WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE – A SLOTHFUL SINNER OR A DILIGENT WINNER?

sloth

No matter how cute a Sloth may look, being one is not good. In fact, the Bible describes it as one of the deadly sins. What’s wrong in being a sloth, you may ask. To that, I will say, there is no right or wrong, just the consequences. If you choose to be a sloth, you will shape your life likewise.

Sloths are arboreal mammals noted for slowness of movement and for spending most of their lives hanging upside down in the trees of the tropical rainforests of South America and Central America. They personify the laziness. Thus, a person who is lazy and reluctant to work is called as a sloth. There is an age-old idiom “As you sow, so shall you reap.” How true is that! If you act lazy, do not put in efforts, wash your hands off the responsibilities then your life is going to be dull, non-progressive and boring. Success will be miles away from you.

On the other hand, if you are diligent you can go places. Observe any successful personality. The virtue that will stand out is diligence. Again, I would like to remind you of an old age idiom “Winners don’t do different things, they do things differently.” The hard work and perseverance of these people are what differentiates them from sloths. Their willingness to consistently pursue the hard-work and effort is what makes them a winner.

Having said this, let’s talk about the practical aspect of practicing this. I will be lying if I say I am totally diligent. I am not! And I can guarantee that even you are not! We all tend to be sloths, don’t we? Let me share my personal experience. I am a new mother and a full time working professional. I survive on a 4 hours sleep a day through the week, I travel 40 km every day and I pour in endless enthusiasm to entertain my son after coming back from work only because I want to make up to the time lost working in the office. Apart from this, I cook, I clean, I do social gatherings. We all do that, don’t we? And you will agree that the only thing that gets us through is diligence. We are able to do it only because with do it with a lot of vigor, we put in immeasurable efforts, we pay attention to every minute detail and we have tremendous ability to adapt to the changing demands. And this pays us big time, doesn’t it? The big fat pay cheque at the end of the month, being a hero in the eyes of our children, and being a very stable and strong support to the family is what we get in return. Just imagine how life would be without these tokens of love, trust and (materialistic as well as non-materialistic). appreciation. However, in my case, all this holds true from Monday to Friday. Come Saturday, I will usually be a total Sloth. I wake up late. I some times don’t cook, I laze around the house, I procrastinate many household chores. Yes, I do that. And it is natural, isn’t it? After all, I am a human, I get tired, my body needs rest. An this will be true with more or less everyone.

So you see, the same individual is a sloth as well as diligent. The challenge is to where to draw the line. It is very easy to get used to a lazy lifestyle, but it is very challenging to step out of the comfort zone and discipline yourself. Being sloth is alright, but only to the extent of being one just to rest and rejuvenate. We all need that change, but mind you it must be a temporary change and not the lifestyle change. We must bounce back.

I echo Benjamin Franklin’s words: “Diligence overcomes difficulties, sloths make them.”

So, what do you want to be, A slothful sinner or a diligent winner? The choice is yours!

Advertisements

IS IT EASY TO REFRAIN FROM WRATH AND FORGIVE?

The expression “Virtue + Vice” is deeply pertinent in human life and the Bible profoundly affirms this truth – “No human is perfect, not even one. Each of us in some way or other is fallen by nature and by works as well”. Our contrary characters have always been the factor of the disintegration of our emotions which causes wrath and emotional vacuum in our relationships. At such peak of emotional brokenness, often it is suggested by godly counsellors to ‘FORGIVE ONE ANOTHER’. Is it that easy to forgive someone?

I know Mom and Dad don’t like her now but I’m pretty sure her love and care for them can convince them in the future. What can be more valuable than having a companion like her? In her, I see my future, she is the perfect lady with whom I can fulfill all my dreams, it is with her I can face any struggle. It’s not just a day’s happening; we are in a relationship since so many years. But… how come it is so easy for her to turn me down, were those promises I believed in,  fake? Till yesterday evening she was there for me but what happened this morning? Is a relationship just confined to physical satisfaction, financial stability and fame?

Is it easy to refrain from wrath and forgive?

With endless promises, sacrifices and in the presence of witnesses in the holy sanctuary we tied the nuptial knot but how come only within a couple of years life has become hell? What happened to those promises and commitments? Is it the same guy in whom I built my trust and dreamt to fulfill my dreams? God has forgotten me, how can I tell Papa about the home violence, the marital rape, my character assassination, the cuts and cigar burns on my body, so on and so forth?

