Posted in Christian, Life, Quotes, Reflections

End in the Circle

When we look at the skies every night, one startling fact is that everything that stays in the universe is round, or spherical (perfect or oblate spheroid) to put in better terms. As per the laws of physics, it is a balance of gravitational and centrifugal forces as well as rotational speed that results in the asteroids, stars and planets being spheroid to galaxies being disc shaped.

Putting the scientific aspects into the world of philosophical views and thinking, when we look back through our various phases in life, we come to the understanding that everything boils down to being round especially “what goes around, comes around” like a circle or an oval.

While we see one person at one phase in our life, we realize what the latter had gone through only when we walk in the similar shoes which maybe soon or much later, at another point in our life. Although the Lord made all of us different, in essential unless we learn to appreciate the differences we never realize what a beautiful picture the various versions make.

Joy, feeling one’s own value, being appreciated and loved by others, feeling useful and capable of production are all factors of enormous value for the human soul. Maria Montessori

Each of us has our own life, our own way of life, our own life situations. A person who has not gone through troubles and temptations will not understand the grieving. A happy father will not understand a father who has lost his child. The newlywed will not understand the divorced. A person whose parents are alive will not understand the one who has just buried his mother.

What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness? Jean-Jacques Rousseau

One can theorize, but there is a practice of life. We often don’t have life experiences and when we begin to gain it, we remember those who we had condemned, with whom we were strict and we begin to understand that at that moment we are like dummies. We did not understand how this person felt. We tried to edify them to the view we wanted to see them to make them but he was not up to remarks. Their hearts were filled with grief, their souls were weary and tired, they did not need lectures and lofty words. All they needed at that moment was sympathy, compassion and consolation, but we did not understand it. And when the Lord takes us through the same thing, we begin to feel what the other person felt. This would be one of the “circles of life” that everyone would go through at some point of time or other.

One’s life has value so long as one attributes value to the life of others, by means of love, friendship, indignation and compassion. Simone de Beauvoir

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Posted in Family and Society, Life, Quotes, Reflections

View at the Harbor

As a part of the holiday break, as I live pretty close to the sea; we, the entire family, had decided to spend the morning day at the docks and the beach. That was when I had noticed the hustle and bustle going around. Boats were coming and going, some unloading their catch whereas others were simply travelling for the fun with few capturing few seconds of the delights of the water and nature. Amidst all this, few children were playing on the docks with some passerby slipping in their greetings for the regular boats. On the other hand, some boats came quietly and left, with no greeting or exuberant shouts of joy for fellow boats. The resemblance between the activity at the harbour and our lives are pretty striking.

“Ships that pass in the night, and speak each other in passing,
Only a signal shown and a distant voice in the darkness;
So on the ocean of life, we pass and speak one another,
Only a look and a voice, then darkness again and a silence.”
-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Tales of a Wayside Inn

In life we too have our own set of voyages. Yet on these journeys, we come across a number of ships. Some ships are close ones, while some are strangers. There are those who indirectly go with you in life, not really influencing but being present for some reason. There are those who come close to you and change the course of events in history. There are comings and goings. Some will leave a mark in an instant; others even after having been present for years nearby, will not touch the strings of your heart. It is impossible to predict who will stay with you; sometimes close ones let go of your hand on the edge of the abyss and suddenly strangers will hold your outstretched hands and grasp you tight. We can go on the same road, but look in different directions. We can go on different roads but suddenly we stop at an intersection. And no one knows what will happen in a minute, month, year.

“When anxious, uneasy and bad thoughts come, I go to the sea, and the sea drowns them out with its great wide sounds, cleanses me with its noise, and imposes a rhythm upon everything in me that is bewildered and confused.” Rainer Maria Rilke. 

By entering into someone else’s life or even barely touching it, we leave in it what will become another beacon on the darkest night for him. Be kind, gracious and sincere. This is neither a weakness nor a vice. This is a force that has no price or boastful pride. Say important words to the people who are dear to you in time, because they are of the greatest value especially when we don’t have a guideline or guarantee of how long they can wait for us, or when will they be called. Everything that is so important to the heart has their own time or expiration date. Every word and dded will last only for so long, to the time allotted or it. We are all strangers in this life, closely or partially intertwined with each other. Each touch to your soul, like yours to someone else’s, leaves a mark in the book of destinies and changes the course of events. Be careful, touch carefully.

