Monday, September 30, 2013

WHEN YOUR CHILD BECOMES INSECURE





















Pic.: Fr. Reginald Pinto

The other day, I was discussing something with a gentleman, and, suddenly the discussion turned quite heated. I was in my usual form - as gentle and passionate I could be… but, not aggressive. The other person went quite ballistic, with unpalatable language. Yes, the matter pertained to someone else; nothing was aimed at me… Yet, I was trying to help him see the necessity of being less brash and aggressive. Obviously, he had not appreciated my view; and, he was justifying his method by being more vocal, more aggressive, now.

Just then, his 7-year-old son stormed into the room. Perhaps, he had heard the familiar voice of his dad while playing with his friends outside. The gentleman quickly asked his little-one to go outside and play. But, the little-one refused to go. “No, I want to be here,” he said.

“Raja, I told you to go out and play,” the father reminded the son, “here, our meeting is going on.”

“No, I want to be here,” the little fellow declared, looking at me.

“Don’t you understand what I am telling you?” This time, the father was telling his son, “You better…”

“What happened? You are angry with this uncle?”

I got up immediately, ran my hand over the little one’s soft head and said, “No Raja… Dad is not angry with me. He is my friend; we were just talking loudly.”

Saying so, I decided to go outside. “This is more important,” I told the gentleman as I was leaving, “Not our discussion.”

The man had used very provocative language aimed, as I told you, at someone else who wasn’t there in the room. Probably, the son had heard his dad doing it quite often at home and elsewhere, too. I quickly sensed, that the child had rushed to the spot on hearing his dad’s voice because he (little-one) was afraid, insecure…

I felt really bad for being a part of such negative contribution to the little-fellow’s growth. The only thing I could think of to salvage the situation was to tell the little-one, lovingly and sincerely, “No Raja, your dad is not angry with me… He is my friend; we are just talking loudly.”


“Don’t use bad words.”

“Don’t quarrel with your friends.”

“Be gentle to everyone around.”

“Say sorry when you make mistakes.”

“Respect others.”

“Don’t talk ill at someone’s back.”

“Be a good example.”




Why do we tell all this to our little-ones? 

How would they ever learn the value of 

these values unless we walk our talks?



That evening, I really felt guilty for doing such things - many, many times before - myself. This time around, it was the other guy who was so abusive and repulsive… But, the little-one’s insecurities couldn’t allow me to stay there even for a second more…

It was important, I felt, the dad had to make his little son feel secure!



Do we all do such things?

I have done it, often… though less now.

Yes, I have failed to realize what is important in times like that!



GERALD D”CUNHA



Sunday, September 29, 2013

BEING MAGNANIMOUS IN OUR VICTORIES









Pic.: Neetu Sharma Sachdeva

Today, our housing society had its AGM. I was chairing it for the fifth time in a row. This is our last year in office. The faith placed in us by our members, their co-operation and the support, all along these years – have been overwhelming and humbling to say the least.

Like in all Co-operative Societies, we, too, had been struggling to deal with some real challenges posed by a small group of members. It had been relentlessly going on for years, despite the large section of our members appealing to the concerned group in every possible meeting, and, also, outside the meetings… But, in vain. Every effort to appeal to the conscience of the group has failed, so far; the group has remained adamant and the personal vendetta continues with no hope of reconciliation in sight.

In Life, our ego-trips are like our Tiger safari. Before we get on Tiger’s back, we assume we are up to some great joy-ride… But, fools we are to do that… Stupid, dumb idiots! Once we are on his back, it is tough – almost impossible - to get off!

So, this group, which chose to take this Tiger safari some seven years ago, is, now, caught-up in a catch-22 situation…

Well, I am mentioning all this, here, not to wash our dirty linens in public… I am doing it, here, because, in all through our frustrating and harrowing moments, our General Body – the real voice of our society - stood by us, supported us, empowered us, helped us pass every major resolution, gave us strength to fight half-a-dozen court cases… and, like in true spirit of a Co-operative Society, gave us hope to strive for unity, harmony and progress. We are a very simple folk… with very simple aspirations… Our General Body had found us, the Managing Committee, worthy of its trust…

And, so, we have sailed this long, taking along our folk, to realize our simple, collective aspirations…

You may be clueless as to why I am writing on this subject…


In our agenda, today, we had proposed a certain source of revenue. It was done so with the sole objective of generating revenue to our Society and enable it to build a buffer for the future. Many members had suggested us to include it in this agenda, and several other members were happy that it was included. However, last few days, I have been approached by a very small pocket of members, who would be directly affected by this move. They knew very clearly, that the proposal would be carried through hands down in the AGM as the overwhelming majority was for it.

