Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work.
One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so, he walked faster to catch up.
As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The young man was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects, and throwing them into the ocean.
He came closer still and called out “Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?”
The young man paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean.”
“I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?” asked the somewhat startled wise man.
To this, the young man replied, “The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them in, they’ll die.”
Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, “But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can’t possibly make a difference!”
At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said, “It made a difference for that one.”
The story is authored by Loren Corey Eiseley a highly respected anthropologist, science writer, ecologist, and poet.
Moral of the story in Gandhi’s words: In a gentle way, you can shake the world.
Saying it poetically:
If you deny
the power of
one tiny effort,
Light a candle
in the dark,
the small flame
defy & define
(Inspired from a quote by Anne Franke).
The secret wish of every status quo is, it impatiently awaits to be broken. Don’t believe ! Give it a try.
Each second we live is a new and unique moment of the universe, a moment that will never be again And what do we teach our children? We teach them that two and two make four, and that Paris is the capital of France. When will we also teach them what they are?
We should say to each of them: “Do you know what you are? You are a marvel. You are unique. In all the years that have passed, there has never been another child like you. Your legs, your arms, your clever fingers, the way you move. You may become a Shakespeare, a Michelangelo, a Beethoven. You have the capacity for anything.”
A beautiful piece of ‘food for thought’ which has served for years as a constant reminder to me to introspect my life and values. Whenever I feel I begin to digress from my purpose of life, I look back at this writing. Not sure if I have really found myself steadfast on it.
Finally, I decided to post it in my blog and share with others.
“The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers; wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less; we buy more, but enjoy less.
We have bigger houses and smaller families; more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense; more knowledge, but less judgment; more experts, yet more problems; more medicine, but less wellness.
We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom. We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.
We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life. We’ve added years to life not life to years. We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We’ve done larger things, but not better things.
We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We’ve conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.
These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion; big men and small character; steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce; fancier houses but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete.
Remember, *spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever.
*to say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.
*to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn’t cost a cent.
*to say “I love you” to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.
*to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again.
Give time to love, give time to speak, and give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.
AND ALWAYS REMEMBER: Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.”
Author: Dr. Bob Moorehead is former pastor of Seattle’s Overlake Christian Church. He retired in 1998 after 29 years in that post. The essay appeared in ‘Words Aptly Spoken,’ Dr. Moorehead’s 1995 collection of prayers, homilies, and monologues used in his sermons and radio broadcasts.
However, it has many a times attributed in e-rumours to be written by George Carlin, a stand up comedian known for his foul mouth and four-lettered words. He himeslf denied having written this.
In the emotional universe we inhabit.
Each of us make our own weather,
Paint our own rainbows of imagination
Determine the color of our dreams
Create our own seasons in the heart
Control the temperatures of our mind
Divert the direction of our life’s storms
If I feel depressed I will sing.
If I feel sad I will laugh.
If I feel ill I will double my labor.
If I feel fear I will plunge ahead.
If I feel inferior I will wear new garments.
If I feel uncertain I will raise my voice.
If I feel poverty I will think of wealth to come.
If I feel incompetent I will think of past success.
If I feel insignificant I will remember my goals.
Today I will be the master of my emotions.
Emotions are like waves.We cannot do much to control their flow. But we can choose which ones to surf..
It was several years or perhaps over a decade ago when I had cut out this cartoon from the daily newspaper and stuck on my fridge with a magnet.
Having lived in an Arab land where hugging is a usual form of greeting, I had learned how good it felt after having hugged a dear one.
Like all Moms, I too frequently made it a point to bear hugg my growing kids. Whenever the little ones felt any trouble or insecurity they would run to be hugged tightly. If at times I was busy and did it lightly, they would demand-
” Ammi do it nicely.”
Then came an Indian movie with the much popular caption
” Jadoo ki jhappi”
–-~the magic hug, which claimed to do wonders. Inspired by it, we actually put this Jaddo ki jhappi to practice, at our home.
Whether it was the daughter getting nervous for her exam or the son feeling hurt after a fall or a sib finding hard to cope with a financial loss or Mom missing my deceased Dad or a friend nervous for her husband’s illhealth or even the kids’ nanny, sobbing after she recieved some bad news from the kin back home–a tight bear hug would comfort not just them, but me too.
