A Korean artist Puuung wants to disagree. “Love is something that everyone can relate to. And love comes in ways that we can easily overlook in our daily lives, so, I try to find the meaning of love in our daily lives and make it into artworks.” Writes Puuung on her Facebook page. These beautiful illustrations capturing the intimate moments of a couple’s life will give you all the feels.
This touching story reminds me of a song by Firehouse – ‘Love of a Lifetime’ . The words go like this…
Have you heard of a Love of a lifetime?
A love to last my whole life through….
Wedding of US Marine and Medal of Honor recipient John Basilone and Marine Sergeant Lena May Riggi. Shortly after, Basilone shipped out to the Pacific and fought on Iwo Jima where he was killed in action. Lena Basilone never remarried and died at the age of 86.
What is the meaning of pin drop silence?
Following are some instances when silence could speak louder than voice.
Field Marshal Sam Bahadur Maneckshaw once started addressing a public meeting at Ahmedabad in English. The crowd started chanting, “Speak in Gujarati. We will hear you only if you speak in Gujarati.” Field Marshal Sam Bahadur Maneckshaw stopped. Swept the audience with a hard stare and replied, “Friends, I have fought many a battle in my long career. I have learned Punjabi from men of the Sikh Regiment; Marathi from the Maratha Regiment; Tamil from the men of the Madras Sappers; Bengali from the men of the Bengal Sappers, Hindi from the Bihar Regiment; and even Nepali from the Gurkha Regiment. Unfortunately there was no soldier from Gujarat from whom I could have learned Gujarati.”………….
You could have heard a pin drop
JFK’S Secretary of State, Dean Rusk, was in France in the early 60’s when Charles DeGaule, the French President, decided to pull out of NATO.
DeGaule said he wanted all US military out of France as soon as possible.
Rusk responded, “does that include the 180,000 who are buried here ?”
DeGaule could not respond.
You could have heard a pin drop
Robert Whiting, an elderly US gentleman of 83, arrived in Paris by plane.
At French Customs, he took a few minutes to locate his passport in his carry on.
“You have been to France before, Monsieur ?” , the Customs officer asked sarcastically.
Mr. Whiting admitted that he had been to France previously.
“Then you should know enough to have your passport ready.”
The American said, “The last time I was here, I didn’t have to show it.”
“Impossible. Americans always have to show their passports on arrival in France !” , the Customs officer sneered.
The American senior gave the Frenchman a long, hard look.
Then he quietly explained …
“Well, when I came ashore at Omaha Beach, at 4:40am, on D-Day in 1944, to help liberate your country, I couldn’t find a single Frenchman to show a passport to…. ”
You could have heard a pin drop
Soon after getting freedom from British rule in 1947, the de-facto prime minister of India, Jawahar Lal Nehru called a meeting of senior Army Officers to select the first General of the Indian army.
Nehru proposed, “I think we should appoint a British officer as a General of The Indian Army, as we don’t have enough experience to lead the same.”
Having learned under the British, only to serve and rarely to lead, all the civilians and men in uniform present nodded their heads in agreement.
However one senior officer, Nathu Singh Rathore, asked for permission to speak. Nehru was a bit taken aback by the independent streak of the officer, though, he asked him to speak freely.
Rathore said, “You see, sir, we don’t have enough experience to lead a nation too, so shouldn’t we appoint a British person as the first Prime Minister of India?”
You could hear a pin drop.
After a pregnant pause, Nehru asked Rathore, “Are you ready to be the first General of The Indian Army?”…….. Rathore declined the offer saying “Sir, we have a very talented army officer, my senior, Lt. Gen. Cariappa, who is the most deserving among us.”
This is how the brilliant Gen. Cariappa became the first General and Rathore the first ever Lt. General of the Indian Army.
Courtesy: Lt. Gen Niranjan Malik PVSM (Retd), Indian Army
On a low-floor Delhi Transport Corporation bus, returning from an exhausting day in theoffice, I found two families sitting on either side of my seat. The difference between these two families was the difference that divides India into two parts — the rich and the poor.
The woman on the right side wore a gilded sari with all matching accessories. She looked attractive and adjusted her watch ostentatiously. Her husband, sitting beside her, was wrapped in swanky apparel, reflecting an opulent lifestyle. They had a five-year old son sitting by the window seat eating a pack of wafers. He was rotund, his spectacles covering most of his face.
The family sitting on the other side was evidently impecunious, with both man and wife in grimy clothes. The man was talking over the phone so loudly that his voice was audible to everyone on the bus. Their five-year-old, skinny daughter in her frock sat on her father’s lap trying to re-attach the broken hand of an old doll. She looked dull and pale, her hair scattered all over. Their attire reflected their deprived lifestyle.
My eyes rolled over the boy who was shrieking and shouting at his father, demanding his smartphone toplay
The little girl, who had not succeeded in assembling her doll’s hand, started staring at the boy silently. The boy was squealing, demanding everything he fancied — from the toy car in his mother’s spiffy handbag to the chocolate in his father’s pocket. His desires kept increasing and his parents were giving in with no reluctance.
The indigent girl was trying to brush aside the boy but her eyes didn’t permit that. She hugged her father, immersing her head on his chest as if to kill her desires. Her father empathised with her. He tried to cheer her up by giving her his old phone to play that archaic snake game. The girl toyed with the snake but kept looking at the subway surfers playing on the boy’s smart phone. She was not demanding anything.
The difference between the sumptuousness of the boy and the destitution of the girl was simply striking. But I kept wondering how a girl of her age would understand that her parents can’t afford luxury. Why she does not long for and insist on the same things the boy has. How does she understand that they cannot match their neighbour’s status? How children understand automatically that they are impoverished or wealthy. How the girl knows she has to bury all her desires. These questions keep revolving in my mind, and I am still hunting for the answers.
Story by PANKAJ HALSI
A young man went to seek an important position at a large printing company. He passed the initial interview and was going to meet the director for the final interview. The director saw his resume, it was excellent. And asked, ‘
– Have you received a scholarship for school?’ The boy replied, ” No ‘.
