HOW DO YOU WANT PEOPLE TO TREAT YOU?

The year 2018. It started briskly without any drama or charm or newness in it. When I returned back to Kolkata leaving my native place – Cuttack, there was a glimpse of sorrow in my eyes. Somehow, I was not feeling very great going back to my workplace. In fact, I just wanted to rest, rest and rest in every way at home in Cuttack.

But… those were just wishes which always remain as wishes only. I had to come back and start getting busier with my routine work again.

When someone suggested this topic and I thought it would be nice to write on this by retrospecting and introspecting about my own life in 2018 and what I hope for the year to come in 2019.

If I look back to the year 2017, I would say it was a very bad year for me in all respect – mentally, emotionally and physically. And compared to that previous year, I would say, 2018 was a better one though there was a new heartwrenching feeling deep in my heart, asking me to be more disciplined in my life in aspects of my life. Let me reflect a bit about it…

The lesson in 2018: I am extremely into social networks. Bad habit. I would say, a very bad habit for a person like me. That definitely made me neglect a few of my surroundings and my relationships that are much more important than online friends, articles and quotes etc. But when my wife started to get addicted to Whatsapp and I felt neglected I understood it. I was like – “What are you doing? All the time Whatsapp? Why?

But then God’s spirit poked my heart and whispered to me in His most convincing way of communicating  – “Don’t you know what the Bible says about your problem – ‘Treat others the same way you want them to treat you’. Don’t you think it is unreasonable to expect something from others that you yourself have never done for them before? How can you be so selfish and self-centred and think that you have all the rights to do whatever you want and others will always do what is right and good for you?

Those stirring awakening words from God were enough for me. I was enlightened right away about my fault and understood what I had been doing till that time of enlightenment and what I should be doing henceforth. Instead of telling and advising my wife about what to do and what not to do, I started to curb my ways of dealing with my life – I stopped extensive use of social network. I mean drastically I changed my style of using the social networking sites.

You may ask whether I see any benefit coming my way after I dealt with my bad habit… Yes, I saw a glimpse of benefit coming my way though not considerably. And how can everything be alright in a short span when I have been committing the same act for a longer period of time? Fair enough, isn’t it?

How about you, friends? Do you relate to my life lesson? Does this help you enough to aware you of your mistake or you need some more time and more stirring events to happen in your life for you to awake and act upon it?

I have learnt my lessons, you learn it too soon.

In 2019, I will be more disciplined and will be treating others the same way as I want them to treat me.

Stay Blessed!

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ADDING COLOUR TO LIFE IS IN OUR HANDS

Yesterday was a family day. The day when families of all our team members get together to celebrate. In my career so far, there have been quite a few family days but I never attended one.

A month ago when our Engineering Director called for a meeting, I had very little clue about what was ahead of me. People who were called for that meeting were chosen as organisers for family day. What? I cannot attend family day, let alone organising it. I stayed calm for the entire meeting and told my Director, “I am on leave for a couple of weeks, but I can help with the planning as much as possible”. A date was not finalised for when the family day is going to be and I secretly wished it falls during my vacation.

A team of 5 were to chosen to handle a massive team and extended family of 300 people. This job was not going to be easy. As much as I wanted to stay away from it, I couldn’t do so.  When it was time to finalise the date, there were two options, one during my vacation and the other one right after my vacation. I requested the organising team to not choose the date based on my vacation, but eventually, it happened so that the date was after I return from my vacation. 

Before I went on vacation, I thought of finalising most of the stuff, because when I am on vacation, I may not be able to respond to messages or take calls. As most of the things were sorted out, I went for my vacation rather relieved. By the time I was back in office, the organising team had done a wonderful job in procuring props, gifts and also the logistics. Last Wednesday, we went through the list once again, cross-checked the schedule and distributed our respective responsibilities. 

Wednesday I came home and still wondered if there was any way I could escape from attending the family day. I have a reason that I cannot disclose here, but the gist of it is that I don’t like to lie. I can give some reason to not attend family day, but being an organiser I did not want to disappoint anyone. I had a rough day on Thursday personally. I was quite disturbed and sleepless. Friday wasn’t great either. I was literally exhausted by Friday evening, almost cursing my life for the way it is in some respects. 

