Sunday, December 20, 2009
Saturday, December 5, 2009
A notorious burglar once took his growing up son also along with him for training in burglary.
Night time, pitch dark, they reached a bungalow, jumped over the compound and neared the building stealthily. Father burglar scanned & identified the spot for stealing. He lifted his son and dumped him through the window to reach the spot.
The son was silently stealing. He was about to finish when the father created a loud thud by pushing an object to the ground! Hearing the noise the inmates of the bungalow were alarmed of thieves and all lights were put on. The son burglar was frightened. He expected his father to rescue him, but was shocked to find his father taking to his heels!
Frustrated, frightened, and disappointed by his father’s attitude at the time of difficulty, the son decided to find his own way & at last wisely escaped from there.
Straight he came home & fought with his father & ridiculed his cowardice.
“My son", father explained "I was the one who made the noise to alarm the inmates when I found you were successful in your job. I deliberately ran out of the place leaving you alone so that you would find your own way of escaping. Had I helped, you would have been dependent on me when difficulties come. Now you have proved to yourself that you are capable of handling the situation alone. Even if you were caught they would have only beaten you & not put to death. If that be so I would have certainly helped you. Good job done my son!”
Only when things go wrong if one has the guts & grit to find ways to succeed, then success is worth its name.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Saturday, October 17, 2009
As the sun wakes-up to wake me up with him,
I see the helpless dawn fading before the strength of light
As the grown-ups run fast stepping on each other's toes,
I see a child standing looking at me with innocent eyes
As this song ceases to end on a sadistic note,
I again hear the beats of drums bringing me to life
As a heartbreak scratches my chest with its paws,
I see another loving heart smilingly passing by
As I try to win this chess with my black pawns of depression,
God somehow always beats me up with his optimistic whites!
If there's one thing that life's worth living for... its to inspire everyone to pass the message of hope, to live a life that's meaningful for others - not self.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Meera Chopra, mother of Pooja Chopra, lived through abuse, poverty and some tough choices to make her once-unwanted girl child, Pooja Chopra, the Pantaloons Femina Miss Pooja Chopra. And when I read her narration, I couldn't afford to miss showcasing here this magnificant example of strength, determination and character of a woman. You'll not be left untouched I promise. Here's her dramatic story:
Pantaloons Femina Miss India Pooja Chopra's mother promised 'One day, this girl will make me proud'. Pooja speaks on fulfilling that promise:
I don't know where to begin... they were terrible times. My husband was well-placed, but the marriage had begun to sink almost as soon as it began. Like most women do, I tried to work against all the odds.
My in-laws insisted everything would be alright if I had a son. My first child was a daughter, and that didn't do me any good... but I couldn't walk out. I had lost my father, my brother was in a not-so-senior position in Bata. I didn't want to be a burden on my family and continued to live in my marital home in Kolkata.
I looked after my mother-inlaw, who was suffering from cancer, and while bathing her, I would tell myself she would bless me and put things right.
I don't know how I tolerated it all. The least a man can do, if he must philander, is to not flaunt his women in his wife's face. Then began the manhandling. I still wanted my marriage to survive. I was a pure vegetarian and learnt to cook non-vegetarian delicacies thinking it would please him.
Then, I was pregnant again. When Pooja was eight months in my womb, my husband brought a girl to the house and announced he would marry her. I thought of killing myself. I hung on the slight hope that if the baby was a boy, my marriage could be saved.
When Pooja was born a girl, for three days, nobody came to the hospital. There was a squadron leader's wife on the opposite bed, who was kind enough to give me baby clothes for Pooja to wear. When she was 20 days old, I had to make a choice. I left the house with my girls ' Pooja and Shubra, who was seven then. I haven't seen my husband since. I promised myself, even if we had just one roti, we would share it, but together.
I began life in Mumbai with the support of my mother, brother, who was by then married. It wasn't th e ideal situation, especially when he had children ' space, money, everything was short. I began work at the Taj Colaba and got my own place. How did I manage' Truth be told, I would put a chatai on the floor, leave two glasses of milk and some food, and bolt the door from outside before going to work. I would leave the key with the neighbours and tell the kids to shout out to them when it was time to leave for school.
Their tiny hands would do homework on their own, feed themselves on days that I worked late. My elder daughter Shubhra would make Pooja do her corrections... This is how they grew up. At a birthday party, Pooja would not eat her piece of cake, but pack it and bring it home to share with her sister. When Shubhra started working, she would skip lunch and pack a chicken sandwich that she would slip in her sister's lunchbox the next day.
