30 December 2012 - New Year Special

posted 27 Dec 2012, 08:43 by C S Paul

30 December 2012 - New Year Special


The Size of Your Heart

--- Author Unknown ---

It isn't the size of your house as such 
That matters so much at all. 
It's the gentle hand and its loving touch, 
That make it great or small.

The friends who come and the hour they 
Who out of your house depart, 
Will judge it not by the style you show, 
But rather by the size of your heart. 

It isn't the size of your head so much, 
It isn't the wealth you found. 
That will make you happy -- it's how you touch 
The lives that are all around.

For making money is not hard -- 
To live life well is an art: 
How people love you, how they regard, 
Is all in the size of your heart.


The Night Before Christmas
 Peter E. Adotey Addo

It was the night before Christmas in Ghana and I was very sad because my family life had been severely disrupted and I was sure that Christmas would never come. There was none of the usual joy and anticipation that I always felt during the Christmas season. I was eight years old, but in the past few months I had grown a great deal.


Before this year I thought Christmas in my Ghanaian village came with many things. Christmas had always been for me one of the joyous religious festivals. It was the time for beautiful Christmas music on the streets, on radio, on television and everywhere.

Christmas had always been a religious celebration and the church started preparing way back in November. We really felt that we were preparing for the birth of the baby Jesus. Christmas was the time when relatives and friends visited each other so there were always people traveling and visiting with great joy from all the different ethnic groups. I always thought that was what Christmas was all about.

Oh, how I wished I had some of the traditional food consumed at the Christmas Eve dinner and the Christmas Day dinner. I remembered the taste of rice, chicken, goat, lamb, and fruits of various kinds. The houses were always decorated with beautiful paper ornaments. The children and all the young people loved to make and decorate their homes and schools with colorful crepe paper.

All of us looked forward to the Christmas Eve Service at our church. After the service there would be a joyous procession through the streets. Everyone would be in a gala mood with local musicians in a Mardi Gras mood.

Then on Christmas Day we all went back to church to read the scriptures and sing carols to remind us of the meaning of the blessed birth of the baby Jesus. We always thought that these were the things that meant Christmas.

After the Christmas service young people received gifts of special chocolate, special cookies and special crackers. Young people were told that the gifts come from Father Christmas, and this always meant Christmas for us. They also received new clothes and perhaps new pairs of shoes.

Meanwhile throughout the celebration everyone was greeted with the special greeting, "Afishapa," the Akan word meaning "Merry Christmas and Happy New Year." Oh how I wish that those memories were real tonight in order to bring us Christmas.

However, this Christmas Eve, things were different and I knew Christmas would never come. Every one was sad and desperate because of what happened last April when the so-called Army of Liberation attacked our village and took all the young boys and girls away.

Families were separated and some were murdered. We were forced to march and walk for many miles without food. We were often hungry and we were given very little food. The soldiers burned everything in our village and during our forced march we lost all sense of time and place.

Miraculously we were able to get away from the soldiers during one rainy night. After several weeks in the tropical forest we made our way back to our burned out village. Most of us were sick, exhausted, and depressed. Most of the members of our families were nowhere to be found. We had no idea what day or time it was.

This was the situation until my sick grandmother noticed the reddish and yellow flower we call "Fire on the Mountain" blooming in the middle of the marketplace where the tree had stood for generations and had bloomed for generations at Christmas time. For some reason it had survived the fire that had engulfed the marketplace.

I remembered how the nectar from this beautiful flower had always attracted insects making them drowsy enough to fall to the ground to become food for crows and lizards. We were surprised that the fire that the soldiers had started to burn the marketplace and the village did not destroy the "Fire on the Mountain" tree. What a miracle it was. Grandmother told us that it was almost Christmas because the flower was blooming. As far as she could remember this only occurred at Christmas time.

My spirits were lifted perhaps for a few minutes as I saw the flower. Soon I became sad again. How could Christmas come without my parents and my village? How could this be Christmas time, when we celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace because since April we have not known any peace, only war and suffering? How could we celebrate as grandmother instructed us to do before she died? Those were the last words she spoke before she died last night.

