Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Man and the Eagle

There was once a man who had never seen an eagle.

One day a magnificent eagle landed on his windowsill, and when he saw it, he exclaimed, “Oh! What an ugly creature it is! You can look much better, Mr. Eagle”, he said and pulled it into his house.

“First, I’m going to fix that curved beak of yours.” He used a file to remove the hook in the eagle’s beak. “Those claws are vicious looking,” the man said as he clipped the eagle’s claws until there was little left. When he finished, the man said, “There, now you look better”, and he put the bird back on his open windowsill and shooed it away. The eagle pulled its wings in pain and dragged itself into the sky. The man was happy to see a new beautiful reformed creature enjoying the flight.

But alas!

Moments later, the bird collapsed of its handicaps. It couln't survive the wild for long.

Nature has created all of us unequal, not because one is better than the other, but because each being has its own purpose in life. So many times, we, as teachers, parents, bosses, and well-wishers, attempt to reform others to our liking. We impose our goals on them, give them advice that worked for someone else, or push them to do things that are 'in-demand' currently.

Instead, what we should do, is to discover the true potential of people around us, and respect them for the way God has created them to be.


Friday, September 3, 2010

How is Norma?

A sweet grandmother telephoned St. Joseph 's Hospital.

She timidly asked, "Is it possible to speak to someone who can tell me how a patient is doing?"

The operator said, "I'll be glad to help, dear. What's the name and room number of the patient?"

The grandmother in her weak, tremulous voice said, "Norma Findlay, Room 302."

The operator replied, "Let me put you on hold while I check with the nurse's station for that room."

After a few minutes, the operator returned to the phone and said, "I have good news. Her nurse just told me that Norma is doing well. Her blood pressure is fine; her blood work just came back normal and her physician, Dr. Cohen, has scheduled her to be discharged tomorrow."

The grandmother said, "Thank you. That's wonderful. I was so worried. God bless you for the good news."

The operator replied, "You're more than welcome. Is Norma your daughter?"

The grandmother said, "No, I'm Norma Findlay in Room 302. No one tells me anything."


Zero attendance

Once a student's HOD caught him and took him to Principal's office. The complaint was that this kid was not attending any lectures on any subject.

Zero Attendance.

The Principal asked, "What have you joined the University for? To appear in the exam, you will need atleast 75% attendance and this way you are not going to make it to exams. I in any case would not support you to get that 75% attendance."

The student thought for a while and replied, " Sir do you want to know  where do I spend my time? If I satisfy you and you have no arguments then you will see to it that I get 100% attendance, will you?"

The Principal nodded, almost taken aback at his confidence. The principal followed as the student took him to the university library. He asked the librarian to tell the Principal how often he visited the library.

"Sir, this boy comes daily to library, right from the time it opened and keeps on reading till it closes. There were many instances when we even had to tell this boy to go since it was time to close. Even on holidays he came and if the library was closed would sit in the garden and read!"

The kid looked at the Principal, "Sir, your professors don't teach anything new. They teach from these same books. So I thought it better to directly refer to the books rather then having a second-hand knowledge. Ask any professor if he has anything new to offer which is not mentioned in these books and I will be the first one to attend their session."

The Principal stood speechless at the stark truth, finally gave in, and did mark 100% attendance for his brilliant performer.

So many times, our false beliefs push us towards the self-fulfilling prophecy that we are more knowledgeable since the day we got those degrees. The truth is that people who are practically on the job, who've learned their lessons through life's hardships, can shake our mis-beliefs any day of our life.


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Design of new temple

The story goes like this:

In Burma, one Buddhist monk was ordered to make a design for the new temple,  particularly for the gate. So he was making many designs. He had one very talented disciple, so he told that disciple to be near him. While he made the design the disciple was simply to watch, and if he liked it he had to say that it was okay, it was right. If he didn’t like it then he had to say no. And the master said, ‘When you say yes, only then will I send the design. If you go on saying no, I will discard the design and will create a new one.’

Hundreds of designs were discarded in this way. Three months passed. Even the  master became afraid, but he had given his word so he had to keep it. The disciple was there, the master would make the design, and then the disciple would say no. The master would start another one.

One day the ink was just about to be finished, so the master said, ‘Go out and find more ink.’ The disciple went out. The master forgot him, his presence, and became effortless. His presence was the problem. The idea was constantly in his mind that the disciple was there, judging. He was constantly wondering whether he was going to like it or not, whether he would discard it again. This created an inner anxiety and the master could not be spontaneous.

The disciple went out. The design was completed. The disciple came in and he said ‘Wonderful! But why couldn’t you do it before?’

The master said, ‘Now I understand why – because you were here. Because of you – I was making an effort to get your approval. The effort destroyed the whole thing. I couldn’t be natural, I couldn’t flow, I couldn’t forget myself because of you.’

The whole thing hinges on one thing – when your effort drops and you become spontaneous, your act becomes your being.