Is it easy to refrain from wrath and forgive?

He is the most sincere, truthful and hardworking guy I have ever met in my life. I think, he is the right guy to be given the power of attorney in my absence. Alas… after a month when he returns from the foreign trip, his company is sold and he is under bankruptcy!

Is it easy to refrain from wrath and forgive?

My dream is to make him what I could not accomplish in life. What more I want rather than his happy life. I trust he will hold my shivering hand; she will be my daughter, not daughter-in-law. Oh, how joyous it will be to be called as Grandpa and to hold those tiny little fingers and walk in the dusk light. Well, some dreams won’t be fulfilled, this old age home probably being the last roof!

Is it easy to refrain from wrath and forgive?

Well, the world is not only filled with evil hearts, internal scheming, and abhorrence. The world exists because of the God-fearing hearts, love for one another and forgiveness against wrath. Moreover, by the grace of God.

Thomas a Kempis says,

“Know all and you will pardon all”.

After 10yrs of married life and becoming the father of a girl, the husband always felt insecure and jealous of his wife’s beauty and influence. In his mind, he always thought people give him importance because of his wife’s credibility. As days went by his insecurity and jealousy became giant and finally erupted to crime one evening. Though it was just a fight for extra sugar in the tea but it ended him in jail and her in the hospital and made the daughter a one-parent child. Erupt with anger he threw acid and disfigured her face. After 15yrs to the incident, when the man was on his death bed in the prison, he wrote a letter to her asking forgiveness and making his last wish to spend the rest of his life with her. Out of love, she forgave him but it was difficult for the grown-up daughter to forgive and accept him as her dad. But greater is the power of love that helps to forgive one another. 😊 The final goal of forgiveness is to restore the broken relationship and gives way to renew the lifestyle.

Another remarkable story is the ghastly attack of 23rd January 1999 in the Mayurbhanj district of Odisha state. Some religious fundamentalists burnt alive the Christian missionary Graham Staines and his two sons Phillip (aged 10) and Timothy (aged 6). The court of law convicted the alleged killers for their brutality. But the statement of Gladys Staines (w/o: Graham Staines) is exemplary for the entire human race irrespective of caste, creed and religious boundaries. She in her affidavit before the Commission on the death of her husband and two sons stated, “The Lord God is always with me to guide me and help me to try to accomplish the work of Graham, but I sometimes wonder why Graham was killed and also what made his assassins behave in such a brutal manner on the night of 22nd/23rd January 1999. It is far from my mind to punish the persons who were responsible for the death of my husband Graham and my two children. But it is my desire and hope that they would repent and would be reformed”. It is our forgiveness which gives an opportunity to the other person to correct himself and walk in righteousness which is never possible by taking the path of wrath.

The Bible says, “Forgive one another, as the Lord God forgives your sins. And as we forgive others and leave the wrath unto God, God takes the vengeance and establishes justice for us which can never be hidden to human eyes.”

Yet, the choice is in your hands “to forgive or take the path of wrath”.

OPEN UP ABOUT YOUR INDULGENCES

One day while loitering down the aisle of the super market and picking up requisite things for school picnic I brought a pack of biscuits for myself for tea time. I went home and opened the pack to taste few and was bowled over by the taste and rest is history! I can’t restrain myself from packing up my tummy with more and more of them, just as meals and in fact before, after and in between the meals.  My tongue took control of my heart and in turn, my hand that used to open the shelves every half an hour (a little exaggeration 😉). A pack of 40+ biscuits lasted barely for three days. And one more pack was already ordered for next week and it lasted nothing longer than the previous one.  The pace with which wrappers were going to the dust bin sent alarm bells for me.  It’s time to put a check on my intake as health was at stake (read extra pounds), it’s time to put an act of Temperance vs my act of Gluttony.

What are Temperance and Gluttony?  I will break it down to the simplest words to understand.

  • Temperance – putting / showing restraint, holding self back, to show control.
  • Gluttony – addiction/overindulgence used “usually” in reference to food and alcohol.

