Thursday, July 31, 2008
The jokes we CHOOSE to share…and not to share.
The derogatory terms we CHOOSE to use…and refuse to use.
The promises we CHOOSE to break…and the ones we keep.
The rumors we CHOOSE to spread…and those we ignore.
The resources we CHOOSE to waste…and those we use wisely.
The lies we CHOOSE to tell…and not to tell.
The responsibilities we CHOOSE to accept…and those we shirk.
The courtesies we CHOOSE to extend…and fail to extend.
The efforts we CHOOSE to put forth…and not put forth.
The quality we CHOOSE to provide…and the corners we cut.
The listening we CHOOSE to do and not do.
The respect we CHOOSE to give…and fail to give.
The helpful hands we CHOOSE to extend…and those we keep in our pockets.
Monday, July 28, 2008
|“Evidence shows music therapy constitutes an important branch of modern medicine”|
CLARIFYING DOUBTS: Neurologist Krishnamoorthy Srinivas answering a question from the audience after a talk on “Mind, Stress, Music and Health,” the first in a lecture series, at the golden jubilee celebrations of the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in Chennai on Sunday.
CHENNAI: Music can complement the management of neurological disorders, but should not be regarded as a panacea, neurologist Krishnamoorthy Srinivas said on Sunday.
Launching a series of medical lectures in connection with the golden jubilee celebrations of the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Dr. Srinivas, chairman-Emeritus of the Institute of Neurological Sciences, Voluntary Health Services, said the emerging body of evidence was substantive enough to show that music therapy, though debatable, constituted an important branch of modern medicine.
In a lecture on “Mind, Stress, Music and Health,” he pointed to the findings of a study he led in association with the IIT-Madras, in which a group of patients with no previous initiation into classical music were exposed to ‘tala’ cycles on the mridangam even as a functional MRI scan mapped their brain functions.
In the talk interspersed with snatches of music ranging from K. L. Saigal to M. S. Subbulakshmi, Dr. Srinivas said the study showed that exposure to a repetitive music rhythm triggered a “willed action” that involved attention, concentration, intentionality and a learning process, even in the musically naïve group.
“Importantly, the study showed that the location of memory in the brain is more diffused than localised,” he said.
This marked a departure from Western understanding of the memory function. Several studies, especially from Harvard University, appeared to illustrate how early initiation into music (7-8 years) helped individuals develop faculties sharper than others.
The senior neurologist had a few words of advice for the young and the old.
While the elderly would do well to practise anger management, exercise in moderation and try to understand and accommodate the culture of youth, youngsters should rein in their ambition, avoid cut-throat competition and spoiling their health by the time they reached the age of 40.
Courtesy The Hindu dated 28.7.2008
Sunday, July 27, 2008
'Let my countrymen awake'
|Can we regain the lost glory?|
An e-mail that I received compelled me to write this piece. The mail is about the achievement of Indians in various spheres both at home and abroad. While the veracity of the data in the mail may need closer scrutiny, even a cursory glance at the points mentioned therein makes interesting reading. The top names in the world’s leading IT companies are Indians. If Sabeer Bhatia is the founder and creator of Hotmail, the world’s leading web based email program, Vinod Dahm is the creator of the Pentium Processor. Azim Premji has overtaken the Sultan of Brunei in the list of the world’s richest men.
There are some more interesting statistics. 36 per cent of NASA scientists are Indians. 34 per cent of Microsoft employees are Indians. 38 per cent of doctors in USA are Indians. The mail then goes on to elaborate about the achievements of ancient Indians, purportedly mentioned in a German magazine. From metallurgy to surgery to mathematics to art and culture, it is obvious that Indians dominated the world with their remarkable accomplishments. For good measure, quotes from famous personalities like Einstein, Romain Rolland among others are also included.
Finally, comes the question “Why we are where we are today” with the exhortation to all Indians to rise and bring back the lost glory. The first thing that occurred to my mind was our appalling lack of self pride.