As I continued to think about past joyous Christmases and the present suffering, we heard the horn of a car and not just one horn but several cars approaching our village. At first we thought they were cars full of men with machine guns so we hid in the forest. To our surprise they were not soldiers and they did not have guns. They were just ordinary travelers.

It seemed the bridge over the river near our village had been destroyed last April as the soldiers left our village. Since it was almost dusk and there were rumors that there were land mines on the roads, they did not want to take any chances. Their detour had led them straight to our village.

When they saw us they were shocked and horrified at the suffering and the devastation all around us. Many of these travelers began to cry. They confirmed that tonight was really Christmas Eve. All of them were on their way to their villages to celebrate Christmas with family and friends. Now circumstances had brought them to our village at this time on this night before Christmas.

They shared the little food they had with us. They even helped us to build a fire in the center of the marketplace to keep us warm. In the middle of all this, my oldest sister became ill and could not stand up.

A short time after we returned to our village my grandmother told me that my oldest sister was expecting a baby. My sister had been in a state of shock and speechless since we all escaped from the soldiers. I was so afraid for my sister because we did not have any medical supplies and we were not near a hospital.

Some of the travelers and the villagers removed their shirts and clothes to make a bed for my sister to lie near the fire we had made. On that fateful night my sister gave birth to a beautiful baby boy.

This called for a celebration, war or no war. Africans have to dance and we celebrated until the rooster crowed at 6 a.m. We sang Christmas songs. Every one sang in his or her own language. For the first time all the pain and agony of the past few months went away.

When morning finally came my sister was asked, "What are you going to name the baby?" would you believe for the first time since our village was burned and all the young girls and boys were taken away, she spoke. She said, "His name is "Gye Nyame," which means "Except God I fear none." And so we celebrated Christmas that night.

Christmas really did come to our village that night, but it did not come in the cars or with the travelers. It came in the birth of my nephew in the midst of our suffering. We saw hope in what this little child could do.

This birth turned out to be the universal story of how bad things turned into universal hope, the hope we found in the Baby Jesus. A miracle occurred that night before Christmas and all of a sudden I knew we were not alone any more.

Now I knew there was hope and I had learned that Christmas comes in spite of all circumstances. Christmas is always within us all. Christmas came even to our Ghanaian village that night. 

HOW POOR WE ARE

--- Author Unknown ---

One day a father, of a very wealthy family, took his son on a trip to the country with the firm purpose of showing his son how poor people can be. They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of what would be considered a very poor family. 

On their return from the trip, the father asked his son,"How was the trip?" 

"It was great Dad!" 

"Did you see how poor people can be?" the father asked. 

"Oh yeah," said the son. 

"So what did you learn from the trip?" asked the father. 

The son answered, 

" I saw we have one dog and they have four. We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden and they have a creek that has no end. We have imported lanterns in our garden and they have the stars at night. Our patio reaches to the front yard and they have the whole horizon. 

We have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond our sight. We have servants who serve us, but they serve others. We buy our food, but they grow theirs. We have walls around our property to protect us, they have friends to protect them." 

With this the boy's father was speechless. 

Then his son added, 

"Thanks Dad for showing me how poor we are."

MAKE THE MOST OF EVERY MOMENT

Author Unknown 

I had a very special teacher in high school many years ago whose husband unexpectedly died of a heart attack. About a week after his death, she shared some of her insight with a classroom of students.

As the late afternoon sunlight came streaming in through the classroom windows and the class was nearly over, she moved a few things aside on the edge of her desk and sat down there. With a gentle look of reflection on her face, she paused and said, 

"Before class is over, I would like to share with all of you a thought that is unrelated to class, but which I feel is very important. Each of us is put here on earth to learn, share, love, appreciate and give of ourselves. None of us knows when this fantastic experience will end. It can be taken away at any moment. Perhaps this is God's way of telling us that we must make the most out of every single day."

Her eyes beginning to water, she went on: 

"So I would like you all to make me a promise. From now on, on your way to school, or on your way home, find something beautiful to notice. It doesn't have to be something you see it could be a scent-perhaps of freshly baked bread wafting out of someone's house, or it could be the sound of the breeze slightly rustling the leaves in the trees, or the way the morning light catches one autumn leaf as it falls gently to the ground.

