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

Far from the Blanket

“Judgments prevent us from seeing the good that lies beyond appearances.” Wayne Dyer

One of the benefits of shopping over the weekends is the discount sales that are commonly offered. Yet on closer scrutiny at the price list, our requirements, the discount amount with the manufacturing and expiry dates, at the end of the day; the weekend rush isn’t worth the effort for the offered discount. For the days when we need them, they do help. But when weekends are the only day to recuperate from the busy week, spending some personal time as well as family time may be more worth with the treasures of memories.

“It is with our judgments as with our watches: no two go just alike, yet each believes his own.” Alexander Pope

Comparing this with few situations in our life, many a time we make judgments under the guise of certain notions or thinking. Yet on close scrutiny, one may discover that not everything is as it seems to be. Very often, we tend to put people under an umbrella. Like during school days, the scholarship as well as class toppers were believed to be geeks; yet imagine the surprise when their added talents ranged widely in the field of music, arts and some in sports as well. Similarly at the workplace or the community, when one is busy labeling the others; we lose out not only on their friendship but also the kinship that we would establish once we really get to know them. No one is like the other; neither do all fit under one blanket. When asked about ourselves, this dictum would be what we would prefer others would use to view us; then why not the same for them too. In life, open minds and kind words go a longer way than sudden opinions, quick judgments and hasty impressions.

“In our judgment of human transactions, the law of optics is reversed, we see most dimly the objects which are close around us.” Richard Whately

Not everyone who is punished is guilty.
Not everyone who is acquitted is not guilty.
Not everyone who called himself a brother is a brother.
The unity of souls is not due to blood.

Not everyone is a friend who held a hand,
Not every enemy really hates.
Raised dagger is not so dangerous,
Like a thirst for revenge in the most hidden form.

Not everyone hugging is in love,
And standing on the side is indifferent.
Not everyone is inspired by the bright feeling,
Who flies his ears with flattery.

Not everyone falls under the pattern,
but each created it once.
And he does not suspect that he is the
same for someone “not everyone” ..
– Rus Svyataya

“Do not condemn the judgment of another because it differs from your own. You may both be wrong.” Dandemis

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Posted in Daily, Family and Society, Life, poetry, Quotes, Reflections, Work

From the Ashes to Hope

“The darkest hours are just before dawn.” English proverb

Of recent times, the town had seen a couple of new start ups’, businesses that have been flourishing over the past three years. Initially they had started small, one had crashed in between and had later had caught on; while few others had stayed steady on from the beginning. Yet what comes to mind on walking down the market road, was how fragile time is and how we must learn to rise up every now and then from the ashes of our efforts, similar to the phoenix.

“Hope lies in dreams, in imagination, and in the courage of those who dare to make dreams into reality.” Jonas Salk

 

As per the Greek mythology, the phoenix (Ancient Greek: φοῖνιξ, phoînix) was a long-lived bird that cyclically regenerates or is otherwise born again. Associated with the Sun, a phoenix obtains new life by arising from the ashes of its predecessor. The phoenix is believed to die in a show of flames and combustion, although there are other sources that claim that the legendary bird dies and simply decomposes before being born again. Among the different traditions concerning the lifespan of the phoenix, by most accounts the phoenix lived for 500 years before rebirth. Among the old records of Herodotus, Pliny the Elder, Pope Clement I, Ovid among others, the retelling and transmission of the phoenix motif has been done in detail. As per these historical records, the phoenix symbolized renewal in general as well as the sun, time, the Empire, metempsychosis, consecration, resurrection, life in the heavenly Paradise, Christ, Mary, virginity, the exceptional man, and certain aspects of Christian life”. In the Old English Exeter Book,  an anonymous 677-line 9th-century alliterative poem has been written consisting of a paraphrase and abbreviation of Lactantius, followed by an explication of the Phoenix as an allegory for the resurrection of Christ.

Þisses fugles gecynd fela gelices
bi þam gecornum Cristes þegnum;
beacnað in burgum hu hi beorhtne gefean
þurh Fæder fultum on þar frecnan tid
healdaþ under heofonum & him heanna blæd
in þam uplican eðle gestrynaþ. (In the Original Old English)

This bird’s nature is much like
to the chosen servants of Christ;
pointeth out to men how they bright joy
through the Father’s aid in this perilous time
may under heaven possess, and exalted happiness
in the celestial country may gain. (In Modern English translation )

Source:Thorpe, Benjamin; Corson, Hiram (1842). “Codex exoniensis. A collection of Anglo-Saxon poetry, from a manuscript in the library of the dean and chapter of Exeter”. p. 244.