-‘ It was your father who paid for your studies? ‘
-‘ Yes.’- He replied.
-‘ Where does your father work? ‘
-‘ My father is a Blacksmith’
The Director asked the young to show him his hands.
The young man showed a pair of hands soft and perfect.
-‘ Have you ever helped your parents at their job? ‘
-‘ Never, my parents always wanted me to study and read more books. Besides, he can do the job better than me.
The director said:
-‘ I have got a request: When you go home today, go and wash the hands of your father and then come see me tomorrow morning.’
The young felt his chance to get the job was high.
When he returned to his house he asked his father if he would allow him to wash their hands.
His father felt strange, happy, but with mixed feelings and showed their hands to his son. The young washed his hands, little by little. It was the first time that he noticed his father’s hands were wrinkled and they had so many scars. Some bruises were so painful that his skin shuddered when he touched them.
This was the first time that the young man recognized what it meant for this pair of hands to work every day to be able to pay for his study. The bruises on the hands were the price that he payed for their education, his school activities and his future.
After cleaning his father’s hands the young man stood in silence and began to tidy and clean up the workshop. That night, father and son talked for a long time.
The next morning, the young man went to the office of the director.
The Director noticed the tears in the eyes of the young when He asked him: -‘ Can you tell me what you did and what you learned yesterday at your house?’
The boy replied: -‘ I washed my father’s hands and when I finished I stayed and cleaned his workshop ‘
-‘ Now I know what it is to appreciate and recognize that without my parents , I would not be who I am today . By helping my father I now realize how difficult and hard it is to do something on my own. I have come to appreciate the importance and the value in helping the family.
The director said, “This is what I look for in my people. I want to hire someone who can appreciate the help of others , a person who knows the hardship of others to do things, and a person who does not put money as his only goal in life”. ‘ You are hired ‘.
A child that has been coddled, Protected and usually given him what he wants, develops a mentality of ” I have the right ‘ and will always put himself first, ignoring the efforts of their parents. If we are this type of protective parent are we really showing love or are we destroying our children?
You can give your child a big house , good food , computer classes , watch on a big screen TV . But when you’re washing the floor or painting a wall , please let him experience that too.
After eating have them wash the dishes with their brothers and sisters. It is not because you have no money to hire someone to do this it’s because you want to love them the right way . No matter how rich you are, you want them to understand. One day your hair will have gray hair, like the father of this young man.
The most important thing is that your child learns to appreciate the effort and to experience the difficulties and learn the ability to work with others to get things done. ”
Story By James T Johnson
Awesome one… Reblogging this one :)
Originally posted on Live & Learn:
…Take a shower, wash off the day.
Drink a glass of water.
Make the room dark.
Lie down and close your eyes.
Notice the silence.
Notice your heart. Still beating. Still fighting.
You made it, after all. You made it, another day.
And you can make it one more.
You’re doing just fine.
I’m doing just fine.
~ Charlotte Eriksson, The Glass Child
Rebloggin this one :)
Originally posted on Kelsey Sees:
“..when you’re under the silent sea, watching a bright, silent world of fish and coral, when you’re staring up at a sky so bright and dense with stars it makes you gasp, it’s in those moments that you begin to see the fullness of your life, the possibility that still prevails, that always prevails.” -Shauna Niequist
S T A R S
I will never forget a moment I had with the stars, with the Creator of the universe, while camping in Yosemite National Park.
Honestly, I don’t know what exactly it was that made the moment so impactful, but it’s a memory I cherish to this day.
It was a warm August night, laying in the middle of a meadow, feeling the wooden planks of the boardwalk pressing against my back, hearing nothing but silence, my eyes filled with the glimmer of the stars.
Something incredible happened in my soul.
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Tilak Ram’s humble place in Hashimpura sheltered over 12 Muslims, including many who had no idea what was happening in the by-lanes.
It was May 22, 1987. The Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) along with the Army had surrounded Hashimpura, a settlement in Meerut. The five lanes where Muslims lived had no rear exit, so there was no escape route.
The Army was searching every house. Muslim men, old, young and children were coming on to the road with their hands raised.
Women were on the rooftops, crying, begging the PAC to let go of their men.
Amid all this horror there was one house where Muslims were safe. Tilak Ram’s humble place sheltered over 12 Muslims, including many who had no idea what was happening in the by-lanes.
When some of their fellow community members were herded into a yellow PAC truck, only to be murdered in cold blood in the next few hours, about 12 people managed to save their lives.
“Thankfully, the Army didn’t search our house. There were about 12 people who stayed with us on that terrible day, May 22,” says Ram, in his late sixties now.
The twelve people left Ram’s house only after the curfew was relaxed. Nayeemuddin, one of them, is all praise for Ram.
“He not only saved people’s lives but became a symbol of Hindu-Muslim amity,” he says.
A Delhi court on March 21, 2015 acquitted all 16 accused in the 28-year-old case. All the acquitted are former personnel of the PAC.
Massacre shattered syncretic culture, says neighbour
Ram’s house, which provided sanctuary to 12 Muslims during the PAC-Army search at Hashimpura in 1987, was not a pucca one then but just brick walls covered by an asbestos sheet. It is located right at the front portion of Hashimpura and welcomes anybody visiting what has become now largely a Muslim ghetto. But that was not the situation before May 1987. Many more Hindus used to stay in Hashimpura.
The riots and communal tension due to the Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid row, and the massacre changed the demography of Hashimpura, says Sher Ali, a tailor master whose shop ‘Gulmarg tailors’, is next to Ram’s house.
Sitting next to his neighbour on a flat wooden charpoy, Ali, with a big picture of goddess Kaali in the background, talks about the history of Hashimpura.
“What used to be a live example of ganga-jamuni tehzeeb, syncretic Indian culture, gradually turned into a ghetto which came to stand for victimhood of the minority community and its constant search for justice for the massacre of 42 innocent people,” says Ali, while remembering the “good old days” when people didn’t use to be Hindu or Muslim but “friends” whose “houses and hearts” were always open for each other.
