….promises you make to yourself…..
During my life I’ve always had the habit of trying to be a people pleaser. Trying to do and be everything for everyone in order to avoid conflict, while often putting my own wants on the back burner. Failing to give people what they expect often leaves me feeling ashamed and guilty. Hell, almost anything leaves me feeling that way. I’ll chalk it up to being raised by a Catholic converted Baptist mother; two strikes against me. Having confidence in my decisions and trying to break the habit of feeling guilty for making what I would consider to be “selfish” decisions is a constant work in progress. I’ve been reflecting on this feeling of self-inflicted guilt these past few months as I was recently put to the test to see just how much I have grown in this past year and if I would easily backslide.
Thinking it was the responsible…
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Top 5 dislikes
ENIGMATIC We hate it when we don’t understand the boss. We want to know where we stand and what the rules are. We hate it when leader is inconsistent, or plays head games. (Yep, my boss Jim was like that.)
THREATENING We don’t like the sword of Damocles over our head. We don’t like to see co-workers in that position either. Scapegoating, the art of torturing a subordinate for the sins of all, is a big no-no. It’s entertaining to a point, but no one wants to be the next line for humiliation. We expect our leaders to be able to discipline their passions and keep control of their emotions.
HYPOCRITICAL If you are an evil person, please let us know. We will be able to tell soon enough if you are self-serving. But please don’t say one thing and do another. It’s very confusing and gives virtue a bad name.
PEDANTIC Attention to detail is one thing, but let us do our jobs. When you are down in the hold rearranging the baggage, it makes us very nervous about who is steering the ship.
WASTING OUR TIME We understand the need for meetings. Hey, you are the boss. But we have a job to do here.
Top 5 Likes
COURAGE We love it when you take risks. We will feed off your confidence, and make you a legend. But we also want to see that 3 o clock in the morning courage, the courage to keep fighting when the whole thing seems to be coming down around our ears. We love fighters.
OPENNESS Let’s communicate. We can tell whether you want the real answers to your questions, or you are just showing off. How much noise you can handle. Challenging the prevailing wisdom always is. Openness means making yourself a temporary equal once in a while and listening for the information that only the lower ranks can give you. (I think I do it at times)
DRIVE TO WIN Sure, we all have different levels of commitment but at heart we all want to be winners. Set clear goals for us. We will block, carry the ball, or whatever but we want to know what the goal is. We want to see you committed to victory, however you define it.
FAIRNESS We know life is tough. Not everybody is going to make it. But we want to feel like we all have an equal chance to succeed. Mentorship is one thing, cronyism is another. Just be fair.
TRUST At the end of the day, we want your trust. If you give us the benefit of doubt, we will live up to your highest expectations. The greatest gift you can give us is your trust. If you can’t give it at least let us earn it.
(By Mark Bender)
Civil Rights, to put simply, are the rights of the people as written in the Constitution. These, inter-alia pertain to freedom of speech, religion, press, due process of law and the right to equal protection under the law. US Civil Rights Movement, which actually began way back in 1783, took a new shape in the 1950’s, when African Americans came together in a series of non violent protests, popularly known as the Civil Rights Movement.
With the onset of new media and the resulting awareness in the civil society, the lessons of US Civil RightsMovement are as relevant today, as these were a few decades back. In modern times of Facebook, twitter, email, sms, the tools might have changed for the better, but the underlying spirit of camaraderie, brotherhood & non-violence still remains valid.
Respect for Human dignity, for one, is the lesson that we must learn from the history and make it a part of our lives. The segregation and differentiation may not be as marked and as differentiated as manifested in the earlier centuries, but there still are differences in our mindsets in subtle forms, differences of rich-poor, differences of literate-illiterate, differences of geography, which must go away, if we have to collectively rise up as a human race. Non-violence and its significance, is another lesson that we can draw from the movement. Coexistence, especially in nations like US and India, where diversity is a norm, is very important for a healthy democracy. Liberty, equality, freedom will have no meaning if taken in singularity, with each section of society defining and interpreting these terms in their own way.