However, heeding to the earnest appeal of the small minority, we encouraged the concerned members to voice out their anxieties and concern, freely and fearlessly, which they did. As a norm, a vote was taken after that. In this vote, today, as expected, the overwhelming majority was in support of the proposal. We could have gone about passing a suitable resolution to this effect.

But, what we did was a little unusual. Spontaneously, I voiced my personal view that, though it was clear that we could get it passed, we should refrain from it… just to respect a small minority which, all along our tumulus times, had stood by us as our real cheerleaders. My spontaneous suggestion was immediately applauded by one and all, including my own colleagues.

Honestly, I felt a lot good about it.


I had first heard about the legend of Alexander-the-Great showing his magnanimity to his captive, King Porus, in my school text-book. Ever since then, I had loved the phrase ‘Being magnanimous, both, in victory and defeat’.

As the Commander-in-chief of our own army, we had just won…



But, when we did what we spontaneously did, 

I realized how it felt to be magnanimous 

in one’s victory…


I felt like a true Emperor, after this unusual victory of our hearts…

I couldn't wait to share my feelings…


GERALD D’CUNHA

Saturday, September 28, 2013

WE LOVE, LEARN AND GROW ONLY THROUGH OUR VULNERABILITIES
















Pic.: Neerja Panchal

In the class today, a young-one asked me, “Sir, what do mean by being vulnerable?”

Spontaneously, there was a loud laughter in the class, and our young-one did not know what was happening… why others were laughing… It made him feel stupid and a lot embarrassed.

When the laughter subsided, I said this to the young-man: “When you had asked me that question, with all your honesty and openness, what you had done was you had trusted me and your friends around… and, in that trust, you had allowed your heart to open… But, you had never thought that your question would be greeted by ridicule or rudeness… You just trusted, remained sincere to your heart and opened up… In the process, you made yourself very vulnerable.” I continued, “Probably, you must be thinking in your mind, “What a stupid thing I did? Why did I ask that question at all? How come everybody else knows the meaning and I don’t? There must be something wrong with my intelligence… and, so on.”

“Only when you trust someone, your heart is able to open up,” I told the class, “and, till your heart is not able to open up, it is unable to love, learn, forgives celebrate, respect and grow.”

Others had laughed. “Can you tell me, why did you laugh at your friend’s question?” I asked one of my students.

He did not know why… Everyone was laughing; so, he had joined them.



Because we do not know how our openness will be received by others, we simply remain closed… And, look, what a tragedy that is: we fail to experience life!





Being vulnerable may hurt, many a times. 

It may sound like the ‘stupidest thing’ 

we ever did in life… 

and it may look like a massive weakness…



No sir, No. It is not a massive weakness… It is a massive strength!

To love, learn, feel joy and gratitude, to feel blessed and graceful… to experience hope and brotherhood… to feel healed and free… yes, for all these wonderful experiences to settle in our hearts, our hearts need to open up… become vulnerable before those we love, those we live and grow with.

Elisabeth Shue had said, beautifully:



“I understand now that vulnerability I’ve always felt is the greatest strength a person can have. You can’t experience life without feeling life. What I’ve learned is that being vulnerable to somebody you love is not a weakness, it’s strength.”



GERALD D’CUNHA

WE LOVE, LEARN AND GROW ONLY THROUGH OUR VULNERABILITY





















Pic.: Neerja Panchal

In the class today, a young-one asked me, “Sir, what do mean by being vulnerable?”

Spontaneously, there was a loud laughter in the class, and our young-one did not know what was happening… why others were laughing… It made him feel stupid and a lot embarrassed.

