Monday, October 10, 2011

GRATEFUL TO ALLAH

Allah has created everything with a purpose; just like His blessings. Each one of these blessings—our life, faith, sustenance, health, eyes, and ears—is an endowment for mankind to be grateful to Allah.
Once we leave heedlessness and ignorance behind, and start to think and see with reasoning, we shall surely realize that everything around us is indeed a favor granted by our Creator Allah. All the food that we eat, the air that we breath, all the beauties around us, in particulars, our eyes that let us see all these things — everything is a blessing of Allah. These are so numerous that the Qur’an says: “If you would count up the favors of Allah, never would you be able to number them: for Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Surat an-Nahl,16:18)
And, undoubtedly, all these favors are given for some reason. Nothing is created for us simply to use as we wish. On the contrary, the reason for all those favors – no matter what - is to instruct mankind towards Allah; because everything given, necessitates gratitude in return. Allah is the One Who continuously gives all the blessing; we should, therefore, show our sincere gratitude only to Him.
Gratefulness is both a great prayer and also a way to protect us from “transgressing”. Without it, people have a tendency towards depravity and evil, forgetting their weaknesses and becoming haughty, the richer and more powerful they become. Showing our gratitude to Allah saves us from such “depravity”. Those who show their gratefulness to Allah do so in the knowledge that everything they obtain is given by Allah, to Whom they always belong. They know that they are responsible for using these blessings in the way of Allah and only as He wills. It was this gratitude to Allah that underlay the modesty and maturity of the prophets, such as Davud (David) or Suleyman (Solomon) to whom great possessions, states and sovereignty were given. The actual problem of Karun (Qarun), who became depraved on account of his possessions, was indeed that of being ungrateful to Allah.
If a believer demonstrates that he will not become arrogant and impertinent with the blessings or riches he is given, Allah shall give him more. “…If you are grateful, I will add more (favors) unto you; but if you show ingratitude, truly, My punishment is terrible indeed.” (Surah Ibrahim, 14:7)
Gratitude should not be shown merely withwords, it should be shown rather by utilizing each favor in a way approved of by Allah. Believers are responsible for using everything that they have been given, in the way of Allah. First of all, all the believers should start using whatever they possess, and foremost the body Allah has endowed them with, to strive for His cause. The Qur’an also informs us that we may show our gratitude to Allah by proclaiming all of His blessings, that is, by communicating His “message” to all:
Verily your Guardian-Lord will give you (that wherewith) you shall be well-pleased. Did He not find you an orphan and give you shelter? Did He not find you wandering, and give you guidance? Did He not find you in need, and make you rich? Therefore, treat not the orphan with harshness, nor repulse the petitioner (unheard); and proclaim the bounty of your Lord!” (Surat ad-Dhuha, 93:5-11)

Sunday, October 09, 2011

DISCOVER INTROVERTS

Being an introvert in an extrovert world has a lot of challenges, the main one, being labeled as shy, unsociable or (the worst ones to me personally) arrogant, selfish or unfriendly. I am so NOT arrogant, selfish or unfriendly :(

I love people, so it hurts that I come across that way to people who don't know me.

I am not shy (ATLEAST I THINK SO :)). I like to be around my friends (the few I have mean the world to me) and you can throw me into the right crowd (a concert vs. a party) and see that I am far from unsocialable. Saying "NO" to social events doesn't mean I am too selfish to share my time, it means I need my time alone or I will literally not be able to function. My body will shut down and force me get the time I need to stay "whole". (I do admit I hate parties and social events at times, more on why later).

Only 20% of the population are true introverts, so being the minority often means being misunderstood. I am going to try to shed some light on what its like to be an introvert and live with others either feeling sorry for me, thinking less of me or trying to CHANGE me.


I don't think introversion is necessarily a negative thing - any more than extrovertism is, its just different. I don't blame my extroverted friends for this at all because from the outside, it does appear that introverts are shy, antisocial and even selfish. But there's always more to a story or a person than meets the eye :)

 
 "Top 5 Things Every Extrovert Needs to Know About Introverts"

1. If a person is introverted, it does NOT mean they are shy or anti-social.

This is probably THE biggest misconception that extroverts tend to have when it comes to introverts.

And you can’t really blame them for having that kind of misconception.

