Thursday, November 30, 2006

Hold my hand

Once, a little girl and her father were crossing a bridge.

The father was kind of scared so he asked his little daughter, "Sweetheart, Please hold my hand so that you don't fall into the river."

The little girl said, "No Dad. You hold my hand."

"What's the difference?" asked the father, puzzled.

"There's a big difference," replied the little girl, "If I hold your hand and something happens to me, chances are that I may let your hand go. But if you hold my hand, I know for sure that no matter what happens, you will NEVER let my hand go."

In any relationship (parent-child, manager-coworker, coach-coachee), the essence of trust is not just in its bind, but in its bond.


Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Everbody, Somebody, Anybody & Nobody

Once upon a time there were 4 people, named: EVERYBODY, SOMEBODY, ANYBODY and NOBODY.

There was an important job to be done and EVERYBODY was sure that SOMEBODY would do it. ANYBODY could have done it, but NOBODY did it. SOMEBODY got angry about that because it was EVERYBODY's job.

EVERYBODY thought ANYBODY could do it, but NOBODY realized that ANYBODY wouldn't do it. It ended up that EVERYBODY blamed SOMEBODY when NOBODY did what ANYBODY could have done.

Who are we?


We ought not to be EVERYBODY or ANYBODY or NOBODY, but we need to become "SOMEBODY" so as to make a difference in the lives of the people we meet, during the journey of our life.


2 Traveling Wizards

Things aren't always what they seem..

Two traveling wizards stopped to spend the night in the home of a wealthy family. The family was rude and refused to let the wizards stay in the mansion's guest room. Instead the wizards were given a small space in the cold basement. As they made their bed on the hard floor, the older wizard saw a hole in the wall and repaired it. When the younger wizard asked why, the older wizard replied," Things aren't always what they seem."

The next night the pair came to rest at the house of a very poor, but very hospitable farmer and his wife. After sharing what little food they had the couple let the wizards sleep in their bed where they could have a good night's rest. When the sun came up the next morning the wizards found the farmer and his wife in tears. Their only cow, whose milk had been their sole income, lay dead in the field.

The younger wizard was infuriated and asked the older wizard how could you have let this happen? The first man had everything, yet you helped him, she accused. The second family had little but was willing to share everything, and you let the cow die. "Things aren't always what they seem," the older wizard replied.

"When we stayed in the basement of the mansion, I noticed there was gold stored in that hole in the wall. Since the owner was so obsessed with greed and unwilling to share his good fortune, I sealed the wall so he wouldn't find it. Then last night as we slept in the farmers bed, the angel of death came for his wife. I gave him the cow instead.

This is sometimes exactly what we do when things don't turn out the way we think they should. We need to cultivate our ability to be curious and to suspend judgment until we ask the questions that allow us to understand what really happened.


Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Cracked Pot

Remember to appreciate unique qualities of different people in your life. You are unique in you own way, which you may not even know about!

A water bearer in China had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which he carried across his neck.

One of the pots had a crack in it, while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water. At the end of the long walk from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half-full. For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water to his house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of it's own imperfection. And miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.

After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. "I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you. I have been able to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don't get full value from your efforts," the pot said.

The bearer said to the pot, "Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of the path, but not on the other pot's side?"

The cracked pot remembered "Yes I noticed them, and they are beautiful!"

The bearer continued "Yes, but they are there because I have always known about your flaw. So I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you've watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house!"

Each of us has our own unique flaws. We're all cracked pots. But it's the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding. You've just got to take each person for what they are, and look for the good in them. Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape.


Smoke Signal

It is easy to get discouraged when things are going bad.

He, the only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him, and every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming. Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect him from the elements, and to store his few possessions.

But then one day, after scavenging for food on the island, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, the smoke rolling up to the sky. Worst happened; everything was lost. He was stunned with grief and anger. "God, how could you do this to me?!!" he cried.

Early the next day, however, he was awakened by the sound of a ship that was approaching the island. It had come to rescue him. "How did you know I was here?" asked the weary man of his rescuers. "We saw your smoke signal," they replied.

Never lose heart, because God is at work in our lives, even in the midst of pain and suffering. Remember the next time your little hut is burning to the ground it may be just a smoke signal that summons the grace of God.


The Brick

God whispers in our souls and speaks to our hearts. Sometimes when we don't have time to listen, He has to throw a brick at us. It's our choice to listen or not.

