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

Writing on the Stone

“Instead of focusing on that circumstances that you cannot change – focus strongly and powerfully on the circumstances that you can.” Joy Page

Bad days, we all have had our fair share of them. While we may envy others’ and wonder why do our days go wrong, what we have to think about instead is, why it went wrong. Sometimes the answer doesn’t lie with us, but in the circumstances that surround us. Either ways, when to know to let go is as important as when to learn to appreciate the good things that we are blessed with.

“Whatever good things we build end up building us.” Jim Rohn

Setbacks are no stranger to each one of us. Every person has their own share of struggles, stress and worries. At some point in our lives, we all have been deceived, struck down and lost relationships. Learning to survive and cope solely depends on how much we let go and how much we keep within ourselves. Being at the receiving end of the “wrongs” hurts a lot, but remembering the “good things done for us” makes those setbacks seem less painful. Carve the good done for us in solid rock to withstand the troubled waters and gales when they strike again. As for the “bad moments”, learn from them and write them on the sand so that over time, the winds will ease the sorrows and pain, rendering the forgiveness that each one of us are due to receive.

“You can live your life angry, bitter, mad at somebody or even guilty, not letting go of your own mistakes, but you won’t receive the good things God has in store.” Joel Osteen

“Two friends were walking through the desert. At one stage in their journey, they had an argument and one friend slapped the other one in the face. The one who got slapped was hurt, but without saying anything he wrote in the sand, ‘Today my best friend slapped me in the face.’
They kept on walking until they found an oasis, where they decided to have a wash. The one who had been slapped got stuck in a mire and started drowning, but his friend saved him. After he had recovered from his shock, he wrote on a stone, ‘Today my best friend saved my life.’
The friend who slapped and saved his best friend asked him, ‘After I hurt you, you wrote in the sand and now, you write in stone, why?’ The other friend replied, ‘When someone hurts us we should write it down in sand where winds of forgiveness can erase it away. But, when someone does something good for us, we must engrave it in stone where no wind can ever erase it.’”

“The more you talk about it, rehash it, rethink it, cross analyze it, debate it, respond to it, get paranoid about it, compete with it, complain about it, immortalize it, cry over it, kick it, defame it, stalk it, gossip about it, pray over it, put it down or dissect its motives it continues to rot in your brain. It is dead. It is over. It is gone. It is done. It is time to bury it because it is smelling up your life and no one wants to be near your rotted corpse of memories and decaying attitude. Be the funeral director of your life and bury that thing!” Shannon L. Alder

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Posted in Daily, Food, Stories Around the World, Work

Stepping Above the Complaints

Going for a walk in the farm can be a tedious if one isn’t fond of trekking or nature hikes. For along the paths, there are numerous small stones strewn alongside. While they were initially put in place to mark boundaries for the sown fields and as paths, with the frequent winds and foot traffic they often get displaced and serve more as a hindrance than as a boundary. As i was walking, stepping over the stones; it brought memories of the footpaths near the sites where construction was going on. One has to watch the way, not just for stones but also for manholes, cement, gravel and the like.

“We can throw stones, complain about them, stumble on them, climb over them, or build with them.” William Arthur Ward

All this reminds me of life, as we go on our route. We come across numerous “stones” en-route. Some we kick about, some we step over and few get into our footwear. Along the way, we keep on complaining and rambling about how inconvenient things are. But alas, it doesn’t change anything.

“When you complain, you make yourself a victim. Leave the situation, change the situation, or accept it. All else is madness.” Eckhart Tolle

Life throws her challenges to us, shaping us and hoping that we would learn from it. By complaining and ranting we just go off track and lose purpose. Instead, finding a way around it, makes the day more interesting, delightful and meaningful; worth the time, energy and peace well-spent.

“People visit a wise man complaining about the same problems over and over again. One day, he decided to tell them a joke and they all roared with laughter. After a few minutes, he told them the same joke and only a few of them smiled. Then he told the same joke for a third time, but no one laughed or smiled anymore.
The wise man smiled and said: ‘You can’t laugh at the same joke over and over. So why are you always crying about the same problem?’”

“It doesn’t matter what cards you’re dealt. It’s what you do with those cards. Never complain. Just keep pushing forward. Find a positive in anything and just fight for it.” Baker Mayfield

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

When Measured By the Same

“You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.” Malcolm Forbes

All of us have our own set of scales to assess people. Interestingly what we don’t realize is that the way we measure others and declare that they don’t meet up to the mark, would astound us when we try to measure ourselves by the same scales. Our existence in this world reflects on the balanced act of how we treat others as well as the standards by which we set ourselves to live by. For both to be synchronous to attain a harmonious and peaceful existence, one would need to remove the beam from one’s own eyes before removing the mote from the eyes of others. For the shame in oneself when the scales are reversed will be disheartening and tragic.