Extroverts tend to have to drag introverts to parties, to convince them to go and sell them on attending social engagements. When introverts politely decline, extroverts automatically assume that something might be wrong so they always ask if everything’s all right and of course, everything is all right. It’s just a common misunderstanding. When extroverts see a pattern like this developing, they automatically assume that introverts are shy or anti-social as that can be the only logical explanation to them. What’s more, when extroverts try to engage introverts in small talk, it seems like they hit a brick wall.

Add to that, most extroverts see that introverts tend to be fond of engaging in solitary activities such as reading, writing, and daydreaming.

Well, if it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, it must be a duck right?

Wrong.

Introverts have more brain activity in their frontal lobes and when these areas are activated through solitary activity, introverts become energized through processes such as problem solving, introspection, and complex thinking.

Extroverts on the other hand tend to have more activity in the back of their brain, areas that deal with processing sensory information from the external world, so they tend to search for external stimuli in the form of interacting with other people and the outside world to energize them.

There’s a deeper science to this that involves differences in the levels of brain chemicals such as acetylcholine and dopamine in extroverts and introverts, but I won’t get into that.

The bottom line is that introverts are just wired differently than extroverts. There’s nothing “wrong” with them. They just become energized through different processes depending on where the majority of their brain activity takes place.

Granted there are introverts who may be shy and anti-social, but that’s just a coincidence that perpetuates the myth that ALL introverts are like that.

You’ll find that all introverts are fine just the way they are until people begin to subtly suggest otherwise.

2. Introverts tend to dislike small talk.

If you really want to engage an introvert in conversation, skip the small talk. Introverts tend to love deep conversations on subjects that interest them. They love to debate, go past the superficial and poke around the depths in people’s minds to see what’s really going on in there. Most, if not all introverts tend to regard small talk as a waste of time, unless it’s with someone new they just met.

This characteristic probably contributes to another misconception that extroverts have of introverts - the misconception that all introverts are arrogant.

Why?

Because extroverts notice that introverts don’t talk that much with other people. Therefore, extroverts assume that introverts think they’re too good to talk to others, hence arrogant and that’s hardly the case.

It’s just a matter of preference.

Extroverts thrive on small talk. Introverts abhor it.

There’s nothing wrong with either choice, it’s just a matter of preference.

This brings us to the third point.

3. Introverts do like to socialize – only in a different manner and less frequently than extroverts.

Yes, it’s true. Contrary to the majority of public opinion, introverts do like to socialize, but again, only in a different manner and less frequently than extroverts.

Introverts love anything that involves deep conversation. They get energized by discussing subjects that are important to them and they love see what and how other people think, to connect the dots, to dig deep, to find root causes, to use logical thinking via debate in conversation, etc.

And what’s more, introverts can do a lot of things extroverts are naturally good at - give great speeches, schmooze with everyone, be the life of the party, charm the socks off of total strangers - but only for a short period of time. After that, they need time for themselves which brings us to the fourth point.

4. Introverts need time alone to recharge.

Extroverts tend to think introverts have something against them as they constantly seem to refuse generous invites to social engagements. Introverts do appreciate the offers, but it’s just that they know it will take a lot of energy out of them if they pursue these social functions.

They need time alone like they need food and water. Give them their space. There’s nothing wrong with them. They’re not depressed and they’re not sad (I never be alhumdullila I know who i am). They just need time alone to recharge their batteries.

5. Introverts are socially well adjusted.

Most introverts are well aware of all the social nuances, customs, and mannerisms when it comes to interacting with other people, but they simply don’t choose to socialize as much as extroverts, which makes it easy for extroverts to assume that introverts are not socially well adjusted, as they have not seen much evidence of them interacting with other people.

This just exacerbates previous misconceptions and gives way to labeling introverts as nerds, geeks, loners, etc.

It’s easy to understand why society tends to value extroverts over introverts. Human beings have lived in a tribal society so having to interact frequently with people came to be a regarded as a very good skill when it came to survival.

But because of this high value placed on extroversion, introverts tend to feel trapped and find themselves in a catch 22 situation.

Do introverts stay true to who they are and risk social alienation and isolation or do introverts conform and join the extroverted side, pretending to be somebody they’re not just to fit in?

