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

Circles, Time and Again…

“I drop kindness pebbles in still water everyday, and I watch the effect they have on other people’s lives. My favorite kindness pebbles are compliments. Drop a compliment and watch the ripple affect that it has in your life.” John A Passaro

Amidst the melee of living the modern life, very often one never stops to think of the far reaching impact of one’s actions, words and thoughts. Little does one realize that when one is really happy, it blooms from within silently triggering the “blooming effect” in those around them. Similarly with kindness. A single kind thought stems the anger or unrest growing within. That stemmed unrest is instead transformed to kind words, starting off a chain reaction that may or mayn’t end with the initiator. Although it mayn’t end in a full circle, the peaceful and mental calm that kindness leaves behind is worth the effort taken to practise a little bit of kindness daily.

“Don’t look to others to give you happiness. Grow it within yourself and share it with the world around you. Bets are, if you give a bit of your happiness to the world, it will begin a ripple effect, and who knows how many other people you can help. It’s never too late to decide that your happiness (or whatever it is that you want) is yours to create and not the other way around.” Leigh Hershkovich

Time and time again, the existence of few laws of life that withstands the test of time has been proven. Among them, is the law of kindness; which like the ripples of a pebble dropped into water has consequences far reaching even after the initial ripple has faded away. The more one practises creating the “good ripples”, the more one experiences life to its’ fullest with the best moments that the latter offers.

“The help we give to others creates the ripple of good feeling we give to ourselves.” Gina Greenlee

Once in a woman’s apartment a cactus bloomed. Prior to this, it was four years old, stuck on the windowsill, like a gloomy and unshaven janitor and suddenly such a surprise. In pleasant thoughts about a blooming cactus, she accidentally stepped on the foot of a gloomy man in the subway. She didn’t scream her remark as usual with an offended look. But smiled:
“Do not be angry with me, please, I had nothing to hold on to; if you like, you can step on my foot and we will be quits.” The grim man swallowed what he was going to voice about her. Then he went to his station and bought a newspaper. Instead of haggling the saleswoman, confused with the calculation of delivery or calling her stupid, he said to her: ” It’s okay, count again, I am not good at math either early in the morning.”
The saleswoman, who did not expect such a response, was deeply moved and gave free of charge two old magazines and a whole pile of old newspapers to an old man, a pensioner who was a regular customer, fond of reading but buying only one cheap newspaper every day.

A contented old man went home with an armful of newspapers and magazines. Having met a neighbor from the upper floor, he didn’t give her a daily talk on the topic: “your child is stomping around the apartment like an elephant and is preventing rest, it is necessary to bring up better”, but he looked and said: “Your daughter has grown. I don’t understand whom she is more like you or her father, but she will definitely be a fine lady.” The neighbor took the child to the garden, went to work at the reception and did not shout at the senseless grandmother who had signed up for an appointment with the doctor for yesterday, but came today. Instead she said,” Come on, don’t be upset, I also sometimes forget my schedule. You can sit for a minute, and I will check with the doctor the visit for now.” Having received an appointment, the grandmother did not demand that she be given a very effective, but inexpensive medicine that can instantly help cure the disease; threatening in case of refusal to write complaints to all public bodies or media but sighed and said: – “I am not completely out of my mind. I understand that old age cannot be cured, but can you forgive me, doctor, for dragging myself to you all the time. ”

And the doctor walking home in the evening, suddenly remembered his grandmother and felt sorry for her. He suddenly thought that life in its usual rush flies by, and, giving in to a sudden impulse, stopped at the nearest supermarket, bought a bouquet of flowers, a cake with cream roses and went the other way. He drove up to a house, climbed to the third floor and knocked on the door. “I’ve been thinking, about time and you. I bought you a cake, but I accidentally put my briefcase on it. I hope this is not a bad thing, because it will not affect the taste. I also bought you flowers, but they also got a little crushed by the same portfolio. Maybe they can be saved ?” “That will be alright,” the woman replied, “we will reanimate them. And I have news. Just imagine, I woke up today, I looked at the window, and my cactus has bloomed. See? ” (Source: vk.com, translated to English)

“Our power lies in our small daily choices, one after another, to create eternal ripples of a life well lived.” Mollie Marti

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

“Just Some Time”

“Love your family. Spend time, be kind & serve one another. Make no room for regrets. Tomorrow is not promised & today is short.” Unknown

Even after long hours at work and tackling the chores at home; the only thing that satisfies my children is time spent with them alone. From reading to them, simply sitting together in the lawn or watching the traffic together from the bench; all they want is time spent without any activities, gadgets, interference or constraints at that moment. The younger they are, they crave for such moments.

“Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.” Regina Brett

Although lifestyle today offers innumerable comforts, one thing that still is never sufficient is time. The root struggle in handling time is dividing it between work, family and for self. Being a family, as far as children are concerned, no amount of gadgets, toys, books or cartoons can substitute their bonding time with siblings and parents. Constant negligence and lack of the latter can lead to dependence on the former, which can have lasting implications on the education, personality as well as psychological traits of the child.

“ At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict, or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child, a parent.” Barbara Bush

Looking back to our childhood from the present today, the memories of fun, trips and experiences with parents, siblings, cousins, family and friends is what makes the hard and unhappy moments of today better. Besides these childhood memories and experiences to an extent, are what shaped us to the person of today. On reflecting, what matters more than worldly good or presents as well as gifts, is quality time with loved ones.

“If you want your children to turn out well, spend twice as much time with them and half as much money.” Abigail Van Buren

The acts of today, reflects in the future of tomorrow. No matter how busy working parents or guardians are, spending just ten minutes with their children makes all the difference in the world to them. Children always light up the adult lives, with their innocence, joyous nature and selfless thinking. The change in their behaviour and attitude is a reflection of the love that they perceive. Too much or too little of love, care and attention is dangerous. Remembering our childhood moments and experiences will aid us in making the childhood of our own children memorable.

“ Your children can be around you all day, but if you don’t spend quality time with them and you don’t pay attention to them and talk to them and listen to them, it doesn’t matter that they’re just around you.” Brandy Norwood

Once, a man returned home late from work, as always, tired and twitching, and saw that a five-year-old son was waiting for him at the door. “Dad, how much do you get? ” “That is none of your business!,” the father was indignant.”Why do you need it? “
– I just want to know. Please tell me how much you get per hour?
– Well, 100 rubles. Why?
“Dad …” the son looked up at him with very serious eyes. Dad, can you borrow me 50?
“You asked only so that I could give you money for some stupid toy?”, he shouted. “Immediately march to your room and go to bed! You can not be such an egoist! I work all day, I get tired, and you behave yourself so stupidly.”
The kid quietly went to his room and closed the door behind him. And his father continued to stand in the doorway and get angry at his son’s requests. But after a while he calmed down and began to reason sensibly: “Maybe he really needs to buy something very important.” When he entered the nursery, his son was already in bed.
– You are not sleeping, son? – he asked.
– No, Dad. Just lying down, answered the boy.
“I seem to be too rude to you,” said the father. “I had a hard day, and I just broke. Forgive me. Here, hold the money you asked for.”
The boy sat up in bed and smiled.
– Oh, father, thanks! he exclaimed happily.

Then he climbed under the pillow and took out some more crumpled banknotes. His father, seeing that the child already had money, became angry again. And the kid put all the money together, and carefully counted the bills, and then looked at his father again.
– Why did you ask for money if you already have it? – grumbled his father.
– Because I had not enough. But now I just have enough, – the child replied.
– Dad, there are exactly one hundred. Can I buy one hour of your time? Please come back tomorrow from work early, I want you to have dinner with us.

Moral: I just wanted to remind you that our life is too short to spend it at work. We should not allow it to flow through our fingers, and not give at least a tiny piece of it to those who really love us — our closest people. If we are not tomorrow, our company will very quickly replace us with someone else. And only for family and friends it will be a really big loss, which they will remember all their life. Think about it, because we spend much more time working than family.
Source: vk.com (translated to english)

“ I don’t think quantity time is as special as quality time with your family.”  Reba McEntire

Posted in Family and Society, Life, Personal Musings, poetry, Work

Amidst the “Dark Clouds”

“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.” Rabindranath Tagore

With summer skies slowly fading away to the rains, the time for quiet reflections indoors when “the pitter-patter” of rain starts outside. Add to it the melee of children and keeping them occupied indoors is no easy task. With the rains on full swing, the childhood memories of making paper boats, splashing into puddles, getting wet as well as schools getting cancelled due to the downpour were the routine that comes to mind.

“And when it rains on your parade, look up rather than down. Without the rain, there would be no rainbow.” Gilbert K. Chesterton

Fast forward to the present day, for the “adult” rains bring forth an inner dread. Although the smell of fresh earth haunts the adult mind and memories, it is buried under the hassles of getting to work on time, the commute and the traffic, the dirty marks on the kitchen floors, clothes perpetually wet and children mud stained; rains although are necessary for the fields and crops, the adult mind prays only for a healthy dose for a short time. What the “adult” fails to realise is that, perspectives do matter. Rains can be made a hassle or as fun depending on how one blends it into one’s framework of mind.

