Sunday, May 31, 2009

How would you respond?

What would you do if someone you did not like too much (not bad, but not really your cup of tea, kind of person) sent you a mail wishing you well or greets you on your special day? I like to think that I would politely thank the person in return without being effusive or gushing and leave it at that.

Sounds like the obvious option, right? But then it is obviously not so to some. Recently a friend of mine sent a mail. It was a sort of an olive branch to someone who she believed had wronged her (minor stuff) ,but she thought that instead of wiping a lifetime of association, she could take this chance to hook up again. She is yet to get a response. This from an avid, self confessed netizen!

Strange is it not, that we talk of forgiveness, large heartedness and the like, but do not take the time to respond to a good wishes mail. And yes, it is the prerogative of each and every one to choose who they keep in their lives! Yet, this really costs nothing and definitely harms none. If people are not willing to accept olive branches and make peace, how can we expect it from countries and groups? Aren't small courtesies what make our life more pleasant??

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Race matters?

In the past three weeks, there have been as many attacks on Indians in Australia. Everyone has condemned them and there have been protests all over the place. In fact, Amitabh Bachchan has asked for a vote on whether or not he should accept an honour conferred on him by an Australian University!

There are no two opinions that racial discrimination is terrible. We should all condemn it. But should we not look inward too? We are also perpetrators of discrimination. Take a look at our TV shows. Whenever we are trying to make a point about someone looking plain, or not so attractive, we portray them as dark. Does 'ugly' or 'unattractive' equal dark? There are many popular songs that imply the 'dark equals bad' ! "hum kale hain toh kya hua, dilwale hain" for one. Our matrimonial ads are a study in discrimination. The publications even segregate them by caste, community, region, religion language etc. We still ask people whether they are marathi, gujrati, bengali etc. What of the 'north indians, the madrassis' and so on? Will Mr. Bachchan give up all the honours for the way the northindians are being treated? or for the sake of Scarlett Keeling?

While it is wonderful to come together and protest as one against Australia, let us just come together as one in our own country. As the old maxim goes, 'When you point a finger, there are three pointing your way'.

How to stay young

Something I came across that I need to read over and over until it becomes part of who I am!

1. Try everything twice. On one woman's tombstone she said she wanted this epitaph: "Tried everything twice…loved it both times!"
2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down. (Keep this in mind if you are one of those grouches!)

3. Keep learning: Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever.. Never let the brain get idle. 'An idle mind is the devil's workshop.' And the devil's name is Alzheimer's!

4. Enjoy the simple things.

5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath. And if you have a friend who makes you laugh, spend lots and lots of time with HIM/HER.

6. The tears happen: Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person who is with us our entire life, is ourselves. LIVE while you are alive.

7. Surround yourself with what you love: Whether it's family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge.

8. Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.

9. Don't take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, even to the next county, to a foreign country, but NOT to where the guilt is.

10. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity. I love you, my special friend.

11. Forgive now those who made you cry. You might not get a second chance.. But do share this with someone... Lost time can never be found. Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of a battle,

Hard to practise but worth a try..!!!

Your age by chocolate

This is pretty neat.
It takes less than a minute .Work this out as you read .

Be sure you don't read the bottom until you've worked it out!

This is not one of those waste of time things, it's fun.
1. First of all, pick the number of times a week that you would like to have chocolate (more than once but less than 10)
2. Multiply this number by 2 (just to be bold)
3. Add 5
4. Multiply it by 50 --
5. If you have already had your birthday this year add 1759 ..If you haven't, add 1758.
6. Now subtract the four digit year that you were born.You should have a three digit number The first digit of this was your original number(i.e., how many times you want to have chocolate each week).The next two numbers are YOUR AGE! (Oh YES, it is!!!!!)THIS IS THE ONLY YEAR (2009) IT WILL EVER WORK, SO SPREAD IT AROUND WHILE IT LASTS. chocolate Calculator

Friday, May 29, 2009

Schooling with a difference

The dictionary defines the word schooling as to train, educate, coach, tutor, instruct. The place, time and methods do not really matter. Home –schooling is not exactly a revolutionary new concept, and yet it does tend to surprise a lot of people. For those who believe in it, they just set their own time table and teach their child in their own way.