Please look for these things, and cherish them. For, although it may sound trite to some, these things are the "stuff" of life. The little things we are put here on earth to enjoy. The things we often take for granted. We must make it important to notice them, for at any time... it can all be taken away."

The class was completely quiet. We all picked up our books and filed out of the room silently. That afternoon, I noticed more things on my way home from school than I had that whole semester. Every once in a while, I think of that teacher and remember what an impression she made on all of us, and I try to appreciate all of those things that sometimes we all overlook.

Take notice of something special you see on your lunch hour today. Go barefoot or walk on the beach at sunset. Stop off on the way home tonight to get a double-dip ice cream cone. For as we get older, it is not the things we did that we often regret, but the things we didn't do.



"An Expectant Attitude" 
 Bob Stoess 
Attitude is one of the most important ingredients in determining success or lack thereof for all people. Successful people have one thing in common - an expectant attitude of success.

Most people begin each morning in neutral and react to events of the day. You can be one of the successful people in life by starting each day with a positive attitude, a gratitude for the opportunities you have, and an expectancy of the best for yourself.

People tend to live up to expectations. We get out of life just about what we put into it. Our environment becomes a mirror of our spirit, our attitude, and expectations. If we keep a great attitude, we get great results. If we have a fair attitude, we accomplish fair results, and if we have a poor attitude, we accomplish poor results.

The world will give you back what you expect, so expect the very best. Don't be defensive or doubtful. Nothing changes unless you do. Before you can do something, you've got to be something. Know that you have worth and value. Show that to the world.

Treat everyone you come in contact with as the most important person of the hour. It will build self-esteem. Smile! You'll be rewarded with a returned smile. Don't react to discourtesy. Forgive everyone who ever hurt you. Then, forgive yourself.

Keep yourself healthy. Exercise. Eat a proper diet. Radiate an attitude of confidence.

Develop these good habits and your expectancy will be rewarded by successes. This attitude will put you into that group of people who are truly successful, because you will know and understand how an expectant attitude enhances every aspect of your life. 

May God bless you with such an expectant attitude every day of your living. 

Did You Know ?

These New Year Trivia mentioned below reveals the odd customs followed in different countries across the world.

