I fly even with my wings broken and
a mind full of desires,
no matter how insignificant,
if I am not better,
at least I am different.

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THE GIFT OF FREE WILL

What’s the meaning of life?

I don’t have a definite answer to this profound question asked by many a people over eons.

Philosophers have debated over it and there has never been a one-for-all answer. May be that is what makes this question intriguing and yet so infuriating at the same time. Man has tried to answer this question since the beginning of time and this search has led to much philosophical, theological and scientific speculation. The diversity of this world and its cultures presents a myriad collection of answers different from each other.

Pico, in his famous “Oration on the Dignity of Man” published in 1486, states that God placed man at the midpoint of the world and addressed him thus:

Adam, you have been given no fixed place, no form of your own, and no particular function, so that you may have and possess, according to your will and your inclination, whatever place, whatever form, and whatever functions you choose…by your own free will, in whose hands I have placed you, will determine your own nature…You will have the power to degenerate into the lower forms of life, which are bestial. You will have the power, by the judgment of your soul, to be reborn into the highest forms of life, which are divine.

Pico sees this free will as the supreme generosity of God through which man will himself become the fruit of whatever he cultivates. According to him this is what qualifies man as the most supreme creation of God.

Any living being on our planet primary goal is survival. Man is not any different in that matter but because of his rational faculty he tries to find something more than merely survive. This is what makes us more than an animal and adds color and flavor to our world. Finding the meaning of life in general seems like a futile exercise. If you look at the whole, the idea of finding or attaching a meaning to our life in this complex world appears pointless.

For every good act there is an evil equivalent. For every honest person there are plenty of dishonest persons around. An honest politician remains an oxymoron. Innocence and purity are shunned since the innocent and pure of heart are inevitably duped and exploited. Our faith which is meant to elevate us closer to God is used to divide us, and used against us. Instead of getting us closer to the divine it brings out our bestial nature. As you can see our world is imperfect. But does that mean that we cater just to our own self-interest and don’t try to look beyond ourselves?   

 The free will gives us the power to not succumb to this world’s corruption and find our personal meanings of each of our lives. The materialistic world which runs on ostentatious displays of wealth and merriment makes us afraid of delving deep into ourselves. All that is cared about is the superficial appearance and every achievement has to be measureable. I too have joined the pursuit to find the meaning of life—my life. I am sure that in due time I will find something but I can’t be sure if it will be worth it or not. One thing I am sure of is that the experience will be of personal benefit and that in itself is a reward.

Oliver Sacks, when he first discovered his diagnosis of terminal illness: staring death in the face, he wrote, “Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and adventure.”

Let’s not lose hope in these dark times we live in, and let’s choose to believe that our life has a purpose and a meaning, whatever it may be. If we persist enough, our brief-lives on this earth can be worthwhile and we can definitely make at least a teeny-tiny positive difference to our surroundings.

HOW MY HEART RUNS AFTER THEM!

When somebody asks me about my hobbies and passions I feel great to share about my hobbies and my passions. The simple reason behind it is, I love what I do and I know that they give me immense pleasure. I love to show case my activities and what I do for others to know.

Anyway, so without wasting any time let me share my hobbies and passions with you all, which are as under:

  1. I love interacting with different people and share views being a super extrovert in nature. Somehow I love crowd. I get attracted to the crowds. I don’t run away from them at all. I love mixing with people and talking to them.
  2. Then comes my writing. I have that passion to write and let people know what I know and believe. I love to help and motivate others through my writings.  I do not like to write articles which don’t convince me personally.
  3. Apart from this I love to cook, paint, compose music, photography, and write lyrics etc., which are not regular but I love to do them for a change.

The above things really give me so much pleasure, and my mind always stay cool and calm and diverted from all my worries, pains, and sufferings. They are my stress busters.

But one thing I must confess that my heart’s desire and for which I always keep myself ready is to listen to the problems of a needy, wounded, broken person; my heart always long to help them by listening and counseling them. I always look for opportunity that how can I reach them just to listen their cries. My heart cries when I see them. And if anybody is reading this article today, I want to declare that I am always available for them to listen as a friend. That’s my most loved passion…

What about yours? What is your passion? Comment and share under this article…

Stay blessed!

DO YOU KNOW YOUR DREAMS?

Dream is something that keeps you awake. Dream is that spark inside every person that we call Passion; it is something that keeps us alive and makes a meaning out of our lives. Without dreams there would be no difference between humans and animals.

doubt-623847_1280It is true that most of us do not get a chance or opportunity to live our dreams, but the bigger problem is that many of us do not even know what is it that they are really passionate about? Do you know what is it that you are really passionate about?