A young and successful executive was traveling down a neighborhood street, going a bit too fast in his new Jaguar. He was watching for kids darting out from between parked cars and slowed down when he thought he saw something. As his car passed, no children appeared. Instead, a brick smashed into the Jag's side door! He slammed on the brakes and backed the Jag back to the spot where the brick had been thrown.

The angry driver then jumped out of the car, grabbed the nearest kid and pushed him up against a parked car shouting, "What was that all about and who are you? Just what the heck are you doing? That's a new car and that brick you threw is going to cost a lot of money. Why did you do it?"

The young boy was apologetic. "Please, mister...please, I'm sorry but I didn't know what else to do," He pleaded. "I threw the brick because no one else would stop..." With tears dripping down his face and off his chin, the youth pointed to a spot just around a parked car. "It's my brother, "he said. "He rolled off the curb and fell out of his wheelchair and I can't lift him up."

Now sobbing, the boy asked the stunned executive, "Would you please help me get him back into his wheelchair? He's hurt and he's too heavy for me." Moved beyond words, the driver tried to swallow the rapidly swelling lump in his throat. He hurriedly lifted the handicapped boy back into the wheelchair, then took out a linen handkerchief and dabbed at the fresh scrapes and cuts. A quick look told him everything was going to be okay. "Thank you and may God bless you," the grateful child told the stranger. Too shook up for words, the man simply watched the boy! push his wheelchair-bound brother down the sidewalk toward their home.

It was a long, slow walk back to the Jaguar. The damage was very noticeable, but the driver never bothered to repair the dented side door. He kept the dent there to remind him of this message:

"Don't go through life so fast that someone has to throw a brick at you to get your attention!"


The 7 Wonders of the world

Before you read further, can you quickly recall the 7 wonders of the world? Start now..

Got a few names on your fingers already? Now read this:

A group of students was asked to list what they thought were the present "Seven Wonders of the World."

Though there were some disagreements, the following received the most votes:

1. Egypt's Great Pyramids
2. Taj Mahal
3. Grand Canyon
4. Panama Canal
5. Empire State Building
6. St. Peter's Basilica
7. China's Great Wall

While gathering the votes, the teacher noticed that one quiet student hadn't turned in her paper yet. So she asked the girl if she was having trouble with her list.

The girl replied, "Yes, a little. I couldn't quite make up my mind because there were so many."

The teacher said, "Well, tell us what you have, and maybe we can help."

The girl hesitated, then read, "I think the 'Seven Wonders of the World' are:

1. to see
2. to hear
3. to touch
4. to taste
5. to feel
6. to laugh
7. and to love."

The room was so quiet you could have heard a pin drop.

The things we overlook as simple and ordinary and that we take for granted are truly wondrous!


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Fern and Bamboo

Think life has beaten you to pulp? Lost any hope for success? Want to quit? Here is God's final verdict for you:

One day a man decided to quit... quit his job, his relationship, his spirituality. He wanted to quit his life. He went to the woods to have one last talk with God.

"God", he asked, "can you give him one good reason not to quit?"

God’s answer surprised him..

"Look around", God said. "Do you see the fern and the bamboo?"

"Yes", he replied.

"When I planted the fern and the bamboo seeds, I took very good care of them. I gave them light. I gave them water. The fern quickly grew from the earth. Its brilliant green covered the floor. Yet nothing came from the bamboo seed. But I did not quit on the bamboo. In the second year the Fern grew more vibrant and plentiful. And again, nothing came from the bamboo seed. But I did not quit on the bamboo." God repeated.

"In year three there was still nothing from the bamboo seed. But I would not quit. In year four, again, there was nothing from the bamboo see. I still did not quit." God said. "Then in the fifth year a tiny sprout emerged from the earth. Compared to the fern it was seemingly small and insignificant... but just 6 months later the bamboo rose to over 100 feet tall. It had spent the five years growing roots. Those roots made it strong and gave it what it needed to survive. I would not give any of my creations a challenge it could not handle." God said to him. "Did you know, that all this this time you have been struggling, you have actually been growing roots?"

God’s words shook the man. He stood there in silence.

"I did not quit on the bamboo. I will never quit on you."