A wholesome hug cannot really change the circumstances, but it gives strength to bear the loss with a feeling that they are not alone in their suffering. Medically speaking, the act releases endorphins, the feel good hormones, into the body.
Later, I saw on net a report on the raised rates of suicide among South Korean students owing to stress of competition in educational institutions. And then came the news that a simple campaign of giving free hugs to the passersby while standing at a street crossing decreased the suicide rate significantly in South Korea youngsters.
Further digging into the details led me to the wonderful international campaign called Free Hugs Campaign, as a random act of kindness. My thrill for having practiced it myself without being aware of its existence, had no bounds.
Giving a tight bear hug says aloud that we care.
Culturally many of us may not be in a position to accept being hugged at a street crossing, but we can certainly do this to our kids, our parents, our sibs and those friends who are informal enough to be hugged.
We need not be told to hug one’s kids. We do that amply and with full enthusiasm. Perhaps hugging our ageing parents needs to be reminded. However, it is one of the most fulfilling expereinces one can experience.
I remember, for years, having hugged my mom only occasionally and just ritually if at all. But with Dad being a very expressive person and I being his favourite child, he never either received or parted without a wholesome hug. After he was no more, what I missed the most was his hugs.
Then one day, I decided to repeat the same, with my Mom too. The first time I gave a real tight bear hug to my Mom, I could see her eyes twinkled with tears and she actually blushed. But the vigor she gained after the hug was strikingly noticable.
Each time she is around I make sure to hug her for a reason or for no reason. It embarrasses her at times and tells me to “grow up”. But I know she loves it. And the tight embrace, not just helps her feel good, but also lets me feel how thin and frail she is getting with the passing time. We may not realise that visually, or our parents may not be complaining of getting older and weaker, but the tactile sensation certainly does all the talking.
The survival of preterm babies are known to be having a better survival if the mother or the father or even a grandmother hugs the baby, on their chest as much as possible during the first month of life–called as Kangaroo care.
Similiarly I saw in Delhi, Sanjivini, a well-known center that offers help to troubled minds, have a day clinic for schizophrenics where “caring” (involving touch and holding) is routinely used as a therapy. “But it is done in a parent-child matrix,” clarified the in-charge of Sanjivini, adding that only women volunteers handle female patients and men handle male patients.” In Sanjivni they have statistically seen that, the practice has reduced the relapse in schizophrenics.
Scientific studies have shown that hugs have been seen to reduce heart rates, improve overall moods, lower blood pressure, increase nerve activity, and a host of other beneficial effects.
We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth, claims Virginia Satir, a family therapist
“Hugging is a way of connecting with others, of showing your genuine affection and appreciation, of valuing others, and of giving. All of these are positive, healthy, life-enhancing purposes”, remarks Kevin Eikenberry, author of Vantagepoints on Learning and Life.
I suggest give it a try to your loved ones. Sometimes, a hug is all what they need.
FREE HUGS is a real life story of Juan Mann, a man whose mission was to reach out and hug strangers to brighten up their lives. In this age of social disconnectivity and lack of human contact, the effects of the Free Hugs Campaign became phenomenal and spread world wide.
“In my own view, the important achievement of Apollo was a demonstration that humanity is not forever chained to this planet, and our visions go rather further than that, and our opportunities are unlimited.”
~Neil Armstrong, 1999
“Since, in the long run, every planetary civilization will be endangered by impacts from space, every surviving civilization is obliged to become spacefaring–not because of exploratory or romantic zeal, but for the most practical reason imaginable: staying alive… If our long-term survival is at stake, we have a basic responsibility to our species to venture to other worlds.”
~Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot, 1994
“I don’t think the human race will survive the next thousand years, unless we spread into space. There are too many accidents that can befall life on a single planet. But I’m an optimist. We will reach out to the stars.”
~Stephen Hawking, interview with Daily Telegraph, 2001
A short biographical video about Sufi Inayat Khan, the Indian musician and mystic who brought Sufism to the West in the early 20th century.
Sufi Inayat’s quotes from his book “Mysticism of Sound”.
