The value of life lies not in the length of days, but in the use we make of them… Whether you find satisfaction in life depends not on your tale of years, but on your will. Michel de Montaigne
As Ralph Marston had said, “If you so choose, even the unexpected setbacks can bring new and positive possibilities. If you so choose, you can find value and fulfillment in every circumstance.”
Are we important ?
We often stumble across this thought at our various stop points or crossroads in our life. Sometimes the feeling that we are of no importance in this world engulfs us. Yet despite the pep talk we give ourselves, there will be days where the feeling that “we are not worth a story” haunts the inner recesses of our emotions. That is when we have to remember a few things.
When we may think that we are not at all important in this world. Remember that someone drinks coffee every morning from their favorite cup which you gave them. Someone heard a song on the radio that reminded them of you. Someone saw a picture or message from you and smiled. Someone read the book you recommended to him and plunged into it. Someone had chuckled to themselves while waiting at a traffic light thinking of their good times with you. Someone remembered your joke and smiled, returning in the evening from work. Someone keeps the notes you have written, the messages you had sent, the emails that you had forwarded or archived the conversations and emails for rainy days, to live the hope they recieved on reading them. Someone now loves themselves a little more, because you had given them a compliment. Someone thought of you while shopping in the grocer’s knowing how much you loved their cookies. Someone misses the good old days where you were a part of their circle. Someone suddenly remembers the parking space, the directions or guidance that you had given without a second thought.
There may be many more instances that we may not even be able to think of, where others have often thought of us even we may have merely met them just once in our lifetime. Never think that we don’t have an influence on anything.Our traces, which we leave behind, even with small acts of kindness can never be erased.
A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love. Saint Basil
“Non nobis solum nati sumus. (Not for ourselves alone are we born.)” Marcus Tullius Cicero
The difference between each person lies in their behaviour, outlook, attitude and approach to life. While collectively we can label one group “selfish” and the other group “kind”, the difference between both is well illustrated in the story below.
A woman who had worked all her life to bring about good was granted one wish: “Before I die let me visit both hell and heaven.” Her wish was granted. She was whisked off to a great banqueting hall. The tables were piled high with delicious food and drink. Around the tables sat miserable, starving people as wretched as could be. “Why are they like this?” she asked the angel who accompanied her. “Look at their arms,” the angel replied. She looked and saw that attached to the people’s arms were long chopsticks secured above the elbow. Unable to bend their elbows, the people aimed the chopsticks at the food, missed every time and sat hungry, frustrated and miserable. “Indeed this is hell! Take me away from here!” She was then whisked off to heaven. Again she found herself in a great banqueting hall with tables piled high. Around the tables sat people laughing, contented, joyful. “No chopsticks I suppose,” she said. “Oh yes there are. Look – just as in hell they are long and attached above the elbow but look… here people have learnt to feed one another”.
Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you’ll find one at the end of your arm… As you grow older you will discover that you have two hands. One for helping yourself, the other for helping others. Audrey Hepburn
One of the simplest things in life is to lend a hand. On some occasions we hesitate doing so without knowing the complete picture, for fear of the repercussions in the society and world, where we can held accountable even if innocent. On those instances, only our gut instincts can help us. Yet in other scenarios, we tend to be lazy and keep our hands buried in our pockets or under the blankets. Ironically we realize our mistakes only when we need help desperately. Helping hands doesn’t have to start big. Even small gestures like cleaning the room, helping an old lady at the grocer’s, giving up a seat in the bus for elders or pregnant mothers, mowing the lawn without being told to do so are all be simple acts to initiate the feel of being helpful. After all, There has to be a purpose of the creation of two hands.
“Somewhere along the way, we must learn that there is nothing greater than to do something for others.” Martin Luther King Jr.
The greatest tragedies were written by the Greeks and Shakespeare…neither knew chocolate. – Sandra Boynton
On my evening shopping spree, as I running through the aisles, the poster announcing a discount on the chocolate syrup on the event of Chocolate Covered Anything Day (December 16th) caught my eye. With a toddler in tow and it being the Christmas season, I couldn’t resist the offer. Usually when I use chocolate in cooking, I lavishly blend it with the desserts and shakes. For simply dipping food in chocolate and just having a bite, leaves the taste buds still craving. Yet for the fun of covering chocolate over variety of foods, I have planned on a chocolate dipped fruit salad, chocolate rice pudding as well as chocolate covered banana fritters (to be on the safe side). Even though the chances are high that no one can resist chocolate, simply rice with choclate is still a weird combination although wheat (roti) and chocolate spread works well. But there is no harm in a little bit of experimentation. With all the fun, personally I feel that the celebration of “Chocolate Covered Anything Day” is simply another reason to justify the need to indulge in chocolate, without triggering the guilty feel.
Chocolate comes from cocoa, which is a tree, that makes it a plant. Chocolate is salad. – Unknown
The irony of matter being multi-dimensional is not confined to physical entities alone.
Here metaphorically speaking, the reference is to people in general. If you ever tried doing anything good or a favour, rest assured that among the three people who have heard of it, at least one would have thought about whether the good part would have benefits. On the other hand, how many times have we refused innocuous favours as we feel they come with strings attached ? Honest answers though bitter would make us realize the multidimensional facet of human nature.