Anything that is Indian immediately means that it is inferior. Be it in our dress, food habits, mannerisms or lifestyle, it must conform to Western standards. The next thing that pulls India back by ten steps for every step forward is corruption.
From the highest level downwards, such is its stranglehold that it has virtually sapped the life blood of our country. All projects and schemes have their innards emptied by this monster which struts about in the form of officials for whom all the world is their stage.Erosion of values
Caste and religion are the veritable albatrosses around our necks. Merit takes a backseat in front of caste considerations. Caste politics is a convenient tool for politicians to create schisms where none exist. Bright and deserving people have to silently gnash their teeth as less deserving persons sail past them on the basis of their castes.
Corruption, nepotism and favouritism are the visible signs of a sick society that has cut off its connections with its austere past and adopted an alien lifestyle marked by brash and consumptive living, devoid of moral and ethical values. Under such conditions, is it any surprise if enterprising Indians go in search of greener pastures?
And we, the gullible populace, who allow ourselves to be fooled election after election with promises of heaven on earth, are also to blame for we couldn’t care less about the country as long as we are comfortable. Granted, there are islands of green amidst this ocean of gloom. But they are few and far between.
Tagore’s statement “into that heaven of freedom, let my countrymen awake” must be interpreted as the freedom from all the aforementioned ills, if India has to regain her lost glory.
‘Semmangudi’s music allows you to transcend’ Meera Srinivasan
|Paying tribute to the maestro on the occasion of his birth centenary, neuroscientist V.S. Ramachandran reflects on ‘the impulse that drives great music and art...the tremendous need, this desire to reach for the stars, to transcend your mortal frame.’|
Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer
CHENNAI: If there is something that fascinates physician and neuroscientist V.S. Ramachandran as much as phantoms in the brain, it must be Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer’s music. His face lights up when he begins speaking about his favourite musician.
As a teenager, he went, with his mother, to one of the maestro’s concerts at the Mylapore Fine Arts Club and has been an ardent fan ever since. “His music has been a source of inspiration for the scientific, medical research I do,” says the Director of the Center for Brain and Cognition and Professor of Neurosciences and Psychology at the University of California, San Diego, and author of several acclaimed books about the human brain and mind. “Whenever I travel to give a lecture, I listen to a song by Semmangudi in my car. It elevates you to another plane and then the lecture goes off very smoothly. If you ask me why or what is going on in the brain, I still don’t know.”
From interactions with the great musician on different occasions, Dr. Ramachandran, who studied medicine at Stanley Medical College, Chennai and did a doctorate at Trinity College, Cambridge, recalls that Semmangudi’s perspectives exuded quintessential sarcasm, humour, and wit. “We spoke in Tamil and I’m afraid his humour will get lost in translation.” The neuroscientist, in the company of a few family members and friends, visited Semmangudi two years before he died in 2003. The maestro, who was born on July 25, 1908, was interested to learn that the neuroscientist was a grandson of Alladi Krishnaswamy Iyer (1883-1953) and they had a memorable chat:Hindustani and Carnatic music
Dr. V.S. Ramachandran
Ramachandran: What is the difference between North Indian music and South Indian music?
Semmangudi: Look Rama, there is nothing like one being superior and the other being inferior. But North Indian music is like Krishnavatharam and ours, like Ramavatharam. Our music has purity. Their music is equally good but a lot of mischief creeps in, you see! We can sing in their style, but they cannot sing in ours. [The visitor requested the maestro to make available some of the audio recordings of his concerts. At that time, audio tapes were more popular than compact disks.]
Semmangudi: Rama, I do not believe in these tapes.
Ramachandran: Why do you say that, sir?‘Flowers in a refrigerator’
Semmangudi: Look, it is like this. When we sing swarams, it is like decorating the raga devadai [angel] with flowers. It should come spontaneously, flowing freely like a pravaham [cascade]. If you stuff the swaras into a tape recorder, it will be equivalent to keeping the flowers in a refrigerator and taking them out periodically to smell their fragrance. Some people even take the tape recorder into the bathroom!
