Tag: Participate

Buried or planted?

19-28 May-17- Buried or plantedWhen you come to a road block in life or when the future looks dark and gloomy, panic is inevitable, but worse still is the feeling of helplessness. Both panic and helplessness result in just one ending; giving up and surrendering without exploring alternatives/ opportunities / possibilities.

On the other hand when faced with a mountain/ road block / a spiked fence, look at it as a challenge to your ingenuity; a dare to be taken on. Find a way over it, under it or around it. The moment you think it is the end of the road; you will never see the pathways adjacent. It is almost like lying face down and burying your head in the mud. It is dark, musty, irritating and hopeless. What you need to do is not push downward to find a way out but turn over to see the sky the clouds and the infinite universe beckoning you. It is a paradigm shift but one which opens up completely new opportunities and possibilities.

Every individual must believe that he/ she is a seed that can still sprout and bear fruit. Age is no bar, you being healthy or not is not an issue, your status in life is no limitation; for you can always give of yourself to the world. Accept what comes your way, then adapt to the situation you find yourself in, search for a way to sprout and grow; it will take time it will take effort but it will be worth it.  Many of us are like discarded seeds found on the roadsides; full of potential but alas not planted. You need not be planted underground to sprout and grow. How many of us volunteer as blood donors; have a social cause that we engage in; take the effort to discharge our civic obligations like voting or become responsible citizens by avoiding use of plastic bags; segregating waste; following the rules of the road etc. Similarly, when planted underground as would be the case when one is faced with injustice or a debilitating disease, do I simply surrender or fight back? Can I file an RTI or make the effort to get the wrong corrected? Can I opt to be an organ donor? Can I participate in an awareness march or protest march to protect the environment or save more water and actively engage in similar such causes?

You are buried when you go underground without a whimper; you are planted when you can sprout and grow and display your presence especially in arid conditions.

Try these:

  1. Write a letter to the editor of the local newspaper sharing your concern and giving suggestions about a local social issue or problem that you feel very strongly about.
  2. Source the following:
  • The method of filing an RTI application
  • An eye donation / organ donation form
  • List of NGO’s working in the area of your social concern
  • The name and address of the authorities concerned to whom you can report a problem pertaining to your deepest concern e.g. garbage clearance / burst pipeline

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog


When do we really live?

Unless you give yourself to some great cause, you haven’t even begun to live. William P. Merrill

From the time we are born our primitive urge is self preservation and this means that we tend to compete/ fight to live for ourselves. Beginning with our need for food, we seek shelter and security for ourselves and our loved ones because it is the herd instinct. As we grow and become adults we become independent but then we tend to become more and more selfish and self centered. While the animal kingdom exhibits similar tendencies, they never have the human weakness of greed. Thus animals that kill and live of the carcass kill only when they are hungry and even the herbivorous animals too eat just for their survival. Man alone tends to hoard, to gorge and to deny a fellow human being.  It is against this background that one needs to understand the need for the human race to consciously make amends for this selfish tendency and the one way to really do it is to give ourselves completely to a cause where the beneficiary is anyone but us.

Since our natural tendency is to live for ourselves, it is only a conscious decision that will really enable us to identify a worthwhile cause and help us spare our time, resources and energies on promoting the cause. The joy and thrill of giving out without any expectations is the real moment that we enjoy our life and appreciate the blessings that life has showered on us. The cause one stands for need not be related only to the human race but should be for the good of mankind. This means that causes as diverse as animal welfare and environmental concerns would be on the same pedestal as working for the handicapped, the aged and the sick. Whatever be the cause, the key is selfless service, total commitment and active participation.