"Don't compare yourself to others." God added. "The bamboo had a different purpose than the fern. Yet they both make the forest beautiful." "Your time will come", God said to him. "You will rise high".

"But how high should I rise?" the man asked further

"How high will the bamboo rise?" God asked in return.

"As high as it can?" he asked doubtfully

"Yes." God said, "Give me glory by rising as high as you can."

The man left the forest to apply this lesson in his life.

Remember: God will never give up on you.


How much do you make per hour?

Another story that teaches importance of quality time we spend with our loved ones. Maybe you will feel exactly how this father felt in the end..

A man came home from work late, tired and irritated, to find his 5-year-old son waiting for him at the door.

Son: "Daddy, May I ask you a question"

Daddy: "Yeah sure, what it is?"

Son: "Dad, how much do you make an hour"

Daddy: "That's none of your business. Why do you ask such a thing? "that man said angrily.

Son: "I just want to know. Please tell me, how much do you make an hour?"

Daddy: "I make Rs. 500 an hour"

"Oh", the little boy replied, with his head down. Looking up,he said, "Dad, may I please borrow Rs.300?"

The father was furious, "if the only reason you asked that is so you can borrow some money to buy a silly toy or other nonsense, then march yourself to your room and go to bed. Think why you are being so selfish. I work hard everyday for such this childish behavior"

The little boy quietly went to his room and shut the door. The man sat down and started to get even angrier about the little boy's questions. How dare he ask such questions only to get some money?

After about an hour or so, the man had calmed down, and started to think: May be there was something he really needed to buy with that Rs. 300 and he really didn't ask for money very often!"

The man went to the door of little boy's room and opened the door. "Are you asleep, son?" He aked. "No daddy, I'm awake," replied the boy.

"I've been thinking, may be I was too hard on you earlier", said the man, It's been a long day and I took out my aggravation on you. Here's the Rs. 300 you asked for. The little boy sat straight up, smiling "oh thank you dad!" he exclaimed.

Then, reaching under his pillow he pulled some more crippled up notes. The man, seeing that the boy already had money, started to get angry again.The little boy slowly counted out his money, then looked up at his father.

"Why do you want money if you already had some?" the father grumbled.

"Because I didn't have enough, but now I do," the little boy replied.

"Daddy I have Rs. 500 now. Can I buy an hour of your time? Please come home early tomorrow. I would like to have dinner with you."

The father hugged his son tightly, tears rolling from his eyes.

If we die tomorrow, the company that we are working for could easily replace us in a matter of days. But the family & friends we leave behind will feel the loss for the rest of their lives. And come to think of it, we pour ourselves more into work than to our family. An unwise investment indeed.


57 Cents

It is a true story:

A sobbing little girl stood near a small church, from which she had been turned away because it was "too crowded."

"I can't go to Sunday School," she sobbed to the pastor as he walked by. Seeing her shabby, unkempt appearance, the pastor guessed the reason and, taking her by the hand, took her inside and found a place for her in the Sunday school class.

The child was so happy that they found room for her, and she went to bed that night thinking of the children who have no place to worship Jesus.

Some two years later, this child lay dead in one of the poor tenement buildings. Her parents called for the kind-hearted pastor who had befriended their daughter to handle the final arrangements. As her poor little body was being moved, a worn and crumpled red purse was found which seemed to have been rummaged from some trash dump. Inside was found 57 cents and a note, scribbled in childish handwriting, which read:

"This is to help build the little church bigger so more children can go to Sunday School."

For two years she had saved for this offering of love. When the pastor tearfully read that note, he knew instantly what he would do. Carrying this note and the cracked red pocketbook to the pulpit, he told the story of her unselfish love and devotion. He challenged his deacons to get busy and raise enough money for the larger building.

But the story does not end there...

A newspaper learned of the story and published it. It was read by a wealthy realtor who offered them a parcel of land worth many thousands. When told that the church could not pay so much, he offered to sell it to the little church for 57 cents.Church members made large donations. Checks came from far and wide. Within five years the little girl's gift had increased to $250,000.00, a huge sum for that time (near the turn of the century). Her unselfish love had paid large dividends.