I used to pray, 'God, punish me for my karma, but not my innocent little kids. Please let me provide them the basi cs.' I used to struggle for shoes, socks, uniforms. I was living in Bangur Nagar, Goregaon. Pooja would walk four bus stops down to the St Thomas Academy. Then, too little to cross the road, she would ask a passerby to help her. I had to save the bus money to be able to put some milk in their bodies.
Life began to change when I got a job for Rs 6,000 at the then Goa Penta. Mr Chhabra, the owner, and his wife, were kind enough to provide a loan for me. I sent my daughters to my sister's house in Pune, with my mother as support. I spent four years working in Goa while I saved to buy a small one-bedroom house in Pune (where the family still lives). I would work 16-18 hours a day, not even taking weekly offs to accumulate leave and visit my daughters three or four times a year.
Once I bought my house and found a j ob in Pune, life began to settle. I worked in Hotel Blue Diamond for a year and then finally joined Mainland China ' which changed my life. The consideration of the team and management brought me the stability to bring them up, despite late hours and the travelling a hotelier must do.
Shubhra got a job in Hotel Blue Diamond, being the youngest employee there while still in college, and managed to finish her Masters in commerce and her BBM. Today, she is married to a sweet Catholic boy who is in the Merchant Navy and has a sweet daughter. I continue to finish my day job and come home and take tuitions, as I have done for all these years. I also do all my household chores myself.
Through the years, Shubhra has been my anchor and Pooja, the rock.. Pooja's tiny hands have wiped away my tears when I broke down. She has stood up for me, when I couldn't speak for myself. Academically brilliant, she participated in all extra-curricular activities.. When she needed high heels to model in, she did odd shows and bought them for herself.
When I saw Pooja give her speech on TV, I knew it came from her heart. I could see the twinkle in her eye. And I thought to myself as she won 'My God, this is my little girl.' God was trying to tell me something.
Today, I've no regrets. I believe every cloud has a silver lining. As a mother, I've done nothing great.
Pantaloons Femina Miss India Pooja Chopra's mother promised 'One day, this girl will make me proud'. Pooja speaks on fulfilling that promise:
'I won due to my mother's karma. When I was 20 days old, my mother was asked to make a choice. It was either me 'a girl child, or her husband. She chose me. As she walked out she turned around and told her husband, 'One day, this girl will make me proud'. That day has come. Her husband went on to marry a woman who gave him two sons. Today, as I stand here a Miss India, I don't even know if my father knows that it is me, his daughter, who has set out to conquer the world, a crown on my head. Our lives have not been easy, least so for my mother. Financially, emotionally, she struggled to stay afloat, to keep her job and yet allow us to be the best that we could be. I was given only one condition when I started modelling ' my grades wouldn't drop.
All the girls in the pageant worked hard, but my edge was my mother's sacrifice, her karma. Today, when people call to congratulate me, it's not me they pay tribute to, but to her life and her struggle. She's the true Woman of Substance. She is my light, my mentor, my driving force. My win was merely God's way of compensating her.'
Saturday, September 26, 2009
During my second month of college, our professor gave us a pop quiz. I was a conscientious student and had breezed through the questions until I read the last one:
"What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?"
Surely this was some kind of joke. I had seen the cleaning woman several times. She was tall, dark-haired and in her 40s, but how would I know her name?
I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank. Just before class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our quiz grade.
"Absolutely, " said the professor. "In your careers, you will meet many people. All are significant. They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say "Hello."
I've never forgotten that lesson. I also learned her name was Dorothy.
What about you? Do you know the name of that security guard or that housekeeper who doesn't fail to wish you 'Goodmorning Sir' every single day?
Thursday, September 17, 2009
A farmer had four puppies he needed to sell, so he painted a sign and started nailing it to a post on the edge of his yard. As he was driving the last nail in to the post, he felt a tug on his trouser, and saw a cute little boy standing next to him with a question in his eyes.
'Mister,' he said, 'I want to buy one of your puppies.'
'Well,' said the farmer,as he rubbed the sweat off the back of his neck, 'These puppies come from fine parents and cost a good deal of money.'
The boy dropped his head for a moment.Then reaching deep into his pocket, he pulled out a handful of change and held it up to the farmer.
'I've got thirty-nine cents. Is that enough to take a look?'
'Sure,' said the farmer. And with that he let out a whistle. 'Here, Dolly!' he called. Out from the doghouse and down the ramp ran Dolly followed by four little balls of fur.
