THE GIFT-BEARER’S GIFTS

Carrying armloads of gifts uncertain,
Wrapped in glazing wrappers,
Someone knocks at the door,
As the clock ticks away . . .

 

What a warm welcome
The gift bearer receives
With open arms, beaming smiles
And hugs galore!

 

Gifts uncountable
Roll onto the table
Some small some big
Hardly can anyone wait for their pick

 

With excited squeals
All scramble onward
Eager anticipation
Givings way to mixed gasps

 

The wrappers are ripped apart
And strewn across the place
As all behold their gifts
Some with smiles and some with tears

 

Some hold prosperity in their hands
While for some a pile of debts to be cleared
Some united in marital bliss
While some hold a severing chord

 

Some hold happiness and success
While some have in their hands sadness and failure
Some cradle a new born
While some hold another year’s waiting

 

As the gift bearer beholds
The mixed expressions
He assures of joy in the midst of grief
And tranquility amidst unrest

 

The gifts that the year has brought forth
Do not promise prosperity and success for all
Yet there is available abundant Grace for all
Assuring victory over situations strong or dull

 

The Sender of the gift bearer
Is God over all
In His hands lie the reins
Of one and all.

CAN WE CORRECT MISUNDERSTANDINGS?

Last week, I was overloaded with work and also at the same time had so many commitments to fulfill on personal front. When such situations arise, we do display our natural emotions frustrations, anger, disguise etc..

One of my colleague’s came up to my desk, he called me by name twice, I was deeply drowned into my work, his voice had little effect on me. He repeated in a more louder voice this time, “if you don’t mind, can I have a minute of yours ?”

I don’t know what was going through me, I just reacted with a higher modulated tone, “Look, I have a lot of work, we are two days away from the release, barely I am getting time to sleep, can you please keep your points crisp?”. I was almost straight on his face while I was uttering these words, though my fingers did not stop playing with my keyboard.

He was gentle in his tone, with enthusiasm, he started explaining what he did today as if it was an achievement.. I really get irritated with people who are irresponsible and he is one of them, I display no patience to listen to him because he wastes a lot of time in telling the same preface of the story a hundred times. There was only one thought on my mind, “Oh, What does he want me to recognize ? The fact that he is also working ???”, well, true that is something to be acknowledged for, for a lazy person like him. I snapped back, “Are we done ? I need to catch-up for my next meeting ?”, he asked if I could spend 10 minutes after my meeting. Well, by this time my anger was at the next level, I replied “may be”, and I completely left  that matter.

Last Friday in a meeting with bigger audience, he has brought up the same topic again, I was paying no attention to him as I am well aware of his ‘prefaces’. What happened next is most interesting, he told the meeting attendees of the task he accomplished.

I asked him, “Who helped you do it?”,

He said, “I did it on my own”

“Stop joking, let’s get back to work, who has helped you, I would like to learn that too”

He reiterated, “It’s me!!”

“Really?”

“yes yes” …

I could not believe myself, but I was guilty at the same time to have said something that rude to him.

I never really paid interest the other day or now, that itself is disrespecting him no matter how his past history was, on top of it I asked the same question twice for reconfirmation. I apologized to have misunderstood his efforts to be of someone else’s.

All of us misunderstand or were misunderstood at some point of time because of a pre-formed opinion. Yes, in this case, I had an opinion that he was lazy, never really has an interest to work, always takes help from others and takes the credit onto his own. I have seen him behave so, so may be it was my immediate reaction.

I am very bad with communication and expressing myself, by nature I am straight forward, so the chances of me being misunderstood are really high and it hurts me deep. It hurts me deeper when I misunderstand someone because I have made them feel unloved or uncared  in some way, I cannot really hold on to that feeling for long, unless I admit it. 

The two main reasons I feel we are often misunderstood is because of bias and our past. We tend to forget the most important, the present and the future that can be totally ruined due to misunderstandings. Past may not be relevant in the present or define our future, even then, we continue to give it more value. Nothing, wrong it is wise to do so, but not always.

It is absolutely fine to be misunderstood. Explain yourself only to an extent, to an extent until the other is ready to listen, ready to stand in your shoes to understand your point of view. Once, twice or may be more depending on how important the relationship is, but remember there is a point at which you need to stop this. If the person is happy to stay biased with their own understanding of you, then let them be…” – I told myself after a recent experience that nearly broke me to pieces… We cannot change anyone by force, similarly we cannot correct a misunderstanding because we know we are right, it can only happen when the other person gives us a chance.

“Misunderstanding – A “Missed Understanding” because of the human preference to Assumption over Clarification.” 
― Drishti Bablani

GIFT OF LIFE!