When you are in the city of Philadelphia, look up TEMPLE BAPTIST CHURCH, with a seating capacity of 3,300. And be sure to visit Temple University, where thousands of students are educated. Have a look, too, at the Good Samaritan Hospital and at a Sunday School building which houses hundreds of beautiful children, built so that no child in the area will ever need to be left outside during Sunday School time. In one of the rooms of this building may be seen the picture of the sweet face of the little girl Hattie May Wiatt, whose 57 cents, so sacrificially saved, made such remarkable history. Alongside of it is a portrait of Dr.Russel H. Conwell, her kind Pastor, and author of the book "Acres of Diamonds".

There's a small portion within the story, about how land was purchased, that has been overcooked from its original book version. Everything else is fact, which goes to show what God can do with just 57 cents, and undying faith in a dream.


Dog and the Leopard

Sometimes life throws biggest of challenges at you. And getting out of them is, well, just a matter of applying your brains! Read this story to find out:

A wealthy man decided to go on a safari in Africa. He took his faithful pet Dachshund dog along for company. One day, the dachshund starts chasing butterflies and before long the dachshund discovers that he is lost.

Wandering about, he notices a leopard heading rapidly in his direction with the obvious intention of having lunch. The dachshund thinks, "I'm in deep trouble now!" Then he noticed some bones on the ground close by and immediately settles down to chew on the bones with his back to the approaching cat.

Just as the leopard is about to leap, the dachshund exclaims loudly, "Boy, that was one delicious leopard. I wonder if there are any more around here?"

Hearing this, the leopard halts his attack in mid-stride, as a look of terror comes over him, and slinks away into the trees. "Whew," says the leopard, "That was close. That dachshund nearly had me!"

Meanwhile, a monkey who had been watching the whole scene from a nearby tree figures he can put this knowledge to good use and trade it for protection from the leopard. So, off he goes. But the dachshund saw him heading after the leopard with great speed, and figured that something must be up.

The monkey soon catches up with the leopard, spills the beans and strikes a deal for himself with the leopard. The leopard is furious at being made a fool of and says, "Here monkey, hop on my back and see what's going to happen to that conniving canine."

Now the dachshund sees the leopard coming with the monkey on his back and thinks "What am I going to do now?" But instead of running, the dog sits down with his back to his attackers, pretending he hasn't seen them yet... and just when they get close enough to hear, the dachshund says:

"Where's that damn monkey? I sent him off half an hour ago to bring me another leopard!!"

Life consists not in holding good cards, but in playing those you hold well.


Lasting legacies: JRD Tata

Here is a spell bounding narration of JRD Tata's legacy, as told by the lady whose husband is one of the most respected faces of corporate India today. Discover who she is, and the experience she remembers:

It was probably the April of 1974. Bangalore was getting warm and gulmohars were blooming at the IISc campus. I was the only girl in my postgraduate department and was staying at the ladies’ hostel. Other girls were pursuing research in different departments of Science. I was looking forward to going abroad to complete a doctorate in computer science. I had been offered scholarships from Universities in the US. I had not thought of taking up a job in India.

One day, while on the way to my hostel from our lecture-hall complex, I saw an advertisement on the notice board. It was a standard job-requirement notice from the famous automobile company Telco (now Tata Motors). It stated that the company required young, bright engineers, hardworking and with an excellent academic background, etc. At the bottom was a small line: “Lady candidates need not apply.”

I read it and was very upset. For the first time in my life I was up against gender discrimination. Though I was not keen on taking up the job, I saw it as a challenge. I had done extremely well in academics, better than most of my male peers. Little did I know then that in real life academic excellence is not enough to be successful. After reading the notice I went fuming to my room. I decided to inform the topmost person in Telco’s management about the injustice the company was perpetrating. I got a postcard and started to write, but there was a problem: I did not know who headed Telco I thought it must be one of the Tatas.

I knew JRD Tata was the head of the Tata Group; I had seen his pictures in newspapers (actually, Sumant Moolgaokar was the company’s chairman then) I took the card, addressed it to JRD and started writing. To this day I remember clearly what I wrote.

“The great Tatas have always been pioneers. They are the people who started the basic infrastructure industries in India, such as iron and steel, chemicals, textiles and locomotives They have cared for higher education in India since 1900 and they were responsible for the establishment of the Indian Institute of Science. Fortunately, I study there. But I am surprised how a company such as Telco is discriminating on the basis of gender.”