When the laughter subsided, I said this to the young-man: “When you had asked me that question, with all your honesty and openness, what you had done was you had trusted me and your friends around… and, in that trust, you had allowed your heart to open… But, you had never thought that your question would be greeted by ridicule or rudeness… You just trusted, remained sincere to your heart and opened up… In the process, you made yourself very vulnerable.” I continued, “Probably, you must be thinking in your mind, “What a stupid thing I did? Why did I ask that question at all? How come everybody else knows the meaning and I don’t? There must be something wrong with my intelligence… and, so on.”

“Only when you trust someone, your heart is able to open up,” I told the class, “and, till your heart is not able to open up, it is unable to love, learn, forgives celebrate, respect and grow.”

Others had laughed. “Can you tell me, why did you laugh at your friend’s question?” I asked one of my students.

He did not know why… Everyone was laughing; so, he had joined them.



Because we do not know how our openness will be received by others, we simply remain closed… And, look, what a tragedy that is: we fail to experience life!





Being vulnerable may hurt, many a times. 

It may sound like the ‘stupidest thing’ 

we ever did in life… 

and it may look like a massive weakness…



No sir, No. It is not a massive weakness… It is a massive strength!

To love, learn, feel joy and gratitude, to feel blessed and graceful… to experience hope and brotherhood… to feel healed and free… yes, for all these wonderful experiences to settle in our hearts, our hearts need to open up… become vulnerable before those we love, those we live and grow with.

Elisabeth Shue had said, beautifully:



“I understand now that vulnerability I’ve always felt is the greatest strength a person can have. You can’t experience life without feeling life. What I’ve learned is that being vulnerable to somebody you love is not a weakness, it’s strength.”



GERALD D’CUNHA


Thursday, September 26, 2013

YES, IF GOD IS WITH US, WHO CAN BE AGAINST US?





















Pic.: Anima D'Cunha



The main reason why the story of the ‘Mahabharat’ is still popular today is that it is such a true story!

What happened thousands of years ago, in the lives of Pandavas and Kauravas, happens today, too… and it will continue to happen…

Love and hatred… Courage and fear… Large-heartedness and jealousy…  Righteousness and wickedness… War and peace…

And, what is so endearing about this story is Lord himself comes among humans, the mortals, to teach them how to deal with their difficult times… how not to get panicked, cynical and cowardly in life. Yes, how to stay strong and stay long in the battlefields…

Krishna came on the Earth just as Christ did… It is something very reassuring… and, I think, that’s the main reason why we still go back to the stories of the Mahabharat and the Gospel.

We brothers fight, just the way the sons of Pandu and Dhritarashra did. And, like them, we are either the ones who start the fight or the ones who do not want the fight. The sons of Dhritarashra, the Kauravas, wanted the fight to take place… The sons of Pandu, the Pandavas, did not want it to happen…

Pandavas wanted peace… harmony, brotherhood…

The Kauravas’ intention was the opposite…

And, finally, the war came about!

And, behold! There is Lord Krishna on the side of Pandavas… The side that did not want war… the side that wanted peace and brotherhood!



It is He, who tells us – the Arjunas – to fight like real warriors when the war is brought upon us…

I like this part of the story: Yes, avoid war at any cost. But, when it is brought upon you, stand up and fight like a real Arjuna… and, along the way, triumph over all your doubts, anxieties and fears…!

I consider, it is a spiritual experience, if, even in the midst of our bitter battles, our hearts yearn for harmony and brotherhood… If our hearts do not wish our brothers’ destruction… 




If we fight to finish the other person, 

there is nothing spiritual about it…



But, if it is to finish ill-will, and triumph over our doubts, anxieties and fears… Yes, the fight will leave us refined, enriched…

Lord will be on our side…

So, if Lord Himself is with us, who can be against us?



GERALD D’CUNHA



Wednesday, September 25, 2013

GOOD FOR YOU...




















Pic.: Neerja Panchal


A good friend of mine regularly attends self-development workshops. I like that. But, what I don’t like is this: He keeps reminding his friends, including me, to attend some of them. “It is fantastic… You shouldn’t miss it,” he reminds his friends.

