AM I HEALING OR KILLING?

Advice!

I actually hold the phone hanging in my hands instead of pressing it against my ears when someone starts giving it for a long time. 😛

But advice with understanding and with much care always gets instilled in the hearts of people. That’s how one particular advice got implanted in my heart in such a manner that I have never forgotten it in my life though I confess that, I have failed to obey it all the time.

I have written articles, telling about this specific advice many times, I have given the same advice to many of those who seek counsel from me, and I have used it as an illustration while giving sermons in the church.

Why I am telling all these? Yeah, I just wanted to prove that this is the advice that has stuck with me for a long time and will remain with me till my death.

Now without any delay, let’s talk about the advice I am so serious about…

I know it very well that when I speak rashly, it feels exactly like the piercing of a sword, but when I use my tongue wisely, I bring healing to the hearts of the people listening to me  -yet, I am very rash with my words.  I am very good at juggling with them – yet, I know it can be used either ways. I can comfort a hurting soul with my words; I can motivate and inspire others with my words… And at the same time, I can scold, hurt and kill someone using the same tongue of mine.

My former boss had observed this character of mine so well that before he left our organization, he made me sit with him and spoke gently with this piece of advice – “Chiradeep, always think ten times before you utter any words, because once the words are out, you can’t take them back.

It is imprinted within my heart. These words always ring in my ears and keep reminding me whenever I fail to oblige to these precious words of him.

In conclusion, I want to quote one Bible verse that always encourages and strengthens me to hold onto the advice of my former boss and that verse is –

The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.

Friends! Do we keep this in mind, whether our words are healing or killing someone’s spirit?

Keep reading as you ponder upon this small thought…

Stay Blessed!

WISE WORDS ON GIVING

Giving . . . donating . . . contributing . . . for most people there is nothing new about it. People give in some way or the other. Some give money, some donate clothes and utilities, some offer to volunteer for causes, some organize free kitchens and so on.

Giving is a noble deed. Barring a few, all practice and encourage giving towards needy causes. At times, the intention to give is quite selfish. Think of the old clothes that you give off to charity, to make space for new ones in your wardrobe. Or, the leftover food that you give to the maid or the beggar so as not to waste food. Or, even the money that you offer for religious or charitable purposes with the aim of earning blessings from the Almighty. Or, donating to orphanages or calamity-hit areas to publicize your charitable act. Philanthropy and charity are booming business sectors today. All these acts, though helpful for the recipients, are self-centered in nature.

I learnt a lesson on giving from a grey-haired eighty-year old lady. She was the Consultant of the school I worked in a couple of years back. Speaking about giving she once said, “We all give. No doubt about it. But, most of us give when we have more to spare. From our plentiful resources, we give a few. It doesn’t affect us in any way. Rather it gives us the satisfaction that we participated in a noble act. This type of giving is easy, provided one has the heart to give. However, how many of us give when we ourselves are in need? You would say whether God would expect us to give when we don’t have for ourselves. But I tell you, if you can give when it pinches you, that is true giving.

These words have stayed with me from the time I heard them. I have thought about the veracity of these words and realised how right she was. I break it down to this – when we have only enough for ourselves and we see someone who needs just that much, it would take a leap of faith on our parts to give our portions away trusting that our Heavenly Provider would not keep us in want.

Giving is not just about tangible resources. Even when we are required to spare time to visit somebody who is in need while twenty four hours seem to fall short for our personal responsibilities or to shower love on somebody when our own hearts are craving for love and affection or to understand someone’s viewpoint when we ourselves are looking for someone who would understand us – these are acts of giving when it pinches. And trust me, it is easier to give tangible resources, but difficult when it comes to imparting intangible valuables like time, love, affection, understanding, kindness, tolerance and all you can think of in this genre.

The wise words I heard that day have redefined my attitude towards giving.

CONNECTING WITH OTHERS

The famous writer and philanthropist Sudha Murthy in the ‘Introduction’ of her novel ‘Something happened on the way to heaven’ writes:

‘I was filled with awe as I realised that the books I’ve been able to write are really not about me at all  – they are about the people I’ve met, the places I’ve been to and the lives I’ve had the privilege of being part of. I felt blessed – so fortunate to be in a position to help people, even as they found it in their hearts to let me inside their world and share their most private thoughts and problems with me. They’ve given me their stories and I’ve had a chance to be a character in their tales. Sometimes, I’ve been lucky enough to be the lead actor, but at most other times, I’ve been an incidental character or simply unbiased storyteller.’

When I read this I found so much of my thoughts mirrored in what she had to say. Of course, I am not a writer of her calibre or repute. I am a simple blogger but I have come to realise that I too have mostly written about the people I have come across in my life. The problems or triumphs or simple anecdotes from their life really adds colour to my articles. Being connected to people has really enhanced my writings. 

