Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Power of Forgiveness

Forgiveness is freeing up and putting to better use the energy once consumed by holding grudges, harboring resentments, and nursing unhealed wounds. It is rediscovering the strengths we always had and relocating our limitless capacity to understand and accept other people and ourselves.
- Sidney and Suzanne Simon (WisdomQuotes.com)


power-of-forgiveness



Forgiveness is typically defined as the process of ceasing to feel resentment, indignation or anger for a perceived offense, difference or mistake, and ceasing to demand punishment or restitution. But who gets to forgive who?

In some contexts, forgiveness may be granted without any expectation of compensation, and without any response on the part of the offender. In practical terms however, it may be necessary for the offender to offer some form of acknowledgment, apology, and/or restitution, or even just ask for forgiveness, in order for the wronged person to believe they are able to forgive.

To better understand forgiveness, consider the following:

  • Forgiveness is a gift you give to yourself. It is not something you do FOR someone else. It is not complicated. It is simple.

  • Choice is always present in forgiveness. You do not have to forgive AND there are consequences. Refusing to forgive by holding on to the anger, resentment and a sense of betrayal can make your own life miserable. A vindictive mind-set creates bitterness and lets the betrayer claim one more victim.

  • The greatest misconception about forgiveness is the belief that forgiving the offense, such as an affair, means that you condone it. Not true. In fact, we can only forgive what we know to be wrong. Forgiveness does not mean that you have to reconcile with someone who badly treated you.

  • Forgiveness is an act of the imagination. It dares you to imagine a better future, one that is based on the blessed possibility that your hurt will not be the final word on the matter. It challenges you to give up your destructive thoughts about the situation and to believe in the possibility of a better future. It builds confidence that you can survive the pain and grow from it.

  • When you forgive you do it for you, not for the other. The person you have never forgiven. . . owns you!Forgiving someone else is to agree within yourself to overlook the wrong they have committed against you and to move on with your life. It's the only way. It means cutting them some slack.

  • Forgiveness is a creative act that changes us from prisoners of the past to liberated people at peace with our memories. It is not forgetfulness, but it involves accepting the promise that the future can be more than dwelling on memories of past injury.



forgiveness



Ponder the following about forgiveness:
FORGIVENESS
by Reinhold Neibuhr

Nothing worth doing is completed in our lifetime,
Therefore, we are saved by hope.
Nothing true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history;
Therefore, we are saved by faith.
Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone.
Therefore, we are saved by love.
No virtuous act is quite a virtuous from the standpoint of our friend or foe as from our own;
Therefore, we are saved by the final form of love which is forgiveness.

Has anyone wronged you lately? Now is the time to free yourself by forgiving them.

This week, be reminded of what Confucius said.
"The more you know yourself, the more you forgive yourself."

Learn, share and experience the power of forgiveness.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Until My Change Comes... I'll wait, Renew my Strength and Keep Holding On

change



The first episode of the fourth season of Grey's Anatomy is titled 'A Change is Gonna Come'. Following is an excerpt of the episode transcript:
"In the practice of medicine, change is inevitable. New surgical techniques are created, procedures are updated, levels of expertise increase.
Innovation is everything. Nothing remains the same for long. We either adapt to change...or we get left behind........"

The above words got me thinking.
Yeah, it's true that we get inspired and hopeful whenever we envision change. We even get motivated when we encounter new people and situations that effect change and thereby enhance our lives.

But what about that transition period? That period of waiting as change happens? What keeps us going at the time?

I found my answer in a song I first listened to ten years ago - 'Until My Change Comes' by Commissioned. It's from the album 'Times and Seasons', which was released in the year 2000.

Consider the following:
UNTIL MY CHANGE COMES
By Commissioned

It's been a long time coming
But a change is gonna come
When the dark clouds pass away
Feel the warmness of the sun
I know that You love me, oh yeah,
I know that you care
I can't wait to be by Your side
In the middle of the air.

CHORUS
Until my change comes
Here's what I'll do
Renew my strength
Keep holding on
I'll wait on You.

(REPEAT)

It ain't gonna be easy
But I'll be strong. Some say if You
Really cared um,
It's wouldn't take so long for You to
Return for me
If with You is where I ought to be
But I'm gonna believe until that day
I will.... until...

CHORUS

BRIDGE

Gotta wait gotta wait on you
That's what I'm gonna do
I'm gonna stand still
I just wanna be in your will
Just like David and Goliath
I gotta encourage my soul, yeah
Said I'm gonna stand still
Until um...