 

“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.” Helen Keller

In the various phases of one’s life, we have all our “phoenix” moments, to rise from the ashes of downfall. With the turn from winter to spring, nature teaches us time and again that hope will bear fruit as long as we aim to work for it. With the new crops planted in the last few weeks, one can hardly believe that few months ago it was the time of cold, dry and rainy days of the winters. As the season changes and time moves on, staying stuck lasts only as long as we allow it to be so. Like all plans and dreams that may be fulfilled or go astray; it’s the will to survive that beats the intermittent thunders and storms in one’s life as well as to dust ourselves from the ashes to start rebuilding.

“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.” Desmond Tutu

 

I will return as grass in spring,
I’ll try to reach you, germinating,
As buds reach forward to the green
When they are waiting to awaken.

To start the blossoming anew
One morning, secretly and shyly,
Already sparkling with the dew,
That dries away if sun is shining.

The sun arises every time
To warm the humid earth for seeding,
It reaches joyously your eyes
But I already do not see it.

It cannot raise my heavy eaves,
My closed eyelids, cannot force them.
And it’s ridiculous to grieve
For me as for a single person.

For I am grass and autumn leaves
That fly and fall to putrefaction,
But there is nothing new in these
Banal ideas and reflections.

It’s the eternal hope and dream –
To be, to stay, at least, as grass does,
To grow through the soil in spring
And join the life, the new one, lasting.

Gennady Shpalikov

 

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

Choices, Expectations and Opportunities

“Applications are closed.”

The above sentence, seen across recruitment pages of websites, office circulars, school bulletins and so on; have caused numerous emotions, ranging from regret, anger, hopelessness, defeat, despair to feeling of unfairness, on the events that have taken place. Yet one constant reminder through all these circumstances is the irrevocable fact that time is always short and the windows or doors are left open only for a limited period of time.

“Opportunities are like sunrises. If you wait too long, you miss them.” William Arthur Ward

 

Reflecting back on missed chances, the reason for the delay when examined seem inconsequential then but significant now. From the excuses of lack of time, failure to read the notice, busy schedules, lack of planning and the like; all these when compared to the chances lost lead to severe regret and mental anguish for a time.

“Change can be frightening, and the temptation is often to resist it. But change almost always provides opportunities – to learn new things, to rethink tired processes, and to improve the way we work.” Klaus Schwab

As history has taught us, every one gets their fair share of opportunities, but unless we keep our eyes, ears and minds open with hearts and will brave, we will never have the option to use them. “Fortune does favour the bold.” Not because they were lucky, but they were willing to change to give a try. Contrarily always flitting around in search of greener pastures, would cause us to miss the fruit that the first garden bore. As nature always teaches us, everything happens in His time as long as we take the Chance when offered, instead of whiling away in self comfort and idleness. If one chance is missed, learn from it and don’t lose out on the next.

“A great attitude does much more than turn on the lights in our worlds; it seems to magically connect us to all sorts of serendipitous opportunities that were somehow absent before the change.” Earl Nightingale

 

The parable of “Not a Fulfilled Dream”

There lived a young man in the world. And he had a dream – to have a high-paying job, marry a beautiful woman and become famous throughout the world. Once in a frosty winter, a man was in a hurry for an interview at a well-known company.
Suddenly an elderly man fell right in front of him. The man looked at the fallen, the thought arose in his head that he was most likely drunk and did not give a hand. This helped not to be late for the scheduled meeting. But the interview was unsuccessful: the person was not taken to the desired position.
Somehow a man walked around the city on a summer evening. Noticing a troupe of street performers, he stopped to enjoy the spectacle. After the end of the action, applause rang out and people began to disperse. The young man also turned back, but someone timidly touched his shoulder. It was the main character of the play, the old woman-clown. She began to ask him about whether he liked the show, whether he was pleased with the actors. But the man did not want to lead the conversation and, disgustedly turned away, went home.
Once on a rainy evening, a man hurried home from a friend’s birthday. He was very tired, and thoughts of a fragrant bath and a cozy warm bed flashed through his head. Suddenly he heard someone muffled sobbing. This is a woman crying. She sat on a bench near the man’s house, without an umbrella. On noticing the young man, she turned to him for help. She had a family affliction. And she needed only a spiritual companion. The young man wondered, a bath and a bed appeared in front of his gaze, and he hurried into the porch.
This man had lived an unhappy life. And he died. Once in heaven, a man met his Guardian Angel. He said, “You know, I lived a very miserable and worthless life. I had three dreams, but nothing came true. It’s a pity.” “My friend,” the Guardian Angel replied, “I did everything to make all your dreams come true, but for this you only needed your hand, your eyes and your heart.”