The little boy pressed his face against the chain link fence. His eyes danced with delight. As the dogs made their way to the fence, the little boy noticed something else stirring in side the doghouse.
Slowly another dog appeared, this one noticeably smaller, it slid in a somewhat awkward manner, the little pup began struggling toward the others doing its best to catch up.
'I want that one,' the little boy said, pointing to the runt. The farmer knelt down at the boy's side and said, 'Son, you don't want that puppy. He will never be able to run and play with you like these other dogs would. He is handicapped.'
With that the little boy stepped back from the fence, reached down, and rolled up one leg of his trousers. He had a steel brace running down both sides of his leg attaching itself to a specially made shoe. Looking back up at the farmer, he said,
'You see sir, I don't run too well myself, and he will need someone who understands...'
With tears in his eyes, the farmer reached down and picked up the little pup. Holding it carefully he handed it to the little boy.
'No charge,' the farmer choked while saying this, 'there's no charge for love!'
The world is full of people who need a special someone who understands. May you be that special someone to them.
An elderly man in Mumbai calls his son in New York and says, 'I hate to ruin your day son, but I have to tell you that your mother and I are getting a divorce; 35 years of marriage... and that much misery is enough!'
'Dad, what are you talking about?!' the son almost jumps on his feet.
'We can't stand the sight of each other any longer,' the old man says. 'We're sick of each other, and I'm sick of talking about this, so you call your sister in Hong Kong and tell her.'
Frantic, the son calls his sister, who explodes on the phone. 'Like heck they're getting divorced,' she shouts, 'I'll take care of this.'
She calls Mumbai immediately, and screams at her Dad, 'You are not getting divorced. Don't do a single thing until I get there. I'm calling my brother back, and we'll both be there tomorrow. Until then , don't do a thing, do you HEAR?' and she hangs up frantically.
The old man puts his phone down and turns to his wife 'Okay, it's all set. They're both coming for our anniversary and paying their own airfare!'
You are not busy in this world all 365 days.. the sky is not going to fall down if you take time out to meet your dear ones... 'coz money making is certainly not EVERYthing in life.
A depressed man once told a holy man that he had nothing left to live for.
"Everything is gone, life is hopeless," the man went on saying, "I'm living in the depths of darkness. In fact, I've lost heart in life altogether." The holy man said sympathetically, "I understand son, but let's take a look at your situation, shall we.." On a sheet of paper he drew a vertical line down the middle, and instructed "list on the left side the things you have lost, and on the right, the things you still have left with you".
Thursday, August 13, 2009
In a small farmland, once upon a time, a boy and a girl were playing together. The boy had a collection of marbles and the girl had some sweets with her. After looking at them for a while, the boy couldn't resist the temptation of sweets, and had to ask the girl if she will give him all her sweets in exchange for his marbles.
Well, to his surprise, the girl readily agreed!
Smart -- that's what he thought he was -- so he hid the biggest and the most beautiful marble aside and gave the rest to the girl.
On the other side, the girl gave kept his promise and gave him all her sweets as promised. That night, the girl slept peacefully as always, but the boy couldn't close his eyes. He kept wondering if the girl had hidden some sweets from him the way he had hidden his best marble!
If you don't give your hundred percent in a relationship, you'll always keep doubting if the other person has given his/her hundred percent. This is applicable for any relationship be it at home or work -- give your hundred percent to everything you do and sleep peacefully.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
There was a king who was a great admirer of art. He encouraged artists from all over his country and gave them valuable gifts.
One day an artist came and said to the king, "Oh King! Give me a blank wall in your palace and let me paint a picture on it. It will be more beautiful than anything you have ever seen before. I promise you shall not be disappointed. "
Now, the king happened to be constructing a big hall at the rear end of the palace. So he said, "All right you may work on one of the walls in the new hall." So the artist was given the job and he was very pleased indeed.
Just then, another young man said, "Oh King! Please allow me to work on the opposite wall. I too am an artist." The king said, "What would you like to make?"
The man said, "My Lord, I shall make exactly what that man will make on the opposite wall. Moreover, I shall do so, without looking at his work. I would even request you to have a thick curtain put up between the two walls so that either of us cannot see the other."
Now, that was a tall statement. Everyone in the king's court, including the king and the first artist were intrigued. But the King loved surprises and he decided to give the young fellow a chance.
The following day a thick curtain was put into place and both the artists got to work.
The first artist brought in a regular supply of paint, oil, water etc. The second one would come with a cloth and a bucket of water every day.
