2 March 2014

posted 27 Feb 2014, 20:02 by C S Paul

2 March 2014

Quotes to Inspire
  • If your job is not making a difference in this world, by all means, get out there and find something else. But in many situations, you'll find a sense of making a difference through your work if you simply look for it. John Maxwell
  • We seek purpose when we are not in touch with who we really are. When an apple tree discovers who it is, the question 'what must I do?' disappears. When you discover who you are (at the deepest place of your being) you will find your purpose. Colleen-Joy Page
  • When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds: Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great, and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be. Patanjali
  • Bring me men to match my mountains: Bring me men to match my plains: Men with empires in their purpose and new eras in their brains. Thomas Paine
  • There is one quality which one must possess to win, and that is definiteness of purpose, the knowledge of what one wants, and a burning desire to possess it.Napoleon Hill
  • Great minds have purposes, others have wishes. Washington Irving
  • What allows us, as human beings, to psychologically survive life on earth, with all of its pain, drama, and challenges, is a sense of purpose and meaning.Barbara de Angelis
  • Purpose is the seed from which a successful existence sprouts. Rick Beneteau
  • The person without a purpose is like a ship without a rudder. Thomas Carlyle 
  • It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others. Lily Tomlin
  • Purpose and laughter are the twins that must not separate. Each is empty without the other. Paul Martinelli
  • If I am doing nothing, I like to be doing nothing to some purpose. That is what leisure means. Alan Bennett

The secret of happiness
Author: Paul Coelho in "The Alchemist"

A certain shopkeeper sent his son to learn about the secret of happiness from the wisest man in the world. The lad wandered through the desert for 40 days, and finally came upon a beautiful castle, high atop a mountain. It was there that the wise man lived.

Rather than finding a saintly man, though, our hero, on entering the main room of the castle, saw a hive of activity: tradesmen came and went, people were conversing in the corners, a small orchestra was playing soft music, and there was a table covered with platters of the most delicious food in that part of the world. The wise man conversed with everyone, and the boy had to wait for two hours before it was his turn to be given the man's attention.

The wise man listened attentively to the boy's explanation of why he had come, but told him that he didn't have time just then to explain the secret of happiness. He suggested that the boy look around the palace and return in two hours.

"Meanwhile, I want to ask you to do something", said the wise man, handing the boy a teaspoon that held two drops of oil. "As you wander around, carry this spoon with you without allowing the oil to spill".

The boy began climbing and descending the many stairways of the palace, keeping his eyes fixed on the spoon. After two hours, he returned to the room where the wise man was.

"Well", asked the wise man, "Did you see the Persian tapestries that are hanging in my dining hall? Did you see the garden that it took the master gardener ten years to create? Did you notice the beautiful parchments in my library?"

The boy was embarrassed, and confessed that he had observed nothing. His only concern had been not to spill the oil that the wise man had entrusted to him.

"Then go back and observe the marvels of my world", said the wise man. "You cannot trust a man if you don't know his house".

Relieved, the boy picked up the spoon and returned to his exploration of the palace, this time observing all of the works of art on the ceilings and the walls. He saw the gardens, the mountains all around him, the beauty of the flowers, and the taste with which everything had been selected. Upon returning to the wise man, he related in detail everything he had seen.

"But where are the drops of oil I entrusted to you?" asked the wise man. Looking down at the spoon he held, the boy saw that the oil was gone.

"Well, there is only one piece of advice I can give you", said the wisest of wise men. "The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon".

The Chinese farmer

There is a Chinese story of an old farmer who had an old horse for tilling his fields. One day the horse escaped into the hills and, when all the farmer's neighbours sympathised with the old man over his bad luck, the farmer replied, 'Bad luck? Good luck? Who knows?'

A week later the horse returned with a herd of wild horses from the hills and this time the neighbours congratulated the farmer on his good luck. His reply was, 'Good luck? Bad luck? Who knows?'

Then, when the farmer's son was attempted to tame one of the wild horses, he fell off its back and broke his leg. Everyone thought this very bad luck. Not the farmer, whose only reaction was, 'Bad luck? Good luck? Who knows?'

Some weeks later the army marched into the village and conscripted every able-bodied youth they found there. When they saw the farmer's son with his broken leg they let him off. Now was that good luck? Bad luck? Who knows?

King Solomon and the baby

One day, the wise King Solomon was approached by two women arguing over a baby. Each claimed the child was hers. Unable to judge, King Solomon thought up a plan - he offered to cut the baby in half, giving half to the one and half to the other.

The first women agreed with the King: "Let the baby be neither mine nor hers, but divide it. If I can't have the child", she cried, "she can't have it either". The second women pleaded with Solomon not to hurt the child. "Give her the baby. I'd rather lose the child that see it slain".

Solomon knew immediately that this was the rightful mother. He returned the baby to her.

