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)

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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.

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

Effect of a Smile

“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

After work , one longs to put their feet up, shift the day’s tune and just delve into a different frame of the mind. In a home with kids and family, doing so may be little difficult. Very often, when stepping into the house or picking up kids from their different activities, one longs for some quiet. Yet a child’s smile changes everything and puts the mood into a different beat and rhythm. On seeing the smile of a toddler, one is reminded of the little joys and happiness in life as well as how precious that little action is. A smile indeed can change the world.

“Nobody needs a smile so much as the one who has none to give. So get used to smiling heart-warming smiles, and you will spread sunshine in a sometimes dreary world.” Lawrence G. Lovasik

A difficult day. Smile and the mood shifts, solutions crop up and the stress fades.

When facing mental hurdles. Smile and hand over the stress into His Hands.

Plagued by worry, doubt, insecurities and impatience. Smile to let go and embrace the present, facing each day by the hour, minute and seconds as they come by. Smile, lift up the inner spirit, stay strong and strive.

“Children show me in their playful smiles the divine in everyone. This simple goodness shines straight from their hearts and only asks to be loved.” Michael Jackson

The only rule to follow when one smiles; is to smile from the heart, honest, sincere and warm. Smile with hidden intent, plastic kind or while harbouring ill, does more harm to the “doer” than the receiver. Smile like a child from within to stay happy, calm and at peace.

The Smile

There is a Smile of Love
And there is a Smile of Deceit
And there is a Smile of Smiles
In which these two Smiles meet

And there is a Frown of Hate
And there is a Frown of disdain
And there is a Frown of Frowns
Which you strive to forget in vain

For it sticks in the Hearts deep Core
And it sticks in the deep Back bone
And no Smile that ever was smild
But only one Smile alone

That betwixt the Cradle & Grave
It only once Smild can be
But when it once is Smild
Theres an end to all Misery

– William Blake

“I’m a firm believer in smiles. I used to believe that everything had to be a belly laugh. But I’ve come to realize that a real sincere smile is mighty powerful.” Roy Clark

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

Restrain these “Feelings”

Delays not informed on time. Incomplete reviews and assessments. Incorrect information when collected and submitted. Snide remarks by colleagues, peers, juniors or seniors.

Regular parking spot occupied. Litter thrown on the sidewalk next to home. Incessant traffic queues caused by vehicles cutting in between. Grocery carts all used up and none empty. Regular groceries out of stock.

Socks on the floor. Dirty dishes in the sink. Laundry done with all colours mixed up. Bed not made. Toys all scattered on the floor. Mud tracks into the hall and kitchen.

One may be faced with some, few or similar situations as above, wherein the temperament has been sorely tested and one is struggling to rein in the anger and bitter words of resentment. In fact. these kinds of “irritation” is quite common. Each one of us at some point of our lives may have faced them, in some manner or the other. While the temptation to lash out and vent the bitterness, frustration and anger bred out the irritation is compelling; little do we realize the ramifications of indulging in so.

“The one who cannot restrain their anger will wish undone, what their temper and irritation prompted them to do.” Horace

 

Irritation in fact is one of the manifestations of bitterness, discontent and underlying pride or expectations that one’s words will always be followed. While “irritation” at times may be justified or understandable, keeping it in check will reveal the true character and personality within. If truth be told, with constant irritability, we devalue our work.

“I get irritated, I get upset. Especially when I’m in a hurry. But I see it all as part of our training. To get irritated is to lose our way in life.” Haruki Murakami

Each one of us has their own share of trials, misfortunes, difficulties, struggles, insecurities as well as stress. All the talk of love, kindness and humaneness is lost, unless one learns to understand and accept the differences of the other. What makes one different is when we learn to control the “irritation”.

” As a human being, anger is a part of our mind. Irritation also part of our mind. But you can do – anger come, go. Never keep in your sort of – your inner world, then create a lot of suspicion, a lot of distrust, a lot of negative things, more worry.” Dalai Lama

 

Controlling the irritation when one is over worked, stressed and trying to meet deadlines isn’t easy. But once we learn to breathe and let go; the next time it won’t be difficult to do so. In fact, that’s how one gets the hang of de-stressing the mind and not letting inconsequential things affect it. Even though things may go out of hand, getting irritated would never help. Instead facing the problem ahead and outlining the solution does wonders.

“If someone irritates you, it is only your own response that is irritating you. Therefore, when anyone seems to be provoking you, remember that it is only your judgment of the incident that provokes you.” Epictetus

The best memories, things or even feelings of life are never easy to attain if we constantly hang on to the emotional stress at each point of time. Learning to be gentle, less expectant as well as more patient will weed out the “irritation”, helping us to reduce the dreary days as well as the turbulent negative that may completely swamp us. Life is simple, once we learn to chose the most important things that it offers us.

