faith, Time and Life teaches us again and again.

“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” Frederick Douglass.