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

From “Being Helped” to “Helping”

“Those who are the happiest are those who do the most for others.” Booker T. Washington

Raising children is never easy. From the first child, parents or guardians have to devise a system which encompasses love, teaching, helping and guiding them to live a life rich in love, joy, of right values and principles. From infancy to toddler-hood, being too small to do the simple things like brushing their teeth, the morning routine, tying laces or filling a glass of water; these are done by elders, adults or even the bigger children. Yet along the way as they grow older, at times, the coddling doesn’t stop. When an adult puts on shoes for a healthy seven year old, something has gone wrong somewhere. When a healthy ten year old child refuses to make their bed, put their toys away or need to be fed their breakfast; the “coddling” may be a little overdone.

“You will discover that you have two hands. One is for helping yourself and the other is for helping others.” Audrey Hepburn

Every child needs their space to grow. Once they are let to do s, only then will they develop and learn to think. Basic life skills are necessary for any child. They start young, from being able to put on their shoes themselves, to dressing themselves and helping small in the household. When a child from school refuses to note their father’s tired face and demand to go out for shopping a new toy; alterations and right changes have to be made in the set routine to ensure that these children grow up to responsible and develop humaneness fr the society of tomorrow.

“Never get tired of doing little things for others, sometimes those little things occupy the biggest parts of their hearts.”  Unknown

As children are taught to help in the simple things of life, they bloom internally and learn to gain joy on helping others. Rightly said that, “Charity begins at home”; what these young minds learn, observe and undergo in their childhood are carried over to their adulthood and eventually, these same teachings, principles and feelings are carried down over to the generations that they raise. There’s an interesting post from one of my social network pages (translated to English), that goes on to show how children can be taught as “What can we do for you ?”

Being the “grownups” of today, we need to teach our children to “help after being helped when they were small”, so that the basic values of kindness, love, humaneness and service are always carried on, in the future society.

“Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love.” Martin Luther King Jr.

Today I understood raising children correctly. The mother-in-law came to us, as always, brought a bunch of gifts to the children, as always, began her little aggressive concern:
– Let me smear you a sandwich! Let me wear you socks! Sit-sit, grandmother will wash the apple-clean-cut-lay!
As always, this is a bit annoying and even annoying for all of us. I have independent children, who clean their own sandwiches and smear apples. And then there was such a stunning stream of turbulent activity!
And a six-year-old son suddenly asked at dinner:
“Grandma, what can we do for you?”
– What? – Grandmother did not understand.
– You do so much for us! – Ilya explained, – You take care of us, care for us. So I ask, and what can WE do for YOU?
He so matured, so deliberately said it, that I felt myself at that moment, as if an angel from heaven had come down and handed me the medal for motherhood. All my pedagogical throwings, all my megawatts of energy and kilometers of nerves, piles of books on education, thousands of arms that fell, all came together today and crystallized into the phrase: “What WE can do for YOU.”
Ksenia Smyslova

“People will forget what you said, people may forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou

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Posted in Family and Society, Life, Personal Musings, Quotes, Reflections, Work

When on the “Other Side”

“But here I am in July, and why am I thinking about Christmas pudding? Probably because we always pine for what we do not have. The winter seems cozy and romantic in the hell of summer, but hot beaches and sunlight are what we yearn for all winter.” Joanna Franklin Bell

While on the drive back from work, being the passenger had benefits of giving some free time to think. On reviewing the events and activities of midweek left the mind pondering on the subtle balance on the way one thinks of life. recalling to mind, the innumerable mishaps, lucky escapes, second chances as well as the problems faced and overcome both at the work front and at home, leaves one wondering if life on the other side would have been better. The notion that “grass may be greener on the other side” is there within each one of us. While we may knowingly refuse to acknowledge or promote it, similar thoughts often surface especially when one hits any hurdle, be it physical, social, emotional or mental.

“And I’d like to give my love to everybody, and let them know that the grass may look greener on the other side, but believe me, it’s just as hard to cut.” Little Richard

While it may be human to think of “the green grass on the other side “; learning to think of one’s own side as well as the fences all around one may change the way of thinking from being resentful or inner misery to one of gratitude for the blessings till now. Beside doing so, would help to improve their “own share of grass”.

Before one complains about life, think about those who have left life too early with their hopes or desires incomplete, forced but never by own free choice, leaving behind a trail of grief, regrets and sorrow.