The wise teacher and the jar

There was once a very wise teacher, whose words of wisdom students would come from far and wide to hear. One day as usual, many students began to gather in the teaching room. They came in and sat down very quietly, looking to the front with keen anticipation, ready to hear what the teacher had to say.

Eventually the teacher came in and sat down in front of the students. The room was so quiet you could hear a pin drop. On one side of the teacher was a large glass jar. On the other side was a pile of dark grey rocks. Without saying a word, the teacher began to pick up the rocks one by one and place them very carefully in the glass jar (Plonk. Plonk.) When all the rocks were in the jar, the teacher turned to the students and asked, 'Is the jar full?' 'Yes,' said the students. 'Yes, teacher, the jar is full'.

Without saying a word, the teacher began to drop small round pink pebbles carefully into the large glass jar so that they fell down between the rocks. (Clickety click. Clickety click.) When all the pebbles were in the jar, the teacher turned to the students and asked, 'Is the jar now full?' The students looked at one another and then some of them started nodding and saying, 'Yes. Yes, teacher, the jar is now full. Yes'.

Without saying a word, the teacher took some fine silver sand and let it trickle with a gentle sighing sound into the large glass jar (whoosh) where it settled around the pink pebbles and the dark grey rocks. When all the sand was in the jar, the teacher turned to the students and asked, 'Is the jar now full?'

The students were not so confident this time, but the sand had clearly filled all the space in the jar so a few still nodded and said, 'Yes, teacher, the jar is now full. Now it's full'.

Without saving a word, the teacher took a jug of water and poured it carefully, without splashing a drop, into the large glass jar. (Gloog. Gloog.)

When the water reached the brim, the teacher turned to the students and asked, 'Is the jar now full?' Most of the students were silent, but two or three ventured to answer, 'Yes, teacher, the jar is now full. Now it is'.

Without saying a word, the teacher took a handful of salt and sprinkled it slowly over the top of the water with a very quiet whishing sound. (Whish.) When all the salt had dissolved into the water, the teacher turned to the students and asked once more, 'Is the jar now full?' The students were totally silent. Eventually one brave student said, 'Yes, teacher. The jar is now full'. 'Yes,' said the teacher 'The jar is now full'.

The teacher then said: 'A story always has many meanings and you will each have understood many things from this demonstration. Discuss quietly amongst yourselves what meanings the story has for you. How many different messages can you find in it and take from it?'

The students looked at the wise teacher and at the beautiful glass jar filled with grey rocks, pink pebbles, silver sand, water and salt. Then they quietly discussed with one another the meanings the story had for them. After a few minutes, the wise teacher raised one hand and the room fell silent. The teacher said: 'Remember that there is never just one interpretation of anything. You have all taken away many meanings and messages from the story, and each meaning is as important and as valid as any other'.

And without saying another word, the teacher got up and left the room.

And another version of the same story ...

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was. So the professor then picked up a box of small pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous "Yes." The professor then produced two cans of beer from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

"Now", said the professor, as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things - your family, your children, your health, your friends, your favorite passions - things that, if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, your car.

The sand is everything else - the small stuff. If you put the sand into the jar first" he continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out to dinner. There will always be time to clean the house, and fix the rubbish. Take care of the golf balls first, the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand".

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the beer represented. The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that, no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of beers".

Listening - at Christmas and always
Author: Roger Darlington

A few years after I left my secondary school in Manchester, I was invited to help out with the school's Christmas Fair and I decided to have a go at being Father Christmas. I had recently grown my first full beard and thought that I would enter into the role by rubbing flour into my growth. Though I say it myself, I looked rather splendid and certainly I attracted lots of custom.

I was enjoying myself enormously, bringing a sense of magic to so many young children, but I was mystified by one young boy who paid for a second visit and then astonishingly for a third. The presents on offer were really pretty pitiful, so I asked him why he was coming to see me so often. He answered simply: "I just love talking to you".

It was then that I realised that, in many households, parents do not encourage their children to talk and really listen to them. This was a lesson that I have taken with me throughout my life. So, at home, at work, socially, always encourage family, friends, colleagues to talk about themselves and their feelings - and really listen.

Did you know ?

  • The oldest Public Sector Bank in India having branches all over India and serving the customers for the last 132 years Allahabad Bank
  • The first Indian commercial bank which was wholly owned and managed by Indians Central Bank of India
  • The number of births that occur in India each year is higher than the entire population of Australia?
  • The word mongoose comes from India?
  • In India, Dutta Samant led a year-long strike in 1982 involved about 200000 workers?
  • Rusi Surti is the only Indian test cricketer to played Sheffield Shield cricket in Australia?
  • The airline company Air Deccan was the first low-cost flight company in India?
  • About 50% of the residents in India are under 25 years old?
  • The highest cricket ground in the world is Chail in Himachal Pradesh, India?
  • Indian Railways transport about five billion passengers annually?
  • The longest station name on the Indian Railways is Venkatanarasimharajuvariapeta?
  • Indian Railways is the largest employer in the world, about 1.6 million people?
  • The distance learning University IGNOU in India is short for Indira Gandhi National Open University?