Nobel laureate Martin Luther King Junior, was a major figure in the US Civil Rights Movement. His “I have a dream” speech delivered on 28th August, 1963 is credited with mobilizing supporters of desegregation leading to significant developments in the coming years. Let us try to derive lessons of the US Civil Rights Movement from the words of this visionary leader only, from this and other speeches. This will be a befitting tribute to him as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the historical speech.
“In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must ever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force….We cannot walk alone. And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We can not turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights- When will you be satisfied?…we are not satisfied and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and the righteousness like a mighty stream….Let us not awllow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends. And so even though we face difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed. We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal. “
“I think the greatest victory of this period was..something internal. The real victory was what this period did to the psyche of the black man. The greatness of this period was that we armed ourselves with dignity and self-respect. The greatness of this period was that we straightened our backs up. And a man can’t ride your back unless it’s bent.”
“The nonviolent approach does not immediately change the heart of the oppressor. It first does something to the hearts and souls of those committed to it. It gives them new self-respect, it calls up resources of strength and courage that they did not know they had. Finally it reaches the opponent and so stirs his conscience that reconciliation becomes a reality.”
And, in conclusion, we can see that the words and the thoughts of Martin Luther King Jr are as relevant today, as these were half a century back. The context in which he led the people might have been limited, but his philosophy was far-reaching and universal. His life was an example. He did what he preached.
So, whether the citizen meetings are organised using facebook, twitter or other means, the principles of non-violence, of equality, of justice, of freedom never change and that in essence is the learning from the US CivilRight Movement.
Coretta Scott-King, wife of the visionary leader put his philosophy in few words very beautifully.
“My husband often told the children that if a man had nothing that was worth dying for, then he was not fit to live. He said also that it’s not how long you live, but how well you live.”
I believe it’s important to let people know they are loved and valued. Even if you don’t know them, I think we should always let people know they matter. I believe in using what you’ve been given to love others. We can all use our time, energy, creativity, gifts, talents and money to love people. What gifts and resources do you have that you can use to give to others? Maybe you can cook a meal for a single parent, read a book to a child, write someone a poem or a song, mow a neighbour’s lawn, or start a conversation with a stranger.
I created a list of ways that I can show people love and that they matter. These are ways that resonate with my interests and abilities, but there are many more ways to express love. Some people call these “random acts of kindness.” They are random…
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Most of the yoga poses originated from careful observation of nature. Dog pose, tree, fish, turtle, mountain to name a few. Each of the poses is meant to embody or emulate the feeling of there natural origins. We can learn alot about life by thinking and looking at nature. Nature is an intelligent system of life. It wasn’t until humans came along with their left and right brains, logic and arguement that nature took a derivation.