Ram, who sacrificed a goat for his favourite goddess Kali on Ramnavami on Saturday became nostalgic. “It was fun to live in those times. Ali and me belong to those times and feel a bit suffocated now,” he gestures towards Ali. Together they looked like a rare specimen from the past. “There was no question of any conflict. Muslims and Hindus used to be religious but not intolerant.”
“Satasi ke kaand ne sab kucch badal diya, ham sabke liye. (The massacre of 1987 changed our lives, lives of both Muslims and Hindus,” he says.)
“There used to be religious clashes and communal riots but then things used to calm down. But the massacre of 1987 shook Muslims from inside and even the slightest of tension used to scare us,” says Ali, a man in his early sixties.
When this correspondent begins to take leave, Ram says, “My father Jas Ram was born here and died here. I was born here and I will die here only, as a resident of Hashimpura.”
Ram has a visitor: Sanjay also a resident of Hashimpura, in one of its inner by-lanes. He was just four when the massacre happened. He is happy that his father chose not to leave the area unlike his fellow community members after 1987. He says the situation is not as bad as people think. His best friend is Babu Khan.
“Hatred is in people’s minds and not in their hearts,” he remarks, indicating that all is not lost in Hashimpura.
Reblogging this one :)
Originally posted on Ger McHugh :
“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift; that’s why they call it the present” (Eleanor Roosevelt).
Take a minute to think about a normal day in your life. What are you doing? … How are you feeling? … What are you thinking? … Where are you going? … Who are you with? We all spend a lot of time thinking about things that have already happened – the past, and planning for or worrying about things that might happen – the future. Why did I end up in an argument with my friend last night? … When will I get to ring the bank about that loan? … When will I get the time to complete the report for my manager? … What date is the training course next month that I need to apply for? … Will I get home this evening to cook…
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I’ve always felt that Aaron Lewis, the vocalist of ‘Staind’ is different. Amazing what he does in this video!
Really amazing post… reblogging this one :)
Originally posted on Live & Learn:
Heather Havrilesky, Like a Prayer:
I don’t believe in God, but I need some kind of a prayer to repeat when things go haywire. I need a prayer because, as a writer with several unruly dependents under my roof, each day is a rollercoaster, a crapshoot, an exercise in uncertainty.
See how the tiniest events can shift the barometer just enough to stir up a storm? My buoyant mood sinks. The day that felt so full of promise sags, landing in a haze of exhaustion and niggling worries by the time I crawl into bed.
I need a belief system. I need a morning ritual. I need to say some bold and glorious words out loud at the start of the day, to remind myself who I am and what I’m doing and what the point of it all is. Unfortunately, I don’t like saying bold and glorious words…
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When working professional Krishna Vedavyasa stepped out early one morning to buy a newspaper in Banaswadi, a young newspaper delivery boy approached him asking for Rs. 15,000 to fund his school fees. The customer met the boy’s teachers and, convinced of the boy’s sincerity, agreed to give the money. The boy, Shivakumar N., went on to study engineering, completed MBA at Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Kolkata and is now set to join a German company as its Deputy Country Manager in Sri Lanka. Shivakumar was in class 8, when he walked up to Mr. Vedavyasa, who financed all his studies. “I felt like asking him (for help). I asked him,” he says. He not only sold newspapers to augment his family’s earnings, but also sold flowers, washed cars and worked as a sales representative in a car showroom. While studying and topping his class, he also moved on from delivering newspapers to an independent vendor with 500 customers.
His father was oblivious to the change. Shivakumar says, “My father never realised that I had become a vendor because I continued to wake up at 4 a.m. He continued to think that I was a delivery boy throughout.” He completed schooling in Maruthi Vidyalaya, studied engineering at Bangalore Institute of Technology and, guided by his benefactor, cleared the Common Entrance Test and got an MBA from IIM, Kolkata.
His family and the Good Samaritan, whom he describes as “the pillars” of his life, are thrilled with his success.He intends to help other youngsters who could be struggling as he did in his childhood.
About where he is today, he says, “I had a hunger for success. I focused on work and let the results follow.”
“To put the world in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must cultivate our personal life; and to cultivate our personal life, we must first set our hearts right.”
The picture of hundreds of people lining the road showering marigold petals on an ambulance as it sped past on an empty road in Vijayawada, during daytime, brought tears to my eyes. I was puzzled by this strange emotion, unprepared for the tears welling up within me however fleeting they may have been. To see hundreds of people showering marigold flowers on an ambulance, led by a pilot car whose siren announced the urgency of its purpose, was difficult to explain. Something very special was taking place, something the people seemed to collectively understand and endorse. With their marigold flowers, they had come to salute and confer a sacred status on the passing ambulance. In it was the heart of a young man who had just been declared brain dead and whose family, after a brief period of counselling, in a supreme act of humanity, gifted it to another human being. For someone to perform such an act of humanity, at a time when they are struggling with the pain of loss, is an act of transcendence that only the gods can understand. And perhaps even they cannot.
Of collective will
The story of V. Raju’s photograph, alongside an article by P. Samuel Jonathan titled “Brain dead man gives life to 8 people” ( The Hindu , March 7), clearly moved me. It seemed to touch something deep within and I felt the need to comprehend not just the tears but the whole episode since it contained more than just a personal emotion. Was it the sense of humility that the story produced in me when I reflected on the gesture of a sister donating the heart of her loving brother to a complete stranger? Was it some deeper understanding of the meaning of life that she had, or perhaps some spiritual feeling of human oneness, that produced such a selfless act? Was there no anger at life’s irony that another can live because one’s loved one has died? Or envy or even self-pity? Where did these emotions go? Did the sister see, in the gift, her brother living on? While that seems a credible explanation, the gesture in fact says much more. Saving the life of another also appeared to count. I wondered if I was humbled by the spectacle of the “collective will” in action as people stepped out of the path of the ambulance, and waited on the side of the road so that it would not be delayed even for a second. The marigold petals being showered on a heart that was not beating, but that contained the gift of life, had something metaphysical about it. I needed to pursue these thoughts a little more.