This is precisely why I wrote this , because if the extroverts can become more educated about introverts, introverts will be able to feel free to stay true to who they are, and that’s a good thing from society’s point of view.

Trying to “turn” an introverted person into an extroverted person is detrimental because it gives off a subtle suggestion that there is something wrong with them, hampering their self worth and esteem when there is absolutely nothing wrong in the first place.

There’s nothing wrong with introverts.

In fact, introverts are the leading pioneers of advancements in human civilization. Albert Einstein, Issac Newton, Charles Darwin are a few introverts that come to mind, just to name a few.

And for those of you not interested in science, but pop culture, you’ll be surprised to see a lot of well known names in Hollywood are introverts as well. Julia Roberts, Steven Spielberg, Christian Bale to name a few as well.

And for those interested in sports, Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods come to mind as athletes who are introverts as well.

Introverts have a lot to bring to the table. They have an amazing ability to discover new thoughts, an uncanny ability to focus, to concentrate, to connect the dots, to observe and note things that most people miss, to listen extremely well and are often found having a rich and vivid imagination too.

The more extroverts become knowledgeable about introverts, the less tension and misunderstanding there will be among the two.

It’s time to finally clear the air.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

TO DO OR NOT TO DO

“To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, 'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd.” 





Here are some of the best lines from the Bard of Avon’s nib, Hamlet’s soliloquy. In the above context, Prince Hamlet is extremely unsure of himself and often wavers between the two extremes – life’ and ‘death’

But, I am neither going to talk about Shakespeare’s greatness nor glorify Hamlet’s decision here. In fact, after reading these lines more than once, I realized there dwells a fundamental actuality which almost everybody experiences in their everyday lives. This is the most confusing sort of fear which can empower your thoughts for more than you can ever imagine. Even though our minds may not necessarily oscillate between the extremes of life and death, we often find ourselves in an unwanted state of fickleness which is usually capricious. Now, for the ones who have already started falsely convincing themselves that they never land up in such moments of obscure bemusement, here are some simple instances from our everyday happenings.

Don’t you ever decide to text anybody and go till the extent of even framing the entire message and just when you are about to add the recipient’s number, you hear a faint little voice within you asking you to stop; gradually the faint voice tends to yell at you and you immediately delete the whole text? In this case, it’s the simple fear of the reply or maybe the fear of no reply is something that impels you to question yourself – TO SEND OR NOT TO SEND?

Often we receive invitations for parties and we are all excited to attend the party and at the twelfth hour, it suddenly strikes that there is going to be that one person whose presence makes you feel uncomfortable and after a while, you not too gladly decide to miss the party. 
Here, TO GO OR NOT TO GO is the ultimate million dollar question.

The most common instance of vacillation is when we reluctantly eat up our words when they are at the tip of our tongues. The thought often pops up – TO SAY OR NOT TO SAY? We indeed face such moments every now and then, don’t we?

Now, the supreme question is 
WHERE DOES THIS INDEFINABLE CONFUSION STEM FROM?” 
Is it our fear of confronting or our fear of losing an integral part of our existence? Ultimately, it is a vicious circle that has no definite end whatsoever. Especially, even after making the decision at the end of the conflicting thoughts, we still keep wondering as to why we made that very decision and why not otherwise. In all the above instances that I mentioned, our lack of decisiveness is very much visible.

In the case of sending the msg, we ultimately are afraid of the repercussion but we never realize that our not sending the msg might widen the gap which tends to becomes unbridgeable on the longer run. So, in the end, the loss is unavoidable so why fear at the first place?

Now, coming to the second example, we miss the party in order to avoid the uncomfortable feeling we would feel in that SINGLE person’s presence. But, we tend to forget that we miss all the other giggles and laughter in the bargain. Why entertain the not so important EGO and lose all the fun? Why give one SINGLE person so much of importance especially when they make you feel nothing but uncomfortable? But, again, we generally tend to avoid the rest of the group and focus only on that not at all important person.

Finally, coming to the last and the most common confusion – TO SAY OR NOT TO SAY? Don’t know about anybody else, but I personally experience this every single day on various occasions. If I do not agree with some statement, it is not always possible for me to say it out aloud though I may be dying to shoot my point of view. Why don’t I exercise my freedom of speech? Oh no! Do I even have it? But, this is again an inexplicable fear which creates a chaotic situation within my thoughts and at the end of the day; I decide to keep the words to myself. This may lead to unexpected consequences but saying them aloud too might not be very pleasant, will they?