So much is so good. But, my friend keeps calling you, and reminding you, about the same… and, you really are not interested, not just excited about it. But, he is… “It is great… awesome… just mind-blowing!”

No, it doesn’t blow your mind at all…

He persists…

You resist…

My friend really means well for me. So, he wants me to attend the workshop and benefit from it. He doesn’t have any other intention like earning some commission or other gains.

Today, when my friend had called me, I told him, “My friend, I am really happy that you found the workshop fantastic… It is really good for you. But, I am not keen to attend it now… Let’s see sometime later.”

If my friend still insists, he is into hard-selling. If he respects my decision, and leaves me alone, he is being a good friend…

My friend, today, respected my decision… and, did not push too much.

There were times, I had loved a particual book, video or a movie, and, then, excited about it, I had tried to persuade my son to read or watch it. Remember, here, that my intention was good… I meant well for my son. But, would my son be excited equally?

“Dad, I am glad, you loved the book/video/movie,” my son would respond, “It is really good for you.”

After that, if I said a word more, it would only backfire!

What is good for me, is not necessarily good for my son or my friend. No, not at all. Similarly, what is good for my son or my friend is not necessarily good for me. No, not at all!

Call it ‘space’ in relationship or call it ‘respecting others’ freedom of choice’… whatever, if we are trying to inform, educate, and convince others beyond a certain point, it means we are trying to manipulate them.

Our intentions should be clean. Our actions should come from love, concern and respect. And, so, by all means, we should let our loved ones know what we find good for us… and, we should leave it at that…




If we don’t, we should be ready to face 

the tension in relationship.



Whenever someone says, “Good for you,” he mostly means, “I am glad for you!” But, it can, also, mean, “I don’t give a damn!”... or, "Please, leave me alone!"

Yes, it all depends what intentions do we really bear in our hearts!



GERALD D’CUNHA

Saturday, September 21, 2013

LOOK, NO ONE SAID ANYTHIING ABOUT ME...





















Pic.: Rajiv Sharma






“Remember, this meeting never took place.”…

“Remember, this conversation never took place.”



Whenever I have come across this movie dialogue, I have immensely liked it. The person saying this wants to convey: Look, it is private… only between you and me. No one else should come to know about it.

When I think of this dialogue, I feel very inspired, too. The reason for that is: It is the fear of what people will think… and what might be its consequences… yes, that makes us tensed, all the time.

For example, if someone says something nasty about me, in public, I might feel offended or angry. I might even react to it, immediately. If the same thing is said in private, when there is nobody around, I might take it a lot differently…

So, it is clear from this, that the value we have attached to other people’s opinion… yes, it makes all the difference.

Is it possible for us to separate what someone says about us from our interpretation about it?

It is interesting… 




If my mood is nasty, even some mild words 

are enough to sound and sting them as nasty…



On the other hand, if my mood is peppy, even the most caustic words can just pass over my shoulders, like the evening breeze!

So, is it possible to really imagine, when someone says something very nasty about us, that he did not say that at all? More so, when he has said it in public view?”

Maybe, difficult… but, quite possible.

I have seen this working… and, making me feel a lot good about myself. But, yes, not very often, that is…



Today, someone did say something very ‘offending’ about me in others’ presence… Luckily, my mood was peppy… and I remembered the movie dialogue – “Look, this conversation did not take place, at all” – and, I smiled…

The breeze just passed over my shoulders…

The meeting had never taken place…

No one had said anything.



GERALD D’CUNHA






Friday, September 20, 2013

IF OUR GIFTS ARE NOT WRAPPED WITH HUMILITY...


















Pic.: Neerja Panchal


Knowing our talents and strengths is the cornerstone of our self-confidence. And, being pride-swollen by them is its tombstone!

I am a very strong advocate of the former: know your talents and strengths… “Your confidence in life stands on this knowledge,” I keep reminding the young-ones. But, I, also, remind them that the knowledge about our God-given gifts and our unique strengths should be balanced by equal amount of humility. “Humility is a great strength, a great virtue… Let every other virtue of yours, and every other gift, be covered with this wrapper called – ‘Humility,” I try to convince them.