– Do you remember a fallen man on a slippery winter road? I will now show you this picture … That person was the CEO of the company you wanted to get into. You waited dizzy career. All that is required of you is your hand.
– Do you remember the old clown who, after a street performance, came to you with questions? It was a young beauty actress who fell in love with you at first sight. You were waiting for a happy future, children, undying love. All that was required of you was your eyes.
– Do you remember the crying woman near your entrance? It was a rainy evening, and she was soaking wet from tears … It was a famous writer. She was experiencing a family crisis, and she really needed emotional support. If you helped her to warm up in her apartment, to warm herself with Soul thanks to your wise words of consolation, she would have written a book in which she would have told about this incident. The book would become known to the whole world, and you would become famous, because on the main page the author would indicate the name of the person who became the muse of this work. And all that was required of you then was your heart. You were inattentive, my friend.
The man sighed and walked along the lunar path into the star’s distance …
Listen to the world, it offers opportunities. One should not only ask for help, but also be able to accept the help and help others with dignity.

“To succeed, jump as quickly at opportunities as you do at conclusions.” Benjamin Franklin

 

Posted in Daily, Life, Reflections

Time for “Own”

“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” Aristotle

With the current pace of today, finding “alone time” takes a backseat. Multiple reasons can be attributed to the lack of “me-time”. Professional, person or family and even community obligations always take up a few more precious seconds. Yet once in a while, it feels wonderful to leave everything to get some quiet time.

Research has shown that at least ten minutes per day to indulge in self time really helps. Speaking from a personal viewpoint, taking time for one, be it a whole day or couple of hours, depends on one’s choice. A few minutes of indulging in one’s personal interests to a whole day of the same; should both serve the same purpose. Of being happy and finding a sense f calmness and peace of living in the daily melee.

Be sure to leave at least one day for yourself. Get up when you want.
Take your time to drink fragrant mint tea or aromatic coffee.
Leisurely walk. Confused tracks among the favorite streets of the city.
Or maybe spend the whole day at home, in soft beloved pajamas,
leafing through the pages of your favorite book.
At last, to do what one had long dreamed of.
Pick up a camera, and maybe a brush and paint.
Bake a cake for a new recipe. Learn the first words in French.
Just live the day the life you dream about.
Just be yourself. Just be happy …
Anna Koryagova

Posted in Daily, Family and Society, Life, poetry, Reflections

To Curb the Unrest

“It isn’t what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about it.” Dale Carnegie

Some days, as we head about the daily grind or schedule, a sudden gush of unhappiness may slice the feeling of joy. The sudden unrest, feeling of uneasiness and irritation often stems when we start looking at our lives, through the shades of others’ lives. Comparison is a two edged vice, for when done in the right way it may help us grow and aim for the higher objective. Yet when approached and viewed by the wrong measures, it causes severe discontentment blotting out the regular peace of our lives.

“Many people lose the small joys in the hope for the big happiness.” Pearl S. Buck

To be content and at the same time, to try to grow for the betterment of one, is a delicate art, which when learnt can be an aid to achieving the simple joys of live. Being content is a feeling that one often fails to find i the modernity and complexity of this world. The sad truth is that things are really simple. For life has many joys and pleasures across its’ time, although it may seem murky from far. Learning to delight in the simple joys of life, helps us find and fulfill the purpose of our very existence.

“Because one believes in oneself, one doesn’t try to convince others. Because one is content with oneself, one doesn’t need others’ approval. Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts him or her.” Lao Tzu

Contentment

It was spring but it was summer I wanted; the warm days and the great outdoors.
It was summer but it was autumn I wanted; the colourful leaves and the cool dry air.
It was autumn but it was winter I wanted; the beautiful snow and the joy of the holiday season.
It was winter but it was spring I wanted; the warmth and the blossoming of nature.
I was a child but it was adulthood I wanted; the freedom and the respect.
I was twenty but it was thirty I wanted; to be mature and sophisticated.
I was middle-aged but it was twenty I wanted; the youth and the free spirit.
I was retired but it was middle-age that I wanted; the presence of mind without limitations.
My life was over but I never got what I wanted.

Source: “Calm My Anxious Heart” by Linda Dillow

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

The Worth of Every Effort

“Knowing trees, I understand the meaning of patience. Knowing grass, I can appreciate persistence.” Hal Borland

Entering into the work zone every morning, is like walking into a different time frame. From childhood we have been told to take pride in doing our work, be it simple household chores, completing homework or assignments on time, getting involved in school sports, drama or musicals, working for college scholarships, the university Christmas choir and the like. The focus was laid on doing well so as to bear fruit. As we grow older one realizes that not everything bears fruit with immediate effect. By working hard, there is guarantee that the task would bear fruit to be the selected or winning project; or despite all the hard work, sales target mayn’t be met or more clients , may be lost than gained. Yet the underlying benefit of enjoying and working to one’s maximum potential, is knowing that one has tried their respective best. That mental satisfaction is worth every penny of one’s sweat.

