Thursday, June 02, 2005

The Cynics Finish Last

Why are we so afraid of happiness that we oftentime "unconsciously" avoid it or push it back in when it attempts to surface? It's seen as this romantic yet, in reality, unattainable goal that we should strive for. Tthough why you ask if we do see it as so unattainable? To give (false) meaning to our lives? Or is it that little glimmer of hope that doggedly remains somewhere deep inside us persisting that one day, somehow, happiness will miraculously descend on us? When it actually is, all the time, within our grasp or better yet, inside us, ready and waiting for recognition!

"Through the whole of his life he pursues the idea of a certain artificial and elegant repose which he may never arrive at, for which he sacrifices a real tranquillity that is at all times in his power, and which, if in the extremity of old age he should at last attain to it, he will find to be in no respect preferable to that humble security and contentment which he had abandoned for it. It is then, in the last dregs of life, his body wasted with toil and disease, his mind galled and ruffled by the memory of a thousand injuries and disappointments which he imagines he has met with from the injustice of his enemies, or from the perfidy and ingratitude of his friends, that he begins at last to find that wealth and greatness are mere trinkets of frivolous utility, no more adapted for procuring ease of body or tranquillity of mind, than the tweezer-cases of the lover of toys."
—Adam Smith


Friday, May 27, 2005

Money or the Box?

"Too many people want to tend the garden rather than create paradise."

And so they are more worried about their balance being tipped than aspiring to transcend their current situation and approach higher heights.

Here's a take from one of my favourite "plus" men, Tom Peters

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Dancing for Salvation

My Beat —Palmer Brown

As we dance to a beat that seems out of time
To the one you feel in the metronome of your mind
Does it offend you that our rhythm is strange
Or causes your thinking to be rearranged?
Could it be that you would understand this beat to which we dance
More clearly had you been given a chance?
So as you struggle to find the feel with your feet
Ask yourself, can you dance to my beat?

Watch us get down to this groove with an afro-funk feel
While we get hiiiiigh to a rhythm with spiritual appeal
Expressions of freedom from the descendants of slaves
God gives us strength for new horizons we must brave
First bondage then mental now financially oppressed
With this beat we dance we know we’ve passed the test
So as you struggle to find the feel with your feet
Ask yourself, can you dance to my beat?

The rhythm the rhythm the rhythm is our power section
The freedom we feel in our souls
We dance to learn those lessons
As our story continues to unfold
Our beat our words our melodies our gifts
From the givers of those gifts
We’re merely the terminals through which they have passed
So as you struggle to find the feel with your feet
Ask yourself, can you really dance to my beat?

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Battling with the Monster

When I initially started this blog, I imagined a canvas for me to share my daily experiences with finding the positive side of situations, particularly those that were less than favourable. However, whenever I come to it, I am stumped to draw out ones I feel are worth posting. It's reality dawning on me that perhaps this persistent optimism is not as easy to relay! Even though I practice it religiously!

But it brings me to think about the world we live in. Pessimism is regarded as an embracing of reality and optimism is frowned upon as naivete. It's no wonder that misery has reached pandemic proportions globally! We should really take a good look at ourselves and figure out why we hate ourselves so much — because that is what we express when we see no positivity in our world.

I watched a movie a few months ago with a friend. The movie was a celebration of optimism and hope and while I came out of it feeling very light and encouraged, he came out of it disappointed that it had a happy ending! As we talked we started questioning film criticism and how it is often the dark pessimistic films that are heralded. Skepticism abounds when people are happy. Even in day to day life, how often do we doubtingly frown at people who claim to be content? We seriously need to check this condition because it is in no way constructive to our own or other's growth and progress.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Relief working Overtime

"Had I not been subject to darkness I could not have seen the light."

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Fortunate, Unfortunate?

"There once lived a farmer. He lived on a farm with his wife, his son and one horse that the family had raised from a colt. The family planned to enter the horse in the annual county fair and hoped it would win prizes that could lead to breeding opportunities. This would ensure a nice future income for the farmer and his family.

The night before the fair, a violent storm swept over the countryside. When the farmer and his family awoke early the next morning, they found that the fences had been blown down. Their prize stallion was nowhere to be found. The farmer's wife was beside herself with despair. The neighbours came and joined in the wife's grief.

"What terrible misfortune has befallen us!" cried the wife. "Yes, yes, this is most unfortunates,"the neighbours agreed. But the farmer said, "Fortunate or unfortunate, I don't know, let's wait and see."

A week passed and the farmer and his family were sitting at the breakfast table. Looking out the kitchen window they saw a herd of horses galloping toward the farm. It was their faithful stallion, leading five horses and a little filly behind him. He had found a herd of wild mares, and now he was bringing them home. The farmer's family ran out to open the corral gate for the horses. The farmer's wife was overjoyed and exclaimed, "What a fortunate turn of events, this is unbelievable!" The neighbours rushed over exclaiming, "How fortunate you are!" The farmer just said, "Fortunate or unfortunate, I don't know, let's wait and see."

Over the next weeks the farmer and his son were busy training the new horses. One day the son was thrown by one of the wild horses. He suffered a bad fall and broke many bones. The farmer's wife was very upset. Between her sobs she said, "We never should have let those wild horses in; this is a most unfortunate accident! My poor son." The neighbours came to commiserate with the wife about her misfortune. And the farmer said, "Fortunate or unfortunate, I don't know, let's wait and see."

Two days later the king's soldiers came by the little farm. THe king had declared war on an adjacent country and the soldiers had orders to draft all able-bodied young men into the army. On seeing the farmer's son with both legs and both arms broken, not to mention several ribs fractured and numerous lacerations on his face and head, they left him home and continued on to the next family. The farmer's wide wept with relief, crying, "How lucky we are! This is most unfortunate." The neighbours most of whom had had sons taken off to war, said, "You are indeed most fortunate." The farmer said, "Fortunate or unfortunate, I don't know, let's wait and see."

Some months passed. The farmer's son was recovering nicely; he was able to walk, albeit with a cane. A messenger from the kings palace dropped by the farm to inquire about the health of the son. Seeing the son's improved condition he stated that by order of the king, the son must come at once to the palace to work in the gardens and stables. There was a shortage of workers at the palace due to the war. What could the family do but let their son go? The wife was bitterly angry and cursed the king for his unfairness. "How unfortunate we surely are! We have lost our only son and there will be no one to help us with the farm now." The neighbours came by to console the wife, murmuring, "What an unfortunate turn of events." The farmer just said, "Fortunate or unfortunate, I don't know, let's wait and see."

The king had a beautiful daughter. One day she looked out of her window and saw the handsome new gardener. She fell in love with him and went to her father and said, "Father, I have found the man I wish to marry. Please make it happen!" The king, unable to resist a request from his lovely daughter replied, "Of course, it shall be done."

The next day a messenger was sent from the palace to the farm, bearing a wedding invitation for the farmer and his wife, as well as an invitation for them to come live permanently at the palace. Can you imagine the reaction of the farmer's wife? She was ecstatic and could hardly contain her joy. Jumping up and down she laughed, "This is incredible, how fortunate!" The neighbours exclaimed, "Indeed, this is a very fortunate turn of events!" And the farmer, as usual, saidâ€_!"

(a story from Jivamukti Yoga)