When You Know Your Worth No One Can Make You Feel Worthless – Because You Really Do Matter.

Archive for May, 2011

Preserve The Treasures




When the germ of destruction inseminates a seed of violence in  mind, the result is devastating memories haunting one for a life time.

A few days ago I purchased a book in a fair on Bamiyan Buddhas. It was fascinating to read about these amazing Buddha statues built by an ancient Indian emperor Kanishka who was staunch follower of Buddhism.  The sources said the carving of these two Buddha statutes were started around second century A.D. and completed approximately around fifth century A.D. These magnificent statues were carved into sandstone cliffs in Bamiyan, Afghanistan. The Bamiyan valley was an epitome of heavenly beauty with snow covered tips, splicing blue mountains, and lacing green pastures. The merchant caravans using the Silk Road stopped by this paradisiacal valley for a good rest and worshipped the statutes.  The surrounding caves were chapels and monasteries for monks.

These architectural marvels were the tallest Buddha statues in world. The statues were carved in the Gandhara style of Buddhist sculpture mixed with Greek and Roman art. The clothes carved on the Buddha statues were so vivid and human that one could see the wrinkles of the robe on the stone.

The artistry and engineering were extraordinary. The Bamiyan Buddhas were not only a feast for eyes but devotional for souls as well. They were the essence of the  blend of cultures and religions.

Unfortunately, some humans are losing the propensity to preserve the treasures bestowed by our ancient history, nature, and heritage. Greed, fundamentalism, religious sentiments are eclipsing vision and wisdom. The perfect example of this is intentional destruction of the colossal Bamiyan Buddhas. It took several centuries, arduous efforts to amass ginormous resources for Emperor Kanishka to build these statues.  But, it was a click of a button for Taliban to smash these statues to smithereens. The tough Genghis Khan also didn’t have heart to lay his hand on these marvels.

In March 2001, Taliban leader ordered his troops to demolish the carvings. Now in the place of those magnificent statues, there are big gaping holes mocking at the selfishness, ignorance, and cowardice of humans.

Several countries and people protested against this barbaric act. I heard from a native friend that there are plans and efforts being put in to reconstruct them.

First of all – even though world is far more developed in technology and resources than in second century and produced more brilliant engineers than Emperor Kanishka – can we match that mastery and devotion?

Secondly – let say we even succeed in cloning the Buddha statues – do we have the ability to protect and preserve them for our future generations?

Emperor Kanishka died, the Bamiyan Buddhas have been destroyed, but evil is still breeding.

(Sources: Pictures From Google Images)


It Maybe Your Car One Day

Yesterday, after completing my grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s, I had little more time to go and pick up my daughter. I sat in my car sipping some soymilk, listening to NPR, and gazing around.

A woman, maybe in her late thirties, walked to a Ford Expedition pushing her grocery cart. She looked a little antsy and angry. She loaded the groceries into the car and slammed the door so loud that the robins pecking their food on the ground took to their wings.  Her vehicle was parked two parking slots after mine. I clearly could see what happened next.  She pushed the cart so recklessly toward the empty parking space right in front her that it took  a diversion and rammed into a Toyota Corolla’s head lights. I saw the glass pieces chipping off and falling on the ground.  To my dismay, she  turned her head, looked at the car that was damaged, and walked back to her car and swooshed off.  I didn’t see any sorry feeling on her face nor did she try to leave a message to the car owner.  I was so taken aback with this vitiated attitude of hers.  I didn’t know whether anyone else noticed this ruthless act but it threw me off.  It all happened so quickly and I didn’t even notice the car number.

I waited for the car owner to return. An elderly couple owned that car. I went and told them what happened and apologized for not noting down the car number. They told me that their grandchildren  gifted the car to them for their wedding anniversary just a week ago.  The moisture in the old lady’s eyes didn’t go unnoticed by me. My heart ached for that old couple.

Besides the shortage of good water, good air, good health, good leaders, good teachers, good education,  good jobs  –  looks like  the world is falling short of  good people, good thinking,  and good behavior, too.

Fluffy Pillow+Comfy Bed+Sound Sleep+Beautiful Dreams=Good Health+Success

Early to bed

Early to rise

Makes a man healthy

Wealthy and wise

This poem loses its meaning and importance once we cross the kindergarten level. I wish this poem is taken as more than just a nursery rhyme and practically followed through the life time of a human being.

Are we humans really doing this?  There is empirical evidence to say no.

Our schedules are jumbled up and gone haywire. Unlike animals and birds, we humans are habituating to sleep while the sun is awake providing us the light and work while the moon is on duty to make sure that we are sleeping like babies.

Insomnia and sleep deprivation are two different effects with different reasons that cause them.  Insomnia is a sleeping disorder or health condition arising out of depression, stress, and other medical conditions. And my point of discussion today is not insomnia because of its complexity and handling it sometimes requires medical expertise. To state the difference in plain words “Insomnia” is not getting sleep even though you have time. And “less sleep” means you have no time to sleep even though you can.

