I was jogging this morning and I noticed a person about half a km ahead.
I could guess he was running a little slower than me and that made me feel good.
I said to myself I will try catch up with him. So I started running faster and faster. Every block, I was gaining on him a little bit. After just a few minutes I was only about 100 feet behind him, so I really picked up the pace and pushed myself. I was determined to catch up with him. Finally, I did it! I caught up and passed him.
Inwardly I felt very good. *I beat him*. Of course, he didn’t even know we were racing.
After I passed him, I realized I had been so focused on competing against him that … I had missed my turn to my house. I had missed the focus on my inner peace. I missed to see the beauty of greenery around. I missed to do my inner soul searching meditation and in the needless hurry stumbled and slipped twice or thrice and might have hit the sidewalk and broken a limb.
It then dawned on me, isn’t that what happens in life when we focus on competing with co-workers, neighbours, friends, family, trying to outdo them or trying to prove that we are more successful or more important and in the bargain we miss on our happiness within our own surroundings? We spend our time and energy running after them and We miss out on our own paths to our given destination. The problem with unhealthy competition is that it’s a never ending cycle. There will always be somebody ahead of you, someone with a better job, nicer car, more money in the bank, more education, a prettier wife, a more handsome husband, better behaved children, better circumstances and better conditions etc.
But one important realisation is that you can be the best that you can be, when you are not competing with anyone. Some people are insecure because they pay too much attention to what others are, where others are going, wearing and driving, what others are talking. Take whatever you have, the height, the weight and personality. Accept it and realize, that you are Blessed, that you are Unique. Stay focused and live a healthy life. There is no competition in Destiny. Each has his own. Comparison and Competition are the thieves of JOY. It kills the Joy of Living your Own Life. Run your own Race that leads to Peaceful, Happy Steady Life.
Unfortunately our kids hear the race-start shot early in their lives, thanks to our education system where only the fierce among the ‘Seekers’ become ‘Finders’. Joy of Learning – what’s that? Years pass before comprehension dawns, if at all, life goes by a different set of rules. A positive development today is kids are not afraid of exploring and pursuing career options other than engineering or medicine.
Regrettably, unable to speculate creatively as would an artist or a wordsmith of merit on what would be a man if not civilized by the women in his life, am content forwarding some beautiful thoughts related to the subject, anonymusly authored:
LET HER TAKE HER TIME!!
vide Anantharaman Mahadevan
When she takes her time to drink a barely warm cup of tea, let her. She’s given her time to cook your meal and serve it to you before she sat to drink her tea.
When she takes time to select a dish from the menu, let her. Every day, for every meal she has prepared she has given her time to think about what to make, how much, and for whom.
When she takes time to dress up to go out with you, let her. She has given her time to make sure that your ironed clothes are in their place and knows better than you, where your socks are. She has dressed up her child thoughtfully, to look like the most smartly dressed up child around.
When she takes time to watch TV mindlessly, let her. She is only half concentrating and has a clock ticking in her head. As soon as it’s nearing dinner time, you’ll see her disappear to get things ready.
When she takes time to serve you breakfast, let her. She has kept aside the burnt toast for herself and is taking the time to serve her family the nicest ones she could manage.
When she takes time after her tea to just sit by the window and stare into nothingness, let her. It’s her life, she’s given you countless hours of her life.
Let her take a few minutes for herself.
She’s rushing through her life, giving chunks of her time whenever needed, wherever needed.
Don’t rush her more than she rushes herself.
Don’t push her harder than she pushes herself.
A tribute to all Women…
Survival kit for Mothers!! Another beautiful thought to share, what if a bit wordy!
Vide Sarabada Gopinath in PCK
LESSON FOR LIFE💝
My mom felt exhausted. She was irritable and grumpy, until one day, suddenly, she changed.
One day my dad said to her: ‘I’m going to have a few beers with friends.’
My brother said to her: ‘I’m doing poorly in all subjects in college.’
Mom: ‘Okay, you will recover, and if you don’t, you repeat the semester, but you pay the tuition.’
My sister said to her: ‘I smashed the car.’
My mom replied: ‘Okay, take it to the car shop and get it fixed.’
All of us were worried to see these reactions coming from mom.
We suspected that she had gone to the doctor and was prescribed some pills called “I don’t give a damn”.
We then proposed to do an “intervention” with my mother to remove her from any possible addiction she had towards some anti-tantrum medication.
But then mom gathered us around her and explained:
“It took me a long time to realize that each person is responsible for their life. It took me years to discover that my anguish, anxiety, my depression, my courage, my insomnia and my stress, does not solve your problems but aggravates mine.
