Posted in Life, Personal Musings, poetry, Random Thoughts

Start the Change

“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” Albert Einstein

Of recent, two of my childhood friends had quit their careers based on their training. While one switched their passion from advertising to pure art; the other switched from business administration to the kitchen, where the flavours of various cuisines and the science of cooking were learnt on professional lines. These decisions of theirs had given the thought of “dream career” a new meaning.

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” Leo Tolstoy

Each one of us have been blessed with a different skill, the passion towards an art or learning from within. While society may define certain careers as grand or of higher social standing; the reality is that simply pursuing them for the sake of “the social fame” will leave one depressed and dejected in the long run. During my stint as a career adviser during few of the school and adolescent counselling meet, what comes to mind is the words of my professor, “Do what you love, for that is what you will excel in”. If the road towards that dream isn’t feasible now, don’t let the skill die but nurture it, not just so to lose it but to regain own peace of mind, while engaging in it at times. It is never late to make a change in any form. For doing something that one loves, is thousand times far better than not doing it at all.

“For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again.” Eric Roth, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Screenplay

It’s Not Too Late
Ron Atchison

It’s not too late… the angel said.
Even though the world’s a mess…
Even though you’re not that young…
Even though you’ve made mistakes and have been afraid
It’s not too late…
And then I saw the world through the angel’s eyes…
I saw the colors I could paint
The bridges I could build
The lives that I could touch
The dreams that could still come true
And it became very clear to me…
That it’s not too late.

Posted in Daily, Family and Society, Random Thoughts, Reflections

Of Puddles, Mud and Joy

“All animals, except man, know that the principal business of life is to enjoy it.” Samuel Butler

With the autumn rains coming slowly into full swing, maintaining the lawn is a full swing activity as the children gather up the dead leaves, jump in and out of the puddles, save up the coloured leaves for their scrapbook or blow the white fluff before uprooting them. Playtime involves making paper boats, building up dams and forts with the mud, pebbles and water. Watching them reminds me of the real fun moments of life.

“A man is getting old when he walks around a puddle instead of through it.” R.C. Ferguson

At times, adult life takes the toll on one. Full time jobs, basic material things to own, responsibilities piling up, family to raise, budgets to maintain oneself as well as the general things of life; all of them offer more stress now. Seeing the carefree joys of childhood in the small things of life, reminds one that happiness never lies in what is achieved but in how one perceives it. Although out-station trips, expensive gifts or treats have been a source of fun and enjoyment; real happiness can be found in open fields, long walks, quiet time with loved ones, engaging the kids in baking the cake or even dancing to the popular beats and making up own tune. The simple things have a great deal to offer. Let the breeze of the wind mess up our hair, fly with it to feel the smell of earth and the seasons it carries.

“A little nonsense now and then is cherished by the wisest men.” Roald Dahl

One doesn’t need to dance to the beat in perfect synchronous manner. Each one of us ave our own tune. Instead of staying in the sidelines, getting up to dance and sing out of tune brings more joy. More than keeping the moments for the future; each day brings forth something new or better in us. Bucket lists are important; yet the little things of life have their own special treasures to offer. Learning to do them, like the little children, helps one to face life with it’s gifts, lessons, downhills and uphills; all as they come.

 

Posted in Family and Society, Life, Personal Musings, poetry, Quotes, Random Thoughts

To “Get Set…Go”

“Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” Christopher Robin to Pooh, A.A. Milne

With careful precision, a pair of tiny grubby hands steadily held the sticks and fixed them onto the muddy ground. Nearby a pair of dried leaves lay scattered along with a couple of stones and more tiny sticks. The process of building a village map was done with great concentration and considerably deliberate thought. Little does the mind know whether the rain would wash away the model or if the thin sticks would be blown away. They make it because they really want to. For this toddler, getting set and doing is more important than only figuring out the possibility of whether it could be done. For them, to know they have to try it themselves.

“It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that things are difficult” Seneca the Younger

No one knows till they try. This basic innate courage to do the dream is slowly lost as the years progress. While the adult mind has learnt the ability to think; it tends to dwell more in the thinking than the doing part. The possibility of difficulties and fear of losing out features more prominently than getting down and doing. Eventually when one decides to get down to doing it, what runs out fast is “time”. Sad reality of time is once over, it can never be brought back.

“According to the ancient Chinese proverb, A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” John F. Kennedy

Anything big happens with the initial small steps. While the whole world may say that “to think of the possible”; when the heart says the dream is possible, get to doing it. Things will always eventually work out and fall into place. Follow one’s own plan, instead f relying solely on the words around them. Listen, think and act; not simply listen, over think and procrastinate. Over time, one realizes that the beauty of what was once deemed impossible is priceless as it became possible. To experience such feelings of peace, contentment, fulfillment and happiness are few of the simple things that define our lives.