“If you are irritated by every rub, how will your mirror be polished?” – Rumi

 

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

“Dreams” Grounded in “Reality”

As children, one of the most common essay topics was to write about what we wanted to do in our lives, our dreams, aims and visions of our lives in the future. Ranging from being an astronauts to travelling around the world or being a chef or baker par excellence, the possibilities were endless.

“Be careful what you water your dreams with. Water them with worry and fear and you will produce weeds that choke the life from your dream. Water them with optimism and solutions and you will cultivate success. Always be on the lookout for ways to turn a problem into an opportunity for success. Always be on the lookout for ways to nurture your dream.” Lao Tzu

 

As we grew older, practicalities marred by realism as well as distractions and disappointments tempered by changing dreams set in. Along the way some changed their dreams, few lost them and some of us held onto them. As we nurtured the dreams and made them big, at times we lose the touch of reality and get dejected by the disappointments and setbacks. Life always has its’ own curve-balls that it often yields. It’s how we tackle them that makes one’s dream grow strong and live on.

“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” J.K. Rowling

Very often, the dreams of childhood are like the sandcastles, that we build as children. As we strengthen the fortress with walls and moats, having most fun by building and creating with sand; deep inside one knows that eventually everything has the possibility of being washed down by the sea. Though one knows that all can be gone with a wave, we still build the sandcastles on the beach, for that is the fun of playing with the sand.

“Dream becoming reality runs like water between the fingers.” Willem Elsschot

 

Likewise when dreams are there deep inside, one should try to make them come true; nurturing them slowly, not losing hope, letting them build their roots strong, knowing that all dreams do come to an end or branch out in a different turn. Doing so will help us face life, so that as and when life takes it’s due course, one stays happy within both in the heart, mind and soul. Dreams are meant to be build and strengthened, but unless one enjoys the process of building and living the dream, there’s no point in chasing them.

“When you have a dream that you can’t let go of, trust your instincts and pursue it. But remember: Real dreams take work, They take patience, and sometimes they require you to dig down very deep. Be sure you’re willing to do that.” Harvey Mackay

 

Just as the child on the beach building life size castles becomes an engineer in real life. However on growing up and living the dream as an engineer or builder by career doesn’t merely involve juggling paperwork, new assignments, delegating the work or signing new contracts and raising new projects as well empires of financial investment, profits and capital gains; but also to enjoy the art of building them. Instead one is often submerged by the amount of stress, financial hurdles or losses as well practical constraints; such that one forgets to enjoy the gift of home, family, relationships, joy, life and talent given to each one of us. On building dreams, staying grounded in reality helps one to not only to achieve them better but aids to live life to the fullest in the process.

 

On a warm summer day at a beautiful beach a little boy on his knees scoops and packs the sand with plastic shovels into a bucket. He upends the bucket on the surface and lifts it. And, to the delight of the little architect, a castle tower is created. He works all afternoon spooning out the moat, packing the walls, building sentries with bottle tops and bridges with Popsicle sticks. With his hours of hard work on the beach a sandcastle will be built. In a Big city with busy streets and rumbling traffic, a man works in an office. He shuffles papers into stacks, delegates assignments, cradles the phone on his shoulder and punches the keyboard with his fingers. He juggles with numbers, contracts get signed and much to the delight of the man, a profit is made. All his life he will work. Formulating the plans and forecasting the future. His annuities will be sentries and Capital gains will be bridges. An empire will be built.

The two builders of the two castles have very much in common. They both shape granules into grandeurs. They both make something beautiful out of nothing. They both are very diligent and determined to build their world. And for both, the tide will rise and the end will come. Yet that is where the similarities cease. For the little boy sees the end of his castle while the man ignores it. As the dusk approaches and the waves near, the child jumps to his feet and begins to clap as the waves wash away his masterpiece. There is no sorrow. No fear. No regret. He is not surprised, he knew this would happen. He smiles, picks up his tools and takes his father’s hand, and goes home.
The man in his sophisticated office is not very wise like the child. As the wave of years collapses on his empire, he is terrified. He hovers over the sandy monument to protect it. He tries to block the waves with the walls he made. He snarls at the incoming tide. “It’s my castle,” he defies. The ocean need not respond. Both know to whom the sand belongs.

“Go ahead and build your dreams, but build with a child’s heart. When the sun sets and the tides take – applaud. Salute the process of life and go home with a smile.”

 

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

Midsummer…Another Chance

“Oh, the summer night,
Has a smile of light,
And she sits on a sapphire throne.”
– Barry Cornwall

With midsummer this weekend, the knowing that summer is coming to a close is acknowledged deep inside. Change is always happening, either in small degrees or in mighty moves. All the same, it’s the aftermath and the consequences that highlight the events.