[Dr. Ramachandran’s annotation today is: “It is as if he is implying that respect should be accorded not only to him, but also to recordings of his music. You can’t be disrespectful by taking it to the bathroom. Of course, he was saying it in a humorous manner. Obviously it is not meant to be taken literally.”]
Ramachandran: I agree with your view on tape recorders, but I have heard your Thodi swarams for Sri Krishnam Bhaja Manasa and your Kapi raga alapana a hundred times and they retain the original freshness of the flowers.
Semmangudi: Oh Rama! That’s your bhakti, not my music! When we are singing swarams, it is like decorating the raga devadai with flowers. It shouldn’t seem like a spelling. It should be soaked in bhava.
[The neuroscientist’s annotation: “Today, many seem a little obsessed with calculations to show their virtuosity rather than bring out the bhava of the raga, which is what is unique to our music. And he’s absolutely right about that, isn’t he?”]
Ramachandran: What do you think about today’s musicians?Contemporary musicians
Semmangudi: Oh, today’s musicians sing very well. People say [the quality of] music is declining but that is not true. All of them sing well, but they all sound just the same!
Ramachandran: How do you say that?
Semmangudi: Now we have the tape recorder, right? In those days we did not have tape recorders. My style is different, Madurai Mani’s style is different, MDR [M.D. Ramanathan]’s style is different. We were singing differently. But today people listen to each other’s music and start sounding similar. There are fewer opportunities for each artiste to evolve his own distinctive style.
Ramachandran’s friend: Sir, what do you think of other musicians?
Semmangudi: Who are you referring to?
Ramachandran’s friend: What is your opinion of Dr. Balamuralikrishna?
Semmangudi: Budhishaali! (He is extremely intelligent.)
Ramachandran’s friend: Oh, but he can’t sing like you, sir.
Semmangudi: Neither can I sing like him.Favourite raga?
Ramachandran’s friend: Do you have a favourite raga?
Semmangudi: One cannot really say this or that is his favourite raga. Take Bhairavi, for instance. It is a boundless ocean. Each time you sing the ragam, the waves are different. What can we say about such an ocean? Take Thodi...it is another vast ocean.
Ramachandran: What do you think of MDR?
Semmangudi: He is a genius. You just have to listen to his Janani in Reethigowlai.
Ramachandran: What do you think of Mandolin Srinivas?
Semmangudi: He is a genius too.
Ramachandran: And M.S. [M.S. Subbulakshmi]?MS ‘at the peak’
Semmangudi: Well, she is really at the peak. How can someone like me even begin to comment on her stature? I merely taught her a couple of songs...but she is at the very peak now.
Semmangudi [on the future of Carnatic music]: There is a misconception that the interest in Carnatic music is on the decline. In fact, there is a tremendous interest and passion among our youngsters all over the world for our great tradition in Carnatic music: It is immortal.
On one occasion, while introducing Maharajapuram Santhanam to the audience at a felicitation function at the Music Academy, the maestro said: “He is my guru’s [Maharajapuram Viswanatha Iyer’s] son. When he was a little boy, I would toss him up in the air and play with him, but now [sizing him up with his eyes], I can’t quite manage that.” The audience roared in laughter.
“Some people can humble you with their very presence,” remarks Dr. Ramachandran. “He was certainly one of them.”Science and music
Gradually and cautiously, the research scientist in the passionate Semmangudi fan moves on to the question of how the brain could possibly produce music like his. “At this stage in our understanding of the brain,” reflects Dr. Ramachandran, “if we were to ask how the brain has these transcendental experiences, we are not anywhere near answering that question. If you ask a hard core scientist, he will tell you that there are neurons flaring away and some pattern of activity is producing a response to Semmangudi. So when I put on my scientist’s hat, I will tell you that there is some extraordinary pattern in his brain which is unique to him and him alone. On the other hand, sometimes, all you can do is throw up your arms in wonder and acknowledge that there is something transcendental which none of us understands and may be, will never understand. It is as if his music provides an antenna, a direct hotline to God. You feel transported.”