This is not at all any ailment which can be cured with the help of medicines but it is indeed a never ending conflicting situation which we have to live with till the day we fall asleep forever. We cannot run away from these clashes; neither can we hide from them or escape them. All we can do is face them with a brave heart, make the decision that your heart prompts you to make and leave the rest on the SUPREME POWER that governs us all.

Friday, October 07, 2011

WHEN YOU ARE ENOUGH :) :) :)

As I always say that our life depends on us. If you feel empty, it's not because of someone else. It's you, you're the one who make it empty. You can always be surrounded by the cheerful people but if your heart and mind choose to feel the emptiness of your surrounding, them you will feel empty. What I'm trying to day is that for you to be able to enjoy life. I know talking is much easier than doing it but hey, we all want the best of our live, don't we? So maybe if you ever feel down, sad, lonely or anything else, just look into your heart and find those missing pieces, out it back on its place and just be happy. You are your own good company=)
 
Nothing Big Required - You Are Enough


Most of us have the feeling that we are here to accomplish something big in our lives, and if we haven’t done something that fits the bill we may feel as if we are waiting. We may feel incomplete, or empty, as if our lives don’t yet make sense to us, because they don’t line up with our idea of major accomplishment. In some cases, this may be because we really are meant to do something that we haven’t yet done. But in most cases, we can let ourselves off the hook with the realization that just being here, being ourselves, is enough.
As we live our lives in this world, we share our energy and our spirit with the people around us in numerous ways. Our influence touches their lives and, through them, touches the lives of many more people. When we strive to live our lives to the fullest and to become our true selves, we are doing something big on an inner level, and that is more than enough to make sense of our being here on this planet at this time. There is no need to hold ourselves to an old idea in the back of our minds that we need to make headlines or single-handedly save the world in order to validate our existence.
We can each look within our hearts to discover what is true for us, what gives our lives meaning, and what excites us. We can release ourselves from any pressure to perform that comes from outside of our inner sense of purpose. Staying in tune with our own values and living our lives in tune with our own vision is all we need in order to fulfill our time here. Our lives are a process of becoming so that we cannot help but concrete; being who we are, responding to each moment as it comes, we can trust that this is enough.



You are important enough to ask and you are blessed enough to receive back. - Wayne Dyer

ON KNOWING STEVE JOBS :)

As I read one article after another, all paying their heart filled tribute to the man who revolutionized technology; I had tears in my eyes, especially after reading the Punk and the cheerful side of his. It said :

“Jobs was brash from an early age. When he was just 12 he discovered that he did not have a crucial part of a frequency counter that he was assembling and promptly telephoned William Hewlett after locating William Hewlett Packard co- founder’s number in a phone directory. Hewlett spoke with the boy for 20 minutes prepared a bag of parts for him to pick up and offered him a job as a summer intern.” ~Pg 7, Economic Times

And then I came across his Stanford Speech which he gave to the students in the year 2005 which I happened to listen every word of, on YouTube, few months back, and I have to say that it was indeed awe- inspiring. When I heard Jobs speak, I wondered “Why don’t we get such great speakers at our convocation ceremonies?”

But the fact is, that, people don’t become great just when they are born, they become great in the simplest of their gestures which touch many people, and in those gestures when the chords strike, that is when the person begins to be revered.

Read this: At an Apple store in the meatpacking district in New York, someone left an apple, with one bite taken out of it, mimicking the Apple logo. A note read “ iThankYou”. There were also flowers outside Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California.

His words, his life is mesmerizing and invigorating for me, and may be for you too, if you take out few moments of your life to know him, even as it maybe through secondary sources.

We all know that when people die, we do get to hear nice things about them. And I wonder if anyone would remember the hurt as well, that which the person caused?
But here, his words, that which HE spoke touch me, they tell me that he knew where he was going, and what he was doing. And only when a person is so determined, can he dare to tell the world to live the way they “WANT” to live! And here I quote Steve Jobs:

“….Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out of your own inner voice”.