I have no shame to admit that I was moving in the direction of being a glutton.  I might be miles away from those who are socio-officially branded as “alcoholics“, “gluttons” but I did move a few inches, that matters and needs to ponder over. Had I not used the weighing scale, had I not examined the wrapper out of guilt I would not have been able to turn myself away from the biscuit section of that supermarket 😁.   I am the fortunate one whose sense prevails/revokes after hibernation before it’s too late.  But I know (from really close quarters) many who are head over heels in the act of gluttony because of their indulgence and addiction to food and alcohol.  So powerful is their urge to savor food or alcohol that it becomes the prime motto of their lives.  They live literally to eat and drink.  Family and responsibilities either take a back burner or the flame is completely put off. They beg, they borrow and they don’t hesitate to steal as well (especially alcoholics, drug addicts).  In short, their indulgences could easily make them indulge in SIN too.

But the question is, does Gluttony be used in relation to food and alcohol alone?  There’s nothing else we are heavily addicted to or indulge with? The answer is an absolute NO.  For example, the moment we get up in the morning we check updates on our social media accounts and it continues till the time we go to the bed again. Checking up phones every five minutes is like checking an empty fridge knowing there’s nothing yet hoping to find something exciting  😁.  This is an addiction! Nymphomaniac is overly addicted to sex. Many are overwhelmingly addicted to lead a luxurious life even if it means putting up a false prestige image with a corrosive base.  I have read about silly cases where one family member beats or even murders the other family member just because he/she didn’t get the TV remote to watch their favourite show.  It is silly for us but it’s all about serious addiction to Television.  Then there are people who have a penchant for using abusive language as their expression, they simply have no control over their tongue, this is also a kind of addiction. When they hurt/ offend people with their foul language they one excuse to chanter “I didn’t mean it, you know my heart na”.   And I can literally go on and on tipping you with more and more examples on Gluttony which of course doesn’t strictly adhere to the definition that is provided by a dictionary but fits the bill of Indulgences perfectly.

Overindulgence with or of anything reduces the analysing power of the brain.  The judgment to choose between right and wrong paths diminishes or completely gets extinct. petty example: a girl is a head over heels with the idea of being loved which is of course influenced by celluloid Romance instantly falls for the online proposal of an unknown and the result is not as beautiful as she fancied or might be ugly too.  Her hunger for fairy tales romance has ditched her with her ability to fine judge.  A drug addict won’t even budge to kill someone just to get money to buy him stuff for that day.  Every addiction, every indulgence results in the same.  We lose our senses and sensibilities.  We end up in a state of an emotional coma which involves nothing but “Me, My, Myself” and is probably the mother of all crimes. In short Gluttony Is a Sin, Period.  And this is not something that I have announced but it’s a vice, a branded sin as per every holy scripture that I  know.

What’s the solution to this corrosion? Corrosion because it eats you away slowly.  If alcohol & drugs finish you off physically other addictions doles out humanity, intellect, and wisdom from you.  And these vices have a butterfly effect on others lives too, it isn’t rocket science that needs an explanation as to “How”.  Exercising Temperance is the only solution with a very hard way to follow.  In fact, there is an inverse relationship between Temperance and Gluttony (that’s why they are antonyms).  You lack restraint you end up being an addict and vice versa.  But what should one do to bring back lives to normalcy when the person himself/herself is not able to show some self-control?  Role of Family and Friends comes to play here.  Firstly accept the problem at hand because acceptance is the key! Next comes the path to travel to the destination.

  • Discussing the issue – communication helps; 
  • Showing perseverance, persistence – holding the ground strong – a NO is a NO (in case of drug addicts and alcoholics).
  • Taking professional external help (consultations, treatments).
  • Some quality family time can work wonders.

These are the minimalistic points that I have mentioned. I am sure there’s more to it. I was waiting for your experiences and insights into this issue. Together we can find solutions to many problems we face in our lives collectively or individually. Opening up is what it takes.

REMOVE THE ENVY BLOCKS

Lucius Annaeus Seneca has said- “Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for kindness. In this, I would like to add a line, where there is a human, there is a chance of envy as well. Why? Because we can’t have everything. And this is when the feeling of envy raises its head.

If I talk about my experience, I am not untouched by Envy. I remember, when I was a kid, I used to be envious of my cousins. This used to happen when they (my cousins) received appreciation for the drawings they made. I would then give my best to compete with them. They too felt envious of me whenever results were out. However, this didn’t harm anyone of us.

Some of you might say, envy is not harmful. But the story is different. It is very harmful. Let us see how:

In my neighborhood, there is a man who is always envious of every other person. He can’t stay calm on the fact that a person is climbing the ladder of success. The man always looks for ways to drag down other people.