I had very disturbed sleep on Friday night as well and eventually, I woke up at 3.30. Today is a family day and I still not have made up my mind on attending it. Believe me, I sat on my bed wondering on the same till 7 in the morning. Various thoughts were doing rounds in my head – I have to drive for 50 km one way on a two-wheeler, I don’t know the route, haven’t had proper sleep, not in a good mood – how can I go out there and be normal ?? 

Something strange happened then at that moment, a thought that is extremely opposite to what I have been thinking. What if, just what if I set aside all these things for a few hours to entertain my extended family? Can’t I do so much? All I have to do is to switch off these thoughts for a few hours and just go out there. It is almost 7.45 am now if I quickly get ready and start, I might reach the venue by 9.45. Though I am supposed to be there by 8.30 as per schedule, I might be there by 10 am for sure. I messaged in the organising group that I would be reaching at around 10 so that they are informed. With no time to waste, I tried to stay on schedule. I reached the venue at 9.50 am, bang on!! 

My other organising counterparts were already on their jobs and they seemed relieved seeing me there.  It was 10.15 am when the families finished breakfast and gathered by the poolside venue for the fun events to start. Once I took the mike, and started off, trust me I forgot everything that was bothering me till then. The next 3 hours, I really did not think of anything else. Unfortunately, some of the props that we had ordered for some games have not arrived. Had to plan some spontaneous games but everything went well. Music, dance, games, laughter and lots of fun. 

After 3 hours, I felt dizzy and completely out of energy. I had a chocolate that was lying on the table. I looked around to notice empty space as families left to have lunch. The lonesomeness – the naked truth of my life was back with me. I had lunch alone, and took a seat under the shade wondering what would I do for the second half? The second half was time for families to enjoy the pool and resort activities. As I walked back to our venue, I noticed some kids painting and sketching. We have set up few desks for arts and crafts so that kids can unwind their creativity. I happily sat there and spent the rest of my time with kids, no,  budding artists and painters… 🙂

(Image Credit: Google Inc.)

By the end of the day, it felt good when people appreciated the effort we put in. They enjoyed well and quite a few people applauded how everything was well organised. Some called me multi-faceted, some said I am a good orator and so on… It felt good. I would have really missed all this, if I would have succumbed to how sad I was or the thought that I might feel lonely when all others are enjoying with their families. If I would not have been the organiser, maybe I would not have been there and spent most of my day feeling sad. When I feel sad next time, I am just going to go out and spend some quality time somewhere instead of my home and try to forget everything else that is bothering me. A lesson learnt in practicals 🙂

A LIFE OF DISCIPLINE

Someone asked me, ‘Are we born disciplined and some people become indisciplined in the course of life? Or, is it that we are born erratic and indisciplined and we need to be trained to be disciplined?’

Interesting query, isn’t it?

Well, we are not born erratic. However, we need to imbibe disciplinary traits that are largely shaped by our environment. Chaotic environments have in many cases resulted in disciplined people and highly disciplined environments have produced indisciplined people as well. So, there is no hard and fast pathway that would result in a disciplined person with a disciplined lifestyle.

However, nothing beats a disciplined lifestyle! A disciplined lifestyle emerges a winner at all times.

Irrespective of one’s birth or an environment, one needs to be disciplined.

In the previous articles of this week, we have dealt with discipline in assuming and managing various roles of life.

In this concluding article, I’ll talk about a life of overall discipline.

Physical Discipline

Do you wake up on time every day? Or do you need to hit the snooze button a couple of times before grumpily pulling yourself out of bed? Most of us – young or old, would have had such an experience!

Let me share one such day in my life. I needed to start for my coaching class at 7:30 A.M. When I opened my eyes in the morning, my table clock showed 7:10 A.M.! I generally wake up an hour and a half before the time I am to set out in order to leisurely space out my activities with time to spare. And now before me were just twenty minutes!

The first thing I did was tell myself not to frantic. Next, I thought for a few seconds which activities of my daily schedule I needed to do and which to skip out so as not to be late. Once I was clear about that, I proceeded to carry out the plan thought of. As a result, I was able to step out at 7:30 A.M. which was my time for all other days as well and the day went off smoothly.

Though I happened to manage my day without any chaos, if I think of a possible reason for the above mentioned morning drama, it points to a late night sleep. I had been studying till about 2 o’ clock resulting in an incomplete sleep cycle.