I am not responsible for the actions of anyone and it’s not my job to provide happiness.
Therefore, I came to the conclusion that my duty to myself is to remain calm and let each one of you solve what corresponds to you.
I have taken courses in yoga, meditation, miracles, human development, mental hygiene, vibration and neurolinguistic programming and in all of them, I found a common denominator. I can only control myself, you have all the necessary resources to solve your own problems despite how hard they may be. My job is to PRAY for you, LOVE you, ENCOURAGE you, but it’s up to YOU to solve them and find your happiness.
I can only give you my advice if you ask me and it depends on you to follow it or not. There are consequences, good or bad, to your decisions and YOU have to live with them.”
Everyone at home was speechless.
From that day on, the family began to function better because everyone in the house knew exactly what it is that they needed to do!
Source: A WhatsApp forward
It was the night of 30th Dec. And it was cold out there.
They were returning from a party at a friend’s place.
As they were hitting the main road, at the corner he caught sight of a homeless beggar squat on the pavement and pulling tight around himself a torn shawl, not entirely successful in holding off the shivering cold.
He slowed down and stopped the car a little distance ahead.
‘What happened? Why’re you stopping the car? Any problem?’ his wife got a wee bit tense.
‘No, nothing wrong with the car. Look there, an old man shivering in cold.’
‘We have a shawl with us in there. Let’s give it to him.’
‘What? That expensive stuff we bought for my mom?’
’Let me get it…what to do? There’s nothing else to spare…we’ll get another one for your mom.’
‘You know what? He is not going to use it, let me tell you. He’ll trade it in for some weed. They do it all the time.’
He picked up the shawl from the seat behind and got down.
Went up to the man, draped the shawl around the startled man fearing worse. Stepped back to have a look. With a wave of has hand, left him behind and returned to the car.
They came home in silence.
On 31st night once again there was a party they attended more or less in the same area.
Later they took the same route on the way back home.
The homeless beggar was at his spot.
‘See, what I told you, I can’t see the shawl,’ observed the wife.
He stopped the car and both of them got down.
‘What Baba, where’s the shawl we gave you yesterday? Bought yourself some ganja with it, eh?’ the wife said mockingly.
A bony arm stuck out pointing to a figure crouching on the pavement some distance away, shrouded in what appeared to be the shawl.
His voice was tremulous: ‘One leg, polio affected. Draws unwelcome attention from passers-by. She is without clothes even to cover herself properly. At least I have this for myself.’
They returned to their car without a word. She was sure there was another shawl in the bedroom closet.
Forwarding few lines that I enjoyed reading, lightly edited subjectively:
Sometimes I feel I want to go back in time… Not to change things, but to feel a couple of things twice…
Sometimes I wish I was a baby for a while… Not to be walked in the pram but to see my mother’s smile!
Some times I wish I could go back to school… Not to become a child but to spend more time with those friends I never met after school!
Sometimes I wish I could be back in college… Not to be a rebel but to really understand what I studied!
Sometimes I wish I was a fresher at my work… Not to do less work but to recall the joy of making myself useful and being paid for it!
Sometimes I wish I could marry again all over… Not to change the partner but to enjoy her companionship more deeply!
Sometimes I wish my kids were younger…. Not because they grew fast but to tell them more stories…
Sometimes I wish I was more expressive…Not to pursue prose or poetry but to to say thanks to my kith and kin.
Sometimes I feel I still had some more time to live… Not to have a longer life but to know and do things differently…
Since the times that are gone can never come back, let’s enjoy the moments as we live them from now on, to the fullest…doing what we could and celebrate our everyday life*
Watch out! I have already lost a couple to these Donkeys:-(
Vide T R Subramanian
“A donkey was tied to a tree. One night a ghost cut the rope and released the donkey.
The donkey went and destroyed the crops in a farmer’s land. Infuriated, the farmer’s wife shot the donkey and killed it.
The donkey’s owner was devastated at the loss. In reply, he shot dead the farmer’s wife.
Angered by his wife’s death, the farmer took a sickle and killed the donkey’s owner.
The wife of the donkey’s owner got so angry that she and her sons set the farmer’s house on fire.
The farmer, looking at his house turned into ashes, went ahead and killed both the wife and children of that donkey’s owner.
Finally, when the farmer was full of regret, he asked the ghost as to why did it kill them all?
The ghost replied, “I killed nobody. I just released a donkey that was tied to a rope. It is all of you who released the devil within you which resulted into everything bad that happened.”
Today the media has become like the ghost. It keeps releasing donkeys on a daily basis.