CHORUS * CHORUS * CHORUS

The above lyrics and artist names are copyrighted to Commissioned. They appear  here for educational and personal use only.

work-for-change



So back to the Grey's Anatomy transcript...
"Change. we don't like it, we fear it.
But we can't stop it from coming.
We either adapt to change, or we get left behind.
It hurts to grow. Anybody who tells you it doesn't is lying.
But here's the truth. sometimes the more things change, the more they stay the same.
And sometimes...oh, sometimes change is good.
Sometimes change is...everything."

Learn, share and be an agent of positive change. Both in your life and those of others.

Monday, May 25, 2009

SPECIAL: Reflecting on Just how Awesome We Are, and Our Place in this World

The following poem is a lovely reminder of just how awesome we are indeed.

Yeah, we are special.

you-are-special



Be edified:
SPECIAL

There is a special place in life that needs my humble skill
a certain job I'm meant to do, nobody else can fill
The hours are demanding and the pay is not too good
and yet I wouldn't change it for a moment even if I could.

There is a special place in life, a goal I must attain
a dream that I must follow for I wont be back again
There's a mark that I must leave however small it be
a legacy of love for those who follow after me.

There is a special place in life that only I may share
a little path that bears my name, awaiting me somewhere
There is a hand that I must hold, a word that I must say
a smile that I must give, for there are tears to blot away.

There is a special place in life that I was meant to fill
a sunny spot where flowers grow upon a windy hill
There's always a tomorrow and the best is yet to be
and somewhere in this world I know:
That there's a special place JUST FOR ME!

If you ever question your worth and place in this world, please be reminded that you are especially special. Much more than you can ever imagine.

Speaking of Our Place in this World, that is tomorrow's post on Peter's Walkabout, so be sure to watch this space.

Learn, share and never lose sight of your worth. You are priceless.

Friday, May 22, 2009

You've got to Work Hard for it Sometimes

Life has a way of presenting situations that often seem impossible.

Such situations are usually appropriate for us to go the extra mile, try one more time, gauge our limits or even realize our potential.

And this only happens if we take the initiative. . .

amerie-gotta-work



The following song by Amerie is quite relevant during those times when you feel you have reached your tether's end.
Gotta Work
by Amerie

Sometimes it's gonna be days like this
Sometimes it's gonna be rain like this
Sometimes you're gonna feel pain like this
Sometimes you gotta work hard for it

Because when u feeling low
And u cant get no lower
That's when u know your close
Sometimes u gotta work hard for it

Woke up in the morning
It's another cloudy day
But that never mattered too much to me
'Cause it's still a new beginning
And I know I got it in me
Had my share of ups and downs
But now I know I can do anything

Some people think I'm aggressive
'Cause I know what I want
But that never mattered too much to me

Show me some body with no goal
Show me some body with no control
'Cause life is for living
So go and get it
When times get rough remember

[chorus]
Sometimes it's gonna be days like this
Sometimes it's gonna be rain like this
Sometimes you're gonna feel pain like this
Sometimes you gotta work hard for it

Because when u feeling low
And u can't get no lower
That's when u know your close
Sometimes u gotta work hard for it

Ohh gotta get it
Hey hey hey
Sometimes the road may seem too far
You never really know for sure
If you're ever gonna make it
Sometimes the end may seem so far
You never really know for sure
If u got the strength to make it

But u gotta remember

[chorus]
Sometimes it's gonna be days like this
Sometimes it's gonna be rain like this
Sometimes you're gonna feel pain like this
Sometimes you gotta work hard for it

Because when u feeling low
And u can't get no lower
That's when u know your close
Sometimes u gotta work hard for it

Days like this
Rain like this

Do it cause I love it
Feel like this
Gotta work hard for it

The above lyrics and artist names are copyrighted to Amerie. They appear  here for educational and personal use only.

Let us learn, share and believe in ourselves. That we can do anything. If only we try hard enough.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

What Do You Want to do With Your Life? by Hans Glint

Recently, I downloaded 'What Do You Want To Do With Your Life?' by Hans Glint.
This eBook is supposedly a "Life Plan to find Your Answer".

what-do-you-want-to-do-with-your-life-hans-glint




In the Preface:
“Why do they always tell us that it’s easy and evil to do what we want, and that we need discipline to restrain ourselves? It’s the hardest thing in the world - to do what we want. And it takes the greatest kind of courage. I mean, what we really want.”
- Ayn Rand

Many people spend more time planning their summer holiday than planning the rest of their life. No wonder the same people feel they do not live fulfilled lives. However, you are different. You are on your way to break away from the crowd; you are on your way to plan ahead and achieve the life of your dreams.