“Early to bed early to rise
Makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise”

This is an age-old wise saying with proven results!

Eating healthy, sleeping adequately and on time, exercising regularly are few among the many physical disciplines that help to keep one’s personal and social life in place.

Emotional Discipline

Emotional discipline doesn’t necessarily refer to bottling up one’s emotions. Rather, it refers to regulating and managing one’s emotions for the benefit of one’s own self and that of others. Again, it doesn’t refer to manipulation of one’s own or others’ emotions. It refers to awareness and control of one’s emotions – be it an angry outburst or crying or laughing.

Spiritual Discipline

Another less thought of area. Knowing our Creator, building a personal relationship with Him and building on that relationship is vital to human beings. Yet, it is one area that is most neglected.

On the day that I have mentioned above, that I woke up late, of the twenty minutes with me, I chose to spend ten minutes in speaking to God and hearing from Him, i.e., to pray and read my Bible and the remaining ten minutes to brush, have a bath and get ready to step out. For me, it was and still is important to have an audience with God before having an audience with the world.

Discipline doesn’t seem easy or interesting to imbibe. However, once mastered, its value is realised. Some people are self-aware and learn to be disciplined, while some have to be made to realize the importance of discipline.

It is easier to bend a plant towards the sun while it is still tender. Disciplinary attributes are best taught and learned in childhood for their effects to be seen in adult life. However, it is never too late to inculcate discipline. One can make use of reminders, help-mates and self-checks to ensure that one’s chaotic life is smoothened.

Be disciplined, be calm and at peace!

ORGANIZING HOME – WITH AN EVOLVING ME

Image result for balancing home quotes

Balancing life is a meagre excuse, for living and dedicating your full time to your family. My all perspective is bound to keep myself happier and fuller till I lay on my deathbed -with no regrets no missing bits and pieces that will leave me hanging between life and death.

Growing up watching a mom, who has an excellent pace in managing work and a home was a quite a motivational stir to me ever since I became a mom.  I always admired to be more like my mom, though it gave me heart-attacks when I have to deal with a mountain of patience and I just a small hump of it, which was indeed not helping.

An organized home is somewhere you find things right in every place it deserves to be. But yea, my home is never like that other than a few requisite items, everything else is misplaced ever since I am the homemaker and worst ever since I am a mom of two.

But over the front of making everything read on time from managing home, cooking, and getting kids on time for school – I have a not so bad scorecard.

As a daughter who follows her mother’s I have few valid points, which I feel one should adapt to get things organized.  Ever since I became a second-time mom, things changed, and literally, I had to juggle with responsibilities. Managing kids school, a baby and work as well as taking care of husband and home – it was never easy.

Accepting that nothing is easy -is the first realisation that helps me cope well with my everchanging world. The very easy way to adapt to changes is by accepting that it is like this nothing can be magical. (pinch me- its real)

Secondly – Never expect your work to be done by anyone else. ( a better piece of advice to carry on in life) .  Expectations, keep your level of procrastination a little higher. The best way is to evade all those false thoughts and just keep doing until you are banged with surprises. ( don’t you like those) .

Third  – Planning – Yes it helps in running away from stress. With kids, it is better you have a minimal planning done. Like keep the milk boiled and ready to be fed when your baby is asleep as meanwhile, you can spend a great deal of time with your elder one. Even planning your weekly groceries and menu for the days would be perfect when you have to pack your kid’s lunch (warning: Else spend your time wasting in front of your fridge, who gives you no positive reply other than the cold waves )

Fourth: Take occasional breaks, it gives you a recovery time and helps you relieve a lot of stress and helps you wake up fresh. The more you stress, the less organized you are. You need not just sleep – a book, a favourite movie or even a chit-chat with your best friend is good.

The happier you – the best-organized home you will be having – That is the key finding I did all along. These always helped me, as I moved from a homemaker to a freelance professional too.

(by Chiradeep Patra)

Mom’s Gyan: Always ensure you do everything on time “

This is the first thing that helped me to keep my home organised. Make sure you wake up, cook and keep your self-organized – as we are the pillars of the homes.

The better we – the better homes we bring in. 