I know this article is about Hope, but before that, I want to talk about Gifts. I want to know what the best gift you ever got in your whole life or, you will be expecting in years to come is? No No, not that materialistic stuff, not car or jewels. I mean things that can’t be bought, as they say in MASTERCARD ad, that some things money can’t buy. I want to know stuff; please count seven such things on your fingertips. One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, DONE? Now tell me was Hope anywhere on your list?

I know Hope was not on the list. We don’t consider Hope as powerful as Love, Happiness, Peace. Hope is a four letter word but has the power to move mountains and bend rivers. At times it is the only thing standing between life and death, HOPE! At times Hope is Life!

Nine sets of families sitting in the waiting lounges of nine different hospitals in nine different cities. All have palms joined, fingers crossed and eyes closed, praying hard. Praying hard and hoping for their loved one to wake up, to be healthy again, to be alive and kicking. But amongst those nine families, eight were hoping for the death of the ninth one. Unfortunately, the ninth family lost their loved one. He/she was declared brain dead. The family is devastated and begs the doctor to give them hope, a glimmer of hope that yes, there is a 0.001 percent hope of recovery, but they were disappointed. The ninth person passed away. And the prayer of the other eight was answered. I know it seems like a riddle, but it’s an actual incident.

“A brain-dead Bengaluru boy has given a new lease of life to eight people in New York. The decision of the Rajeev Naidu’s family to donate all his organs came after he was declared dead in Brooklyn Hospital Centre on Sunday, reported The Times of India.

According to TOI, the 24-year-old was admitted to the hospital with the lung infection on February 21 and was undergoing treatment under the care of his roommates. His family decided to donate his eyes, heart, pancreas, kidneys, oesophagus, liver and bone marrow.” (Source: The news minute)

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Rajeev Naidu

Another such instance:

“Thota Manikanta will continue to live in eight others after his death. His vital organs are set to give a new life to patients at hospitals in Chennai, Hyderabad and Guntur.

Manikanta’s heart was transplanted into a patient in Chennai. His lungs went to another in the City. A patient in Hyderabad got his liver and two patients in Guntur his kidneys. His eyes offered a vision to two patients at Sankara Eye Hospitals, Guntur.” (Source: The Hindu)

This is the Gift Of Hope! I know many of you are revolted by the idea of organ donation. It seems barbaric and outrageous to maul our loved ones after they have departed this Earth. But when I thought about the eight families that got a new life, a life gifted by that one kind soul, I am overwhelmed. It’s a miracle. No, not the death of the donor, that was the saddest part, but the decision of he took and his family honoured.

unnamed-jpg-2Religion and society play a significant role in this whole concept. While in Hindu religion it is inauspicious to donate organs, the Buddhist say this is the right way to depart. My own Grand Aunt died shortly; she was a Hindu, her daughter in law adopted Buddhism. When my Grand Aunt died the daughter in law took the decision of organ donation, she was criticised and shunned by all. I was in them, I condemned her too, but not for the decision to donate. I condemned her because she did it against the wishes of the departed soul. The ethical and moral values play a great role in this decision.

In my mind’s eye I can see the scene as a video reel playing, one family lost all hope while other eight were thankful to that one person for his decision to donate his organs and save the lives of their kin.

Each year, thousands of people die while waiting for a transplant, because no suitable donor can be found for them. The need for organ donors has never been greater

Did you know In India every year nearly:

  • 500,000 people die because of non-availability of organ

  • 200,000 people die of liver disease

  • 50,000 people die from heart disease

  • 150,000 people await a kidney transplant, but only 5,000 get one

  • 1,000,000 lakh people suffer from corneal blindness and await transplant

India’s traffic problem has often been the cause of many deaths, only because ambulances couldn’t get patients to hospitals in time, or worse, ambulances weren’t able to reach the accident spots on time. The same applies to organ transplants – hearts or other organs from brain dead patients sometimes have to be transported over long distances and often from other cities. Getting them to the patients who need them in time is vital to their survival.

download-20A green corridor is a unique route, where all the street signals between the hospital where the organ is harvested and the hospital where it is to be transplanted are manually operated to avoid red signals. It takes lots of coordination between traffic police, and the situation is harder to manage during peak traffic hours. The organs most in demand are heart and liver.

I recently came to know personally about the Green Corridor, it was made for one of my close family friend(My aunt’s husband). The liver was brought from Jaipur to Delhi, and Green Corridors were made both in Jaipur, from hospital to the airport and in Delhi, from an airport to hospital covering the distance of hours into minutes. My aunt was overwhelmed by the idea, as it saved her husbands life. Isn’t it a perfect example of Hope as well?