In a month or so, I’ll turn 18 years old. And it’s sad to say that I still haven’t lived many moments of my life which I wanted to, but never pursued (Isha'allah 1 DAY I WILL :) ). There was always something or the other which stopped me, many a time’s my parent’s concerns being a part of it too.
And here is a man who said:

Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary…Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.”

Sure he was a genius, and we all have plenty of examples to see that in front of our own eyes. I remember clicking very fine quality pictures from my dad’s iphone 4 yesterday, and honestly I didn’t have Steve in my mind as I used it. And let’s just all of us accept the fact that when we take people for granted then things (ipad, iphone, Mac Book) sure do come in that category.

I have never been a tech-savvy person. I know the basics and well, that’s how I work. My brother often tells me “All you know is how to do FB and Blogging!! You know nothing else about and in computer”.   It stands true. We all have our inclinations just the way we have our dislikes.

Never before today did I ever look at “The Economic Times”. Never! Today I picked it up, because it, like many others had the major section devoted to Steve Jobs, for the genius, the God of Technology and for the great man who lived his life ‘HIS’ way”.
This article by David Pogues right on the first page says “ …and they are saying it will be a long time before the world sees another Steve Jobs”.

Like i shared few moments before, i am a lil over an illiterate (maybe) when it comes to technology. But here, I’m talking about his thoughts, which themselves had immense power to pick you up from the dirt and tell you that to strive in life you need to listen to YOUR ‘SELF’ ( self- my emphasis).
And here his words kick my neurons again:

“I mean how old are you people? What have you done with yourselves? ….There’s a whole world out there! When I was your age, I didn’t surf the web all day looking for Apple Rumors! I LIVED!
 EXPLORE! DO! LIVE!”
Here’s hoping that I learn from him, not for today, not for tomorrow, but for many more years I have in my life, yet to go……

And in order to keep myself going, I would like to have his quotes on my blog, coz they are upbeat, they are practical, and most importantly they come from a man who at least when spoke these words, unlike many wasn’t a Hypocrite, but DID  what he SAID!

You’ll be cherished Sir and remembered ALWAYS!!

Thursday, October 06, 2011

We Love Allah, Place Our Hopes in Him & Fear Him

When we call people to righteousness, we should focus on Allah’s mercy and we should try to inspire in their hearts a great love for Allah that will make them hate to displease their Lord. At the same time, we should instill in them a hope for Allah’s reward in the Hereafter, as well as the understanding that all success in this world also comes from Allah alone. We should also teach people to fear Allah’s punishment.

The message of the Qur’an emphasizes all three of these characteristics and makes it clear that they are the praiseworthy attributes of those who believe, namely: to love Allah, fear Him, and place our hopes in Him.

The concept advanced by some Muslim mystics that we should only love Allah, and to be “pure” in our love we should do so without feeling any fear or hope, is misguided. Allah has ordered His servants to do the same as he ordered His prophets, that is: to obey Him and worship Him. Allah guided his Prophets to every possible form of righteousness. Likewise, He forbade them from all manner of sin. Thereafter, He promised the Prophets and all the believers a great rewards in this life and in the Hereafter.
Allah says: “If any one desires a reward in this life, in Allah’s (gift) is the reward (both) of this life and of the Hereafter” [Sûrah al-Nisâ’: 134].

Likewise, Allah has warned whoever disbelieves in Him and disobeys Him of punishment in this life and in the Hereafter.

Allah has guided His servants not only to love Him, but also to fear Him and place their hopes in Him. He praises the believers who that.

Allah says: “These were ever quick in doing good works: they used to call on Us in yearning and awe and humble themselves before Us.” [Sûrah al-Anbiyâ’: 90]

He says: “Those whom they call upon do seek (for themselves) means of access to their Lord, as to who are nearest. They hope for His mercy and fear His wrath: for the wrath of thy Lord is something to take heed of” [Sûrah al-Isrâ’: 57].

The true believers in Allah worship Him because they love Him, glorify Him, fear Him, and place their hopes in Him. This is the correct application of belief in Allah’s names and superior attributes. Allah is merciful but at the same time He is strict in punishment.

Allah says: “Tell My servants that I am indeed the Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful; And that My chastisement will be indeed the most grievous chastisement” [Sûrah al-Ra`d: 49-50].

