Tuesday, January 5, 2016

A collection of blogs for various purposes...

My collection of blogs for various purposes:

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Give something

December 25

If a person is hungry, we should give them bread. When there is no bread, we can at least give words that nourish. To a person who looks ill or is physically frail, we can turn the conversation to some subject that will lift their spirits and fill them with the hope and determination to get better. Let us give something to each person we meet: joy, courage, hope, assurance, philosophy, wisdom, a vision for the future. Let us always give something.

Daisaku Ikeda, SGI President

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Offer a Prayer! That's the least we could do

Have been doing some thinking... 

The world is getting more and more inter-connected.  With the advancement of technology, particularly the popularity of the new media, news from all over the world are made available to us at an alarming rate unprecedented in the history of mankind.    

These news include both good and bad news.  Given the myriad amount of information bombarding at us, we can do one of two things when we learn about disasters happening around the world.  We can either be apathetic or empathetic.

As can be observed in our society, we have more people who are apathetic than empathetic.  

Being human, I believe none of us start out being unfeeling.  It's just that after being exposed to seeing and hearing tragedies happening ever so often around the world that people become so accustomed to them that they eventually become indifferent and resume their way of life in the state of normalcy.  They would be thinking, "After all, what can I possibly do anyway?"

On the other end of the spectrum, there are others who would be totally overwhelmed by such news of tragedy that they would yearn for the end of the world to come sooner so as to end their and others' sufferings sooner.  

This is a dangerous mode of thinking, I must say.  Surely, all things that live, will die sooner or later.  However, there is absolutely no necessity to hasten the death of any individual or group of people or organisms on Earth!

Fortunately, there is something called "prayer" -- that is the invention of our human race.    

Given our short human history, there exist so many religions around the world.  It is not the purpose of my write-up here to argue on the superiority of any particular religion.  However, suffice it to say, any prayer (regardless of which religious affiliation), coupled with concrete actions, for the happiness of people around the world and for the attainment of World Peace, will go a long way in making this world a better place for us and others to live in.

Hence, 
in order not to be deemed as apathetic and inhumane;
at the same time not to be overwhelmed by empathy that we become dysfunctional in carrying out our normal role, let us offer our sincere PRAYERS (based on whatever religious affiliation you are having) for the happiness of the victims of accidents,  natural disasters or political plight all over the world.   

I feel that so long as we can start to do this (offering up sincere prayers) for suffering people that we come to know, we are resolving the uneasiness in our hearts -- progressing from apathy to empathy.  

Of course, offering prayers is the very least we could do.  
Should anyone feel  that they want to do more in terms of rendering physical or financial help to alleviate the sufferings of people in any part of the world, by all means.  :)

I hereby, not just wish but, pray for a happy 2014 for everyone that I know, and for World Peace!


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Fwd: FW: The Power of Nonviolence

Dr. Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi and founder of the M.K. 

Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence, in his June 9 lecture at the University of
Puerto Rico, shared the following story as an example of nonviolence in
parenting:

"I was 16 years old and living with my parents at the institute my
grandfather had founded 18 miles outside of Durban, South Africa, in
the middle of the sugar plantations. We were deep in the country and had no
neighbors, so my two sisters and I would always look forward to going
to town to visit friends or go to the movies. One day, my father asked me
to drive him to town for an all-day conference, and I jumped at the
chance.

"Since I was going to town, my mother gave me a list of groceries she
needed and, since I had all day in town, my father ask me to take care of
several pending chores, such as getting the car serviced. When I dropped my
father off that morning, he said, "I will meet you here at 5:00 p.m., and we will go home together."

"After hurriedly completing my chores, I went straight to the nearest
movie theatre. I got so engrossed in a John Wayne double-feature that I
forgot the time. It was 5:30 before I remembered. By the time I ran to the garage and got the car and hurried to where my father was waiting for me, it was almost 6:00.

"He anxiously asked me, 'Why were you late?" I was so ashamed of
telling him I was watching a John Wayne western movie that I said, 'The car wasn't ready, so I had to wait," not realizing that he had already called the
garage.

"When he caught me in the lie, he said: "There's something wrong in the
way I brought you up that didn't give you the confidence to tell me the
truth. In order to figure out where I went wrong with you, I'm going to walk
home 18 miles and think about it."

"So, dressed in his suit and dress shoes, he began to walk home in the
dark on mostly unpaved, unlit roads. I couldn't leave him, so for
five-and-a-half hours I drove behind him, watching my father go through this agony for a stupid lie that I uttered. I decided then and there that I was never
going to lie again.

"I often think about that episode and wonder, if he had punished me the
way we punish our children, whether I would have learned a lesson at all. I
don't think so. I would have suffered the punishment and gone on doing
the same thing. But this single nonviolent action was so powerful that it
is still as if it happened yesterday. That is the power of nonviolence."