Not just in writing, focusing on people around me has helped me be a better person. I have come to realise there are phases in my life. There have been times I have been so bogged down by my own problems that I have withdrawn into a shell and lost touch with my own extended family and friends. During this phase I feel very miserable and I am not able to come out of my melancholy. Its only when I remove the focus from myself and actually focus on others that I am back to my normal self. Delving into our problems brings only more sadness but helping others with their problems or just interacting with them makes our problems go away too. This works for me, maybe because I am an extrovert. And I love to be around people and hate being alone. I feel connecting with others just enriches me as a person and makes me more interesting. 

Connecting with others is a sense of being open and available to another person, even as you feel they are open and available to you. Try connecting and it makes life much easier and lighter because we also receive the empathy and love that we give.

IF YOU CAN’T FIND TIME FOR YOUR LOVED ONES, THEN MAKE IT

I am too busy with daily chores.

These kids keep me so occupied. 

I am unable to find time. 

There’s so much to do.

These have been some of my reasons which were keeping me from talking to my family members. Talking on phone really has become a great deal for me, especially after kids. Even with my friends, I prefer chatting over phone call. With so many things to do, I seriously couldn’t take out time, which I have been regretting ever since I lost some of my close family members. I kept on thinking to talk to them in free time, but before that could happen, the ‘time’ came and took them away. Its very normal that we often take our loved ones for granted, without realising that life is short and our little gestures can make them happy. 

phone-ringing-seo-kc
(Image Credit: Google Inc.)

“If you love someone, show it”, said one of my aunts once, which made me realise that we need to show our admiration and respect to our elders in some way or the other. When my mom used to ask me to call someone in the family, I used to feel weird, as I didn’t know what to talk to them. However, I gradually realised that one phone call gives immense happiness to the elders. Just a normal question- ‘how are you’ starts the conversation. 

Ever since we moved to a different city from joint family, my mother-in-law makes a video call daily to watch her grandsons. And if she gets late, I ask my kids to video chat with their grandparents. They have now started talking to their little cousin too, by making silly faces and making him laugh over the screen. Because distance shouldn’t keep the feelings apart, this way of communication holds us together. 

I am very fond of capturing cute, sometimes silly, moments of my sons, either by taking a picture or making a video. Rather than just restricting these media files to my phone, I have now started sharing to my family members and trust me, they, especially elders, feel so happy to see them. Even if I don’t get time to call them up often, I keep them updated by sending photos and videos regularly. I even send them pictures whenever I cook something special. It’s a delight for my family members, who have known me since childhood, to know the varied food that I can cook now, as I hardly entered the kitchen before my marriage!

Family is a prized possession and nothing is better than being with your loved ones and spend time with each other. So, even if you don’t stay with them, utilise the technology optimally to be ‘together’.

WHY ACKNOWLEDGING GOD IS SO DIFFICULT?

The knowledge we gather becomes the barrier between us and our Creator. It is only a childlike simple heart can accept anything and everything. When we are childlike, it becomes easier for us to accept and acknowledge God but when we keep a complicated and complex mind then we struggle to accept Him and suffer ultimately.

Don’t we run to Him when we are in trouble? Don’t we scream and cry out to Him when we suffer? Don’t we jump around here and there seeking some divine help when we are sick? Then why is it so difficult for us to accept Him in our day to day life, when we are happy and kicking?

I have heard from even my own family members that, “Let’s be practical“, when I ask them to pray, wait and seek His guidance. I give my example even… Yet, they get stuck to their practicality leaving a God, who is also the creator of this, what we call – ‘A Practical Life‘.

Friends! Be assured, “Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

Don’t hesitate to acknowledge His presence in your life today…

Stay Blessed!

USE WORDS MORE, THEY ARE BENEFICIAL TO PEOPLE

On the 1st January 2020, I sent a poster that I had made to wish all the people by sending them to everyone I know and are close to me. But I made sure, I add few words to the image I send. The exchange of images and wishes started to flow from both sides. And I received an image of her family with “Happy New Year 2020” written on it as soon as I send my wishes to her.

My reaction to her was : “Words are less… We try to convey our messages through visual imageries more, these days.” She confirmed me by sending two more emojis instead of words again. 

It strike me as I was observing this last Christmas and New Year day that how we are so comfortable and fine with just sending images, either created by us or forwarded ones without even caring whether the person is benefited by it or not. 

I regret that I haven’t written anything about anyone recently as I usually do on their birthdays. I remember whenever I do such things for any one of my sisters or brothers, others keep poking me for writing something for them as well… or say, “Ah…when my birthday will come and Bhai (brother) will write for me as well“.  My Badepapa (My father’s elder brother) used to write such notes for people. I had kept a letter that he had once written. I regret that I had lost it somewhere. I still wish I could find it back to treasure it forever. Most of us have that habit of treasuring those letters. Isn’t it? 