Allah’s names and attributes imply that we should have all of these feelings: love, reverence, fear, and hope in Him.

The claim of some overzealous mystics that they worship Allah because they love Him without feeling any fear of Hell or any desire for Paradise is a serious form of misguidance. They have become convinced of this errant way and made to think it is the best one. In fact, their claim belies the Prophets and the obligation the people have to follow the Prophets’ example.

This claim also belittles the greatness of Allah’s rewards and the severity of His punishments. This attitude is opposed to what Allah wants from His servants.

Allah has told us about Paradise and Hell so that the believers will yearn for Paradise and endeavor to be saved from Hell.

Fear and hope are two pillars of belief, and Allah has praised His servants who put both of these pillars into practice. 

Whoever worships Allah without any consideration of fear and hope will be missing this obligation. He will also be missing out on Allah’s reward and the praise that Allah has bestowed on those who carry out this obligation.

Those mystics are also contradicting human nature by their claim. Allah has created in people the desire to like what suits them and dislike what hurts them.

Allah told us that His servants solicit Him to avert from them the wrath of Hell and to provide for them what He promised them.

Allah says: 'Those who say, 'Our Lord, avert from us the wrath of Hell, for its wrath is indeed an affliction grievous'." [Sûrah al-Furqân: 65] He also says: “And there are men who say: “Our Lord, give us good in this world and good in the Hereafter and save us from the torment of the Fire.”[Sûrah al-Baqarah: 201]

Among the supplications that the Qur’an relates to us from the people of piety and understanding is to say: “Our Lord, grant us what You did promise unto us through Your Messengers and save us from shame on the Day of Judgment; for You never break Your promise” [Sûrah Al-`Imrân: 194]

The Prophet (peace be upon him) ordered us, upon reading the tashahhûd in our daily prayers, to seek refuge with Allah from four things: the torment of Fire, the torment in the grave, the trials of this life, and the Anti-Christ.

Those who worship Allah for other reasons, not out of fear or hope, will be abandoning such supplications. In this case, they are losing two virtues. One is that they are deprived of this righteous supplication and, second, the response from Allah for those who offer it.

This call of the mystics is an unnatural innovation in our religion. We should dismiss such ideas and the assumptions that produce them. We will never succeed except by following the way of the Prophets and the Pious Predecessors.

Allah orders us to ask Him in every prayer to guide us: “Show us the straight way, the way of those on whom thou has bestowed thy grace, those whose (portion) is not wrath and who go not astray.” [Sûrah al-Fâtihah: 6-7]

NO TIME TO PRAY

I knelt to pray but not for long,
I had too much to do.
I had to get hurry and get to work
For bills would soon be due

So I knelt and said a hurried prayer,
And jumped up off my knees,
My Muslim duty was now done
My soul could rest at ease.

All day long I had no time
To spread a word of cheer.
No time to speak of Allah to friends,
They’d laugh at me I’d fear.

No time, no time, too much to do,
That was my constant cry,
No time to give to souls in need
But at last the time, the time to die.

I went before the Lord,
I came, I stood downcast eyes.
For in his hand God held a book;
It was the book of life,

God looked into his book and said
Your name I cannot find.
I once was going to write it down..
But never find the time.

THE EMPERORS SEED :)

I'm reading a very inspirational book called "The key strategies that can make anyone a successful leader" by Zohra Sarwari, it is a collection of wonderful stories and poems and has chapters written by motivational and experienced writers. There is a beautiful story in here which I really want to share with all of you. We can all learn a lesson from this story. So here's what I'm going to do: I'm going to type up the whole thing (even the moral at the end) so you guys and gals can read it. Here goes:

The Emperor's Seed - Anonymous

An Emperor in the Far East was growing old and knew it was time to choose his successor. Instead of choosing one of his assistants or his children, he decided to do something different. He called young people in the kingdom together one day. He said, "It is time for me to step down and choose the next emperor. I have decided to choose one of you." The kids were shocked! But the Emperor continued. "I am going to give each one of you a seed today; one very special seed. I want you to plant the seed, water it and come back here one year from today with what you have grown from this one seed. I will then judge the plants that you bring, and the one I will choose will be the next emperor!" One boy named Ling was there that day and he, like the others, received a seed. He went home and excitedly told his mother the story. She helped him get a pot and planting soil, and he planted the seed and watered it carefully. Every day he would water it and watch to see if it had grown. After about 3 weeks, some of the other youths began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow. Ling kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew. 3 weeks, 4 weeks, 5 weeks went by; still nothing! By now, others were talking about their plants but Ling didn't have a plant, and he felt like a failure. 6 months went by; still nothing in Ling's pot. He just knew he had killed his seed. Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing. Ling didn't say anything to his friends; he just kept waiting for his seed to grow. A year finally went by and all the youths of the kingdom brought their plants to the Emperor for inspection. Ling told his mother that he wasn't going to take an empty pot, but his mother said he must be honest about what happened. Ling felt sick to his stomach, but he know his mother was right. He took his empty pot to the palace. When Ling arrived, he was amazed by the variety of plants grown by the other youths. They were beautiful; in all shapes and sizes. Ling put his empty pot on the floor and many of the other kids laughed at him. A few felt sorry for him and just said, "Hey, nice try." When the Emperor arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted the young people. Ling just tried to hide in the back. "My, what great plants, trees and flowers you have grown," said the Emperor. "Today, one of you will be appointed as the next emperor!" All of sudden, the Emperor spotted Ling at the back of the room with his empty pot. He ordered his gaurds to bring him to the front. Ling was terrified, "The Emperor knows I'm a failure! Maybe he will have me killed!" When Ling got to the front, the emperor asked his name. "My name is Ling," he replied. All the kids were laughing and making fun of him. The Emperor asked everyone to quiet down. He looked at Ling, and then announced to the crowd, "Behold your new emperor! His name is Ling!" Ling couldn't believe it. Ling couldn't even grow his seed; how could he ever be the new emperor? Then the Emperor said, "One year ago today, I gave everyone here a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds, which would not grow. all of you except Ling, have brought me trees, plants and flowers. When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you. Ling was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be the new emperor!"

If you plant honesty, you will reap trust.
If you plant goodness, you will reap friends.
If you plant humility, you will reap greatness.
If you plant perseverance, you will reap victory.
If you plant consideration, you will reap harmony.
If you plant hard work, you will reap success.
If you plant forgiveness, you will reap reconciliation.
If you plant openness, you will reap intimacy.
if you plant patience, you will reap improvements.
If you plant faith, you will reap miracles.

But:
If you plant dishonesty, you will reap distrust.
If you plant selfishness, you will reap loneliness.
If you plant pride, you will reap destruction.
If you plant envy, you will reap trouble.
If you plant laziness, you will reap stagnation.
If you plant bitterness, you will reap isolation.

If you plant greed, you will reap loss.
If you plant gossip, you will reap enemies.
If you plant worries, you will reap wrinkles.

If you plant sin, you will reap guilt.
So be careful what you plant now; it will determine what you reap tomorrow. The seeds you scatter now will make life worse, or better your life or the ones who will come after. Yes, someday, you will enjoy the fruits, or you will pay for the choices you plant today.

I enjoyed typing that. =) My neck's starting to hurt a little though (from moving it side to side like a pigeon!)... but it was worth it. :) :)

LONELINESS

All said and done :) Life does move on, but it makes you lonely in ways you never quite could have expected.

It isn't the loneliness you know off. Nothing changes in your life and yet it isn't your life any more.

Loneliness is knowing that the metro doors will not open to reveal a face familiar and loved. Or even known, for that matter. It is the daily reminder that your favorite coffee shop no longer is the first choice to spend a leisurely afternoon at. Being lonely is not being able to walk right into the homes you considered almost your own, especially when you need them the most. It is the cold fact that there isn't someone a phone call away who'll stay up till 3 a.m. just because you told them to.

Loneliness is not having reason to celebrate even when you have every single reason to. When you are greeted warmly by a stranger when you get good news instead of people who would have wished most fervently for your happiness. It is quietly smiling to yourself over a plate of cold food while congratulating yourself just a little.

It is an endless cycle of reminding yourself that all your new discoveries are truly your own and you couldn't share them truly if you wanted to. Of noting events, people, places, ideas, feelings on a piece of paper to maybe chance upon weeks later.