Posted in Life, Reflections, Stories Around the World, Work

Building the House

There was a foreman. All his life he built houses, but he became old and decided to retire. “I quit,” he told the employer. “I am retiring. I will be with my old woman with grandchildren to nurse. His boss was sorry to part with this man, and he asked him: ” Listen, let’s do it, build the last house and we will retire. With a good premium!” The foreman agreed. According to the new project, he had to build a house for a small family, and it began: coordination, search for materials, testing. The foreman was in a hurry because he had already seen himself in retirement. If he didn’t finish something, he simplified it, bought cheap materials, as they could be delivered faster. He felt that he was not doing his best work, but he justified himself by saying that this was the end of his career. Upon completion of construction, he called the owner who inspected the house and said, ” Now this is your house! Take the keys and move in. All documents are already completed. This is a gift from the company for many years of work.” What the foreman experienced was known only to him alone! He was standing red with shame, while everyone around them clapped their hands, congratulated him on his new home and thought that he was blushing with shyness, and he was blushing with shame for his own carelessness. He was aware that all the mistakes and shortcomings were now his problems, and everyone around him thought that he was embarrassed by an expensive gift. And now he had to live in the only house that he built poorly.
Today we are building a house in which we will move in tomorrow. And how your house will be depends only on you.

Like the foreman, we all are involved in our businesses, work, neighbourhood and various other activities that set off a chain reaction. When we don’t resolve to put our heart into our work, actions and words; considering that the outcome will not affect, we would have never been more wrong in our estimation and forecast.

Everything we do matters. Going about our lives as we see fit, if not right may dearly cost us. Whether with passion or disinterest; with desire to excel or with carelessness; with effort or a lazy attitude, in the end what goes around comes around.

We are all in the process of constructing something in life. When we are not happy with what we see or the consequences of what we have been building over the years, its’ time to change before it becomes too late. Time never waits but when it gives us an opportunity for corrective measures, grab it with both hands before that too is taken out of the picture.

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

Transition: From Old to New

“Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on.” Hal Borland

Approaching the last day of this year, flashbacks are imminent and although the proportions may vary by marked degrees, both happiness, contentment laced with sorrows and regrets cloud the mind. As the New Year celebrations swing into full force, there is an underlying feeling of “expectations of something new” in the mind. Yet when the first day of the next year turns out to be something of the normal or later as the month returns to the normal tune; one has the tendency to be swamped by the “absence of something” which is of course our expectations. Despite having the fun and partying to ring in the year, eventually when things return back to the usual; one often wonders what all the partying and revelry drew in. On one hand, we we do celebrate the new, yet on the other hand; the newness wears off, too quickly at times.

“Develop An Attitude Of Gratitude This Year, And Give Thanks For Everything That Happens To You, Knowing That Every Step Forward Is A Step Toward Achieving Something Bigger And Better Than Your Current Situation.” Brian Tracy

The beauty of the new year lies in welcoming the coming days with grace, gratitude, love, thoughtfulness and kindness. Celebrations have always been a part of our days since the formation of societies and building of civilizations. Yet it is when we lose sight of the ground that we fall too hard into the monotonous tone of the usual. Even though we partake in the fun of the New Year, recalling to mind the Grace and Blessings of the year gone, helps us to start the fresh year with new perspectives, hope and dreams.

– What happens in the world? – And just winter.
– Just winter, you think? – I guess.
After all, I myself, as I am able,
lay traces in your early sleeping homes.
– What is behind all this? – And it will be January.
– It will be January, do you think? – Yes, I think.
I’ve been reading this white book for a long time,
this old snowman with pictures of a blizzard.
– What is all this over? – It will be April.
– It will be April, are you sure? – Yes, I am sure.
I have already heard, and this rumor is checked by me,
as if in a grove the flute was ringing today.
– What follows from this? – It is necessary to live,
sew sundresses and light dresses from calico.
– Do you think all this will be worn?
– I believe that all this should be sewn.
It should be sewn, because, no matter how blizzard or circling,
its bondage and opal are short-lived.
So allow me, in honor of the New Year’s ball,
to offer your hand to the dance, madam, to you!
The silver month, the ball with the candle inside
and the carnival masks – in a circle, in a circle.
The waltz begins. Give, madam, a hand,
and – one-two-three, one-two-three,
one-two-three, one-two-three! ..

Yuri Levitansky

Posted in Life, Personal Musings, Reflections, Stories Around the World

Notion to Concept : Resolutions

And now we welcome the new year. Full of things that have never been. Rainer Maria Rilke

With the year coming to a close, the most frequently asked question and the most discussed topic, besides the plans for the new year, are if one has made any new resolutions for the next year. The tradition of “New Year’s Resolutions” simply translates into a list of resolves to change the undesired characteristics, traits or behaviour, as well as to accomplish one’s list of personal goals, wishes or dreams. Contrary to popular belief, this isn’t technically a new age phenomenon or a modern trend.

“Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.” Neil Gaiman

As far as history has traced to approximately 4000 years ago, early Babylonians made promises to their gods at the beginning of each year to return the borrowed and pay their dues. Similar trend was seen among the Romans as well. Fast forwarding to the medieval era, knights re-affirmed their commitment to chivalry every year by taking the “peacock vow” at end of the Christmas season. There are many religious parallels especially in Judaism, the Lent season where one has to reflect on one’s wrongdoings and make amends.

