Posted in Daily, Family and Society, Personal Musings, poetry, Quotes, Reflections, Work

Strain of the Indisposition

On the days when the work schedule drags, the events then on tend to go on in a discordant manner. Eventually on reaching home, with the usual things not done like dinner late, homework hours not supervised and the like; the entire mood sours down and the evenings end on an unhappy or dissatisfied note. While journalling such days and reading them later on, at times it’s how one learns to behave when things go beyond the expectation (especially when in a negative manner) that makes the biggest difference in the long run.

“The greatest joys of life are happy memories. Your job is to create as many of them as possible.” Brian Tracy

Emotional infection is a deadly thing. A chain effect triggered by it can have far reaching consequences; avoidable, unnecessary with a significant negative impact, spoiling relationships and makes the daily hours unpleasant, of discontent as well as unhappy. As the scales of the balance go awry, the urge to initiate the “blame game” and point fingers start soon, as compared to making efforts to try and reschedule to get back on track. Guarantee for everything or anything never exists in reality. There is always a chance of a miss or an error present even in the best laid plans, schedules or goals. When one lets their emotions fly unchecked, the consequences can go deadly and far reaching, be it on the professional, personal or domestic front. To keep the inner peace best within, learning how to handle the unexpected is necessary skill. Though this may take time and plenty of effort, they are all worth when the impact is taken into account. For words and memories have a far lasting effect, than targets or achievements as scored on paper.

“I am convinced that the greatest legacy we can leave our children are happy memories: those precious moments so much like pebbles on the beach that are plucked from the white sand and placed in tiny boxes that lay undisturbed on tall shelves until one day they spill out and time repeats itself, with joy and sweet sadness, in the child now an adult.” Og Mandino

No matter how many precautionary measures one may take; when things go haywire, take a quick breathe and continue on. The art of learning to manage any curve-ball lies in the way we behave to these sudden turns. Instead of fretting and getting dejected on the “why me, why now” aspect, settling and finding effective be it temporary or permanent solutions may help make the days (or evenings) end better. More than achievements, goals or occasions, what stays etched in the mind are “feelings”. The feeling of calm and happiness in the children as their parents return from work, the approach that another person feels or learns as the crisis period is sorted and the cumulative efforts taken to settle any environment are just few of the better emotional memories that linger and stay on as the years pass through.

“I’d like the memory of me
to be a happy one.
I’d like to leave an afterglow
of smiles when life is done.
I’d like to leave an echo
whispering softly down the ways,
Of happy times and laughing times
and bright and sunny days.
I’d like the tears of those who grieve,
to dry before the sun
of happy memories
that I leave when life is done.”
Helen Lowrie Marshall

Posted in Family and Society, Personal Musings, Quotes, Random Thoughts, Work

Trace Not These Steps

Interacting with peers on the neighbourhood level, workplace to society on the whole, one walks through various situations. From the good-natured ribbing to snide remarks, comments are always being passed around, whether one wants to actively join in it or happens in own presence; inevitably it happens. In such moments, getting affected is easy. Among all those remarks, taking some in the true sense and few with a pinch of salt or just let them float above the mind helps.

“Keep on the sunny side.” Ada Blenkhorn

To keep the mind sane and thoughts happen, a lot of just walking away helps. To pass a remark in defense to company who really wants to pull one down, doesn’t really help. Instead time gets wasted in sorting out blurry thoughts all the time, some of which in hindsight, one realizes isn’t really worth it. To keep the thoughts in one’s right mind, one needs to learn when to leave or abstain from joining in purposeless and meaningless thoughts. Once we learn to walk away from the taunts and comments, one learns to embrace the challenges as they come, keeping the mind of reasonable thoughts, sane, happy, clam and at peace with a will to put the inner best forward.