With imagination and action, you will create the life of your dreams.

Chapters:
1. Introduction to Life Planning
2. Your Past
3. The Influence Of Generations
4. Your Present
5. Your Future
6. Your Alternatives
7. Making The Decision

Download Free eBook

You can download the eBook free at the book official site (PDF 606KB).

Let us learn, share and have a purpose -driven, planned life.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Some Birds Aren't Meant to be Caged... The Shawshank Redemption

HOPE is the bridge that connects you to where you want to go.
FAITH assures you that the bridge will hold.
LOVE gives you a reason to cross it.


The Shawshank Redemption is my all time favorite movie. Morgan Freeman's narration is very convincing and captivating, the plot is both compelling and inspiring and much more...

shawshank-redemption



This movie is based on the Stephen King novella, Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption.
I have watched it time and again, but it never bores me.

Following is one of the deep thoughts you are to find in this movie:
"Some birds aren't meant to be caged
Their feathers are just too bright
And when they fly away
The part of you that knows
It was a sin to lock them up does rejoice
But still
The place you live in is that much more drab and empty
That they are gone."
- Ellis Boyd Redding (Morgan Freeman) in 'The Shawshank Redemption'.

Watching it, you get to realize that while "Fear Can Hold You Prisoner, Hope Can Set You Free".

To date, it is still listed as number 1 on the IMDb (Internet Movie Database) list of 250 most highly rated films.

I highly recommend that you watch The Shawshank Redemption. It is a story of enduring hope, and good being triumphant in the face of evil and seemingly insurmountable odds.

Let us learn, share and be full of hope. That, will definitely set us free.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Who or What Determines, Shapes and Changes Our Character?

"We are each the authors of our own lives...
there is no way to shift the blame,
and no one else to accept the accolades."

- Paul McGill (in A Woman of Substance)



Pathology

Late last year, I watched the movie Pathology. It is a sick thriller in which a group of residents studying pathology devise a lively game: to see which one of them can commit the perfect square murder.

In the movie, Teddy Grey graduates top of his class and joins one of the nation’s most prestigious Pathology programs. On joining a group of elite pathology interns, he begins to uncover secrets he never expected and finds that he has unknowingly become a pawn in their dangerous and secret after-hours game at the morgue of who can commit the perfect undetectable murder.

This is in line with his earlier assertion that human beings are inherently evil, that people are animals who can kill anyone.

Environmental Effects on Character

A fortnight before this, one of my favorite bloggers had written about change. Savvy's question was,
"Who says campus does not corrupt?"
She wrote, "Last year, I used to be up by five almost every morning. This year, I’d be lucky if I can drag myself out of bed before 7am. Obviously, I barely make it for early morning classes.

"Last year, I would have been shocked if I heard stories of students who (smoke) weed, have unprotected sex, get pregnant, abort, use morning after pills on a daily basis and not give a thought to HIV. This year, it doesn’t surprise me anymore." [read more...]

Lost in Character

My favorite TV show LOST, explores this within its mythology. The character and beliefs of John Locke (English philosopher and thinker) are alluded to both in name and character by John Locke. John Locke believed that the mind was a "blank slate" or "tabula rasa".

Essentially, Locke postulated and maintained that people are born without innate ideas - that human beings are born with no built-in mental content, in a word, "blank", and that their entire resource of knowledge is built up gradually from their experiences and sensory perceptions of the outside world.

The Chicken, The Egg and Responsibility

Looking at another source of insight, Ngishili writes on The Chicken, the Egg, and Responsibility. It so happens that in a typical farm,
"each chicken has a specific character that distinguishes it from all the others in the farm. One of those chicken characteristics has to do with the ability to reproduce successfully. The farmer will tell you that some chicken exhibit much responsibility towards the task of parenting while others are extremely careless." "As you can see, the story of responsibility is as old as the story of the chicken and the egg. Whether at your place of work, in personal relationships, in a family or even in a community, life favors always go to the most responsible person."