Self less service involves the ready and free desire to be involved in the cause. If the involvement is conditional or it is taken upon reluctantly because of social pressure then the soul of the activity is missing. It is when one seeks out a cause to give selflessly that the cause becomes an integral part of one’s life else it will remain just a duty , a chore and an obligation. Total commitment means the whole hearted and absolute devotion to the cause. No matter what it takes, be it financial resources, networking, seeking out activists to propound the cause no requirement is ignored or side stepped. This is possible when we are wedded to the cause and then we become absolutely committed. The essence of real living is experienced when we give ourselves to the cause by being active participants and be physically involved in all that is required to be done. This involves giving of our time the most precious of our resources, getting our hands dirtied, something that we may not be really used to in daily life and then we experience both he pain of the other and the joy they get from our intimacy and companionship and service.

Remember: “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”  Mahatma Gandhi

Ty this:

  1. One of the toughest religious orders to join in is the Mother Theresa’s  Sister’s of Charity. Yet they have one of the largest numbers of volunteers and applications to join the congregation. What do you think is the reason for it. If there is a home for the children/ aged/ sick or orphans run by them in your city visit them and spend a day to understand how they work and what they do.
  2. Outline a plan of action to identify a cause, to commit yourself and to actively be involved in it. Don’t fall to the temptation of trying to be involved in all your interests. Chose one and give it your all. Ensure that you even slot a time of the day for the activity and to give of your time and personal efforts. Experience the joy that comes with the commitment.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our WEEKLY Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com

Laugh and the world…

Laugh, and the world laughs with you; weep and you weep alone. Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Have you ever noticed that some people seem to be very popular whilst there are some others who seem to be whiners and losers? Observe both sets of people closely and you will make out the simple difference that sets both types of people apart. The former are always self assured, confident and gregarious while the later are forever complaining, perennially highlighting their problems and constantly seeking sympathy. Obviously people are drawn towards those who spread good cheer. Most people will give a wide berth to those who are weepy, bitter and dissatisfied with life for they would only be spreading negative vibes all the time.

If you have been to a circus you would have your eyes peeled on the circus clowns who seem to bumble their way through their act and keep the audience in splits. They get the maximum applause, have long stints in the act and they easily fit into any act. They actually act as the glue that puts the entire 3 hour act together. Go to a shopping mall and you will find a number of cartoon characters entertaining the visitors to the mall. Notice that they are constantly moving around and interacting with the people for their strength lies in ensuring that the crowd is drawn to them. Look at a more somber scene; a funeral. Here every one has a long face, there are a few who are weeping bitterly and everyone just wants the ceremony to be over and done with. Something similar is again enacted in a hospital most times. These two contrasting scenes draw attention to the reality that people are drawn to laughs and dislike melancholy immensely.

Of late the latest fad is to forward SMS jokes and humorous email forwards. While an overload of the same can be extremely irritating and annoying, more often than not we read the message before deleting. It would also naturally follow that you laugh loudly or at least chuckle a bit and perhaps you forward it in turn.  Rarely do you ask the sender to take you of the forward list. Unconsciously we are being partial towards anything that can make us smile and laugh. When we contrast this with our relationships with those who are sad and in pain, we do sympathize with them but find it hard to spend a good part of valuable time just being around and trying to assuage their feelings of hurt and pain. The net result is that those who cannot get over their grief, their complaints, their nagging soon find themselves alone, lonely and wallowing in self pity.

Many of us feel that we don’t have the gift of the gab, cannot recount jokes, cannot be the centre of attention and that makes us introverts. The reality is that to laugh and have fun, there is no compulsion that you need to be the initiator of it all. All it requires is the ability to enthusiastically participate, heartily encourage and remain genuinely interested in the proceedings. Of course it helps if we are more demonstrative and articulate too. It would be very useful to read a lot, in particular focus on having a stock of good jokes and practice telling jokes so that it flows easily. Coming up with good repartees and one liners too would boost both your self confidence and your fan following.  However be careful not to sound sarcastic or get too personal when cracking jokes at another’s expense.  Never sit around with a frown on the face or be snappy and ill mannered or you will soon find yourself all alone.

Remember: A smile is a curve that sets everything straight.