The ineffable quality of superior music is often inexplicable. “There is something about the music of Semmangudi or Madurai Mani. Madurai Mani’s swaram in Kanada, or Semmangudi’s neraval in Thodi are simply unmatched. Semmangudi’s swarams in the slower paces, medium paces were extraordinary. He was particularly good at that.”
Now, how does one explain, in neural terms, the experience of being transported?
The neuroscientist’s carefully considered answer is:
“People often ask me, reporters, journalists, students and colleagues — What is special about humans? After all, we are just a sophisticated ape, if you believe in Darwin’s theory of evolution, which obviously as a biologist I do.
“We have language, apes do not have language. You are aware of yourself. An ape doesn’t have that kind of awareness. We have laughter and humour, all of this is true. But in truth even the great apes have some rudiments of these abilities.Transcendence
“One thing unique about being human, ironically, is the desire to be more than human. No ape wants to be more than an ape. So this tremendous need, this desire to reach for the stars, to transcend your mortal frame — that is the impulse that drives great music and art. That is what our music does, which western music doesn’t. It is more intellectual. This is common knowledge. But coming from a neuroscientist, it may have more credibility.”
So what is the connection between brain activity and transcendence? Nobody knows the answer, Dr. Ramachandran responds.
“As I say in my book The Emerging Mind, we are perpetually in this dilemma, that, on the one hand, everything we know from science tells you that you are merely a beast and, yet, you know in your heart you are much more than that.”
“Nobody really knows the answer to such questions. So you feel like you’re an angel trapped in the body of a beast, forever wanting to fly off, seeking transcendence. That is essentially the human predicament in a nutshell. And that is what music does every now and then. Semmangudi’s singing gives you a glimpse of the other world.”
Can science really attempt to explain artistic greatness of the Semmangudi kind? “Doesn’t matter what scientists say,” the neuroscientist answers. “Like my friend, a bookstore owner, once said: ‘You can take Semmangudi, put him in an MRI machine, and the report will come out saying ‘completely normal’!”
Artistry, I persist, cannot be explained by science. But does science acknowledge that different faculties of the brain manifest themselves in different aspects of music?
“Undoubtedly, yes,” exclaims Dr. Ramachandran. “There is clearly something going on in the brain. But it may not merely be that. I adopt a point of view which is called being a Platonist in philosophy, which is very unfashionable because modern philosophers are realists. They believe that there are atoms and molecules, and everything else follows. The fallacy here is to argue that because you have explained something, you have explained it away. Contrary to this view, Plato insisted that there are other realms of reality. Each realm has its own laws and acquires its own beauty once it has emerged.
“You might say it has now acquired its own dimension of reality,” the neuroscientist adds. “And if you go even further beyond that, you get transcendence, which few musicians achieve. Just like Einstein came up with the theory of relativity...Semmangudi’s music allows you to transcend. Take his Sri Krishnam Bhaja Manasa or his Ragam Thanam Pallavi in Shanmugapriya, for instance. There is a certain grandeur about his music — it is majestic and extrovert —touching the very ‘hem of divinity’.”
Recalling his meeting with the maestro, Dr. Ramachandran says: “As soon as we walked in, we saw a photograph of Ariyakudi on the wall. I didn’t ask him anything about it and he didn’t say anything either. I remember that [Francis] Crick similarly had only Einstein’s picture on his wall. It sort of implies, ‘This is the only other person whose existence I acknowledge’.”
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
In this great city that has no end,
Yet the days go by and weeks rush on,
And before I know it, a year is gone.
And I never see my old friend’s face,
For life is a swift and terrible race,
He knows I like him just as well,
As in the days when I rang his bell.
And he rang mine but we were younger then,
And now we are busy, tired men.
Tired of playing a foolish game,
Tired of trying to make a name.
'Tomorrow' I say! 'I will call on Jim.
Just to show that I'm thinking of him.’
But tomorrow comes and tomorrow goes,
And distance between us grows and grows.
