Posted in Christian, Life, Personal Musings, Quotes, Work

Echoes of Praise

“Not to be cheered by praise, not to be grieved by blame, but to know thoroughly one’s own virtues or powers are the characteristics of an excellent man.” Satchel Paige

“Praise” is one of the more dangerous attributes even when given free of choice has the potential to destroy a person, settling on one slowly and like rust begins to erode. Then a person who was once mentally and emotionally strong becomes dependent on praise, craving for it.

“You can’t let praise or criticism get to you. It’s a weakness to get caught up in either one.” John Wooden

When the “words of praise” are not heard; one begins to look for them everywhere, at times compromising on one’s standards, abilities and perfection just to hear those words. Then efforts are made to hear those words to boost the self vanity, to the extent that one fails to acknowledge the actions, consequences and reality behind the empty words of praise.

“The trouble with most of us is that we would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism.” Norman Vincent Peale

When there is no praise, the mood then deteriorates, things get worse; all because “no one appreciates me.” As a result, the person is not working from the heart with the fruits of the Spirit in mind. Work, interactions and character becomes a need to appease one’s self-esteem, accumulate more pleasant opinions about himself and not an honest reflection of one’s true being. The opinions of other people though momentary, changes our essence.

“The biggest challenge is to not be affected by praise because a lot of it is not from the heart. Being true to yourself about your strengths and weaknesses, when everyone out there has a strong opinion and wants to give advice, is another challenge.” Tena Desae

It is sad if we do good deeds only for the sake of this short flash – “I was praised.” For woe beckons to the man who spends his strength, effort and energy to earn the approval of others. One of the terrible sins is vanity, because after vanity and praise is lost a person is left with nothing.

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

Facing the Days On

Into the next year, some of us have already started and gone ahead on our dreams and projects while the rest of us have yet to begin or refine the procrastination that we often find ourselves in. However there may be a few among us, for whom the year had started off on the wrong note like being diagnosed with a terminal illness, death of a loved one, being unemployed, failure of a project to list a few. For them these few months would have been tough.

Never give up, and be confident in what you do. There may be tough times, but the difficulties which you face will make you more determined to achieve your objectives and to win against all the odds. Marta

Looking deeper, each one of us would have gone through this phase at one point of time or other. It would be easy for one to say take heart and that things would be better. Yet from experience, these dark phases will pass and weathering through the storms, we become stronger and tougher. For as long as the earth rotates on its’ axis, nights won’t stay forever nor shall the clouds permanently darken the skies. The more mentally and emotionally we persevere, the shorter the difficult days become and the better equipped we become to tackle life head-on.

“Lighten up while you still can, don’t even try to understand. Just find a place to make your stand, and take it easy.” Jackson Browne

Take it easy. Take a breath. It’s gonna be all right.
There will be autumn and leaves. And the rain in the hood.
There will be a forest and a cool transparent day,
And the sunset on the cliff of amber yellow …

Take it easy. Take a breath. You know, winter is coming …
And from the gray suddenly white will become at home,
Again holidays, life, vanity and frost,
Ice on the roads, a weathered nose …

Let’s warm up in a cafe, remembering our year,
You will cover from hundreds, from thousands of adversities ,
You will tell about the sun in the rays of a lantern,
I will wrap myself in a gray scarf of January …

There will be tenderness without words and daggers in the back,
There will be a cat dreaming about something at the window …
We are born again with the purest soul.
Take it easy. Take a breath. It’s gonna be all right.

Rus Svyataya

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

Hearts That Support

“In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.” Khalil Gibran

We all have our own crosses as well as ups and downs in life to bear. Despite the dark moments, we still manage to revive a bit of ourselves and get our footing back on track. In the process of getting up, unknowingly or known to us, we rely on select few who give us their support, strength and the courage to start again.