I know it’s one of the toughest decision a person can take. And then except the medical, physical, financial and legal challenges there is another challenge, the emotional one. The challenge of not contacting and connecting with the recipient of the organ your loved one donated, because I know how much desperation there is to connect with the departed one more time. The Emotional Fingerprint as it is called is a more of a survivors dilemma than truth.

Death is inevitable, irrevocable and irreversible. Life, on the other hand, is full of possibilities and hope. It’s our responsibility to keep hope till our very last breath, and after that, we can still choose to give hope to the ones who need it. You can not give a better gift than the essence of Hope, the gift of Life.

Through organ, eye, and tissue donation, people have the potential to reach out and do good in this world. They can save the lives of those who would die without help. They can give new hope to their families. They can transform and improve lives, by restoring sight, health, and wholeness.It is one of the greatest opportunities today for those who seek to do good, pass along life, and help their fellow human beings
 

You have now, the power in your hands, to save many lives. Or you can choose to burn or bury the organs.

Stay Hopeful!

MINDFUL ABOUT MONEY OR MONEY MINDED?

Is it wrong to be money-minded?

 Umm….. Let’s find out!!!

Money and Man always co-exist. Without money it’s quite difficult to navigate our daily lives. Money is one of the basic needs of survival. Some earn money toiling day and night, some have got it in heritage, some acquire it through illicit means and some snatch it over-night. It’s up to us how to make money and why to make money.

Money is a blessing to all who hold it! When a child gets his pocket-money, it’s a blessing for him to buy chocolates/gifts for his friends and family. When an employee gets his salary, it’s a blessing for him to serve his family and friends. When an old man gets his pension, it’s a blessing for him for which he toiled from his 20s to 60s.

Then how come we can consider “Money minded” in negative terms?

Though money is a blessing for us, still at times it blurs our eyes. It’s not the physical eyes that goes blur; it’s the perception of our soul, heart and mind. Then money becomes everything for us. We forget about love, relationships, loyalty, identity and all other things that can separate us from evil.

Once Mr. Gates went to a Restaurant and after having food, he gave $5 to the waiter as tip. The waiter had a strange look on his face after the tip. Gates realized and asked the waiter “what happened”. The waiter replied, “I’m just amazed because on the same table Mr. Rory gave a tip of $500, but you his father, the richest man in the world, only gave me $5.” Gates smiled and said, “He is the son of the world’s richest man, but I am the son of a wood cutter”.

Every time I came across this story, one thing always hitches my attention. “Mr. Gates is the richest man on earth but he has never forgotten what his identity is!” But what happens mostly – we forget our identity. When I started my job life, my uncle (who is my counselor, motivator and beloved) gave me two best advice and one of them is “Never forget your identity”. It means you might become a big brand but what matters is WHO YOU ARE not where you are.

Once a very rich man asked Jesus, “Teacher, I want to be your follower”. Then Jesus said, “Obey my commandments” and he said I am doing that since my childhood, what more I shall do? Jesus said, “Go and sell all your properties and distribute the money among the poor”. Immediately the rich man went away from Jesus with a fallen face.

We might have a lot of money, but that is never capable to AFFORD us God and righteousness. The love for money didn’t let the rich man follow Jesus, it became harder for him to distribute his money among the poor. When we fall into love with money, the root of evil springs up in our lives to devour us from the love of God and to distract us with all illicit pleasure which not only jeopardizes our sacred rights but also others.

Mr. Ratan Tata donates 66% of his profit right away for the Philanthropic efforts, which makes his personal worth somewhere mere $600 million. He has not touched the top 10 richest persons list globally, but yes he has touched many lives.

Having Skyscrapers, Bugatti Veyron, Choppers & billion digit savings can make someone richest person but can’t make greatest person. WHY YOU HAVE matters more than What You Have. Personal savings can bring smile on your face but cannot bring smile on other person’s face. It’s good to save money but it’s best to invest money on people more than your savings.

When it becomes difficult to evaluate – “Am I money-minded or not?” that time ask yourself 4 BIG questions;

√ Is MONEY my Strength/Weakness?

√  Is MONEY my Blessing/Curse?

√ Is MONEY my Friend/Foe?

√ Is MONEY my Television/Remote Controller?

  • Money as my Strength/Weakness:

Our generation often quotes, “I work for money, if you want loyalty hire a dog!” Such mindset clearly portrays our picture. Here money is not our strength, it’s our weakness. Such a person lives to earn money not earn money to live life, which is too dangerous.