Around the corner, yet miles away,
'Here's a telegram sir,'
'Jim died today.'
And that's what we get and deserve in the end.
Around the corner, a vanished friend.
Remember to always say what you mean.
If you love someone, tell them. Don't be afraid to express yourself.
Reach out and tell someone what they mean to you.
Because when you decide that it is the right time,
It might be too late.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
All those little white lies!
|Day after day, men and women tell lies to each other, sometimes deliberately, sometimes unwittingly. There’s a reason behind the pile of untruths, says Sheila Kumar|
Face off? It could be avoided by telling harmless lies
No one wants to tell lies, we promise you that. Sometimes, it is to cover up an error, at other times, to spare someone from getting hurt. What we are dealing with, here, is the province of lies that attempts to bridge a yawning gap between men and women. Small, stupid lies that actually are so flimsy, they don’t work in the least. However, we persist with them.
Here’s a collection of the lies most men resort to, time and again.
No, you don’t look fat in that outfit. Actually, you know you do, he thinks so, too. But he knows it is better not to tell the truth at such times. Which leaves it to women to either challenge the statement or accept it with good grace.
I’m sorry. We are not saying he isn’t sorry for whatever hurt he has caused you. The point is men and dogs share a very short term memory. So, most of the time, he is utterly clueless about what it is he is supposed to have done that has you so irritated/annoyed or furious. Some wise man told him long ago that it’s best to say ‘sorry’ and keep saying ‘sorry,’ till the atmosphere rights itself.
I was just joking. Believe us when we tell you that whatever it is he said to you a moment ago, at which you have taken such severe umbrage, was said in right earnest. In other words, he meant it. He was not joking. Being no one’s fool, the moment the words were uttered, the moment a telling expression crossed your face, he realised, to his dismay, that the situation needs quick salvaging. Hence the claim that he was joking.
Yes, your best friend is nice/intelligent. Actually, he doesn’t like her. He feels just that bit threatened by her, since she shares such a close relationship with you and what’s worse (for him), she was on the scene years before he made his appearance. However, our man knows better than to let on his antagonism towards her, which will earn him endless lectures, if not worse, from you. Best to pretend, then.
Of course your job matters. This one is a bad one but we have to tell it like it is. Most men are so self-absorbed, they don’t factor in just how much your job means to you. Call it male chauvinism, call it selfishness, call it a blinkered vision but their work world revolves around their jobs, their tiffs with the boss, their raises and promotions or lack thereof. Yes, of course, you have a job. It’s something that keeps you occupied.
Now before men start to protest that we are indulging in some deep-rooted prejudices against them, let’s right the balance, shall we? What’s sauce for the gander is sauce for the goose, too, and there are a few stand-by lies that women invariably fall back on, to save face, save a situation, get them out of a sticky problem. Lies like…
Your friends are a nice lot. Actually, she has never seen a bigger bunch of boors, slobs and ill-mannered dolts. It is her one-point-programme to wean you away from these school and college mates of yours. But she is subtle, see?
You really showed your boss. When she heard just how you reacted to a telling off from your boss, just what you said in response, her heart sank. Because she is a woman of great tact and would have handled the situation better, leaving the boss with the feeling that here is someone who takes constructive criticism well, and who will move up in the organisation. Which in all probability, is not how your boss is feeling right now.
I admire your money management skills. Truth to tell, she can teach you a thing or two about budgeting. Only, you have never realised or acknowledged that skill in her, so she prefers to run the household, see to the extras for kids and holidays, and also save for the proverbial rainy day, all quietly, without fanfare. It is the same way she gently turns your attention away from the impulsive buy you are about to splurge on.
No, I don’t want you to change. No, she doesn’t want you to change…much. She just wants you to acquire a better sense of style, better manners, a more caring attitude and some culinary skills. And while you are at it, if you could change your kith and kin for a better lot, she would only be too happy!