“A problem is a chance for you to do your best.” Duke Ellington

It Couldn’t Be Done
Edgar A. Guest

Somebody said that it couldn’t be done,
But he with a chuckle replied
That maybe it couldn’t, but he would be one
Who wouldn’t say so “till he tried.”
So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
On his face. If he worried, he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

Somebody scoffed: “Oh, you’ll never do that;
At least no one ever has done it.”
But he took off his coat and took off his hat
And the first thing he knew he’d begun it.
With the lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
Without any doubting or quiddit,
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
There are thousands to prophesy failure;
There are thousands to point out to you, one by one,
The dangers that wait to assail you.
But just buckle right in with a bit of a grin,
Then take off your coat and go to it;
Just start in to sing as you tackle the thing
That cannot be done, and you’ll do it.

“You can do anything you decide to do.” Amelia Earhart

Posted in Christian, Daily, Personal Musings, poetry, Random Thoughts

Start Off Today

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

Reviewing the events of the past week, one is forced to acknowledge that certain “things to do” at the beginning of the week, which were initially planned were still left undone. For instance, the clean up drive previously volunteered for, but later given a miss. Or the intense involvement in the tree plantation drive in the neighbourhood, yet failing to spend time with the children and teach them to love nature. Likewise the person who gets to give a seat for the old woman in the bus, but neglects to help in the household chores. Each one of us may have innumerable commitments planned for the future, but the reality lies in what steps has one taken to do a little bit of that significant something today, instead of saving it up for the tomorrow.

“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12)

Unlike the birds of the air who live in the present, the innate nature of man is to live for the future. Yet in this quest wherein one calculates the steps for the future, the fact that today has still not gone by and tomorrow mayn’t be so is often neglected. Time is always on the run. If both run parallel, one would never meet. Instead, it requires one to observe the course and plan a path so that the future begins in today.

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10

Today
Author Unknown

We shall do much in the years to come,
but what have we done today?
We shall give our gold in a princely sum,
but what did we give today?
We shall lift the heart and dry the tear,
We shall plant a hope in the place of fear,
We shall speak the words of love and cheer
but what did we speak today?

We shall be so kind in the afterwhile,
but what have we been today?
We shall bring each lonely life a smile,
but what have we brought today?
We shall give to truth a grander birth,
And to steadfast faith a deeper worth,
We shall feed the hungering souls of earth,
but whom have we fed today?

We shall reap such joys in the by and by,
but what have we sown today?
We shall build us mansions in the sky,
but what have we built today?
‘Tis sweet in idle dreams to bask,
but here and now do we do our task?
Yes, this is the thing our souls must ask,
“What have we done today?”

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

Remembrances over Time

“I believe that without memories there is no life, and that our memories should be of happy times.” Lee Radziwill

With a long weekend break round the corner, it was time to pack off for the stay at the family homestead, where the original family farm was still running strong and where the golden memories of childhood lay. One of the reasons for planning this long overdue stay was for the children to bond with their extended family, spend some time away from the city and live simple, minus the video games, mobile phones, laptops and the like. Although there was an initial resistance, they loved their time spent outdoors with the cattle, gardening, late summer berry picking, early morning fishing and the quiet evening of family games. Seeing their carefree laughter and fun, at times one wishes that they could live their best moments of life once again. That weekend reminded me of the fact that, time only moves forward and ahead, but never backwards.

“Don’t you wish you could take a single childhood memory and blow it up into a bubble and live inside it forever?” Sarah Addison Allen

Most of us have our own cache of memories, some meant for bringing the inner peace during troubled times, some as a solace during the trying days and some that just pop up randomly during self doubt. Like the seasons that change, each one of us make memories every single moment. The innocent “don’t forget to call when you reach”, “take care “, “travel safe” and so on, echo the presence of pleasant feelings when these words surface in the memory. At times, even when the scenarios have changed, these instant memories and candid moments are those which stay on. It doesn’t take much to make each day memorable. A lot of kindness, dash of love, attention and peace, laced with a fresh sense of humour, humaneness and honesty makes treasured moments from each day of life, changing our own lives and those around us subtly and silently.