I did a Google search with the words “green corridor for heart transplant” and was amazed at the stories that appeared on my screen. Chennai. Bengaluru. Vijayawada. Hyderabad. Hearts donated by grieving relatives, harvested in one place and taken to another to bring relief to an anxious family. A heart carried from one hospital to another, in Chennai during peak time, in 21 minutes on a route that normally took more than an hour, ending in a successful transplant. A heart being airlifted from Bengaluru to Chennai in record time to save the life of a woman whose own heart was fading. From the Internet, one read of many cases, within a city, and in some instances across two States, as families, counsellors, hospitals, doctors, ambulance staff, airport authorities, aircraft crew, city authorities, police and the commuting public, cooperated to make the heart transplant a success. The green corridor worked. And just as I was preparing to formulate a thesis about the superior civic virtues of the emerging new public in the South of India, of the South’s expressive humanism — since the numbers were coming mainly from Bengaluru, Chennai, and Hyderabad — I read in early March of a similar green corridor which was successful in transporting a heart from Gurgaon to Delhi. It was clear that the time had come to look at the many elements of this new humanism.
The first is the counsellors at the hospital who assist the grieving relatives to bear their loss and also to think about allowing the cadaver to be harvested for its organs so that another can live. This requires not just courage, but also deep empathy, to approach a family in the middle of its sorrow and to ask its members to consider the donation of the heart of the loved one, who has just been declared brain dead, to another. For the family to give up the hope that the loved one will live again, to accept death, and then to think about a gift of the heart to another is an act of spirituality that every priest, of every religion, must talk endlessly about. The counsellor’s job is perhaps the hardest in the world. Yet, some people opt for it because of a commitment to humanity. The families of the deceased, in their act of giving, display a quality of sprit that can both humble and elevate us. Many vipassana camps may not be enough to comprehend the enormity of the gesture.
The system’s response
The second aspect is the hospital authorities and the relevant government body tasked to ensure that the organ donation and transplant are legal. The emergence of a system which ensures that the donation is without coercion or inducement, which coordinates with the various hospitals involved in the transplant, which maintains a database of needy patients so that various persons can benefit from the donation of multiple organs, which communicates the possibility of such a donation to the receiving hospitals, which does this in a short time frame, since time is of the essence, in other words a system that removes all the constraints for the transplant to be successful, is a system that we must salute.
The third element is the police and the city authorities. It is easy, as is often the case with government authorities, to negatively respond to a request by enumerating the many obstacles that lie in its way. These may relate to rules, or to delivery logistics, or to social behaviour. Born from years of habit, theimmediate response of a government official, to an unusual request, is to deny the granting of it. Such negativity is easier to live with since it is a no risk strategy. So, suddenly to witness a different response from the police and the municipal authorities who prepared and imposed a “green corridor” on the travelling public — where all the traffic lights on the route to be taken by the ambulance carrying the donated heart are kept green and all other lights of roads leading to the corridor are turned red — is again a response by the government that can only be applauded.
The fourth aspect is the effort of the ambulance and aircraft crew. Reading the reports, one got an idea of their sense of purpose. As one driver stated, after a particularly tense drive, carrying a heart from one hospital to another in the same city, was for him the drive of his life. Also, of another life. For him, the anxiety of not succeeding, of letting down the patient waiting for the heart, of dealing with the uncertainty of driving at speeds in excess of a hundred, on an Indian road, where a
The fifth aspect relates to the doctors and nurses at both ends, those who remove the heart from the cadaver and those who prepare the receiving patient for the transplant. They have to believe that it will be delivered, that the system will work and that they must play their part in the long chain of success. The receiving team has to check all parameters and keep the patient operated and ready. For all of them this is not business as usual but a commitment to the Hippocratic oath of saving a life. The numbers of such doctors are growing.
Expression of fraternity
The final element is the public waiting for the ambulance to pass. Patiently. Respectfully. Such publics have emerged across many cities in India. Spontaneous publics moved by a higher purpose than just self-interest. It is the first light, I hope, of a new India. What seems so natural in the picture, of people lining up at the side of the road to let the ambulance pass, is actually quite extraordinary. In the picture we see hundreds of people suspending their self-interest, and instead of rushing home to do their personal work as they would on a normal day, willingly waiting by the side of the road for a heart to pass. Can we read in this behaviour their subscription to an idea of the public interest and the common good?
Let us now look at all these elements together. There are no caste, community, or gender biases here. None of India’s prejudices can be seen in this act of giving life to total strangers. What we see instead is the other as part of the self. How different from the politics of today where the other is regarded as a hostile other, to be hated and excluded from our public life. Will this expression of fraternity become a movement and replace the politics of hate that is today being sown? I remember reading, several years ago, of an elderly upper caste gentleman in Bengaluru who had been hit by a car when on his evening walk, who wept when he had been told that the person — who had travelled many miles on his scooter at night, after the hospital had called the latter and asked him to donate his blood belonging to a rare group — was a gentleman who belonged to a community that he had maligned all his life. The old man wept for a wasted life. He wept for his smallness of spirit. My thought train, which had started when I saw the picture of people waiting for the ambulance to pass, now continued. Why is it, I wondered, that we can receive blood and a heart from another, without worrying about caste, creed or gender, but we cannot wear another’s skull cap?
(Peter Ronald deSouza is Professor at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi. The views expressed are personal.)
For someone to perform such an act of humanity, at a time when they are struggling with the pain of loss, is an act of transcendence.
In India’s new expressive humanism, in the form of the green corridor for heart transplants, there are no caste, community, or gender biases. None of India’s prejudices can be seen in this act of giving life to total strangers.
How different it is from the politics of today where the other is regarded as a hostile other
Sleep and laziness are the two demons that lurk frequently in the corridors of solitude. Sometimes veiled in an illusion of momentary comforts, sometimes disguised as ‘breaks’ to relax your back, or even in the form of ‘power naps’, they just keep looking for an opening in your determination, a chink in your perseverance. And they keep coming back until they find one.
