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

Eyes That Watch Us

“Children learn more from what you are than what you teach.” W.E.B. DuBois

As the little toddler grows up in the family, certain mannerisms and phrases have been coming along too quickly for his age. From putting into place a cushion seat for his tiny legs during the allotted television time to aligning his shoes, experimenting with his father’s hair gel and picking up phrases of “Wipe your feet”, “no phone during meal times” and the like; highlights how much more they learn as they watch and observe the adults around them.

“What we are teaches the child far more than what we say, so we must be what we want our children to become.” Joseph Chilton Pearce

As time flies, being parents or guardians of these little wonders, one never realizes how much they significantly imbibe more from the world around them, than what they have been taught in the kindergarten or later even in school. Like the old adage goes, family is the first teacher of a child; the little things that children pick have an immense effect on their future. Whether it be the physical, emotional, mental or social aspects of their life, parents and elders are their first educators.

“Children or babies learn to mimic the vibration of the adults who surround them long before they learn to mimic their words.” Abraham-Hicks

For adults knowing this matters the most; for this silent teaching is what determines the future of those little ones. The errors of the present would require a huge effort in the future to be corrected then, instead of now. Realizing this significance in the present would shape their future thinking, behaviour and character. Time will always go ahead as always. Let the present memories not be those of regret and guilt; but treasured ones as they move ahead in their future lives.

“Your children will see what you’re all about by what you live, rather than what you say.” Wayne Dyer

When You Thought I Wasn’t Looking

When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw you hang my first painting on the refrigerator and I immediately wanted to paint another one.

When you thought I wasn’t looking I saw you feed a stray cat, and I learned that it was good to be kind to animals.

When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw you make my favourite cake for me and I learned that the little things can be the special things in life.

When you thought I wasn’t looking I heard you say a prayer, and I knew there is a God I could always talk to and I learned to trust in God.

When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw you make a meal and take it to a friend who was sick, and I learned that we all have to help take care of each other.

When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw you give of your time and money to help people who had nothing and I learned that those who have something should give to those who don’t.

When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw you take care of our house and everyone in it and I learned we have to take care of what we are given.

When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw how you handled your responsibilities, even when you didn’t feel good and I learned that I would have to be responsible when I grow up.

When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw tears come from your eyes and I learned that sometimes things hurt, but it’s alright to cry.

When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw that you cared and I wanted to be everything that I could be.

When you thought I wasn’t looking, I learned most of life’s lessons that I need to know to be a good and productive person when I grow up.

When you thought I wasn’t looking, I looked at you and wanted to say, ‘Thanks for all the things I saw when you thought I wasn’t looking.’

– Mary Rita Schilke Korzan

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Posted in Daily, Personal Musings, poetry, Quotes, Reflections, Work

Across the Choppy Waters

“Sometimes to change a situation you are in requires you to take a giant leap. But, you won’t be able to fly unless you are willing to transform.” Suzy Kassem

The captain of the ship hasn’t got their job cut out easy. While preparing their vessel for the short or long voyage, navigation charts are consulted, weather reports being analysed both the local and global trend, supplies stocked, medical emergencies anticipated as well as men and cargo to be looked after. When smooth sailing is predicted, there is a slight relief but the guard is still not lost. For the sea for all it’s friendliness can turn into a monster driven at times, by elements beyond it’s control. Unlike the land and air, where there may be a way out; for the ship in the sea, locating itself in the vast blue expanse is not always a possible task especially when a Mayday occurs. Despite all this, once the final destination is set, the captain steers his vessel across both the pleasant and the choppy troubled waters; always forging a way ahead.

“When written in Chinese the word “crisis” is composed of two characters – one represents danger and the other represents opportunity.” John F. Kennedy

Just like the captain, we all have our own vessels to steer. For a family who has lost their maternal light to the young lady diagnosed with terminal illness or the investor who has suffered a major loss, the farmer who had lost his heavily funded crop, jobs made redundant, loss of scholarship due to poor choices and many more; the immediate future lies ahead bleak, stark and troublesome. Yet it is while navigating these roads that one learns to find their own inner strength as well as work once again, keeping His Word and His Will in sight. Although before starting off across the roads of the future, one has to decide to do so and not be in haste to make quick decisions and bury their head in the sand, hoping it would be all over soon.

“Anyone can give up, it’s the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that’s true strength.” Unknown

Ask any captain and they will tell that the only way across a storm in middle of the journey is the way through, till one finds a rest stop. Any person who has battled difficult illness and survived, would tell prompt treatment instead of denial will help better. For the student who has lost scholarship, finding multiple jobs and pulling up their grades would help to stay on. Staying at rest for long never helps. Instead face the trouble squarely and find a way out through the tempest. For it is only through the bad situations in life, that one discovers the best and hidden talents of themselves.