While Midsummer is celebrated as the longest day of the year as the Summer Solstice; it has a rich history of centuries old tradition especially in the Northern Hemisphere as a time for community based festivals and bonfires as well as the feast day of the early Christian martyr St. John the Baptist.

 

As the Christian community prepares to commemorate this day, neighbourhood and community as well as the Church prepares for the feast if St. John. The 4th century A.D. Christian Church had established this day, in honour of the birth of the Saint John the Baptist, which as recorded in the Gospel had been six months before the birth of Christ. Accordingly the Feast of Saint John (Saint John’s Day) was celebrated at midsummer, exactly sixth months before the nativity. additionally as St. John prepared the way before Christ, his words “He must increase, but I must decrease”( John 3:30) is symbolized by the fact that the “sun begins to diminish at the summer solstice and eventually increases at the winter solstice.”

Marked by varied traditions and celebrations around the globe like processions of ships down the Danube (Austria), quadrilha of Brazil, light great fires (Canada), maypole dances (Sweden for instance) to list a few; midsummer is marked by highlighting the life and plays on St. John the Baptist as well as celebrations of fireworks, bonfires and dances. The pre-Christian Era had seen similar celebrations, primarily as a pagan ritual as well as marking the end of the summer farming season.

“In summer, the song sings itself.” William Carlos Williams

 

Midsummer, this year brings to mind, the fact that six months will be soon gone by. Has the time passed been of “inner value or gain” for one’s betterment ? Has the time gone by, resulted in the growing of the True Path and His Way within; or are we still clamoring for material gains and worldly pleasures ? The answer is need for one’s self alone and not for the appeasement or gratification of others. Once we realize the truth, making the change soon would be better before the year comes to an end by it’s own time.

“Peacefully
The quiet stars came out, one after one;
The holy twilight fell upon the sea,
The summer day was done.”
– Celia Thaxter

 

“It is God in the house when the curtains lift gently at the windows, and a young child sucks his itching gums.
We do not understand the mysteries of God.
God the winter. Summer, Septembers.
Moody dark tones of fathers dying.
The splash and laughter.
Children playing.”
– Ellease Southerland

Posted in Family and Society, Life, Personal Musings

Finding “Nemo” and Oneself Too…

Dory: Hey there, Mr. Grumpy Gills. When life gets you down do you wanna know what you’ve gotta do?
Marlin: No I don’t wanna know.
Dory: [singing] Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming. What do we do? We swim, swim.
Marlin: Dory, no singing.
Dory: Ha, ha, ha, ha, ho. I love to swim. When you want to swim you want to swim.
Marlin: Now I’m stuck with that song… Now it’s in my head.
Dory: Sorry.
– From “Finding Nemo”

One of the perks of being an avid animation movie fan in a household of toddlers is that one gets to indulge in them more often with a guilt free mind. For weekend movie nights, it’s a tussle between kids’ and parental choice. Last weekend was “Finding Nemo” (2003), the plot centers around Marlin, an overprotective ocellaris clown fish who along with Dory, a regal blue tang search for Nemo, his son who was abducted. Their journey takes them all the way to Sydney Harbour. Along the way, Marlin learns to take risks and comes to terms with Nemo taking care of himself.

“Just when I think I have learned the way to live, life changes.” Hugh Prather

With it’s classical funny dialogues and realistic as well as artistic animation scenes, for the toddler’s mind it was three hours of joy, music and fun. What went through the adult mind was two central themes of taking life as it comes as well as finding oneself. On a personal front, this animation feature had set the mind thinking. Among the underlying messages and emotional undercurrents, few of the thoughts that were highlighted include taking life as it comes, with risks and all; as well as finding oneself among the responsibilities. Additionally for the parental conscience, it includes guiding the fledglings to find their own call, to watch over  them but not to hound or be too over protective in any manner.

“It’s a helluva start, being able to recognize what makes you happy.” Lucille Ball

Following the norms of society, culture, tradition and patterns of life; while on the journey we often neglect to take risks and allow for personal growth and betterment. At times, one gets the opportunity to rectify and take the risks to follow the dreams. Over and over again, it may not be so and one follows the set pattern, often falling into a rut and mundane existence. Instead of always living in conformity to the said rules of society; one should take the effort to attempt and risk, to do what one loves and believes in. If one does so in the true and honest manner, “Finding Nemo” would be akin to a quest of finding oneself, their dreams and hopes; not a journey in vain.

“You’ll learn, as you get older, that rules are made to be broken. Be bold enough to live life on your terms, and never, ever apologize for it. Go against the grain, refuse to conform, take the road less traveled instead of the well-beaten path. Laugh in the face of adversity, and leap before you look. Dance as though EVERYBODY is watching. March to the beat of your own drummer. And stubbornly refuse to fit in.” Mandy Hale