Sunday, December 25, 2011


Humility comes from greatness of character. The more a person learns about the world and themselves, the more they realize that they don’t know anything. Once that realization hits, then one starts to get more curious and the long journey of learning begins. As one gets more knowledge one gets more mature and thus becomes more humble.

One should know the difference between knowledge of information and knowledge of self. Information are facts that one learns to progress in career whereas knowledge of self is for self improvement. Humility comes from the latter type of knowledge. Acquiring of information does not always lead to humility, it can lead to pompousness and egoistic behavior. This type of behavior leads to destructive nature of self.

Individuals who are humble can be recognized by their self contentment, quiet nature, respectful behavior and open mind.

There are many people who don’t know that they are ignorant.  They think they already know everything so there is nothing more to learn from the world.  If they do learn it is not really to improve themselves, but to show off to other people about what they have learnt. They keep touting their own knowledge and promote themselves as if they are the only ones who know anything. The sad part is that they don’t even know they are ignorant. These people are shallow and cannot see beyond themselves. There are many sayings about such people in hindi – but here is one in English which is similar:

Coins always make sound….but the currency notes are always silent.
So…..when your value increases, keep yourself calm and silent..

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


The dictionary meanings of acknowledge is:
recognition of the existence or truth of something
an expression of appreciation

We have become so busy in our lives that we forget to acknowledge the people around us; whether it is our family, friends or colleagues or even strangers for that matter. We brush them off and go about our lives as if these people will always be there. Not so......there is no relationship in this world that is immune from withering away. Once you start taking anyone for granted then you can take it for granted that the relationship is over. And suddenly one day you will wonder – how did that happen? How did I lose this person from my life?

We all want to be acknowledged yet we don’t want to give any acknowledgment – why? Because we are too busy? Or we don’t know how to appreciate people? What the heck are we busy with?? Life? Life – that is so fickle that it will not stay with you longer than it has to. It will pass us by without a second thought and leave us thinking about what we lost during the time we were busy.

Acknowledging someone is also the easiest way to make someone happy, including yourself. In this day and age of hyper communication sometimes there is no communication.

Regarding HOW to acknowledge someone....well...the easiest way of acknowledging someone is by sharing your time with them. As Americans say, “Time is money,” so yes, you are giving something valuable. But the value of this is immeasurable. Most people just want a little bit of your time. As soon as you start spending time with whomever you care about, you will see the difference in your relationship with them. Keep in mind – don’t expect anything in return!! You are doing it for them, if you matter to them they will reciprocate in kind!

No one likes being ignored. Even kindness to a stranger or from a stranger makes both the parties feel good! Make the change in your life......acknowledge and appreciate the people around you:
  • Do something nice for your parents every day. Spend a little time with them.
  • Play with your kids, or study with them.
  • Do something that your better-half likes for a change. 
  • Write or call your friend who you have been meaning to...
  • Say a kind word to your colleague.
  • Give a compliment to someone.
There are so many more ways to make someone feel appreciated - I can't possibly write them all.  Living alone for so long has taught me the value of relationships (contradictory eh!!). And I do hope that in my own way I make my friends and family feel appreciated.

Relationships are so fragile; so easy to break and so hard to maintain.  So if you want to keep a relationship then care for it like you would as if you were growing a tree. Water it, fertilize it with proper minerals and don’t forget to remove the bugs! The flowers, the fruits, the shade of the tree, all will be for you. Whatever you do, do it wholeheartedly, otherwise why even bother?

And if you don’t want to keep a relationship.....just ignore it! That is the easiest way to end it. The other person will get the message that you don't have any need for them, that you don't have any time for them and will acknowledge your wishes and go away.

To end today's thoughts.....I selected this quote, because so many times we acknowledge, but not with heart.

“I like her because she smiles at me and means it.” ~Anonymous

Saturday, December 10, 2011


This is possibly the worst quality in anyone. There is no shortage of people or books giving advice on the fact that anger is the least desirable quality. When one is angry there is no control over what one is saying and to whom. And most times the person in anger will have regrets after their anger has subsided. But by that time the damage has been done.