  • Money as my Blessing/Curse:

Our generation often quotes, “No Money, No Honey. Money hai toh life mein mazza hai”! Such statements are completely wrong. Money is of course a blessing to our lives, but falling in love with it brings curse to our lives. Money becomes CURSE to our lives, when it masters our lives. That’s why P.T. Barnum has rightly said, “Money is an excellent servant but a terrible master”.

  • Money as my Friend/Foe:

Our generation often quotes, “Jeb mein paisa ho toh, sub apko Bhai, Bhai bolenge” (When there is money in your pocket, people will call your Brother). Yah…. In today’s context, I agree with the statement upto some point. But meanwhile we should not forget two things;

  1. Those who make friendships with us because of our money, are not at all true friends. They are selfish and greedy people, for whom relationship/s is all about getting benefits.
  2. Money makes friendships and  also breaks friendships.

“Friendship and Money are like Oil and Water”. It is high-time for us to check-out whether our money works as our friend or our foe. Is money working as my friend to get some more good and true friends or it is working as an enemy in my friendship!

  • Money as my Television/Remote Controller:

Our generation often quotes, “My Money on my Mind… my Mind on my Money!” It’s quite applicable to the relation between a Television and it’s Remote Controller. Remote Controller helps us to control the technology of Television and tune ourselves to our desirable programs. Suppose the Television will not be compatible with the Remote Controller, what will happen next? Can we tune ourselves easily with our desirable programs? Will we have pleasant time with our television? Exactly like that Money is our Television and our mind is the Remote Controller. Till we are mindful about our money we can spent it wisely and life will be easy and pleasant but when our mind will be fooled by money (I mean our money will control our mind), that time life will be ruined.

Till our mind dictates our Money, it’s okay. But when Money starts dictating our mind, it becomes high-time for us to pause for a while, cross-check our life, work and transactions in all aspects and reboot ourselves again, cleaning the virus which has fooled our mind by money.

Being mindful about money is not wrong. Money-minded is wrong!

God bless you!

CHOOSING RIGHT WORDS TO IMPACT

Mom : “So, you will not go to the party tonight?”

Me : “But I dont know anyone there”

Mom : “You know us!”

Me : “I just wont go!”

Mom : “Oh wait!! Your favorite aunty will also be coming.”

Me : “What!! So, when is the party?”

Words, can do two simple things very effectively. One, it might socialize us. Two, it might unsocialize us. They become the building blocks of our social behaviour. Our culture has always allowed others to judge us, even when it is said not to judge people. Being repeatedly humiliated by relatives at a function or being termed mature or naughty or bad or “I told you he/she will be like this” stuffs do break us. And many a times beautiful, caring, how cool, smart uplifts our soul. Judging us, people use their either sugar coated words or sour straight words to express our character. And at a point it becomes our character. Society really does have a huge impact on us because the refinement of their words affects our emotional well being, either positively or negatively which in turn affects our social well being.

Negative impacts come easily than positive. They just come. But in all these cases, the particular thing that affects all sort of activities is the brain. Brain activities are controlled by the genes which expresses physical and emotional stress. These genes basically sends signal to our brain to release hormones which affects the logic, reasoning and thinking processes. So each word, whether positive, negative, angry, sad or happy has its impact on our brain, which in turn regulates our behaviour according to the hormones released. So, if we stay positive and build our brain to be more logical, then we can get back to the person (who had hurt us) and give them a more logical yet rather hurtful statement to take care of? Hmmmm thinking of it, might be or not also. But if we know that certain things do hurt, so why use it to hurt others? Why to carry on using words as weapons and not medicines?

People who use positive words in a friendly and loving manner are able to achieve many things. They can calm an angry person, they can persuade a person not to kill himself, they can divert the direction of a breaking relationship, they can also make this world a better place to stay. Recently, I saw a video on facebook, of how a sergeant saved a suicidal man from committing suicide. He started a conversation with the man and then he talked about games. Then he slowly got him off the bridge. This is how it should be. This is how we should use our words. For the betterment of mankind. I have attached the video for all of you to watch:

In this world, nothing comes easy. If we try to use our words in a right way, may be we not only will see positive changes in our life but also of others. We might not be very social, but we can at least ensure no other person gets what we got. Who knows it might move a large number of people one day, and we might finally live in peace.

Many a times we find ourselves bounded and trapped in a web of words. And escaping it is easy for them, those who dont let these word affect them. Emotional and sensitive people are more likely to create a nuisance out of it. I have had a friend who used to take every word we speak to heart. She would even make a fuss about who accepted her apology and that they shouldn’t have. Believe me when I say, such people are very hard to handle and please. That’s where “Think before you speak ” comes into force. We cannot get rid of people we love just because of what they are, but we can choose to use more finer words in order to save our relations.

Similarly, words do save us and they can also drown us. It is how we use them and where.