“A lot of walking away will do your life good.
Walk away from arguments that lead you to anger and nowhere.
Walk away from people who deliberately put you down.
Walk away from the practice of pleasing people who choose to never see your worth. Walk away from any thought that undermines your peace of mind.
Walk away from judgmental people, they do not know the struggle you are facing and what you have been through. All away from your mistakes and fear, they do not determine your fate.
The more you walk away from things that poison your soul, the healthier your life will be.”

Posted in Christian, Daily, Family and Society, Personal Musings, Quotes, Random Thoughts

Stars in the Dark

Helping out my niece with their science assignment, we had rigged up a makeshift primitive telescope to take the pictures of the night sky. The purpose was to either get a constellation or two in full focus or click a shooting star. As the project was underway, the beauty of the night sky was something to reckon with. All the twinkling lights reminded of the bright points scattered across the vast dark canvas.

Looking at one of the many mysteries of nature and gifts of life, one often feels the awe and magnificence in His Works. Though at times, unbidden thoughts enter the mind, especially during the trying days, of “Why me?”and as the feeling of helplessness overwhelms; it is the faith in the hope of a better day tomorrow that helps one survive.

Faith is a bluebird you see from afar.
It’s for real, and as true as the first evening star.
You can’t touch it, or buy it, or wrap it up tight;
But it’s there just the same, making things turn out right.
– Rufus Wainwright (The Rescuers, 1977)

Faith is the anchor in the unbidden thoughts of negativity, self-doubt, depressive or defeated nature, which often occur every now and then. Getting out across these boulders and pits, requires something as simple but deeply profound as faith. Days like those which promote the negativism can be shot down by the Faith one holds deep inside.

“Faith is deliberate confidence in the character of God whose ways you may not understand at the time.” Oswald Chambers

One can’t possibly get everything figured out. There are things that happen, either in a single moment or as a sequence of events; that mayn’t be explained by simple logic or by own understanding. During those standstill moments, it is the inner Faith that helps us find a way to get to the light of tomorrow. And the more when one is thrown off the deep edge, devoid of the understanding why; the more one can deepen their Faith in the glory of His Way, His Will and His Word. Life never makes sense, but by faith in the hope that things will eventually work out, difficulties are crossed out, trouble overcome and the inner spirit strengthened making the present livable. For one day in the future, these days of the past will be acknowledged for their way in them making our Faith stronger in Him and helping one to reach those better days of the tomorrow.

Posted in Daily, Family and Society, Personal Musings, Quotes, Reflections

Trails to Track

With the schools staying closed for the first week of the year, holiday mood was still going strong at the home front. As a consequence the family homestead was filled with occasional bouts of uproarious running feet. The holiday favourite of “Hide and Seek” was on, with a twist of the “I Dare” to the caught to avoid being the next seeker. As the seeker was rooting out the “hidden”, the constant lookout for any traces or clues to their whereabouts was on. This game of “Hide and Seek” reminds one a lot of the different trails and marks that each one of us leave behind.

“No memory is ever alone; it’s at the end of a trail of memories, a dozen trails that each have their own associations.” Louis L’Amour

For each one of us, we have our own hidden cache of trails, some pleasant some not so, of memories and instances where one event lead to the next making way for a pleasant change; and then again may a series of unpredictable or nerve-wrecking series of changes which may be still going on. All of us leave traces behind, but whether one chooses to leave those to be of the good kind, or the negative type, is of own choosing. The state of affairs may never be of own choice many a time. The difference always lies in how we respond to them. At the end of the day, the traces we leave behind will always reflect a part of ourselves, maybe in an overt way or a silent subtle manner. Yet whether the feeling of negativism or positivism from those vibes, that feel from the traces we leave behind are ours alone.