Before listing the issues with our own children, their vices and habits; think of those who long for children but cannot have them. Even worse, think of those parents who have their family broken as a consequence of vices, disease, crime, natural disasters, accidents or events beyond their control.

Before one says words of hatred, anger or swear because of the disorder at work or at home, think about those who are less fortunate, unemployed or live on the streets. On complaining about the distance one needs to drive daily, think about those who walk the same distance on foot. When tired and weighed down or complaining about work; think about those who have been recently unemployed or left their jobs due to personal issues, or have been hunting for their education based employment for quite some time.

Gratitude or blessings that one has been showered on often goes unnoticed. One never realizes that their own lives are at times envied by others. Each one has their own share of worries, same with “every other side”.

“The grass is always greener on the other side – until you get there and see it’s AstroTurf. Symbols are never reality. Someone might have amassed material success and fame, but that doesn’t mean they’re happy. So, don’t go judging a person’s life by the cover.” Karen Salmansohn

When thinking of “the other side”, there are innumerable parameters that can be measured or weighed. One never realizes how lucky they were, unless one goes without it. Through centuries and time, life still teaches us that, while the grass may or mayn’t be green on the other side; unless one learns to appreciate and take care of the grass that one has or owns, it will too wither and die.

“Even if the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, keep to your own side; it’s where you belong. There you can plant your own grass and tend to it.”
Richelle E. Goodrich, Slaying Dragons

“I looked through others’ windows
On an enchanted earth
But out of my own window–
solitude and dearth.

And yet there is a mystery
I cannot understand–
That others through my window
See an enchanted land.”
― Jessie B. Rittenhouse

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

When in a Quandary

Flights cancelled due to bad weather. Consequently connecting flights lost. Whether refunded or not, the planned visit, trip, seminar or conference mayn’t work with plans delayed, changed or cancelled.

Daycare and school cancelled owing to unforeseeable circumstances. Grandparents out of town. No leave available. Working from home for both parents aren’t an option. Adjustments and decisions need to made quickly so that children aren’t left alone during office hours.

Stuck in a traffic block and getting late for an appointment, all this happening even though one had started off early.

Traffic diversions. Routes re-routed. Unprecedented road chaos. Job insecurities. Health affected. Promotion with long distance transfer. Lost employment opportunities. Loans and bills overdue.

During all the above scenarios and many more that may have a similar resonance to the above situations; evoking the same feelings of sudden disappointment, fear of the unknown, acute helplessness at the situation and disturbance of the routine or the expected; the words of the psalmist echoes in my mind, ” I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.” (Psalms 121:1-2)

Each of us, have our own share of problems and difficulties, maybe known only to us; while others perceive a rosy picture. Yet God above, who has created us, knowing every hair on our head (Luke 12:7) will never forsake us. Troubles will always come, in one form or the other; but tackling them, for any Christian, requires immense Faith and Trust that His Grace will always be with us. While on one hand, we do put our complete Faith in the Lord; on the other hand He demands us to still put our efforts and deal with the situations as best as we can (1 Timothy 5:8). When we allow God to work in our lives through Faith, it is by His Will that plans go, though at the same time, we continue our life and work by His Principle and His Teachings as the Scriptures have and still are teaching us.

For the practising Christian, there are innumerable places where when things have gone out of hand, sudden unexpected help had changed the scene or after a series of what may mean as “lost opportunities”, blessings in a more better manner with more feasibility or rewards were received, bringing peace and happiness within. When the balance tilts, the most important thing is to keep the Faith and go on giving one’s best shot, no matter what may come. God will always help is His Time, by His Will as per as His Plans, especially when Faith, Courage and Trust never waivers.

Psalm 121
1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

3 He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

5 The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.

7 The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
8 the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.

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

Leave the Perch

“We cannot become what we want to be by remaining what we are.”- Max DePree

Holidays or long weekend breaks are not just a break from work to relax, but serve as a platform to engage with family, friends and neighbours. In the process of “engagement”, one always learns something new. With children, it’s often a tussle of learning to play the game or sport of the time, get theatrically busy with home productions or simply explore the outdoors with them, the nature’s way. An impromptu gathering of neighbours, friends or family brings “the experimental chef” mode back on, brushing up on the music, instrument or dancing skills among others. Time off from the daily schedule of work, involves indulging in the bucket list or wish list ranging from new hobbies, adventure sports or seeing new places.