  • According to the records as found with the National Insurance Crime Bureau, the number of vehicles stolen on the New Year’s Day is much higher than that registered on any other national holiday.
  • People across different parts of the world widely believe in the concept of fist footing. The first visitors one sees or the one who first person to step into the house after the clock strikes midnight is considered to bring either good luck or bad fortune. The first visitor is also expected to carry a gift that signifies wealth and prosperity.
  • New Year’s strange traditions also feature embracing of anything that comes in round or ring shape as such a shape is said to symbolize ‘completion of a full circle”. There is a popular belief in several cultures that shape of a ring brings in good fortune. Therefore, people prefer to consume cakes in round shape or donuts to attract wealth.
  • Fireworks were banned and thus came into existence the Time Square New Year's Eve Ball that became highly famous for its illumination on New Year’s Day. It was in 1907 that the first ball was lighted up, made of wood and iron and weighing around 700-pound. The first ball was decorated with over a hundred 25-watts light bulbs. Time Square New Year's Eve Ball of today has come to weigh around 11,875-pounds and is 12 feet in diameter. The ball is designed by Waterford Crystal and adorned with nearly 2,668 Waterford crystals. The wartime restrictions became the reason for not lowering the New Year's Eve ball in 1942 and 1943
  • The first month of the year in the Gregorian calendar- January has been named after God Janus, who holds two faces. One face of the God look backwards, while the other one look towards the future and represents the ‘spirit of the opening’.
  • An interesting trivia about the New Year is the wishes being written and collected from visitors to Times Square in New York City. Pieces of confetti strewn across the Times Square are picked up and used by visitors to the site for conveying their greetings and wishes for the New Year. The wishes are gathered and added to the ton of the confetti, which is eventually being showered on the crowd gathered in Times Square for celebrations marked to ring in the New Year.
  • People across different cultures are seen consuming different kinds of lucky foods for the New Year’s Day. Some people believe that eating fish, pork, legumes, lentils and cooked green can bring in good fortune in the upcoming year and hence they arrange for meals comprising the auspicious food for their celebrations on the New Year’s Eve. Consumption of chicken or lobsters is considered to bring in bad luck for the entire year because chicken moves backwards. It is widely believed that eating unlucky foods for celebrating New Year’s Day might cause a reversal of their good fortune. 
  • There is long-lived New Year tradition of burning effigies and dolls in several parts of the world on the eve of the New Year Day. Dolls are burnt to get rid of the evil spirits of the past and to wash away the bad memories. People in Puerto Rico, Colombia and Cuba ring in the New Year by putting on fire a life-size doll with the belief that by burning it they would also be able to bury the haunting and painful experiences of the past.
  • The practice of is not a few years old but its origin can be traced back to as early as the Babylonians. According to the data, nearly 40-45% of the people in the US take a pledge on the New Year’s Day. Most of the resolutions taken by people include issues such as weight loss, quitting of bad habits such as alcohol consumption and smoking. The research also throws up an interesting trivia about New Year resolutions. It is seen that merely a few stick to tjeir resolutions till the end of the first month of the New Year, while nearly 25% of the people forget about their resolutions before the end of January. 
  • A search on trivia related to New Year shows that there is a tradition of making the first baby born on the first day of the New Year as a symbol to signify the year. This practice was started by the ancient Greeks around 600 B.C. and has been in continuation till date. Some cultures also follow the norm of carrying a baby in a basket to pay tribute to the God of fertility- Dionysus. It is also meant for signifying the annual birth of the baby in some countries. 
  • People in countries like Mexico, Bolivia and Italy also follow a weird New Year tradition of wearing red underwear on the eve of the New Year. It is said to bring good luck for the entire year, while yellow underwear is also worn on the New Year’s Day as it symbolizes money. 
  • Some of the countries also follow the ritual of eating some lucky foods for the New Year. Spain has the ritual of eating twelve grapes-each for a month to bring about good fortune in the upcoming year. In Philippines, people prefer to eat food items in round shape to secure happiness and invite economic prosperity all round the year.
  • The common belief behind lighting up fireworks in some countries on New Year’s Day is that it not only illuminates the sky but also dispels bad spirits and unpleasant memories of the past.
  • Tradition of using a baby to signify the New Year was started by ancient Greeks around 600 B.C. They would carry a baby around in a basket to honor Dionysus, the God of Fertility and symbolize his annual rebirth. 
  • In Colombia, Cuba and Puerto Rico families stuff a life-size male doll with things that have bad memories or sadness associated with them, and then they dress it up in old clothes from each family member. At the stroke of midnight, this 'Mr. Old Year' is set on fire. 
  • In Spain people eat 12 grapes as the clock strikes midnight (one each time the clock chimes) on New Year's Eve. This peculiar ritual originated in the twentieth century when freak weather conditions resulted in an unseasonable bumper harvest of grapes. Not able to decide what to do about so many grapes at Christmas time, the King of Spain and the grape growers came up with the idea of the New Year ritual. 
  • Late on the evening of December 3 1, people of Japan would eat a bowl of buckwheat noodles called "toshikoshisoba" ("year-crossing noodles") and listen for the sound of the Buddhist temple bells, which were rung 108 times at midnight. The sound of these bells is said to purify the listeners of the 108 sins or evil passions that plague every human being. 
  • In Brazil most people wear white clothes on New Year's Eve to bring good luck and peace for the year that will follow. 
  • In Greece children leave their shoes by the fireside on New Year's Day (also the Festival of Saint Basil in Greece) with the hope that Saint Basil, who was famous for his kindness, will come and fill their shoes with gifts. 
  • In Venezuela, Argentina, Bolivia, and Mexico, those with hopes of traveling in the New Year carry a suitcase around the house at midnight. Some even carry it around the block to ensure traveling at greater distances.
  • The people in China believe that there are evil spirits that roam the earth. So on New Year they burn crackers to scare the evil spirits. The doors and windows of every home in china can be seen sealed with paper. 


