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THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO HAPPINESS

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A week ago, a dear friend of mine called me. “Gerry, my daughter has put together some of her writings in the form of a book. She wants to show you. Can we come over this afternoon?”
I was very happy to hear what my friend said, and, so, I immediately said, “Please come over.”
We met around 3 in the noon, that day.
The young one had just given her twelfth-standard exams. She spoke to me with exceptional self-confidence and matching body-language which was a delight to behold. She spoke about the reason why she had started writing… Most of the writings were written as personal notes in a journal. I could instantly relate to such writings, as I, too, had started keeping notes quite early, say at the age of 17-18… Just a line or two, which read almost like small poems… expressing my joy, pain, confusion, fear, envy, anger and everything that I was experiencing… As I was extremely shy and suffered from low-confidence, I had found the medium of writing very comforting and liberating. Slowly,…

NATURE ALWAYS WEARS THE COLOURS OF THE SPIRIT

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“Nature always wears the colours of the spirit.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Elvis has joined our on-going P.D. programme. He also has enrolled for twelfth-standard Accountancy subject. Both his parents work. So, this morning, his mother messaged me, “Sir, wanted to know about  the progress of Elvis, both in P.D. and Accountancy.”
“Ma’am, he is doing well in both,” I replied. “He is fully involved… His Accountancy basics are falling in place, and in P.D., his participation is excellent.”
“He tells us about it, sir… and, he is very happy, too,” Elvis’ mother wrote back, “But I wanted to hear from you.”
Then, she added this: “Sir, Elvis doesn’t attend church regularly… Can you please guide him? I think it’s very important and I get worked up because he doesn’t attend mass. I don’t want to force him… He should realize the importance.”
I took a long breath before I responded to Elvis’ mother’s concern. “Ma’am, you are asking a wrong person to advise your son on going to church!” I thought in my mind.…

FOR EVERY POISONOUS SOUL, THERE ARE NINE VIRTUOUS OUT THERE

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One of the things I keep reinforcing in my mind and heart both is: this world has more good than bad. For every poisonous soul, there are nine virtuous out there. Despite our sinful nature, we are more aligned to God than to Satan…
We all have the capability of committing big crimes – murder, loot and rape… yes, we all do. But, nine out of ten don’t fall to this level…. We don’t commit such crimes…
Our personal values, social values, religious values, universal values… Yes, most of us are conscious of them… we are guided and saved by them…
One out of ten – that one is one of us – falls. Fails… kills, roots and rapes.
It has nothing to do with our religion. For, no religion encourages it... It’s simply a fall from Grace!
Saudi Arabia, perhaps, has the most stringent punishment for committing crimes… I understand, they cut your hand and pluck your eyes if you kill, loot and rape... They hang you publicly. That’s the kind of punishment most of us cry for whenever an innocent soul is gang-rap…

LOVE IS PATIENT... IT ALWAYS WAITS

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One of the most comforting lines in the Bible is: “Love is patient, love is kind… It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres.”
Always. Yes, Love is patient… It always waits!

Two days ago, a parent brought along his 16-year-old daughter to enroll for our P.D. course. Though hadn’t studied beyond tenth standard, he came about as one of the most educated and encouraging parents. During the course of our discussion, he spoke about his older daughter. “She is our darling,” he showed her picture from his phone, “She will complete 25 years on 16th of this month and I will be completing 50 on the 18th. So, we will be celebrating in a grand way. Do come Sir.”
It did not take me even a single second to understand the situation. The older girl was born with some physical and mental challenge and has remained confined to the wheelchair for twenty-five years. I was told – and I could feel – that, she was truly a darling of their family!
Acceptance m…

PARKHI MAA KAAN VINDHE

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A 16-year-old boy, by the name Aarya, called me up, last afternoon. He wanted to join our ongoing Personality Development course. He said, “Sir, can you give me all the details so that I can discuss them with my parents?”
I gave Aarya all the details, and, within the next two hours, his mother called me up. “Sir, my husband and I will come along with Aarya tomorrow morning at 9 to enroll him. Is that fine?”
“Perfectly fine, ma’am,” I said.
Today. Sharp at 9, Aarya - a lean-and-tall boy who has just given his tenth-standard Board-exams – was here in my office accompanied by his parents.
This was a different experience for me, today. Normally, the parents ask me a dozen questions, like: “Sir, what do you teach in PD?”… “How do you go about it?”… “Will they be confident after the course?”… “Do you take out fear from them?”… “What about English - Will they be fluent… Will you teach them good vocabulary and diction?”… “Will they be ‘perfect’?... “Do you give us guarantee?”… And, even, this: …

TINA'S WAY OF BUILDING HER SELF-CONFIDENCE

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When God created Adam out of soil, He created only a statue. What made this Statue a ‘living creature’ was the ‘breath of Life’ that God blew into this otherwise lifeless piece of art…
Breath of Life… Wow! The Holy Book says, that Man was created in the image of God!
What is this ‘image of God’?
Frankly, I do not know. But, if God gave man the freedom of choice – which includes the freedom to rebel against Him – He also gave man a conscience… that ‘shrill voice’ within us, which works just like a ‘lie detector’!
If I come to know, deep inside, whether I am being honest or dishonest, to me, that is conscience. I do not need a theological or philosophical definition to understand it…
God did a great job – rather a favour to His children: When He breathed Life into Adam… He put a conscience inside!
So, to me, Death is not when our heart stops working… Death is when our conscience stops working…
‘Conscience is dead’... Don’t we say this, hear this?

A couple of days ago, Tina*, a twelfth-stan…

WHEN WE STOP GROWING IN SOMEONE ELSE'S SHADOW

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An articulate lady, who I knew for many years, had come to meet me, yesterday. One of her friends wanted to enroll her 16-year-old daughter and 11-year-old son for our P.D. Course. The friend was a shy person and wanted the articulate lady to do the talking for her. I made the shy woman feel comfortable and spoke to her mostly in Hindi…But, it was not helping. The daughter and son were very fluent in English… Their mother seemed a lot apprehensive and diffident.
“Sir, please talk to her in Hindi,” pleaded the articulate lady whenever she heard me using English, “She feels stressed.”
I comforted the anxious woman by telling my own story… My schooling in the local vernacular-medium school in my village… how I dreaded speaking in English as a teenager and how it added to my inferiority complex… and, importantly, how I overcame my problem, eventually…
I looked at the 16-year-old daughter and 11-year-old son of the worried woman and said, “You both should help your mom… Teach her simple word…
THE WILD, WAYSIDE FLOWERS
There is, always, something extra-ordinary in the wild, wayside flowers...