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” Neale Donald Walsch

The underlying common essence of holidays is to step beyond the regular zone and try something new. We all need our own zones to be comfortable, sane and happy. Our zones should be like a second skin, protecting us as well as helping us to remain happy. Yet when the zones become too familiar, mundane or deteriorating into a rut; it’s time to get moving and re-frame the environment, mind and oneself.

“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” Dale Carnegie

Life is like a big canvas. The picture we paint can’t be done by staying in one frame for so long. When the branch one is perched, obscures the view ; then it’s time to leave it and fly to another. Flitting around will never get us anywhere, but staying on one perch will neither be of any use. Attempting to invest time, discipline, self effort and will to improve oneself will benefit the lives that we lead, to be one of enrichment than mediocrity. Dream right to fly and step out of the “comfort zones” that one is often shackled to, by free will and choice. There’s a big world out there to live, experience and see; and time always has a mind of it’s own.

“The best piece of advice someone has ever given me was ‘do it scared.’ And no matter if you’re scared, just go ahead and do it anyway because you might as well do it scared, so it will get done and you will feel so much better if you step out of your comfort zone.” Sherri Shepherd

The Falcon and the Branch

Once a king received two magnificent peregrine falcons as a gift from one of his vassal state. They were the most beautiful birds he has ever seen. Though the Falcons were still quite young at the time, they were beautiful specimens groomed for keeping in his court specifically. The king called the head falconer and handed the two beautiful birds to be trained. The falconer trained the birds for months. But one day the falconer informed the king that one of the falcons was flying and soaring high in the sky while the other has not moved from its branch since the day it had arrived.
“I’ve never come across a bird as stubborn as this before,” the trainer complained to the king. He went on to describe how the creature ignored, refused and stubbornly lashed out at his every attempt. “May be there is something wrong with this bird. It just won’t fly.”said the trainer. The falconer was one of the best in the land, his talents widely lauded by all who knew him. So, the king decided to give the trainer some more time to make the bird fly. Months passed but the falcon never moved from the branch. The kings summoned all healers, sorcerers and other trainers from all the land to make the falcon fly. But none of them succeeded and the bird did not move from its perch.

One day a farmer was passing by the palace and heard about the stubborn falcon who wouldn’t fly. He thought he would give a try to make the bird fly. Having tried everything else, the king was desperate to make the bird fly, so he allowed the farmer attempt to make the bird fly. The next morning while the king was thrilled to see the two magnificent birds soaring high in the sky from his balcony. The king did not witness the feat himself, so he had the farmer brought before him to answer to his questions.

“I would like to know your secret,” the King said. “Tell me, how did you, achieve what the most highly trained, intuitive and wise men could not? How did you make the falcon fly?”
The farmer peered up from beneath his brow. “It was actually quite simple, your highness. I just cut the branch on which the bird was perched.”

We all are made to fly. But at times we we sit on to our branches, clinging to the things familiar to us and never attempting for a change. The possibilities in the world are endless, but most of it remains undiscovered because we never attempt to go beyond our comfort zone. We conform to the familiar, the comfortable, and the mundane. We need to go outside of our comfort zone, destroy the branch of fear we cling to and free ourselves to the glory of flight!

“Be willing to step outside your comfort zone once in a while; take the risks in life that seem worth taking. The ride might not be as predictable if you’d just planted your feet and stayed put, but it will be a heck of a lot more interesting.” Edward Whitacre, Jr.

Posted in Christian, Family and Society, Life, Personal Musings, Quotes, Reflections

Words for “Tomorrow”

“There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One of these is roots, the other, wings.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

For every newborn that is born, there are numerous hopes and dreams as well as love radiating in their parents’ eyes. Each newborn has their own story behind them. While some enter a loving home from birth; few others face a home of “differences” and some even face tragedy or misfortune from the cradle on. Yet for every child or newborn; there is a prayer and wishes running in the mind of the adults that they meet, from parents to guardians as well as grandparents, relatives, neighbourhood, community and society on the whole.

“Children are not casual guests in our home. They have been loaned to us temporarily for the purpose of loving them and instilling a foundation of values on which their future lives will be built.” James Dobson

Children are the roots of the society. Without them, the very root of the social and adult existence holds no meaning once when their own time runs out. For every child of the future, boy or girl; certain pertinent lessons are learnt directly or incidentally so as to brave the future society and world on the whole.