“If you want to see the true measure of a man, watch how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.” J. K. Rowling

The wife of a poor man was cooking butter, and he was selling it in one of the groceries. His wife was cooking oil in the form of circles weighing a kilogram. And he sold them to the grocer and bought the necessities for his house. One day, the grocer doubted the weight of the oil he bought and, after weighing each circle, saw that they weighed 900 grams. He was angry with the poor man. The next day, when the poor man came to him, he met him in anger and said to him, “I will not buy from you anymore, because you sell me butter, saying that it weighs a kilogram, and it weighs only 900 grams.”
Then the poor man, being upset and dropping his head said, “ We, oh my lord, do not have scales, but I bought sugar from you and made it for myself to measure, in order to weigh the butter with it.”
“Know that your measure will be measured and you!”

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

For “Better” Tomorrow

“You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.” ~ Abraham Lincoln

Many of us keep planners and appointments, sometimes a s a part of our work requirements and other times to get our work done. Not to get the context wrong, keeping planners is important for without a plan, one would be steered wrong and get lost in the chaos. Yet as life will teach us, there are certain that we can’t keep postponing or rescheduling waiting for the “better tomorrow”.

As we go about our day, keeping a continuous watch on our humaneness is a must irrespective of whether we are in a lack of time or stressed and so on. The more we make excuses, the higher the chances that things will be put off again for the “next tomorrow”. The joy of the gift of “present” or “today” is realized only when we look back at the “yesterday” from the “tomorrows” that we enter. Unless we learn to treat the relationships of today with respect, give time for oneself today and be kind now; there would be no guarantee that tomorrow we may be able to do so. Being aware of this is important as “Time” is known for its fickle nature.

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Learn from it… tomorrow is a new day.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

We think tomorrow we will be more diligent
And better, more useful, kind
Today we are rude, but tomorrow we are gentle,
After all, tomorrow we will be wiser.

Tomorrow we will see an old friend,
And tomorrow we will write to our relatives.
And tomorrow we will do someone a favor,
Not only our own, but someone else’s.

Tomorrow we will forgive each other without reproach,
And tomorrow we will understand each other.
And tomorrow we will apply the whole experience of spiritual lessons,
and will carry it out!

Tomorrow we will repent in the life of a barren
In the last death-delirium.
Dress naked, feed the hungry,
Share someone else’s need.

So in the plans for tomorrow, then hidden in the fog,
Year after year is carried away …
And what if tomorrow takes and deceives?
What if it doesn’t come at all?

Vera Kushnir

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

Fruitful but Maligned

Somethings Never Change.

Returning from the workplace last evening, felt like a scene back from the high school days; with the immense relief felt when escaping the hurtful environment of words, snide comments and remarks, done on the pretext “good-natured” ribbing.

“Some people won’t be happy until they’ve pushed you to the ground. What you have to do is have the courage to stand your ground and not give them the time of day. Hold on to your power and never give it away.” Donna Schoenrock

Fast forwarding from school days to college and university and then on to the work area, these things still keep happening. Ironically while today often grievous insults and behaviours come to front; in a very large scale, bullying is still been done in a very silent manner. As children, initially when related to parents and teachers; most of the time one is told to take things in stride or to deal with it in a quiet manner. Once when things get out of hand, authorities are involved. Though by then, most damage is done. This same cycle, involving the bully, bully-victim and victim continues on through the lives of the involved.

Breaking this trend is never easy. The first start is through education both at home and school grounds, followed by neighbourhood and community. As children, the streak of cruelty and bullying varies depending on temperament, environment and influence; though school is the place where they exercise it very often. Curbing these tends and making them understand the harm caused is important.

“Words have great power that could make or break others…so please be care with them.” Timothy Pina

Recently one teacher decided to share her experience in a similar situation. Her method was very successful, so she decided to talk about it in one of the social networks; which has been posted below.