ORGANISED WAY OF KEEPING FRIENDSHIPS AND RELATIONSHIPS

Relationships and friendships are the integral part of human life because man is a social living being. Without fruitful relationships of any kind it is really very difficult for us to live on in life. But sometimes we suffer for the relationships or for the friendships that we keep either because of those whom we once valued a lot in life or because of our mismanagement.

One of my friends always reminds me of not overdoing things in regards to relationships as according to her, being an empathetic person I always over do in all my relationships or I tend to over invest on them. I have my day to day colleagues as friends, I have real life friends, I have friends from different Social Medias like – Candles Online, Facebook, YourQuote, Instagram and so on. Above that I have my family members and relatives to deal with. I once had a lot of problem to keep track of my own life while chatting, talking with all of my friends as and when required. There were friends and relatives who used to share their hearts out and I just stay quiet and listen. There were friends and relatives who used to demand ‘a ping’ as compulsory every day. There were friends who used to ask for suggestions and advices from me. There were people who used to feel bad when I don’t reply. And moreover, there were my writer friends who needed my constant attention in regards to Candles Online. Here, in this list, I am excluding my family members, my close relatives and friends with whom I deliberately want to keep in touch. The pressure was high. At times, I felt there were friends surging out from all around and literally was suffocating me. When I felt things were going out of my hands and stressing me down, I decided, I will have to manage all my friends by categorizing them differently like – ‘when to talk’, ‘whom to talk’ and ‘how to talk’ etc…

Trust me, telling someone, ‘NO’ was very difficult for a person like me. The Bible verse – “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends”. The calling of my life is, to lay my life for all these people around me like my Saviour did for me once and for all. Laying my life doesn’t mean dying for them but also living for them. So saying, ‘NO’ was contrary to my call. But I had no options left. I felt I will suffer mental paralysis if I don’t organise my dealings with all of these people around me. Organising and disciplining myself in regards to my relationships and friendships are not saying, NO but it is enabling myself to handle them more efficiently without feeling pressurized.

The first thing I did was that I STOPPED all the sources of INCOMING MESSAGES – important and unimportant and simply stayed quiet for few days… no Whatsapp, no Facebook and nothing at all that could attract my attention in those few days. That helped me to get back to my real jovial self after being stressed out so much.

Secondly, I sat down and made a PRIORITY list as –

1. Can’t be avoided (example: Official, Candles Online and family)
2. Can be for a short time
3. Can be at a specified time
4. Can be attended if I am free

Lastly, I COMMUNICATED CLEARLY about how I should be interacting with each one of them. It is not at all an easy task but I managed to communicate that with love and care. Some might have felt hurt for sure but I know if they love me and respect me they would definitely understand why did I organise and make such stringent rules to my interacting with them.

Friends, relationships and friendships are the most beautiful things that can happen to us in life but if they become pain in the neck then it will be very difficult for us. Organising our interactions with all our friends and with the people we get in touch with and following a certain discipline is beneficial for both us and them.

Be disciplined and organising in regards to your interactions with people and friends…

Stay Blessed!

RECONCILIATION – THE NEED OF THE HOUR: MAKE AMENDS AND CONTINUE IN LOVE

Looking around me, all I can see brokenness everywhere. When I see my friends, my family members and how all of them are going through difficult times my heart sinks down. And in that background writing an article on reconcilliation seems very articfial. But being called to be peaceloving person and a peacemaker, I am always up for reconciliation even when I don’t see a glimpse of hope in a strained relationship.

Let’s get back to the topic.

When psychologist Ryan Howes was asked in a given situation whether a person can forgive and reconcile, his response was – “You can still forgive. Reconciliation is a separate issue“. And he was absolutely right.

He also quotes famous author Lewis Benedictus Smedes who said in his book ‘Forgive and Forget: Healing the Hurts We Don’t Deserve’ that – “It takes one person to forgive, it takes two people to be reunited.”

All the last SIX factors of reconciliation that we all read till now in this current week can be carried out one sidedly by a person who feels the need of reconciling with his/her loved one but the last factor needs TWO persons to join hands and move ahead to stay reconciled. And history says at this point, many go back to ground zero losing the battle of reconciliation or restoring a broken relationship.