What was more interesting to me was the concept of Un-schooling and that there are people in Pune bravely treading that path. The term “unschooling” was first coined in 1977 by John Holt, an education reformer, the founder of Holt Associates and author of the book, “Teach Your Own.” While ‘unschooling’ is thought to be an extension of home schooling, it differs a hugely as there is no formal set curriculum involved. The idea is to let the child learn and evolve, making up his/her own mind and direction of learning. There are no specific course books and deadlines for learning. A child could learn to write at age four or at age eight, one who writes at eight may have advanced math skills, while yet another who may be extremely adept at art may pick up scientific knowledge at a much later stage. This does not mean that the child is left completely alone to his own devices. The adults in his/her life have to put in a lot more effort and expose the child to as many positive influences as possible.

Hard enough to run one's life with structure, this just make it harder, say the traditionalists. But then in today's time of zillion classes and overburdened children, worth at least thinking about, wouldn't you say?

Ten principles for peace of mind

This is kind of stating the obvious, but then why not?! It came to me as an email, but I have modified it slightly.

Ten Principles for Peace of Mind

1. Do Not Interfere In Others' Business Unless Asked.
Most of us create our own problems by interfering too often in others' affairs. Our way is the best way, and those who do not conform to our thinking must be criticized and steered to the right direction, our direction. This thinking denies the existence of individuality . No two human beings can think or act in exactly the same way. Mind your own business and you will keep your peace.

2. Forgive And Forget.
This is the most powerful aid to peace of mind. We nurture grievances. This in turn results in loss of sleep, development of stomach ulcers, and high blood pressure. The insult or injury was once, but nourishing of grievance goes on .. Life is too short to waste in such trifles. Forgive, Forget, and march on. Love flourishes in giving and forgiving.

3. Do Not Crave For Recognition.
This world is full of selfish people. They seldom praise anybody without selfish motives. They may praise you today because you are in power, but no sooner than you are powerless, they will forget your achievement and will start finding faults in you. It has been said that you can get a lot done if you do not care who gets the credit.

4. Do Not Be Jealous.
We all have experienced how jealousy can disturb our peace of mind. Everybody's life is shaped by his/her destiny, which has now become his/her reality. If you are destined to be rich, nothing in the world can stop you. If you are not so destined, no one can help you either. Nothing will be gained by blaming others for your misfortune. Jealousy will not get you anywhere; it will only take away your peace of mind.

5. Change Yourself According To The Environment.
If you try to change the environment single-handedly, the chances are you will fail. Instead, change yourself to suit your environment. As you do this, even the environment, which has been unfriendly to you, will mysteriously change and seem congenial and harmonious.

6. Endure What Cannot Be Cured.
This is the best way to turn a disadvantage into an advantage. Every day we face numerous inconveniences, ailments, irritations, and accidents that are beyond our control. If we cannot control them or change them, we must learn to put up with these things. We must learn to endure them cheerfully. Believe in yourself and you will gain in terms of patience, inner strength and will power.

7. Do Not Bite Off More Than You Can Chew.
This maxim needs to be remembered constantly. We often tend to take more responsibilities than we are capable of carrying out. . Know your limitations..

8. Meditate Regularly.
Meditation calms the mind and gets rid of disturbing thoughts. This is the highest state of peace of mind. Try and experience it yourself. This will increase your efficiency and you will be able to produce better results in less time.

9. Never Leave The Mind Vacant.
An empty mind is the devil's workshop. All evil actions start in the vacant mind. Keep your mind occupied in something positive, something worthwhile. Actively follow a hobby. Do something that holds your interest. You must decide what you value more: money or peace of mind.

10. Do Not Procrastinate And Never Regret.
Do not waste time in protracted wondering " Should I or shouldn't I?" Days, weeks, months, and years may be wasted in that futile mental debating. You can never plan enough because you can never anticipate all future happenings. Value your time and do the things that need to be done. It does not matter if you fail the first time. You can learn from your mistakes and succeed the next time. Sitting back and worrying will lead to nothing. Learn from your mistakes, but do not brood over the past. Look ahead.

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