My subject for today is sleeping less which is discernable. As the technology and working hours are on the rise, people are giving less importance to the fundamentals of healthy living like sleep, exercise, good food, and rest.

Professor Francesco Cappuccio, University of Warwick’s Medical School, says: “Fewer hours sleep and greater levels of sleep disturbance have become widespread in industrialized societies. This change, largely the result of sleep curtailment to create more time for leisure and shift-work, has meant that reports of fatigue, tiredness and excessive daytime sleepiness are more common than a few decades ago. Sleep represents the daily process of physiological restitution and recovery, and lack of sleep has far-reaching effects.”

For the normal functioning of a human body, we need an average of six to eight hours of sound sleep each night. Sleeping for less than six continuous hours per night can potentially cause high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, weight gain, heart disease and premature death.

A team from UK and Italy conducted a research and collected information from sixteen studies across Asia, the US and Europe. The result of this research indicated that people who sleep less than six to eight hours per night are 12% more likely to die prematurely than those who slept for 6-8 hours consistently.

Professor Cappuccio adds, “In terms of prevention, our findings indicate that consistently sleeping around 7 hours per night is optimal for health and a sustained reduction may predispose to ill-health.”

The reasons for sleeping less are various: long working hours for making more money, impressing the boss for a promotion, job retention efforts, maintaining a social life, wrong sleeping habits, stress. But after all, is gaining all these or one of these benefits worth cutting short of our life span and dying prematurely?  Don’t we all think we should enjoy the benefits and comforts we have earned for a long term of life? If that purpose isn’t served then all our precious earnings are meaningless. At what cost do we have to slog and impress others?

It’s a proven fact that a homeless person or a daily laborer sleeps more peacefully for longer hours than a millionaire.

Sleep is a big boon that God gave us without any cost and whether we enjoy it or replace it with material benefits is upto us to decide. Human desires are unending and working eighteen hours a day and making any amount of money is also sometimes less.

Drawing a priority list and proscribing meaningless desires from our routine will spare from us sufferings. Life is too short for entertaining unwanted guests (health issues) who cause us misery and premature death.

Taking control over one’s life and doing the right thing at the right time for the right duration is what is required for leading a successful life.

Well, excessive sleep is also not good and has its own perils. A study says, “That both too little sleep and too much sleep can cause potentially serious problems in the long term.” Anything done in moderation will have better results.

This is a funny but good talk by Araianna Huffington.


Art of Gift Giving

My friend and an art teacher, Jane, is not only creative in her profession but in several other aspects of day-to-day life as well.

She always amazed me with her gift ideas. My biggest challenge in my life ever has been choosing gifts, whether it‘s a for children or adults.  My mind gets tired and goes to sleep the moment I think about the journey I have to take to buy a gift.  I feel that I have exhausted all the gift ideas from books, plants, toys, clothes, perfumes, jewelery, accessories, cosmetics and what not.  I have given everything that’s available in the market and I suddenly feel a shortage of product range.  I rack my mind and visit a few shops and end up buying a gift card.

But Jane always comes up with such fantastic ideas which are not only innovative and  amusing but very useful as well.

Once, on my course completion she gave me a pack of warm and fuzzy socks. I looked at them askance and tucked them away in a closet in the garage.  I heard myself saying: What kind of a gift is that! 

 Later when we planned for a winter vacation, at the last moment I gained the sense that I didn’t have warm socks for our trip to Big Bear and I had no time to run to a store.  I rummaged through my closets and storage areas.  I didn’t find anything other than the socks pack I disregarded. I took it along with me.

 Winter was very hard that year and the pack of socks that Jane gave me came so handy and was a saving grace for the entire trip. That’s when I realized the value of that gift.

Moving forward, she gave me so many gifts like Olive oil bottles from Costco, Cakes and Chestnuts from her Korean grocery, organically grown Yams from her backyard, homemade hot patch, honey, handmade greeting cards, paper towels, spools of thread, stack of coupons, bag of yarn and ribbons, hand soap, and much other stuff which I couldn’t even imagine that could be a great bunch of gifts.

All the gifts she gave me proved to be very useful items and I made the optimum use of them. And I admired and thanked her every time those gifts proved their worth.

She not only gave me thoughtful gifts but taught me a valuable lesson  that gift giving shouldn’t be a routine ritual. The feelings behind those gifts are of the essence.  It’s doubtless that she always thought about me in depth whenever she chose something to give. That’s what made her gifts, even though sometimes it made no sense immediately to me, precious and special for me.

I learned, instead of running through store aisles with an insipid and tiring brain, to sit back in my couch and think about the person to whom I’m gifting rather than the gift itself. 

Thank you, Jane, for teaching me how to hold a pencil to sketch a picture and the art of gift giving. Both the lessons made a difference in my life.

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