It is the slight lump in your throat when you fake a little laughter now and then, while knowing what truly makes you laugh may not be there to cheer you up for a while. Loneliness is a broken conversation and lost threads with no way to preserve them till there is time enough to fix it all.

Loneliness is the heart wrenching paradox of life where you are alone even when you haven't lost the people you pine for. They don't leave you behind, and yet they do. Their memories keep you happy till you remember there won't be any new ones to keep. And it hurts. It can actually make you feel a heart breaking into smaller fragments every single time you get through another day.

Loneliness is harsh, it doesn't go away. Not when you're surrounded by people, not when you block the world out. It stays, it keeps hinting at its ability to make you walk by some of the best days of your life without reminiscing even once.

But before all of this and more than all else, loneliness is a reminder that all of it matters, for now, only to you. :) ;(

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

LIKE A DUCK :)

scrooge-mcduck
You ever notice a duck in a pond? How it floats so peacefully on top of the body of water… almost gliding along without any real effort.  The perfect picture of calm. The epitome of relaxation and composure.  No splashing. No disturbing the surface. No violent ripples left behind.  You could easily think that ducks just move, well without any effort at all. Almost as if that is the nature of a duck. To move, to glide, to flow smoothly from point A to point B.  To the naked eye, from up above the water it is all nice and tranquil… But if you were to look below the surface, the truth would be apparent. In reality the duck is really working hard.  Its feet paddle vigorously to push and propel the weight of its body through the water. Its tail works as a rudder, fighting against the current so as to keep the duck soundly on its intended path.  The whooshing water forms little whirlpools, the ducky’s leg muscles strain against gallons of water, and its heart pumps feverishly to maintain adequate oxygen to its tissues.  This happens all the while, the average on looker assumes ducks are the most chill animals ever. Wrong.
animated,gif,bugs,bunny,daffy,duck,funny-2662520ed43438771a0e090f59145ddf_mI want to be like a duck. Huh? Yes. Ducks got this whole human interaction, success-in-life thing down pat. How? Life seems to be so much about remaining confident and calm under real pressure… well at least externally remaining calm and cool.  Internally, where NOBODY else can see, your brain is paddling away trying to discern appropriate actions, your heart (the spiritual heart, not the muscle) is pushing and pulling against the current of every day decisions and your whole being struggles in this pond that we call life.  Success, at least it seems to me, is achieved only with the ability to glide across the surface confidently and calmly while really working your butt off to stay afloat.
I heard the duck analogy in reference to the way a surgeon must be under pressure but I find it to be so applicable to just being human. Being a good person is hard sometimes and the pressures of trying to attain levels of success require a level of… ‘Duckiness.’
So, I guess… QUACK QUACK!
LooneyToons_Daffy_Portrait

WORDS REDEFINED :)

CIGARETTE:
A pinch of tobacco
rolled in paper
with fire at one end
and a fool at the other!  

 LECTURE:
An art of transmitting Information
from the notes of the lecturer
to the notes of students
without passing through the minds
of either 

 CONFERENCE:
The confusion of one man
multiplied by the
number present 


COMPROMISE:
The art of dividing
a cake in such a way that
everybody believes
he got the biggest piece 

 TEARS:
The hydraulic force by which
masculine will power is
defeated by feminine water-power!



CONFERENCE ROOM:
A place where everybody talks,
nobody listens
and everybody disagrees later on


 
 ECSTASY:
A feeling when you feel
you are going to feel
a feeling
you have never felt before 

 CLASSIC:
A book
which people praise,
but never read 

 SMILE:
A curve
that can set
a lot of things straight!



 OFFICE:
A place
where you can relax
after your strenuous
home life


  EXPERIENCE:
The name
men give
to their
Mistakes 
 

DIPLOMAT:
A person
who tells you
to go to hell
in such a way
that you actually look forward
to the trip 

OPTIMIST:
A person
who while falling
from EIFFEL TOWER
says in midway
"SEE I AM NOT INJURED YET!"
 


MISER:
A person
who lives poor
so that
he can die RICH! 


FATHER:
A banker
provided by
nature


BOSS:
Someone
who is early
when you are late
and late
when you are early



POLITICIAN:
One who
shakes your hand
before elections
and your Confidence
Later


 DOCTOR:
A person
who kills
your ills
by pills,
and kills you
by his bills!