I was just joking. Whatever it is she said to you a moment ago, about which you are so offended, was said in right earnest. In other words, she meant it. She was not joking. Of course, the moment the words were uttered, the moment she saw the expression on your face, she realised some quick wordplay was needed, to save the situation. Hence the claim that she was joking.
Courtesy "The Hindu" Metro plus 8th July 2008
Monday, July 7, 2008
Will you come here and make your darling daughter eat her food? 'I tossed the paper away and rushed to the scene. My only daughter Sindu looked frightened.
Tears were welling up in her eyes. In front of her was a bowl filled to its brim with Curd Rice. Sindu is a nice child, quite intelligent for her age. She has just turned eight. She particularly detested Curd Rice. My mother and my wife are orthodox, and believefirmly in the 'cooling effects' of Curd Rice! I cleared my throat, and picked up the bowl. 'Sindu, darling,why don't you take a few mouthful of this Curd Rice? Just for Dad's sake, dear.
Sindu softened a bit, and wiped her tears with the back of her hands. 'OK, Dad. I will eat - not just a few mouthfuls, but the whole lot of this. But, you should...' Sindu hesitated. 'Dad, if I eat this entire curd Rice, will you give me whatever I ask for?'........ ....Oh sure,darling'.... 'Promise? '........ .........
'Promise'. I covered the pink soft hand extended by my daughter with mine, and clinched the deal. 'Ask Mom also to give a similar promise', my daughter insisted. My wife put her hand on Sindu's, muttering 'Promise'. Now I became a bit anxious. 'Sindu dear, you shouldn't insist on getting a computer or any such expensive items. Dad does not have that kind of money right now. OK?'
'No, Dad. I do not want anything expensive'. Slowly and painfully, she finished eating the whole quantity. I was silently angry with my wife and my mother for forcing my child eat something that she detested. After the ordeal was through, Sindu came to me with her eyes wide with expectation. All our attention was on her............
'Dad, I want to have my head shaved off, this Sunday!' was her demand.
'Atrocious!' shouted my wife, 'A girl child having her head shaved off? Impossible!' 'Never in our family!' my mother rasped. She has been watching too much of television. Our culture is getting totally spoiled with these TV programs!'
Sindu darling, why don't you ask for something else? We will be sad seeing you with a clean-shaven head.'
'No, Dad. I do not want anything else', Sindu said with finality. 'Please, Sindu, why don't you try to understand our feelings?' I tried to plead with her.
'Dad, you saw how difficult it was for me to eat that Curd Rice'. Sindu was in tears. 'And you promised to grant me whatever I ask for.
Now, you are going back on your words. Was it not you who told me the story of King Harishchandra, and its moral that we should honor our promises no matter what?'
It was time for me to call the shots. 'Our promise must be kept.'' Are you out your mind?' chorused my mother and wife.
'No. If we go back on our promises, she will never learn to honor her own. Sindu, your wish will be fulfilled.' With her head clean-shaven, Sindu had a round-face, and hereyes looked big and beautiful.
On Monday morning, I dropped her at her school. It was a sight to watch my hairless Sindu walking towards her classroom. She turned around and waved. I waved back with a smile.
Just then, a boy alighted from a car, and shouted, 'Sinduja, please wait for me!'
What struck me was the hairless head of that boy. 'May be, that is the in-stuff', I thought.
'Sir, your daughter Sinduja is great indeed!' Without introducing herself, a lady got out of the car, and continued,' That boy who is walking along with your daughter is my son Harish. He is suffering from... ... leukemia.' She paused to muffle her sobs. Harish could not attend the school for the whole of the last month. He lost all his hair due to the side effects of the chemotherapy. He refused to come back to school fearing the unintentional but cruel teasing of the schoolmates. 'Sinduja visited him last week, and promised him that she will take care of the teasing issue.
But, I never imagined she would sacrifice her lovely hair for the sake of my son!
Sir, you and your wife are blessed to have such a noble soul as your daughter.'
I stood transfixed. And then, I wept. 'My little Angel, you are teaching me how self-less real love is!'