Try this:

  1. Prepare a list of your favorite jokes and attempt to say it without telling it by rote.  If you can, memorize a few humorous limericks, one liners and puns and use it whenever possible. Do not be disheartened if you are not appreciated at first. (Avoid vulgar jokes in public, biased or sexist comments or anything that could be offensive to anyone.)
  2. Whenever possible take the initiative; be it to organize some event, preparing games for a party, giving a speech etc.  Notice that leaders are always looked up to and invariably they are a motivating force. This ability to motivate and lead is equivalent to the ability to raise a good laugh for one is never lonely as a leader (unless you misuse your power).

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our WEEKLY Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com

Never take for granted

We never know the worth of water till the well is dry. English proverb

All of us tend to take too many things for granted. The fact that we are blessed with all basic needs and a lot of comforts make us believe that all of it is available in plenty and that it is our birthright.  If for example the internet line drops even as you are reading it, it is possible that you would be cursing the service provider, the state of technology and perhaps even the general administration for the minor inconvenience which suddenly seems like a major calamity. We generally value things only when we cannot have it or when the alternatives are too poor to replace the original.

Let us look at the three most important things that we take for granted – relationships, our own self and the environment.

The people we take most for granted our own immediate family parents, siblings, spouse and children. We do we in most cases share a strong bond with them, ironically it is this bond that widens our relationships. We assume that our parents will support us no matter what, and when they side with the truth when we are on the wrong, it comes as a rude shock. All the while we may perhaps have believed that our siblings will be united in matters of division of property and inheritance till we make the painful discovery that everyone  has a mind of his/ her own and that we made the mistake of taking our relationships for granted. Many of us are guilty of planning for our children’s future and urge them to follow what we feel is the right future. Alas our children display an independent streak and prefer their hearts call than the dictates of the parents; too late we realize that our relationships changed along the way.

We erroneously believe that we know perfectly what is best for us; be it in food, clothing or living and saving habits. We take our jobs for granted, consider our health to be ideal without any tangible proof by way of checkups and believe that we know best how to plan for the future. In the process we might be facing grave dangers be it that of sudden job loss or an unexpected lifestyle disease like heart attacks or stress or diabetes. Just because we have a large social circle we cannot assume we are popular. It is more plausible that people make you feel popular because they want to curry favor with your or would like to piggy back on your contacts and influence.

The environment includes that space that we are concerned with and is not limited to just the ozone layer depletion or carbon emission. The political space, the economic space, and the social fabric are also key elements that make up the environmental space. By not participating in the election or political process, we are taking for granted that the rest of the population will vote or raise concerns which will reflect our concerns or beliefs. Similarly our casual and limp reactions to issues like price rise, inflation and poor governance reiterates the fact that we take our democracy for granted. Our feeble or cursory reactions to social unrest, strikes, hartals, bandhs etc. as also to the hoarse cries of the environmental activists is further proffer that we take the environment around us for granted and do not see any major upheavals that  will threaten our smooth life.

Our passive involvement and poor rational for remaining passive are merely symptomatic of the large malaise; that of taking the system for granted.

Remember: “There is no longer a way out of our present situation except by forging a road toward our objective, violently and by force, over a sea of blood and under a horizon blazing with fire.” Gamal Abdel Nasser

Try this:

  1. Have you made a will? If yes have you updated it? If no is it because you take it for granted that you still have a long life?
  2. Do not take anything for granted and to this end let us attempt to do some of the following
  • Write letters/ emails/ send thank you cards, birthday cards, get well soon cards etc to those whom you really feel deserve it. It could be relatives, former teachers, mentors at work etc.
  • Have at least one environmental issue as a concern and do what you can to support the cause. Donations, taking membership of a concerned organization, spreading their message to people around etc. are highly recommended.
  • Make it a point to have a wide circle of friends from all sections of society. Do actively participate in their religious, social and cultural activities so as to enjoy inclusive living and appreciate the varied dimensions of life and its splendors.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our WEEKLY Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com