I posted the letter and forgot about it. Less than 10 days later, I received a telegram stating that I had to appear for an interview at Telco’s Pune facility at the company’s expense. I was taken aback by the telegram. My hostel mate told me I should use the opportunity to go to Pune free of cost and buy them the famous Pune saris for cheap! I collected Rs 30 each from everyone who wanted a sari When I look back, I feel like laughing at the reasons for my going, but back then they seemed good enough to make the trip.

It was my first visit to Pune and I immediately fell in love with the city. To this day it remains dear to me. I feel as much at home in Pune as I do in Hubli, my hometown. The place changed my life in so many ways. As directed, I went to Telco’s Pimpri office for the interview. There were six people on the panel and I realised then that this was serious business.

“This is the girl who wrote to JRD,” I heard somebody whisper as soon as I entered the room. By then I knew for sure that I would not get the job. The realisation abolished all fear from my mind, so I was rather cool while the interview was being conducted. Even before the interview started, I reckoned the panel was biased, so I told them, rather impolitely, “I hope this is only a technical interview.” They were taken aback by my rudeness, and even today I am ashamed about my attitude. The panel asked me technical questions and I answered all of them. Then an elderly gentleman with an affectionate voice told me, “Do you know why we said lady candidates need not apply? The reason is that we have never employed any ladies on the shop floor. This is not a co-ed college; this is a factory. When it comes to academics, you are a first ranker throughout. We appreciate that, but people like you should work in research laboratories.”

I was a young girl from small-town Hubli. My world had been a limited place. I did not know the ways of large corporate houses and their difficulties, so I answered, “But you must start somewhere, otherwise no woman will ever be able to work in your factories.”

Finally, after a long interview, I was told I had been successful. So this was what the future had in store for me. Never had I thought I would take up a job in Pune. I met a shy young man from Karnataka there, we became good friends and we got married.

It was only after joining Telco that I realized who JRD was: the uncrowned king of Indian industry. Now I was scared, but I did not get to meet him till I was transferred to Bombay. One day I had to show some reports to Mr Moolgaokar, our chairman, who we all knew as SM. I was in his office on the first floor of Bombay House (the Tata headquarters) when, suddenly JRD walked in. That was the first time I saw “appro JRD”. Appro means “our” in Gujarati. This was the affectionate term by which people at Bombay House called him. I was feeling very nervous, remembering my postcard episode. SM introduced me nicely, “Jeh (that’s what his close associates called him), this young woman is an engineer and that too a postgraduate. She is the first woman to work on the Telco shop floor.” JRD looked at me. I was praying he would not ask me any questions about my interview (or the postcard that preceded it). Thankfully, he didn’t. Instead, he remarked. “It is nice that girls are getting into engineering in our country. By the way, what is your name?” “When I joined Telco I was Sudha Kulkarni, Sir,” I replied. “Now I am Sudha Murthy.” He smiled and kindly smile and started a discussion with SM. As for me, I almost ran out of the room.

After that I used to see JRD on and off. He was the Tata Group chairman and I was merely an engineer. There was nothing that we had in common. I was in awe of him. One day I was waiting for Murthy, my husband, to pick me up after office hours. To my surprise I saw JRD standing next to me.

I did not know how to react. Yet again I started worrying about that postcard. Looking back, I realise JRD had forgotten about it. It must have been a small incident for him, but not so for me. “Young lady, why are you here?” he asked. “Office time is over.” I said, “Sir, I’m waiting for my husband to come and pick me up.” JRD said, “It is getting dark and there’s no one in the corridor. I’ll wait with you till your husband comes.” I was quite used to waiting for Murthy, but having JRD waiting alongside made me extremely uncomfortable. I was nervous. Out of the corner of my eye I looked at him. He wore a simple white pant and shirt. He was old, yet his face was glowing. There wasn’t any air of superiority about him. I was thinking, “Look at this person. He is a chairman, a well-respected man in our country and he is waiting for the sake of an ordinary employee.” Then I saw Murthy and I rushed out. JRD called and said, “Young lady, tell your husband never to make his wife wait again.”