In fact, when God gives us our gifts, He, also, holds back from us something else, often, something very important. Perhaps, that’s to teach us humility in life… Keep us grounded.

The early we recognize this truth, the better for us.

Last evening, a mother had brought her 8-year-old to me. She wanted me to help the little one with a story-telling competition. And, the story she had selected was this:



Long time ago, there lived a Peacock in a forest. He was too proud of his beauty and dancing skills. This made him look down upon other birds in the forest.

One day, a crow tried to make friends with the Peacock. But, the proud Peacock mocked at the crow and said, "You are such a small and ugly creature… Your voice is irritating and you feed yourself on filth… People hate you and call you a scavenger… You must be just day-dreaming to be friends with me.” Then, the arrogant Peacock went on boasting about his beauty and dancing skills… He displayed his long and colorful tail and fanned out his brilliant feathers. He quivered gracefully, boastfully displaying his great dancing skills…

Suddenly, a leopard made a surprise attack from behind. The crow was swift to escape… He flew off and settled on a nearby tree-branch. But, the Peacock was not able to fly… God had blessed him with great beauty and dancing skills… but, He had not given him the flying skills…

The leopard grabbed the Peacock… and had him for his lunch!


I loved this old story about pride and humility. Apparently, the little-one, too, seemed to love it. I had a good time helping him tell it well…

The moral of the story is simple: 


If our gifts are not wrapped with humility, 

the leopard will come from behind!


GERALD D’CUNHA

Thursday, September 19, 2013

WILL I TAKE THE BUS WHEN MY FRIEND'S LIMO BREAKS DOWN?




 






Pic.: Neetu Sharma Sachdeva



A few days ago, I was watching on TV a documentary film on late Michael Jackson. It was titled – ‘MICHAEL JACKSON – The Life of an Icon’. It was produced by one of Jackson’s most loyal friends, David Gest (2011). Last years of this legend were traumatic and mercilessly humiliating for him. In spite of his mind-swirling fame, barely a few stood by the icon till his end. The rest of them deserted him.

One of the few souls who stood around Michael Jackson during his harrowing years was his mother. She knew he was innocent and was unfairly hounded… With her unflinching faith in her son, she would attend the volatile court sessions every day... She prayed and hoped that he would be vindicated. And, when that finally happened, she was the happiest soul on earth.

David Gest was one more friend of Michael Jackson, who remained loyal to the legend through all his good times and bad times… David’s view about his friend didn't change. His faith in the icon lasted rock-steady till the end… And, now, thorough this film, even after the legend was gone!

That night, I liked the film so much that I started wondering, if an superstar, as stupendously great as Michael Jackson, couldn't do anything to save himself from such horrendously public humiliation – which after all were for such silly reasons – and, if friends deserted him at his hour of humiliation and pain, what about us, the plain mortals?

I was really amazed to see the universal truth – that, people surround you in your glorious days, and shun you when your chips are down…




It happened to Jesus Christ…


It happens to all of us…




Only a few good friends, that’s all… The rest are the proverbial ‘Fair-weather friends’… and, that’s really an old story. An old truth!

Oprah Winfrey once said:
 

“Everyone wants to ride with you in the Limo; but, what you need is someone


who will take the bus with you when the Limo breaks down.”



Let me re-phrase this: What my friend needs is someone who will take the bus when his Limo breaks down…

Will I take the bus?

GERALD D’CUNHA



Tuesday, September 17, 2013

PAR BANDE ACHHE HAIN



















Pic.: Neerja Panchal



We express our love, concern and care for our loved ones in thousand different ways. Most of them are done quietly, without any ceremony around them… And, so, they hardly get noticed by our loved ones.

Yes, our parents, spouses, children and other dear-ones do thousand small-acts of love, concern and care for us… while we are totally ‘blind’ to those acts!

Obviously, we find them unloving, uncaring and irresponsible… and, we do scream at the top of our voices to let them know how we feel about it…

Our loved-ones do the same to us…

This means, we will eternally remain for each other – unloving, uncaring and irresponsible… Won’t we?



All acts of love are – and should be - soundless… quiet ones. The noise and ceremony around them, make them ugly, vulgar!