*The happiest people on this planet are not those who live on their own terms but are those who change their terms for the ones whom they love ..*
Love Touch And Inspire your FRIENDS
"The life is short, the vanities of world are transient but they alone live who live for others; the rest are more dead than alive."
Habib begs just as long as Parvinder but only collects £2 to £3 every day.
Parvinder brings home a suitcase FULL of £10 notes, drives a Mercedes, lives in a mortgage-free house and has a lot of money to spend.
Habib says to Parvinder 'I work just as long and hard as you do but how do you bring home a suitcase full of £10 notes every day?'
Parvinder says, 'Look at your sign, what does it say'?
Habib's sign reads 'I have no work, a wife and 6 kids to support'.
Parvinder says 'No wonder you only get £2- £3
Habib says... 'So what does your sign say'?
Parvinder shows Habib his sign....
It reads, 'I only need another £10 to move back to Pakistan'.
Saturday, July 5, 2008
4. A caring listener
6. In good shape
8.Appreciates finer things
10. An imaginative, romantic lover
What I Want in a Man, Revised List (age 32)
2. Opens car doors, holds chairs
3. Has enough money for a nice dinner
4. Listens more than talks
5. Laughs at my jokes
6. Carries bags of groceries with ease
7. Owns at least one tie
8. Appreciates a good home-cooked meal
9. Remembers birthdays and anniversaries
10. Seeks romance at least once a week
What I Want in a Man, Revised List (age 52)
1. Not too ugly
2. Doesn't drive off until I'm in the car
3. Works steady - splurges on dinner out occasionally
4. Nods head when I'm talking
5. Usually remembers punch lines of jokes
6. Is in good enough shape to rearrange the furniture
7. Wears a shirt that covers his stomach
8. Knows not to buy champagne with screw-top lids
9. Remembers to put the toilet seat down
10. Shaves most weekends
What I Want in a Man, Revised List (age 62)
1. Keeps hair in nose and ears trimmed
2. Doesn't belch or scratch in public
3. Doesn't borrow money too often
4. Doesn't nod off to sleep when I'm venting
5. Doesn't retell the same joke too many times
6. Is in good enough shape to get off couch on weekends
7. Usually wears matching socks and fresh underwear
8. Appreciates a good TV dinner
9. Remembers your name on occasion
10. Shaves some weekends
What I Want in a Man, Revised List (age 72)
1. Doesn't scare small children
2. Remembers where bathroom is
3. Doesn't require much money for upkeep
4. Only snores lightly when asleep
5. Remembers why he's laughing
6. Is in good enough shape to stand up by himself
7. Usually wears some clothes
8. Likes soft foods
9. Remembers where he left his teeth
10. Remembers that it's the weekend
What I Want in a Man, Revised List (age 82)
2. Doesn't miss the toilet.
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
What are your greatest gifts? How can you best serve mankind? These are questions you must answer to find your true purpose in life.
Who am I?
What am I meant to do here?
What am I trying to do with my life?
These are powerful questions that can be difficult to answer. They sometimes surface during major life transitions such as family strife, job loss, spiritual awakenings, or the death of a loved one.
I feel fortunate to have found my purpose in life. I have that reason to get up in the morning and it fuels my passion. In one of the greatest compliments I ever received, someone said to me, “Hari, when you speak you’ve been blessed with the ability to connect with others…soul to soul.” I thought about those words and have chosen to shape my life around that gift. My purpose through speaking and writing is to “bring ideas to life” that will encourage and motivate people.
Every person is a unique being. There is only one of you in the universe. You have many obvious gifts and other gifts still waiting to be discovered.
I truly believe, however, that one of the most important questions you can ask yourself in your journey to find your purpose is, “How can I serve others?” Albert Schweitzer said it well: “I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.”
No amount of books and no amount of diplomas can produce integrity.
Integrity is not something that can be achieved in school, regardless of the
school's fame. But it is integrity that we need the most - especially in
positions of great responsibility.
Here are two real-life stories that I think is a must-read for all of us.