In 1982 I had to resign from my job at Telco. I was reluctant to go, but I really did not have a choice. I was coming down the steps of Bombay House after wrapping up my final settlement when I saw JRD coming up. He was absorbed in thought. I wanted to say goodbye to him, so I stopped. He saw me and paused. Gently, he said, “So what are you doing, Mrs Kulkarni?” (That was the way he always addressed me.) “Sir, I am leaving Telco.” “Where are you going?” he asked. “Pune, Sir. My husband is starting a company called Infosys and I’m shifting to Pune.” “Oh! And what will you do when you are successful.” “Sir, I don’t know whether we will be successful.” “Never start with diffidence,” he advised me “Always start with confidence. When you are successful you must give back to society. Society gives us so much; we must reciprocate. I wish you all the best.” Then JRD continued walking up the stairs. I stood there for what seemed like a millennium. That was the last time I saw him alive.

Many years later I met Ratan Tata in the same Bombay House, occupying the chair JRD once did. I told him of my many sweet memories of working with Telco. Later, he wrote to me, “It was nice hearing about Jeh from you. The sad part is that he’s not alive to see you today.” I consider JRD a great man because, despite being an extremely busy person, he valued one postcard written by a young girl seeking justice. He must have received thousands of letters everyday. He could have thrown mine away, but he didn’t do that. He respected the intentions of that unknown girl, who had neither influence nor money, and gave her an opportunity in his company. He did not merely give her a job; he changed her life and mindset forever.

Close to 50 per cent of the students in today’s engineering colleges are girls. And there are women on the shop floor in many industry segments. I see these changes and I think of JRD. If at all time stops and asks me what I want from life, I would say I wish JRD were alive today to see how the company we started has grown. He would have enjoyed it wholeheartedly. My love and respect for the House of Tata remains undiminished by the passage of time. I always looked up to JRD. I saw him as a role model for his simplicity, his generosity, his kindness and the care he took of his employees. Those blue eyes always reminded me of the sky; they had the same vastness and magnificence.

(Sudha Murthy is a widely published writer and chairperson of the Infosys Foundation involved in a number of social development initiatives. Infosys chairman Narayana Murthy is her husband .)

*Article sourced from: Lasting Legacies (Tata Review- Special Commemorative Issue 2004), brought out by the house of Tatas to commemorate the 100th birth anniversary of JRD Tata on July 29, 2004.*


Play the inspiration

Here is an inspiring slide show, I encourage you to visit the link:


The gold box

How much time are you giving to your loved ones? Read this story before you answer:

It had been some time since Jack had seen Mr Belser. Jack had relocated across the country in pursuit of his dreams. There, in the rush of his busy life, he had little time to think about the past and often no time to spend with his wife and son. He was working on his future, and just nothing could stop him.

That day over the phone his mother told him, "Mr. Belser died last night Jack. The funeral is Wednesday." And a sudden rush of memories flashed through his mind as he sat quietly remembering his childhood days.

"Jack, did you hear me?"

"Oh sorry, Mom. Yes, I heard you. It' s been so long since I thought of him. I'm sorry, but I honestly thought he died years ago," Jack said.

"Well, he didn't forget you. Every time I saw him would ask how you were doing. He'd reminisce about the many days you spent over 'his side of the fence' as he put it," Mom told him. "You know, Jack, after your father died, Mr. Belser stepped in to make sure you had a man's influence in your life," she said.

"He's the one who taught me carpentry," he said. "I wouldn't be in this business if it weren't for him. He spent a lot of time teaching me things he thought were important... Mom, I'll be there for the funeral," Jack said.

Busy he was for sure, but Jack did catch the next flight to his hometown. Mr. Belser's funeral was small and uneventful--he had no children of his own, and most of his relatives had passed away.

The night before he had to return home, Jack and his Mom stopped by to see the old house next door one more time.

Pausing in the doorway, Jack felt like taking a leap through time. The house was exactly as he remembered. Every step held memories. Every picture, every piece of furniture.... but something made Jack stop suddenly.

"What's wrong, Jack?" Mom was surprised.

"The box is gone," he said.

"What box?"

"There was a small gold box that he kept locked on top of his desk! I asked him a thousand times what was inside. All he'd ever tell me was 'Jack, inside it, is something that I value most', but now I will never find out what that was" Jack sighed. He concluded someone from the Belser family might have taken it.

"Anyways, I better get some sleep. I have an early flight home, Mom."

Days passed. It had been about two weeks since Mr. Belser died, and returning home from work one day Jack received a package through mail. It was a small packaged box, the worn-out surface appeared as if it had been mailed a hundred years ago. The handwriting was difficult to read, but the return address made Jack's eyes grow wider, "Mr. Harold Belser" it read.