“When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.” Harriet Beecher Stowe

See It Through

When you’re up against a trouble,
Meet it squarely, face to face;
Lift your chin and set your shoulders,
Plant your feet and take a brace.
When it’s vain to try to dodge it,
Do the best that you can do;
You may fail, but you may conquer,
See it through!

Black may be the clouds about you
And your future may seem grim,
But don’t let your nerve desert you;
Keep yourself in fighting trim.
If the worst is bound to happen,
Spite of all that you can do,
Running from it will not save you,
See it through!

Even hope may seem but futile,
When with troubles you’re beset,
But remember you are facing
Just what other men have met.
You may fail, but fall still fighting;
Don’t give up, whate’er you do;
Eyes front, head high to the finish.
See it through!

Edgar Guest

Posted in Daily, Life, Personal Musings, Quotes, Random Thoughts, Reflections

Remove by their Root

“A flower falls, even though we love it; and a weed grows, even though we do not love it.” Dogen

Working on the patch of garden with my little toddler was fun time. Although those little hands were busy with the spade to loosen out the mud; the major fun lay in the activity of pulling out the unwanted weeds, popping up in amidst the patch of chrysanthemums. Initially their stalks used to only come off. Later on he had painstakingly ensured that the entire weed, along with its’ roots was collectively removed. As long as the thrill of getting his hands muddied wasn’t negated, he enjoyed the fun time in the little flower bed. The surprising part about weds is that, one doesn’t water or nurture them; yet they still come up.

“Pull them out by their roots.”

As the weeding process was going on, one can’t help look into the personal weeds in our lives. Whether those weeds be as false influences, challenges, setbacks, wrong beliefs, negative people, biased criticism and so on, the list is always endless. There is always something cropping up in our lives at the wrong time and unwanted places bringing about the negative energy and slowing down one’s own potential. At each stage of one’s life, they occur in different forms.

“ You cannot expect to live a positive life if you hang with negative people.” Joel Osteen

 

Letting the crop of weeds grow and multiply out of sheer laziness, lack of prioritizing or neglecting them without foreseeing the future damage, would result in an increased load of work and trouble in the not too distant future. On the other hand, when timely dealt with, these weeds would be nothing more than a difficult situation easily conquered.

“Dwelling on the negative simply contributes to its power.” Shirley MacLaine

On dealing with the negative aspects that one encounters in life, is to the to the root of the problem and deal with them one by one. Eventually the unwanted weeds may be regrouped into something more beautiful or removed to make way for the better surroundings to shine. The only caution is to pull out the negativeness in it’s entirety. Else just as one believes them to be removed, they would crop up with double the strength later on, being a nuisance more then than now. As each crop of problems arise, solving and settling them from their root level help us come out of the situation soon; giving fresh courage, experience and hope to face the next crop of trouble or negativeness as they come fresh again.

“As time goes by, you seem to weed out the things that were making your life hard.” Tom Petty

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

Maintain the Balance

“To put the world right in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must first cultivate our personal life; we must first set our hearts right.” Confucius

Of recent, few multinational companies have been allotting compulsory leave days for their top employees. These few days after every four months or so, come with a half pay and an order not to be seen in the company premises for either completing the new projects, clear the back log or develop new ideas. The whole idea was to “take a break” from the professional life and grow the personal one. In a way, these organizations have done this so as to increase the employee productivity as well as better the general work efficiency on the whole.

“No other success can compensate for failure in the home.” David O. McKay

When a young adult enters the modern career world, the importance is laid in establishing a good professional life, earning good money and save for the future. As time goes on, one may start a family or become a part of one. Being social beings, we crave for close relationships and bonds as thick as blood. Yet once family and friends arrives, certain things may be taken for granted; especially time spent with the latter. When one realizes the error soon, time may be left to pick up the broken links and rebuild them.

“In family relationships love is really spelled t-i-m-e, time.” Dieter F. Uchtdorf

In the process of rebuilding, the metal once scarred or bent mayn’t be as strong as it looks. For the builder it involves immense effort to re-link the chains as compared to when building in flow with the fresh meta links. While wealth, riches, fame and materials are necessary for the social or professional order in life; it is the close knit web of family and bonds that help one to heal, grow, nurture and flourish away from the outside world. As one nurtures or is being nurtured by the family, the children of tomorrow are minor extensions of today. These inquisitive minds learn more from actions and deeds than words. In order to live life to the fullest, learning to balance the entire framework of professional as well as personal life is what brings fruit to the former. Time is always there to reform as long as one decides to put their priorities and focus in the right manner.