Just for Laughs

The Healthy Christians

Author Unknown

Two Christians have lived very good, and also very healthy lives. They die, and go to heaven. 

As they are walking along, marveling at the paradise around them, one turns to the other and says "Wow. I never knew heaven was going to be as good as this!" 

"Yeah", says the other. "And just think, if we hadn't eaten all that oat bran we could have got here ten years sooner." 

 Softball in Heaven

Author Unknown

Two 90-year-old women, Rose and Barb, had been friends all of their lives. 

When it was clear that Rose was dying, Barb visited her every day. One day Barb said, 'Rose, we both loved playing women's softball all our lives, and we played it all through High School. 

Please do me one favor, when you get to Heaven, somehow you must let me know if there is women's softball there. 

Rose looked up at Barb from her deathbed, Barb; you have been my best friend for many years. If it is at all possible, I will do this favor for you. 

Shortly after that, Rose passed on. 

A couple of nights later, Barb was awakened from a sound sleep by a blinding flash of white light and a voice calling out to her, Barb, Barb. 

Who is it? asked Barb, sitting up suddenly. Who is it? 

Barb – it is me, Rose. 

You are not Rose. Rose just died. 

I am telling you, it is me, Rose, insisted the voice. 

Rose! Where are you? 

In Heaven, replied Rose. I have some really good news and a little bad news. 

Tell me the good news first, said Barb. 

The good news, Rose said, is that there is Softball in Heaven. Better yet, all of our old buddies who died before us are here, too. Better than that, we are all young again. Better still, it is always springtime, and it never rains or snows. And best of all, we can play softball all we want, and we never get tired. 

That's fantastic, said Barb. It is beyond my wildest dreams! So what is the bad news? 

You are pitching Tuesday. 


by Lew Wallace

Part Eight

Biblical references: Matthew 27:48-51, Mark 11:9-11, 14:51-52, Luke 23:26-46, John 12:12-18, 18:2-19:30

During the next three years, Jesus preaches his gospel around Galilee, and Ben-Hur becomes one of his followers. He starts to believe that Balthasar may be right, when he sees that Jesus chooses fishermen, farmers and similar people, considered "lowly", as apostles. Judah believes Jesus to be wasting valuable time by not proclaiming himself king immediately. Yet, he has seen Jesus perform miracles, and is convinced that the Christ really had come.

During this time Malluch, armed with the Hur fortune, has bought the old Hur house and renovated it, restoring it to splendor. He then invites Simonides and Balthasar, with their daughters, to live in the house with him, and they become regular occupants of the house. Judah Ben-Hur seldom visits the house. The day before Jesus plans to enter Jerusalem and, finally proclaim himself, Judah returns and gives them a full account of what has happened through the years he has followed Jesus. When he tells of the healing of ten lepers, Amrah realizes that Judah's mother and sister could be healed, and the next morning, alone, hurries to the lepers' cave to tell them the good news. The three wait along a road, and amidst all the rejoicing and din during the Triumphal Entry, they ask Jesus to heal them, and their request is granted. When they are cured, Judah sees them and Amrah and the family are finally re-united.

Several days later, Iras talks with Judah, saying he has trusted in a false hope, for Jesus had not started the expected revolution. She says that it is all over between them, saying she loves Messala. Ben-Hur remembers the "invitation of Iras" that led to the incident with Thord, and accuses Iras of betraying him and spying on him for Messala's gain. That night, he realizes how different Balthasar and his daughter are, and resolves to go to Esther.

While he is lost in thought, he sees a parade marching down the street, and falls in with it, confused. He notices that Judas Iscariot is leading the parade, and many of the temple priests and Roman soldiers are all marching together. They go to the olive grove of Gethsemane, which confuses Ben-Hur even more, and he sees, ahead of him, Jesus walking out to meet them. Ben-Hur understands the betrayal, is spotted by a priest who tries to take him into custody; he breaks away and flees. When morning comes, Ben-Hur learns that the Jewish priests have tried Jesus before Pilate, and although he was originally ruled "not guilty", has nevertheless been sentenced to crucifixion at the crowd's demand. Ben-Hur is shocked at how his legions have all deserted him in his time of need. They head to Calvary, and Ben-Hur resigns himself to watch the crucifixion of Jesus. The sky darkens. Ben-Hur offers Jesus wine vinegar to return Jesus' favor to him. Jesus utters his last cry.

Ben-Hur and his friends commit their lives to Jesus, who they now realize is not the earthly king they had previously hoped for, but a heavenly king and a savior of mankind.