By Dr. Arun Gandhi


[forwarded from an email]

Monday, July 29, 2013

Give something... words of encouragement

There may be some people who, for one reason or another, have no room in their hearts to enjoy the beauty of flowers. They come home from work, complain about their day, and go to sleep. We can try to help them change their mindset by drawing their attention to the beauty of flowers or a work of art. That often is enough to get them to open their hearts and minds to all sorts of new possibilities.
[GT6-July-30]

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

1. The Worries and Hopes of Youth

... It is especially important not to leave behind regrets about your teens, the time to establish the all-important foundation for the rest of your lives.

...I would like all of you to experience the satisfaction of having accomplished something -- it doesn't matter what -- in your own way and capacity, even if it's something as simple as cleaning, participating in club activities, doing volunteer work or whatever.  The main thing is to be satisfied knowing that you've contributed something, that you've done your best.  Please become individuals of whom others can say with admiration: "There is something different about him that sets him apart" or "She is someone I can really respect."


Press forward in the midst of problems

... Please do not allow yourselves to succumb to negativity and cynicism.  Suffering is to be found in any era.  Youth is a time of problems, pain and confusion.
  And grades are probably not the only source of worry or anguish you face.  You may have problems at home, with your health, with how you feel about your looks, with  members of the opposite sex or with friends.  Feelings of pain, insecurity, frustration and sadness may assail you.  Youth means grappling with all kinds of problems.  It means resolving them, in spite of all difficulties, pushing aside the dark clouds of despair and advancing toward the sun, toward hope.  This strength is the hallmark of youth.
  Having problems, making mistakes or feeling regrets is only natural.  What's important is to be undefeated by them.  In the midst of worries and struggles, always look forward and advance.
  Suppose you are lost in the jungle.  You want to find your way out and reach the ocean but don't know which way to go.  What do you do?  The answer is to keep moving ahead, taking a course that leads to a river.  If you follow the river downstream, you will eventually reach the ocean.


A great leader is a friend to the suffering

... A famous person once told his son, "Your grades can be mediocre, but please become a person of outstanding character."  Greatness as a human being is not determined by educational background or social position.  Even people who graduate from top universities may engage in criminal activities.  And there are some among the so-called elite who are overbearing and arrogant.  I want  I want to foster leaders, not elitists.
   A truly great person is a friend to those in suffering, pain and misery.  Such a person can be called a leader of the new century.

   More often than not in today's society, the suffering and disadvantaged are ostracized, despised and pushed to the margins.  Many of our current leaders are guilty of doing this.  This is deplorable mistake.

  Study should be for the purpose of finding a way to help those who are suffering.  Many leaders today, however, look down on them and only add to their misery.  There is no society as cruel, arrogant, cold or cowardly as ours.
...

(Not getting into a school of first choice)

Not attending the school of your choice may certainly be disappointing.  But viewed in the long term and from the essential point of study, it doesn't really matter that you graduate from a well-known school.

... Mr Toda: "Become an inspiration for those who cannot attend good schools."  Those who start out under difficult circumstances and go on to become first-rate individuals can be sources of hope and inspiration for many.  Pelase remember always that academic background isn't everything.

    At any rate, since you have been accepted to a school -- even if it is not your first choice and regardless of how society judges it -- it's important to decide that the place where you are is the very best, that it is the perfect place for you to learn all you want.  This way of thinking is far more constructive and beneficial in the long t=run.
  It's foolish to allow your confidence to be undermined by the opinions of others.  You are all in your teens; limitless possibilities are open to all of you.

_____
(The obove is excerpted from Discussions on Youth by Daisaku Ikeda, pg 6)





Takeaways from "Discussion on Youth"

Introduction
Preface by SGI President Ikeda
Editor's Note

Part One: The Hopes of Youth
1. The Worries and Hopes of Youth
2. Youth: A time to challenge
3. Friendship and Perspectives on life

Part Two: The Heartbeat of Youth
4. What is Love?
5. Finding Happiness in Your Work
6. What is a Global Citizen?ddddddddd
7. Bridging Out your Best
8. What is Kindness?
9. The essence of human rights

Part Three: Youth and Self-Improvement
10. The Joy of Reading
11. Knowing History is Knowing Yourself
12. Appreciating Art and Culture
13. Dialogue with Nature
14. Discovering Great Literature

Part Four: Youth and Faith
15. Why Do We Chant Every Day?
16. Why Do We Have an Organization?
17. Weaving the Fabric of Peace

Part Five: The Questions of Youth

18. What is Freedom?
19. What is Individuality?
20. What is the Power of Prayer?


Part Six: Youth and the Future
21. What is a Good Friend?
22. It Takes Courage
23. Why are the Good Despised?
24. Why Go to College?

Part Seven: The Energy of Youth
25.  Life and Death Are One

Postscript

Appendix A: You are the Hope of the World
Appendix B: Youth are struggling between problems and hopes