Jack took the box out ripping open the package. There inside was the gold box, and an envelope. Jack's hands shook as he read the words, "Upon my death, please forward this box and its contents to Jack Bennett. It's the thing I valued most in my life."

His heart racing, as tears filling his eyes, Jack hurriedly unlocked the box with attached key. To his surprise, lying inside was a beautiful gold pocket watch.

Running his fingers slowly over the finely etched casing, he unlatched the cover, when the words engraved on it met his eyes: "Jack, Thanks for your time! - Harold Belser."

Shock held him dumbfounded.

"So... the thing he valued most ...was ... my time!!"

Jack held the watch for a few minutes, then called his office and cleared his appointments for the next two days. "Why?" Janet, his assistant, wanted to know.

"I need some time to spend with my son," was all he said.

"Oh, by the way, Janet...thanks for your time"

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away.

Think about this. You may not realize it, but it's 100% true:
At least 2 people in this world love you so much that they would die for you.

At least 15 people in this world love you in some way.

Every night, someone thinks about you before they sleep.

If not for you, someone may not be living.

Someone that you don't even know exists, loves you.
If you have a great friend, take the time to let them know that they are great. Let your close ones know that you care about them, you will certainly brighten someone's day and might change their perspective on life... for the better.

Oh, by the way, thank you for your time.


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

What is love to you?

Most messages have to written or spoken. But only rare few are played. And with such an effect that it makes you go silent for a while. See for yourself..


Most difficult instrument to play

Do you know what is the hardest instrument in the orchestra to play? The hardest instrument to play is second fiddle. While all the rest of the instruments have their own sections, the violins are divided into two parts - "first" and "second" violins.

First violins are often the stars of the show. They get the melody lines. They get to show off. They sit next to the audience.

Back behind, where they are hard to see, are the second violins. They play a supporting role. They play harmony to the first violins. Theirs is a service role. Their job is to round out the sound of the other instruments. They serve the orchestra. They do what is not glamorous so that the whole will be beautiful. Without the second violins, the orchestra would sound incomplete.

You know what the hardest role to play in life is? Second fiddle. To play second fiddle is to play a supporting role for someone else. And it is sometimes a service role; doing what is not glamorous, usually behind the scenes, so that the whole can be more beautiful.


Jar of pebbles

This is a widely used narration on time management, and one of the most thought provoking stories I have ever come across to understand the importance of priorities.

A professor stood before his class and had some items in front of him. When class began, wordlessly he picked up a large empty jar and proceeded to fill it with rocks right to the top, rocks about 2" diameter.

He then asked the students if the jar was full? They agreed that it was.

So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them in to the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles, of course, rolled into the open areas between the rocks. The students laughed.

He asked his students again if the jar was full? They agreed that yes,it was. The professor then picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else.

Professor asked the students if the jar was full this time. After a careful introspection, the class was confident to utter a quick "yes, professor". This time the professor took out a glass filled with water, and poured it inside the jar. Yet again, the students were taken aback as the water conveniently filled all spaces left inside the container.

"Now, this, is a full jar" said the professor, "and I want you to recognize that this is just like your life."

The rocks are the important things - your family, your partner, your health, your children -anything that is so important to you that if it were lost, you would be nearly destroyed.

The pebbles are the other things in life that matter, but on a smaller scale. The pebbles represent things like your job, house, or car.

The sand is everything else, the "small stuff.""If you put the sand or the pebbles into the jar first, there is no room for the rocks.The same goes for your life.

If you spend all your energy and time on the small stuff, material things, you will never have room for the things that are truly most important.

Pay attention to the things that are important in your life and spend time on the important.


About The Scented Candles

Do you love candles?

Perhaps you do, but I absolutely adore them. To me they are a source of inspiration -- trembling amidst forceful winds struggling for their own survival, and yet, never willing to give up the good work -- the selfless act of spreading light and fragrance till they survive.

This blog lives to remind us about the scented candles. It's here to spread the message of love and hope, give you inspiration, and a sense of direction... amongst hundreds of beautiful stories, anecdotes, and presentations that I've collected from numerous lovely contributors like you. They will bring a smile to your face, or a hope in your heart , or maybe in a rare moment, a tear in your eye as well.

I hope one of these candles brightens your way and scents your soul too.

Enjoy :)