Whether we like it or not, and whether we are happy about it or not… unless we are able to open our eyes and hearts to all those soundless acts of love by our dear and near ones in life, we shall always keep cribbing about what we miss from them… what they do not offer us… how irresponsible and uncaring they are…

Yes sir, the small acts of love, care and concern… Thousands of such acts which keep popping up so regularly, every day in our lives… We need to pause and see them, savor them, value and cherish them…

Of what use are those diamonds and mansions… Of what value are those luxury cars and holidays… Of what worth are all those public displays of affection and publicity… yes, if in the silent corridors of our own hearts, we cannot acknowledge, value and celebrate those little acts which quietly come from our loved-ones’ hearts?

We all know how our dear-ones love us and care for us. Only thing we need to reinforce in our hearts is the fact that they do that in ways best known to them… and, with their best intentions… Yes, they do… Yes, they are good, they are caring and they are loving. And, more importantly, they ARE responsible…

Perhaps, that’s why we all love the ICICI-Prudential Insurance Company’s ad so much!











Dil ke poore bachhe hain
Par bande achhe hai…Par bande achhe hain,
Bhool Bhaal jaate hain,

thode kachhe hain….Par Bande achhe hain..
Par bande ache hain
Inki aadton ki,Hazaar kisse hain..
Par bande achhe hain,
Change vange hote nahin,
Par man ke sachhe hain,Par bande achhe hain.




And, behold the message this heart-warming ad (by  Lintas Lowe) ends with:


Jo zimmedari nibhate hain.

Jataate nahin…




GERALD D’CUNHA
Video: YouTube

Sunday, September 15, 2013

KANAKA'S WINDOW














Pic.: Anima D'Cunha

Last night, while watching the children’s programme in our Society’s Ganesh pandal, two of my dear friends (brother and sister) just joined us. They had come directly after visiting the famous Mount Mary shrine in Bandra. They were non-Christians and shared with me their experience with a great amount of delight. Looking at their happy faces, I, too, felt very happy.

I have been to Mother Mary’s shrine several times, before. But, in all my 34-year living in this city, I haven’t been there, even once, during the popular Fair-season! Honestly, the shrine has something magnetic about it… I have been alone there sometimes, and sometimes with my family… I have spent quite moments in solitude… and seen tears just rolling down my cheeks… But, then, during the most-awaited time of the year, I haven’t, at all, felt the calling in my heart… When others share their moving experiences at the Fair time, I feel glad… and, when they express their surprise on learning my status, I smile and share with them how moving had been my own experiences whenever I had spent my quite moments there.

And, at 11 this morning two of my other friends will be visiting Lal Baug ka Raja. They were trying hard, for many days, for a special dharshan through someone influential. Last night, my friends asked me if I was keen to join them. I was very pleased with the dharshan at our own place… and told my friends to go ahead and feel blessed. I am sure, they will come back, in deed, feeling blessed.

The famed 13th-century Krishna Temple (Mutt) in Udupi is just a stone-throw away from Mangalore where I was born and brought up. When I was in Primary school, we had a lesson by the title – ‘Kanakana Kindi’… meaning, Kanaka’s Window.

Kanaka Dasa ( 15th-century ), the well-known writer, poet, singer and composure was a passionate devotee of Lord Krishna. However, when he went to visit the famed shrine, the castist priests of the temple refused to let him in as he was born into a low-caste family. Not at all discouraged or angry, Kanaka settled himself behind the temple, in one corner, and spent hours and hours singing bhajans in praise of his beloved Icon… so much so that he was completely lost in his devotion. The legend has it that Lord Krishna was so pleased with the love and devotion of Kanaka, that He miraculously caused an opening on the Westside wall, turned His idol to offer His deserving devotee a special dharshan.

Today, a small window stands erected at the exact spot… and, every devotee who visits the Krishna temple in Udupi, desires to seek Lord’s blessings with a peep through this window… Yes, the folklore’s ‘Kanaka’s Window’. “Kanakana Kindi’.

I haven’t been for a dharshan at this famous shrine, either… although it shone barely an hour-away from my own birthplace.