So, one day a lady went to him for seeking some financial help. The man assured her and did the needful. After a few months, the lady came to my house. To my astonishment, I came to know that man was forcing her to return the money with double interest. I felt sorry for the lady as she is financially weak. The lady tried to convince the man but the man was in no mood to pay heed. Later, we came to know the reason behind this was, the man was envious of the lady’s farmland and was eyeing the land for a long time.

People choose envy over kindness just to satisfy their ego and quench their longing for something they don’t have. Sometimes, we feel envious and think it is fine unless it is not causing harm to other people but it never stays there. It keeps growing as we grow if not checked at the right time.

When we feel envious, we get surrounded by negative vibes. In order to possess those qualities (for which we are envious of), we tend to make wrong choices. Instead of giving best and performing better, we try to harm the person we are envious of. And these wrong choices never make us a kind human.

One should understand, no one is perfect and we will lack in some or other things. For that, we don’t have to envious and drag people. Instead, we should work on our grey areas. 

Being envious won’t bring peace and internal happiness to us. Because the envious feeling itself is full of discontentment. When we are discontented within ourselves it is very difficult for us to show that compassion and kindness to anyone else. Kindness is an act when our mind, body, and soul are at a state of contentment and peace with each other. On the other hand,  envy blocks that free-flowing connection within our own self. And we fail to show that kindness to our family members, neighbours and the people we come across in life.

Therefore, be happy and let kindness occupy your heart.

FEED THE GREEDY WITH CHARITY

The world has turned out to be filled with philanthropists, that it has become too hard to find the best one out of it.

Every other day, one or the other popular person is awarded the honours of Philanthropist At times stimulating my thought, do they know what exactly does it mean to be a philanthropist?

Charity is good, but are we all doing it right?

We tend to do Charity in the name of Greed – for fame, name, money and much more. the magic of giving has vanished now, even the takers do for the same reasons, fed by greed.

Charity in olden times : 

When there was only a need for food and education, even a bag of rice and board and pencil to write was considered to be “worth-giving”.  There was only hunger prevailing, and to fulfil the need of the stomach which was quenchable to an extent.

But now, the greed has grown beyond boundaries.

Charity Today

Everywhere you see “help the girl child”, “help the needy ” as such many organization coming forward. Many famous people adopt a child, in the name of fame for the greed of fame to showoff they do a lot.

I remember, there was a colleague of mine, who used to show off the cards she receives on sending payments to help children receive an education.  Should I believe that every child who is discarded and taken up by these organizations are being provided what they deserve – And still we have much more in the society who are deprived of their right to education.

Every shop has a box, where they claim to collect money for the same reason to evade poverty.

But the next moment I see another child begging on the street.

Even when the number of philanthropists is increasing every year, I see thousands of families stranded and in need of help.

Now Charity is like a weapon for every person who is successful to tame the audience and receive applause.

Charity in the name of  WOmen empowerment

Charity in the name of equality

Charity in the name of Politics 

Charity in the name of protection of Girl child

Charity in the name of freedom.

And all encouraging the rightful greedy, who are feeding on it and enjoying every bit of sacrifice the people do in the name of tolerance.

Altruism is also a charity we do suffer to give away what we actually deserve rightfully.

Even in a human relationship, people tend to be charitable in their deeds, giving away their happiness for the greed of others happiness, as it helps to reign peace in the family.

It is not just in one family that this happens, it reigns everywhere. At many instances, life turns out to be only meant to feast the greediness for power and rule.

Love marriages, for instance, many at times, it does not just love that bring in two people together. It is the harsh reality that, they personally don’t’ want to be a failure in attaining the love of their life. To satisfy the greed of their inner conscience, to accomplish the power of achieving – they go against everything they could to be together.

Here the greed to win – takes it all.

We are all polluted by the greed to prosper than to survive, hence we are on an endless journey of satisfaction, where one comes after the other leaving no space to even perspire.

Men, in the family who take it all on their shoulders, to proclaim that they are still ‘the leading one’ – the greed to be ‘the One’ overburdening the Charity called happiness. Everywhere you check around, you see that we are indeed ‘Charitable-beings’ in anything we do- only the greed for changes with respect to people.

We as humans tend to be quite charitable in our deeds, but it is time to think :

Are we really feeding the greed, in us through Charity?