“A person does not hear sound only through the ears; he hears sound through every pore of his body. It permeates the entire being, and according to its particular influence either slows or quickens the rhythm of the blood circulation; it either wakens or soothes the nervous system. It arouses a person to greater passions or it calms him by bringing him peace. According to the sound and its influence a certain effect is produced. Sound becomes visible in the form of radiance. This shows that the same energy which goes into the form of sound before being visible is absorbed by the physical body. In that way the physical body recuperates and becomes charged with new magnetism.”
“Life is a symphony, and the action of every person in this life is the playing of his particular part in the music.”
“Love produces harmony and harmony creates beauty. Therefore the chief motto in life is ‘Love, harmony and beauty’. Love in all things and beings the beloved God, in harmony with all in the right understanding, and beautify your life by observing the beauty within and without. By love, harmony and beauty you must turn the whole of life into a single vision of divine glory.”
Ajab shaan hai, mast e saut e azl kee
(What a unique glory has the one who is attuned to the sound of eternity) Na parwah rahay, oos ko thal kee na jal kee
(He is not concerned about the (happenings of the) land or the lake (the earth or water) Usi sur kay, dhiyaani hain roz e azl say
(It is the same sound that we have all been intoxicated by since the beginning of time) Kay maaray hooay, hain pia kay charan kay
(It is the same sound that brings us to the feet of the Beloved) Khudaee karain kar kay dikhlaayain dum main
(Let us reflect Him through our breath and our actions …) Agar dair main hon kay hon ya haram main
(… Whether we are in the temple or in the mosque) Inayat sada kay fidayee hain saaray
(Oh Inayat, we are all intoxicated by that which is eternal) Parhain hain azl say pia kay duwaaray
(And since the beginning of time we have been lying at the doorstep of the Beloved) Jo Us ka hai waisa hee hona hai laazim
(If you come from Him, you are bound to be like Him) Mijaz aur haqeeqat hain baahim mulaazim
(The inner and the outer world are, after all, one) Ajab shaan hai, mast e saut e azl kee
(Oh what a unique glory has the one who is attuned to the sound of eternity) Inayat karo bus bhee tum aur yeh baat
(Oh Inayat, stop talking about such lofty ideals) Haqeeqat kay charchay, tumhaaree yeh awqaat
(Look at reality and look at your own lowly nature) Illahi karam ho, kay zara ho khursheed
(Still, if He wishes, He can turn a speck of dust into sunlight) Karam ho to ho jayay, sar sabz umeed
(And with His blessings, hope becomes evergreen) Ajab shaan hai, mast e saut e azl kee
(Oh what a unique glory has the one who is intoxicated by the sound of eternity)
Music & Nature-work as tranquillizers and antidepressants.
(…The canyons of S.E.Utah…)
Beauty and sadness always go together.
Nature thought beauty too rich to go forth
Upon the earth without a meet alloy.
As I Walk with Beauty
As I walk, as I walk
The universe is walking with me
In beauty it walks before me
In beauty it walks behind me
In beauty it walks below me
In beauty it walks above me
Beauty is on every side
As I walk, I walk with Beauty. ~Traditional Navajo Prayer
What a beautiful way to musically put accross the difficult yet so important fundamentals of Science !
SYMPHONY OF SCIENCE : The Symphony of Science is a musical project headed by John Boswell, designed to deliver scientific knowledge and philosophy in musical form. Here you can watch music videos, download songs, read lyrics and find links relating to the messages conveyed by the music. The project owes its existence in large measure to the classic PBS Series Cosmos, by Carl Sagan, Ann Druyan, and Steve Soter, as well as all the other featured figures and visuals.
“The Unbroken Thread” is the fourth video in the Symphony of Science series, and it features David Attenborough, Jane Goodall, and Carl Sagan. The clips used in this installment come from Carl Sagan’s Cosmos, David Attenborough’s Charles Darwin and the Tree of Life, The Life of Mammals, The Living Planet, BBC Life, XVIVO Scientific Animations, IMAX Cosmic Voyage, Jane Goodall’s TED Talk, and a clever Guiness Commercial.
The themes present in The Unbroken Thread attempt to explore the wild diversity of life on our planet, the intricacy and origin of its mechanisms, and its close relation to all other life forms.
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