In life however, we see that many people seek freedom while trying to avoid responsibility. This is wrong, since freedom is responsibility. When you're free, you're automatically responsible for your own future. And the things your freedom lets you do become a manifestation of your character.

Bottom Line

So who or what determines, shapes and even changes character? Is it those we interact with? Is it fate? Do we get to choose to be good or bad, or are we inherently evil?

Now it the time to take a good look at your friends, circumstances, environment and the company you keep. Carefully consider whatever influences you.
Once you identify who or what shapes your character, do the needful and effect the necessary changes.

Let us learn, share and progress together.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Pray. Deep from your heart, since the world has lost the way

Inspiration comes to us from many places. Nothing however, compares to what happens when we connect with God, in prayer and supplication. The outcome is invariably beyond comprehension.

prayer-montage



At a time when countless bad things are happening in our lives, our country and even globally, we need to connect with God in prayer. Now is the time to pray, deep from our hearts.

Following is a very inspiring song by Celine Dion. Be uplifted:
PRAYER
By Celine Dion

Can we touch the soul of heaven
Can we unite a sacred lesson
Every child creates a skylight of beauty
Can you hear cathedrals falling
All the universe is calling
Cry a single cello from your heart
Since the world has lost her way
Loneliness journey endlessly
Yet the promised chance remains
Gifts of what could be

So let the children remember the sun
Let them dance let them soar
For their lives have begun
Let the children engender the rain
As the river runs through fields
Forever subsiding their pain
Prayer

Every voice along the shoreline
Standing still within time
Spinning unresolved the walking
As each season passes
Through wonderland and looking glasses
The secret garden shires beckons you
Gentle flower, don't fade away
Sweet innocent still harbors thee
In the faith of golden dreams
Where one love lives eternally

Let the children remember the sun
Let them dance let them soar
For their lives have begun
Let the children engender the rain
As the river runs through fields
Forever subsiding their pain

Prayer
Prayer
Prayer

Bless the children for they are the light
They are the truth of spirit in flight
Yes the children engender the rain
As the river runs through life
Healing their pain
If you could trust with your heart but for time
Sweet angels, conceive you have
Forever and always believed Prayer

Prayer
Prayer
Prayer

The above lyrics and artist names are copyrighted to Celine Dion. They appear  here for educational and personal use only.

Let us learn, share and stand in the gap to seek God's grace in overcoming the odds that are stacked against us.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Communicate. Build Bridges. Interact with People

"Hope is the bridge that connects you to where you want to go
Faith assures you that the bridge will hold
Love gives you a reason to cross it."


bridges-for-communication


Looking back at the days I was in college, I realize that life at the time accorded us many luxuries we cannot have in adult life.

Consider communication and friends. How often do you wish that you had the time to see someone, attend social events, make courtesy calls, make amends, or meet new people? With limited free time and increasing responsibilities, we often find ourselves alone.

Those we eventually interact with are the people who are a part of our daily lives - our colleagues in the office, neighbors at the estate or the people we fellowship with every Sunday. Yet, we still yearn to communicate.

Having listened to the Gospel album "Bridges: Songs of Unity and Purpose", about five years ago, I now realize how important it is to interact with like minded people and seek purpose in our unity. This album was released in July 1999. Its deep and inspired message however still lingers on. Get more details of this great collaborative music on eBay. This is music worth listening to.

BRIDGES


bridges-gospel-album



Some people believe bridges are designed to span chasms and to make possible passage over the impossible. They do span chasms, but more importantly, they encourage communication, making what is inaccessible accessible and what is foreign familiar.

Steel, concrete and wood are materials for bridge building of one kind. But introduction, familiarity and co-operation are building blocks for the human bridge.

Make familiar the foreign and encourage communication.

Remember if I were you and you were me, and if I am not afraid to touch your hand, you will reach for mine, we can stand together, stay together and even soar together as the raven and the dove.

And where there is desire, prayer and belief, all things are possible.

- PAUL WRIGHT (The Album 'Bridges' by various Gospel artists)

Now, go out there and start communicating. You may be surprised to find that those you need to communicate and bridge gaps with the most are the ones closest to you.
Communicate, and share the above words with your friends. You now believe and are inspired. Then do something about it.

Let us learn, share and grow together, in unity and purpose.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Judging a Book by More than its Cover: Bigger than My Body

Every now and then, life presents us with situations that are seemingly insurmountable. We find ourselves in great disadvantage. At times, any attempt to do the needful only gets to remind us of our limitations.

