Sunday, 25 December 2016

Be like Santa! to Someone!

Giving without love is a show of charity. Giving with love is real charity. “It is not how much we give but how much love we put in giving”, said Mother Teresa. If you take the media personnel to get your act of benevolence covered in the next day’s newspaper, is it charity? No, certainly not.  It is a political gimmick. If you cover a poor man with a blanket in a cold windy night without his knowledge, it is an act of charity. It is said that even your left hand should not know what your right hand is giving. Giving is human, but selfless giving is divine. The cloud takes water from the earth and gives it back to the earth in the form of rain. You have to return to the world whatever you take from the world. Giving is the only way to repay the debt of Nature. We get back in life what we give to others. So, give to the world the best you have and the very best will come back to you. Let us do as much good as we can, to as many as we can in as many ways as we can. Through the metaphor of Santa Claus, the joy of giving and sharing is universally commemorated. Like Santa Claus who distributes gifts to all, we must never differentiate, distinguish and discriminate while giving. Everybody should don the mantle of Santa Claus several times in a year to help those who are poor and needy. Experience the unadulterated joy of giving. There is no bigger happiness than it. Philanthropy is the art of giving and enjoying the feeling of bliss and self-satisfaction.

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Don’t Be a One-test Wonder

Scaling the summit of the mountain is always easier than staying at the top for a long time. Generally, complacency creeps in and your downhill journey starts. How to keep your motivation level constantly high is a major challenge. Motivation is the driving force which propels you to work hard and go ahead in life. It is the drive to strive and achieve. You cannot afford to rest on your past laurels and let the world overtake you. Get into the habit of making success your constant companion. Otherwise you will be dubbed and dismissed as a one-test wonder. 

No doubt, everything is not very simple, smooth or straight, whether at home or in the work place. Life moves on a zig-zag path. There are many twists and turns. When a sudden U-turn or an unexpected bend comes, you often get upset and puzzled. Those, who remain cool and composed in difficult moments, create a positive impact on others. It is very tough to smile when you are down and depressed. But smile is simply a curve that makes many things straight. You cannot control your circumstances but you have full control over your reactions. You cannot change the direction of the wind but you can adjust your sails. You can apply the brake on your emotions. You can play the role of a fire-fighter. You cannot escape and avoid problems. You have to encounter them and find solutions. Pencils need a painful sharpening from time to time. You also have to go through various adverse conditions in life but you need it to become a sharp, pointed and focused person. Here is a statement from Sir Edmund Hillary when he attempted to climb Mount Everest for the first time but couldn’t. “Hi, Mount Everest, you cannot grow bigger than what you are but I can grow bigger than what I am.” Later on, he became the first mountaineer to reach the summit of Mount Everest in 1953 along with Tenzing Norgay. Paul J. Meyer is very right in saying: “There is not a ruler, a yardstick or a measuring tape in the entire world long enough to compute the strength and capabilities inside you.” Invoke the hidden power that resides within you to make impossible possible.

Monday, 5 December 2016

Value the Values

Values are vital vitamins of life. They are required in small doses but are very essential for the well being. They are the roots of life and the very foundation of our existence. They are age-old guidelines which have kept society safe, sane and stable. They bring order and meaning to both our personal and professional life.
Our schools, colleges and universities are churning out, in plenty, undergraduates, graduates and post graduates whose sole aim of education is to pursue a career-oriented course in order to eke out a livelihood for them. This is education for a living. But much more important is the education for life. One of the most challenging tasks confronting us is that of instilling within our children a proper set of values that will provide them with motivation and guidance throughout their lives. These universal values build character which provides behavior that is beneficial for the individual as well as the community. The life-skills enable us to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life. Winston Churchill rightly said: “The first duty of a university is to teach wisdom, not trade; character, not technicalities.”

Values and virtues are not hereditary. They are learned. The best gift that a parent can give to his child is the framework of positive values. The super-structure of life will easily be erected on this solid foundation.
Teachers and educational institutions can also become effective role models for inculcating core human values in their students. Theodore Roosevelt felt : “To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society.”