“Every person has the power to make others happy.
Some do it simply by entering a room
others by leaving the room.
Some individuals leave trails of gloom;
others, trails of joy.
Some leave trails of hate and bitterness;
others, trails of love and harmony.
Some leave trails of cynicism and pessimism;
others trails of faith and optimism.
Some leave trails of criticism and resignation;
others trails of gratitude and hope.
What kind of trails do you leave?”
— William Arthur Ward

Posted in Daily, Life, Quotes, Reflections, Work

The “Nailing” Point

Diz ſagent uns die wîſen, ein nagel behalt ein îſen, ein îſen ein ros, ein ros ein man, ein man ein burc, der ſtrîten kan.
– (c. 1230 Freidank Bescheidenheit)
(Middle High German (positively formulated):”The wise tell us that a nail keeps a shoe, a shoe a horse, a horse a man, a man a castle, that can fight.”)

With a hoard of activities being planned for Christmas, little wonder then that unless prioritization is done, no task will reach their finish point. In hindsight, one realizes that despite the prioritization, necessary things are left undone. Which highlights, what may be necessary mayn’t be important then but pays a heavy price later on.

The trip to the family roots, attending the recital, cheering at the junior league match, quick rush to the doctors’ for the routine physical checks, following the prescribed or set medication, servicing the four wheeler on time, drawing the building plans with an eye on the future possibilities are all just few of the many instances wherein “what is necessary to be done” is foregone for “the mood of that time”, botched up planning or deeming the “necessary as trivial”.

Over time, one goes through many situations wherein the failure to contemplate the various possibilities or correct the then perceived as minor defects, may eventually lead to a more grave sequence of events with appalling outcome. The root problems lies in the indifference to what is the necessity than what is simply the other important task at that point of time. True that availability and possibility for the necessary task may seem slight then, but that balance of scales is always a relative concept. At times, when the fingers are burnt, the consequence will then be felt as terrible and priceless.

“Neglect breeds mischief…” Benjamin Franklin

Hindsight is indeed unsettling, for once these chains of defaults and causalities are tended to, going back to the normal way may be difficult. But as they always say turning to the right path at some point may be better than going on the same, reparative steps have to be taken as soon as the errors have been realized. For a stitch in time o save nine, knowing that the “stitch” is necessary isn’t just enough but getting down and doing it is more important. No matter how small they may seem, it is the simple things that matter quite a bit. And these are the few, but pertinent facts that one discerns as the years mature.

For want of a nail, the shoe was lost,
For want of a shoe, the horse was lost,
For want of a horse, the rider was lost,
For want of a rider, the message was lost,
For want of a message, the battle was lost,
For want of a battle, the war was lost,
For want of a war, the kingdom was lost,
For want of a nail, the world was lost
‘The Want of a Nail”
– T. Rundgren
Warner Chappell N.A., Ltd., 1989
(“Rundgren” Variation)

Posted in Life, Personal Musings, Photography Art, Quotes, Reflections

Glimmer of Lights

With holidays round the corner, schools slowly winding down for Christmas and the shopping to be done; one would inadvertently meet lost or out-of-touch acquaintances, hear news from distant friends or renew previous friendships. Deep inside, the constant comparison of the present with the year previous would be there. At times, there would be days tinged with regrets and “what-ifs”; while other days may highlight the quiet acceptance of the present life and the resolve to face the future day and year in a better frame of mind with the aim to make the best of the things at hand. Either way, it is the view that one chooses to take that matters the most.

“The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation, but you thoughts about it. Be aware of the thoughts you are thinking.” Eckhart Tolle

Regrets for what has passed, either the good or the bad, doesn’t change anything at all. We all have our firewood, to break or have chopped off; but it’s what we do with it that matters. Take for instance, the cup that contains tea. Regardless of whether it is hot or cold, full or empty; being thankful that one has a cup and that next time, one would take care to better it to own choice would be better than twiddling thumbs and cribbing about the cup.

“If I behave as though this is a completely normal situation, then maybe it will be …” Sophie Kinsella

Each time, the thoughts of “regret or despondency” take over; look around and start mentally counting the blessings. Doing so, will help one realize that though things may have been better if one had taken the either way previously; today what is there mayn’t be there. Looking around, one should never forget the fact that today is there. That the living of today holds more importance and rightness that desiring the “what ifs” of the past or speculating the prospects of the future.