They lure you first with an innocently comfortable stance on the chair. Then just a minute of lying down. They let you believe that everything is under control. That you can get up whenever you want, while slowly delivering you into the arms of a deceptive comfort. That soft fabric of the bed. That cozy pillow smelling fresh of detergent. The moderately cool air. The sweet sensation of easing down of the muscles. Everything points that there is something wrong here. That it is too good to be nice. Yet they boggle down your mind with inflated beliefs of your will power. They convince you that you still hold the reins while they push you down to the depths of lethargy.
Then, you suddenly start realising that time is passing too quickly. You decide to end it. They try to convince you that its not yet time and a few more minutes wouldn’t do much harm. By this time the demons have put you on a sledge sloping down into the warm pool of laziness. Still you make a disheartened attempt to get up. But, you realise it has been too late. You are falling too fast. All your will power, all your mental strength fails to overcome the immense pleasures of the bed, the sweet nectar of comfort flowing in the muscles and joints. It’s all too hard to give up. And then you start thinking of Plan B. The will to fight against the demons is replaced by the zeal of making up for the lost time after you get up. That’s right. It feels easier this way. You feel good imagining yourself doing hard work tomorrow to make up for the lost time today. It all feels good. Everything is settled now.
And before you know the demons have you at their leash, subduing you at the petty pleasures of senses, making you a slave of comfort. You sleep while the perseverant burn the midnight oil. You float in your kingdom of dreams while the others move a step closer to their own. You are sleeping soundly while the demons dance upon you, guffawing at their yet another success
“When you walk the right path, there will be obstacles, there will be thorns”
-Father of a rape victim in India
My client acquired a large company and I went along for his initial meetings with his new employees. In the afternoon he planned a company-wide address.
That morning, we met for several hours with top executives. (Talk about emotions on full display: ego, anxiety, obsequiousness, defensiveness, fear, excitement… When the new sheriff comes to town all the icy-cool corporate masks are quickly removed.)
The meeting ended at noon and when we walked out fifteen minutes later he noticed a sizable buffet set up on the other side of the atrium. There were plenty of people standing around in white coats and black slacks but no one in line or sitting at tables.
“What’s that for?” he asked a person walking past.
“The company arranged a meal for after your meeting,” she said. “A local restaurant closed for the day to come here.” She paused. “I think the chef and her staff were really excited about it,” she said, her voice trailing off at the end.
“Has anyone eaten?” he asked.
“Um, I don’t think so,” she said.
He stood looking a few moments. Even from a distance it was evident the catering staff was confused and disappointed.
“Come on,” he said to me. “We’re eating.”
And we did.
But he did more than just eat. He spent a few minutes talking to every — every — member of the staff. Many already knew who he was and while initially hesitant they quickly warmed up to him.
And why wouldn’t they? He complimented the food. He complimented the service. He joked and laughed. And when we had finished eating he said, “We can’t let great food go to waste!” and borrowed two white coats so we could serve them. Then he made the rounds of the tables and happily leaned into all the selfies.
When we finally left, he waved and smiled.
They smiled bigger.
Sure, it took a lot of his time. Sure, it took him off point and off focus and off schedule.
Sure, they loved him for it.
I already knew the answer but as we got in the car I still asked. “I know your schedule,” I said. “You didn’t have time to stop to eat. Besides, no one else did, so no one would have noticed.”
“I felt bad for them,” he said. “They tried hard to do a good job and everyone blew them off. How bad must that feel? So it was the least I could do.
“Maybe my staff thought they were too busy,” he continued. “Or maybe they thought they were too important. But clearly they were too self-absorbed to notice they were hurting other people’s feelings.”
He thought for a few seconds. “And maybe they’re the wrong people for the job, ” he said.**
Much of the time we want famous people to be so humble they don’t recognize there’s a fuss, or a special buzz surrounding, or that people are excited to see them. We want them to be oblivious to their fame or importance. (After all, if they’re tooaware… that means they’re too full of themselves.)
But what we should really want is for famous or notable people to recognize that in the eyes of others, they are special — and that other people might want something from them, even if that something is the simple recognition that what they do matters.
Because it does.
Picture a CEO walking into a building for an important meeting. Maybe he says hello to the receptionist. (Maybe.) Otherwise he only has time for the people at his level. It’s like no one else exists; they’re just unseen cogs in a giant machine.
Unfortunately, at times, we all do the same thing. We talk to the people we’resupposed to talk to. We recognize the people we’re supposed to recognize. We mesh with the cogs in the machine we’re expected to mesh with, but there are many other important cogs.
So go out of your way to smile to everyone. Or to nod. Or to introduce yourself.
And when someone does something to help you, even in the smallest way and even if it’s their job to do so, go out of your way to say thanks. Make it your mission to recognize the people behind the tasks: the people that support, that assist, and that make everything possible.
Even though most of us aren’t famous or notable, by recognizing people — especially those who have been conditioned not to expect to be recognized — we add a little extra meaning and dignity to their lives.
And that’s the best reason to go off point, off focus, and off task.
Although, when you think about it, you really aren’t taking yourself away from an important task. You’re just shifting to an equally important task: showing people they matter — especially to you.
** Six months later only three of the original 22 remained.
In the wake of numerous chain snatching events throughout India in the past few years, this story comes as a refreshing one…Humanity still exists, a heart warming story this one… :)
Youth returns gold chain found on road
Kolar: In a case of display of honesty, a youth has returned a gold ‘mangalasutra’ which he found on the road to its owner here.
Mala, a resident of Karanjikatte locality, lost her mangalasutra on Wednesday when she went out for shopping. Even after a frantic search, she could not find the chain, and later gave up her effort.
Tabarez, a mechanic working in a garage in Rajanagar area, found the mangalasutra while he was returning to his house. He decided to trace its owner and explained his intention to some of his friends.