“The single most important factor in our long-term happiness is the relationships we have with our family and close friends.” Clayton M. Christensen

‘So now you have a farm, two houses, and four cars, correct?’ asked Marcelo. Ivan nodded. ‘Well done!’ Marcelo smiled amicably to his old friend. ‘And what else have you got? A master’s degree from University of Chile, a good and stable job, and what else? Money, ah, how much money have you got? More than a hundred million pesos, I suppose?’
Ivan did not reply, but his smile meant a ‘yes’ to all of the questions. ‘And with all of these in your hands, you’re still the first to arrive at work and the last to leave, yes?’ For the second time, Ivan nodded. ‘For how long?”Three years and a half.’ ‘Oh, poor Ivan Espinoza,’ Marcelo sighed. For a moment he stopped talking. The conversation that previously was filled with laughter and jokes suddenly turned itself into a deep silence. Marcelo gazed over Ivan and tapped his right shoulder tenderly. An air of confidence was transpired from the light of his eyes, despite his graying eyebrow. ‘My friend, did you see that table?’ ‘Yes,’ Ivan glanced to a table next to them. ‘How many legs?’ ‘Four’
‘If you break one of the table’s legs, will you have a balanced table?’ ‘No’
‘So is life. It’s got four legs: education, money, a job you love, and a family you adore. If you break one of life’s legs, you will have an imbalanced life,’ remarked Marcelo. Sighing, the man paused for a little while before continuing. ‘Now you have a good job, money, and proper education, but you don’t see your children except when they are asleep before and after work. Is that a balanced life? You work for your family, don’t you?”Yes.’
‘So why do you work so hard but spend less time with them?’
Written by Subhan Zein

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

The Mark Left Behind

“How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world.” William Shakespeare

Walking into the shopping centre (similar to Walmart) downtown, unknowingly one would be found scanning their eyes at random for the familiar face of the friendly store clerk. On spotting that familiar “friendly face” shopping becomes easier especially when figuring out the offers. One longs for that similar friendly face in public offices, the court as well as at the municipal office, to get the unfamiliar procedure, forms, certifications and the rest sorted out to the layman.

In this era, where time always runs short for everybody; offering help, being kind, of grace and courteous isn’t always easy. Amidst loads of paperwork, targets to be achieved, over time hours, less holidays, rushing through two to three jobs to make ends meet; doing a job with utmost professional gains at time more importance than being kind, helpful and humane. For those who learn to balance both; their faces leave a distinct impression in the minds of those who meet them.

“Some people come into our lives, leave footprints in our hearts and minds and we are never the same again.” Jared Leto

Besides the work that we do for the basic bread and butter, the individual prints of approaching each turn that life takes one through, shows hint of the true character and underlying personality. Our every action, word and deed echoes more about ourselves than the promises that we make. The inner person reflects what it is within, for the world outside to see. Just like every vessel will pour out what it has or contains, so will a person leave their prints behind. While the first impression may be the best one; if the ones that follow aren’t true, losses would happen in the long run. Being kind and true within is what makes the difference in the lives of each person, whether it be their social, personal or professional life.

“Do things for people not because of who they are or what they do in return, but because of who you are.” Harold S. Kushner

The old man shuffled slowly into the restaurant. With head tilted and shoulders bent forward, he leaned on his trusty cane with each unhurried step. His tattered cloth jacket, patched trousers, worn out shoes, and warm personality made him stand out from the usual Saturday morning breakfast crowd. Unforgettable were his pale blue eyes that sparkled like diamonds, large rosy cheeks, and thin lips held in a tight, steady smile.
He stopped, turned with his whole body, and winked at a little girl seated by the door. She flashed a big grin right back at him.

A young waitress named Mary watched him shuffle toward a table by the window. Mary ran over to him, and said, ‘Here, Sir . . . let me give you a hand with that chair.’ Without saying a word, he smiled and nodded a thank you. She pulled the chair away from the table. Steadying him with one arm, she helped him move in front of the chair, and get comfortably seated. Then she scooted the table up close to him, and leaned his cane against the table where he could reach it.
In a soft, clear voice he said, ‘Thank you, Miss . . . and bless you for your kind gestures.’ ‘You’re welcome, Sir.’ She replied. ‘And my name is Mary. I’ll be back in a moment and if you need anything at all in the mean time, just wave at me!’ After he had finished a hearty meal of pancakes, bacon and hot lemon tea, Mary brought him the change from his bill. He left it lay on the table. She helped him up from his chair and out from behind the table. She handed him his cane and walked with him to the front door. Holding the door open for him, she said, ‘Come back and see us, Sir!’ He turned with his whole body, winked and smiled, then nodded a thank you. ‘You are very kind.’ he said softly.