When Ben-Hur left the guest-chamber, there was not nearly so much life in his action as when he entered it; his steps were slower, and he went along with his head quite upon his breast. Having made discovery that a man with a broken back may yet have a sound brain, he was reflecting upon the discovery.

Forasmuch as it is easy after a calamity has befallen to look back and see the proofs of its coming strewn along the way, the thought that he had not even suspected the Egyptian as in Messala's interest, but had gone blindly on through whole years putting himself and his friends more and more at her mercy, was a sore wound to the young man's vanity. "I remember," he said to himself, "she had no word of indignation for the perfidious Roman at the Fountain
of Castalia! I remember she extolled him at the boat-ride on the lake in the Orchard of Palms! And, ah!"--he stopped, and beat his left hand violently with his right--"ah! that mystery about
the appointment she made with me at the Palace of Idernee is no mystery now!"

The wound, it should be observed, was to his vanity; and fortunately it is not often that people die of such hurts, or even continue a long time sick. In Ben-Hur's case, moreover, there was a compensation; for presently he exclaimed aloud, "Praised be the Lord God that the woman took not a more lasting hold on me! I see I did not love her."

Then, as if he had already parted with not a little of the weight on his mind, he stepped forward more lightly; and, coming to the place on the terrace where one stairway led down to the court-yard below, and another ascended to the roof, he took the latter and began to climb. As he made the last step in the flight he stopped again.

"Can Balthasar have been her partner in the long mask she has been playing? No, no. Hypocrisy seldom goes with wrinkled age like that. Balthasar is a good man."

With this decided opinion he stepped upon the roof. There was a full moon overhead, yet the vault of the sky at the moment was lurid with light cast up from the fires burning in the streets
and open places of the city, and the chanting and chorusing of the old psalmody of Israel filled it with plaintive harmonies to which he could not but listen. The countless voices bearing
the burden seemed to say, "Thus, O son of Judah, we prove our worshipfulness of the Lord God, and our loyalty to the land he gave us. Let a Gideon appear, or a David, or a Maccabaeus, and we are ready."

That seemed an introduction; for next he saw the man of Nazareth.

In certain moods the mind is disposed to mock itself with inapposite fancies.

The tearful woman-like face of the Christ stayed with him while he crossed the roof to the parapet above the street on the north side of the house, and there was in it no sign of war; but rather as the heavens of calm evenings look peace upon everything, so it looked, provoking the old question, What manner of man is he?

Ben-Hur permitted himself one glance over the parapet, then turned and walked mechanically towards the summer-house.

"Let them do their worst," he said, as he went slowly on. "I will not forgive the Roman. I will not divide my fortune with him, nor will I fly from this city of my fathers. I will call on Galilee
first, and here make the fight. By brave deeds I will bring the tribes to our side. He who raised up Moses will find us a leader, if I fail. If not the Nazarene, then some other of the many ready
to die for freedom."

The interior of the summer-house, when Ben-Hur, slow sauntering, came to it, was murkily lighted. The faintest of shadows lay along the floor from the pillars on the north and west sides. Looking in, he saw the arm-chair usually occupied by Simonides drawn to a spot from which a view of the city over towards the Market-place could be best had.

"The good man is returned. I will speak with him, unless he be asleep."

He walked in, and with a quiet step approached the chair. Peering over the high back, he beheld Esther nestled in the seat asleep--a small figure snugged away under her father's lap-robe. The hair dishevelled fell over her face. Her breathing was low and irregular. Once it was broken by a long sigh, ending in a sob. Something--it might have been the sigh or the loneliness in which he found her--imparted to him the idea that the sleep was a rest from sorrow rather than fatigue. Nature kindly sends such relief to children, and he was used to thinking Esther scarcely more than a child. He put his arms upon the back of the chair, and thought.

"I will not wake her. I have nothing to tell her--nothing unless--unless it be my love.... She is a daughter of Judah, and beautiful, and so unlike the Egyptian; for there it is all vanity, here all truth; there ambition, here duty; there selfishness, here self-sacrifice.... Nay, the question
is not do I love her, but does she love me? She was my friend from the beginning. The night on the terrace at Antioch, how child-like she begged me not to make Rome my enemy, and had me tell her of the villa by Misenum, and of the life there! That she should not see I saw her cunning drift I kissed her. Can she have forgotten the kiss! I have not. I love her.... They do not know in the city that I have back my people. I shrank from telling it to the Egyptian; but this little one will rejoice with me over their restoration, and welcome them with love and sweet services of hand and heart. She will be to my mother another daughter; in Tirzah she will find her other self. I would wake her and tell her these things, but--out on the sorceress of Egypt! Of that folly I could not command myself to speak. I will go away, and wait another and a better time. I will wait. Fair Esther, dutiful child, daughter of Judah!"

He retired silently as he came.

to be continued