Among his friends were residents of Karanjikatte who were aware about Ms. Mala losing the chain. They took Mr. Tabarez to Ms. Mala’s house and returned the chain to her.
A relieved Ms. Mala expressed deep gratitude to Mr. Tabarez and praised his integrity.
-The Hindu, 27 Feb 2015
Much publicity was made for the address the Master would deliver on ‘The Destruction of the World’ and a large crowd gathered at the monastery grounds to hear him. The address was over in less than a minute.
All he said was: “These things will destroy the human race: politics without principle, progress without compassion, wealth without hard work, learning without applying, religion without belief and worship without awareness.”
Well my blog is equi-religious(if there exists a word like that ;) ) . However , I’d like to share a verse from the Bible which to me… is a really really wise answer to a very very puzzling question…
And His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him.”
Surely Dear Madison Tevlin… You are displaying the works of God through your singing and we all do respect you and will vow to work hard in life as you have!
Why you should take a social media sabbatical
One of my clients told me that social media sabbaticals are the new treks through Nepal. Taking a social media sabbatical is trendy, takes some courage, and for most westerners, it’s outside the realm of possibility. But (thankfully for me), it doesn’t require as much physical fitness as a hiking the Himalayas.
I’ve spent the last two months on a break from social. No tweets, no instas—nothing. I went an extra step and stopped sending newsletters or doing interviews, as well.
Rewinding to whatever “the norm” was before my break: I spent lots of time onsocial media. As an author, product maker, self-employed, brand-builder type person, I’ve used social to build awareness of what I do and what I sell. I use it to connect, network, and stay in touch with friends (most of whom I’ve become friends with on those networks).
There haven’t been active notifications on any device I own for years (they’re far too distracting). So even before my hiatus, I only noticed social when I logged into it, which was often.
I went from a few hours a day on social to none.
And it was quiet.
Almost eerily quiet.
Remarkably, it wasn’t as difficult as I thought it’d be. The time I would have spent tweeting or posting photos was spent working instead. And my work was done quicker. Not just because the time typically spent online socializing was replaced with space, but because I had no choice but to work on my work for longer. Which meant I could get more efficient with it.
For those of you who may have been following along with me, you already know about my penchant for experimenting. One of my favorite experiments is to take something I think I can’t live without and try to eliminate it from my life.
Sometimes I fail (for example, living without furniture is possible but really bad for one’s back). Sometimes I realize what I thought would be lacking isn’t lacking at all (like when I turned off all notifications on all my computers and phones). One time, I realized that giving up spending any money for six months (other than for food) makes it really hard to publish a book that requires money to hire experts (like editors, photographers, etc).
What I liked about my experiment to take a long break from social was that it opened up space. Space to think. Space to be alone with my thoughts. Space to explore.
And most of all, space to focus.
But that’s boring!
Neil Gaiman (who’s at least 42.7 times more smart than I am) says that the best way to come up with really awesome ideas is to get really bored. But we don’t let ourselves get bored anymore.
When all the small gaps in our days are filled with refreshing or sharing, there’s no room left to just sit and breathe and let whatever thoughts that want to happen… just happen. There are more ideas—not fewer—when you remove noise.
There is no longer space in our lives. We can’t wait in line without getting on ourphones. Or sit on a bus. Or eat. Or wake up. Or wait for an elevator. Or watch a sunset.
Extra, dangling seconds force most of us to reach for our pockets and pull out ourtiny computers that connect to the Internet. We must scroll and react to whatever shows up on our screen, as if by some neurological impulse.
Social media definitely forces me to think about whatever is on my screen. Sometimes it’s something I don’t want to think about, like football (American or European). Sometimes it’s something that riles me up, like proposed pipelines going through my Province. Sometimes I’m taken from a happy place to being angry, frustrated, sad, or hurt.
It’s all outside of my control because I’m passively letting whatever stimulus floats into my tiny screen affect me.
When social is gone, I’m more in charge of my stimulus. I get to pick what I want think about (sometimes) and what I focus on. Or what I want to learn more about or not learn about at all.
When you work for yourself, social media is almost like a water cooler. I miss that aspect of it, because most connecting in my day happens online. Sure, I still text with my good friends or email or Skype. But the circle of people I connect with is much smaller when I’m not on social.
Without social, I only connect with people who I’m decent friends with. Not the periphery of people I like and like to interact with, but am not very close to. Without social, there are no new people in my circles, either. So my world got smaller.
Sometimes a quiet small is good.
There are no interruptions, no comparisons of what I’m doing versus what others are publicly achieving. No mob to join in with or chastise when current events become the hot topic. There’s just me—myself, my thoughts (a scary picture – painted by rats with a penchant for the macabre), and my work.
I realized that society doesn’t stop happening if I’m not tuned into it 24/7. Bigger things will find their way to me, maybe not instantly, but when I’m ready for them. Important people will stay in touch. Even though 60+ days passed, social won’t be a drastically different landscape with new rules and customs.
Who knows if I’ll be on social media less now that my randomly chosen amount of time to be off it has passed. Or if I’ll go back at all. Most of the time now, unless I’ve got something silly to say or I miss people there, I don’t feel like I want to go back. I don’t mind that the space it used to take up is now simply kept as space.
Unlike a trek through the Himalayas, I’m not sure if I’ve come back from this sabbatical a changed man or with a radically different view. I’m certainly not more worldly (although I have grown a dishevelled beard). But it does remind me that sometimes feeling like I could be missing out is really just missing out on the present.
And the space to focus is a truly wonderful thing for a creative mind.
Courtesy : http://thenextweb.com/lifehacks/2015/01/24/take-social-media-sabbatical/?
I think an important lesson from the game is that once you have made a move, you cannot take it back. You really have to measure your decisions. You think a lot. You evaluate your choices very carefully. There’s never any guarantee about what’s going to follow once you have made a decision.