Words do have such values and effects on our minds that elevate our spirit when we needed it the most than these forwarded images. No, I am not criticizing or against those formatted images. I did it myself as well. But it has lesser effects on us than a few words of comfort, consolation, encouragement and so on that are hidden behind a wish. The words we type out or speak have powers, they can kill or heal others. 

In closing, I would like to quote a couple of Bible verses which read as under:

The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters; the fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook.”

Words satisfy the soul as food satisfies the stomach; the right words on a person’s lips bring satisfaction.”

I am good at framing words and I decided to use my this skill more and more for the benefit of others. 

How about you? 

Keep thinking as you keep celebrating the freshness of 2020 till the end of January. 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Stay Blessed!

“PROMISE” – IS IT JUST A WORD?

It is said, “PROMISE is a big word. It either makes something or breaks everything.”

Well, one of our Indian movies has intensified it to higher ground, “It is easier to win someone’s trust and it is more easier to break it. But TOUGH is, ‘to sustain that trust’.” 

In the mid of this year, I was invited to join a National Conference at Shillong in October. Wow, Shillong! Who gonna miss it! Of course, ‘YES’ I replied. But after a couple of months, I received my University exam time table and somehow a 3 days gap between a couple of my papers offered me a break. As opportunities costs, I was asked to pay for the cancellation of my one-way train ticket and buy an air ticket. Penny-pinching and after a week-long thought-through I convinced myself to block the deal. Finally the day dawn, as likely my plan, I took the second-half break from the office and went to write the paper. Soon after, I called a cab for the airport to take the evening flight for Guwahati after 2 hours and then en route to Shillong by road. But as always, “human plans greatly whereas he has no idea what’s going to happen in next hour”, exactly so my cab took the U-turn and was stranded in the traffic for an hour. By the time, my cab driver gets space to sneak out for another route (of course, only possible on Indian roads:)) to the airport, I crossed my check-in time. One side, I was cursing my driver and another side blaming God, “how can you be so rude to me? Being an Almighty God, can’t you somehow give me a free road?”  Exhaust and down emotion, I reached the airport 15 minutes late to the scheduled departure of my flight. But to my surprise, my flight was flying 40 minutes late, as I stepped into the airport, my flight touched the ground and was taxing towards the terminal. With ‘let’s try’ thinking, I went for boarding pass and asked the executive, ‘I know I’m late to board your aircraft but I come to know your aircraft to Guwahati is flying late. And he slapping me with his words said, Sir, you are late than our delayed flight, YOU CANNOT BOARD THE FLIGHT. On my second request, he said, let me try Sir if it works! Again to surprise he handover the boarding pass and said, Sir, run to terminal 19, the gate is about to open. Hold on, the story doesn’t end there, there’s something for life-risk as well. By the time I land, Guwahati was raining like cats and dogs. Still praying, I got a brand new cab to Shillong, hungry and tired around 11 P.M I asked the driver, Sir, how long it will take to Shillong and can we stop somewhere for dinner. He replied, sure sir, around 1AM we will reach the Dhaba but Sir we must pray that there should not be any landslide. The way it is raining, I’m sure there will be landslide somewhere. After an hour, that skillful driver was good enough to turn the steering just in a few inches away from landslide. At 3 AM, I reached Shillong but again surprising my host was out of reach and I was in a drug-paddlers locality. With a bit more struggle, I got the connection of my other contact and finally, I got shelter.

Yes, as you think, my parents suggested me to cancel the trip and in fact, while facing each of the challenges I thought to withdraw from my “YES” to the conference organizers. But each time, one verse from the Bible went strong enough to convince me –

Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ 

Anything more comes from the evil one.

Promises are always made at the present time and mostly it is made about its future implications but the uncertainty of the future always appears as a challenge. As the future becomes present, at the most time it enfolds an awful lot of challenges. Logically, promises might be expressed with the help of word-formation but it isn’t just a word. The sustainability of our promise words shapes our identity – our character – our strengths – our understanding and majorly the other person’s TRUST. 

The well-known and well-uttered flamboyant phrase of our time is, “Heaven and earth may pass by but I will be with you at all times. You were meant for me”. But alas, since we tend to jettison our primary promises in most of our affairs we are experiencing more shattered relationships rather than the previous decades put together. Ironically, the British author Dr. John R. W Stott in one of his book on civilized society and its problems with morals and civility said,

“Many of the happenings of our civilized society would not exist if it were not for human sin. A promise is not enough, we need a contract. Doors are not enough, we need to lock and bolt them. The payments of fairs are not enough, we need to be with tickets that are punched, inspected and collected. Laws are not enough, we need the Police to enforce them. All these things and many others to which we have grown as a custom than we have taken them for granted are due to our sin. WE CANNOT TRUST EACH OTHER, WE NEED PROTECTION FROM ONE ANOTHER. It is a sorry state of affairs.”