New Year Traditions

Tradition of welcoming the New Year by organizing feasts and celebrations has been carried forward since ancient times. Historians believe that New Year tradition were started by ancient Babylonians more than 4,000 years ago. Egyptians, Romans, Celts continued it and now the present generation cherish this tradition by celebrating New Year in the most extravagant manner. 

Most countries across the globe celebrate New Year on January 1. This day officially became the first day of the year in 46 BC when Julius Caesar established the Julian calendar. However, many countries and communities follow different calendars and celebrate their New Year in an entirely different time of the year by following their own specific customs and traditions. Given here is glimpse of New Year traditions as observed on January 1 in countries following Gregorian calendar. 

New Year's Eve

Celebrations begin on the New Year Eve on December 31st. Hotels, restaurants, clubs and pubs organize New Year Eve balls and parties. People sing, dance and make merry. Fun events and contests are also organized to entertain the crowd. As New Year falls at the peak winter time in many countries bonfires are lit to keep the people warm. And just when the clock strikes for midnight firecrackers are burst to welcome the advent of New Year. People greet Happy New Year with a warm hug to every one around them. With loved ones and friends at a distance people exchange greetings through SMSs and phone calls. No wonder, phone network see maximum traffic at this time. 

New Year's Day Celebrations

To mark the auspicious beginning of New Year, people wear fresh new clothes and clean up their house. Many prefer to spend this day in the company of their family members and dear ones. People also visit their friends and exchange New Year Gifts and greetings with them. Restaurants, multiplexes and malls experience a busy time on New Year's Day as many prefer to spend the day by watching movies and eating out with dear ones. There is also a trend of going out for picnics or to exotic tourist destinations to celebrate the day. 


New Year's Resolutions

One of the most popular New Year custom is to make New Year Resolution. The tradition is said to have been started by early Babylonians who resolved to start the New Year with a clean state by returning borrowed farm equipment. Even in present times, people make New Year resolutions. Though it has been noticed that most people fail to carry them forward beyond the first week of New Year. Some of the most popular New Year resolutions including promises to quit smoking, losing weight, waking up early and being punctual. 

New Year's Parades

In several countries, there is a popular tradition of organizing New Year Parades. In the United States, one of the most famous parades is the Tournament of Roses where the floats are all decorated with flowers. Chinese New Year Parade in San Francisco and the New Year's Day Parade of London are other most participated and talked about parades of the world. A large number of people throng the entire route of fun-filled parade to watch giant balloons, tableau and dancers in colorful costumes. 

New Year's Games

In many countries, people enjoy the New Year by indulging in games and sports. Athletics, football, cricket are some of the most popular New Year sports. In some countries, special tournaments are organized for New Year's Day. Many participate while others enjoy them on TV. In households people recreate by participating in indoor games and activities.


I WISH 

Author Unknown 
I wish I had opened up to you, told you about the little things bothering me

I wish you would listen to me as I spoke with insecurity, say a magical word

I wish I could take you as a friend mom 

I wish you knew to be a friend before being a parent

I wish you would understand- that little comfort made all the difference.

I wish I had spent more time listening to you excitedly go about the soccer results

I wish I had gone on more drives or fishing with you

I wish I could learn as much as possible those minute things you were eager to give me as a gift

I wish we talked about our interests 

I wish we valued each moment we had together dad.

I wish I had known earlier what you meant to me friend

I wish I was grateful for that smile shining through my cloudy day

I wish I hadn't forgotten to thank you for accompanying me when I was scared to walk alone

I wish I had multiplied your goodness and not the mistakes 

I wish you said the exact words at the desired moments

I wish you knew the depths of my heart

I wish I had forgiven yours for my mistakes 

I wish I had told you how much I loved you

I wish I could make it up to every soul I met 

I wish I could amend those mistakes I made mostly unknowingly

I wish I encouraged a person to go on

I wish I spoke a sweet word ever so often and made someone's day

I wish I spared another smile at the old cleaning lady at school

I wish I spent more time with my family

I wish I realized the meaning of friendship

I wish I removed that stone or every hurdle on other's way

I wish I listened to the birds singing and admired the waves splashing

I wish I remembered to thank God more often

I wish I could turn back time.