There is religion and there is spirituality… I do feel strongly the presence of God in our day-to-day simple wayside-episodes. What moves our hearts, stirs our souls… causes goose bumps over our bodies, makes our eyes well in silent joy and gratitude… what makes us look small before the vast skies and the oceans… and what melts our ego at someone’s deathbed… or, what makes us soar high like falcons when a baby smiles…

Oh yes, yes… I strongly feel these are the spiritual moments… the moments Lord offers us His dharshan… Yes, I think, they are the Kanaka’s Windows He opens for us, when we go about our lives with our hearts full of love and devotion…


Sushil Shankar, a friend of mine, sent me, in my FB message-box, one of his wayside episodes. I am sharing it with you with his permission.

Years ago, when I lived in Sanpada , an incident I saw left an impression on my mind.
I was returning from work and got off the bus at Sanpada bus stop and was crossing the road towards the station.
On the road side, I saw a beggar, a car came and stopped in front of him and somebody threw a packet at him. It was a food packet, leftovers from their meal.
The man grabbed the packet and opened it, a dog which was nearby, smelled the food and came near to the man. Without hesitating the man took a handful and dropped the handful on the road side for the dog to eat.
I was amazed by the incident. This man didn’t know when his next meal would be; and, still, he graciously gave the food to the dog!
It was an incident which I still remember, because, we still can’t be like him…
He could give away from what he had…

I replied immediately:

Now, Sushil, it is such an ordinary - roadside incident - that it is hardly noticed by most of us... And, if you have 'paused to see it'... appreciate it, value it... that is what I call being spiritual in life. If that is not, nothing else is!
Allow me to write on this subject in my next post... Hope, you will not mind sharing your story, tomorrow.
Thanks…
LOVE.

Sushil responded:

Yes Sir, please go ahead and put it in better words, thank you.


In ‘better words’?

No Sushil, I have found none. Your wayside story brought alive in my heart the story I had read as a little kid – ‘Kanakana Kindi’… Yes, ‘Kanaka’s Window’…

If Lord Himself opens such windows for us, what else can be a better dharshan?

Yes, if that’s not being spiritual, nothing else is!


GERALD D’CUNHA

Saturday, September 14, 2013

ANGER IS OKAY... REVENGE IS NOT


















Pic.: Neerja Panchal 


“Holding on to anger is like drinking poison
and expecting the other person to die.”
 

-         Buddha

Anger is okay. If we bottle it up as victims, it kills us. If we hold on to it with hatred, it turns into revenge… And, hatred consumes us before it consumes the one who we hate… Revenge kills us first, then the other fellow!

Yes, anger is poison.. I have in my heart quite a lot of it… as everyone else has. And like most of my fellow-beings, I, too, express it by shouting and screaming sometimes - and, sometimes, too loudly; and, with that, there it goes – out of my window. I can, happily say that the other person is not hurt badly at all… In fact, after I have expressed my anger, strangely, he comes closer to me… Most of the times, it is so.

It’s a nice feeling. Very healing, too!

Having said such nice things about anger, I still advocate this: Our anger should not be allowed to become hatred and revenge. We have to let the other person know that we are angry and why… That’s fair enough, healthy. But, taking our anger too far is too dangerous. It is an act of self-destruction…

One who does it, knows it. Even though he may not admit it!

Our anger should help us become compassionate human beings… humbler and more spiritual. Luckily, for most of us, it does. Our fallibility with regard to anger, invariably, takes us closer to God… Yes, we seek His help, His grace…

Anger has to be expressed in an appropriate way… If we learn to channelize our anger into some creative work, the work will assume a distinct beauty about it. The mighty revolutions in history have come out of someone’s just anger… The mighty business empires, too, have come up through someone’s just anger… The greatest prayers in life, too, have their roots in anger…



Anger is there… It needs to be expressed in a way that would make us fine humans… Great humans.




I, always, say this: “The end of our anger 


is the birth of our compassion.”




If we ‘see’ the truth that we have anger in us… it helps us release it, end it. And, when it returns, all that we need to do is: ‘see’ the truth, again!




GERALD D’CUNHA