I remember when I was 24, I joined an NGO that was working on creating awareness on Child Sexual Abuse. I did a course with them that certified me as a Sex Education Counsellor. While talking to my coach in the course, I told her that I am deeply worried because I am 24 and I don’t think I love my job and I have no clue what exactly do I want to do in my life. And she gave me a reply that I am going to remember forever. She said, “Don’t worry, I am 49 and I still don’t what exactly I want to do in my life. Life is a journey and you will continue to discover new things in life that will excite you. You will continue to weave new dreams for yourself. Till you are in that exploration mode, you will continue to grow. So, don’t worry about what is it you want to do in life. Do whatever makes you feel good and you will create new and bigger dreams each day.”

I continued to work with that NGO for a couple of years and had tremendous learnings. But the most important of them was that our dreams are always evolving and growing. Do not restrict yourself to the dreams that you saw as a child. Yes, start with them and continue to explore what more the world has to offer you. There is no end or limitations to the amount of the opportunities available today.

I love writing and so I did some freelance writing work for a year or so, but it did not make me feel fulfilling. Yes, I was writing but I was writing stuff that was not inspirational. That is when I realized that my interest for writing stems from my interest in counselling people and in inspiring them. I realized that I would like to do that instead of write for some business and earn money out of it. That is when I started blogging and sometime earlier joined Candles Online because the vision of Candles really called out to me.

human-767000_1280There are cases when you discover your passion from the darkest of your time. When you face failures and struggle in life, you see something that you would want to pursue throughout your life and it becomes your passion. So, don’t limit your dreams to just your hobbies. Go full out and play them; you never know which passion of yours will be staring at you in your face. Grab every opportunity available, do not worry about time; you will always make time for your dreams.

I invite you to think right now – what is it that I am/was passionate about? If you can think of at least 2-5 things, you are still in touch with your dreams. If you can’t, then my friend, it is high time to take a break from life and think of your dreams. If you say that you are already living your dream, then I would invite you to think further and beyond of what you have achieved; think of the next goal, next vision and next dream.

Just take one little step towards your passion and you will be surprised how life will throw bundle of opportunities your way.

Prabhjot

CLINGING ON TO OUR HOPES AND DREAMS

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Our hopes and dreams, do they really stand a chance against reality? Can we make them come true and are we even given a chance to reach out and fight for our dreams? Easy to answer right! The answer in most cases is no at least in the burgeoning Indian middle class.

I believe all of us in our most wishful thoughts want to become someone in their lives. That someone is characterized by our passion for something, something that is ingrained in us or we are drawn towards it naturally. The inclination deepens gradually as we learn more and more about our passion. But the global rat-race spares no one. This affects the mentality of our parents first and then channels through them to us. The effect is you have to become a doctor or engineer, or do an MBA and what is the reason for this? It gives more money and status in the society. All the students are cajoled, forced at times and mechanically trained to take engineering or medicine. They are not even asked if they want to pursue anything else and if they have any unconventional career choice, it’s ruled out by the parents. Giving up on the dreams becomes the likeliest option for the youngster.

Coming to myself, I was considered good in science as I scored high marks in the subject. This immediately gave my parents the idea that their son should become an engineer. They had never enquired me about my interest. I had a liking for writing but at that point was never serious of making it as a career. I ended up in an Engineering college eventually and got placed in an IT organization. Meanwhile my liking for writing had grown and I had become more serious about it. The possibility of pursuing it professionally remains.

Life has changed a lot after college. Most of us are employed, busy into our jobs as we try to impress our bosses. Looking back into introspection a question pops up in my head “have you found what you are looking for or are you just fitting in?” I find it really difficult to answer that in an instant. If the answer is yes for you, life can’t get better. Everyone has hopes and dreams of becoming someone in their lives. Very few make it though and it’s not that easy too. Circumstances and lack of will power get better of most of us. Eventually, we have to be content with what we get. Yes, jobs which give you decent amount of earnings or more can seem the best that can happen to you, but we are never truly content until we find that one thing that we crave for. With a realistic view, we all can’t reach the levels of success that some people manage when their careers and passions meet but still; we can give it a shot, trying to fulfill our dreams and turn them into reality.

We have our talents or something that we love doing (The base of our dreams). These are the things which bring us joy and contentment and we enjoy every bit of it just because we love doing it. What if we can’t become legends? At least as a hobby we can keep our interests alive and find time for them in spite of the busy work schedule. The other day I went shopping with my friend. His eyes lit up as they set their gaze on a bundle of paint brushes. He told me that he used to paint a lot during his younger days and was pretty good at it. I told him to buy a paint brush and start it again. He replied with reluctance that’s it no use now as there is so much of work and he does not find time for it.

Looking back at the past brings in lots of “ifs” and “buts” but they won’t provide you the solution. Giving up, when knowing that you can make your mundane life more beautiful and fruitful should not be considered as an option. It’s never too late to start to follow the dreams unique to yourself. Someone has told, “Better late than never”. As per my own experience you can always start again if you stopped sometime back.

Author’s Bio: Peter Minj, is a B. E. in Electronics and Communication. He works as a Software Engineering Senior Analyst at Accenture, Bangalore. He loves Football, Reading, Writing, and Music. He is an optimist, who enjoys the simple things of life.