Trees are firmly rooted in the earth, they have strong foundations but their limbs move with the breeze. They know they are a tree and they be the best tree they can just by being. They don’t look at other trees and judge themselves as to whether they are bigger or better or more attractive. When they lose their leaves they float to the earth without trying to control their landing. Trees…
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For my Indian readers, in Hindi
एक बार एक गाँव था । सुन्दर, शांत और खुशहाल । उस गाँव में एक व्यक्ति रहता था । मेहनत और लगन से वो एक सरकारी महकमे में नौकरी भी पा गया था । वह रोज़ समय से उठता और अपने घर के लिए कुँए का पानी खुद भरने जाता । फिर समय से तैयार हो समय से ट्रेन पकड़ काम पर निकल जाता । यही उसकी दिनचर्या थी । व्यक्ति व्यवहार कुशल था , मेहनती था , गुणवान था इसलिए सब उसे पसंद करते थे ।
कुँए में पानी का स्तर नीचे जाने के कारण अक्सर बाल्टी कई जगह टकराती थी , इससे कुछ समय में उसमें छोटे छोटे छेद हो जाते थे । जिनसे पानी रिसता था । पर उस आदमी ने कभी शिकायत नहीं करी । अगर ज़्यादा पानी बह जाता तो वह दुबारा कुँए पर जाकर पानी भर लाता । कई चक्कर लगाता । सभी गाँव वाले उसकी इस मेहनत की कद्र करते और व्यवहार कुशलता की तारीफ करते न थकते । उस आदमी को लोगों के इस नज़रिए से ही संतोष पहुँच जाता था ।
इसी गाँव में एक और व्यक्ति था । उसकी भी दिनचर्या कुछ ऐसी ही थी । वो सुबह होते ही, कभी कभी पौ फटने से पहले ही कुँए पर पहुँच जाता और पानी भर लाता । व्यवहार कुशल तो था पर उसे सबसे अधिक गाँव का लुहार जानता था जिससे वो प्राय : अपनी बाल्टी ठीक कराया करता । फिर जैसे ही घर का काम खत्म होता वो काम पर निकल जाता । काम पर जाने के लिए वो सही समय का इंतज़ार नहीं करता था बस पहला मौका मिलते ही निकल जाता था ।
यह क्रम कई वर्षों तक चला और फिर एक दिन अचानक पता चला कि यही दूसरा आदमी अपने महकमे में एक बहुत बड़ा अफसर बन गया है । उसकी इस तरक्की से पूरा गाँव गौरवान्वित भी हुआ और हैरान भी ।
जीवन में सफलता उन्ही को मिलती है जो अपने लक्ष्य को पाने के लिए कुछ अधिक करने का प्रयत्न करते हैं । संभव है कि ये निष्ठा आसानी से दुनिया की नज़र में न आये पर हमें विचलित नहीं होना चाहिए और निरंतर अपने कार्य में मग्न रहना चाहिए ।
Once an unhappy young man came to an old master and told he had a very sad life and asked for a solution.
The old Master instructed the unhappy young man to put a handful of salt in a glass of water and then to drink it.
“How does it taste?” – the Master asked.
“Terrible.” – spat the apprentice.
The Master chuckled and then asked the young man to take another handful of salt and put it in the lake. The two walked in silence to the nearby lake and when the apprentice swirled his handful of salt into the lake.
The old man said, “Now drink from the lake.”
As the water dripped down the young man’s chin, the Master asked, “How does it taste?”
“Good!” – remarked the apprentice.
“Do you taste the salt?” – asked the Master.
“No.” – said the young man.
The Master sat beside this troubled young man, took his hands, and said, “The pain of life is pure salt; no more, no less. The amount of pain in life remains the same, exactly the same. But the amount we taste the ‘pain’ depends on the container we put it into. So when you are in pain, the only thing you can do is to enlarge your sense of things. Stop being a glass. Become a lake.”
A Priest was being honoured at his retirement dinner after 25 years in the parish. A leading local politician and member of the congregation was chosen to make the presentation and to give a little speech at the dinner.
However, he was delayed, so the Priest decided to say his own few words while they waited:
‘I got my first impression of the parish from the first confession I heard here. I thought I had been assigned to a terrible place. The very first person who entered my confessional told me he had stolen a television set and, when questioned by the police, was able to lie his way out of it. He had stolen money from his parents, embezzled from his employer, had an affair with his boss’s wife, taken illegal drugs, and sold his sister’s jewellery to buy a gun. I was appalled.
But as the days went on I learned that my people were not all like that and I had, indeed, come to a fine parish full of good and loving people.’
Just as the Priest finished his talk, the politician arrived full of apologies at being late. He immediately began to make the presentation and gave his talk:
‘I’ll never forget the first day our parish Priest arrived,’ said the politician. ‘In fact, I had the honour of being the first person to go to him for confession.’
Moral : Never, Never, Never Be Late….
I have noticed even people who claim everything is predestined, and that we can do nothing to change it, look before they cross the road.