After a month the first artist told the king that his work was complete and he would like to show it to the king. The king sent for the second artist and asked him, "Young man, when would your work be ready? I am coming to see the first wall this evening." The man said, "My Lord, my wall is ready too!"
The king went to see the first artist's wall. He was very, very impressed with the painting and gave a hefty sum as a reward to the artist. He then asked for the curtain to be opened up. The same painting was to be seen on the opposite wall too! Amazing! But true! Each line, each minor detail was exactly as it was on the first wall. But this man had not been seeing what was going on, on the other side of the curtain. So how had he done it?
The king wanted to know the secret. He gave a double reward to the fellow. Then he said, "Young man, I am indeed very happy with your work. But you must tell me; how did you do it?"
The man said simply, "It's very easy! I just polished the wall every day! It was a wall made of white marble! The fellow polished it till it shone like a mirror. The reflection of the painting across the room, showed up in it! "
That is what it means to polish yourself, for when we polish our hearts and souls, we see God's reflection within. Whatever you are, the world will seem to be that too. If you are sad, jealous, dejected, angry, restless... that is what the world will seem to be! If you are happy, the world will seem to be paradise -- it is you who decide how you want your world to look.
It was autumn, and the tribals asked their new chief if the winter was going to be cold or mild.
But since he was a chief in a modern society, he had not much wisdom to predict what the weather was going to be unlike his wise ancestors. So to be on the safe side, he replied to his tribe that the winter was indeed going to be cold and that the members of the village should collect wood to be prepared.
But also being a practical leader, after several days he got an idea.
He went to the phone booth, called the National Weather Service and asked 'Is the coming winter going to be cold?'
'It looks like this winter is going to be quite cold indeed,' the weather man responded. So the chief went back to his people and told them to collect even more wood. A week later, he called the National Weather Service again.
'Is it going to be a very cold winter?'
'Yes,' the man at National Weather Service again replied, 'It's definitely going to be a very cold winter.'
The chief again went back to his people and ordered them to collect every scrap of wood they could find.
Two weeks later, he called the National Weather Service again.
'Are you absolutely sure that the winter is going to be very cold?'
'Absolutely,' the man replied, 'It's going to be one of the coldest winters ever.'
'How can you be so sure?' the chief asked.
The weatherman replied, 'The tribals are collecting wood like crazy!'
A lot of phenomena happens like this in real world as well, and the lesson in this story should teach us one simple thing: It is good to believe the trends, consult 'experts', but in the end.. there's no subsitute for the wise man sitting inside of you.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
A mighty king, after conquering many kingdoms, was returning home. On the way, he fell ill and it took him to his death bed. With death staring him in his face, he realized how his conquests, his great army, his sharp sword and all his wealth were of no consequence.
He now longed to reach home to see his mother's face and bid her his last adieu. But, he had to accept the fact that his sinking health would not permit Him to reach his distant homeland. So, the mighty conqueror lay prostrate and pale, helplessly waiting to breathe his last. He called his generals and said, "I will depart from this world soon, I have three wishes, please carry them out without fail." With tears flowing down their cheeks, the generals agreed to abide by their king's last wishes.
"My first desire is that," said Alexander, "my physicians alone must carry my coffin." After a pause, he continued, "Secondly, I desire that when my coffin is being carried to the grave, the path leading to the graveyard be strewn with gold, silver and precious stones which I have collected in my treasury"
The king felt exhausted after saying this. He took a minute's rest and continued. "My third and last wish is that both my hands be kept dangling out of my coffin." The people who had gathered there wondered at the king's strange wishes. But no one dare bring the question to their lips. The king's favorite general kissed his hand and pressed them to his heart. "O king, we assure you that your wishes will all be fulfilled. But tell us why do you make such strange wishes?"
At this, he took a deep breath and said: "I would like the world to know of the three lessons I have just learnt..."
"First, I want my physicians to carry my coffin because people should realize that no doctor can really cure any body. They are powerless and cannot save a person from the clutches of death. So let not people take life for granted.."
"The second wish of strewing gold, silver and other riches on the way to the graveyard is to tell People that not even a fraction of gold will come with me. I spent all my life earning riches but cannot take anything with me. Let people realize that it is a sheer waste of time to chase wealth."
"And about my third wish of having my hands dangling out of the coffin, I wish people to know that I came empty handed into this world and empty handed I go out of this world."
With these words, the king closed his eyes. Soon he let death conquer him and breathed his last.