“I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. ‘Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death.” Leonardo da Vinci

They give excuses for us, when we don’t explain ourselves. They accept our shortcomings and acknowledge the apologies that we give or turn a blind eye when we neglect to ask for pardon. At our worst, they lift us up, even if that means putting our priorities first by setting theirs aside. They don’t try to flag down when they fall or ask for attention on our busy or light days. They accept us for who we are. Yet what we often fail to realize is that, these hearts are few in number and tend to fail when untended for long.

When we rise up to stand, it would do well to remember these noble hearts for they are helped us to regain ground. For in the due course of time, when these good hearts give up on us; our skies will fail to clear up and darkness will linger on. A heart doesn’t turn need much to stay warm, just a little bit of love and kindness once in a while.

“Life is made up, not of great sacrifices or duties, but of little things, in which smiles and kindness, and small obligations given habitually, are what preserve the heart and secure comfort.” Humphry Davy

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

Countering Murphy’s Law

“Life is simple. Everything happens for you, not to you. Everything happens at exactly the right moment, neither too soon nor too late. You don’t have to like it… it’s just easier if you do.” Byron Katie

If anyone has been subject to Murphy’s law that states that “whatever can go wrong, will go wrong” would know how it feels when things start going out of hand. And when all the wrongs start happening at once, it turns into a huge disaster. The reality is there are days like Murphy’s Law and then there are days worse than them.

Everybody has to deal with tough times. A gold medal doesn’t make you immune to that. A skater is used to falling down and getting up again. Dorothy Hamill

The hilarious part is when we turn back and look over the events after a long period of time, at times the realization strikes that things could have been even worse. These “bad days” are best faced with a heavy dose of humour laced with a tinge of irony. For losing time and crying over them for long, would simply dim the light of the better days to come. The best thing would be to keep going and handling the ball from our court.

You’re going to go through tough times – that’s life. But I say, ‘Nothing happens to you, it happens for you.’ See the positive in negative events. Joel Osteen

And maybe just stand on the other foot,
And instead of coffee, take and drink juice …
And turn your usual steps
In the direction where there will be more good …

And on this day, do everything wrong:
Put from end to beginning of the number,
And the most insignificant trifle
Fill with kind and high meaning.

And to do what no one is waiting,
And to laugh, where so much wept,
And a feeling of hopelessness will pass,
And the sun will rise where the rain has been falling.

From the circle of fate,
Take and jump out of the station unknown …
You will be surprised – the world is completely different,
And life is unexpected, and more interesting.

Rus Svyataya

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

Penning the Gratitude

“Develop an attitude of gratitude and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.” -Brian Tracy

The other day when I had received a “thank you” note, numerous emotions and thoughts had surfaced in my mind. One of the lost arts of modern living is the art of saying “thank you”. To be very honest, the frequency of my gratitude for favours, gifts and time spent with dear ones has been slowly dwindling. To an extent, we are all caught by the crazy melee of the daily hustle that life throws us in. Yet when we scrutinize and retrospect, we realize that time can be actually made when we really want something to be done.

“Appreciation can make a day, even change a life. Your willingness to put it all into words is all that is necessary.” -Margaret Cousins

It doesn’t take much to frequently write, text or forward a few lines to dear people that you love them. When there is time, the power of spoken words can balm the soul when tired, weak, drained or listless. We are all masters of our own time. To refer to the fact that we do not have time shows the misplacement of our priorities. It doesn’t take much time, just a few seconds to pen down a few words to our loved ones. It takes few seconds to jot down a few words of gratitude and hope to those who have brightened our day. Take time and write. It will not only please us but also spread the warmth around us as well within us. In these busy times, there are few dear people in our life that we can comfortably lean on and they need to be cherished. Even though we may start off late, infrequently and small, a few worded thoughts of kindness, love and gratitude a day can do wonders to all and can soon turn into a pleasant habit.

“Make it a habit to tell people thank you. To express your appreciation, sincerely and without the expectation of anything in return. Truly appreciate those around you, and you’ll soon find many others around you. Truly appreciate life and you’ll find that you have more of it.” -Ralph Marston

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

Approach of Dawn

“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

One of the perks of being a morning lark or a really late owl is that we can see the marvels of nature, the break of dawn thereby giving the spark to start the day. Dawn as always been one of the points of focus for many ranging from scientists to poets, naturalists, hikers, photographers, artists and even children. The ole adage of “sleeping on our problems over the night and let everything make sense by the light of the morning”, makes sense especially when the light of the dawn chases away the bleakness of the night.