“When you hold your baby in your arms the first time, and you think of all the things you can say and do to influence him, it’s a tremendous responsibility. What you do with him can influence not only him, but everyone he meets and not for a day or a month or a year but for time and eternity.” Rose Kennedy

Earnestly hope for every young mind to master any craft, art or any undertaking that they love, regardless of their position, background or education received; so that their own hands can always feed, cloth and shelter them.

Hope that every young mind will see at least a little world in order to stop regretting their own land, understand that since the time of the fall everything is about the same as well as know that “the grass is not always greener on the other side”. What matters more is what one does with that grass or land; water to let the “green prosper” or let it stand still to wither from the elements of time, weather and season, without care or nurture.

“Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children.” Charles R. Swindoll

Patiently learn to endure and combat physical as well as mental pain; learning to handle it and temper them such that they are dealt with in the right manner; trying in the process to not inflict the same or as little as possible to cause pain for others.

Foresee that money though a necessity of life, doesn’t bring happiness and peace along with it, if it is made the central part of lives. Money has it’s worth as long as one can use it for harmony, peace and spread kindness through it, not for the lone purpose of one’s own selfish interests or betterment. Money when shared right an just, increases it’s value more, both as materialistic realities as well as mental happiness and peace of mind. The more attached we become to money, the more collared one becomes.

“Let parents bequeath to their children not riches, but the spirit of reverence.” Plato

Keep family and fellow beings as the highest priority. Happiness lives within and is encompassed of the simple things of life. The roots lie in the strong sense of love, respect, understanding and kindness that one holds for the other. Family, community and society is a network interlocked with the other and self. When one “standing block” stumbles, it will fall on the rest to hold it up so that the roots and the foundation can be set up again. Elements of nature and time will always weather one down; but when the lattice stays strong, the mind flourishes and the land prospers. For the grid to be strong, every element matters, including own and immediate others.

Hold deep respect for knowledge, sacrifice, history as well as forefathers of the past. On arrival at any prosperous event in life, to remember with grace, dignity and respect of the sacrifices, teachings as well as advice of the elders of generations past and senior. Whether they be better or worse than us during their times or even if they have lived their ways and days different, learning to be silent and listen does a lot of personal good for now and later. Listening with respect and learn to accept and regard advice wisely. While some may have been there readily, others have imperceptibly and subtly influenced the course of events.

“To be a good father and mother requires that the parents defer many of their own needs and desires in favor of the needs of their children. As a consequence of this sacrifice, conscientious parents develop a nobility of character and learn to put into practice the selfless truths taught by the Savior Himself.” James E. Faust

Most importantly and above all, hold true to the Faith, beliefs and ideals as per His Word. Doing right is and has always been as well as will be difficult. Wrong is wrong and sin is sin, no matter the way we project, clothe or explain it. True faith is never light. It involves a lot of self effort, introspection as well as humility to work towards one’s betterment and follow the right ideals of life. Diligence, loyalty, respect, love, faith, kindness, humility and generosity are few of the fruits of the Spirit which form a part of the core fulcrum to live one’s life to the fullest.

“Educate your children to self-control, to the habit of holding passion and prejudice and evil tendencies subject to an upright and reasoning will, and you have done much to abolish misery from their future and crimes from society.” Benjamin Franklin

Every parent, guardian and elder wishes that these were few of the lessons that children learned in life; so that they grow to lead independent, wise and life rich in worthiness, fullness and remain happy. Although one underlying fact stays strong and true;what one knows one will impart. Unless as adults, we learn to do the same; how can children be taught to do better. For every child to do well; as adults, guardians, parents and society as a whole should strive to improve each day in the right way, manner and principles that Faith, Time and Life teaches us again and again.

“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” Frederick Douglass.

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

Learn to “Notice”

Very often, when rushing for the next appointment or meeting, we often hunt for the needed items of the hour, but fail to notice the rest, like the fact that the main laptop power switch was on, the colleague next door was on leave or that the driver of the car parked nearby was having abnormal movements, most likely that of an early stroke. While these details may be excused when overlooked while in a hurry, the mind has become accustomed to seeing what it wants to see. Sadly with the rise of modern era, one of the most frequently lost out art is the power to observe and notice the details.

“To acquire knowledge, one must study;
but to acquire wisdom, one must observe.”
-Marilyn vos Savant

Are the other details important ?

