Posted in Daily, Family and Society, Life, Quotes, Reflections, Stories Around the World

From “Being Helped” to “Helping”

“Those who are the happiest are those who do the most for others.” Booker T. Washington

Raising children is never easy. From the first child, parents or guardians have to devise a system which encompasses love, teaching, helping and guiding them to live a life rich in love, joy, of right values and principles. From infancy to toddler-hood, being too small to do the simple things like brushing their teeth, the morning routine, tying laces or filling a glass of water; these are done by elders, adults or even the bigger children. Yet along the way as they grow older, at times, the coddling doesn’t stop. When an adult puts on shoes for a healthy seven year old, something has gone wrong somewhere. When a healthy ten year old child refuses to make their bed, put their toys away or need to be fed their breakfast; the “coddling” may be a little overdone.

“You will discover that you have two hands. One is for helping yourself and the other is for helping others.” Audrey Hepburn

Every child needs their space to grow. Once they are let to do s, only then will they develop and learn to think. Basic life skills are necessary for any child. They start young, from being able to put on their shoes themselves, to dressing themselves and helping small in the household. When a child from school refuses to note their father’s tired face and demand to go out for shopping a new toy; alterations and right changes have to be made in the set routine to ensure that these children grow up to responsible and develop humaneness fr the society of tomorrow.

“Never get tired of doing little things for others, sometimes those little things occupy the biggest parts of their hearts.”  Unknown

As children are taught to help in the simple things of life, they bloom internally and learn to gain joy on helping others. Rightly said that, “Charity begins at home”; what these young minds learn, observe and undergo in their childhood are carried over to their adulthood and eventually, these same teachings, principles and feelings are carried down over to the generations that they raise. There’s an interesting post from one of my social network pages (translated to English), that goes on to show how children can be taught as “What can we do for you ?”

Being the “grownups” of today, we need to teach our children to “help after being helped when they were small”, so that the basic values of kindness, love, humaneness and service are always carried on, in the future society.

“Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love.” Martin Luther King Jr.

Today I understood raising children correctly. The mother-in-law came to us, as always, brought a bunch of gifts to the children, as always, began her little aggressive concern:
– Let me smear you a sandwich! Let me wear you socks! Sit-sit, grandmother will wash the apple-clean-cut-lay!
As always, this is a bit annoying and even annoying for all of us. I have independent children, who clean their own sandwiches and smear apples. And then there was such a stunning stream of turbulent activity!
And a six-year-old son suddenly asked at dinner:
“Grandma, what can we do for you?”
– What? – Grandmother did not understand.
– You do so much for us! – Ilya explained, – You take care of us, care for us. So I ask, and what can WE do for YOU?
He so matured, so deliberately said it, that I felt myself at that moment, as if an angel from heaven had come down and handed me the medal for motherhood. All my pedagogical throwings, all my megawatts of energy and kilometers of nerves, piles of books on education, thousands of arms that fell, all came together today and crystallized into the phrase: “What WE can do for YOU.”
Ksenia Smyslova

“People will forget what you said, people may forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou

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 Daily, Family and Society, Life, Quotes, Reflections, Stories Around the World, Work

Leave the Perch

“We cannot become what we want to be by remaining what we are.”- Max DePree

Holidays or long weekend breaks are not just a break from work to relax, but serve as a platform to engage with family, friends and neighbours. In the process of “engagement”, one always learns something new. With children, it’s often a tussle of learning to play the game or sport of the time, get theatrically busy with home productions or simply explore the outdoors with them, the nature’s way. An impromptu gathering of neighbours, friends or family brings “the experimental chef” mode back on, brushing up on the music, instrument or dancing skills among others. Time off from the daily schedule of work, involves indulging in the bucket list or wish list ranging from new hobbies, adventure sports or seeing new places.

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” Neale Donald Walsch

The underlying common essence of holidays is to step beyond the regular zone and try something new. We all need our own zones to be comfortable, sane and happy. Our zones should be like a second skin, protecting us as well as helping us to remain happy. Yet when the zones become too familiar, mundane or deteriorating into a rut; it’s time to get moving and re-frame the environment, mind and oneself.

“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” Dale Carnegie

Life is like a big canvas. The picture we paint can’t be done by staying in one frame for so long. When the branch one is perched, obscures the view ; then it’s time to leave it and fly to another. Flitting around will never get us anywhere, but staying on one perch will neither be of any use. Attempting to invest time, discipline, self effort and will to improve oneself will benefit the lives that we lead, to be one of enrichment than mediocrity. Dream right to fly and step out of the “comfort zones” that one is often shackled to, by free will and choice. There’s a big world out there to live, experience and see; and time always has a mind of it’s own.

“The best piece of advice someone has ever given me was ‘do it scared.’ And no matter if you’re scared, just go ahead and do it anyway because you might as well do it scared, so it will get done and you will feel so much better if you step out of your comfort zone.” Sherri Shepherd

The Falcon and the Branch

Once a king received two magnificent peregrine falcons as a gift from one of his vassal state. They were the most beautiful birds he has ever seen. Though the Falcons were still quite young at the time, they were beautiful specimens groomed for keeping in his court specifically. The king called the head falconer and handed the two beautiful birds to be trained. The falconer trained the birds for months. But one day the falconer informed the king that one of the falcons was flying and soaring high in the sky while the other has not moved from its branch since the day it had arrived.
“I’ve never come across a bird as stubborn as this before,” the trainer complained to the king. He went on to describe how the creature ignored, refused and stubbornly lashed out at his every attempt. “May be there is something wrong with this bird. It just won’t fly.”said the trainer. The falconer was one of the best in the land, his talents widely lauded by all who knew him. So, the king decided to give the trainer some more time to make the bird fly. Months passed but the falcon never moved from the branch. The kings summoned all healers, sorcerers and other trainers from all the land to make the falcon fly. But none of them succeeded and the bird did not move from its perch.

One day a farmer was passing by the palace and heard about the stubborn falcon who wouldn’t fly. He thought he would give a try to make the bird fly. Having tried everything else, the king was desperate to make the bird fly, so he allowed the farmer attempt to make the bird fly. The next morning while the king was thrilled to see the two magnificent birds soaring high in the sky from his balcony. The king did not witness the feat himself, so he had the farmer brought before him to answer to his questions.

“I would like to know your secret,” the King said. “Tell me, how did you, achieve what the most highly trained, intuitive and wise men could not? How did you make the falcon fly?”
The farmer peered up from beneath his brow. “It was actually quite simple, your highness. I just cut the branch on which the bird was perched.”

We all are made to fly. But at times we we sit on to our branches, clinging to the things familiar to us and never attempting for a change. The possibilities in the world are endless, but most of it remains undiscovered because we never attempt to go beyond our comfort zone. We conform to the familiar, the comfortable, and the mundane. We need to go outside of our comfort zone, destroy the branch of fear we cling to and free ourselves to the glory of flight!

“Be willing to step outside your comfort zone once in a while; take the risks in life that seem worth taking. The ride might not be as predictable if you’d just planted your feet and stayed put, but it will be a heck of a lot more interesting.” Edward Whitacre, Jr.

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