— Viswanathan Anand,Former World Chess Champion
Sometimes I feel like I have’nt used my talent (I’m a guitarist) to my utmost potential…Videos like this make me feel like that… It takes alot of hard-work and dedication to be such a beautiful instrumentalist… hopefully one day I get there…
Coming from the most powerful man in the world… This small act of humility is really heart-warming…
By Swati Bhattacharya
I leave work at 5.30. This is a dirty little secret of my work life. In my 22 years in advertising I have not given JWT my nights. I know how bizarre it might sound.
There have been times I’ve romanticized people who work late, often found them cooler, sexier and more talented than me. And still I have found myself picking up my bag and tiffin box latest by 7 pm.
And I know many, many of my male colleagues have judged me and hinted that I’m a slacker. They’ve looked at the watch pointedly around 5.30 pm and said, “Isn’t it time for you to pack up?” Men often think it’s a very cool provider thing to stay back in office. They even get that President Of The World tone when they call their wives and girlfriends to say, “I’ll be late”. The tone suddenly acquires a fireman at work or a doc in ER urgency. The call is always brief. Tight. Compressed. But right after the call I have seen them saunter into the smoking area, send the canteen guy for an errand, debate endlessly on Sachin’s retirement, slowly sip a cup of tea — more slowly than you would in a Polish art film — and then maybe huddle on some work issue very, very, reluctantly. They play games on the computer, get to know the new people, reunite with the old ones but all along with a sense of purpose.
Why can’t women enjoy the afterwork hours like men? Here’s why. When we return late we feel guilty. We imagine the anguish of our kids when they are waiting.Or moms. We know that when it comes to our work life, even our girlfriends are not so empathetic. They expect us to be there. Like our kids and our dogs. Our maid. Or maybe even the mali.
For men it’s a different story. Every Indian mother thinks mera beta khoon pasine ki kamai karta hai. Mere bete par bahut work pressure hai. Bada heavy stress hai. And that’s why men like this staying-at-work thing. It helps them perpetuate this myth of hard-working male provider. If you spend just 2 hours extra doing just about nothing at work, you’ll get a hero’s welcome at home. The wife will get the tea. And the mother will hush your children rudely if they are running around in the living room. If you come home by 9 pm, the children are already in bed and obviously you cannot help them with their homework even if you wanted to. And if you come home at ten, it’s even better. You don’t even have to walk the dog.
For men coming home late has all kinds of privileges. It’s a badge of honour, a moment of quiet pride. And that’s why they are proud to stay late. Proud to hang in the office. Proud to be absent. It doesn’t work like that for us. We want to kill ourselves if our kids go to sleep without seeing us. We are scared of what the class teacher might think of the shabby homework. We feel terrible if our kid goes to a birthday party without a gift. So we come home on time to do the stuff we have to do. And then stay up at night to do the work. We do it privately. Quietly with no show and tell. That’s the way it is with us. So next time you pick up your bag at 5.30 pm, do it with your chin up, chest out! We women do double shifts. Men don’t.
Swati Bhattacharya is the national creative director of JWT India.
Every woman must read this article.
Good article!! Have to reblog this one… My personal take on this is that selfie once in a while is good…But it should’nt be an obsession and should be used at appropriate places…. Technology must not intrude our lives…. and definitely must be avoided in sensitive situations & circumstances….
Originally posted on The City:
The public has been asked to think before taking out their mobile phones to capture pictures of horrific accidents. the appeal follows the death of toddler on the way to kindergarten in Waterford.
The Waterford City Fire Station had to make the plea on it’s Facebook page after a fatal road accident in the city centre claimed the life of two-year-old Daenerys Crosbie earlier this month.
To think people could stand there and watch a toddler fight for her life, let alone video it on their mobile phones, turns my stomach and I’m sure many more around the country.
On the city’s fire service’s Facebook status, they described how a few onlookers immediately reached for their phones to take “ghoulish, thoughtless and extremely distasteful” videos and images of the horrifying…
View original 747 more words
Recently I happened to witness a strange event in our indoor badminton court where I enjoy playing daily after a hectic daily schedule as a doctor, with fellow-players from different age-groups.
One evening, as the game was on, one player abruptly stopped and started staring at a particular spot. In that corner of the court we found two little creatures about the size of a little finger, writhing. Their eyes were unopened, their pink skin fresh: we could see the internal organs. We wondered where they had come from. Then we saw a squirrel on the rooftop, desperately calling and searching for its little ones.
So the baby squirrels had fallen accidentally from their hideout on the roof, surviving a 30-foot fall. It was heart-rending to see the squirrel calling out to its lost ones, and the equally desperate baby squirrels responding in their own feeble language.
Suddenly, the mother spotted them and promptly started climbing down. Soon it was fussing over them. It was a moving sight to see the mother squirrel comforting, reassuring and tending to them.
The squirrel then picked up one of the infants in her teeth and hopped to the nearest exit. We felt relieved and relaxed, and a sense of mudita (sympathetic joy, which is a sublime state of mind according to the Buddha) came over us.
The game suspended, we waited in silence expecting the return of the squirrel to pick up the second baby, which had by then fallen silent, tired after repeated distress calls.
After half an hour or so, just as we were losing hope and wondering what to do with the orphaned squirrel, the mother squirrel started her descent from the roof again.
In no time, it picked up the second infant and disappeared to safety. The intelligence, the courage and the maternal instinct of the mother-squirrel left us in stunned disbelief.
While humans as a race may claim superiority on this planet earth, the courageous act of devotion of the mother squirrel made us to believe it was no less inferior to humans.
After all, Mother Nature treats all its creations on equal terms.
Courtesy: ‘The Hindu’ Daily Newspaper
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An eye-opening perspective from the inside of the industry. Definitely worth the read.
Dedicated to all the porn actresses who caught HIV, died from drug overdose and committed suicide.