One of the most common feelings that often swamp one are the feelings of regret, guilt and lost opportunities. Unfortunately all these can be avoided by observing the details that may seem unimportant then, but later becomes vital. Time is one factor that will never wait. Besides it’s always the details unasked but observed that make the difference, build and sustain relationships or clinch the idea as well as effect the change.

“Do stuff. be clenched, curious. Not waiting for inspiration’s shove or society’s kiss on your forehead. Pay attention. It’s all about paying attention. attention is vitality. It connects you with others. It makes you eager. stay eager.” Susan Sontag

The observations made by one will be reflected in their words, actions and thoughts later, many a time unknown to them. While we may miss them out at times, learning to look for the bigger picture will help us prevent regrets and fatal errors. Hindsight is a keen thing. Once we reflect back and retrospect and learn from the errors, the more progress we can make ahead in our lives. Each day, hours and minutes of observation are lessons as well as occasions to make our life worth living and making memories to treasure.

“I think that my job is to observe people and the world, and not to judge them. I always hope to position myself away from so-called conclusions. I would like to leave everything wide open to all the possibilities in the world.” Haruki Murakami

Once a teacher said to his student: ” Look around you, and then tell me all the white objects.” The student looked around. He saw a white ceiling, walls, white window frames, a tablecloth, curtains, book covers and many other things.
“Well, Now I want you to close your eyes and name everything in this room that is yellow,” said the teacher. The guy was at a loss: ” But how can I answer you, I did not notice anything!”.
– Now open your eyes and see how many yellow things here !!! Yellow pillows, a yellow frame with a photo, a yellow pencil stand, a yellow rug …
– “But it’s not fair! You yourself told me to look only for the white color,
but there was not a word about yellow!” – the student was indignant.
– That’s what I wanted to show you! You focused and searched for objects of only white color, but did not notice the others.

“Never trust to general impressions, my boy, but concentrate yourself upon details.” Arthur Conan Doyle

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

Facing the Day Ahead

“Love yourself. It is important to stay positive because beauty comes from the inside out.” Jenn Proske

One of the most difficult tasks face especially when juggling between career and family is enjoying life along the way. One of the common scenarios faced in many homes  from dawn to dusk, includes checking off each activity off the list as a part of the routine job, making sure that everything is on time as per the schedule and above keeping things together. Along the way, the worries build up, stress accumulates and one is always constantly “at the list or schedule” looking for the next thing to do.

Many a time, we fail to enjoy the atmosphere at home, with family or even at work. Consequently we often fail to enjoy the happiness which is silently waiting at hand. Balancing is never easy, which is why unless we stick a few facts into our minds, living each day would be in a mundane manner, unknowingly breeding the stress within and cutting off our chances in living life as well as cherishing time and making moments and memories.

“Learn to enjoy every minute of your life. Be happy now. Don’t wait for something outside of yourself to make you happy in the future. Think how really precious is the time you have to spend, whether it’s at work or with your family. Every minute should be enjoyed and savored.” Earl Nightingale

Mistakes do happen. No one is perfect in each and every walk. Know this and let go. Try but enjoy. Worry but don’t overdo it. Give effort, time and God a chance.

Time is precious but so are memories. Spending time with loved ones may mean incomplete yard work or laundry done late or the like; but decide and prioritize. Few things in life that always run it’s due course irrespective of anything is time and age. They always go on.

Schedules do matter, but hand in hand with priority. Going to work on time, making our children reach the school on time and getting for the day as well. Yet prioritize and plan ahead. While one may make leeway for delayed or extra time, it mayn’t happen. Then improvise and modify. Getting stressed, losing the presence of mind or ranting and grumbling never works out. In fact, we lose more time and add to the inherent stress; not solving anything but adding to it. Stay calm, breathe and think. Life will go on.

” Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself, and know that everything in life has purpose. There are no mistakes, no coincidences, all events are blessings given to us to learn from.” Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Let’s live, love and wonder,
Let’s believe, remember and regret,
From happiness to cry, laugh heartily
Let’s live, so as not to grow old in our hearts.

Let’s just admire the Fields,
the sky, the silver of the dew,
And if it is difficult, still do not give up –
Go ahead without lowering your head.

Let’s be sincere in communication,
Honest in words, deeds and deeds,
Let’s believe, holy, without doubts
To live in vain, openly, not in dreams!

Let’s honestly admit
In your mistakes, envy and lies,
Let’s live, love and admire –
Spread your wings with your soul!
– Rus Svyataya