Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Those who love you

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 monastery

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

Subway Violinist

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

Catch the bull

http://www.sca.org.au/burnfield/angry_bull.jpgA 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.