When life ends, so do our dreams, feelings and existence. Prevent yourself from wishing the wrong thing at the wrong time. Live in the present and wish for the best NOW.

If you had one day to do anything you wanted, what would that be?? 
 Ashley Widmark

Sing; 
Even if people have told you, 'never sing,' you'll want to sing.

Jump; 
Feel your strength surge from the tops of your legs to the tips of your toes.

Love; 
Tell everybody you love that you love them. 

Live; 
Life is for living, not waiting. 

Dance; 
Feel the music and let the beat pulse through your blood like fire. 

Reach; 
Try to touch the stars. 

Spin; 
Let your arms fly around you in circles like the horses on a carousel. 

Swim; 
Jump into the water like you jump into life - 
Head first with no regrets or worries. 

Laugh; 
Laugh loudly, and feel it from your stomach all the way up to your brain. 

Meet; 
Meet people you wouldn't meet before. 

Cry; 
Let your feelings be known. 

Hug; 
A hug is forever. 

But, most of all, enjoy.

NO PAIN, NO PROGRESS

--- Sunita Singhi ---

As Lao-Tzu said, "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." So what if that first step is a little painful?

You see, if you want to accomplish something, there are two kinds of pain you might encounter: the pain of discipline and the pain of regret.

Whenever you take that first step toward a new goal, you often experience the pain of discipline: the pain of hard work, the pain of sacrifice, as you single-mindedly pursue your dream.

On the other hand, if you don't go after your dreams, you might experience an even greater type of pain: the pain of staying stuck, which eventually turns into the pain of regret.

Remember, as Sydney J. Harris wrote, "Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable."

When you're really ready to make a change in your life, you'll find, as writer Anaiis Nin did, that the "risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."

The great thing about discipline is if you discipline yourself on a daily basis, eventually something "magical" will happen, almost without your realizing it-one day, the discipline will turn into desire.

A runner who "makes" herself run on a daily basis, one day gets up "wanting" to run. The same holds true for writing, public speaking, or anything else.

So today, start that project, make that call, do what you need to do to begin. Here's a guarantee: If you work through a little pain, you'll see a little progress. 

APPRECIATE ALL GIFTS

--- Author Unknown --- 

She tried so very hard, so very many times, to walk away from him; to escape the hold that he seemed to have over her. She recognized that he chose to live such a separate life and had little room for her, but for a few stolen moments in time. She knew there would come a day when even the moments in time were no longer possible, yet she didn't have the strength to follow through. She couldn't move away on her own. 

It was like being sucked down into a whirlpool endlessly, hopelessly spinning downward. But each time, when spending time with him became a possibility, she was released from the downward spiral and lifted up onto the waves, with the clear blue sky and sunshine looming above her. She took flight, soaring above the sea, above the world, in a place where she felt such joy such freedom. It was these times she could not give up. 

For those moments were unlike any other and she knew they would continue to be unlike any others that would come to her in her remaining lifetime. Sometimes she almost hated the hold he had on her. Sometimes she prayed for logic, reality and reason to take control and protect her from his reach. But these efforts were hopeless. She knew she had no chance of escaping; knew that for her, this man embodied all that was beautiful, all that was precious, all that was life. 

His strength, his compassion, his beautiful soul; a single hour in his presence was equal to years of peace and serenity filled with such an enduring feeling of security and safety. He rescued her from her responsibilities. Rescued her from her life, from the draining demands by all those around her. He made her whole. He made her complete. 

Though she would never fully understand why the walls he put up would not come down, why it could not be more, she was left to accept what there was, yet ultimately to appreciate that God and fate had brought to her this special gift. 

The conventional is not always the course. Don't miss out on the wonderful moments that can be captured in life by expecting more. Learn to accept that which touches you, which leads you to appreciate every aspect of life; that which brings you to appreciate all of the other special things in life; that which makes you smell the air after a spring rain, rejoice in the sounds of the birds, be moved deeply by a sunrise, a sunset, to feel all of the beauty that surrounds you.