Having said this, we still love each other. Despite the tussles with our respective better half, altercations with family, disagreements with friends and hassles with colleagues and work authorities; nothing would make us change our world in our hearts. While we consider some unreasonable in our books, we might be the same for somebody else in their pages. As nobody is ever perfect, everyone has their unique mould with its own fair share of flaws and the cracks that makes every person a work of art.
Yes, people are unreasonable, inconsistent and selfish. And still love them. If you do good, people will accuse you of hidden self-interest and self-love. And still do good. If you are accompanied by success, you will find secret and obvious enemies. And yet strive for success. The good that you have done today will be forgotten tomorrow. And still do good. Sincerity and openness will make you vulnerable. And yet be sincere and open. What you have built over the years can collapse in an instant. And yet build. People will ask you for help, but they will blame you for it. And still help people. Give the world the best that you have and you will receive a cruel blow. And yet give the best that you have. – Mother Teresa
Everything that a person does when they are taken by surprise is the best proof of what he really is. That which breaks away from the tongue, before it is time to suppress its impulse, betrays the true essence. If there are rats in the basement, then you are most likely to see them if you enter unexpectedly. But no surprise breeds rats; it only prevents them from hiding in time. Nor does the surprise of the excuse or the excuse make me quick-tempered; she only discovers my hot temper.
On the occasion of today being World Savings Day or the World Thrift Day, my niece had received a piggy bank from her school. The concept of dedicating a day to promote the concept of saving or thrift was initiated in order to gain a higher standard of life and to secure the economy in the long run.
While this initiative was started off by the International Savings Bank Congress in 1924 globally, there is another savings account that we all have. Unfortunately many of us don’t hold ourselves liable to this particular account.
All of us are born with an account which is credited with 86,400 currency of either Rupees, U.S. dollars, Australian dollars, Dir-hams, Euros, Yen, Canadian Dollars, Ringgits, Rand or whichever may be the currency of the country we are residing in at present. Yet this account is credited each morning and carries no balance over to the next day, neither is there any overdraft. What we have is just the present account and there is no drawing against future accounts. This account goes by the name of “Time”.
Although you may have heard of this previously, what we fail to realize is that despite knowing all this, we still do end up wasting our time. However today there are three things I would like to stress on. First time is scarce, so although you may or may not work in the profession that you love, find time to do something that you really want to everyday like your hobbies or special interests. It can be anything like reading that novel put off for a long time or trying out new recipes, going for a drive to a place that you have earmarked for a long time. Whatever it may be, take some time to do something that makes you happy and is worthwhile too. It is never about getting the time to do things, it’s whether we want to do it or not. Secondly is the art of time management. While many say it is a skill to be perfected by methodical and concise planning, some days our plans derail completely. That is when we adapt our time as per the priority list, so that by nightfall we have invested at least some time to good purpose. Third and most important is that time wasted is gone. It will never come back but regretting time wasted is even more fruitless. For this endeavor of contrition of carried for long, will cause us to lose out on the time tomorrow. What is gone is over and done with, don’t shackle the guilt to the next day. For then we’ll put ourselves in the chains of regret for long-term.
Granted that all this is easier said than done, effort should be made not to lose what is in our hands. For as the adage goes, time and tide waits for no man.
During my initial days of college life, there used be to a particular poster always put next to the notice board outside the dean’s office. Over the years, variations of the same poster found its’ way outside our campus library as well as in the campus cafeteria. Along the years, towards the last few months of college, it was seen on the walls of a few of our local cafe’s and delis. The posters varied from being a wordle to the full fledged poem of “If”. Written by the Rudyard Kipling, it exemplifies the multitude characteristics essential to become the ideal man. In other words, this poem brings to light the stoicism and reserve seen in the classic British “stiff upper lip.”
Although I suspected that “If” found its’ predominance in my college campus so as to bring the class of students into line with the intent of bringing order and discipline into the campus. To this day, I still believe that “If” did play a prominent though subtle role during the intense situations in college life.
The core of “If” that helped us during our college days was to set parameters to reach the level of maturity in the modern world. It taught us not only to be responsible for the decisions we make in life, but to also stand up for our beliefs with due consideration to the social strictures and seek clarifications when in doubt. Although caution has to be used to see through the lies and know whom or when to give our trust. Even though education opens the doors, the skill lies in understanding which desires or ambitions to achieve and when to modulate our dreams to the current tide so as not to lose our grasp on reality. Above all not to forget our roots and neither to indulge in pompous display of knowledge or skill.
“If” made us realize that neither success stays nor does failure, but preparedness to start again if need be instead of dwelling on the losses or gains of the past. Instead we learn to deal with the disappointment and the grief. For the resilience of the human nature is like the phoenix, to rise from the ashes even if a kernel of hope exists. Above all, learn to make every hour count and then we will to find the world at our fingertips.
My Alma-mater was determined to teach us to not only ride the rough waters waves but also to secure a safe location and drop the Anchor within ourselves during the storm. For us immature youth, they taught us to wear the cloak of dignity with humility and fortitude to reach the maturity of adulthood.