Monday, January 30, 2012

107) Learn Lessons - Not imposing ourselves on others.

"Never impose on others, what you would not choose for yourself." Confucius (551-479 BC)

A pro-life woman was picketed by pro-choice protesters. The day was cold, so she bought doughnuts and coffee and herself handed out the nourishment to the protesters. They were silenced. She told them that her choice was different from theirs but she respected them as people.

What an edifying example! What do we normally do when people disagree with us and choose to vehemently oppose us? We take it as a personal affront; we fight back; bad mouth them; and hold grudges, when we do not succeed in getting them to accept our way of thinking. Here is a fine woman who shows us a different way of dealing with the same situation. When we learn to disagree agreeably, not only do we keep our peace, but also we become spheres of influence to others, mainly our children. When they see us unruffled in challenging situations, they too will learn to face them with composure. Their young lives will be edifying.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

106) Learn Lessons - Value relationships

"Relationships are what life is all about." Rick Warren

In his book, My Confessions, Russian Novelist Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910), admits to his blunder of chasing fame through his writing, which robbed him of the wealth of relationships. He chose the embrace of fame and popularity to the warmth of close relationships.

Tolstoy is not alone in his lamentation. Many of us do, but lack the courage to face the problem head-on and solve it. Instead, we remain slaves to our passions - lust for pleasure, craving for power, insatiable hunger for money and unquenchable thirst for fame. We chase these phantoms at the risk of our relationships - with spouse, children, parents, siblings, colleagues, friends and even strangers, who are friends we have not met. We draw boundaries and keep people at a distance, seldom letting them enter the inner circle of our lives. We will not spare a thought or time for others, obsessed with our personal agenda.

It is time we revisited our relationships. It is time we embraced those eager to encircle us with their arms and give us a place in their hearts. There is no better time to do it than at the start of a New Year.

Seeing us change our priorities and give our relationships the place they merit, our children will learn to value people and not things. They will discover the meaning of love.