Never take some one for granted. Hold every person close to your heart because you might wake up one day and realise that you have lost a diamond while you were too busy collecting stones.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
A Priest dies & is awaiting his turn in line at the Heaven's Gates. Ahead of him is a guy, fashionably dressed, in dark sun glasses, a loud shirt, leather jacket & jeans.
God asks him: Please tell me who are you, so that I may know whether to admit you into the kingdom of Heaven or not?
The guy replies: I am Pandi, Auto driver from Chennai, India!
God consults his ledger, smiles & says to Pandi: Please take this silken robe & gold scarf & enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Now it is the priest's turn. He stands erect and speaks out in a booming voice: I am Pope's Assistant so & so, Head Priest of the so & so Church for the last 40 years.
God consults his ledger & says to the Priest: Please take this cotton robe & enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
'Just a minute,' says the agonized Priest. 'How is it that a foul mouthed, rash driving Auto Driver is given a Silken robe & a Golden scarf and me, a Priest, who's spent his whole life preaching your Name & goodness has to make do with a Cotton robe?'
'Results my friend, results,' shrugs God. 'While you preached, people SLEPT; but when he drove his Auto, people PRAYED'
Well, its a hilarious way to strike this message, but the bottom line is: It's 'performance' & not 'position' that ultimately counts.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
What is Life? Well, to most of us, ironically it is this:
Leaving the house in the morning, dressed in clothes that you bought on credit card, for work, driving through the traffic in a car that you are still paying for, putting in petrol that you cannot afford, in order to get to the job that you hate but need so badly so that you can pay for the clothes, car, petrol and the house that you leave empty the whole day, in order to live in it.
Living your dream is difficult, yes, but it is much less stressful than living someone else's dream.
Change your definition of life.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
A disappointed salesman of Coca Cola returns from his Middle East assignment.
A friend asked, "Why weren't you successful with the Arabs?"
The salesman explained, "When I got posted in the Middle East, I was very confident that I would make a good sales pitch in rural areas. But, I had a problem I didn't know how to speak Arabic. So, I planned to convey the message through three posters:
First poster- A man lying in the hot desert sand...totally exhausted and fainting.
Second poster - man is drinking our Cola.
Third poster- Our man is now totally refreshed.
Then these posters were pasted all over the place
"That should have worked," said the friend.
The salesman replied "I didn't realize that Arabs go from right to left!"
Know your customer. Period.
Monday, March 23, 2009
This one is a true lesson in lateral thinking:
George, an elderly man in late 60s, was going to bed when his wife told him that he'd left the light on in the garden shed, which she could see from the bedroom window. George opened the back door to go turn off the light, but saw that there were people in the shed stealing things.
He phoned the police, who asked "Is someone in your house?"He said "No," but some people are breaking into my garden shed and stealing from me.
Then the police dispatcher said "All patrols are busy. You should lock your doors and an officer will be along when one is available."
George said, "Okay."
He hung up the phone and counted to 30. Then he phoned the police again. "Hello, I just called you a few seconds ago because there were people stealing things from my shed. Well, you don't have to worry about them now because I just shot them." and he hung up.
Within five minutes, six Police Cars, a SWAT Team, a Helicopter, two fire trucks, a paramedic, and an ambulance showed up at his residence, and caught the burglars red-handed.
One of the Policemen said to George, "I thought you said that you'd shot them!"
George said, "I thought you said there was nobody available!"
A saint asked his disciples, ? Why do people shout at each other when they are upset?'
Disciples thought for a while, one of them said, 'Because we lose our calm, we shout for that.'
'But, why to shout when the other person is just next to you?' asked the saint. 'Isn't it possible to speak to him or her with a soft voice? Why do you shout at a person when you're angry?'
Disciples gave some other answers but none satisfied the saint.
Finally he explained, 'When two people are angry at each other, their hearts distance a lot. To cover that distance they must shout to be able to hear each other. The angrier they are, the stronger they will have to shout to hear each other through that great distance.'
Then the saint asked, 'What happens when two people fall in love? They don't shout at each other but talk softly, why? Because their hearts are very close. The distance between them is very small...'
The saint continued, 'When they love each other even more, what happens? They do not speak, only whisper and they get even closer to each other in their love. Finally they even need not whisper, they only look at each other and that's all. That is how close two people are when they love each other.'