“Through the blackest night, morning gently tiptoes, feeling its way to dawn.” Robert Breault

 

If one has witnessed the breaking of colours in the sky, it would be a treasured memory to keep in the dark times. Dawn and dusk has been always the times where we can view with wonder as well as contemplate on one’s personal quest in our pages in the journey through life and time. To quote Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Every sunset brings the promise of a new dawn”. Through the early days of spring to the fresh snow of winter, the break of dawn will always be a source to renew one’s purpose and strengthen the resolve to make our existence in this world quite meaningful.

“Have you ever seen the dawn? Not a dawn groggy with lack of sleep or hectic with mindless obligations and you about to rush off on an early adventure or business, but full of deep silence and absolute clarity of perception? A dawning which you truly observe, degree by degree. It is the most amazing moment of birth. And more than anything it can spur you to action. Have a burning day.” Vera Nazarian

“Dawn comes to those who have seen darkness
In all its murderous majesty …
Who cried from someone else’s indifference,
But was not indifferent to anyone!

Dawn comes to those who were on the road,
Not knowing neither fatigue nor laziness.
Who, exhausted, fell to his knees,
But he rose, continued to walk …

And, clamping his will into fists,
Suddenly he found a chamomile field,
And, choking from aching pain,
Hid his palms in his petals!

To those who, having buried their dreams,
And, having remembered them, rushed on.
Who could among the betrayal and falsehood,
Do not lose spiritual purity!

Accidentally in the blue of the sky,
Suddenly the sunny doors will open.
Dawn comes to those who believe in the light.
Absurd, to the last. But he believed!
– Rus Svytaya

“Let every dawn be to you as the beginning of life, and every setting sun be to you as its close.” John Ruskin

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

The Hurry of Today

God made time, but man made haste. ~Irish Proverb

“Take it slowly.” These are the words often heard by those of us who have used crutches or a walker at some point of time in our lives, may be after a fall, fracture, surgery or the like. One of the after-effects of walking with support either crutches or a walker is that we walk slower with every step being a necessary one. If we try to hurry we tend to fall, have sudden pain due to excessive strain or increase our duration with the supports. The hardest part is when we feel we will left behind because of the supports we use to walk. Yet when we introspect we realize that those who support and love us, would make their steps slow, small and easier so that we can keep up with them. This brings to mind what Bruce Failer quoted, “The simplest consequence of walking on crutches is that you walk slower. Every step must be a necessary one. When you hurry, you get where you’re going, but you get there alone. When you go slow, you get where you’re going, but you get there with a community you’ve built along the way.”

Being always in a hurry to get somewhere or do something, we forget how to enjoy the life that the Lord has given us. In the constant pursuit and wait for something new to happen or do, different from what we have today; the question then arises, “When will we be happy today? When will we enjoy the things of today?”

“Just be patient. Let the game come to you. Don’t rush. Be quick, but don’t hurry.” Earl Monroe

In the haste of hunting, we neglect the fact that what’s here and now, in our hands can disappear so quickly. Time flies to its’ own tune. The present will elude us with we living in a different time frame; between the past and the future, ignoring the present. This habit stems from the fear that we mayn’t be able to achieve anything if we don’t hasten. Contrary to that thought, the beauty of life and our surroundings don’t believe in haste but using time for their own. As Lao Tzu said, ” Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”

Learning to live in this hour, not constantly dwelling on tomorrow or the day after or about what will happen in a month will make us more fruitful and happy in the day. True we need to envision what the future may entail, but if we look forward with constant anxiety and foreboding, we will forget to live for today. Constantly waiting for something and thinking about the future make us sick, lifeless, worried and dull, besides losing the ability to rejoice and cherish moments of the present.