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What do we live for if not to make life less difficult for each other? George Eliot

This is a dramatic new way to look at life. Most times we are self centered, selfish and perhaps very possessive, all in the name of making our life count. Just pause for a moment and think of all who have majorly influenced your life in a positive way. Beginning with our parents who would have definitely sacrificed lot for us, we move on to our siblings and maybe extended family too. Our teachers, friends, colleagues too would have a significant share in shaping our life. They too could have been more self centered and selfish, but they chose to sacrifice for our well being. Notice that you too would have played a similar role for others and most times you have been very self satisfied and occasionally very proud of your contribution in shaping another’s life.

At this point maybe we are thinking of dramatic sacrifices we have done for others or seeking to find the extraordinary things others have done for us. In reality, what others do for you or vice versa is actually the sum total of a million small things that are done. Yes it is the small things that add up to much more than the occasional big sacrifices. Encouragement, sharing, consolation, appreciation, confidence are various virtues that come to mind. When we lost a close race or failed for the first time was it not the consolation offered that provided the balm for the hurt? When we were hoping against hope to be selected was it not the encouragement given that made the difference in our attitude and the final selection? Our first efforts at drawing/ singing/ dancing etc. must have been very amateurish, yet it was the warm appreciation and confidence in our ability that inspired us to pursue these art forms further.

It is also obvious that most times what goes around comes around. In effect it means when we help others, we too get to enjoy the fruits of the help given by others. Unfortunately we might not always be thankful and grateful for what the others do for us and this is something we must not miss out on. On the other hand we are also guilty of keeping track of the favors we do for others and even more guilty of waiting anxiously for a word of thanks and perhaps expecting the others to feel obliged. It is vital for us to realize that whatever we do for others which is done voluntarily and with good grace and with no expectations is really what is truly LOVE in action. When we spread love, that is what makes the world a much happier place for all of us and that includes YOU too.

There is an apocryphal story told about people in Heaven and Hell, which truly explains today’s quote.  It is said that both in heaven and in hell there is ample food served in a giant bowl and the inmates are seated around it with very long spoons tied to their hands. They can eat only what they can collect in the spoon. It is believed that in hell everyone tries to fill their spoons and in attempting to eat the contents, clash with the spoons of the others and there is total chaos, infighting and perennial hunger. Whereas in heaven the inmates have calmly resorted to trying to feed the person whose mouth is closest to the end of the long spoon. In this way each one helps the other. Hence there is harmony, order and peace in heaven.   The challenge for us is to make a Heaven on Earth !

Remember: “The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live.”Flora Whittemore

Try these:

  1. Make a list of the things that annoy / irritate/ upset people around you be it family/ friends/ colleagues etc. Here is a sample list for you to begin. Being short tempered / Using foul language / Being self centered in all interactions/ Being sarcastic all the time/ Boorish Behavior when having company/ Compulsive urge to make snide comments / etc. Once you have made the list, focus on a couple of areas that you will work on to ensure that others feel more relaxed in your company.
  2. Spend 1 hour a week on some social service activity. Your physical effort is what counts not just the monetary contribution.

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Bobby Jacob

Bobby Jacob

‘ He hopes to have a positive influence on his readers through his blog posts’

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