In this age of flux, people think that values have become old-fashioned. With changing times, values change their form but they are never obsolete or out-dated. They are like cheques that never bounce in the bank of life.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Life Lessons from Demonetisation

The sudden demise of high value currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 denomination on the fateful night of 8th November has been the cruelest blow on the shadow economy of our country. The bold announcement was like a massive earthquake or a high magnitude upheaval for the black money hoarders. This economic surgical strike was the greatest combing operation in the financial history of India.

Yesterday, an idea occurred to my mind that we can draw some valuable life lessons from this demonetization process. I felt that many time-tested adages, maxims and proverbs, which people had thrown in the dustbin, have once again fired the imagination of the public. Here are some of the sayings which have regained value, meaning and relevance in the contemporary scenario.
1.      Honesty is the best policy – Once again, people are convinced of the truth of this dictum. Those, who have earned money through rightful means, are the happiest persons on the earth. There is a glow of pride on their faces. Even if, they are facing a lot of trouble in the long queues, they feel that they are making an offering in the Mahayana of honesty, integrity and credibility. Dishonest people are passing sleepless nights in planning to dispose off their ill-gotten wealth in different unscrupulous ways. Purification is always painful but the citizens of the country are ready to pay the price for a better tomorrow.
2.      Simple living and high thinking – Instead of simple living and high thinking, the new mantra of the modern generation is high living and low thinking. Shameless acceptance of corruption and ostentatious display of wealth have become the latest craze. Simple living is unfashionable and high thinking is outdated. Lust for goods and greed for money have converted us into heartless beasts. We are wallowing in the filth of materialism like dirty prigs. Let us hope that this master stroke will bring us back to the era of honest living and lofty thinking.
3.      Cut your coat according to your cloth – Needs are limited. Greed is unlimited. Political offices and government jobs are no longer passport to social service. Rather they are legal licenses for indulging in all sorts of wrongful practices. Vulgar display of wealth in royal weddings, buying of luxury vehicles by panchayat representatives and petty government officials, purchasing of expensive bungalows in posh localities of different towns, cities and metros, mad rash for gold ornaments, jewelry and bullions – all narrate the shameless saga of corruption and black money. Once the party funding becomes transparent, benami transactions are curbed and the economy goes cashless, people in power and position will learn the lesson of moderation and living within their means.
4.      Small is beautiful – The notes of smaller denominations like Rs 100, Rs 50, Rs 20 and Rs 10 felt very much ashamed, humiliated and belittled before their big brothers. But today, they have become the hot favorite of the people. Suddenly their value has been recognized and their worth has been realized. So don’t look down upon anyone. You do not know who will come to your rescue in times of need. Generally ordinary people lend you a helping hand in extraordinary situations. Hence never under estimate the power of common man and small currencies and coins.
 We are highly indebted and extremely thankful to our honorable Prime Minister for dealing a severe blow on the unholy nexus of politicians, bureaucrats, criminals and mafias and giving the ordinary people a chance to bask once again in the glory of principles, values, ethics and morality - the ideals which India stands for.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Money!! Is a Means.

Mercenary attitude or money mindedness is the root cause of most of the evils. We all have become the worshipers of Mammon. Lust for money is more intoxicating than wine or drug. It has robbed us of our health, peace and happiness. Commercialization and consumerism have created an insatiable craze for commodities. Malls are the new temples. The fast changing models of consumer items have developed a culture of “use and throw.” Spending rather than saving is the new mantra of the modern tech-savvy generation. Ostentatious display of wealth is the latest fad.

This rat-race has started taking its toll. We are so engrossed in this money-spinning game that we have become oblivious of the real meaning and purpose of life. Most of the people die with this regret that they have earned a lot of money but they have not learnt the art of enjoying life. Wealth can procure comforts but it cannot procure happiness. It can purchase a cozy bed but it can purchase sound sleep. It can buy medicines but it cannot buy good health. Like the proverbial King Midas, the blessing of the golden touch has become the greatest curse for the money-makers. Physical and mental well being is far more important than being well off. “A single-minded focus on making money can make us insensitive to other smaller but perhaps more satisfying joys of life”, observed Charles Dickens. So, stop chasing the mirage and enjoy the beauty and divinity in everything that is around you. Money making is not bad. The more you earn, the more you can give. Be the trustee of your wealth in the words of Mahatma Gandhi. Riches do not enrich you. Renunciation enlightens you.