“Into each life some rain must fall.” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

For happiness to be squelched, there are innumerable things. On the other hand, in the same scenario and same situation, change of one’s attitude, approach and perspective makes all the difference in finding happiness, losing the stress and being at peace. One needs a bit of everything in life to enjoy, a bit of rain and summer skies, a little of cold winds and snow as well as the essence of spring time air. Same is the case with joys, sorrows, happiness, failures and success. Staying on the same page, time frame or waves of success brings no challenge or sense of accomplishment and contentment in the day. To find the happiness; experiences of joys, fear, trouble, success, sorrows, kindness, love as well as failure help us appreciate the good and best things that life, time and memories wash up onto our shores.

“Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.” Ashley Smith

There is the silly elation,
The garden the windows look on!
Soundless sunset reflection
Swims in the pool, like a swan.

Greetings, golden serenity,
Shadows of trees, black as tar!
Crows on the roof, in sincerity,
Hold vespers in praise of the star.

Timidly over the garden
Where the guelder- rose springs,
A girl in a snow white garment
A beautiful melody sings.

Like a blue gown
Cold from the meadow sweeps …
Happiness, sweet silly feeling!
Virginal blush of the cheeks!

Sergey Yesenin (1918)

“Sometimes we should express our gratitude for the small and simple things like the scent of the rain, the taste of your favorite food, or the sound of a loved one’s voice.” Joseph B. Wirthlin

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

Navigate From Within

“Life is like a game of cards. The hand you are dealt is determinism; the way you play it is free will.” Jawaharlal Nehru

One of the advantages of chance meetings with old friends, colleagues or neighbours when one has time on their hands, is the quick catch up session followed by exchange of news as well contact details. In that short time, information is passed about common acquaintances who have moved on, made changes or are still there. For those who have done better, we often compare ourselves to them. For those who have done worse, we acknowledge that their life has taken a different turn and at times, blame fate. What we almost always fail to realize is that, commenting about others progress (whether one wants to or not) never really makes a difference, for each holds their own destiny in their hand.

“Lots of folks confuse bad management with destiny.” Kin Hubbard

Destiny, has been one of the concepts that man prefers to fall back on, when things never go the way planned. Post any setback, the reactions range from blame those around one to the sequence of events, circumstances and so on and so forth; everything but the person alone. The drawback of such a cycle, is that, once started it is difficult to break it. Moreover, the tendency to always indulge in the cycle of acts persists.

“Everywhere man blames nature and fate, yet his fate is mostly but the echo of his character and passions, his mistakes and weaknesses.” Democritus

Another way that man deals with setbacks is to hire “services” that offer to point out the right time as per mathematical, astrological, zodiac or other elemental methods of calculation. Little does one realize, that plans, setbacks, success and failure all lies within one person, their reaction to sequence of events in relation to their plans, dreams and hopes in life. Destiny, success, hard work, plans, hope and achievement all starts within. One decides wisely for oneself; knowing their own limitations, merits and lapses.

“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

To face destiny and achieve success requires one to introspective, willing to learn and observe from own as well as others’ lives. By blinding the eyes of the mind, the path taken will always be wrought with weeds of trouble, failures and uncertainties. To stay strong, one has to believe that they can navigate, as long as one knows how, where and what to look for. Man always has the discernment to make plans and tune destiny to work in one’s favour, provided one always believes in themselves, knows oneself with flaws, strength and all.

“If we would see the color of our future, we must look for it in our present; if we would gaze on the star of our destiny, we must look for it in our hearts.”
Canon Farra

The Warrior’s Destiny

A great Japanese warrior named Nobunaga was going to war with a fierce enemy with only one-tenth the number of men the opposition commanded. He knew that he could win the fight with a well planned strategy, but his soldiers were in doubt. On the way the leader stopped at a Shinto shrine and told his men: “After my visit to the shrine I will toss a coin. If the head comes, we will win; if tails, we will lose. Destiny holds us in her hand.” Nobunaga entered the shrine and offered his prayers. Then he came forth and tossed a coin in front of his men. Heads appeared. The soldiers were filled with confident and were eager to win the battle.
“No one can change the hand of destiny,” one of his attendants told him after the battle.
“Indeed not,” said Nobunaga and showed the coin which was doubled with heads on the both side.

“ Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.” William Jennings Bryan

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 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