“Some memories are realities, and are better than anything that can ever happen to one again.” Willa Cather

“I sit beside the fire and think
Of all that I have seen
Of meadow flowers and butterflies
In summers that have been

Of yellow leaves and gossamer
In autumns that there were
With morning mist and silver sun
And wind upon my hair

I sit beside the fire and think
Of how the world will be
When winter comes without a spring
That I shall ever see

For still there are so many things
That I have never seen
In every wood in every spring
There is a different green

I sit beside the fire and think
Of people long ago
And people that will see a world
That I shall never know

But all the while I sit and think
Of times there were before
I listen for returning feet
And voices at the door”
J.R.R. Tolkien

I Sit Beside the Fire and Think is a song by Bilbo Baggins, which he sang softly in Rivendell on 24 December T.A. 3018, the evening before the Fellowship of the Ring set out upon their quest. Bilbo sang the song in the presence of Frodo, after giving Frodo the mithril-coat and Sting. The song is a contemplative piece, sung by a now-aging hobbit recalling past events that ends in anticipation of hearing returning friends.

“Long as the memory of certain beloved friends lives in my heart, I shall say that life is good.” Helen Keller

Posted in Daily, Family and Society, Random Thoughts, Reflections

Balance the Wheels

“Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of riding a bike” John F Kennedy

“Crash!” There is a loud sound amidst the silence on the lawn, followed by the patter of a pair of running feet which lands to a stop in front of the door to the patio. Two little pairs of hands pick themselves pick, brush off the lawn grass off their dress, scramble up their cycles and off they go again. As two pairs of adult eyes watched, the little legs slowly gained their balance and restarted their friendly cycle match.

During the initial days when my preschooler had got his tricycle, he was excited and slowly learnt to ride it. Later as he had gained his balance, he had experimented with his cousin’s bicycle. The first few seating’s were met with multiple falls, though with padded knees and elbows scrapes were relatively less. Albeit he had a fear of the bi-cycle for the balance was of utmost importance and anything that upset it was a sure fall. Slowly he had learn to balance himself, yet even today at times he prefers walking downhill with his bicycle than ride it for the fear that he may lose control and fall.

“You are likely to fall when you stop paddling your bicycle. Such is life. As long as you don’t give up, you will never end up failing!” Israelmore Ayivor

Like the preschooler bicycle rides, adults often find themselves in a similar analogy when learning something new, like driving a two or four wheeler, mastering a new cuisine, art or course, learning a new skill and the like. Life is all learning to balance the rides. During the early phases each one of us prefers to take the baby steps as we feel around life and it’s various aspects. Later as the confidence grows, learning to ride the tricycle is the first step. As one matures, we learn to balance on the two wheeler and then we ride our way through the roads.

As every adult evolves at each new phase; one is still bound to stumble around new or unknown corners, rough graveled roads and fall at sharp turns. Despite all the falls, dusting ourselves, picking off where we had fell and going ahead is more important than the fact that one fell. No matter how many security or assurance one receives, we all are bound to fall. It’s picking ourselves up that matters. Like the preschooler who learns to balance the bicycle, one too needs to brush ourselves and turn around after every wobble, stumble or fall. Once we gain the courage to do so, one discovers that life is a wonderful journey with a beautiful view and memorable ride ahead.

“When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking.” Arthur Conan Doyle

Posted in Daily, Personal Musings, Quotes, Random Thoughts

Silent Change

“How did it get so late so soon?” Dr. Seuss

Watching my toddler buy his new shoes highlights the fact of how fast this little child is growing. Comparing with the regular pattern of behaviour, unlike the constant tantrums and upheavals while leaving the comfort of his home and familiar surroundings, today he is more keen to attend school, accompany to grocery shopping and help out in the garden, in spite of the little bugs and ants crawling around. Over time, there has been a change in the understanding of the world around him. While one observes the changes in others’ especially children, their own changes often go unnoticed. While some changes are good, some aren’t desired ones.

“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” Mother Theresa

One of the less desired changes in the adult life over time, is the occasional “putting off of the goals, priorities, to-do list or responsibilities” which later get morphed into the “art of doing it tomorrow”. Procrastination has been one of the deadliest vices of man. Believing in the ready availability of tomorrow, one often tends to take the today for granted. Little does one remember or acknowledge that, to get to the tomorrow around the corner, one has to walk of today. Instead of walking but taking a few paces, tomorrow will be on the same road and not around the corner. While putting off the seemingly tedious tasks of today, they won’t be gone tomorrow.

One has to do what is necessary to be done, at the given point of time in their lives. Doing it at the right time is what matters.

Too lazy to start on the weight loss goals, do them soon before the “diseases of the modern lifestyle” take complete hold of one’s schedule or life. Putting off the roof repair plans, would result in a collapse during the unexpected downpour. Putting off doing the embroidery hobby one is fond of, do it soon before there is even less time in the future. All it takes is one start for a few minutes. Eventually the flow will set in and before one knows, the task is tried, perfected and accomplished. That sense of self achievement, pride and wonder is one to treasure and review for inspiration and courage during hard moments.

“For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again.” Eric Roth