The people foolishly take a stance and argue with one another endlessly. They end up ruining relationships, even when they know that their opinion is of little or no consequence.
Be responsible and do not react to every donkey released by media and preserve your relationship with your friends and relatives. They are too precious to lose over the donkeys released by the crooked media and politicians.“
Time was running out. There was no option – my wife decided she would go to the bank (public-sector) to get the Tax Deduction Statement (TDS) needed for income-tax computation. She would not let me go because of my suspected friendly leanings towards Covid.
Expectedly there were few customers in the branch. She asked for S, an officer, and when he walked up, she identified herself. The magic words ‘TXX’ spoken ‘opened the doors’!
‘Yes, M’m, come in,’ S was all deference. One would have thought she was some high officer from the HO on a sudden field-visit. ‘TXX spoke a while ago. If you’ll kindly be seated here…I’ll get it in a couple of minutes. It’s all printed and ready.’
As she sat down, a cup of hot tea was served with sugar to add!! A feat far beyond you to equal. Forget tea, I challenge you to get for yourself a glass of water – you would be politely directed to a watercooler standing in the hall. And rightly so, after all a bank’s charter of customer services does not include…
In all my years of regularly visiting the bank, I was always politely ignored by the friendly staff, never rude, envied for the attention by the young lizard lounging in the ceiling, despite trusting them with all my life savings – not a huge pile though being a salaried employee all my life. Strictly not true – I distinctly remember the occasion I was on the center-stage, very briefly though, drawing looks from everyone around when I had sent the glass crashing on the floor at the watercooler. Apologies for a little flippancy there, I couldn’t resist.
I was surprised when the lady of the house returned so soon, mission accomplished.
Ah, there were hardly any customers, so the quick turnaround – explains it.
But the part about tea, that was still intriguing.
May be S was related to TXX or a close friend – simple as that.
When TXX called to follow up if everything went off ok at the bank – incidentally therein lies the subject of this post, you’ll find out soon – I told him about the service-with-a-smile-and-tea-to-go-with-it and everything was fine. S was neither a friend nor a relative of his, I learnt. TXX was not even a customer of the bank.
It made it all clear as mud in rain.
So, why the tea, I persisted.
It emerged TXX knew the bank’s regional HR manager.
Ah…so that was it.
Well, it was like this: Until recently TXX was the big honcho in a diagnostic-services company. And the bank was his client sending its employees for annual medical check-up covered under various plans. When it was the HR manager’s turn, at the request of his office, TXX expedited the matters cutting down the wait for him. Simply said, but not simply done – needed TXX, located elsewhere, to call up the testing lab many times to ensure the manager was not unduly held up at any test station.
That was the beginning of the relationship that endures till date, also the moving force for the service-with-a-smile-and-tea-to-go-with-it. Not a favors-done-favors-asked kind of relationship. It continues though TXX has retired from service since and is no longer in a position to help in ways he did during employment. Yes, the two have never met so far!
Many of us in our employment and outside are in a position to help or do favors and we do. Setting him apart is the sincerity and thoroughness of the process, winning the day and setting relationships in concrete for TXX. He doggedly pursues and pushes the problem-owner into action until the intended end result is achieved. In the above bank episode, offering to help, he calls the bank up ahead and tells them what was needed to cut out the wait for my wife and then calls her up later to check if we got what we needed without hassle or anything more had to be done.
This ownership, often far more than the problem-owner’s, endears him to those who seek his help!
It is not limited to those who go to him – he extends himself to any situation he thinks he could be of some help. Comes to him naturally. An engineer first, puts in place solutions not obvious to many, including the grunt work entailed.
Our own experiences of this kind are too numerous to recount here.
And, finally, I have no problems confessing I fall way too short by this standard.
Received thru Rajiv Chaudhry:
Once in a Physics class, the teacher asked the students, “Why do we have brakes in a car?” Varied answers were received:
“To reduce speed”
“To avoid collision” etc…
But the best answer was,
“To enable you to drive faster”
Give it a thought. For a moment assume you have no brakes in your car then how fast will you drive your car?
It’s because of brakes that we can dare to accelerate, dare to go fast and reach destinations we desire! At various points in life, we find our parents, teachers, mentors & friends etc. questioning our progress, direction or decision. We consider them as irritants or consider such inquiries as “brakes” to our ongoing work.
But, remember, it’s because of such questions (periodical brakes) that you have managed to reach where you are today. Without brakes, you could have skid, lost direction or met with an unfortunate accident.
I am deeply and sincerely grateful to all my priceless BRAKES.“