Let’s analyse the phrase ‘making amends‘. The synonym for making amends is Restitution. The legal meaning of restitution isan order given by a judge to a convicted criminal to make amends for the crime where the judges often order people to pay restitution for the damage they cause. But to mend a broken relationship there’s no need of judiciary system but a system of heart and of love which inspire partners, family members, friends to make amends, restitute and cling to each other thereby, reconciling.

The system of love is as the Bible defines it, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

The above concept of love is completely different from what the world teaches us today. Restitution or making amends is not possible unless we have this kind of love. The new law of a reconciled relationship demands me to make amends with my loved one by being patient with him or her which I lacked a lot previously; by being compassionate to my loved one which I failed often in the past; I have to make amends by not being envious, not being boastful or proud or dishonour or be selfish. I have to make amends with my loved one by compensating something which I lacked previously.

Many couples gather strength to reconcile and complete all 6 factors but they step back when they are asked to compensate their wrong, make amends and continue in love. Many times, I myself have lost the battles of making amends with my loved ones, with my wife and continue in love further. I pretend that I am happy and in love yet, I feel empty and deceived. There are many I know that are suffering with pretension and live their lives… They somehow live together but their hearts stay far apart from each other. They try to make amends and reconcile truthfully but they fail.

Friends! Trust me, it is not at all easy. Fogiving and moving ahead seems much easier than making amends and staying in love after reconciling a broken relationship. But the source of love, the creator God always helps us to understand LOVE and its effectiveness in any of our earthly relationships.

At the end, I can just give a simple advice of making a list of the things that can help us to make amends and try one after the other daily, trusting the Almighty and prayerfully staying in love in a reconciled relationship.

Stay blessed!

RECONCILIATION – THE NEED OF THE HOUR: CONFESS AND FORGIVE

We humans are majestically interwoven in relationships YET, we find some kind of brokenness everywhere. We have trust issues with people all the time. Our environment is not friendly to us. Often we fight with guilt and largely, we just go in the way opposite to godliness. God and our life seems like the pole of two extremes.

We are broken, we cannot trust one another,

We need protection from each other!

NOW, it is a solid state of affairs…

Once, someone shared with me her deepest secrets on WhatsApp chat. But after our chat, she asked me to do something which I had never thought anyone would ever ask me. She said, “Brother, I trust you but I cannot trust your phone and others who might check your phone sometime. Would you please delete our chat and send me the screenshot?”

Brokenness in relationships is the violation of purpose, the forcible act of separation and the need for reconciliation. Often, we blame others for our brokenness but we tend to forget a clap cannot sound with one hand! The repercussion of brokenness keeps us separated. According to the nature of law, punishment is a reward or repay YET, punishment never mends the brokenness, it never restores the broken relationships.

THEN WHAT CAN BE THE BETTER OPTION FOR US?

HOW TO MEND AND RESTORE?

One of my favourite poems is penned by an anonymous elementary school teacher, which goes like this:

He came to my desk with a quivering lip,
the lesson was undone.
“Do  you have a new sheet for me, dear teacher?
I’ve spoiled this one.”

I took his sheet, all soiled and blotted
and gave him a new one all unspotted.
And into his tired heart, I cried,
“Do better now, my child.”

I went came to the throne with a trembling heart;
the day was undone.
“Do  you have a new day for me, dear Master?
I’ve spoiled this one.”

He took my day, all soiled and blotted
and gave me a new one all unspotted.
And into my tired heart, he cried,
“Do better now, my child.”

I see two sides of this poem – ‘CONFESSION and FORGIVENESS’  – the ONLY answer to our questions on how to mend and how to restore.

CONFESSION and FORGIVENESS are means of communication. Where one admits his wrongs and the other person forgives him embracing the priority of reunion in the relationship. In this sacred communication, the required sacrifice is our EGO, ARROGANCE, PRIDE, SELF-RIGHTEOUS and all sort of things that separate us from one another and keeps us under subjection.

It is the grace of Confession and Forgiveness that work as the final portal of reconciliation. This grace is available and the Bible says,

“Come now, Let’s Settle This,” says the LORD.”
Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow.
Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool.

God Almighty reconciles with sinners like us. So, how much more willing you and I must be to confess and seek forgiveness as steps to reconciliation when we are the offenders in any relationship? Also, how much willing we must be to accept the confession and forgive those who offend us?

What do you think?