Embrace anyone and anything that can make this happen for you. Enjoy it while you can and afterwards let your sweet memories return you to this state, over and over again.

BE THANKFUL

--- Author Unknown --- 
I wonder if any of you ever have the feeling that life is bad, real bad, and you wish you were in another situation. I admit I did pretty often. I find life make things difficult for me, work sucks, life sucks, everything seems to go wrong...it was not until yesterday that I totally changed my views about life. 

After a conversation with one of my friends, he told me despite having two jobs, he brings home barely $1,000 per month. He is happy as he is.

I wondered how he could be as happy as he is considering he has to skimp on his life with the low pay to support a pair of old parents, in-laws, a wife, two daughters and the many bills of a household. 

He explained that it was through one incident that he saw in India. This happened a few years ago, when he was really feeling low and touring India after a major setback.

He said that right in front of his very eyes, he saw an Indian mother chop off her child's right hand with a chopper. The helplessness in the mother's eyes, the scream of pain from the innocent 4 year old child, haunted him until today. 

You may ask why did the mother do so? Had the child been naughty, had the child's hand been infected?? No, it was done for two simple words - - - TO BEG! The desperate mother deliberately caused the child to be handicapped so that the child could go out to the streets to beg. I cannot accept how this could happen, but it really did, just in another part of the world which I don't see. 

Taken aback by the scene, he dropped a half-eaten piece of bread. Almost instantly, a flock of 5 or 6 children swamped towards this small piece of bread, which was covered with sand, robbing bits from one another; the natural reaction of hunger. Stricken by the happenings, he instructed his guide to drive him to the nearest bakery. 

He arrived at two bakeries and bought every single loaf of bread he found. The owners were dumbfounded but willingly sold everything. He spent less than $100 to obtain about 400 loaves of bread (this is less than $0.25 per loaf) and spent another $100 to get daily necessities. 

Off he went, in the truck full of bread, into the streets. As he distributed the bread and necessities to the children (mostly handicapped) and a few adults, he received cheers and bows from these unfortunate. For the first time in his life he wondered how people could give up their dignity for a loaf of bread which cost less than $0.25. 

He began to ask himself how fortunate he was. How fortunate he was to be able to have a complete body, have a job, have a family, have the chance to complain what food was nice and what wasn't, have the chance to be clothed, have the many things that these people in front of him were deprived of.

Now I began to think and feel it, too! Was my life really that bad? 

Perhaps I should not feel bad at all...What about you? Maybe the next time you think you are, think about the child who lost one hand to beg on the streets. 

"Contentment is not the fulfillment of what you want, it is the realization of how much you already have."

Funny New Year Resolutions


Check out these funny and innovative New Year's Resolutions! Enjoy these and make some for yourself...Surely you will enjoy!!
  • Just for today, I will not sit in my living room all day in my nightdress. Instead, I will move my computer into the bedroom.
  • I will no longer waste my time relieving the past, instead I will spend it worrying about the future.
  • I will not bore my boss by with the same excuse for taking leaves. I will think of some more excuses.
  • I will do less laundry and use more deodorant.
  • I will avoid taking a bath whenever possible and conserve more water.
  • Assure my lawyer that I will never again show up drunk at a custody hearing.
  • I will give up chocolates totally. 100%. Completely. Honestly....
  • I will try to figure out why I *really* need nine e-mail addresses.
  • I will stop sending e-mails to my wife (husband).
  • I resolve to work with neglected children -- my own.
  • I will stop sending e-mail, ICQ, Instant Messages and be on the phone at the same time with the same person.
  • I will spend less than one hour a day on the Internet. This, of course, will be hard to estimate since I'm not a clock watcher.
  • I will read the manual... just as soon as I can find it.
  • I will think of a password other than "password."
  • I will not tell the same story at every get together.
  • I won't worry so much.
  • I will cut my hair.
  • I will grow my hair.
  • I will stop considering other people's feelings when they so obviously don't consider mine - if that unwashed fellow sits next to me again, I'll tell him he stinks!
  • I will be more imaginative.
  • I will not hang around girls - they think you love them and that sucks.
  • I will not ring the stewardess button on airplanes just to get her phone number.

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