“Life is a balanced system of learning and evolution. Whether pleasure or pain; every situation in your life serves a purpose. It is up to us to recognize what that purpose could be.” Steve Maraboli

When these downtrodden thoughts assail one, know to address the quiet sadness of the past and think of those days, but hold the “what ifs” at bay. While peering and hoping for a planned future, speculate and let the curiosity of the “what will” stay. For the latter helps one to grow and put forward their best efforts n the present. Yet while looking forwards and backwards, remember not to fail to look around. For the hugs and kisses of the loved ones in the present are the ones that help one to face the future and fills up the treasure chest of thoughts, memories and moments from the past. Learn to swim in the sea of the present as one prepares to chart the course of travels into the future.

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

Hold on to “the Cloak”

“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.” Ernest Hemingway

While putting together the events and details for the Christmas program at the work place, finesse and tact was required while bringing out the various talents (obvious or hidden) present in colleagues, seniors and juniors alike. As each one had volunteered their various acts, from solo vocals or music to the Christmas choir, play and message; the underlying talents were brought to light. While some were good, few were exquisite as the rehearsal audience was charmed by the music, song and talk. Surprisingly, the best of the talented were the ones who didn’t wax eloquent but showed their creative side with poise, charm and humility.

“…talent means nothing, while experience, acquired in humility and with hard work, means everything.” Patrick Süskind

Deeply introspecting the social life of today, one is often listing own achievements either as an open declaration, bragging or defending their glory; instead of growing and perfecting these talents. When social performance and creativity costs humaneness, kindness and humility, it is time to retrospect and learn from the centuries of time where greatness actually lies. As Rick Warren had said, “True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.” Each one is blessed in their own way, holding their own repertoire of skills, creativity and art. While one is not better than the other; being really good at something doesn’t require one to wear a placard on them declaring the same. Along with own skill and work; the character within speaks the loudest. As the short anecdote experienced by one of the actors of Indian cinema had narrated, the way we behave speaks a lot louder than what one says. True humility is when we acknowledge that there is always something new to learn and perfecting oneself, regardless of the achievements of the present.

“I have three precious things which I hold fast and prize. The first is gentleness; the second is frugality; the third is humility, which keeps me from putting myself before others. Be gentle and you can be bold; be frugal and you can be liberal; avoid putting yourself before others and you can become a leader among men.” Lao Tzu

Amitabh Bacchan says…”At the peak of my career, I was once travelling by plane. The passenger next to me was elderly gentleman dressed in a simple shirt and pants. He appeared to be middle class, and well educated. Other passengers perhaps recognising who I was, but this gentleman appeared to be unconcerned of my presence… He was reading his paper, looking out of the window, and when tea was served, he sipped it quietly. Trying to strike a conversation with him I smiled. The man courteously smiled back and said ‘Hello’. We got talking and I brought up the subject of cinema and movies and asked, ‘Do you watch films?’ The man replied, ‘Oh, very few. I did see one many years ago.’ I mentioned that I worked in the movie industry. The man replied..” oh, that’s nice. What do you do?’ I replied, ‘I am an actor ‘ The man nodded, ‘Oh, that’s wonderful!’ And that was it… When we landed, I held out my hand and said, ” It was good to travel with you. By the way, my name is Amitabh Bacchan !’ The man shook my hand and smiled, “Thank you… nice to have met you..I am J. R. D. Tata!”I learned on.that day that no matter how big you think you are, there is always someone *bigger*. Be humble, it costs nothing.
(Source: The Internet and Social Networks. While some articles say, it was the actor Amitabh Bacchan, others say it was the famous actor Dilip Kumar. Regardless of the actor, it was behaviour of the Great Indian personality J.R.D. Tata which teaches one about humility.)