“Indeed, this life is a test. It is a test of many things – of our convictions and priorities, our faith and our faithfulness, our patience and our resilience, and in the end, our ultimate desires.” Sheri L. Dew

 

Each one of us have our own difficult scales to balance. From managing family and work, to taking care of aged parents, managing the kids, night classes to attain the additional professional degree, juggling two jobs to repay the loans; each one knows their own struggle. Being discouraged and disheartened despite all the efforts is human. In those moments, it’s alright to take a breather, regroup, refocus and find the inner muse to get going. For once one decides not to drop the gauntlet, staying true to the efforts with the inner drive pushing one on; the ultimate outcome would be heartening, beyond one’s wildest hopes and dreams.

“Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after the other.” Walter Elliot

 

The Other Side of the Wall

There was a young woman who took great pride in the growth and care of the flowers in her flower garden. She had been raised by her grandmother who taught her to love and care for flowers as she herself had done. Like her grandmother, her flower garden was second to none. One day while looking through a flower catalog she often ordered from, a picture of a plant immediately caught her eye. She had never seen blooms on a flower like that before. “I have to have it,” she said to herself, and she immediately ordered it.
When it arrived, she already had a place prepared to plant it. She planted it at the base of a stone wall at the back of her yard. It grew vigorously, with beautiful green leaves all over it, but there were no blooms. Day after day she continued to cultivate it, water it, feed it, and she even talked to it attempting to coax it to bloom. But, it was to no avail.
One morning weeks later, as she stood before the vine, she contemplated how disappointed she was that her plant had not bloomed. She was giving considerable thought to cutting it down and planting something else in its place. It was at this point that her invalid neighbor, whose lot joined hers, called over to her. “Thank you so much! You can’t imagine how much I have enjoyed the blooms of that vine you planted.” The young woman walked through the gate into her neighbor’s yard, and sure enough, she saw that on the other side of the wall the vine was filled with blooms. There were indeed the most beautiful blooms she had ever seen. The vine had crept through the crevices and it had not flowered on her side of the fence, it had flowered luxuriantly on the other side.

Just because you cannot see the good result of your labour does not mean that it bore no fruit.
Author: Randy Reynolds

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” Harriet Tubman

 

Posted in Daily, Family and Society, Life, Quotes, Reflections

At a Child’s Pace

“Let the child be the scriptwriter, the director and the actor in his own play.” Magda Gerber

Every morning, before going off to work, my toddler sees me off before going to his day care. As his centre is close to my work place, the daily morning walk is all of ten minutes only. Yet some days we both take almost thirty minutes to get there by foot; for then we walk at his pace. Walking at his pace involves, stopping to watch the traffic, examine the caterpillar crawling across, collecting the smooth round pebbles near the stream and bringing along the sturdy sticks to his daycare and back to home as well.

“Children are not things to be molded, but are people to be unfolded.”  Jess Lair

At times, the mothers’ pace in me comes to full force, with loud “Hurry up’s”, holding his hand and flying ahead, not stopping to look at the “distractions or landscape”. These situations are later compensated when we go homeward bound in the evening. The memories of “walking at a child’s pace” are beautiful.The warring thoughts in their mind, while attaining their “collectible treasures” of “funny shaped rocks”, watching the pigeons drink the water, seeing the frogs leaping across with various emotions flitting across their faces offer refreshing joy and peace to the adult mind. Leave them in the garden alone, with child safe measures and behold, its’ like watch fountains of joy and laughter explode like hot springs. Watching them ponder and examine what they see, the wonder of seeing the “big cars, JCB’s, buses” on the road (for the miniature toy ones are in their control) and their joy in the simple things of life are treasured moments.

“Curiosity is the wick in the candle of learning.”  William Arthur Ward

Living with the speed of a child is never easy for us adults, but when we do, the joy of experiencing the little delights that life offers makes the “slowing down” all the more worth. Over the years, this valuable time is what helps not just our children to grow, but also help us adults to handle the bad days with these happy moments. For the “child’s‘ pace” teaches us to find time to notice the wonders’ of the skies, the smell of the earth and be surprised by the simple but beautiful things that life offers us.

“A child can teach an adult three things: to be happy for no reason, to always be busy with something, and to know how to demand with all his might that which he desires.” Paulo Coelho