It's a little long but it's worth it.
*The First Story*
Many years ago, Al Capone virtually owned Chicago. Al Capone wasn't famous
for anything heroic. He was notorious for enmeshing the windy city in
everything from bootlegged booze to murder. Capone had a lawyer nicknamed
"Easy Eddie." He was his lawyer for a good reason. Eddie was very good! In
fact, Eddie's skill at legal maneuvering kept Big Al out of jail for a long
To show his appreciation, Capone paid him very well. Not only was the money
big, but also Eddie got special dividends. For instance, he and his family
occupied a fenced-in mansion with live-in help and all of the conveniences
of the day. The estate was so large that it filled an entire Chicago City
block. Eddie lived the high life of the Chicago mob and gave little
consideration to the atrocity that went on around him.
Eddie did have one soft spot, however. He had a son that he loved dearly.
Eddie saw to it that his young son had the best of everything: clothes, cars
and a good education. Nothing was withheld. Price was no object. And,
despite his involvement with organized crime, Eddie even tried to teach him
right from wrong. Eddie wanted his son to be a better man than he was.
Yet, with all his wealth and influence, there were two things he couldn't
give his son; he couldn't pass on a good name and a good example. One day,
Easy Eddie reached a difficult decision. Easy Eddie wanted to rectify wrongs
he had done. He decided he would go to the authorities and tell the truth
about Al "Scarface" Capone, clean up his tarnished name and offer his son
some semblance of integrity.
To do this, he would have to testify against The Mob, and he knew that the
cost would be great. So, he testified. Within the year, Easy Eddie's life
ended in a blaze of gunfire on a lonely Chicago Street, but not before he
finally passed on a good name to his son.
*The Second Story*
World War II produced many heroes. One such man was Lieutenant Commander
Butch O'Hare. He was a fighter pilot assigned to the aircraft carrier
Lexington in the South Pacific. One day his entire squadron was sent on a
mission. After he was airborne, he looked at his fuel gauge and realized
that someone had forgotten to top off his fuel tank He would not have enough
fuel to complete his mission and get back to his ship. His flight leader
told him to return to the carrier. Reluctantly, he dropped out of formation
and headed back to the fleet.
As he was returning to the mother ship he saw something that turned his
blood cold, a squadron of Japanese aircraft were speeding their way toward
the American fleet. The American fighters were gone on a sortie, and the
fleet was all but defenseless He couldn't reach his squadron and bring them
back in time to save the fleet. Nor could he warn the fleet of the
approaching danger. There was only one thing to do. He must somehow divert
them from the fleet.
Laying aside all thoughts of personal safety, he dove into the formation of
Japanese planes. Wing-mounted 50 caliber's blazed as he charged in,
attacking one surprised enemy plane and then another. Butch wove in and out
of the now broken formation and fired at as many planes as possible until
all his ammunition was finally spent. Undaunted, he continued the assault.
He dove at the planes, trying to clip a wing or tail in hopes of damaging as
many enemy planes as possible and rendering them unfit to fly. Finally, the
exasperated Japanese squadron took off in another direction.
Deeply relieved, Butch O'Hare and his tattered fighter limped back to the
carrier. Upon arrival he reported in and related the event surrounding His
return. The film from the gun-camera mounted on his plane told the tale. It
showed the extent of Butch's daring attempt to protect his fleet He had in
fact destroyed five enemy aircraft.
This took place on February 20, 1942, and for that action Butch became The
Navy's first Ace of World War II, and the first Naval aviator to win the
Congressional Medal of Honor. A year later Butch was killed in aerial combat
at the age of 29. His home town would not allow the memory of this WW II
hero to fade, and today, O'Hare Airport in Chicago is named in tribute to
the courage of this great man.
So the next time you find yourself at O'Hare International, give some
thought to visiting Butch's memorial displaying his statue and his Medal of
Honor. It's located between Terminals 1 and 2.
So, what do these two stories have to do with each other? ……Butch O'Hare was
Easy Eddie's son.