“Once, before starting classes, I went to the store and bought two apples. They were almost the same: the same color, about the same size … At the very beginning of the classroom hour I asked the children: “What is the difference between these apples?”. They were silent, because there was not really much difference between the fruits. Then I took one of the apples and, turning to him, said: “I don’t like you! You are a nasty apple! ” After that, I threw the fruit on the floor. The disciples looked at me as if they were crazy. Then I handed the apple to one of them and said: “Find something in it that you don’t like and throw it on the ground too”. The disciple obediently fulfilled the request. After that I asked to transfer the apple further. I must say that children easily found some flaws in the apple: “I don’t like your tail! You have a nasty skin! Yes, there are only worms in you! ”They said, and each time they threw an apple on the ground.
When the fruit came back to me, I again asked if the children saw any difference between this apple and the second one, which all this time was lying on my table. They were again confused, because, despite the fact that we regularly threw an apple on the floor, it did not receive any serious external damage and looked almost the same as the second one. Then I cut both apples. The one that lay on the table was snow-white inside, everyone liked it very much. The children agreed that they would have eaten it with pleasure. But the second was inside brown, covered with bruises, which we set for him. Nobody wanted to eat it. Then I said: “Guys, but this is because we made him that way! This is our fault! ”
In the class there was a deathly silence. A minute later, I continued: “The same happens with people when we insult or call them names. Outwardly, this practically does not affect them, but we inflict a huge amount of internal wounds!” Before my children, nothing ever came so quickly. Everyone began to share their life experiences, how unpleasant they were when they were called names. We all cried one by one, and then laughed together,” the teacher told her story.

“With ignorance comes fear- from fear comes bigotry. Education is the key to acceptance.” Kathleen Patel

Posted in Life, Personal Musings, Quotes, Stories Around the World, Work

Finding the Peace

“As we all know, there is inner beauty and outer beauty. If we examine inner beauty, to me there is nothing more beautiful than inner peace, in a man or a woman.” Alice Greczyn

Nature has always withstood the test of time, surviving amidst the chaos and regaining the inner calm from the storms. Likewise, we humans are always in a constant silent battle between the external influences and the inner being in order to preserve one’s harmony, peace and quiet. As the outer forces try to knock us off our track; staying true to oneself echoes to the world that each one rules oneself. Even in the midst of the chaos, true inner peace still rules us as long as we remember to acknowledge, nourish and cherish its’ existence.

The parable of peace

Once a rich man wanted to hang a picture in his room, at one glance at which he would feel at ease in his soul. And for the most “quiet” picture, he promised to pay one million. Learning of this, artists from different parts of the country began to send him their work. After reviewing thousands of paintings, the rich man chose only two, which seemed to him the most successful.
The first was bright, rainbow and peaceful. On it, the artist depicted an absolutely idyllic landscape: the crystal clear blue lake glistened brightly under the rays of the summer sun, the trees standing around stretched towards the water with their branches; majestic white swans cut through the watery surface, and on the horizon could be seen a village and graceful horses grazing in the meadow.
The second picture is radically different from the first. On it, the artist depicted high cliffs, at the foot of which the sea raged. The storm waves were so high that they reached almost the middle of the cliff. Low dark gray clouds obscured the sky, and at the top of the cliff were frightening silhouettes of trees, illuminated by flashes of lightning.
To call this picture calm even the language did not turn. But, if you look closely, you could see a small bush that grew out of a gap in the rock. On it was a small nest with a tiny bird inside. She hatched out her chicks with a proud and imperturbable air, without worrying at all about the insanity surrounding her.

What picture do you think the rich man chose? Of course, the second. Because it radiates peace of mind much stronger than the first. After all, real peace is manifested not when everything is quiet and serene around, but when, in spite of everything that happens around you, you continue to keep calm inside yourself!

Posted in Christian, Life, Personal Musings, Quotes, Work

Echoes of Praise

“Not to be cheered by praise, not to be grieved by blame, but to know thoroughly one’s own virtues or powers are the characteristics of an excellent man.” Satchel Paige

“Praise” is one of the more dangerous attributes even when given free of choice has the potential to destroy a person, settling on one slowly and like rust begins to erode. Then a person who was once mentally and emotionally strong becomes dependent on praise, craving for it.

“You can’t let praise or criticism get to you. It’s a weakness to get caught up in either one.” John Wooden

When the “words of praise” are not heard; one begins to look for them everywhere, at times compromising on one’s standards, abilities and perfection just to hear those words. Then efforts are made to hear those words to boost the self vanity, to the extent that one fails to acknowledge the actions, consequences and reality behind the empty words of praise.

“The trouble with most of us is that we would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism.” Norman Vincent Peale

When there is no praise, the mood then deteriorates, things get worse; all because “no one appreciates me.” As a result, the person is not working from the heart with the fruits of the Spirit in mind. Work, interactions and character becomes a need to appease one’s self-esteem, accumulate more pleasant opinions about himself and not an honest reflection of one’s true being. The opinions of other people though momentary, changes our essence.

“The biggest challenge is to not be affected by praise because a lot of it is not from the heart. Being true to yourself about your strengths and weaknesses, when everyone out there has a strong opinion and wants to give advice, is another challenge.” Tena Desae

It is sad if we do good deeds only for the sake of this short flash – “I was praised.” For woe beckons to the man who spends his strength, effort and energy to earn the approval of others. One of the terrible sins is vanity, because after vanity and praise is lost a person is left with nothing.