The person who gets angry usually has no control over their emotions and are usually emotionally weak. What is even worse is when an educated person gets angry. One of the purposes of getting an education is also to be disciplined in ones actions. Why does one not control their anger? In my life I have observed that somehow people who chose to use anger as their self defense tend to belittle people around them.

I have also noticed a number of times that anger is misdirected. One is angry at one thing but they take it out on someone else or something else. The recipient of this anger is most times not aware what hit them. Even if they know that they did not cause this anger, they are still unable to do anything about it. It is the most pathetic sight to see. This behavior clearly shows that this individual (getting angry) does not have respect for people around them. Even if they are remorseful later in time, the deed has been done and after a few times of forgiving them for their anger, it becomes harder.

Is anger an environmental effect or genetic? How does one learn to get angry? From family? From friends? I will not be presumptuous to know the answer to that question but I do think it is more from home. If one comes from a stable, loving home where everyone is respected for their opinions and decisions then there would be no reason to be angry. So, anger in my opinion is a learned behavior and therefore can be controlled by discipline and appropriate support from family and friends.

As I have grown up, and hopefully matured in my thinking and developed some self confidence, I have learned to deal better with people directing their anger towards me, and I getting angry at other people. Dealing with people getting angry with me is much easier:
  • Depending on the person who is fuming at me, if I can, I just walk away.
  • If the person is close to me, I try to get to the bottom of their anger and help them by getting to the bottom of their problem. Most times I have been able to calm people down by just listening patiently. Sometimes they don’t really want a response – just an audience.
  • If I cannot go away and I don’t really care to give a response (or should not give a response), then I listen with patience without losing my own temper. I just sit, look at the person and think about what is going on in their mind to get so upset.  They usually don't have a problem from me, but some of their own issues.  (Sometimes these are the students who come and sit in my office trying to tell everything that is wrong with me and my teaching, when really they are the ones who have not put forth the work needed for the course).
  • The best phrase I learned from one of my colleagues is to say, “I understand”, and listen. Sometimes angry people are trying to get a response out of me and I know they don’t deserve a response. So I keep my cool and just smile.
I usually don’t get angry at people anymore as much as I used to. I have realized over time it is not worth it to ruin my mood and someone else’s day over a useless emotion and especially over a situation that I may not have had any control over. So better to smile, realize that there is no positive outcome from anger and eat chocolate.

Thursday, December 8, 2011


“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, that is the common saying. Ok then, what is the beholder looking for? Physical beauty, personality beauty or intellectual beauty? Does having one kind of beauty make the other ones less important or less required? Does the beholder look only for one or more? That only the beholder knows. (And the beholder is quite fickle!!)

Physical – this is probably the most superficial of the three types. It is only on the outside and does not last; it tends to fade with age. An accident may also change the physical appearance. Then what? Does that make the person less desirable? To some, yes. How shallow! Besides how long does a relationship last if is based on such a superficial trait? However, for most people it is a key requirement in relationships – especially marriages and friendships.

Personality – this is an inner beauty. It shows up when we talk, how we behaves or when we make a decision. The actions here make the beauty. And here we bring another saying, “actions speak louder than words”. Which means you have to be careful about your actions. These will reflect your personality.  I think sometimes this one is hard to see for superficial people, however they will also acknowledge that some people are just "nice". A good personality goes a long way. People with a good personality have a good disposition, positive outlook and will always make people around them happy.

Intellectual - the takers for this one are very few, obviously, since not everyone can have or understand an intellectual conversation. One has to be well read, articulate to have an intellectual conversation.  It takes a good personality to have an intellectual conversation without sounding pompous.  A very delicate balance is needed otherwise people might think you are a smart ass!

I believe to be a good person you need a good balance of a good personality and intellect. Both of those will never go out of fashion.

So what kind of beauty do you like?