When Mary went to clean his table, she almost fainted. Under his plate she found a business card and a note scribbled on a napkin. Under the napkin was a one hundred dollar bill. The note on the napkin read . . . ‘Dear Mary, I respect you very much and I can see you respect yourself too. It shows by the way you treat others. You have found the secret of happiness. Your kind gestures will shine through to all those who meet you.’ The man she had waited on was the owner of the restaurant where she worked. This was the first time that she or any of his employees had ever seen him in person. 

Written by Steve Brunkhorst

 

Posted in Christian, Daily, Personal Musings, Reflections

Follow the Rays

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:5)

Towards the wee hours of the morning, the lights were lit and bags were kept in the trunk. Pairs of sleepy eyes being huddled and buckled into their car seats. With a strong cup of Joe and steaming thermos of tea, we were off for the three hour drive to the main family homestead. With the centenary celebrations of the hometown cathedral where my spouse was christened, this trip was a must on the calendar. As the hours progressed, the drive felt like we were following the light cast by the rays of the rising sun.

“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” ( Palm 119:105)

Mornings are a beautiful way of God saying that He Loves Us. The golden light that dispels the fear of the night and the darkness. On the regular days, it feels special to be woken up by the light rays of dawn. Stepping out in the fresh morning air, with the quiet chirping of the feathered friends and the fresh smell of the dew, they offer strength to face the day. The bright light of the morning sun often reminds me of the Word of God, offering hope and guidance during the dark days, promises of His Love and forgiveness through the wrongs of our lives. His Word lights up the dark skies and brings the rainbow after the heavy showers. No matter where one is stuck, His Word brings us out. Such is His Love for His Children.

“You are like light for the whole world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a bowl; instead it is put on the lampstand, where it gives light for everyone in the house. In the same way your light must shine before people, so that they will see the good things you do and praise your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16)

Morning
Clinton Lee Scott

From the East comes the sun,
Bringing a new and unspoiled day.
It has already circled the Earth and
Looked upon distant lands and
Far-away peoples.

It has passed over mountain ranges and
The waters of the seven seas.
It has shown upon laborers in the fields,
Into the windows of homes,
And shops, and factories.

It has beheld cities with gleaming towers,
And also the hovels of the poor.
It has been witness to both good and evil,
The works of honest men and women and
The conspiracy of knaves.

It has seen marching armies, bomb-blasted villages
And “the destruction that wasteth at noonday.”
Now, unsullied from its tireless journey,
It comes to us,
Messenger of the morning.
Harbinger of a new day.

“The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.” (Psalm 119:130)

Posted in Daily, poetry, Reflections, Work

Challenge of the Change

“Opportunity often comes disguised in the form of misfortune, or temporary defeat.” Napoleon Hill

One of the most important requisites for living the comfortable modern life is “professional security (once known as job security)”. From the early years of childhood, stress is laid on completing academics, gaining a professional degree or mastering a course and ultimately being securely employed. The final objective was to earn a comfortable income to support, sustain and prosper for oneself. The price for this would range from foregoing doing something that one loves especially in the creative arts of writing, music or theatre ; to training and mastering oneself for a specific vocation or skill to bring the bread and butter to the table. The initial days of putting the new found skill at test may involve less returns with more efforts till an opportunity presents itself for a better outcome. Then the innate response to resist the change would lie in the disguised security and comfort zone of the present.

“What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise.” Oscar Wilde

One never realizes their true potential if one refuses to evaluate the options for a change as they surface. In such situations, one may miss out on taking the opportunity to strike out and move along a different plane for the fear of losing out on the perceived benefits of the present. Those times, what may work best is when few principles are followed. Primarily does the change help us grow for the better. Second is whether the new opportunity, in the long run, aids us in the professional capacity. Third and above all, if the change brings forth the pleasure to work and peace of mind in doing the task at hand. The world is huge and big enough to accommodate the varied range of skills and talents. Yet staying with apparent surety of the known, refusing to explore the new out of fear and insecurity may cause regrets to surface in the later years.

“Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it.” Buddha

Reflecting on Life

Take time to stop today
Take time to stop a while
Reflect on how life changes
Then take the time to smile

Know that as the days go by
These things that challenge you
Will one day just be memories
Of times you have gone through

Look back now on yesterday
And all you have achieved
Recognise the strengths you’ve gained
The blessings you’ve received

One day in the future
You will think about today
You’ll see just how these challenges
Have helped you on your way

Written by Michelle Tetley
©2007