When you argue do not let your hearts get distant, do not say words that distance each other.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
A father was reading a magazine and his little daughter every now and then distracted him. To keep her busy, he tore one page on which was printed the map of the world. He further tore it into smaller pieces and asked her to go to her room and put them together to make the map again. He was sure she would take the whole day to get it done. But the little one came back within minutes with perfect map!
When he asked how she could do it so quickly, she said, “Oh. Dad, there is a man's face on the other side of the paper. I made the face perfect to get the map right.” She ran outside to play leaving the father surprised.
There is always the other side to whatever you experience in this world. Whenever we come across a challenge or a puzzling situation, look at the other side. You will be surprised to see an easy way to tackle the problem.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
If anyone should hurt you and say a thing unkind,
Remember what I tell you, and keep these things in mind;
For every 1 who makes you cry, there are 3 who make you smile,
That smile will last a long, long time, and the tear a LITTLE while!
If someone says a thing that's cruel, don't let it get to you —
There's so much good about you, and your faults are very few;
Don't let someone who hates the world cause you to hate it too,
For behind the cloud's a golden sun and a sky that's bright and blue!
So if a certain someone should act a certain way ...
Just think of THOSE WHO LOVE YOU and don't let it ruin your day.
~ Author Unknown
Saturday, February 7, 2009
Conflict in your life and in your workplace? What is a person to do? The answer may lie in the following story.
The head of a cloistered monastery became very frustrated with the bickering and conflict among the monks who were in his charge. He felt helpless in finding a solution to this ongoing problem. One day, he was brilliantly inspired with the right and perfect solution. Knowing that behaviors can change if there is a compelling reason to do so, he called all of the monks together.
He said, "I am so pleased to share this wonderfully exciting news with you today. I have learned that one among you is a divinely chosen and blessed being who is one of God's specially selected ministers. We are so fortunate to have this person among us. I know that each of you shares this excitement with me." With no further word, he turned and left the monks alone.
The monks sat for a moment and looked around at each other. The puzzlement and then the wondr in their eyes were evident as they looked to each other for some sign of the "blessed one." There was outer silence, but each monk experienced similar inner dialog. "I wonder who it is? Who among us seems most likely to be God's special being? I wonder if I have insulted the blessed one?..." On and on went the inner dialog.
The bickering among the monks seem to cease almost immediately as they did their best not to insult or antagonize the one who was held in special esteem by God. Since there was no indication of who the special monk was, all of the monks treated each other with respect, courtesy, and great fondness.
Weeks went by. The excitement and curiosity abated and the monks settled down into their usual routine. However, the habit of bickering had been replaced with the habit of respect, courtesy, and a willingness to explore solutions to their problems. There was peace in the monastery.
This wonderful story reflects what actually takes place every day in the workplace. What if we treated our co-workers as though they are "divinely special beings" with our motive not being one of fear, but simply wanting peace in the workplace more than we want anything else?
When we begin to look at others with compassionate eyes, speak words of kindness, and think of others with a desire to understand them, we will begin to change. And, interestingly enough so will they. What goes around, comes around.
Just for this moment, this day, this week, look for the goodness in others, as you look for and celebrate the goodness in myself.
Friday, February 6, 2009
A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that thousand of people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.
Three minutes went by and a middle aged man noticed there was musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried up to meet his schedule. A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping continued to walk. A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work.
The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried but the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.
In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.
No one knew this but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the best musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written with a violin worth 3.5 million dollars.
Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston and the seats averaged $100.
This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of an social experiment about perception, taste and priorities of people.
The outlines were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?
Just ponder for a second: If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing?
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
A young man wished to marry the farmer's beautiful daughter. He went to the farmer to ask his permission. The farmer looked at him and said, "Son, go stand out in that field. I'm going to release three bulls, one at a time. If you can catch the tail of any one of the three bulls, you can marry my daughter."
The young man stood in the field awaiting the first bull. The barn door opened and out came the biggest, meanest looking bull he had ever seen!
He decided that one of the next bulls had to be a better choice than this one, so he ran over to the side and let the bull pass through.
The barn door opened again. Unbelievable. He had never seen anything so big and fierce in his life!
It stood pawing the ground, it eyed him. Whatever the next bull was like, it had to be a better choice than this one he thought.
He ran to the fence and let the bull pass through.
The door opened a third time. A smile came across his face. This was the weakest bull he had ever seen. This one was his bull, he said to himself.
As the bull came running by, he positioned himself just right and jumped at just the exact moment. He threw his hands to grab.....
But alas.... The bull had no tail.
Do not wait for the perfect opportunity. Always grab the first one.