At a time when the outcome of our actions is most in doubt, we need to encourage ourselves and strive to surpass our obvious and outward ability. Additionally, even if our efforts do not really bear the expected fruit, we should at least acknowledge the effort made and fully appreciate it. And be proud of the fact that we took the initiative and tried.

Once again, it's John Mayer with an inspiring song!

john-mayer-bigger-than-my-body



Following are lyrics to John Mayer's song Bigger than My Body from the album Heavier Things.

Be edified!
BIGGER THAN MY BODY

This is a call to the color-blind
This is an IOU
I'm stranded behind a horizon line
Tied up in something true

Yes, I'm grounded
Got my wings clipped
I'm surrounded (by)
All this pavement
Guess I'll circle
While I'm waiting
For my fuse to dry

Someday I'll fly
Someday I'll soar
Someday I'll be so damn much more
Cause I'm bigger than my body gives me credit for

Why is it not my time?
What is there more to learn?
Shed this skin I've been tripping in
Never to quite return

Yes, I'm grounded
Got my wings clipped
I'm surrounded (by)
All this pavement
Guess I'll circle
While I'm waiting
For my fuse to dry

Someday I'll fly
Someday I'll soar
Someday I'll be so damn much more
Cause I'm bigger than my body gives me credit for
Cause I'm bigger than my body now

Maybe I'll tangle in the power lines
And it might be over in a second's time
But I'll gladly go down in a flame
If the flame's what it takes to remember my name

Yes, I'm grounded
Got my wings clipped
I'm surrounded (by)
All this pavement
Guess I'll circle
While I'm waiting
For my fuse to dry
For my fuse to dry

Someday I'll fly
Someday I'll soar
Someday I'll be so damn much more
Cause I'm bigger than my body
I'm bigger than my body
I'm bigger than my body now

The above lyrics and artist names are copyrighted to John Mayer. They appear  here for educational and personal use only.

Let us learn, share and seek to rise above our outward, tangible and obvious limitations. Let us be bigger than our bodies.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Objectivity, Self Righteousness and exiting The Moral Matrix: Jonathan Haidt's TED Talk

TED Talks

I have lately been on a TED Talks binge, both on The Walkabout and on the Green Initiatives blog. I cannot seem to get enough of these talks. They truly are ideas worth sharing. So, today I present one of my top favorite TED Talks.

Jonathan Haidt

On 20th March, I wrote about Jonathan Haidt's book, The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom, after watching him on TED.

Ideology and Openness to Experience



In this TED Talk, Jonathan Haidt talks about ideology and openness to experience. He discusses moral psychology, and outlines the moral roots of, and major differences between liberals and conservatives.

Watch the talk, read comments and download the video on the TED web site.

Key highlights:

  • People who are higher on openness to experience just crave novelty, variety, diversity, new ideas, travel.
    People low on it like things that are familiar, that are safe and dependable.



  • "Open individuals have an affinity for liberal, progressive, left-wing political views, whereas closed inviduals prefer conservative, traditional, right wing views"
    - McCrae



  • When people all share values, when people all share morals, they become a team, and once you engage the psychology of teams, it shuts down open minded thinking.



  • The first draft of the moral mind.
    "The initial organization of the brain does not rely that much on experience... Nature provides a first draft, which experience then revises... 'Built in' does not mean unmalleable; it means organized in advance of experience."
    - Marcus



  • The Five Foundations of Morality
    1. Harm/Care
    2. Fairness/Reciprocity
    3. Ingroup/Loyalty
    4. Authority/Respect
    5. Purity/Sanctity



  • The truth of social entropy is that "Order tends to decay."



  • Traditional authority and morality can be quite repressive and restrictive to those at the bottom, to women and to people that don't fit in.



  • Liberals speak for the weak and oppressed; they want change and justice, even at the risk of chaos.



  • Conservatives speak for institutions and traditions; want order even if at cost to those at the bottom.



  • "The restraints on men, as well as their liberties, are to be reckoned among their rights"
    - Edmund Burke



  • "If you want the truth to stand clear before you, never be for or against.
    The struggle between "for" and "against" is the mind's worst disease."
    - Sent-ts'an



  • Our Righteous Minds were designed to...
    1. unite us into teams
    2. divide us against other teams
    3. blind us to the truth


Let us learn, share and purpose to be objective, by cultivating moral humility, acknowledging and respecting the differing opinions of others.

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