Understanding and tolerance of other cultures is not a weakness, not a sign of inadequate patriotism, not an indication that we are rootless “citizens of nowhere.” In reality, it reflects our preparation for the world of tomorrow, where we will become ever more mixed as peoples, even as we study, value, and preserve our collective cultural heritage.
“Leadership is communicating to another person their worth and potential
they are inspired to see it in themselves.“
A friend of mine crossed 45 years of age. I asked him what’s changing? He sent me the following lines.
Yes, I am changing — After loving my parents, my siblings, my spouse, my children, my friends, now I have started loving myself.
Yes, I am changing — I just realised that I am not “Atlas”. The world does not rest on my shoulders.
Yes, I am changing — I now stopped bargaining with vegetables and fruits vendors. After all, a few rupees more is not going to burn a hole in my pocket but it might help the poor fellow save for his daughter’s school fees.
Yes, I am changing — I pay the taxi driver without waiting for the change. The extra money might bring a smile on his face. After all he is toiling much harder for a living than me. Continue reading
“Somewhere in our brains we carry a map of our relationships. It is our mother’s lap, our best friend’s holding hand, our lover’s embrace—all these we carry within ourselves when we are alone. Just knowing that these are there to hold us if we fall gives us a sense of peace.”
– Barbara Fredrickson, Psychologist
Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Continue reading
Logos refers to our ordinary way of seeing the world with deductive, logical thinking that helps us balance our checkbook, make decisions, and plan for the future. But as scholar Karen Armstrong describes, the ancients saw that logos cannot “assuage human grief or find ultimate meaning in life’s struggle. For that people turned to mythos, stories that made no pretensions to historical accuracy but should rather be seen as an early form of psychology.”
At the prodding of my friends, I am writing this story. My name is Mildred Hondorf. I am a former elementary school music teacher from DeMoines, Iowa.
I’ve always supplemented my income by teaching piano lessons — something I’ve done for over 30 years. Over the years I found that children have many levels of musical ability. I’ve never had the pleasure of having a protégé though I have taught some talented students.
However I’ve also had my share of what I call “musically challenged” pupils. One such student was Robby. Robby was 11 years old when his mother (a single mom) dropped him off for his first piano lesson. I prefer that students (especially boys!) begin at an earlier age, which I explained to Robby. But Robby said that it had always been his mother’s dream to hear him play the piano. So I took him as a student.
Well, Robby began with his piano lessons and from the beginning I thought it was a hopeless endeavor. As much as Robby tried, he lacked the sense of tone and basic rhythm needed to excel. But he dutifully reviewed his scales and some elementary pieces that I require all my students to learn.
Over the months he tried and tried while I listened and cringed and tried to encourage him. At the end of each weekly lesson he’d always say, “My mom’s going to hear me play some day.” But it seemed hopeless.
Sadness gives depth. Happiness gives height. Sadness gives roots. Happiness gives branches. Happiness is like a tree going into the sky, and sadness is like the roots going down into the womb of the earth. Both are needed, and the higher a tree goes, the deeper it goes, simultaneously. The bigger the tree, the bigger will be its roots. In fact, it is always in proportion. That’s its balance.
We are shaped by the people who surround us. Our joys are more pleasurable when they are cherished by our friends, our successes more enjoyable when they are applauded by those whose opinions we care about, our protests are less lonely and our indignation less unsure when shared by our supporters, our hatreds more corrosive when goaded by fellow zealots, our sorrows less burdensome when borne with our family.