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

It Lies Within

“When your face is cold and boredom,
When you live in irritation and argument,
You do not even know what kind of anguish you are,
And you do not even know what sorrow you are.
When are you kinder than blue in the sky,
And in the heart and light, and love, and participation,
You do not even know what song you are,
And do not even know what happiness you are!”
Edward Asadov

In the world rich of languages, one language common and understood by all is the “language of emotions.” When in the constant pursuit to understand and live the “good emotions”, we hunt down for “happiness, joy, peace, love” to cite a few, in every nook and corner. Little do we realize that good emotions especially happiness and peace knocks on every door. To all people and at all occasions and moments; whether sad or cheerful, depressed or joyful, energetic or listless and devoid of imagination; the “good emotions” aspire to give us the hope for a better tomorrow.

Unfortunately the language of happiness is more often misunderstood. “Happiness”, “Kindness”or “Harmony” for instance doesn’t enter any one’s life with a thunderous roar, fireworks or celebration. True that there are events induced by these emotions that man celebrates; yet those occasions are few and far between. These “good emotions” are always around. They echo the word, “Look for me not around you, but within you”. Good emotions go hand in hand with silence. They are hidden and manifest themselves imperceptibly as the days goes by, in the simple details of life. The earlier we understand this, the more time we get to enjoy “good moments” and treasure the memories as long as we breathe.

“An old man lived in the village. The whole village was tired of him; he was always gloomy, he constantly complained and was always in a bad mood. The longer he lived, the viler he became and more poisonous were his words. People did their best to avoid him because his misfortune was contagious. He created the feeling of unhappiness in others. But one day, when he turned eighty, an incredible thing happened. Instantly everyone started hearing the rumor: ‘The old man is happy today, he doesn’t complain about anything, smiles, and even his face is freshened up.’ The whole village gathered around the man and asked him, “What happened to you?” The old man replied, ‘Nothing special. Eighty years I’ve been chasing happiness and it was useless. And then I decided to live without happiness and just enjoy life. That’s why I’m happy now.’”

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

Kindness Beyond the Haste

“Life is short and we have never too much time for gladdening the hearts of those who are travelling the dark journey with us. Oh be swift to love, make haste to be kind.” Henri Frederic Amiel

Among the many conveniences of the modern world, one of the qualities that is too often lost in the melee of achieving something in our lives, is true humaneness. Very often acts and events related to sharing in society happen, where it involves giving one when having two or giving away the “extras” or “what we no longer use”. Yet when we share while sacrificing a bit of the materialistic pleasures for ourselves and not bragging about it; that merits a true sense of humaneness not restricted simply to what we can share if we have, but lending a hand whenever and how ever we can.

“Don’t let fear or insecurity stop you from trying new things. Believe in yourself. Do what you love. And most importantly, be kind to others, even if you don’t like them.” Stacy London

We all have our own set of people who we don’t really like or approve of. It may be true that they may done us harm at some point in our lives; yet we also have worn their shoes for time. As in there may have been many instances when we may have unknowingly caused hurt to others. No one can please everybody and one can never be always in everybody’s good books. We all have our days. Yet when ever we can, we should burn down all the grudges and learn to help. For man is a collective being, we learn from , through and with others. No matter who or what anybody has done to us at some time, be the reason to do them treat them unkindly when we can.

“It’s not our job to play judge and jury, to determine who is worthy of our kindness and who is not. We just need to be kind, unconditionally and without ulterior motive, even – or rather, especially – when we’d prefer not to be.” Josh Radnor

“In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less, a 10 year old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and sat at a table. A waitress put a glass of water in front of him. ‘How much is an ice cream sundae?’, the boy asked. “50 cents,” replied the waitress. The little boy pulled his hand out of his pocket and studied a number of coins in it.
‘How much is a dish of plain ice cream?’ he inquired. Some people were now waiting for a table and the waitress was a bit impatient. “35 cents,” she said brusquely. The little boy again counted the coins. ‘I’ll have the plain ice cream,’ he said. The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on the table and walked away. The boy finished the ice cream, paid the cashier and departed.

When the waitress came back, she began wiping down the table and then swallowed hard at what she saw. There, placed neatly beside the empty dish, were 15 cents – her tip.”

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, Life, Personal Musings, Quotes, Stories Around the World

Echoes In Us

“A boy and a girl were playing together. The boy had a collection of beautiful marbles. The girl had some candies with her. The boy offered to give the girl all his marbles in exchange for all her candies. The girl agreed. The boy gave all the marbles to the girl, but secretly kept the biggest and the most beautiful marble for himself. The girl gave him all her candies as she had promised. That night, the girl slept peacefully. But the boy couldn’t sleep as he kept wondering if the girl had hidden some more tasty candies from him the way he had hidden his best marble.”

Although this is a childhood tale; at some time in our lives, we would have behaved a little like the boy or the girl. For those of us who remember those moments, the niggling sense of unease fills us all, disturbing our inner peace and quiet. On occasions like these when one looks back, what comes forefront to mind is that, “Was the holding back worth it or would the peace brought by honesty made our day more beautiful instead ?”

“Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.” Thomas Jefferson

As we grow older and mature with age, we realize that there are many things in life that are more worth when shared than kept hidden. There would be occasions that would call for an honest response on one hand, but would cause unrest and distress on the other hand. Dealing with an honest attitude is like stepping into murky waters sometimes. Brute honesty while well appreciated can cause more hurt when delivered in a thoughtless and tactless manner. Being honest isn’t confined to being brute. Instead one can be honest with a heavy dose of kindness laced with gentleness. The endpoint is the clarity of the conscience. There is nothing more disturbing that having a niggling thought intruding the mind, like a pesky buzz near the ear. As we strive to make sure that the conscience is always at ease, life becomes simple, better and sweet.

“A clear conscience is more valuable than wealth.” Tagalog (Filipino) saying

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!