Sex-packed porn films featuring freshly-dyed blondes whose evocative eyes say “I want you” is quite possibly one of the greatest deceptions of all time. Trust me, I know. I did it all the time and I did it for the lust of power and the love of money. I never liked sex. I never wanted sex, and in fact I was more apt to spend time with Jack Daniels than some of the studs I was paid to “fake it” with. That’s right, none of us freshly-dyed blondes like doing porn. In fact, we hate it. We hate being touched by strangers who care nothing about us. We hate being degraded with their foul smells and sweaty bodies. Some women hate it so much they can be heard vomiting in the bathroom between scenes. Others can be found outside smoking an endless chain of Marlboro lights…
But the porn industry wants YOU to think we porn actresses love sex. They want you to think we enjoy being degraded by all kinds of repulsive acts. The truth, porn actresses have showed up on the set not knowing about certain requirements and were told by porn producers to do it or leave without being paid. Work or never work again. Yes, we made the choice. Some of us needed the money. But we were manipulated and coerced and even threatened. Some of us caught HIV as a result of that coercion. I personally caught Herpes, a non-curable sexually transmitted disease. Another porn actress went home after a long night of numbing her pain and put a pistol to her head and pulled the trigger. Now she’s dead.
It’s safe to say most women who turn to porn acting as a money-making enterprise, probably didn’t grow up in healthy childhoods either. Indeed, many actresses admit they’ve experienced sexual abuse, physical abuse, verbal abuse and neglect by parents. Some were raped by relatives and molested by neighbors. When we were little girls we wanted to play with dollies and be mommies, not have big scary men get on top of us. So we were taught at a young age that sex made us valuable. The same horrible violations we experienced then, we relive as we perform our tricks in front of the camera. And we hate every minute of it. We’re traumatized little girls living on anti-depressants, drugs and alcohol acting out our pain in front of you who continue to abuse us.
As we continue to traumatize ourselves by making more adult films, we use more and more drugs and alcohol. We live in constant fear of catching AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases. Every time there’s an HIV scare we race to the nearest clinic for an emergency checkup. Pornographers insist on giving viewers the fantasy sex they demand all the while sacrificing the very ones who make it happen. In other words, no condoms allowed. Herpes, gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia, and other diseases are the normal anxieties we walk around with daily. We get tested monthly but we know testing isn’t prevention. Besides worrying about catching diseases from porn sex, there are other harmful activities we engage in that are also very dangerous. Some of us have had physical tearing and damage to internal body parts.
When porn actresses call it a day and head home we attempt to have normal healthy relationships, but some of our boyfriends get jealous and physically abuse us. So instead we marry our porn directors, while others prefer lesbian relationships. It’s a real memory making moment when our daughter accidentally walks out and sees mommy kissing another girl. My daughter will vouch for that one.
On our days off we walk around like zombies with a beer in one hand and a shot of whiskey in the other. We aren’t up to cleaning so we live in filth most of the time, or we hire a sweet foreign lady to come in and clean up our mess. Porn actresses aren’t the best cooks either. Ordering in is normal for us and most of the time we throw up after we eat because we’re bulimic.
For porn actresses who have children, we are the world’s worst mothers. We yell and scream and hit our kids for no reason. Most of the time we are intoxicated or high, and our four year olds are the ones picking us up off the floor. When clients come over for sex, we lock our children in their rooms and tell them to be quiet. I used to give my daughter a beeper and tell her to wait at the park until I was finished.
The truth is there is no fantasy in porn. It’s all a lie. A closer look into the scenes of a porn star’s life will show you a movie that the porn industry doesn’t want you to see. The real truth is we porn actresses want to end the shame and trauma of our lives but we can’t do it alone. We need you men to fight for our freedom and give us back our honor. We need you to hold us in your strong arms while we sob tears over our deep wounds and begin to heal. We want you throw out our movies and help piece together the shattered fragments of our lives. We need you to pray for us so God will hear and repair our ruined lives.
So don’t believe the lie anymore. Porn is nothing more than fake sex and lies on videotape. Trust me, I know.
Super Inspiring Video!! :)
Recently I read this interesting stats that 20% of the world’s rich consume 80% of the world’s resources! The rest of the world (80% of the total population) consume the remaining 20%….Today as I sat in church and the choir sang this song, I was just contemplating on the relevance of this song…. So much the need of the hour in today’s world of consumerism,selfishness,depression & greed…
“Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me.
When I was hungry, you gave me to eat;
When I was thirsty, you gave me to drink.
Now enter into the home of My Father.
Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me.
When I was homeless, you opened your door;
When I was naked, you gave me your coat.
Now enter into the home of My Father.
Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me.
When I was weary, you helped me find rest.
When I was anxious, you calmed all my fears.
Now enter into the home of My Father.
Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me.”
Amazing speech :D
“No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.
Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
I sat with my friend in a well-known coffee shop in a neighboring town of Venice, Italy, the city of lights and water.
As we enjoyed our coffee, a man entered and sat at an empty table beside us. He called the waiter and placed his order saying, “Two cups of coffee, one of them there on the wall.”
We heard this order with rather interest and observed that he was served with one cup of coffee but he paid for two.
When he left, the waiter put a piece of paper on the wall saying “A Cup of Coffee”.
While we were still there, two other men entered and ordered three cups of coffee, two on the table and one on the wall. They had two cups of coffee but paid for three and left. This time also, the waiter did the same; he put a piece of paper on the wall saying, “A Cup of Coffee”.
It was something unique and perplexing for us. We finished our coffee, paid the bill and left.
After a few days, we had a chance to go to this coffee shop again. While we were enjoying our coffee, a man poorly dressed entered. As he seated himself, he looked at the wall and said, “One cup of coffee from the wall.”
The waiter served coffee to this man with the customary respect and dignity. The man had his coffee and left without paying.
We were amazed to watch all this, as the waiter took off a piece of paper from the wall and threw it in the trash bin.
Now it was no surprise for us – the matter was very clear. The great respect for the needy shown by the inhabitants of this town made our eyes well up in tears.
Ponder upon the need of what this man wanted. He enters the coffee shop without having to lower his self-esteem… he has no need to ask for a free cup of coffee… without asking or knowing about the one who is giving this cup of coffee to him… he only looked at the wall, placed an order for himself, enjoyed his coffee and left.
A truly beautiful thought. Probably the most beautiful wall you may ever see anywhere!