“Move out of you comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.” Brian Tracy

Yet the trend caught on especially at the end of the Great Depression where more people began to make New Year Resolutions. While research has shown that resolution made during the new year were more likely to succeed, each one has their own story and version of events. All said, if we decide to make them keeping them short, simple, targeted and realistic, will make the resolutions happen. For being human we need to look forward to something each day and resolutions give the hope that things do change when we try.

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language, And next year’s words await another voice.” T.S. Eliot

Posted in Life, Quotes, Reflections, Stories Around the World

Feed which Wolf

The two wolves

A Native American grandfather was talking to his grandson about how he felt. He said, “I feel as if I have two wolves fighting in my heart. One wolf is the vengeful, angry, violent one. The other wolf is the loving, compassionate one.” The grandson asked him, “Which wolf will win the fight in your heart?” The grandfather answered: “The one I feed.”

For those of us who are avid readers of cartoons, comic strips and the “kids fun pages” in the newspaper, may have heard of the famous line, “I am what I am, and that’s all that I am.” These words I first came across when I read Popeye, the Sailor. The truth we become what we feed ourselves. Our actions echo what our thoughts dwell in. The behaviour and our outlook reflects the character that lives as a result of what we think and believe in.

Every day we have plenty of opportunities to get angry, stressed or offended. But what you’re doing when you indulge these negative emotions is giving something outside yourself power over your happiness. You can choose to not let little things upset you. Joel Osteen

In our lives we come across many situations and people. With the unpredictable nature of time, if we react to everything then we end up being buried in a quagmire of bad thoughts and emotions. Instead on dealing with unpleasantness, glean off the bad parts and only retain the better sections. Let the words enter through one ear and exit the other, bypassing the cortical cells which store the memories and words. To an extent while we can’t control what others say to us, what we can control is our reaction to it. Retain the better parts, for those will sustain us. If the bad parts hold no truth, then leave it. Yet if they are mistakes on our part, it’s easier to accept our faults when genuine and then move in. For staying stuck in a rut, is no way to live life.

I realized that if my thoughts immediately affect my body, I should be careful about what I think. Now if I get angry, I ask myself why I feel that way. If I can find the source of my anger, I can turn that negative energy into something positive. Yoko Ono

Posted in Christian, Daily, Reflections, Stories Around the World

Give Us Our Daily Bread

Miracles often occur in our daily life. Sometimes we recognize the, other times we call them coincidences, chance events or circumstances. We try to reason out everything, but on some occasions we reason after the event has happened. Why didn’t we do it then ? Because we were preoccupied or tense or not thinking. In such a case, was it by chance that we had forgotten to think. I had read this story on my social network pages, apparently based on real events and I would like to share it in this special season. This story strongly reminds me of miracles and the power of prayer.

How much does a prayer weigh?

One day, an unhappy woman with a gaunt face entered the store and asked the grocer to give her groceries so she could cook dinner for her children. He asked the woman how much money she had. She replied, “My husband died in the war. And I have nothing but a little prayer.” The merchant admitted that in those days he was not very sentimental and believed that his grocery store was not a place for free distribution of bread to the poor. He casually threw out, “Write it on a piece of paper”, and he continued what he was doing.

To his surprise, the woman took a piece of paper out of her pocket and handed it to the grocer across the counter. She said,” I did it at night when I was looking after my sick child.” Not having had the time to recover from his surprise, the grocer took a piece of paper, but he immediately regretted that he had done this,”what should he do now and how to answer?” Suddenly he had an idea. Without even reading the prayer, he put the piece of paper on the scales and said, “Let’s see what it is worth.”
To his surprise, when he put a loaf of bread on another scale, the scale arrow did not budge. He was even more embarrassed because the arrow continued to stand still, although he quickly put food on the scales, because the other buyers were looking at him. The grocer tried to be rude, but without success. He blushed and therefore became even more angry. In the end, he murmured, “Well, that’s all the scales can handle. Here is the package. You have to pack it all yourself as I’m busy.” Making a sound like a soft sob, the woman took the bag and began to pack the food, wiping her tears with her sleeve as she went about her task. The grocer tried not to look, but in a quick glance saw that he gave the woman a rather large package which still had some space left. Without saying anything, he threw a large head of cheese onto the counter. He did not see the timid grateful smile that flashed in her wet eyes in response to his kindness, whom he had denied with the deceptive impression of his stinginess. When the woman left, the grocer approached the scales, scratching his head and shaking it in bewilderment. He later found the solution.The scales were broken.

The years went by. The grocer often recalled this incident and did not know whether the solution he had found was correct. Why was that woman’s prayer already written and ready to meet his unexpected demand? Why did the poor woman come precisely when the scales were broken? What confused him so that he did not even notice this breakdown and continued to impose products when only a scrap of paper lay on the scale? He felt like a fool and hardly understood what he was doing. The grocer has never seen this woman again. But he had never seen her before. Yet until the end of his life, he remembered her better than any other buyer.

He knew that this incident was not a figment of his imagination, because he still kept a scrap of paper where the prayer of that woman was written: “Please, Lord, give us our daily bread.”

Natalya Solunskaya